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Highlights of Board Meetings

Below are the highlights from meetings of OLLI’s Board of directors since August 2005; these highlights were originally posted in OLLI E-News. The more-detailed, complete official minutes of recent meetings of OLLI’s Board of Directors are available on the Member Portal for members to read after the minutes have been approved by the Board, which occurs at the next Board meeting, normally one month later. Log in to the portal at http://www.olliatgmu.org/, then move to the Documents menu, click the Board Minutes selection, and use the drop-down arrow to choose a meeting date. Minutes are also posted in the social room at Tallwood for review. Note: Members may opt to have the complete official Board minutes, including non-confidential attachments, emailed to them; please send an email to the office with “Board Minutes” in the subject line.


Direct links to meetings by date: Feb 21, 2014  Jan 17, 2014  Nov 15, 2013 Oct 18, 2013  Sep 20, 2013  Jul 19, 2013  Jun 21, 2013  Apr 19, 2013  Mar 15, 2013  Feb 15, 2013  Jan 18, 2013  Nov 16, 2012  Oct 19, 2012  Sep 21, 2012  Jul 20, 2012  Jun 1, 2012  Apr 20, 2012  Mar 16, 2012  Feb 17, 2012  Jan 20, 2012  Nov 18, 2011  Oct 21, 2011  Sep 16, 2011  Jul 29, 2011  Jun 10, 2011  Apr 8, 2011  Mar 18, 2011  Feb 18, 2011  Jan 21, 2011  Nov 12, 2010  Oct 15, 2010  Sep 17, 2010  Jul 9, 2010  Jun 11, 2010  Apr 16, 2010  Mar 19, 2010  Feb 19, 2010  Jan 15, 2010  Nov 20, 2009  Sep 18, 2009  Jul 17, 2009  Jun 9, 2009  Apr 17, 2009  Mar 20, 2009  Feb 20, 2009  Jan 16, 2009  Dec 2008  Nov 19, 2008 Oct 17, 2008  Sep 19, 2008  Aug 22, 2008  Jul 18, 2008  Jun 2008  Apr 18, 2008  Mar 28, 2008  Feb 15, 2008  Jan 18, 2008  Dec 14, 2007  Nov 16, 2007  Oct 24, 2007  Sep 11, 2007  Aug 31, 2007  Aug 17, 2007  Jul 20, 2007  Jun 15, 2007  Apr 27, 2007  Mar 16, 2007  Feb 23, 2007  Jan 19, 2007  Jan 4, 2007  Dec 15, 2006  Dec 7, 2006  Nov 17, 2006  Oct 27, 2006  Sep 15, 2006  Aug 18, 2006  Jul 21, 2006  Jun 16, 2006  Jun 2, 2006  Apr 27, 2006  Mar 22, 2006  Mar 17, 2006  Feb 17, 2006  Jan 20, 2006  Dec 16, 2005  Nov 18, 2005  Oct 21, 2005  Sep 16, 2005  Aug 19, 2005

Direct links to meetings by date: 21Feb2014  17jan2014  15nov2013 18oct2013  20sep2013  Jul 19, 2013  Jun 21, 2013  Apr 19, 2013  Mar 15, 2013  Feb 15, 2013  Jan 18, 2013  Nov 16, 2012  Oct 19, 2012  Sep 21, 2012  Jul 20, 2012  Jun 1, 2012  Apr 20, 2012  Mar 16, 2012  Feb 17, 2012  Jan 20, 2012  Nov 18, 2011  Oct 21, 2011  Sep 16, 2011  Jul 29, 2011  Jun 10, 2011  Apr 8, 2011  Mar 18, 2011  Feb 18, 2011  Jan 21, 2011  Nov 12, 2010  Oct 15, 2010  Sep 17, 2010  Jul 9, 2010  Jun 11, 2010  Apr 16, 2010  Mar 19, 2010  Feb 19, 2010  Jan 15, 2010  Nov 20, 2009  Sep 18, 2009  Jul 17, 2009  Jun 9, 2009  Apr 17, 2009  Mar 20, 2009  Feb 20, 2009  Jan 16, 2009  Dec 2008  Nov 19, 2008  Oct 17, 2008  Sep 19, 2008  Aug 22, 2008  Jul 18, 2008  Jun 2008  Apr 18, 2008  Mar 28, 2008  Feb 15, 2008  Jan 18, 2008  Dec 14, 2007  Nov 16, 2007  Oct 24, 2007  Sep 11, 2007  Aug 31, 2007  Aug 17, 2007  Jul 20, 2007  Jun 15, 2007  Apr 27, 2007  Mar 16, 2007  Feb 23, 2007  Jan 19, 2007  Jan 4, 2007  Dec 15, 2006  Dec 7, 2006  Nov 17, 2006  Oct 27, 2006  Sep 15, 2006  Aug 18, 2006  Jul 21, 2006  Jun 16, 2006  Jun 2, 2006  Apr 27, 2006  Mar 22, 2006  Mar 17, 2006  Feb 17, 2006  Jan 20, 2006  Dec 16, 2005  Nov 18, 2005  Oct 21, 2005  Sep 16, 2005  Aug 19, 2005


#21feb2014 The OLLI Board of Directors met Friday, February 21, 2013 at Tallwood. Executive Director Jennifer Disano announced that Kathy Breen, Loudoun Site Assistant, is retiring and will be replaced by former staff member Maria Buczek. President Martha Scanlon is seeking replacements for Kathy West, who resigned as Loudoun Coordinator, and for Russell Stone, who resigned as Strategic Planning Committee Chair.
The Board authorized up to $5000 to purchase a wheelchair lift at Tallwood and negotiate with Mason its installation, estimated to cost the University $25,000. Many of our members have difficulty managing the stairs leading from the TA-1 level to the other two classrooms below and it is virtually impossible if using a wheelchair. Back


#17jan2014 The big news from the January 17, 2014 OLLI-Mason Board meeting held at Tallwood was the unanimous decisions to increase dues from $360 to $375 effective with the spring term and to modify the introductory membership program. Effective this spring, prospective members can try us out for one term by paying a $150 fee, but if they decide they want to join, they must sign up for a full year at the regular rate of $375.
The Board also passed resolutions approving the final 2014 operating budget, the allocation by department of a total of $16,000 of Friends of OLLI funds for Mason scholarships and a motion to donate $2,000 to Fall for the Book. It tabled a motion not on the agenda to partially fund the installation of a wheelchair lift at Tallwood to bring us into ADA compliance. That will be discussed and voted upon at the February meeting once cost details are obtained from Mason. Back


#15nov2013 At the OLLI Board of Directors meeting at Tallwood on Fri, Nov 15, 2013 President Martha Scanlon announced her appointment of three new committee chairs to fill positions established by the Board the previous month. Ernestine Meyer is the new Website Committee chair, Mary Jane Steele is the new Publications Committee chair, and Irene Osterman is the new E-News Committee chair. Martha thanked Gordon Canyock for his eight-year service as the Communications Committee Chair, the predecessor of the three new committees. Martha also commended Ernestine on the rollout of the new OLLI Website.
Executive Director Jennifer Disano announced that our total membership is now 1,160, and due to the increased volume of registrations each term, she has hired a temporary staff member to assist with registration for the winter term.
The Board unanimously approved the 2014 budget even though it forecasts a deficit due to increased facility rental and payroll costs, but agreed to discuss in depth a possible dues increase at its January 2014 meeting. Back


