Behind the MLA Scenes: What is the MLA Nominating Committee?

In my previous Behind the MLA Scenes post, Mark Funk commented that he would like to see a post about the Nominating Committee. He says, “Something that I am always explaining to people is the process to get on the Nominating Committee. Once I explain, they understand, but there is a lot of confusion on this.”  I understand where Mark is coming from because I know a few people who were once on the Nominating Committee who confided in me that they weren’t even sure how they got nominated.

So this post is going to try and clear up the confusion behind the Nominating Committee.

What is the Nominating Committee?

MLA has a page on MLANet devoted to the Nominating Committee (available to members).  Basically the Nominating Committee is a group of 9 elected people and the MLA Past President who select the names that will be on the ballot for the Board of Directors and the President elect.  The Nominating Committee is elected in November and the following May at MLA they meet in a room and hash out who they would like to see run for Board of Directors and President elect.  (Often there is a lot of pre-MLA work coming up with names and resumes prior to their meeting so that they don’t spend as much time brainstorming names as they do debating and selecting people.)

One thing I think that can be confusing….

The elected Nominating Committee is tasked with selecting the next Board of Directors and President elect.  So for example, the people who were elected in November 2012 (just this past MLA election) met in May 2013 (at MLA) to select the people they would like to put on the ballot for  Board of Directors and President elect to be voted on in Novermber 2013 and start serving in 2014.

How does one get on the slate to be elected on to the Nominating Committee?

Three groups select the nominees for the Nominating Committee.  They are Section Council, Chapter Council, and the Board of Directors.  Each group submits 6 names to be candidates for the Nominating Committee.

Section Council Candidates

Section Council has the rules for selecting candidates available on the Section Council website.  Basically each Section (MIS, EMTS, HLS, LMS, Cancer, Dental, etc.) submits a name of a person they would like to see as a candidate. There are 23 Sections and each submit a name.  Section Council collects the names, biographical statement, and a willingness to serve statement of the 23 people then post the list to a website for the voting member of the Section to select a candidate.  In most cases the voting member of the Section is the past Chair of that Section.  The 6 people receiving the most votes become Section Councils nominees for the Nominating Committee.

Chapter Council Candidates

Chapter Council has their rules for selecting candidates on the Chapter Council website. They operate much like Section Council.  Each Chapter submits the name of a person as potential candidate for Nominating Committee.  There are 13 Chapters and each submit a name. Chapter Council collects the names, biographical statement, and a willingness to serve statement of the 13 people.  ”The Council will vote, by secret ballot, on the names submitted by the chapters electronically or at the Annual Meeting.” The 6 people receiving the most votes will become Chapter Council nominees for the Nominating Committee.

Board of Directors Candidates

The Board of Directors Manual (available to members) explains the selection of the Nominating Committee.  It briefly states the Section Council submits 6 candidates, Chapter Council submits 6 candidates and the Board submits 6 candidates.  In a meeting at MLA, the Board submits the names of many potential candidates for the Nominating Comittee.  Once the list of submitted names are established the Board of Directors then votes and the 6 people with the most votes become the Board of Directors nominees for the Nominating Committee.

Who does the MLA membership vote for Nominating Committee?

Come November, the MLA membership is asked to vote for the Board of Directors, President elect and the Nominating Committee.  The 18 people listed on the slate are the 6 candidates from each group.  The MLA voting members will select the Board of Directors, President elect and the Nominating Committee.  The 9 people who recieve the most votes from the list of 18 will be the Nominating Committee.  They will be tasked with selecting the future slate for Board of Directors and President elect.

So in 2011 the MLA voting members selected Max Anderson, Ana D. Cleveland, Keith W. Cogdill, Jo Dorsch, Sherrilynne S. Fuller, Heidi Heilemann, Melissa L. Just, Neville D. Prendergast, and Lisa K. Traditi to be the Nominating Committee.  These people met at MLA 2012 selected the names of candidates for the Board of Directors and President elect for 2012 and presented it to the membership to be voted on in November 2012. The membership voted and elected Linda Walton as President elect and Sandra Franklin and Kristine Alpi for the Board of Directors to serve in 2013.

Other Rules of Being on the Nominating Committee

Candidates must be a member of MLA, they may not have been on the Nominating Committee within the last 5 yrs. They also may not be a candidate for an elected office and vice versa.

I hope I was able to clear up any confusion with the Nominating Committee.  Since multiple groups are submitting names and because discussions of potential candidates should be kept confidential the process can seem a little mysterious.  I think the Nominating Commitee is one of the most important choices MLA membership make when voting, because the Nominating Committee people are the ones who will be selecting the next set of MLA leaders the membership will be voting for.

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