SPJ Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
SPJ April 17, 1999

Meeting Date: April 17, 1999

The meeting was called to order by President Wendy S. Myers at 8:37 a.m.

Secretary/Treasurer Ray Marcano called the roll. Voting members present for all or portions of the meeting were:

Wendy Myers, SPJ President
Kyle Niederpruem, SPJ President-elect
Ray Marcano, SPJ Secretary/Treasurer
Fred Brown, Immediate Past President
Mac McKerral, Vice President, Campus Chapter Affairs
Irwin Gratz, Region 1 Director
Julie Asher, Region 2 Director
Lance Wallace, Region 3 Director
Ginny Frizzi, Region 4 Director
Patrick McKeand, Region 5 Director
Anita Weier, Region 6 Director
Robert Leger, Region 7 Director
Todd Gillman, Region 8 Director
Jay Evensen, Region 9 Director
Laurie Williams, Region 10 Director
Mark Scarp, Region 11 Director
Bonna de la Cruz, Region 12 Director
Melanie Busch, Director At Large
Staci D. Kramer, Director At Large
David Carlson, Campus Adviser At Large
Elizabeth Frass, Campus Adviser At Large
Lisa Rollins, Campus Representative At Large
Michelle Swafford, Campus Representative At Large

Others present for all or portions of the meeting were:

Jim Gray, Executive Director; Barbara Bryan, Finance Director; Julie Grimes, Director of Education and Programming; Mary Giles, Membership and Awards Director; Peggy Vlerebome, Quill editor; Howard Dubin, Treasurer, SDX Foundation; Al Cross, Project Watchdog Chair; Bruce Cadwallader, LDF Chair; Steve Geimann, Ethics Chair; June Almquist, Awards and Honors Chair; Jerry Masek, Membership Chair; Frank Gibson; SDX board member; Maggie Balough, FOI Co-Chair.

Approval of Minutes from Past Meetings

The first item for discussion was the approval of minutes from past meetings. There was a motion by Fred Brown and a second by Mark Scarp to approve the minutes from the October 22, 1998, SPJ Board Meeting. It was decided that the minutes should reflect those in attendance. The minutes were approved with the addition of those in attendance.

There was a motion by Ray Marcano and a second by Mark Scarp to approve the minutes of the SPJ/SDX Joint Board Meeting of October 22, 1998, with the stipulation that they be revise to reflect those in attendance at the meeting. The minutes were approved as revised.

There was a motion by Dave Carlson and a second by Jay Evensen to approve the SPJ Executive Committee Meeting Minutes from January 29, 1999. The minutes were changed under the "chapter proposals" section to say, "The only requirement missing for chartering the chapter was the presence of three journalism faculty members…". There was a request that the minutes reflect those in attendance at the meeting. The were approved with the corrections and additions noted above.

SPJ President’s Report

SPJ President Wendy Myers noted that her formal report was available in the board packet. She updated board members about the April 99 Council of President’s meeting in San Francisco. The COP is made up of about 31 journalism organizations. SPJ is far ahead of the other organizations in terms of membership numbers. Other journalism groups are involved in some projects that offer the opportunity for partnerships.

Myers noted the following actions from COP meetings. The group approved membership for two new organizations. One was and association for Criminal Justice Journalists. The other is the Youth Editors Association of America. The COP has established a listserv for the presidents and executive directors of the organizations. They talked about unifying the voices of the journalism organizations.

There was also a discussion about diversity initiatives and how all journalism organizations could support some of these. The COP will be establishing an industry speakers bureau headed by SPJ, NPPA, and SND. It will be online at the SPJ web site and other web sites and will have searching capabilities. SND will build the database and SPJ will provide some web design support. This will help the organizations and the public.

Myers distributed a handout from the Society of Environmental Journalists, which examined crossovers within the organizations. She presented it for information and to seek feedback about whether SPJ would be interested in reciprocal agreements with other journalism organizations (ex. discounted memberships). She noted that SPJ has a lot to gain and a lot to lose, depending on how you look at it. Myers asked for initial reactions. Several board members suggested further exploration of the idea including a financial analysis. Irwin Gratz said there was a feeling in his region that SPJ should look at opportunities to work with other journalism organizations. This may be a way to "stick our toe in the water" and see how it works. Staci D. Kramer said we should look at ways we can continue to give advantages to members of multiple organizations. Kyle Niederpruem suggested that an aggressive marketing plan would nee to be in place to make this successful. She suggested the board be prepared to discuss this further at the October 1999 meeting, after which she would take SPJ’s suggestions to the COP meeting in October 1999. Myers said this was what most of the other organizations were planning to do. She is also planning to seek the advice of someone at Baker & Hostetler.

