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Following is a list of OLLI-GMU's standing committees and presidential appointments, with information about their responsibilities. If you are interested in joining a committee or resource group, please contact the appropriate chair.

Guidelines for all standing committees
  1. The chair is appointed by the president.
  2. Members are recruited and appointed by the chair; numbers will vary depending on appropriate qualifications (if any needed), nature of responsibilities, and number of willing volunteers.
  3. Chairs should welcome all willing volunteers on committees unless specific qualifications are required.
  4. Chairs should designate a vice-chair, and are encouraged to subdivide responsibilities as appropriate to their missions.
  5. Operational standing committees report monthly to the executive director, who shares these reports with the Board.
  6. Standing committees with policy responsibilities (Finance, Strategic Planning) report regularly to the Board.
  7. Committees operate within an approved budget, and advise on budget needs.
  8. Committees establish coordination among all campuses.
  9. The chair or a designee develops articles about committee work or committee sponsored activities for OLLI E-News.
Direct links: Audiovisual Support  Communications  Development  Facilities  Finance  Landscaping  Member Services  Outreach  Program  Strategic Planning  Presidential Appointments

Audiovisual Support Committee, chair: Paul Howard
Mission: Ensure effective classroom environments by assisting the staff in maintaining and improving classroom audiovisual and computer/information technology equipment. (View committee's Web page.)
  • Work with staff to identify what instructors and presenters want to do with AV and computer equipment, and the kinds of problems encountered;
  • Work with staff and any technical consultants to improve sound quality, eliminate audio feedback, and connect visual sources to projected video images;
  • Establish appropriate standards for equipment settings and for locations of commonly needed tools on OLLI laptops;
  • Add appropriate labels to remote controls and corresponding equipment; add instruction manuals to laptops where appropriate;
  • Work with staff and consultants on training on how systems work and problem solving; and
  • Advise on audiovisual and computer equipment budget and acquisition.
Communications Committee, chair: Gordon Canyock
Mission: Provide timely, useful and cost-effective non-emergency communications with the membership and publications production support to the staff and Board.
  • Oversee OLLI Catalog, OLLI E-News, the OLLI Web site and other publications to assure their consistency, accuracy, attractive appearance and conformity with professional journalistic standards;
  • Initiate and encourage submission of articles and notices for OLLI E-News related to OLLI and its affiliated organizations deemed of interest to the membership;
  • Provide an electronic forum in OLLI E-News for members to communicate their comments, suggestions and concerns about the Institute to their fellow members as well as to the leadership;
  • Develop procedures and guidelines to ensure that all publications contain only materials appropriate for dissemination to the membership, and if the material is intended for release on the Web site, that the content is appropriate for an external audience and does not include privacy information; and
  • Provide technical and editorial support upon request to officers, staff and committee chairs in the preparation of the quarterly catalog of OLLI courses, Fairfax Ink, Poets of Tallwood, the Membership Directory, and Member Handbook as well as brochures, invitations, flyers and other materials for special purposes, including any publications intended for dissemination beyond the membership.
Development Committee, chair: Lesley Bubenhofer
Mission: Plan and coordinate, in concert with the executive director and Finance Committee, all short-term and long-range fund raising activities for OLLI.
  • Prepare and monitor a Development Plan (Fund Raising Plan) for OLLI;
  • Design and conduct the Friends of OLLI annual fund raising campaign and advise OLLI members on alternative methods of giving;
  • Identify and organize to pursue appropriate grant, contracting, sponsorship and other related fund raising activities;
  • Oversee and monitor the silent auction and other fund raising events;
  • Develop and maintain relationship with the George Mason University Foundation and the University's Development Office in matters relating to philanthropic fund raising; and
  • Advise the OLLI Board and the president on matters relating to development/fund raising, including special/individual fund raising solicitations.
Facilities Committee, chair: Garrett Cochran
Mission: Develop plans and proposals for the Board of Directors to ensure that the facilities at all present and future OLLI campuses support the overall mission of OLLI..
  • Monitor needs for improvements in five categories: classroom, socialization, storage, parking, and technology;
  • Prioritize needs for facility, equipment and land utilization;
  • Coordinate planning with the executive director and other committees as appropriate;
  • Make recommendations for funding facility modifications; and
  • Present plans to meet both short-range and long-range needs.
Finance Committee, chair: David Mason
Mission: Oversee the financial policies and procedures of the Institute to assure its fiscal soundness.
  • Assist the treasurer and the executive director in the preparation of an annual operating budget for approval by the Board of Directors;
  • Assist the treasurer and the executive director in the monthly review of operating financials;
  • Assist the treasurer in periodic review of the organization's accounting procedures and controls to provide reasonable assurance that accounting and bookkeeping transactions are properly recorded;
  • Assist the executive director, finance associate, and treasurer in reviewing the annual audit, and also the results of the annual Form 990 Annual Tax Return prepared by the CPA firm and filed with the IRS; and
  • Assist the president, executive director and treasurer in negotiation of outside agreements; i.e., the Mason Affiliation Agreement, the Mason Lease Agreement, the Mason Foundation Affiliation Agreement, the Fairfax Swimming Pool Parking Lease, the Washington Baptist Church Lease Agreement, et al.
Landscaping Committee, chair: Valerie Braybrooke 
Mission: Provide an attractive, changing outdoor environment for the Tallwood campus in the area surrounding the buildings and parking lots.
  • Design each garden as an outdoor classroom;
  • Prepare each garden for proper sustenance of plants as well as for changing sight lines;
  • Provide areas for socializing;
  • Acquire the most reliable plant materials;
  • Install plants, hardscape, structures and other materials;
  • Maintain the gardens year-round with tools stored in shed;
  • Advise on budgetary needs for building and maintaining garden beds;
  • Advise the executive director when a tree or plant on Tallwood property needs maintenance by Mason or removal by Mason; and
  • Coordinate with other committees regarding planning, development, transplanting and other landscaping needs on existing or expanded facilities in the future.
Member Services Committee, chair: Martha Scanlon
Mission: Promote membership retention and satisfaction; provide certain member services at the Tallwood, Reston and Loudoun locations.
  • Arrange for liaisons in each class to introduce instructors, make announcements, monitor attendance and solve problems or seek staff help for same;
  • Via the Hospitality Subcommittee, make arrangements for refreshments at OLLI meetings and events such as the New Members Coffee, the annual Holiday Party, Town Meetings, etc.;
  • Ensure that needs, concerns and suggestions of members are addressed through a variety of communication methods;
  • Arrange social events and encourage more social activity among members by facilitating small interest group development, and extend programming to include social components;
  • Organize volunteers to assist in the OLLI Tallwood office;
  • Maintain volunteer aspects of social rooms or areas such as exhibits, bulletin boards and lending libraries;
  • Represent and advocate for the membership perspective to the Board; and
  • Provide member services at the Reston and Loudoun campuses, including social activities, communication, and coordination with the respective coordinators.
Outreach Committee, chair: Dave Ryan
Mission: Provide appropriate communications outside of OLLI and to the community in order to create positive visibility and encourage membership.
  • Recruit members through marketing, publicity, placement of materials, booths at community and senior fairs, a speakers' bureau, encouraging members to promote OLLI to friends and acquaintances, and other appropriate means;
  • Coordinate with executive director and staff to develop and distribute appropriate promotional flyers, brochures, and related materials; and
  • Assist executive director and staff in development and use of presentations (e.g., PowerPoint, video, etc.) for use in recruitment and promotion of OLLI.
Program Committee, chair: Kathryn Russell
Mission: Serve as a forum for communication and information exchange by chairs of resource groups.
  • Plan and coordinate all term educational programs, special events, travel programs, and programming for all OLLI locations;
  • Review course offerings for balance of content and format at all locations;
  • Support the work of class liaisons and serve as point of contact between the OLLI staff and individual resource groups;
  • Coordinate with executive director, program associate, and program assistant for Loudoun and Reston regarding needs of resource groups, instructors, speakers, and coordinators;
  • Provide input for invitations to the annual Teacher Appreciation Reception; and
  • Provide input to the executive director regarding award of OLLI scholarships to various Mason schools, colleges, departments, and/or institutes.
Membership of the Program Committee consists of the chairs of the individual resource groups. These resource groups, representing each of the academic discipline categories listed in the OLLI catalog, are made up of member volunteers who meet two or three times a year to share ideas for future courses. Members of these groups work to develop and implement courses each term. The chairs of these groups—along with the chairs of Reston and Loudoun program, Special Events and Travel—meet as the Program Committee to coordinate future programs.