#18oct2013 The OLLI Board of Directors met Friday, October 18, 2013 in Reston. President Martha Scanlon opened the meeting by presenting a certificate of appreciation and a basket of wine to John Woods. This is a small token of thanks to John for stepping in as Acting Executive Director for more than three months.
The president informed the Board that George Mason has plans to move its Loudoun campus in the summer of 2014 to a new location not far from Ridgetop Circle. She will pass on any information about the new location and classrooms as soon as Mason has completed its search and negotiations are settled. We expect OLLI classes to continue uninterrupted in Loudoun in 2014.
Executive Director Jennifer Disano announced that, with 1161 members, we have reached a new record. Income through September was 21.75% over budget and expenses 3.55% under budget. This permitted an expenditure of roughly $7,000 for the rental of off-site facilities to reduce the wait-list problem.
Due to the membership growth, the OLLI staff is working extra hours. The Board unanimously passed a motion to authorize the executive director to hire additional part-time staff.
Jennifer has had several meetings with Mason administrators to discuss how OLLI fits into the university’s strategic plan.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for 10:00 on Friday, November 15 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are encouraged to attend Board meetings. Back


#20sep2013 The OLLI Board of Directors met Friday, September 20, 2013 at Tallwood. Executive Director Jennifer Disano announced that we now have a total of 1152 members, an all-time record, which also led to an all-time record number of courses being held in off-campus locations to avoid wait-listing. OLLI income through August was 20% over budget and expenses less than 9% under budget, which meant we could afford the increased cost associated with renting off-site locations. She also noted that we have two new part-time employees this term: Nick Wenri at Reston and Greg Hartmann at Tallwood. Arman Majumder will continue to work one or two days a week as the Reston site assistant.
The Board approved two administrative resolutions, one authorizing our new executive director and the four officers as signatories for our bank and Mason Foundation accounts, the second approving the use of $563.85 from Friends of OLLI funds to pay for the printing of the 2013 edition of OLLI Ink.
The Board also approved a motion submitted in July to disestablish the Communications Committee and authorize the establishment of an E-News Committee, a Website Committee and a Publications Committee. The latter would be responsible for editing our print publications. All three committees will report directly to the executive director, who was also authorized to hire part-time staff to fill the chairmanship of both the E-News and Website committees should qualified volunteers not be available.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for 10:00 on Friday, October 18 at Reston. All OLLI members are invited to attend the Board meeting. Back


Friday, July 19, 2013 : the Board met at Tallwood but no highlights were published in E-News. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met on Friday, June 21, 2013 at Tallwood. As reported in last week’s E-News, the new Board elected Martha Scanlon as president, Beth Lambert as vice president, David Mason as treasurer and Janet Cochran as secretary; term of office is for one year. President Martha Scanlon advised that she has resigned as chair of the Member Services Committee; volunteers to fill that position should contact Martha.
Director Ernestine Meyer, the OLLI webmaster, provided an update on the current efforts to redesign the OLLI website using state-of-the-art technology. The initial work is being performed by the contractor,  Earthcare Technologies Inc., with input from the OLLI website team – after which OLLI will copy content from the existing website to the new website. When completed later this year, the website will use the same Internet address so the change will be transparent to OLLI members using the site.
Director Debbie Halverson provided an update on the OLLI Grand Camp scheduled for Tuesday, July 30, noting that there are still some open slots.
Acting Executive Director John Woods reported that OLLI has a record-high membership of 1,081 members and that income is above budget, with expenses below budget. Treasurer Dave Mason advised that OLLI was “doing well” financially.
There was considerable discussion concerning the large number of closed summer courses and the resulting large number of wait-listed status received by many members. Russell Stone and Glenn Kamber, both newly elected directors, and Bill Reader, a continuing director, volunteered to work with John Woods on a special ad hoc committee to analyze the wait-listing issue and report back to the Board at the next meeting.
The next Board meeting will be held on Friday, July 19 at 10:00 in TA-1. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet on Friday, April 19, 2013 at the Loudoun campus. Pat Carroll, chair of the University Liaison Committee, reported on recent meetings with the Mason staff, warning that the box office at the Center for the Arts has acquired updated software that will prevent non-student OLLI members with Mason ID cards from receiving student discounts. OLLI continues to be mentioned in the master plan of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, but without any specific proposals affecting our facilities. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that our membership has reached an all-time high of 1,076, which led to a brainstorming discussion on managing growth.
The next Board meeting will be held on Friday, June 21 at 10:00 in TA-1; first order of business will be the election of OLLI officers for the next 12 months. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met on Friday, March 15, 2013 in the first videoconference at both Tallwood and the Loudoun site. Four directors were at Loudoun, 12 in TA-1, and one participated from South Carolina via speakerphone.
Dave Mason, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, led a brainstorming session on assumptions needed to develop a long-range plan for OLLI. The Board generally agreed to assume a 3-5% annual growth rate in membership, while holding dues steady or raising them incrementally. That growth rate is in line with past history and would double our membership within 10 years, which would have major impact on program, staffing, facilities and parking. That in turn would lead to the need for additional facilities, either in partnership with Mason or by leasing commercially. The Board agreed to reserve payouts from the second Osher endowment for these future requirements.
The Board approved a resolution recommending several changes to the Bylaws to be presented to the membership for ratification at the annual membership meeting on Friday, May 3.
The next Board meeting will be held at 10:00 on Friday, April 19 at Loudoun. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, February 15, 2013 at Tallwood – with all 18 directors present. As the first order of business, the Board elected director and former secretary Janet Cochran (see E-News profile) to the position of secretary, to serve until the election of new OLLI officers in June. Janet will replace director Ernestine Meyer (see E-News profile), who resigned as secretary to assume the position of OLLI webmaster. Ernestine was given a big round of applause for volunteering to take over this important position.
Development Committee Chair Lesley Bubenhofer (see E-News profile) gave a brief presentation on plans for fundraising during 2013 to support the Friends of OLLI Fund. Innovative ideas being pursued include a silent online “no-stuff” auction (services, travel/vacations, game parties, gourmet dinners, etc.), movie/lunch days at a nearby theater, a fashion show/luncheon and two types of OLLI calendars.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that total membership is 1,064, and Treasurer Stan Schretter noted that OLLI finances are in “excellent shape.”
The Board spent considerable time discussing individual proposed changes to OLLI Bylaws. Changes that were approved will be put into a single proposal that will include other changes previously approved, and that proposal will be voted upon at the next meeting. If approved by two thirds of the Board, the package of Bylaws changes would be presented to the membership for its approval.
The next Board meeting will be held at 10:00 on Friday, March 15, at BOTH Tallwood AND Loudoun in the first major test of our new videoconferencing system – If all goes as planned. At least five directors will be participating in the meeting while physically sitting in the designated Loudoun classroom; remaining directors will be in TA-1. All OLLI members are invited to attend this ‘historic’ Board meeting by coming to either TA-1 or to Loudoun. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, January 18, 2013 at Tallwood – with 17 of 18 directors “present” (one participating via speakerphone, one traveling).

     President John Woods announced that he has appointed director Bob Zener as chair of the new Governance Committee, established by the Board in October 2012 to address and provide recommendations concerning governance-related issues such as the Bylaws, Board policy and OLLI organizational structure (click here to view Bob’s E-News profile).
John also recommended – and the Board approved – the appointment of director Stan Schretter as chair of the 2013 Nominating Committee, which will oversee everything involved in the May election of six candidates to serve on the Board of Directors from June 2013 until June 2016 (click here to view Stan’s E-News profile). Note: This is the only committee chair appointment requiring Board approval.

Executive Director Thom Clement reported that our current membership is 1,043. He noted that we ended 2012 with a surplus of $27,000, due to more new members joining than projected, conservative budgeting in several budget items and the temporary delay in payment of two charges ($8,000 total) that will be paid in early 2013 rather than late 2012.

          Program Committee Chair Kathryn Russell briefed directors on her committee and the work of OLLI’s program planners (resource group chairs/co-chairs and OLLI members who attend resource group meetings to help plan future classes); she especially noted the growing strength of the Loudoun Program Resource Group, which meets monthly. Kathryn’s main concern is that there is “not enough new blood to sustain our program” if our inability to retain program planners and replace those who leave continues. She invited everyone (i.e., all OLLI members) to attend the next meeting of the Program Committee, which will be held at our new Reston location, the United Christian Parish church, on Friday, February 22, at 10:30.

