Highlights from the 2007-08 Board of Directors meetings
June 2008 Board meeting
Board minutes - June 2008
The fourth and final meeting of the 2007-08 RI Board of Directors was held on 6-10 June 2008 in Evanston, Illinois, USA. The first meeting of the 2008-09 RI Board was held on 19 June 2008 in Los Angeles, California, USA. At these meetings the Board reviewed reports from 17 committees and recorded 103 decisions.
Club and district matters
The Board opened Wallis and Futuna Islands (a French Polynesian island territory in the South Pacific) for extension of Rotary clubs, to be part of district 9920. The Board also requested the Extension of Rotary -- Middle East and Mediterranean Countries Committee to continue its Rotary extension efforts in Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen, and other countries in the region.
With regard to district-level elections, the Board agreed that "districts may adopt a voluntary system of rotating an office among the components of the district, but candidates who notwithstanding seek an office contrary to the voluntary rotation system may not be excluded from candidacy by a nominating committee or vote of the clubs. Actions to exclude a candidate or influence an election on the basis that the rotation system should be upheld is not permissible."
In reviewing its reimbursements policy to district governors, the Board agreed to continue reimbursing governors in their local currency when RI holds that currency. When RI does not hold the governor's local currency, RI will select a reasonable, cost-effective alternative currency.
Governors-nominee may now be reimbursed from their allocation for necessary travel expenses while conducting site visits to determine the location of a district conference. Previously, only governors-elect were reimbursed for such expenses. During the six months before taking office, a governor-elect may submit expenses for the purchase of necessary and reasonable computer software for Rotary business use, again from the governor's allocation.
The Board adopted general guidelines for clubs that wish to resign their membership in RI, which may be found in Rotary Code of Policies section 2.010.4.
The Board reviewed a comprehensive e-learning proposal for RI and, in recognizing its value as an effective training strategy, increased financial support of these initiatives.
RI administration and finances
The Board realigned the 34 zones and sections within zones at its January 2008 meeting and appointed a committee to establish an implementation schedule for the changeover to this new zones structure. In June, the Board made minor modifications to the revised zone boundaries and agreed that the new zones shall go into effect on 1 July 2009. The new structure, therefore, will not affect 2008-09 Rotary institutes, RI and Foundation committees, and other appointments. However, in order to select directors and the next RI president according to the new zones structure in 2009-10, their nominating committees will be selected from the revised zones structure beginning 1 July 2008. The Board also adopted a rotation schedule for selecting future RI directors at this meeting.
The Board designated the conveners, dates, and meeting places for RI director nominating committees that were established during 2007-08 and will meet in September 2008 to select directors-nominee for election at the 2009 RI (Birmingham) Convention. Directors will be selected from 2007-08 zones 3, 8B, 10, 12, 16, 26, 31, and 34.
The Board added the following to the RI volunteers travel policy:
- To take advantage of advance purchase discounts, funded travelers are to contact RITS as soon as they receive their official authorization to travel. This authorization will include the RI or Foundation cost center and account number that is funding the travel assignment. These numbers must be included on the travel request form. All domestic travel should be ticketed at least 16 days before departure and international travel 24 days before departure.
In support of Rotary's obligation to match US$100 million for the Gates Foundation Grant to eradicate polio, the Board agreed to allocate affinity credit card royalties for the next three fiscal years (through 30 June 2011) to the match challenge.
RI programs, communications, and awards
In reviewing The Rotary Foundation's Future Vision Plan adopted by the Trustees at their April 2008 meeting, the Board approved the plan's six areas of focus, to begin 1 July 2010 for pilot districts (to be selected at a later time), and encourages all Rotary clubs and districts to carry out projects and activities in these areas of focus. They are: Peace and Conflict Prevention/ Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Health, Basic Education and Literacy, Economic and Community Development.
The Board took several decisions strengthening its commitment to RI's second Avenue of Service, Vocational Service. It encourages clubs and districts to inform Rotarians on the real importance of vocational service; to schedule district vocational service seminars; to organize seminars for club or district vocational service chairs; and to schedule workshops on vocational service learning and information exchanges. The Board further requests that vocational service success stories be included at the Rotary institutes, International Assembly, and international convention each year.
January 2008 Board meeting
Board minutes - January 2008
The third meeting of the 2007-08 RI Board of Directors was held on 22-25 January 2008, in Evanston, Illinois, USA. At this meeting, the Board reviewed reports from 11 committees and recorded 83 decisions.