Myers suggested that SPJ may be interested in hosting the COP meeting in 2000. The financial implications would involve about $200 in meeting room rental and would lead to increased visibility for SPJ.

Clarification of the Day’s Activities

Myers explained that Baker & Hostetler had provided advice about policies regarding the use of Executive Sessions. She said that issues related to personnel and staffing require executive sessions, which means that only voting members of the board would be present during discussions. The upcoming Search Committee discussion may require executive session, and the Facilities Committee will require an executive session. Executive Director Jim Gray will be asked to be present for this session, as well as the Facilities Committee discussion since he will be implementing any decision by the board.

After questions about whether portions of the discussion could be open, Myers said this would not be possible. It was clarified that a vote would be required for movement into an executive session.

Operations Report

Executive Director Jim Gray said he was delighted to be on board and distributed an operations report. He gave a brief summary of his background and his excitement about being associated by SPJ. Gray recognized the birthdays of board members Jay Evensen and Laurie Williams.

Gray mentioned the new association management software and its ability to better track membership information. He said it was a good system in the industry. He pointed out that SPJ has been very passive in seeking and retaining members and that must change. Unless a membership program is endorsed and subscribed to by its Board of Directors, it will fail. He will be bringing new ideas at future meetings.

The Finance Committee Report was combined with the financial aspects of the Operations Report.

Ray Marcano began the discussion with the overall budget items on Page 1 of budget showing a small projected surplus for FY99 and FY2000. He asked for questions. There was a question about the open staff positions at headquarters and it was pointed out that the executive assistant position is not funded in the proposed budget. It was clarified that the Executive Director could make staffing decisions regarding potential outsourcing of duties by diverting current staff funding.

The board discussed the Green Eyeshade awards competition that had been managed this year by headquarters. Region Three Director Lance Wallace said the Atlanta Pro chapter would be taking back the administrative responsibilities (and the profit-making potential) of the awards contest beginning with the next contest. There was some concern about starting and continuing a dangerous precedent of stepping in and taking over for these chapters when they couldn’t run a program on their own. Mark Scarp said it wasn’t a dangerous precedent to come to the aide of a chapter on a case by case basis. We all stand on the health of our chapters and our regions, said Scarp.

The proposed budget included an increase in Mark of Excellence awards entry fees. Some felt an increase was inappropriate, and others thought it was reasonable. It was clarified that this would be discussed later in the day under awards and honors, and approval of budget wouldn’t necessarily mean approval of raising fees.

Irwin Gratz made a motion to accept report of Finance Committee. Mac McKerral seconded the motion. The report was accepted.

Jim Gray continued with the operations report. He noted the dedication and help of David Cox as interim executive director. Gray read the resolution he proposed acknowledging Cox’s help. There was a motion by Laurie Williams to pass the resolution and present the plaque to Cox. Second by Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.

There was a question about the membership category for household membership. It was explained that a Household Membership was when more than one member of the household joined SPJ. Each person in the household received member benefits, but they only received one copy of the magazine, so dues were decreased.

SDX Board Member Howard Dubin asked about the Key and Life member categories. The Operations Report showed the numbers were going up instead of down. Giles said those categories should be staying the same and gradually falling since those categories weren’t available for new members anymore. She will research that and get corrected numbers to the board.

Executive Director Search Committee Report

Ray Marcano, committee chair, noted the full report was in the board packet. He expressed his public thanks to Wendy Myers, Kyle Niederpruem, Pat McKeand and Irwin Gratz for their efficient work as committee members. Marcano expressed regret about the timing for the board to review materials and get fax ballots back. Marcano apologized for the short deadline and said it wasn’t his intention to rush the board into any decision.

There was a motion by Mac McKerral to move into an executive session. Second by Lance Wallace. The motion passed with the following opposed: Laurie Williams, Dave Carlson, Anita Weier, and Libby Fraas.

The executive session ended at 10 a.m., and the meeting reconvened at 10:10 a.m.

