CSTA BOARD MINUTES
December 4, 2010
Attendance and Quorum
The following board members were present: Jeff Bradbury, Eric
Lewis, David Budai, Michelle French, Dean Gilbert, Rick Pomeroy,
Sue Pritchard, Donna Ross, Meg Burke, Marian Murphy-Shaw,
Tim Williamson, Valerie Joyner, Karen Withey-Smith, Pete A’Hearn,
and Heather Marshall. A quorum was present. Also in attendance
was executive director Christine Bertrand. Tim Williamson
served as chair, and Marian Murphy-Shaw served as secretary.
The chair called the meeting to order at 9:02 a.m. and announced
that the meeting was held pursuant to written notice to all
members of the Board of Directors of the corporation. A copy
of the notice was ordered entered into the minutes book following
the minutes of the meeting.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved as submitted.
Approval of Minutes
A motion to approve the minutes of the September 11, 2010
Board of Director meeting was made by David Budai, seconded
by Meg Burke. Motion carried.
California Reception at NSTA
Tim Williamson reported that sponsorship of the California
reception at the NSTA conference was being sought from MSTI
partners of CSU Long Beach, thanks to Laura Henriques. The
reception will be held in Continental 6 at the Hilton Hotel
on Union Square on Friday, March 11 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Christine
Bertrand reported that CSTA will be setting up a booth in
the registration area. Anyone who is attending the conference
is welcome, but not required, to volunteer to staff the booth.
A majority of the board indicated they will be at, or are
trying to attend, the NSTA conference.
2010 Science Education Conference Wrap-Up
Rick Pomeroy reported that the 2010 conference had an increase
of 17 attendees over last year, at 1208. He reported that
the conference was an overall positive event and received
many positive comments; he indicated that Sacramento was a
good location on all fronts. Rick indicated that the MythBusters
had the draw on Sunday as hoped and provided a great closing
event. Karen Withey-Smith noted that members might like to
know that the Discovery Store now features talking MythBuster
Christine Bertrand reported that as of the end of November,
the conference revenue was $21,281.00 under the projection
and $20,651.00 under projected expenses, so that the net revenue
should be about as budgeted. She reminded the board that these
numbers are not final. Tim Williamson expressed thanks to
the staff, conference committee, and everyone who volunteered.
2011 Science Education Conference
Dean Gilbert reported on the planning for the 2011 conference
and indicated that the committee was looking at this year’s
conference for guidance. The committee agreed that they should
pursue a Sunday speaker with high appeal, continue the raffle
on Saturday, and repeat the other program features that worked
well. Dean reported that the short course and workshop submission
timelines have been adjusted in a favorable way, since timelines
no longer need to be dictated by the CCS production schedule.
He indicated that the committee adjusted the strand categories
for workshops, including STEM, especially as it crosses STEM/careers/workforce.
He reported that the committee is still looking at the possibility
of getting a Wyland t-shirt design in addition to a Wyland
institute presence at the conference. Dean indicated that
a challenge is getting major speakers within the budget, and
reported that the major speakers being recruited with invites
Friday opening session: Tom Torlakson, the newly-elected
State Supt. of Public Instruction
Closing session on Sunday: James Cameron
Awards breakfast: Shirley Corriher
physical science/physics/chemistry: Sossina Haile (confirmed),
Mark Thompson or Thomas Gredig (Solar Cells)
education: John Bransford—How People Learn
earth/space science: possible speaker from JPL on water in
the solar system
life science: Eloy Rodrigues, UCI Entomologist
other: Jacqueline Barton (Biochemistry), someone from Disney
special effects/imagineering, a Mars ROVER speaker from JPL,
an orthotics speaker (tied in with robotics), Ed Begley Jr.
Dean reported that the committee was also considering evening
events, including a cheesy sci-fi movie night. He also indicated
that session proposals are online now so presenters can apply
The board was asked to consider discontinuing the mini-university
and pedagogical focus seminars, at least temporarily, as attendance
has been low in those sessions; the New Teacher and NCLB strands
will remain intact. Dean Gilbert moved that
the mini-university and pedagogical focus seminars be discontinued
and dropped from the conference schedule.
Seconded by Sue Pritchard; motion carried.
Rick Pomeroy and Tim Williamson thanked Dean and the committee
for their hard work and proactive approach for this conference.
The next conference committee meeting is January 29th. Board
members were reminded that the 2012 conference will be in
San Jose and should consider their participation on that committee
Policy and Organizational Issues
Dean Gilbert reported on a workshop idea he has been working
on with the Aerospace Legacy Foundation, Jerry Blackburn,
and others to address the future of leadership in light of
declining participation in many organizational events. He
indicated that this would be a collaborative event on leadership/values/ethics
in education and business, with multiple breakout sessions.
Dean indicated that CSTA would have no financial commitment
but could support and perhaps share the opportunity to volunteer/participate
with its board and membership. He reported that a site at
the Columbia Space Learning Center in Downey has been offered,
with a May workshop date suggested.
The board discussed the possibility of adding such a workshop
as a pre-conference event in the future and having a similar
event in northern California in the future. Dean clarified
that funding for the event would be pursued by LACOE (Dean)
and Jerry Blackburn, but that CSTA would have representation
on the planning committee. Concern was expressed that CSTA
should be involved and be recognized as an active partner.
Dean Gilbert moved that
CSTA be actively involved as a sponsor and planner of the
leadership symposium with no costs to be incurred by CSTA.
