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CSTA BOARD MINUTES

December 4, 2010
Via Teleconference

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.

Notice
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.

Old Business
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.

Programs
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 bobble-heads.

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 pending are:

Friday opening session: Tom Torlakson, the newly-elected State Supt. of Public Instruction
Closing session on Sunday: James Cameron
Awards breakfast: Shirley Corriher
Focus speakers:
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 now.

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 now.

Policy and Organizational Issues
Leadership Workshop
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 needed.

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.

Reports
President’s Report
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.

Treasurer’s Report
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.

Directors’ Reports
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 board,

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.

Other Business
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.