President Myers made a switch in the agenda. Ray Marcano made a motion directing the Executive Committee to develop written fax balloting and search committee procedures for presentation at summer executive committee meeting. Second by Todd Gillman.

It was pointed out that this might require a bylaws change. The decision was made to develop the recommendations and then determine if they need a bylaws change. The motion passed.

Facilities Committee Report

Ray Marcano made a motion to move into executive session. There was a second by Mark Scarp. The discussion following regarding why the move into executive session was necessary. The reasoning was that staff and salary issues would be discussed as part of the proposals by DePauw University and IUPUI. Several board members felt uncomfortable about this and expressed interest in considering the presentations publicly without staffing issues and then moving into a shorter executive session specifically involving staff. Upon a vote, the motion carried. Opposed were Ginny Frizzi, Todd Gillman, Laurie Williams and Staci D. Kramer. Dave Carlson and Michelle Swafford abstained from voting.

The Board moved into an executive session at 10:20 a.m. The executive session ended at 1:55 p.m., and the meeting was reconvened at 2 p.m.

LDF Committee Report

President Wendy Myers apologized for the length of the executive session and explained the need to change the agenda order since some people making presentations would need to leave shortly. Myers called for the report of Legal Defense Fund Chairman Bruce Cadwallader. Cadwallader asked that the record reflect his protest of the use of an executive session for a room full of journalists.

Cadwallader mentioned the kickoff for the Indy Convention LDF auction item hunt. The Star News will be inventorying the items and storing them. Cadwallader said the LDF has been very quiet this year. He mentioned a new request from folks in Utah to open meetings around the Olympic games in Salt Lake City. They requested $1,000 and he would like to see this supported. Regional Director Jay Evensen supported this proposal.

Cadwallader said that when he took over as Chairman of the LDF, he received a one-page guideline list for LDF. He pointed out that a request for $1,000 or less could be approved by a committee made up of the LDF Chair, the FOI Chair and the SPJ President. Cadwallader gave a summary of Cathy Scott’s case. In November, Scott filed a request for $2,800. In the meantime, the committee voted two to one to give Scott $1,000. He said the Executive Committee denied the request. Cadwallader pointed out that Scott is an SPJ member in good standing and is the Nevada state sunshine chair. This is a case that could affect any reporter. He recommended for the second time that Scott be given $1,000.

There was a discussion about why this case was before the board since it was for $1,000. It was pointed out that there were some unusual circumstances. The board discussed the lack of complete guidelines for LDF disbursements and whether cases involving employment issues should be funded.

Irwin Gratz made a motion that is was the board’s judgement that the $1,000 award to Cathy Scott was made correctly and within the parameters of the board’s policy. There was a second by Robert Leger. The motion carried unanimously.

After some discussion, it was decided that Cadwallader would work on further developing the guidelines of the LDF committee for presentation to the board. The board expressed its appreciation to Bruce for his work and patience.

Return to Facilities Committee Discussion

There was a motion by Jay Evensen to reject the IUPUI facilities offer. Second by Dave Carlson. The motion carried. Those opposed were Ray Marcano, Kyle Niederpruem and Wendy Myers. Pat McKeand abstained from voting.

It was clarified that the president does not have a vote unless there is a tie.

Mac McKerral made motion to direct Facilities Committee to further investigate headquarters options in the city of Indianapolis. Second by Evensen. The motion carried. Opposed was Ginny Frizzi. Ray Marcano abstained from voting.

There was a motion by McKerral to contact the officials at DePauw and let them know that their option is still viable. There was no second to this motion.

Libby Frass made a motion to direct the Facilities Committee to continue to explore the proposal from DePauw University. Second by McKerral. The motion carried. Those opposed were Anita Weier, Pat McKeand, Ray Marcano, and Kyle Niederpruem.

Irwin Gratz made a motion to call for a special meeting of the national board, at a date to be determined by the executive committee, for the express purpose of further examining proposals and deciding the headquarters location. Second by McKerral.

Kramer pointed out that the Executive Committee would meet in July and the Leadership Training program would be in August. Melanie Busch asked if other potential areas could be located by August. Friendly amendments were offered regarding moving the decision to the October board meeting or setting up some type of conference all, but the motion stood as originally stated.

Facilities Committee Chair Howard Dubin said this was "pretty impossible" to prepare all the information for a decision in 10 weeks. He said the exact timing of the meeting should be left open.