Strategic Planning Committee, co-chairs: Valerie Braybrooke and Ted Parker
Mission: Develop short-term and long-range strategic plans for consideration by the Board of Directors. In fulfilling its mission it will monitor and update the implementation of Pathways to the Future as a "living document." The committee will seek to understand the internal and external trends, challenges and opportunities that may influence OLLI's future.
  • Advise OLLI’s president and Board of Directors on matters relating to strategic plans. Such advice may include matters relating to trends, operations and strategic planning;
  • With the president and executive director, plan and conduct, as needed, a Board of Directors retreat to assess and review current and future issues and opportunities confronting OLLI;
  • Monitor the implementation of Pathways to the Future and the activities of various "task groups" emanating from it. To ensure that Pathways and other planning initiatives result in meaningful "living documents" it will monitor and assess implementation and, as appropriate, propose policy changes and modifications as necessary;
  • Initiate the collection and analysis (assess and review) of data collected through surveys, focus groups, interviews, studies and other research methods;
  • Meet and coordinate with OLLI committees as well as encourage communication with various external communities, LRIs and OLLIs to assess and understand the issues, trends and challenges occurring in both our internal and external environments; and
  • Monitor facilities and organizational planning and support for new OLLI sites. Such monitoring and planning would include the possible inclusion of the proposed University-Based Retirement Community (UBRC) at George Mason University as well as other possible sites.
Presidential Appointments:

OLLI Historian, Palmer McGrew
Mission: Update earlier OLLI histories; with the secretary and executive director, determine what OLLI records and materials should be retained.

OLLI Representative to Arts at Mason Board,
Pat Carroll
Mission: This position was requested by the Mason College of Visual and Performing Arts, beginning in 2007, to provide representation and support from OLLI for this Mason program.

University Liaison, Pat Carroll
Mission: With the president and executive director, maintain good and effective working relationships between OLLI and George Mason University.

Updated: June 18, 2012