New committee formed to look into the matter of officer credentials

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In response to concerns raised by the PIO committee at the October 9, 2015, Board meeting, followed by a petition presented at the October 10, 2015, annual membership meeting to amend the constitution to change qualifications for the four NASW officer positions, the Board has set up an ad hoc committee to take on a detailed exploration of this weighty issue, come to consensus on recommendations, and write up a report.

The mandate of this Ad Hoc Committee on Constitutional Review is to evaluate what NASW as an organization and as a community will stand to gain and stand to lose if the Constitution is amended to allow PIOs and other non-journalists to be eligible for officer positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer). It will be composed of 6 individuals (2 PIOs, 2 staff journalists, 2 freelance) and will issue its report to the Board in April 2016.

The following NASW members have generously volunteered to serve (in alphabetical order):

  • Siri Carpenter, freelance, Madison, WI
  • Doug Fox, freelance, Alameda, CA
  • Lee Hotz, staff journalist, The Wall Street Journal
  • A'ndrea Messer, PIO, Penn State University
  • Jill Sakai, PIO, University of Wisconsin
  • Nidhi Subbaraman, staff journalist, The Boston Globe

The committee members, who will determine their own structure and process, will be working hard over the next six months to explore this issue. Currently, they are developing an information and community feedback gathering process and writing questions for the annual member survey that takes place during renewal season. We'll keep you updated on the committee's activities, and will publicize their report widely through, ScienceWriters magazine, and social media. Look for the next update the week of November 9.

October 19, 2015

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