Robert Leger pointed out the need for a more complete idea of building dollar figures in Greencastle and what market rental rates are in Indianapolis. He would also like some idea of how to develop an IUPUI relationship off-campus. Executive Director Jim Gray said he would prepare this information for the board.

Upon a vote, the motion carried. Opposed was Ray Marcano.

President Myers said the special board meeting would probably be held in executive session.

Committee Reports

Awards and Honors Committee Report

Awards and Honors Chair June Almquist made reference to her report in the board packet on page 27. Almquist explained her hesitation about raising the MOE entry fees. Current fees are $7 and $14. She said she believed fees were last raised in 1990 (or maybe 1994).

She said the current SDX Awards entry fee is $60 for everyone. The proposal before the board is to set SDX fees for members at $60 and raise SDX fees for nonmembers to $90.

There was a motion by Melanie Busch to raise the SDX nonmember fee to $90. Second by Anita Weier. The motion carried.

There was a motion by Ray Marcano to increase the MOE fees to $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers. Second by Melanie Busch.

It was suggested that a membership application be a part of the MOE entry brochure. Pat McKeand said the people in Region 5 had strong opposition to increasing either of the fees, especially since no special plaques are awarded. Laurie Williams thought the jump to $20 for nonmembers was too much, but a member rate of $10 was workable. There was a question about the percentages of members and nonmembers who entered the contest and how the contest could be used as a membership-promoting vehicle. Mac McKerral presented his opposition to any MOE entry increase and pointed out that the three new categories this year had increased revenue by $1,000. Ray Marcano explained the Finance Committee’s choice of $20 for nonmembers was to encourage students to join SPJ. Libby Fraas that the as an adviser she is opposed to increasing the fees, but is willing to work with headquarters to reach groups the contest is not currently reaching and increase revenue by increasing participation in the contest.

Upon a vote, the motion failed.

There was a motion by Kyle Niederpruem to reconsider the MOE idea during Membership Chair Jerry Masek’s upcoming proposal. There was no second.

Almquist continued with her report and pointed out the need to add the entry title to the MOE entry form and judging sheet since students can now enter more than one entry in each category.

Next, Almquist said the board needed to vote about whether to separate four SDX categories by circulation size. There was a motion by Laurie Williams to endorse separating these categories for future contests. There was a second.

FOI Chair Maggie Balough pointed out problems with extra costs involving new mailing lists and postage to support these different categories.

Almquist also suggested adding two new newspaper categories to the SDX awards: general column writing and sports column writing. Along with this,

Almquist recommended dropping the radio and television editorial categories due to lack of participation. A motion was made by Mark Scarp to accept and enact Almquist’s recommendations. Second by Evensen. The motion carried.
Almquist pointed to point three in her board packet materials. There was a motion by Robert Leger to approve this recommendation. Second by Dave Carlson. The motion carried. (CHECK THIS WITH THE BOARD PACKET.)

Campus Chapter Affairs

Mac McKerral discussed the proposals for provisional chapter status for the University of South Dakota and Pittsburg State University. It was clarified that the approval for the University of South Dakota. is contingent upon addition of additional on campus adviser.

There was a motion by Scarp to approve these requests. Second by Anita Weier. The motion carried.

Diversity Report

Diversity Chair Sally Lehrman was not present but sent along a handout with the Diversity report. Lehrman requested assistance for her to attend the Unity 99 Conference this summer. It was pointed out that Executive Director Jim Gray should also attend the conference, and he should seek some kind of exchange to swap complimentary registrations to Unity for registrations at SPJ’s national convention this fall.

There was a motion by Ray Marcano to approve up to $725 for Sally Lehrman to attend the Unity Conference and to direct Jim Gary to seek complimentary registrations and to direct Sally Lehrman to prepare a comprehensive report of the conference for Quill. Second by Laurie Williams. The motion passed.

Mac McKerral gave a brief update on the Rainbow Rolodex project. The intern is on board and Lehrman will provide a report to the board members individually within a month.

Melanie Busch asked about paying committee chairs’ travel to different programs. She thinks a policy or guidelines would be helpful in the future. Busch will draft guidelines for committee chair travel funding to be presented this summer at the Executive Committee meeting.

Ethics Committee Report

Ethics Committee Chair Steve Geimann formally protested the SPJ Boards’ decisions twice today to go into executive session. This seems to run counter to the board’s openness policy, said Geimann.

