FAQs on ESA Renewal: Section Leadership Transitions

June 28, 2007

The approval of the restructuring of ESA marks the beginning of a new era and a very exciting time for the Society. But, the transitions must be carefully considered to ensure we have minimal disruption with the Governance of the Society and also that we do not disenfranchise our valuable volunteers who have graciously agreed to serve as leaders of ESA. The following is a brief Q&A of several items, not intended to be comprehensive, that will describe some key transitional activities currently underway and planned. Keep in mind, however, that the revision does not take effect until December 12, 2007 following the final Business Meeting!

Why do I have to change Sections?

The Bylaws revision recently passed will restructure ESA from 6 Sections with multiple Subsections to 4 Sections without Subsections. In some cases, the translation of the former to the future Sections is obvious, but we would like to ask each member to deliberately choose their Section. It’s very easy to do, just log on and follow the instructions. The decision is important because it will entitle you to vote for Section Leadership and other Section-related business as outlined in the revised Bylaws. Once ESA has a chance to establish a budget for 2008 and approve a fee structure for joining multiple Sections, then members will have that opportunity as well. This activity of selecting your new Section has to happen first so other items can occur such as developing nominations and establishing a voting contingency.

If a member does not deliberately choose a Section, ESA Headquarters will assign one based on the most likely selection based on past membership. This is not a preferred route, so please select your own Section and encourage your colleagues to do the same. All members of the ESA must be part of a Section to receive membership services, but active participation or engagement, while encouraged, is optional.

What happens to current Section Officers?

Because the former Sections are dissolved, the offices of those former Sections (Secretary, Vice-Chair, Chair, Governing Board Representative, and Committee Appointments) will discontinue. This does not occur until the end of the Business Meeting in December (2007), so until then, these are fully empowered Section Officers who will continue to participate on the Program Committee and fulfill any other duties. Our sincere goal and objective is to encourage as many of the currently serving Section Officers to consider nomination for leadership positions on the appropriate new Section Leadership Council.

How will nominations for new Section Officers be handled?

Until members have declared their new Section affiliation, the nomination process outlined in the revised Bylaws is not possible. However, in order to facilitate the process on a critical timeline, the ESA Governing Board is working with current Section leadership to identify at least one ESA member for each Officer position in each Section. The Governing Board is not making determinations of Officers; we are only trying to “map” current roles to future roles to ensure the new organization has all positions available for candidacy. For example, a Section Chair in 2007 would logically “map” to a Section Past President in 2008. Once this process is complete, the entire ESA membership will be made aware of these nominations and will be asked for additional nominations from individuals in the future Section. Once this nomination period closes, ESA Headquarters Staff will work with nominees to prepare their biographical information for a newsletter notice. Exact dates for these milestones are being determined and will be finalized and communicated soon. In future years, only the Vice-President Elect and the Treasurer (every third year) will be on the ballot as Section Officers.

In addition to Section Leadership Council posts, typical ESA Central Officer and Branch elections, as well as some posts must be elected as well.

The role of the current Section Officers in this process is one of networking within their new prospective membership and with the Governing Board to help make this transition process as smooth and less disruptive as possible. Again, our goal is to honor as much as possible the previous election results and to ensure the new Sections are able to start up successfully and quickly.

When will elections of new Officers occur?

The actual election period is expected to be in the mid-August to mid-September time frame, but the exact dates are dependent upon completion of the above mentioned steps and milestones. A communication plan will lay out for ESA membership the steps and the timing of each activity.

Will current Sections hold business meetings at the San Diego meeting?

Until December 12, Sections are obligated to follow the old Bylaws which require a business meeting. Because the old Sections will not exist as such after Wednesday (December 12), it is recommended that a final business meeting be held near the front end of the Annual Meeting in San Diego to close any loose issues and that additional time be set aside for informal and unofficial meetings of the new Sections as well.

In addition, the Governing Board will attempt to host a “jumpstart” workshop for all the newly elected Section Officers to assist them with their journey to build a new Section and a path toward empowerment with the four core capabilities central to the entire Renewal effort. The timing of this is likely in the late October, early November time frame.

ESA Renewal: Member Network Support

What is a Member Network?

Member Networks are groups of entomologists within ESA that have a similar professional or topical interest and choose to use the ESA venues to pursue their interests. A Member Network can be a group of individuals that study a particular order of insects (e.g., Coleopterists) or pursue a similar line of work (e.g., Extension). The ESA will not govern networks per se, will not approve or disapprove of their formation or activities, and will not charge fees. Although there are no entitlements to Member Networks beyond what individual members receive, every effort to encourage and support them will be made by the ESA as a means to encourage professional collaboration and flexibility. The belief is that Member Networks will form as the science changes, and everyone professionally related to entomology will find at least one home and some colleagues to share their interests.

Although the ESA will not charge fees or be a governing body of networks per se, the Networks are free to create their own leadership and organizational procedures to meet their needs.

What are the Member Networks that exist now?

While the ESA has not officially referred to special ento-interest groups as Member Networks in the past, many already have been formed and are operating with this autonomy. To these groups, we suggest that they “register” their network with ESA Headquarters so we can post contact information and a brief description on the website for others to make connections. Our current Sections and SubSections also may wish to continue as Member Networks, so we will post the current leadership and titles for these groups.

What services will ESA provide to Member Networks?

The ESA will do its best to provide meeting space and times at the Annual Meeting – this is of course a function of the meeting space and program capacity, but we will help as much as possible. In addition, the ESA will look to invest in web-based software that allows Networks to develop and manage their own websites for its members. This is under development now and should be available late this year or early in 2008.

Will Member Networks have funding?

No. Member networks will not be funded per se, but may be partially subsidized as noted above with a web platform and some meeting time/space. Networks may, however, affiliate with one of the four Sections and seek funding for their interests and initiatives such as symposia, support for continuing education, or other program-based ideas that will also support the membership of the Section. If Member Networks choose to charge their members fees for Member Network activities, the ESA will not collect, hold, or disburse these funds.