Behind the Scenes: MLA Board

Tuesday and Wednesday I will be flying in and out of Chicago for the MLA Fall Board meeting.  So who is the Board and what happens when they all meet together?

First off, here is a list of all the current and previous Board Members.  The Nominating Committee selects people they think would be good candidates for the Board of Directors.  They list them on the ballot for the membership to vote on.  An elected Board Member serves for a period of 3 years. Each Board Member is appointed as liaison to MLA committees and task forces.  Chapters and Sections are represented by the Chapter Council liaison and the Section Council liaison on the Board.  The Board meets 3 times a year. They meet in May at the Annual Meeting (before and after the conference), in the Fall in Chicago, and in Jan/Feb online.

So what does the Board do?!

The Board does its best to represent the interests of the MLA membership through their liaison roles and through their participation in MLA.  Not only do they discuss issues and trends within organization and work to address them but they also meet discuss the general operating needs of the organization.

While each meeting is a little different, the Board always discusses the operating needs of the organization such as financial health of MLA.  In the May meeting the Board discusses a lot of what will or has happened at the Annual Meeting.  The Board also gets to meet the newly elected Board Members and the new President elect. The Board members report on the committees or task forces to which they are liaisons.  This Fall the Board will discuss the Presidential priorities and the President elect’s priority ideas.  They will also discuss the results from the previous Annual Meeting’s survey (the results of which are not available until well after the meeting).  Then they discuss action items and reports from the various MLA committees and task forces.  Other items that are also discussed, planning and updates of the future Annual Meetings, MLANet, and liaison appointments for the next year.  The Jan/Feb online meeting is relatively short (compared to in person all day meetings) where the Board discusses the preparations for the Annual Meeting and any updates to items discussed in the Fall.

You can read about what the Board discusses in each year’s annual report.  The annual report summarizes what the Board and the rest of MLA has done for the year.

My work on the Nominating Committee gave me a interesting glimpse into the way our leadership is nominated and elected.  My work on the Board as given me wonderful insight on how the organization runs and moves forward each year.  The combination of the two has shown me how important it is for us as members to be active participants in the organization and for us to vote on our leaders.  Serving as an MLA Board Member has been an awesome experience.  I hope others who have served or will serve in the future feel the same way.

As always this Behind the Scenes post was created from information on MLA’s website.  Understanding the various groups within MLA can get confusing and I hope by compiling the information into a series of posts it can help shed some light on the association.  I invite anyone with more information about the MLA Board of Directors to comment.


3 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: MLA Board”

  1. Thanks, Michelle! I was a little surprised to see that some people have served on the Nominating Committee 3 times (!) and others 2 times. Is it difficult to find people to serve?

  2. Patricia,

    It’s usually not hard to get people to run for the Nominating Committee. Each Section and each Chapter have an election for their nominees to the NC. Then, the Chapter Council and the Section Council select 6 to be placed on the ballot. The Board chooses another 6, for a total of 18. At this point, it’s the membership that decides who gets on the NC. Name recognition tends to win out, which is why you see some people get re-elected. That’s why volunteering for committees, presenting papers, etc., are good: you get name recognition.

  3. Thanks, Mark. I also think it would be good policy for those who have served several times to step aside and give others a chance. In order to encourage new membership and participation in our organization, we need to make room for new people. This strengthens our organization and our profession.

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