Geimann updated the board on Janet Ackre’s request for reimbursement for travel to the national conference last fall. He also said the new procedure for dealing with the ethics award should eliminate any future problems.

Geimann acknowledged the work of Staci D. Kramer to maintain the Ethics listserv.

FOI Report

FOI Co-Chair Maggie Balough presented this report and said the board owes a thank you to Jim Brown who attended a committee meeting of the American Bar Association on behalf of SPJ. Balough will be attending the First Amendment conference at API. Ian Marquand will be representing SPJ at NFOIC in Atlanta. She said the summer Pulliam/Kilgore internship applicants have been sorted down to four, and a final decision will soon be made.

Balough briefly mentioned the case of SPJ member Peter Sussman and his struggles with access to prison inmates issues. SPJ is working with him on this issue.

Balough alerted the board to the return of the flag burning amendment. Paul McMasters and Balough are concerned that this issue might be passing this time around.

Finally, Balough formally noted that she disagrees with the executive session decision the board made earlier in the day and is disappointed with the board. She thinks as a group, the board and SPJ should set an example of how to operate as an open organization. We should leave this meeting with a clarification for our members on why this happened. She noted that she had spoke with Ian Marquand today and he asked that it be noted that his sentiments are the same.

Pulliam Award Proposal

A proposal for a new Pulliam First Amendment award was prepared by Paul McMasters and was distributed. The proposal calls for a $5,000 award and presentation is not limited to journalists. Niederpruem requested the award be for $10,000. Robert Leger made a motion to recommend to the SDX Foundation the creation of this award at an amount to be determined by the SDX board. Second by Carlson. The motion carried.

Indianapolis Convention Report

Kyle Niederpruem said we are now up to $44,500 in fundraising. The convention registration form has been simplified and a membership pitch has been added. Changes in the schedule are a potential SDX fundraiser at the governor’s home. After Hours café is a new hangout and addition for students. The committee will be looking for universities to sponsor the program. The president’s installation will be a lunch instead of a dinner. Committee meetings will be on Saturday and a joint committee chair meeting has been added to the schedule. The leadership breakfast has been moved to the front end of the calendar so candidates can meet with leaders. The opening night reception will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There will be a museum tour and a track tour and a reception at a tent. The day pattern is different and Monday night will be "dinner on your own."

Mark Scarp mentioned there was an added expense to this with an additional day in the convention program.

International Journalism Committee

Myers noted the exceptional work of John Hopkins and his committee. He has raised SPJ’s visibility in international affairs.


Membership Chair Jerry Massek thanked the Cleveland Pro chapter for covering his costs to attend this weekend and serve as Membership Chair. He thanked all those who contributed ideas to his forthcoming presentation, especially Mary Giles, Steve Rynkiewicz and Howard Dubin. He pointed out that his goal last fall was to involve as many people as possible and tap the talent of past membership chairs to develop some new ideas. The product before the board today is a draft. There are things that are no cost and some that are very expensive. He would like to get a sense from the board on things they strongly like or dislike.

Massek asked for approval of a direct mail campaign for SPJ’s 90th birthday.

He encouraged all regional directors who haven’t made a membership appointment to the committee to do so right away.

Regional Director Ginny Frizzi encouraged the Regional Directors to provide further insight regarding the committee’s work. They will have background information on what’s been tried and what might work and might not.

Executive Director Jim Gray expressed his gratitude for this document. A membership plan is essential for any organization.

Masek directed discussion towards the direct mail campaign for this summer. There would be a mailing, possibly to IRE members, and it would include a financial incentive to join SPJ now. He suggested the letter be sent to IRE members and be signed by someone who’s a member of IRE and a member of SPJ.

Kramer suggested that anything involving other Council of President’s organization’s members be with the cooperation of COP. Gray said the organization is not ready to begin a campaign like this right now.

There was a question about moving to a one-billing date system, and it was decided that this would need more research.

There was a discussion about the idea of exit interviews for members who were not planning to renew their membership. Myers mentioned the Strategic Planning Committee was planning a smaller, similar survey.

Institutional Membership Report

Massek explained that Institutional Memberships were a form of fundraising in the past and were administered by the development director. If they are to be a membership category, some changes are required. Masek discussed his institutional membership report, which he distributed at the meeting. Myers said that attention to this membership area had been dormant for the past two years.