The Board approved providing $1,500 in Friends of OLLI funds to the 2013 Fall for the Book Festival; this is the same amount provided last year and reflects the very substantial support to OLLI provided by the festival.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for 10:00 on Friday, February 15, at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend the Board meeting. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, November 16, 2012 at Tallwood. President John Woods spoke briefly about the OLLI National Conference in Colorado Springs, from which he and Executive Director Thom Clement had just returned; they will be providing details and insights concerning the conference in a future E-News article.

     John announced that he has appointed Pat Carroll as chair of the newly established University Liaison Committee. Pat, a former OLLI president (2007–2009), had been serving as University Liaison – a position now replaced by the new committee.

Executive Director Thom Clement reported that our membership remains about the same (1,061 members) and that we expect to end the year in very sound financial condition. For information, Thom noted that OLLI absorbs credit-card fees when members pay dues via credit card. Treasurer Stan Schretter reported that OLLI finances are in “good shape” but also cautioned the Board to pay more attention to its approval of expenditures from the Friends of OLLI Fund, pointing out that the fund’s current balance after obligations is a negative $11,760 (last month, the Board approved expenditures from the fund for the videoconferencing project and then also approved expenditures for 2013 OLLI scholarships to students in selected Mason departments – which would normally not have been approved until January 2013). The annual Friends of OLLI fundraising campaign just started and should replenish the Friends of OLLI Fund.

     At the president’s request, Member Services Chair Martha Scanlon briefed the Board on her committee, explaining its mission and responsibilities (including office volunteers and the Hospitality and Liaison Subcommittees) and reviewing accomplishments during 2012. Martha noted that planning is underway for another Grand Camp for members and their grandchildren next summer. Directors provided some observations about liaisons, such as the need for liaisons to always introduce the speaker rather than saying that ‘everyone knows our speaker.’ Directors also discussed ways to improve the OLLI experience of new members. Thom asked Martha to work offline with him as part of an informal task force on the new member effort, and Susanne Zumbro agreed to assist.
Martha announced that Kathie West has volunteered to take on the position of Loudoun coordinator, which has been vacant for some time. Former Board member Kathie and her husband, Webmaster John West, moved to Ashburn from Springfield several years ago and regularly attend courses at the Loudoun site. As Loudoun coordinator, Kathie is now the primary volunteer point-of-contact for Loudoun (responsibilities of the Loudoun and Reston site coordinators are listed here).

After some discussion, the Board approved a proposal to donate $1,000 from working capital to the Washington Plaza Baptist Church at Lake Anne in recognition and appreciation for the many years (since 1999) of hospitality and support of the OLLI program in Reston.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for 10:00 on Friday, January 18, 2013 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend the Board meeting. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, October 19 at the United Christian Parish church in Reston – the future site of OLLI’s Reston classes, starting with the winter term in January 2013. President John Woods advised that the annual Friends of OLLI fundraising campaign will begin in the next several weeks.

     Executive Director Thom Clement noted that we now have 1,064 members. September financial reports show that after three-quarters of 2012, our income remains higher than projected due to membership growth. Thom reported that we are making more use of the Woodlands Retirement Community for classes so that parking at Tallwood is not overwhelmed; residents at Woodlands who take an OLLI course (except “Singing For Fun”) are charged a nominal fee, and some residents are attending.

The Board discussed and then approved the following proposals.

  • Establishment of a Governance Committee, reporting to the Board, to address and provide recommendations concerning governance-related issues such as the Bylaws, Board policy and OLLI organizational structure.
  • Establishment of a University Liaison Committee, reporting to the executive director, to identify and broaden links between OLLI and Mason.
  • Purchase of video teleconferencing equipment at Tallwood, using up to $14,750 from the Friends of OLLI Fund, to enhance the OLLI program. This equipment will allow us to have live two-way video and audio links between Loudoun and Tallwood, including pictures/sound of instructors, students, PowerPoint presentations and video presentations (from YouTube, DVDs, etc.).
  • Providing a total of $16,000 from the Friends of OLLI Fundin spring 2013 to selected Mason departments for OLLI scholarships to deserving Mason students of those departments in appreciation of the instructional support provided to the OLLI program.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for 10:00 on Friday, November 16, at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend the Board meeting. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, September 21, 2012 at Tallwood. Vice President Gordon Canyock presided since President John Woods was out of town. Gordon read a short message from the president, noting John’s goal of promoting volunteerism at OLLI and his plan to recommend the establishment of two new standing committees – a Mason Liaison Committee and a Governance Committee.

     Executive Director Thom Clement reported that the Osher Foundation has mailed its check for OLLI’s second $1 million endowment to the George Mason University Foundation. According to our endowment agreement, the annual payout is a minimum of 5% of the endowment’s value as June 30 of the prior fiscal year. Thom is still working on specific arrangements and timing for the initial payout from the second endowment.
Thom noted that we now have 1,060 members. Our income is 3.4% above projections due to a greater than expected number of new members and renewals. OLLI has signed a rental agreement with the United Christian Parish church in Reston, where most Reston classes will meet starting with the winter 2013 term that begins January 21, 2013. Also effective with the winter 2013 term will be new class times that will be uniform for all OLLI sites; the detailed class-time schedule will be announced by early October.

Treasurer Stan Schretter reported that OLLI finances are in “really great shape.” In his discussion of the Finance Committee’s proposed budget for FY2013, Stan noted that no dues increase during 2013 is planned although it is a deficit budget – $3,480 in funding is being transferred from working capital. The Board approved the recommended FY2013 budget.
Director Dick Young proposed an amendment to the lengthy Bylaws change resolution, which was approved by the Board, and the Board then tabled the resolution to permit fuller discussion of all the recommended changes at future meetings.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 19, at the United Christian Parish church in Reston at 10:00, to be followed by a fall social (chili cook-off/lunch at 12:30; click here for pdf flyer). All OLLI members are invited to attend the Board meeting and the fall social. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, July 20, 2012 at Tallwood. Vice President Gordon Canyock presided since President John Woods was out of town. Gordon read a short message from the president, in which John thanked Executive Director Thom Clement for his successful efforts in seeking additional funding from the Osher Foundation, resulting in our second $1 million endowment. (Thom will be providing information to explain to the membership how the new $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation will affect OLLI but he did point out that the first annual interest payout will not be received until the summer of 2014.)

     Thom reported that OLLI’s finances are in good shape and that we now have 1,016 members. OLLI has recently reached three major agreements: (1) With the United Christian Parish in Reston for use of its facilities for OLLI classes starting in winter 2013; (2) With the Fairfax Pool for use of its parking lot next to Tallwood over the next five years; and (2) With George Mason University for a new five-year Affiliation and Space Usage Agreement (includes the ‘lease’ of Tallwood for one dollar per year).
Thom also raised the possibility of making Lorton a future OLLI site, using the facilities of the Lorton Workhouse Arts Center, since many OLLI members live in the general area and a large number of potential members live in the nearby Lake Ridge area.

The Board approved a position statement drafted by the Program Committee that supports the use of technology to enhance and expand learning opportunities for OLLI members, including but not limited to the use of videoconferencing capabilities to enable OLLI members to participate actively in classroom presentations from multiple locations as appropriate. The executive director and Audiovisual Support Committee were requested to investigate and provide recommendations. Any OLLI member interested in being involved in this effort should email the executive director.
Ad Hoc Bylaws Review Committee Chair Ben Gold presented his committee’s recommendations for Bylaws changes. These will be discussed and debated at the next Board meeting. Any change to the Bylaws must be approved by two-thirds of the Board before submission to the membership for its approval.
The Board approved an adjustment to the 2012 budget to authorize replacing the three wooden doors to the main building at Tallwood and also approved the 2013 budget assumptions.
There will be no Board meeting in August. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 21 at Tallwood – time to be announced but probably at 11:00, following the Kick-off Coffee that starts at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend this meeting. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, June 1, 2012 at Tallwood. The Board unanimously elected the following OLLI officers for the upcoming 12 months: John Woods as president; Gordon Canyock as vice president; Stan Schretter as treasurer; and Ernestine Meyer as secretary.

     Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI is having an estimate done for construction of a wooden ramp at Tallwood. To alleviate the parking shortage at Tallwood, OLLI is investigating other Mason classroom facilities in the area with accessible parking. Also, the Woodlands retirement community has several sizes of rooms and has expressed a desire to host some OLLI classes at no cost. At Reston, OLLI has given notice to Washington Plaza Baptist Church that the Institute will be moving its operations elsewhere after the fall term. OLLI is in negotiations with the United Christian Parish church located on North Shore Drive and is also actively discussing alternatives with the Reston Community Center at the Hunters Woods and Lake Anne locations.

Outgoing Treasurer Dave Mason advised that OLLI finances are in excellent condition. The Board approved using up to $800 in Friends of OLLI funds to print the 2012 editions of OLLI Ink and Poets of OLLI.
The Board approved Rod Zumbro’s proposal to improve transparency by adding the executive director’s report and the committee report summary to the email message now containing the meeting agenda and proposed resolutions, which is sent to the membership before each Board meeting. After considerable discussion of Paul Howard’s proposal to expand the type and amount of biographical “publicity” materials that Board candidates may submit, the Board approved a replacement proposal that specifically allows a candidate to include web links, if desired, in the candidate biography.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 20 at 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend this meeting. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, April 20, 2012 at Loudoun. The Board unanimously approved a proposal to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to review various proposed changes to the Bylaws; President Manny Pablo appointed Ben Gold as chair. Treasurer Dave Mason said that OLLI finances were sound and that we are presently running a budget surplus. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that he has been providing additional information in response to queries from the Osher Foundation in support of our request for additional funding, but thus far has not received any definitive response.

     University Liaison Pat Carroll reported on a recent meeting at Mason between OLLI’s president and executive director and the university provost, chief of staff, and VP for Facilities. Mason facilities leadership now feels that it would not be appropriate to build a large parking lot on the property to the rear of Tallwood or to do major reconfiguration of the property. Therefore, we will be discussing other alternatives for classroom space with accessible parking to supplement what we have at Tallwood. There are no plans to move us in the foreseeable future, but everyone agreed that OLLI currently has significant parking and space issues that need to be addressed soon.

There will be no Board meeting in May due to Board elections. The new Board of continuing directors and newly elected directors will meet on Friday, June 1 at Tallwood to elect OLLI officers for the upcoming year and conduct any other necessary business. All OLLI members are invited to attend this meeting. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met Friday, March 16, 2012 at Tallwood. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI now has 1,008 members. Having met the criterion of more than 1,000 members, OLLI will prepare a request to the Osher Foundation for an additional endowment. (Note: The Osher Foundation has provided four separate grants to OLLI, totaling $275,000, and has also awarded a one-million-dollar endowment to OLLI.)
Thom announced the trial of a new approach for heavily subscribed courses that cannot practically be moved off site: the spring “Theodore Roosevelt Era” course (F305) is being held in TA-1 and simultaneously streamed via Skype to additional members located in TA-2.
Treasurer Dave Mason advised that OLLI “finances continue to remain sound.”
The Board discussed and approved the majority of changes recommended by the ad hoc committee that had reviewed the Bylaws and the Board Handbook. One change concerned petition candidates for Board elections, who now will require the support of five percent of the membership (previously, one percent) but no longer have to meet any specific qualifications. Two proposals to change the Bylaws were submitted; after discussion, they were tabled.
The Board voted in favor of having candidates in the May election give speeches at Loudoun on Friday, April 20 in addition to their scheduled “meet the candidates” speeches during the Annual Membership Meeting at 10:00 on Friday, May 4 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to our Loudoun site at 10:00 on Friday, April 20 to hear candidates speak and stay for the Board meeting, being held at Loudoun next month. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met Friday, February 17, 2012 at Tallwood. President Manny Pablo announced that the April meeting of the Board (on Friday, April 20), will be held at the Loudoun site. There will be no Board meeting in May due to the election of Board members that month, and the first meeting of the new Board will be on Friday, June 1 to elect OLLI officers for the next 12 months and to conduct normal business. Manny also announced his appointment of Ted Parker to co-chair (with Valerie Braybrooke) the Strategic Planning Committee.
Executive Director Thom Clement advised that OLLI has 989 members. He reported that our architectural and engineering firm has recommended a two-phase development plan for the Tallwood site: The first phase would provide additional parking areas to the rear of the property, which would require clearing of the woods and site engineering; and the second phase would provide a two-story building in the area where the old Tallwood House existed and the current bathroom building is situated. Thom announced that the annual OLLI Teacher Appreciation Reception will be held at the Grand Tier III of the Mason Center for the Arts on Friday, April 20, from 3:30 to 5:00. All OLLI speakers and instructors as well as members involved in our program development are invited to join the Board of Directors and Mason leadership for this event.
Treasurer Dave Mason reported that OLLI is in good shape financially.
The Board approved the allocation of $4,774 in Friends of OLLI funds for the acquisition of (1) a speakerphone system that would allow telephonic participation in meetings or by a speaker or instructor during a class presentation; and (2) four laptops with accessories and software for classes in the Tallwood cottage.
The Board also approved two proposals by the treasurer: (1) the merger of the Rainy Day Fund and the Future Contingency Fund into a single OLLI Reserve Fund that will function as the OLLI segregated financial reserve; and (2) the establishment of budgetary procedures for managing capital equipment and technology replacement on a multi-year basis.
The next meeting of the Board will be at 10:00 on Friday, March 16 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met Friday, January 20, 2012 at Tallwood. Executive Director Thom Clement advised that OLLI has 983 members, with membership expected to exceed 1,000 during 2012. He noted that work is underway to make the online registration system more user-friendly and accessible (any suggestions should be sent to him); target date for implementation is August 2012. Thom discussed the final 2011 budget report, which shows total funding of $383,613 and total expenses of $372,967 – the surplus of $10,647 will be carried forward as part of working capital. Treasurer Dave Mason reported that “OLLI is in very sound financial condition as we go forward.”
The Board approved providing a total of $14,500 in Friends of OLLI funds to various Mason departments for their awarding of 2012 OLLI scholarships to deserving Mason students. This annual tradition shows OLLI appreciation to individual Mason departments for their efforts in encouraging faculty to teach at OLLI.
The Board changed the name of the Public Relations Committee to the Outreach Committee at the request of the chair, Dave Ryan.
There was considerable discussion about the many changes to the Board Handbook proposed by Gordon Canyock, chair of the ad hoc committee established six months ago to review the Bylaws and handbook, and about whether or not any change to the bylaws is appropriate. Further discussion was tabled until the next meeting of the Board.
The Board approved providing $1,500 in Friends of OLLI funds to the 2012 Fall for the Book Festival; this is a $500 increase over the amount provided last year and reflects the very substantial support to OLLI provided by the festival.
The next meeting of the Board will be at 10:00 on Friday, February 17 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met Friday, November 18, 2011 at Tallwood. In his written report to the Board, Executive Director Thom Clement noted that the architectural and engineering firm with which OLLI has contracted is working on the second draft of OLLI facility needs, based on interviews with OLLI reps and analysis of our registration data. We are emphasizing our interest in facilities that could be used not only by OLLI but also by the University during afternoons and evenings (the hope is that the University might help fund facility improvements). The firm’s final report is expected to include options for improvements to Tallwood as well as plans for new facilities on a different site.
Board members discussed the treasurer’s resolution for a $10 dues increase to $360 annually, beginning with the spring 2012 term. By a 13-to-3 vote, the Board approved the dues increase – the first increase in five years, since spring 2007.
The Board then voted unanimously to approve the budget prepared by the executive director and recommended by the Finance Committee. The budget’s projected 2012 expenditures total $405,000 (7.3 percent above the 2011 level) – including money for reprogramming the registration system, setting aside money for capital expenditures, and less than 3 percent increase in payroll expenses (the single largest budget category, at $217,000). Other major categories are general/administrative ($72,000), facilities ($42,000) and equipment ($30,000). Based on the membership growth assumption of 1,026 members by the end of 2012, there should be a small budget surplus for 2012; without the dues increase, a deficit would have been expected.
The next meeting of the Board will be at 10:00 on Friday, January 20, 2012 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met Friday, October 21, 2011 at Tallwood. This was Nancy Scheeler’s first meeting as a director; she was appointed to replace Imogene Willis, who resigned due to health problems.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI now has 990 members – a new high – and distributed an interesting chart showing membership numbers by community. For example, the three largest communities were Fairfax/Fairfax Station (250 members), Reston (142 members) and Springfield (85); click here to view the chart (pdf).
Recently Thom, President Manny Pablo and University Liaison Pat Carroll met with the University provost, chief of staff and executive vice president for a semiannual update. The University officials expressed willingness to consider assistance with our Tallwood improvements and indicated that there are currently no alternative plans for the Tallwood property – which means OLLI can plan on staying there for at least the next five or six years.
After nine months of 2011, our income is slightly higher than projected, and our expenditures are slightly lower than projected. Treasurer Dave Mason introduced his resolution for a dues increase of $10 to $360/year, effective spring 2012. After considerable discussion, the Board decided to defer voting on this resolution until the next Board meeting, which will be at Tallwood on Friday, November 18 at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORSmet Friday, September 16, 2011 at Tallwood (the Board did not meet in August). The Board approved President Manny Pablo’s appointment of Wendy Campbell to fill the vacancy on the Board; Wendy then joined the Board and will serve as director until June 2012 (our Organization page has photos and profiles/bios of all Board members).
There was brief discussion of a recent Executive Committee decision taken in early September to donate $1,000 from Friends of OLLI funds to the Dr. Linda Apple Monson Music Endowment Fund with the understanding that this amount would be deducted from our 2012 scholarship funds for Mason’s School of Music. Our $1,000 donation is expected to be matched by an equal amount from other private gifts.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI has 972 members. Through August, $24,174 has been donated this year to Friends of OLLI (used for items such as classroom enhancements and scholarships to deserving students in Mason departments supporting the OLLI program). Thom noted that this included $7,500 recently donated to the Lilyan and Abe Spero Memorial Fund, of which $5,000 came from the estate of the late Lilyan Spero, OLLI Founding Member and third president. Friends of OLLI has a balance of $18,430 after obligations.
Treasurer Dave Mason reported that OLLI is in “pretty good shape financially” at present but that 2012 will be a “tight year” and a dues increase may be needed to avoid a risky drawdown in working capital; the current thinking is for a $10 dues increase to $360. The Finance Committee will be meeting soon to finalize the proposed 2012 budget for presentation to the Board at the October 21 meeting (10:00, Tallwood). All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET FRIDAY,July 29, 2011 at Tallwood. Vice President Stan Schretter, presiding in the president’s absence, announced the president’s appointment of Martha Scanlon as chair of the Member Services Committee. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI now has 964 members and that although we are nearing our annual low point for working cash, we are in position to comfortably pay our bills until fresh income arrives with fall registration beginning mid-August. Treasurer Dave Mason reported that OLLI finances are in very good condition.
The Board approved the treasurer’s resolution that provides budget assumptions and guidance for the development of the OLLI budget for 2012, which will be proposed to the Board in the fall. The item in the original resolution specifically stating that 2012 dues will need to be increased to $360 beginning fall 2012 was deleted, although the membership should be aware of this possibility.
Before OLLI can consider moving forward with possible expansion of the Tallwood facility and parking, an engineering study is required. Thus, the Board authorized the executive director to use up to $30,000 from working capital to fund such a study by the GMU architect (expectations are that no more than $20,000 – perhaps less – will be required).
The Board also approved the establishment of an ad hoc committee to review the Bylaws and the Board Handbook, neither of which has been thoroughly reviewed for several years. Subsequent to the meeting, the president appointed Gordon Canyock to chair the committee. Back


