Officers for 2015-2016
Richard Hensley, President
Julia Kite, Vice President
Bill Marden, Communications Director
Rochana Rapkins, Fiction Exchange Editor
Ralph White, Chairman
Minutes from the Columbia Fiction Foundry 2015 Annual Meeting
September 12, 2015
President Ralph White called the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Columbia Fiction Foundry to order at 10:18 am. Members present included Rhonda Moore, Jon Hull, Jack Berger, Julia Kite, Jen Kitses, Richard Hensley, Ralph White, Bill Marden, and Joan Faier. Attending as observers were Asha Kaufman and Evania Thompson.
The Columbia Fiction Foundry is approaching its sixth anniversary and by any measure the organization is flourishing.
- Over the last academic year we held 10 creative writing workshops at which 19 workshop members submitted 89 manuscripts for review. That’s an average of 8.9 manuscripts per gathering which is an outstanding showing.
- We have approximately 189 cyber-members though it’s a little difficult to give exact numbers because for reasons of its own Nation Builder keeps adding people to our membership roster who have neither knowledge of our existence nor interest in participating in our organization. We are asking them to desist.
- In the last year we hosted 9 guest speakers at 7 events.
- Our members were active in the University’s Alumni Leadership Weekend, including hosting the Networking Breakfast, introducing speakers at the Alumni Book Fair, and at a presentation highlighting our exemplary website.
- Literary agents requested several of our manuscripts, though we don’t have hard numbers. 1 of us signed a representation agreement and is currently awaiting responses from publishers.
- We already have two guest speakers on the calendar for this academic year as well as a showcase evening at KGB Bar in a couple of weeks which I hope all of you will attend.
Officers for 2015-2016 Year
Editor, Fiction Exchange
Adoption of Minutes of Prior Year’s Annual Meeting
Minutes were not kept for the 2014 Annual Meeting.
Our governance has been loosely constituted, for while we did elect officers we had no Constitution or By-Laws to codify our procedures and to govern those officers’ elections or responsibilities, or to establish a mission for them to pursue. That deficiency needs to be remedied with the adoption of governance documents. It may seem nuts that a band of dreamers like us would need governance documents but recall that we are an officially constituted Shared Interest Group under Columbia University’s Office of Alumni Affairs and Development and we are subject to their overall mission. We are also beneficiaries of their generosity. They reserve this delightful room for our use; they provide a robust website; and they have provided numerous gifts for our guest speakers. We’re fortunate, too, that, without exception, all of the Alumni Office staff we deal with are competent and pleasant. All in all, governance documents are a small concession. Not only that but they will ensure that our organization will remain as it is presently constituted well into the future, and that any modifications are done by design and by consensus. Proposed governance documents were posted on our website a month ago and both workshop and cyber-members have had the opportunity to review them and comment. We’ve made several changes in response to your input.
It is the CFF’s practice to accord voting privileges to workshop members who have attended at least half of the preceding year’s workshops. Officers earn a vote through their service even if they do not meet the attendance threshold. By these metrics the following members are accorded votes at this meeting: Jack Burger, Joan Faier, David Gulley, Richard Hensley, Jon Hull, Julia Kite, Jen Kitses, Rhonda Moore, Cynthia Mullock, Rochana Rapkins, and Ralph White.
Adoption of Governance Documents
May I have a motion to adopt the Constitution and By-Laws as they appear on the website? Ms. Kite so motioned and Ms. Kitses seconded the motion. All in favor say “Aye.” All opposed say “Nay.” Are there any absentions? The motion carries unanimously and the Columbia Fiction Foundry now has governance documents.
Election of Officers
The Board of Governors’ proposed slate of nominees for the upcoming year is as follows. President: Richard Hensley. Vice President: Julia Kite. Communications Director: Bill Marden. Literary Editor: Ralph White. Are there any other nominees for any of these offices? Hearing none, may I have a motion to elect the slate of nominees proposed by the Board of Governors? Mr. Berger so moved and Mr. Hull seconded the motion. All in favor say “Aye.” Opposed say “Nay.” Any abstensions? The motion carries unanimously and we have our new officers for the coming academic year. Welcome to incoming officers Bill Marden and Julia Kite. Thanks to outgoing officers, Cindy Mullock and Shanan Essick for their contributions.
According to the minutes of the 2014 meeting our only Old Business was governance documents and we’ve already dealt with that.
Under New Business I’d like to point out that your officers considered and decided against forming a 501c3 tax exempt organization and also against opening a bank account to accommodate financial transactions and to create a Treasurer position on the Board. The CFF currently has no fees or dues so there appears to be no need at present for the above actions but this is an issue which should be revisited periodically.
Additions to Posted Agenda
- Asha Kaufman, Director of Shared Interest Groups asked to speak. Ms. Kaufman said that it is her responsibility is to support communities associated with the University. She thanked Mr. White, outgoing President, for forming and running the CFF during its first six years. His is a noteworthy achievement and his use of the Nation Builder has been exemplary. Ms.
Kaufman presented Mr. White with a lapel pin honoring him as a Columbia University Alumni Leader. Mr. White also received a model of an Audi A8, in Columbia Blue with the crown logo on its roof. Mr. White thanked Ms. Kaufman and acknowledged the honor.
- Incoming President Richard Hensley commented that he would like to see the role for the cybercommunity extended. He also pointed out that the many events we’ve hosted and have planned are highly constructive and in line with the CFF’s central mission.
Mr. White asked if there was any other New Business or other matters to discuss. Hearing none he asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Marden so moved and Ms. Faier seconded.
The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Columbia Fiction Foundry was adjourned at 10:34