Club and district matters
The Board extended the deadline for district consolidation to 31 December 2008 to several districts that showed positive membership growth but that had not yet met the district size minimum of 30 clubs and 1,000 members. The Board took action to consolidate six districts into three new districts and also congratulated 20 districts that reached the district size minimum.
To allow for a more complete evaluation of a governor’s year in office, the Board extended the deadline for submission of the governor’s report to 15 May in the year the governor serves.
RI administration and finances
In accordance with RI Bylaws requiring the Board to periodically review the composition of zones to maintain an approximately equal number of Rotarians in each zone, the Board realigned the 34 zones and sections within zones, as shown in an appendix to the January 2008 Board minutes, to be posted on the RI Web site. The Board also appointed a committee to establish an implementation schedule for the changeover to this new zone structure.
Recognizing the potential of e-learning as a training strategy for Rotarians, the Board requested the general secretary to begin incorporating e-learning into future business processes, and to develop a comprehensive e-learning proposal for review by the Board at its next meeting.
The Board elected Director Kjell-Åke Åkesson to replace Director Raffaele Pallotta d’Acquapendente as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board.
RI programs, communications, and awards
To ensure that regional Rotary magazines are best serving local Rotarians, the Board requested the general secretary to conduct a readership survey of all regional magazines in 2008-09. The subscription fee for international subscribers to The Rotarian will increase from US$12 to US$24 annually, effective with the July 2008 issue.
The Board approved one new Rotarian Action Group: Rotarian Action Group for the Alleviation of Hunger and Malnutrition. Clubs and districts are encouraged to get involved in microcredit projects through The Rotary Foundation and the Rotarian Action Groups for Microcredit.
The Board terminated five Rotary fellowships and required 27 other fellowships to provide reports and/or show improvements in their operation by 1 April 2008 or face termination.
The Board agreed to continue RI’s very successful public relations grants program in 2008-09, which will award districts on a competitive basis a total US$2 million in grants to conduct local PR initiatives.
The Board tentatively selected Seoul, Korea, as the site for the 2016 RI Convention and reaffirmed that the 2015 RI Convention should be held in either Latin America or the western United States.
November 2007 Board meeting
Board minutes - November 2007
The second meeting of the 2007-08 RI Board of Directors was held on 29 October—2 November 2007, in Evanston, Illinois, USA. At this meeting the Board reviewed reports from 17 committees and recorded 112 decisions.
Club and District Matters
The 2007 Council on Legislation referred numerous resolutions to the Board for study, most of which the Board responded to at its June 2007 meeting. At that meeting, the Board deferred consideration of several resolutions to its November meeting to allow time for further review. In response, the Board:
- Reaffirmed its policy on new corporate projects, which states that "until the PolioPlus program has been successfully completed, no other International program will be considered."
- Recognized its strengths are in long-term rebuilding efforts, and therefore, did not support establishing a rapid disaster response task force. The Board instead encouraged Rotarians interested in disaster response to work with established disaster relief organizations.
- Advised that RI has various communication and information resources available to Rotarians and requested the general secretary to increase promotion of such resources.
- Noting that the Secretariat continuously seeks and implements opportunities for cost effectiveness, and that the Board and RI committees continually address cost effectiveness and efficiency, did not agree to appoint a cost reduction team.
- Requested the general secretary to conduct a needs analysis for providing clubs Internet-based meetings software and platforms.
The Board increased the number of regional Rotary International membership coordinators (RRIMC) from 44 to 64 and discontinued the RI membership zone coordinator position, effective 1 July 2008. The Board further agreed that the primary role of the RRIMC is to train district membership chairs and committees through regional training and other appropriate workshops and seminars.
Noting the success and potential of the recent presidential membership conferences, the Board recommended that these self-supporting conferences continue throughout the Rotary world over the next two years, and that they concentrate solely upon membership development and retention. The Board further requested that each presidential conference submit a financial report to the general secretary.
The Board encourages clubs to immediately report their new members to RI. Clubs are obligated to fulfill the entire financial responsibility of their new members, which includes the full amount of any pro-rata dues and all semiannual dues payments that fall within 180 days of a member’s admittance to Rotary.
Based on a resolution from a Rotary Peace Forum in Africa, the Board approved the appointment of a Reach Out to Africa Resource Group for 2007-08, and requested the president to issue invitations to Rotarians to serve on the resource group and to determine its terms of reference.