There was a discussion about setting specific dollar figure for Institutional Memberships. Gray pointed out that this should be researched before a decision was made and it might be unwise to lock the organization into specific dollar figures. Steve Geimann said that board members’ employers had the option to be institutional members as his was – Warren Publishing because they supported the board member in his or her SPJ work. There was a discussion about the marketing of these memberships.

There was a motion by Mac McKerral to forward the Institutional Membership proposal to headquarters staff for examination of financial implications and review by executive committee. Second by Fred Brown.

The motion carried.

Collegiate Institutional Membership

Masek presented this proposal, which was distributed at the meeting. June Almquist pointed out that this was a wonderful idea, but it must be a really high category of costs. This should be at least $1,000 or 2,000 or you will lose money on the awards contest since Collegiate Institutional Members would receive the member rate to enter the contest. McKerral said the intent with regard to MOE entries would allow the organization to enter the overall categories, not the entire contest. Student Board Representative Lisa Rollins said most of the money for this membership would come from the student publications budgets so consideration must be given to the amount charged.

There was a motion by Ray Marcano to direct the executive director to take this proposal and review it and the financial implications and make a recommendation to the executive committee. It would be distributed two weeks before the meeting to the full board for review. Second by Fred Brown. The motion carried.


Nominations Chair Fred Brown said there were 13 seats up for election this fall. They are:


Secretary/Treasurer. Al Cross is the only announced candidate at this time.

Regional Director seats 2, 3, 6, 10, 11, 12

The At-large Director seat held by Staci D. Kramer

Two Campus Representatives

Adviser At-large seat held by Dave Carlson

Vice President of Campus Chapter Affairs

He reminded the regional directors that they should set up a nominating committee in their regions to seek candidates. Other seats are self-nominating or involve recruiting.

All nominations should be submitted on a piece of paper. The deadline to officially file is July 1. Campaigning is allowed during the convention at the Leader Breakfast, the Opening Night Reception and SPJ Café. Written campaign guidelines are available for those interested. At-Large Director Kramer recommends including a page or two on the web site to be dedicated to elections.

Project Watchdog Report

Committee Chair Al Cross presented his report, which was distributed at the meeting. A watchdog forum will be part of the 1999 convention. It will be a political forum. Ken Bode will be the moderator. This should be a good example for chapters to follow when setting their own programs.

Cross is seeking funding from the Freedom Forum for a demographically selected focus group. This would be a good cross section of the public that would be at the program. The cost would be $1,700. He hopes to have panel confirmed by the end of May.

On another note, the Freedom Forum is also providing a list of visitors to the Newseum who are interested in having a dialog with the news media. SPJ will give the Newseum our membership list for their Newscapade program so they can announce their comings and goings to journalists in the areas they will be visiting.

Cross expressed the need for a staff function at headquarters to be responsible for Project Watchdog programs. Cross expressed his objection to the closing of the board meeting earlier today. He thinks the board should have a policy for closing meetings.

Ward Neff Internship Guidelines

SPJ President Wendy Myers worked with Peggy Vlerebome and Charles Davis on this proposal for a pilot program. The proposal was available in the board packets. Board Member Dave Carlson would like to make it clear that he nor the university solicited this program, which would be maintained at his university. The university is also going to dedicate $7,000 in tuition waivers in addition to Carlson’s time to oversee the program.

Robert Leger made a motion to approve this proposal. The motion was seconded. The motion passed with one abstention by Dave Carlson.

Budget Discussion

Ray Marcano asked about questions regarding the finance committee notes. There was a motion by Mac McKerral to approve the Finance Committee meeting notes. Second by Carlson. The motion carried.

Marcano said the budget is built conservatively on 10,500 total members. That includes 5,700 pro members. These numbers will increase slightly based on March projections. The workshop are built on five workshops. The awards portion of the budget will change to reflect the absence of the Green Eyeshade contest. The merchandise portion is based on a fire sale of current merchandise. There is a hope that advertising revenue will return to the budget projections with the addition of the outside advertising company.

Mac McKerral said that reducing the number of workshops and expecting more revenue seems unrealistic. Myers said a workshop at American University would be about double a usual workshop so revenue would improve in that area. Finance Director Barbara Bryan clarified that this was five workshops plus the Leader Training program. Marcano mentioned the need to break out the Leader Training programs from the workshops.