THE NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET FRIDAY, June 10, 2011 at Tallwood for its first meeting after the May election. As reported last week, Manuel Pablo and Janet Cochran were re-elected as president and secretary, respectively. Stan Schretter was elected as vice president, and David Mason was appointed to remain as treasurer.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI now has 955 members (96 are Loudoun-only) – down from 986 at the end of the spring term. Thom informed the Board that the rough estimate by Mason architects for work to reconfigure the Tallwood site to allow more convenient parking and improved accessibility has doubled to $120,000 (the estimate given at May’s annual membership meeting was $60,000). The Board asked Thom to find out how much it would cost for OLLI to obtain a more accurate cost figure based on detailed drawings.
After considerable discussion about holding occasional Board meetings at Reston and Loudoun, the Board informally agreed to leave the matter up to the president. Following discussion, the Board tabled a substitute resolution to recognize a longtime instructor pending the development of criteria for Board recognition of instructors. It was announced that Garrett Cochran has been appointed to chair the Facilities Committee. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET FRIDAY, April 8, 2011 at Tallwood for its last scheduled meeting until the new Board meets in June. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that for the first quarter of 2011, income from memberships is five percent above projections, with expenditures almost exactly equal to projections. OLLI now has 980 members (96 are Loudoun-only). The Osher Foundation recently told Thom that OLLI could apply for possible additional funding when OLLI reaches 1,000 members.
     Mason architects have estimated that for approximately $60,000, the back of Tallwood campus could be reconfigured to provide additional parking; this would involve relocating one or both of our modular buildings, TA-2 and TA-3. There is also the possibility of acquiring an additional modular building from Mason. Funding for any such effort could potentially come from a future Osher grant, OLLI’s Rainy Day Fund ($50,000) and/or OLLI’s Future Contingency Fund ($16,750).
Thom advised that Carole Richard has been working in a new volunteer position as program liaison for Reston and Loudoun – helping to facilitate programming among all three OLLI sites.
OLLI is planning a monetary gift to the University to commemorate OLLI’s 20th anniversary this year. Options considered were: (1) a gift to Mason’s Early Identification Program, briefed to the Board in February; (2) an unrestricted gift to the University for its discretionary use; and (3) a gift to Mason’s Office of Military Services to aid military veterans attending the University under the post-9/11 GI Bill. After deliberations, the Board authorized the Development Committee to proceed with a fund-raising campaign whose goal would be a gift of $20,000 to the Office of Military Services.
The Board also approved $1,006 from the Friends of OLLI Fund for acquisition of a portable public-address system for use on OLLI bus tours.
No Board meeting is scheduled for May because Board elections will be underway then. The Board normally meets to elect officers in June. All OLLI members are welcome to attend Board meetings. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS METfor its regular monthly meeting at 1:00 on Friday, March 18, 2011 at the Fairfax County Government Center, after a morning Board retreat on OLLI dues/Loudoun attended by all directors, the executive director, former presidents Jan Dewire, Ray Beery, Bob Bohall, Charles Duggan, Debbie Halverson and Emmett Fenlon, and former treasurer Gordon Canyock.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI now has 969 members – 873 full members and 96 Loudoun-only members. Treasurer Dave Mason advised that OLLI is in good financial condition.
Friends of OLLI had $7,989 in unobligated funds as of the end of February. The Board approved two resolutions that will use some of these funds: (1) $2,849 for the installation of permanent speakers in the ceiling of Loudoun classroom 232 to improve amplification of instructor voices in this classroom, and (2) $1,000 in support of Fall for the Book.
The Board approved resolutions on dues/Loudoun as explained in the president’s message of March 19 (see “OLLI for One“).
The next Board meeting will be held at 10:00 on Friday, April 8 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS METon Friday, February 18 at Tallwood. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI now has 954 members – 853 full members and 101 Loudoun-only members. Treasurer Dave Mason advised that OLLI is in good financial shape.
Thom notified directors—to their dismay—that Tallwood Administrator/OLLI Registrar Maria Buczek has reluctantly decided to resign to have more time for other commitments. Maria is expected to leave OLLI by the beginning of the spring term, and Thom is in the process of hiring a replacement.
Friends of OLLI had $6,206 in unobligated funds as of the end of January. Two resolutions that would use some of these funds were discussed. A resolution was introduced to donate $1,000 in support of Fall for the Book (OLLI has done this during each of the previous two years). Audiovisual Support Committee Chair Paul Howard presented a resolution to allocate $2,849 for the installation of permanent speakers in the ceiling of Loudoun classroom 232 to improve amplification of instructor voices in this classroom. Both resolutions were tabled until the next Board meeting.
The Board is considering an appropriate way for OLLI to commemorate this year’s 20th anniversary of the founding of our Institute. One idea, presented to the Board by former president Jan Dewire and member Helen Ackerman, was a monetary gift raised by member donations to Mason’s Early Identification Program – the University’s college-access program, which supports the academic, career, and personal/social development of first-generation college-bound students in Northern Virginia (click to view pdf pamphlet). OLLI members who have other ideas on how best to commemorate our 20th anniversary should email Jan Dewire.
The next Board meeting will be held Friday afternoon, March 18 at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax – following a Board retreat to address membership/dues options (Loudoun, etc.) that morning. All OLLI members are invited to attend the Board meeting. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET on Friday, January 21, 2011 at Tallwood. The Board approved President Manuel Pablo’s appointment of Board member Dick Young as chair of the 2011 Nominating Committee; Dick will appoint members of the committee, which will be responsible for selection of Board candidates and the May election to fill the six expiring Board terms.
Executive Director Thom Clement gave the end-of-the-year financial report: total income was almost 8 percent above projections, and total expenditures slightly exceeded projections. OLLI currently has 950 members (98 are Loudoun-only members). Treasurer Dave Mason reported that OLLI is in good financial condition and expects to have 1,000 members by this time next year; he hopes full-membership dues can be kept at $350 for 2012.
Thom advised of the dates of the following events:

  • Friday, March 18 – morning Board Retreat to address membership/dues options (Loudoun, etc.), followed by an afternoon Board Meeting open to all OLLI members, both at the Fairfax County Government Center, Fairfax
  • Wednesday, April 6 – Teacher Appreciation Reception, 3:30-5:00, Mason Center for the Arts, Grand Tier III
  • Week of April 18-22 – Spring Break (one week off during middle of spring term)
  • Friday, May 6 – Annual Membership Meeting and Picnic, Tallwood
  • Tuesday, July 26 – Grand Camp 2011, Tallwood

Friends of OLLI now has $20,658 in unobligated funds. Each year at this time, the Board decides on allocations from Friends of OLLI to give to Mason departments for their selection of deserving Mason students in their departments to receive OLLI scholarships (awarded at the Teacher Appreciation Reception). We award these in appreciation of the enormous contribution to OLLI of these Mason departments, whose professors and instructors voluntarily teach at OLLI without any compensation from us. The Board voted to allocate $15,000 to selected Mason departments: $12,000 for scholarships to 11 departments recommended by the Program Committee; and $1,000 – not for scholarships – to the University Libraries in appreciation of their contribution to OLLI. The balance will be allocated at a later time for use by to-be-selected Mason departments. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET AT LOUDOUN on Friday, November 12, 2010. More than 30 OLLI members were in attendance. President Manuel Pablo moderated the meeting, during which many attendees expressed their views about the dues level for Loudoun members and alternative OLLI membership options with different dues structures.
To resolve the immediate matter of Loudoun dues for 2011, the Board postponed discussion of several resolutions, including a proposal for three different OLLI membership options/dues structures. OLLI membership options and dues structures will be discussed during a 2011 Board retreat.

     Loudoun-only dues. After considerable debate, the Board rescinded its October decision that raised Loudoun-only membership dues from $150 to $250 in 2011 and, in its place, the Board approved Loudoun-only dues of $200 for 2011 … specifically “for those OLLI members (eligible members): who are Loudoun County residents (with a Loudoun County ZIP Code) at the time of their 2011 annual registration (includes current OLLI members or new OLLI members) or who paid Loudoun only dues for their 2010 annual registration in any 2010 term, regardless of their address.” The resolution does not address the level of Loudoun dues beyond 2011.

There will be no Board meeting in December. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 21 at 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2010 at Tallwood. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that we now have 964 members (865 full members and 99 Loudoun-only members) and that funding is about 7% higher than projected, with overall expenses about 8% less than projected.

     Loudoun-related proposals. There was considerable discussion concerning the Loudoun membership/dues proposal, with non-Board members in attendance also offering comments. The Board passed an amended resolution that retains the Loudoun-only membership category and raises Loudoun-only membership dues to $250 starting with the winter 2011 term registration. Specifically, the $250 dues level applies to OLLI members who are Loudoun County residents (i.e., Loudoun County ZIP Code) at the time of their 2011 annual registration (includes current OLLI members and new OLLI members) or members who paid Loudoun-only dues for their 2010 annual registration in any 2010 term, regardless of their address.
A second resolution proposed establishing a committee to look at enhanced program and staff support for Loudoun and Reston. Due to concerns about required changes in the text of the resolution and whether or not the resolution is even necessary given efforts already underway by OLLI resource groups, the resolution was tabled. The Board passed a resolution approving the acquisition of a piano for the Loudoun campus using up to $6,500 of Friends of OLLI funds.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, November 19, at 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET on Friday, September 17, 2010 at Tallwood. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that we now have 938 members, including 94 new ones. Both numbers are likely to increase as late registration requests continue to be processed. He also reported that Mason has signed a three-year extension on its lease for the building in Loudoun where OLLI holds classes.
The Board discussed five resolutions from the Finance Committee regarding next year’s budget, approving four unanimously:

  1. Budget Assumptions and Guidance, including guidance that all members should pay the same full dues by 2012 and that payroll increases for 2011 should not exceed 5%.
  2. 2011 Budget, pending any modifications that arise between now and November (expenditures were set at $375,408, or about a 2.5% increase over 2010).
  3. Full membership dues to remain at $350 in 2011 with the budget balanced by using up to $18,000 in Working Capital. (We anticipate ending 2010 with sufficient cash to cover this shortfall).
  4. A Capital Equipment Replacement Fund was established, to be managed within Working Capital.

The fifth resolution, pertaining to Loudoun-member dues, was tabled for further discussion at the October meeting. Essentially, the proposal is to charge members with a Loudoun home address dues of $250 in 2011 and at the same time, to terminate Loudoun-only membership, giving Loudoun residents full membership privileges. The resolution also provides for raising those dues to full parity with Reston and Tallwood effective in 2012.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 15, at 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010 at Tallwood. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that we now have 915 members (828 full members and 87 Loudoun-only members). Thom advised the Board of class schedule changes to be instituted at Loudoun on a trial basis beginning with the upcoming winter term to allow more time before and after the mid-day session for travel and for lunch. The trial schedule will be: first class, 10:00 – 11:15 (75 min.); second class, 12:15 – 1:30 (75 min.); and third class, 2:30 – 3:30 (60 min.).
Thom also advised that on a trial basis, there will be a one-week break in the middle of OLLI’s spring 2011 term. That term will run for four weeks, March 21 – April 15, followed by a one-week break, and then the second four weeks, April 25 – May 20.
The Board approved Audiovisual Support Committee Chair Paul Howard’s proposal to allocate $6,884 from Friends of OLLI for audiovisual enhancements at Tallwood and Reston.

