From the Bylaws
Please Provide Your Suggestions about Membership
As a member of the Board of Visitors Executive Committee and Chair
of the Bylaws Committee, I have been part of discussions focusing on
membership issues for the last couple of years.
Executive Committee members recognize just how unique the Board of
BoV is. In particular, we are very grateful to those BoV members who
have generously responded in the last several years to appeals from BoV
Chairs David Chappell and Randy Henry by upgrading their membership
status from Associate Member to Member. By doing so, these BoV members
have volunteered to raise their giving from $750 to $2,000 per year.
Here is a list of people who have generously decided to make the change:
Anne M. Adkins
and Ann Hannigan
Bill and Sue Kopplin
Gery and Susan Muncey
The extra funding has been made available to benefit the Department
of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory, strengthening the BoV’s support
for much-needed discretionary moneys available to the observatory
director and department chair, along with sponsoring world-class
international conferences, aiding efforts to recruit the best faculty
and students, providing awards to recognize the best observatory and
department staff members, and much more.
Recently, the Executive Committee has discussed a series of questions
related to BoV membership levels and the desire to have as many Members
as possible. Right now, there is very little visible distinction, beyond
the level of giving (and the colors used for badge ribbons at BoV
meetings), between Members and Associate Members. The Executive
Committee wants to increase the number of people in the BoV Member
category. Given that, what argument, beyond “doing good” for the Texas
Astronomy Program, can we make to convince Associate Members to move to
We decided to poll the BoV membership for reactions and suggestions.
So I am asking each BoV member to email me thoughts that arise based on
the questions listed below.
Please don’t take this discussion the wrong way. We are not trying to
exclude anyone or to set up first-class and second-class memberships.
Every BoV member already serves Texas Astronomy through BoV support at
whatever level, and it is much appreciated. The Executive Committee is
working to make the Board of Visitors as effective as it can be, and
that’s why we want to have input from everyone participating. Here are
the questions we ask you to consider:
Some might say that they like the egalitarian spirit of the
BoV. Others might argue that a greater distinction, recognizing the
extra funding provided by Members, should be made. It boils down to the
question: Should there more distinction between Members and Associate
Members? What’s your opinion?
If you like the idea of greater distinction between the
membership categories, please list some ideas that make sense to you.
(Examples are offered to spark your ideas only):
a. At the July BoV meeting, a Member-level breakfast on Sunday
b. At February and July meetings, a special seating
section for Members
c. Restricting participation on BoV
committees to Members
Please email your responses to me at the following address. Thanks
for your time and your thoughts, and thanks for all you do to make Texas