MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SIGMA DELTA CHI FOUNDATION
AUGUST 24, 2006
MEETING CALLED TO ORDER
With President Todd Gillman presiding, the meeting of the board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation was called to order at 10:06 a.m. on Thursday, August 24, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
In addition to President Gillman, the following board members were present: Vice President Betsy Ashton; Secretary Steve Geimann; Treasurer Howard Dubin; Ann Augherton, Fred Brown, Bruce Cadwallader, David Carlson, Al Cross, Irwin Gratz, Bill Ketter, Jane Kirtley, Robert Leger, Mead Loop, Dori Maynard, Christine Tatum, and Georgiana Vines; and Executive Director Terrence G. Harper and Associate Executive Director Julie Grimes.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Upon proper motion and second by Brown and Vines, respectively, the board approved the minutes of the April 23, 2006, board of directors meeting.
Gillman distributed his written report at the meeting. He expressed his appreciation to the board for allowing him to serve as president for the past two years.
BAKER & HOSTETLER UPDATE
Malena Barzilai updated the group on Baker & Hostetlers work during the past year and distributed the firms annual report. Barzilai answered questions about progress toward passage of a federal shield law.
SPJ PRESIDENTS REPORT
SPJ President David Carlson reported on the actions of the SPJ board of directors during its meeting the previous day.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS REPORT
Harper discussed a $50,000 matching grant awarded to SPJ through the Challenge Fund for Journalism III, a program established by the John S. and James L. Knight, Ford and Ethics & Excellence in Journalism foundations. In order to qualify for the matching grant, SPJ must raise $100,000 by May 31, 2007.
ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS REPORT
Grimes shared highlights from the annual report of the Foundation and the Society, which was distributed at the meeting. She answered questions about the associations development program and goals for the coming year. The goal for the 2006-07 annual fund is $36,000. Grimes reviewed the importance of new donor acquisition and asked each board member to share the names of 10 individuals whom they are willing to introduce to SPJ and the Foundation in the coming year. Grimes asked board members to complete an individual donor profile sheet and return it at the end of the meeting. She will work with board members to make personal contact with all identified individuals in the coming months.
Geimann asked board members to consider ideas for Foundation-related editorial content in Quill magazine and to review the annual report and send any comments and suggestions for future reports to his attention.
Ashton reported that the committee has been researching the creation of an annual gala to honor new Fellows of the Society and raise the profile of SPJ and the Foundation. Based on responses from a survey of current fellows and industry leaders, the committee is not recommending a large event in the coming year. Ashton plans to personally contact all those who responded to the survey and learn more about their interest in the organization. She suggested the group consider starting with a smaller event, perhaps a luncheon, in New York in the next year or so.
GOVERNANCE/ MISSION COMMITTEE
The board reviewed the report of the Governance Committee, which was available in the board packet.
Upon a proper motion and second by Carlson and Dubin respectively, the board approved the following slate of officers and board members for the coming year:
President Steve Geimann (two-year term)
Vice President Betsy Ashton (one year)
Secretary Irwin Gratz (one year)
Treasurer Howard Dubin (one year)
Steve Geimann (two-year term)
Todd Gillman (three years)
Irwin Gratz (three years)
Alex Jones (three years)
Bill Ketter (three years)
Al Leeds (three years)
Robert Leger (three years)
GRANTS AND AWARDS COMMITTEE
The group discussed recent efforts to establish a schedule of considering grants mainly at the spring board meeting. It was suggested that the fall board meeting be used for evaluating the success and usefulness of grants that are in progress and/or just completed. This evaluation would be with an eye toward future involvement in such projects by the Foundation.
Cross reported on the meeting of the Projects Committee earlier in the day. The committee discussed possible uses of the Challenge Grant III funds, including: equipping the headquarters as a training facility; a mentoring program; the creation of more electronic training programs; an effort to address issues related to citizen journalists; and the Campaign for Ethical Journalism.
Dubin reported briefly on the work of the outside financial manager hired by the Foundation. The one-year trial period will be up in the coming months, and the Foundation will need to review the managers work and determine whether to continue the current arrangement.
Dubin also reported that he and Harper will be working to rebalance a portion of the Foundations investments in the coming weeks to bring them in line with the organizations investment policy.
CAMPAIGN FOR ETHICAL JOURNALISM UPDATE
Tatum reported on the progress of the Campaign for Ethical Journalism. Much of the work to date has been to prepare SPJs infrastructure for managing the campaign. A small committee took the planning document approved in April and prioritized the projects. That group included: Tatum, Cross, Brown, Geimann, SPJ board member Ron Sylvester and Harper.
The committee decided to begin first with items that could be accomplished in short order. To date, case studies and other information has been added to spj.org, and staff is collecting cost estimates for other areas of the campaign. Tatum reported that she will be reworking the SPJ Ethics Committee and will incorporate campaign work into the committee functions. She also will continue research into republishing a book on ethics for use in classrooms and newsrooms.
Board members suggested the need to keep the focus on the big picture of the campaign. Take the Societys Code of Ethics and push it to the public with information about how professional journalists do their work, and remind journalists of the code and why they should follow it.
Ashton volunteered to begin work with Walter Cronkite to record and document his thoughts about journalism today.
There being no further business to come before the board, Gillman declared the meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, 2006.