     There was considerable discussion concerning a proposal from Director Suzy Jampoler, Loudoun Coordinator, for the Finance Committee to study the current dues structure with the goal of eliminating the difference in dues between full members and Loudoun-only members; her proposal included consideration of a possible single annual membership fee for all OLLI members that would cover a fixed number of classes plus a per-course fee for additional courses. Key concerns about a per-course option included difficulty in monitoring and enforcement at the classroom, breakdown in the collegial OLLI membership culture, and greater uncertainty in estimating annual revenue. The resolution was not approved by the Board.

The Board will not meet in August; the next meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 17, at 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010 at Tallwood. As reported in last week’s OLLI E-News, the Board elected officers for the next 12 months: Manuel Pablo as president, Kathie West as vice president, David Mason as treasurer and Janet Cochran as secretary.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI is in good financial shape and that we now have 902 members (800 full members, 13 introductory members and 89 Loudoun-only members). On Wednesday, June 9, about 130 people from Mason departments that support OLLI came to Tallwood for what has become an annual event, our GMU Support Staff Luncheon; this event generates good will for our Institute. OLLI will hold its first Grand Camp on Monday, July 26; 59 people have registered so far (33 kids, 26 OLLI members).
In new business, the Board tabled the consideration of a proposal to allocate $6,884 from Friends of OLLI for audiovisual enhancements until the next Board meeting. The Board approved mid-year budget adjustments recommended by the executive director and the Finance Committee; these adjustments reflect more accurate estimates of expected income and also allow for increased expenses in needed areas, to be funded by the greater-than-customary working cash now available.
The Board also approved revised mission and responsibilities statements for all 10 current standing committees, including new and renamed committees (Member Services, Public Relations, Strategic Planning).
During the public comments time, OLLI member Bob Graham made some brief remarks and passed out a two-page memo with suggestions and points to consider.
The Board is scheduled to meet at Tallwood on Friday, July 9, at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010 at Tallwood for its last scheduled Board meeting until June (due to May elections), when the new Board will meet and elect officers for the next 12 months. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI is in good financial shape and that we now have 902 members (813 full members and 89 Loudoun-only members).
The Board approved the allocation of $6,294 from working capital cash for additional gravel parking of 8-10 spaces adjacent to current gravel spaces at Tallwood. The Board also approved a donation of $1,000 from Friends of OLLI funds to support the 2010 Fall for the Book Festival.
The Board heard recommendations from the Task Force on Organization concerning committee structure and approved the following changes–

  • A new Public Relations Committee was established to focus on external communications, especially recruitment of new members and increased visibility of the Institute.
  • The Membership Committee was renamed the Member Services Committee, which will focus on creating and maintaining a welcoming environment and social activities for current members and on coordinating and recognizing volunteer activity at all campuses. There would be subcommittees for Hospitality and for Campus Volunteer Coordination.
  • The Planning Committee was renamed the Strategic Planning Committee and would focus on long-range planning for the Institute, to include functions of the current Program Review Committee, which was disestablished.

The Board is scheduled to meet at Tallwood on Friday, June 11, at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2010 at the OLLI/Loudoun site. Thirteen non-Board OLLI members attended. Executive Director Thom Clement reported that OLLI is in good financial shape, with revenues higher than projected and expenses less than anticipated, and that we now have 891 members, including 81 Loudoun-only members.
Dr. Jerry Coughter, Mason’s executive officer for Loudoun Site Administration, presented the plans for relocation and expansion of the Loudoun campus. It is possible that there will be an interim re-location from Mason’s current Sterling site to a leased building at another Loudoun location in 2011, and there may be a follow-on move to a new 37-acre campus south of the Dulles Greenway at exit 6 (approximately five miles west of our current site).
A resolution to decrease the size of the Board from 18 to 15 directors was voted down. A resolution for about $10,000 worth of audiovisual equipment to upgrade and enhance OLLI resources was approved.
The Board is scheduled to meet at Tallwood on Friday, April 16, at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010. President Emmett Fenlon announced that he had delayed the appointment of directors to fill the two current vacancies pending the Board’s decision about a possible proposed change in Board size. Executive Director Thom Clement discussed his report to the Board, including the following–

  • We have received the $25,000 gift from the Osher Foundation; $15,000 has been placed in a Future Contingency Fund, and $10,000 is listed as income in our operating fund.
  • In January, income from memberships was significantly more than projected and expenses slightly less.
  • Friends of OLLI has $7,890 in unobligated funds ($12,000 for scholarships to Mason students has been sent to the University).
  • Total number of members is 892, including 82 Loudoun-only members; there were 53 new members for the winter term, including 14 introductory-rate members, who were offered a reduction in the regular rate for continuing for three more terms because of the winter-term snow problems (missed days on Feb 3, 5, week of Feb 8-12, and Feb 15).
  • The online voting test was successful with 219 members voting.
  • “Grand Camp” will be held on Jul 26, the first Monday after the summer term ends, with six activity slots in the morning and six more slots in the afternoon; volunteers will be needed to help with registration and preparation of lunch and snacks.
  • The University informed us that Sunrise has emerged from bankruptcy and is once again interested in pursuing a University-based Retirement Community (UBRC) project with George Mason (the project may be similar to the previous plan that included space for OLLI or a completely different plan). The University, at present, has no specific plans for the Tallwood property and advised us to proceed with our program and planning as usual, since the UBRC project may or may not materialize.
  • The Annual Membership Meeting with candidates’ speeches and possible picnic/Silent Auction will be held on Friday, April 30. The Board decided that the “meet the candidates” meeting on Fri, Apr 23, would be held at Loudoun this year.

The Task Force on Organization had proposed a resolution to reduce the size of the Board (currently 18 directors), recommending a bylaws change to specify a Board size of between 12 and 18 directors as decided by the Board at any given time. After much discussion, the Board decided to table the motion until its next meeting to give directors time to consider and discuss this major change, which would be subject to membership approval.
I had proposed a resolution to reserve the social room annex exclusively for members’ social use during times when classes are being held at Tallwood. After some discussion, the Board provided guidance that no classes should be scheduled in the annex during the middle class period (currently 11:45 to 1:15).
Next month the Board will meet at Loudoun (Friday, March 19, at 10:30). All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010. President Emmett Fenlon announced the appointment of Jack Underhill, current OLLI secretary, as chair of the Nominating Committee for the 2010 Board elections. The plan is to offer an option for electronic voting by members in the May 2010 elections, and toward that end Executive Director Thom Clement advised that there will be a membership test of the voting software soon. Thom also reviewed financial and operating information, including the following–

  • In 2009, our actual income exceeded our actual expenses by $40,032.
  • Working cash in the bank ended the year at $128,130 (up from $98,318).
  • Friends of OLLI has $17,310 in unobligated funds.
  • Total number of members is 893 as of the end of the fall term.
  • Beth Baroody has been hired as the Reston site assistant, replacing Ann Youngren.
  • The two task forces, one on organization and the other on program, will hold their first meetings during the week of January 18.
  • Plans for a “Grand Camp” this summer are proceeding, with an initial meeting to be held on February 17.

The Board voted to allocate $12,000 from Friends of OLLI funds for scholarships to deserving Mason students. Directors approved giving $1,000 to each of the following 12 Mason departments: History/Art History, Economics, English, Theater, Music, Molecular/Microbiology, Environmental Science/Public Policy, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Philosophy, School of Public Policy, Psychology, and Education and Human Development. Departments will select scholarship recipients. OLLI has traditionally done this each year in gratitude for instructor support provided to OLLI by Mason departments.
Next month the Board will meet at Tallwood (Friday, February 19, at 10:00), but for future planning, the Board will hold its March meeting at the OLLI-Loudoun site (10:30 on Friday, March 19). All OLLI members are invited to attend meetings of the Board. Back


THE BOARD MET FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20,2009 in its regular monthly meeting; some 11 interested OLLI members also attended, more than usual. President Emmett Fenlon announced his appointment of Board member Carole Richard to chair the newly re-established Facilities Committee. Executive Director Thom Clement reviewed his report to the Board, which included the following information of interest to members–

  • Income is more than projected and expenses are less than projected this year, so a surplus of $18,000 is expected (as a result of conservative planning estimates and cautious management).
  • Friends of OLLI has $14,500 in unobligated funds (more members than usual have generously contributed during recent months, but the average contribution amount is less than in the past).
  • There are 893 total members, including 775 full members, 80 Loudoun-only members and 38 introductory-rate full members (who pay $150 for a one-term trial period, unlimited courses at all three locations, and can continue their membership for the next three terms for $250).
  • Members have started volunteering to help staff the Program and Organization Task Forces and the Facilities Committee in response to the recent newsletter article asking for “visionary volunteers.”