In ongoing discussions to improve the Governors-elect Training Seminar, the Board requested the general secretary to develop an alternative curriculum using innovative, independent-learning techniques, and for such a curriculum to be implemented as a two-year pilot project on a voluntary basis at three to five Rotary institutes in 2009 and 2010.
RI Administration and Finances
The Board established roles and responsibilities for the various elements of the RI strategic plan, and assigned each of the plan’s priorities to an RI committee for further planning, implementation, monitoring, and report to the Board. The Board further approved a new Vocational Service Committee, to be appointed by the president. The Board affirmed that the plan’s highest priority is the eradication of polio, with the plan’s other priorities collectively holding equal importance.
The Board approved President-elect Lee’s selection of four distinguished Rotarians to serve as Rotary Foundation Trustees to begin serving 1 July 2008. They are: William B. Boyd, Samuel A Okudzeto, John F Germ and Doh Bae
The Board requested that any unofficial Rotary program, group, or entity using the word "Rotary" in its name or requesting Rotarian support or participation to submit an annual financial statement to its members and participants, and to the Secretariat upon request, by 1 October each year.
The Board accepted the audited statements and report on RI’s financial results for 2006-07. The Results will be published in the annual report.
RI Programs, Communications and Awards
In discussing Rotaract issues, the Board established a policy for the composition, selection, and qualification of the RI standing committee on Rotaract; it recommended that districts appoint one joint district Rotaract committee composed of equal numbers of Rotarians and Rotaractors; it agreed that Rotaract clubs should be invited by their sponsoring Rotary clubs to participate in the official visit of the district governor to the Rotary club; and it encouraged districts to collect and maintain alumni data on former Rotaractors as potential future Rotarians.
The Board encouraged districts to take a number of steps in furthering the Interact program, including to work with Interactors aging out of the program or relocating to find new potential Rotaract or Interact clubs; to develop parental consent forms (or indemnification/hold harmless waivers, as appropriate) for Interact club activities; and to develop an award for all Interact, Rotaract, RYLA, and Youth Exchange program participants who have made outstanding service contributions.
The Board established a triennial review of Rotarian Action Groups by the Rotarian Action Groups Committee to determine whether they should maintain their Board recognition, and changed the financial reporting requirement for Rotarian Action Groups to allow groups to use an audit committee instead of a paid financial professionals. Additionally, the Board recognized the Disaster Relief Rotarian Action Group and the Rotarian Singles Fellowship.
Noting the significant number of Rotarians for whom Hindi is the native language, the Board agreed to begin providing translation of Rotary documents into Hindi as publications are developed and/or revised, beginning 1 July 2008.
The Board selected 150 recipients for the 2007-08 Service Above Self award, which recognizes exemplary humanitarian service provided on a continual bases by Rotarians who might otherwise go unrecognized. The name of the recipients will be announced at the end of the Rotary year.
The Board approved the theme, "Bound for Birmingham," for the 2009 convention and also approved the inclusion of a Rotary World Peace symposium as an official pre-convention event at the 2009 convention. The Board also looked with favor on the 2015 and 2016 RI conventions being held in either Latin America, Korea, or the western United States.
June and July 2007 Board meetings
The fourth and final meeting of the 2006-07 RI Board of Directors was held 7–13 June 2007 in Evanston, Illinois, USA. The first meeting of the 2007-08 RI Board was held on 21 June 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. At these meetings, the Board reviewed reports from 15 committees and recorded 128 decisions.
Board minutes - July 2007
Board minutes - June 2007
June 2007 Board meeting Club and district matters
The 2007 Council on Legislation referred numerous resolutions to the Board for study. In response, the Board
- Advises that a new pilot project beginning 1 July 2007 and lasting through 30 June 2013 gather more information on how Rotary club meeting frequency affects clubs
- Encourages clubs to welcome Rotary Foundation alumni as guests at their meetings, particularly alumni who have recently moved to the club’s locality
- Agrees to devise a more equitable zone alignment throughout the Rotary world
- Reaffirms its long-standing encouragement of clubs to support international understanding and peace, and recognizes the efforts of clubs that support Model United Nations programs to instill these values in youth
- Advises that Rotary’s membership database be upgraded during 2007-08 to allow read-only access for Rotarians using Member Access; this upgrade will include a review of the feasibility of expanding access to allow Rotarians to update their own membership records, among other self-service functions
- Requests the general secretary to examine RI’s current translation policy and to include a recommendation regarding the minimum number of Rotarians who speak a particular language to qualify that language as an officially recognized RI language
- Does not agree to dedicate certain months to particular causes
A few Council resolutions were deferred to the Board’s November 2007 meeting; others were referred to the Foundation Trustees. Responses to all resolutions will be provided in a timely manner.
