The AGU Board of Directors and Council both met the weekend before the 2014 Fall Meeting, marking the end of the leadership term for those rotating off the Board and Council and beginning the orientation of their successors.
In her final Council presentation, AGU president Carol Finn reflected on lessons learned about managing a changing organization, the importance of involving AGU’s members and inviting students and early–career members to the table, the benefits of communicating often and in many ways, and her confidence in AGU’s decision-making and governance processes.
Incoming president Margaret Leinen spoke next, highlighting decisions made and plans under way to address issues raised by the Council in 2014. These include section and focus group funding, volunteer recognition, position statements, and the decision to convene the Council in person in September (rather than by teleconference) and again in March 2015, based on the success of the September meeting. She later passed a symbolic gavel of leadership to incoming AGU president-elect Eric Davidson, who will chair the Council’s 2015–2016 term while Leinen chairs the Board.
The Board confirmed that AGU’s financial position is strong, closing 2014 with a budget that is on track and a healthy balance sheet. The Board then approved a 2015 budget and operating plan based on principles set in September 2014: a balanced budget and the continuation of strategic initiatives that deliver on the goals articulated in the strategic plan. These initiatives seek to enhance and expand publications and meetings, better support scientists at all career stages, improve volunteer engagement, better serve international members, create greater public awareness of Earth and space sciences and their impact, and integrate content and build community through a cohesive digital strategy. The Board also participated in an exercise to inform the work of the Affiliation and Engagement Task Force and heard an update on plans to expand AGU’s development program.
The work of the AGU Council was framed by rich discussions of the outcomes and implications of the Scientific Trends Task Force; the findings of the strategic review of AGU meetings; a report from the Fellows Program Review Task Force; an annual review of AGU’s Honors Program; and a summary of best practices identified by leaders of AGU sections, focus groups, committees, and task forces. The Council passed a motion to amend the AGU Fellows selection criteria to encourage diversity of gender, geography, and interdisciplinary science in nominations and selections and to endorse the development of a concept for a “College of Fellows” program for Council review.
Both groups heard updates on AGU’s accomplishments and health from Executive Director/CEO Christine McEntee and CFO Mark Hernick and received annual reports from the sections and focus groups and biannual reports from current committees and task forces.
—Dana D. Rehm, Director, Marketing, Communications and Engagement, AGU; email: [email protected]; and Cheryl Enderlein, Assistant Director, Volunteer and Leadership Services, AGU
Citation: Rehm, D. D., and C. Enderlein (2015), AGU Board and Council assess 2014 and set the stage for 2015, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO023305. Published on 5 February 2015.