Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Petition Slate Files for Candidacy in AoA Election

The following slate of petition candidates will run in the upcoming AoA election:

President: J. Michael Murphy '61

1st Vice President: Alpha Bond '52

2nd Vice President: Diane E. Ellis '08

Secretary-Treasurer: Emily Esfahani Smith '09

Executive Committee Members:

James Baehr '05
Bradford Borden '54
James Guth '77
Alan R. Orschel '61
Richard Paris '71
Stuart L. Richards '63
Noah R. Riner '06

All media voting will take place from March 10 through April 7, 2010.


  • I expect that as the election nears, the Association Ballot Committee will be meeting to discuss and approve details related to the actual ballot and corresponding election material.

    John Mathias is constitutionally the Chair of this committee, which is fine for the trustee elections. However, John is also running for office himself.

    John: I hope you not only recuse yourself, but also decline to participate in any and all discussions by the committee related to AoA officer elections. It is the honorable path.

    David Spalding, also on the ballot committee: You should do the same, as you have a direct-report employee running to replace the seat you currently hold.

    That leaves only 2 other committee members. It is unfortunate they are both appointed to this position by one of the candidates, Mr. Mathias.

    Clearly the constitution intended the ballot committee structure for trustee elections and not for officer elections in which such obvious conflicts of interest occur. Surely there is a way to address this structural problem.

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 1/28/2010 8:34 AM  

  • There sure is, Tim! It's called amending the (flawed and contradictory) constitution of the Association of Alumni. Care to give it a go?

    By Blogger Bill Hutchinson, at 2/02/2010 1:40 PM  

  • Sure Bill... as long as the next reform attempt does more to improve alumni representation and not limit it, by giving undue control to a Council which, despite recent attempts at improvement, remains a pretty insular institution and one overly-dependent on the Alumni Relations arm of the Administration.

    When an alumni council vote comes out 60-40 and not 99-1, some may cry it is too divided, but only then will I conclude it is more accurately representative.

    In the meantime, I would hope the Association's executive committee would find an honorable procedural way to handle the conflicts of interest, rather than pretending that they do not exist.

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/02/2010 5:22 PM  

  • Tim "would hope the Association's executive committee would find an honorable procedural way to handle the conflicts of interest, rather than pretending that they do not exist."

    I wonder why the change of heart...

    By Blogger Scott, at 2/03/2010 9:58 AM  

  • C'mon now, Tim. Your complaint above was about the Association Balloting Committee, not the Council, and the concerns you mention can be fully rectified only by amending the AOA constitution -- unless, of course, you don't mind if the Executive Committee operates outside of the current constitution. How, for example, is the AOA president supposed to recuse himself/herself from the Balloting Committee when he/she is constitutionally required to chair it?

    I encourage you to come up with a detailed remedy that can be brought to the entire AOA membership for a vote. If you need some inspiration to jump start your thinking, I suggest you refer to the AGTF constitution proposal which completely eliminated the concerns you mention, including, to a great extent, the issue of the Council and representation.

    Keep in mind, however, that by a respectable margin a majority of voting alumni said that this is the reality that they prefer.


    By Blogger Bill Hutchinson, at 2/04/2010 7:22 AM  

  • Bill: How simple... the chair of the ballot committee continues in that role, and runs the meetings on topics pertaining to the rules and administration of electing trustees. When issues pertaining to AoA officer elections come up, that individual recuses him/herself and delegates the role to someone else with no conflict, with the advice and consent of the entire committee. This is clean, and constitutional. Better than suggestions made by some, as you will remember, that we simply recognize flaws in the existing constitution and ignore its provisions at our convenience.

    The only reason the Council came up in this discussion thread on the balloting committee is because you raised the topic of constitutional amendment.

    As you should also remember well, my principal reason for oppsoing the AGTF constitutional proposal was because it addressed representation, both on the Council and by the Council on governing commmittees, in a way I felt was wrong.

    Alumni voted to reject the AGTF proposal; they did not vote against the ballot committee acting as I suggest here, which can be done within the current framework.

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/04/2010 2:09 PM  

  • Why has comment moderation been enabled of late? There has been no apparent problem with spam or flames. Is it in anticipation of such problems occuring in the future. One thought the requirement for identity was enough to discourage such behaviour.

    Or are the "blog authors" simply afraid to have contrarian posts appear without advance notice. I find it somewhat offensive that the comments of myself and others here must be vetted before they are deemed worthy of being put before other alums.

    This is not a cry over censorship, something this blog has seen in the past, but the red flag has risen to half mast.

    So can we please have the reason for the policy change. After all, this blog "belongs" to alumni, and some of us wish to know.

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/04/2010 5:20 PM  

  • Hello Executive Committee, who all receive immediate email copies of these posts.

    Why does it take so long for one of you to post my reply of two days ago to Bill H. on how to proceed with the ballot committee? Or do you want to develop an answer to my request for an explanation of why you have enabled blog moderation, before others see that request?

    I realize you are all busy people, but for an expeditious group that voted to withdraw the decisions of their predecessors(all decisions over an entire year, not just the legal action) after only 8 minutes of discussion, surely you could have acted by now. Or John Mathias can put up the posts as blog moderator, without any group meeting, discussion, or authorization as he did in appending "with prejudice" to the lawsuit withdrawl request, according to your own meeting minutes.

    So how about it? Where are the posts, including this one?

    My apologies in advance if the frustation here is resulting in a tone you do not like. I do not believe anything above is mis-stated.

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/06/2010 10:50 PM  

  • Still waiting. Are we in Venezuela?

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/08/2010 9:24 AM  

  • John M: I realize you are busy. 48 hours may go by in a flash for you, when it may seem like an eternity to retirees like me awaiting a reply. (Please do not assume I am not busy, only that our priorities are different.) But if you do not have personal time, why not delegate moderation across multiple EC members? TAD

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/08/2010 9:30 AM  

  • "This media outlet is under state control and will cease broadcasting until after my re-election." Hugo Chavez

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/10/2010 10:54 AM  

  • Anybody here seen my old friend John?
    Can you tell me where he's gone?
    (apologies to Dion)
    I just looked around and he's gone.

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/12/2010 12:52 PM  

  • We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

    The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. ~Henry Steele Commager

    If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. ~Noam Chomsky

    Every human being has a right to hear what other wise human beings have spoken to him. It is one of the Rights of Men; a very cruel injustice if you deny it to a man! ~Thomas Carlyle

    Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime. ~Potter Stewart, Supreme Court Justice

    By Blogger Tim Dreisbach '71, at 2/14/2010 2:56 PM  

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