The Board adopted a code of ethics for district governors. Some key points of the code provide that governors will adhere to all applicable laws in the conduct of Rotary business and in their private lives and will carry out their work with due diligence and care; that governors serve for the benefit of Rotarians and will not use the office for personal prestige or benefit; that governors will take actions based on an essential fairness to all concerned; and that governors will promote transparency and prohibit the disclosure of confidential information. All governors-nominee must read and agree to the code of ethics at the time of their selection.
The Board established responsibilities for governors-nominee that will be shown in an appendix to the June Board meeting minutes and posted on the RI Web site. The Board also agreed that the governor’s allocation will include reimbursement of business card and stationery expenses while serving as governor-nominee.
The Board opened Kiribati, an island republic in the western Pacific, for extension of Rotary clubs. Kiribati will be part of District 9920 (American Samoa; Cook Islands; Fiji; French Polynesia; New Zealand; Tonga; Samoa).
The Board also took action to regroup clubs in seven districts in Argentina into five new districts, effective 1 July 2008.
RI administration and finances
The RI Strategic Planning Committee met twice since the February 2007 Board meeting to further develop the RI Strategic Plan 2007-10. On the basis of its recommendations, the Board adopted priorities and goals for the next three years, approved core values as part of the plan, and approved an RI mission and vision statement as follows:
The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. The vision of Rotary International is to be universally recognized for its commitment to Service Above Self to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. Approved components of the plan were presented to the 2007 International Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and will be discussed at the 2007-08 Rotary institutes.
The Board designated the conveners, dates, and meeting places for RI director-nominating committees that will meet in September 2007 to select directors-nominee for election at the 2008 RI Convention in Los Angeles. Directors will be selected from zones 1, 6, 9, 14, 19, 23, 27, and 29.
The Board revised its policy regarding cooperative relationships with other organizations, which will be shown in an appendix to the June 2007 Board meeting minutes and posted on the RI Web site.
It also revised the minimum requirements for any memorandum of understanding with another organization. The Board extended its relationship with external auditors Deloitte & Touche through 2009-10. The governor’s allocation policy was amended to require documentation on the initial 70 percent allocation advance or the return of unused funds to RI no later than 30 September after the governor’s year of service. Training on this policy will be provided at future international assemblies.
RI programs, communications, and awards
The Board requested that future RI presidents-elect include information on Rotaract at the International Assembly and recommended that future Rotary institute conveners emphasize Rotaract in their programs and allocate booth space at their institutes for Rotaract.
The Board waived its Rotary Youth Exchange certification requirements for districts that wish to send Youth Exchange students without serving as hosts. For multicountry districts where not all countries wish to participate in Youth Exchange, the nonparticipating countries need not be certified. The Board commended Youth Exchange leaders throughout the world for their cooperation and acceptance of the new certification policies.
To encourage their attendance at the 2008 RI Convention and alumni reunion in Los Angeles, the Board set a significantly lower registration fee for recent Foundation alumni and current Foundation award recipients. Expressing concern that all necessary contracts and other related matters for the 2009 convention were not yet in place, the Board rescinded its decision to hold the convention in Seoul, Korea, and tentatively selected Birmingham, England, as the site for the 2009 RI Convention. The Board approved significant revisions to the site-selection procedures for future RI conventions.
July 2007 Board meeting
The Board welcomed the appointment of Michael K. McGovern as 2007-08 RI vice president and Ian H.S. Riseley as 2007-08 treasurer, and elected Örsçelik Balkan as chair of its executive committee.
The Board formally ratified President Wilkinson’s appointment of David D. Morgan, Louis Piconi, José Antonio Salazar Cruz, and Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar as Rotary Foundation trustees.
On the recommendations of Wilkinson, the Board established the 2007-08 RI committees and resource groups and approved their terms of reference. The Board agreed that zones 3, 8, 10, 12, 16, 26, 31, and 34 will select committees in 2007-08 to nominate RI directors for election at the 2009 RI Convention.
The Board confirmed the 2007-08 RI budget, with revenues of US$83.3 million and expenses of $82.9 million.
The Board approved The Rotary Foundation’s 2007-08 budget of $86.3 million for all Foundation programs, with expenditures coming from unrestricted Annual Programs Fund contributions.
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