Busch said that Jobs for Journalists as a newsletter was really becoming obsolete and those jobs were available online. Marcano said he’d like to see this as a member benefit instead of an added cost.

Marcano said Quill expenses are going to be up since the organization plans to have a full run of magazines next year.

Personnel costs are about equal to 1997.

With the changes in the budget, the Fiscal Year 2000 projected surplus of $29,432 moves to a deficit of approximately $2,000.

Myers would like to revisit the MOE fees because of concern of passing a budget close to a deficit. There was a motion by Mark Scarp to reconsider the MOE awards increase vote. Second by Bonna de la Cruz.

Marcano urged the board not to panic about a $2,000 surplus.

Scarp withdrew his motion.

Mac’s questions

Mac referred to the proposed budget from the March committee meeting and asked about occupancy expense. Bryan explained why this item changed.

There was a motion by Scarp to reconsider the MOE vote rejecting a fee raise. Seconded by de la Cruz. Upon a vote the motion failed with only nine in favor of reconsidering the original vote.

There was a motion by Carlson to amend the budget to remove the things discussed (Green Eyeshade awards and MOE fees to remain the same) and adjust the membership numbers upward based on current projections. Second by Leger.

A budget is a dynamic document said Jim Gray.

There was a motion by Mac McKerral to move the board into executive session. Second by Scarp. Carlson said the entire board was incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of executive session. Niederpruem said staff does not want to be present when salaries and issues are discussed.

Scarp said it’s our role as journalists to object to executive sessions when inappropriate. This time it is appropriate.

Upon a vote, the motion carried with one abstention by Libby Fraas.

The meeting reconvened in regular session at 5:45 p.m.

The budget was approved as changed.

SDX Funding Requests

The first request was the request of Carol Adkinson. Myers spoke of Adkinson’s professional credibility.

There was a motion by Carlson not to recommend funding of this proposal. Second by Weier.

Carlson doesn’t see that this will break any new ground and is quite expensive. Mac pointed out that she doesn’t plan to seek additional funding from other sources. He said SPJ already has a diversity project funded through SDX, which aims to address the issues Adkinson sees as a problem.

The motion not to recommend funding carried.

The next funding proposal was the Citizen’s League Request. There was a motion by Scarp to recommend rejection of this item. Second by McKerral. After a brief discussion the motion was withdrawn.

Kyle Niederpruem explained her meeting with Lee Bailey, requester of the funding. They want to pursue a project similar to the access project the Indiana papers did. This will be a limited project with citizens doing an audit of openness in a particular county. They are seeking other funding also and plan to print research. Niederpruem liked that a citizen’s group was pursuing this.

There was a motion by Carlson to recommend funding this proposal. Second by Weier. The motion carried.

Regional Director Reports

Region 1

Director Irwin Gratz said Region 1 is basically OK. The regional conference in Connecticut went well. Next year’s conference will be in Newark, N.J., at Rutgers University. There is interest in paring the SPJ regional conference with another organization’s regional conference. He said it’s better to partner with competing groups rather than competing with them.

If one of the goals of SPJ is a high public profile in ethics and FOI, it’s important to establish a visible and audible presence probably in Washington, DC. Maybe this could be with paid SPJ lobbyists.

Region 2

Julie Asher pointed out their regional meeting on March 6 was very early. It was a one-day conference with about 120 people focusing on education reporting with some sessions focusing on writing. Four past SPJ presidents attended—Fred Brown, Steve Geimann, Paul McMasters and Reggie Stuart.

She supports the American University potential for workshops.

The University of Maryland will host next year’s regional.

Asher said she doesn’t feel she has the option to run for the board next year at this time.

Region 3

Lance Wallace is encouraged with the Atlanta chapter and getting it going again. The joint Region 3/12 conference will be next weekend. He’s concerned about attendance and realizes that his conference was a problem. He’ll be working on next year’s regional date and location

Region 4

Ginny Frizzi presented her report. This was a joint regional with 150 people, which was somewhat disappointing. Terry Anderson was the keynote speaker and a session on religion writing was popular. The session on the Chiquita banana case was controversial. The Cincinnati Enquirer withdrew support in the form of speakers and funding.

