RaySociety Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Ray Society Classroom, Meredith Hall, room 203
Board members present: Linda Appelgate, Dale Berry, Jo Berry, Denny Davis, Bob Haskins, Stacey Henderson, Paul Horvath, Bill Meek, Martha James, Myrt Levin, John Perkins, Ken Popken, Jayne Sullivan, Jon Torgerson, Granville Williams
Staff members present: Teresa Bartschat, Vici Bice, Linda Judd
Provost’s Office staff present: Provost Sue Mattison
I. Call to order: Paul Horvath, President, called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m.
II. Approval of the minutes: Jon Torgerson moved to approve the September 14, 2016 board meeting minutes as amended. Seconded by Paul Horvath. Motion carried.
III. President’s report: Paul welcomed the new provost, Sue Mattison, and expressed the board’s thanks for her attendance. Before inviting her to speak, he noted that at the previous meeting a copy of Drake’s non-solicitation policy was included in board packets. He provided a quick summary of the policy and invited board members with comments to email them to either Teresa or himself.
IV. Comments from the Provost’s Office: Dr. Mattison expressed her appreciation for the work of the RaySociety and the connections it makes to the greater Des Moines’ community. She described her personal and academic background and expressed excitement to be at Drake and in Des Moines. She noted some current campus issues and Drake’s initiative to include students who have been targeted by hate crimes to be part of the disciplinary process of the offenders. She mentioned civil conversations as an important tool and Krista Tippett’s Bucksbaum lecture at Drake the night before. Dr. Mattison also discussed new programs on campus and new buildings as well as enrollment, community partnerships, and collaborations among Iowa universities. When asked how the RaySociety can enhance the university’s mission, she noted increased connections with the community and the value of Drake’s Continuous Improvement Planning process. There was a brief discussion of the RaySociety request for a handrail in Sussman Theatre where several RS programs are held and a handrail is needed for many older participants to safely reach their seats.
V. Coordinator’s Report: Teresa noted that the staff has been very busy with fall classes and preparing the catalog for spring. The catalog has just gone to Marketing and Communications for layout and design. The plan is for the catalog to be in the mail before the holidays. The staff is working on door issues for Meredith Room 203 as well as advocating for a handrail at Sussman Theater where many RS programs are held as mentioned earlier. The RS has offered to pay for the handrail. Teresa also noted that a potential gift from American Republic Insurance is still a possibility. She is working with John Smith on this. American Republic would like to sponsor the annual meeting. Such a gift would free up funds to help implement on-line registration. Linda Judd has researched providers and the staff has determined that the best choice for on-line registration would be to work with Drake’s Alumni and Development Office to build RS registration into their system. The Alumni office already works with RS staff to record lifetime members (partial payments and tax deductions) and could do membership renewals as well. It is possible that the RS may have on-line registration as early as next fall. The cost would be about $2,600. Myrt Levin moved and Bill Perkins seconded a motion to allocate the funds necessary to support partnership with Drake’s Alumni and Development Office to achieve on-line RS class registration and the membership services described above. Motion carried.
VI. Treasurers Report: Treasurer Ken Popken noted various aspects of the Treasurer’s Report in the handout materials. Financially, the RS is in good shape. In response to a question about what the RS does with “profits”, discussion ensued about budgeting and the future of the RaySociety. Staff noted that on Drake’s Balanced Scorecard continuous improvement tool, the RaySociety’s scorecard (due to be updated) states a goal of 900 members. President Paul Horvath said the board would discuss this topic at the next board meeting and he appointed a committee to offer recommendations. The committee includes Jo Berry, Denny Davis, Myrt Levin, and staff. We need to determine Drake’s vision for the RaySociety as well. Discussion continued about space needs, numbers of prospective class enrollees turned away, how space decisions are made, parking and staff issues, and membership growth opportunities. These issues are all pertinent to the recommendations of the appointed committee and continuing discussions about the future of the RaySociety.
VII. Committee Reports:
Nominating - Committee Chair Stacey Henderson had no report at this time.
Programming – Committee Chair Denny Davis reported:
1680 registrations for Fall 2016 classes and events
116 people registered for six or more classes
292 people registered for 2 – 5 classes
100 people registered for a single class
In all, 503 individuals are actively participating in RS classes or events this fall which is a record for the RaySociety.
Looking ahead, Denny gave a preview of several class offerings for Spring 2017 noting the classes, organizers, and presenters. It is a big line-up.
Community Events – Committee Chair Bob Haskins reported on successful events this fall. He also shared information about several new ones coming in the spring.
Campus Socials – Committee Chair Bob Henderson was not present for a report.
Membership and Marketing – Committee Chair Jayne Sullivan reported that the Ray Society currently has:
624 paid memberships
724 total memberships (including past presenters and gift memberships)
124 members who did not renew
Of those who did not renew, committee members attempted to call each of them and those reached had a variety of life reasons for not renewing. None expressed dissatisfaction with the RaySociety.
Jayne reported that she shared RaySociety information at the Des Moines University Senior Health Fair and 17 people expressed strong interest and will receive a Spring 2017 catalog.
VIII. Old Business: There was no old business.
IX. New Business: There was no new business.
X. Announcements: The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in Meredith Hall, Room 203.
XI. Adjournment: Motion to adjourn by Ken Popken. Paul Horvath adjourned the meeting at 3:05 p.m.
Linda D. Appelgate