Assembly reduces length of Nominating Committee terms

Delegates to the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly voted Saturday to change the terms of the Nominating Committee from one six-year term to two three-year terms. The motion overwhelmingly passed after 20 minutes of debate.

The Rev. Susan Ritchie, trustee from the Ohio Meadville District, spoke on behalf of the amendment, saying that with the GA’s passage of the amendment to reduce the size of the Board of Trustees, the Nominating Committee—which will name candidates for the board and other committees—will have greater responsibility. Speaking in favor of the amendment at a mini-assembly on Thursday, she also said the bylaw amendment reflects the board’s understanding that it was giving more power to the nominating committee and that it would benefit from a steady rotation of members. That rotation could also ensure the Nominating Committee is also balanced for diversity.

Larry Ladd, a member of the UU Fellowship of Falmouth, Mass., and chair-elect of the Nominating Committee, spoke from the “con” microphone, reporting that members of the Nominating Committee’s views on the amendment varied from indifference to concern. Overall, he said, the effect would be minimal. But one consequence would be that members are often not fully contributing to the committee until their second year of service. However, with a three-year term, a member would need to be re-nominated for a second term before it was apparent if the person was effective.

“If it passes, that will be fine,” Ladd said. “But it doesn’t need to pass.”

Delegates disagreed, and passed the bylaw amendment, which appears on pages 29 and 30 of the Final Agenda, by an overwhelming margin.

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