Region 5

Regional Director Pat McKeand expressed some disappointment with his regional participation and said no one from Illinois participated in regional conference. He is considering where next year’s conference will be, and he’s looking at the northwest Indiana area.

Region 6

Anita Weier attended first half-day of conference before coming here. The conference is going on right now. There were 140 people and more than half were photographers since this was a joint program with NPPA. The dates and location of next year’s program should be set soon.

She said a group in Duluth may be seeking to organize.

As a new regional director, she suggests some type of packet for new regional directors. This would include a complete list of members and addresses and membership applications and other information.

Region 7

Robert Leger said the regional conference will be next week in Manhatten, Kan. The numbers are low, but hopefully will get better. The smaller chapters seem to be doing well. St. Louis will need some focus in the next few months.

Region 9

This regional was last weekend in Grand Junction, Colo.. Attendance was about 30 people. The conference theme was handling crises.

Region 10

Laurie Williams said the regional conference next year will be in Seattle. It may combine with a national workshop. This year’s regional was in Oregon. Keynote speaker Rick Bragg cancelled and Fred Brown filled in. Attendance was good with 100 people. Williams recommends Staci Kramer to speak about Internet research. Spoke to a local chapter in Region 10. Williams said she will not be returning to the board since she’s reached her term limit.

Gratz suggested having retiring board members help with the board orientation packet.

Region 11

Mark Scarp said his regional conference was last weekend in Ontario, Calif. He noted a special thanks to Julie Grimes, Mary Giles and Wendy Myers for their work. He also thanked Jim Gray for his help in securing a replacement speaker for a last minute cancellation. Attendance was 62. Next year’s location may be San Diego and 2001 may be the Silicon Valley area.

At this point, the board discussed the date of next year’s April board meeting. After a show of hands, the decision was made to hold the meeting the weekend of April 28-30.

Region 12

Bonna de la Cruz said the timing of her regional was bad since it conflicts with finals. She asked about combining the Jackson, Miss., workshop with the regional conference. De la Cruz said she will probably not seek reelection.

Student Representative Reports

Michelle Swafford discussed her work with getting the campus listserv off the ground. She is also working on a national mentoring program and would like to establish a committee to get together a survey and find out who’s interested.

Lisa Rollins discussed getting high school students involved in SPJ, then working to retain those members.

Rollins discussed a mentoring program option she’s involved in.

At-Large Representatives Reports

David Carlson mentioned a program in Florida where at every meeting, they pass out a sign up sheet and get an email address. From then on, these people get email notification of events.

Libby Fraas complimented Lisa and Michelle for their work as student representatives. Fraas explained her chapter’s grant for a program, "What You Don’t Know, But Can Find Out."

Staci D. Kramer said she was excited about the response to the online categories in the SDX awards. Almost all awards publicity has been due to online categories. Two of the new categories did better than 10 of the existing categories.

She just worked with the Chicago chapter on a day-long workshop. They have a good program if others want to contact them.

She will continue to work with national concerning the SPJ Web site.

Other Business

Myers recognized Peggy Vlerebome, the new Quill editor. She is filling some big shoes. Peggy says not to forget to add her to any distribution lists. Send her notification about what chapters are doing. She can be reached at or 812-265-2382.

Old Business

Fred Brown said NLGJA asked about SPJ signing off on their stylebook. It’s a worthwhile project, he said.

There was a motion by Brown to allow NLGJA to use SPJ’s name as one of the organizations supporting this. Second by Williams. The motion carried.

New Business

Gray is seeking SPJ’s authorization to speak on behalf of SPJ regarding a federal issue. There was a motion by Brown to authorize this pending approval from Bruce Sanford at Baker & Hostetler. Second by Frizzi. The motion carried.

Laurie Williams said that SPJ’s plans for dealing with the problems faced with dealing with executive session should be on the record. Myers said someone from Baker & Hostetler will come to the October board meeting and do a session on how to handle executive sessions. Myers entered a memo into the record as an official part of the minutes.

Gratz said that a good point had been raised a good point about board policies. There was a motion by Gratz to go through old minutes and prepare a compilation of board policies for distribution. Second by Brown. McKerral and Gratz will work on this together. The motion carried.

Marcano expressed his gratification to the board members and individuals who cared so much about the organization.

There was a motion to adjourn by Ginny Frizzi. Second by Laurie Williams. The motion carried, and the meeting adjourned at 7 p.m.