ISBA Special Committee on Assembly Governance Accepting Comments on Operation of the ISBA Assembly
The Special Committee on Assembly Governance is interested in your thoughts and comments as it continues the work of examining the operation of the ISBA Assembly.
In June 2019, ISBA President David Sosin established the Special Committee to comprehensively review and, if appropriate, make recommendations regarding the structure and operation of the ISBA Assembly. The Special Committee is comprised of both past and current members of the Assembly. The reasons for creating the Special Committee were concerns about a potential lack of interest in the Assembly, the perception of the Assembly as either “rubber-stamping” decisions of the Board of Governors or no longer taking on meaningful matters, the associated costs in running the Assembly, the Assembly’s lessening relevance to effective and streamlined governance, and the declining attendance at Assembly meetings.
Since it has been established, the Special Committee has met several times. It has reviewed substantial amounts of data, developed and conducted an Assembly Governance survey, and has discussed at length various approaches to improving the Assembly.
During the Assembly meeting on Dec. 7, 2019, the chair of the Special Committee, Matthew Pfeiffer (DuPage County), presented information relating to the Special Committee’s work, research, and analysis thus far. Chair Pfeiffer reported that it was the preliminary consensus of the members of the Special Committee that the Assembly should remain, but that changes to its structure and operation are necessary for improving its effective governance. He stressed that the Special Committee had not reached any final conclusions and that it was still considering the merits of ways to change the Assembly.
The Special Committee had discussed and determined that any changes to the Assembly could occur only in the following areas: role and responsibilities, size and composition, frequency of meetings, and timing and location of meetings. Within those areas, Chair Pfeiffer relayed that the Special Committee had discussed several potential options for the Assembly:
- Continue the Assembly as currently constituted;
- Continue the Assembly as currently constituted but eliminate the opportunity to fill vacant seats;
- Reduce the size of the Assembly and continue to hold two meetings per year;
- Reduce the size of the Assembly and hold only one meeting per year;
- Provide for Assembly meetings to be attended by remote electronic means;
- Discontinue the Assembly; and
- Discontinue the Assembly in its current form and replace it with a “town hall meeting” type of setting or other direct member involvement.
Following the presentation of the preliminary options identified by the Special Committee, members of the Assembly were invited to offer comments, suggestions, and recommendations. Several Assembly members actively participated in the discussion, and their comments, suggestions, and recommendations were noted for consideration by the Special Committee in formulating its final recommendations to the Assembly.
The Special Committee on Assembly Governance continues to work diligently toward providing recommendations to the Assembly for improvement to its structure and operation. The Special Committee welcomes any additional input from ISBA members prior to finalizing its recommendations to the Assembly. If you have any additional comments, suggestions, or recommendations, please comment and submit them below.