Seconded by Sue Pritchard; motion carried. Pete A’Hearn,
David Budai, Heather Marshall, Rick Pomeroy, and Marian Murphy-Shaw
volunteered to work with Dean on the planning committee. Christine
Bertrand requested the CSTA office be kept in the loop as
the planning progresses.
Update on Executive Director Position
Tim Williamson reported that, in thinking how to fill the
executive director’s position when Christine Bertrand retires
next year, it is essential to keep in mind budget constraints.
He indicated that our reserve has dropped below where it should
be, and we are not seeing profits as we have in the past from
events. He reported that the search committee has been working
hard to arrive at a recommendation on what was a challenging
task, and he indicated that the focus on this work and planning
for the future of the CSTA office in no way diminishes how
much Christine is appreciated and will be missed.
Rick Pomeroy reported that the committee began by examining
other organizations’ structures to see how they deal with
workload issues and found that many are having similar changes
occurring. He reported that options explored in light of this
research cover a full range, from having no staff to having
three full-time staff, including a new executive director.
Rick reported that he and Christine met using input from the
board retreat to begin to develop various scenarios as to
how the position might be filled while staying within current
budget constraints. He indicated that maintaining the work
and quality of the organization and maximizing reduced resources
led to the following proposal:
The workload be reallocated between two full-time staff
positions, and consideration would be given to what tasks
could be done by the board, what could be done by hiring temporary
staff at heavy workload periods, and what would need to be
discontinued. An appointed transition committee would help
support the staff during the transition. He also indicated
that Christine would be available on a contractual basis if
Tim indicated that the state fiscal situation is not likely
to improve rapidly and state leadership is in transition,
so this is a good time to make such changes. He mentioned
that the proposal was presented to staff, and they are happy
with the proposal. Tim also mentioned that Rick’s recent attendance
with office staff at a legislative event inspired confidence
in the capabilities of these staff and also prevents us needing
to eliminate two very knowledgeable people who run the CSTA
office. Tim indicated that a removal of their furlough reduction
and reinstatement to fulltime status would follow. Meg Burke
noted that while the board was originally convinced a full-time
executive director was a must, she now sees this as the best
way to go; she indicated that CSTA cannot afford a new executive
position and can’t be indecisive about that role. Karen Withey-Smith
reflected on the original concerns about losing Christine
at this critical point for the organization, but that this
solution seems to be a good one, and she offered thanks to
Christine and Rick for developing this option.
Rick Pomeroy moved that
the CSTA office be reorganized to redistribute the duties
and responsibilities of the office staff to two full-time
staff during this period of transition resulting from the
retirement of the current executive director.
Seconded by Donna Ross; motion carried. Tim reminded the
board that this does not eliminate the option to reconsider
an additional position in the future.
Rick Pomeroy moved that
the president appoint a transition committee to work with
the office staff to reallocate work-load responsibilities
to be managed by two office personnel.
Seconded by Dean Gilbert; motion carried. Tim offered appointment
to the transition committee to Rick, who accepted. Tim asked
that a committee work with Rick at his direction. Rick asked
that those board members interested contact him. Tim suggested
the committee remain small and that he and the office hear
soon on the final group. Christine stated that she and the
staff will identify the duties, skills, and time allotments
for tasks now performed by staff, suggest how duties might
be reallocated, and identify any gaps that need to be addressed
by the board. Rick volunteered to sit in on this before a
committee steps in too much. Meg stated that the committee
should not try to micro-manage the office and indicated that
the use of conference calls among transition committee members
will be ideal.
Tim Williamson thanked everyone for the input, conversations,
and support of the search committee’s work and said it is
a sincere pleasure to work with such a great group of people.
Karen Withey-Smith reported that the budget figures we have
are only through October 31 and do not include all the revenue
and expenses for the conference, so a report would be premature.
She did indicate that CCS advertising is under budget by $37,000,
with only $1000 in revenue received so far, but hopefully
will increase as e-CCS becomes familiar. The rest of the financial
report is tentative at this time, and a copy was not posted
for board as it was so tentative. Christine noted that, in
November, an additional $2987.00 has come in for e-CCS advertising
as of this meeting.
Executive Director’s Report
Christine Bertrand indicated that most of her report is included
in previous items and that it has been very quiet on legislative
front. She indicated that the majority of the workload at
present is e-CCS and the fall journal.
Michelle French commented on Valerie Joyner’s article on notebooking
in primary grades for the NSTA publication, Science and Children,
and said it was very impressive. Valerie indicated she would
send the article to Christine for all the board to see.
Heather Marshall wished everyone Happy Holidays.
Rick Pomeroy asked how the board nominations are progressing.
Christine reported that we have received only one nomination
to date and that nominations close at the end of January.
Tim asked current members to reapply and reminded all board
members to talk this up, as people need to know of it and
be nominated or nominate themselves. He challenged the board
to try to reach two or three new people each to run for the
Sue Pritchard reported that she attended National Lab Day
in Orange County.
Donna Ross reported that she hosted a CSTA booth at the
San Diego Science Educators Association/CUE conference.
Tim Williamson questioned whether or not Christine’s retirement
and the reorganization of the staff and should be shared in
e-CCS. Christine and Meg noted that it is not a secret, but
we are not ready to state what is new just yet.
Meeting adjourned at 10:38 a.m.