There was concern about possible restrictions on our use of the $25,000 Osher gift, but Thom explained that the gift is essentially unrestricted and represents another source of funds that can be used for OLLI’s normal budget items. Thom and Treasurer Dave Mason spoke about the proposed 2010 budget, its assumptions, and likely scenarios with and without a dues increase if OLLI membership numbers in 2010 are different than the budget’s current assumption of 785 full members. After considerable discussion and debate from directors and also attending OLLI members about whether or not to increase dues by $10 in 2010, the Board voted to keep dues unchanged at $350 for full members and $150 for Loudoun-only members.
The Board voted to establish a Future Fund to “address financial needs for the expansion of OLLI’s program, facility requirements, and other currently unanticipated needs” — to be financed with an initial allocation of $15,000 from the Osher gift. The Board then voted to approve the 2010 budget. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2009. Executive Director Thom Clement and Treasurer David Mason presented and discussed the draft budget for calendar year 2010, which includes a recommended increase in full-membership dues from $350 to $365. The Board voted to increase dues to $365 starting with the winter term (begins January 25, 2010). This vote represents guidance for the final 2010 budget, which will be presented to the membership at the November 6 town meeting and to the Board, for official approval, at its November 20 meeting.
Planning Committee Chair Valerie Braybrooke made a presentation on Pathways to the Future, a report to the Board that summarizes OLLI’s current situation and recommends short-term and strategic actions in five areas (membership, program, facilities, finances and organization). Pathways will be the basis for an off-site Board retreat on October 23. OLLI members are welcome to read Pathways (click to view pdf document) and, if desired, contact OLLI with their views.
After considerable discussion concerning Loudoun, the Board approved a resolution to formally accept the Loudoun program as an “integral and permanent part” of OLLI. Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS METon Fri, Jul 17, 2009 (Note: No Board meeting was held in August 2009), and approved President Emmett Fenlon’s appointment of Loudoun Coordinator Suzy Jampoler to fill the vacant position on the Board; Suzy’s first term as director will expire June 2011 (read her bio on our Organization page).
After a discussion about governance vs. operational/administrative policy issues, the Board agreed that certain operational/administrative matters were properly under the purview of the executive director. Recent administrative decisions follow.

  • Installment Payment Plan. Beginning with the fall 2009 term, members will have the option of paying their annual dues in 12 monthly installments via credit/debit card (details in Thom’s article above).
  • Selected courses available to Loudoun-only members. Loudoun-only members will have the option to take two specific fall courses at Reston for an additional per-course fee. The executive director may determine other specific courses at Tallwood or Reston that would benefit from extending their eligibility to Loudoun-only members and the specific fees that would apply to such courses.
  • Opening undersubscribed bus trips. The executive director may open undersubscribed bus trips to Loudoun-only members and to family and friends of OLLI members and to set the specific fees for such trips.
  • OLLI social functions and clubs/groups. All OLLI members are entitled to attend OLLI social functions and clubs/groups that meet at Tallwood, Reston and Loudoun.


     Treasurer David Mason discussed the upcoming 2010 budget to be formulated soon and then approved by the Board this fall. One concern is a sharply reduced payout expected next year from the Osher Endowment ($35,000 rather than $50,000) because the endowment value has decreased by about 25 percent. The Board approved detailed budget assumptions to be used in developing the 2010 budget, including the following.

  • Annual dues for full members will not increase by more than 5 percent.
  • Annual dues for Loudoun-only members starting in the spring 2010 term will not increase to more than $165.

Executive Director Thom Clement updated the Board on membership numbers: currently there are 872 members (762 full, 110 Loudoun-only) compared with 783 [full] members a year ago. Thom also noted that the unobligated balance of the Friends of OLLI fund — used for classroom enhancements and scholarships to deserving Mason students — is less than $3,000 (see article below about Friends of OLLI). Back


THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS METon Tue, Jun 9, 2009. This was the first meeting of the newly constituted Board, now with four newly elected directors (Paul Howard, Carole Richard, Dick Young, and also David Mason, who had been serving as an appointed director), two re-elected directors and 11 other directors (one position is currently vacant, to be appointed by the new president subject to Board approval). Twelve directors were present for Tuesday’s meeting.
The Board elected Emmett Fenlon as president, Manuel Pablo as vice president, David Mason as treasurer, and Jack Underhill as secretary, with each term of office to run for one year.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that financials through the end of April are satisfactory, with more income and lower expenses than projected. As of Jun 9, we have 859 members (749 full, 110 Loudoun-only) compared to 768 in June of 2008. OLLI member Suzy Jampoler is now the Loudoun Coordinator, with similar responsibilities for that site as Reston Coordinator Al Roe has for Reston.
This year’s Silent Auction brought in $6,882 for Friends of OLLI. As of May 31, there is an unobligated balance of $10,341 in Friends of OLLI funds. The Board approved a resolution allocating $7,964 from Friends of OLLI funds for audiovisual upgrades and enhancements, primarily at Reston, with priority and timing of actions to be jointly determined by the executive director and the Audiovisual Support Committee chair.
The Board also approved $3,000 to be added to the 2009 facilities budget line item for construction and improvements to the attic of the Smallwood (the building that houses the four restrooms) for use as storage for OLLI materials and equipment.
The next Board meeting will be on Fri, Jul 17, at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET AT 10:00 ON FRI, APR 17, 2009. Kathie West explained the new system of bidding for the Silent Auction: each member will be given a number, and members will use their assigned numbers to bid rather than their names.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that a classroom technical assistant has been hired part time to help manage set-up of classrooms at Reston. OLLI now has 769 full members and 106 Loudoun-only members, compared to 762 members in April 2008. Loudoun has 16 courses this term, with 25 courses planned for the summer term and an active program planning committee with 20 additional volunteers helping out in various areas.
The contract with the Washington Plaza Baptist Church, site of OLLI’s Reston classes, is being renegotiated by Thom Clement; the new contract is expected to allow use of the sanctuary and an additional half day per week with four additional open houses or special events per year. Thom has authority to make contracts for OLLI but was given “sense of the Board” approval to proceed with terms he explained to the Board.
The Treasurer, not present, noted in writing that OLLI finances are sound and there are no pending financial concerns.
There was discussion about the Board’s previous approval to proceed with electronic voting starting with the Board elections in 2010. The executive director was given “sense of the Board” approval to proceed with software development for electronic voting, including voting on bylaws changes, but not for conducting surveys.
Two resolutions were proposed and passed that authorize money from Friends of OLLI funds. One resolution was for $1,000 by the Landscaping Committee for a retaining wall adjacent to the Picnic Terrace; the wall will contain a small bed to hold plants that will screen the Terrace from the street and, with capstones, will serve as extra seating for up to a dozen people. The second resolution was for $3,000 to purchase powered speakers, a mixer, and additional head-worn microphones with transmitters/receivers; these will enhance the quality of sound amplification at our off-site locations for panel presentations and for outdoor presentations.
The Board does not normally meet in May due to the election of new directors. The next regular meeting will be in June, when the Board, with newly elected directors, will meet to elect officers for the June 2009-June 2010 term. Back


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRI, MAR 20, 2009.Executive Director Thom Clement reported that we now have 863 members (761 full members and 102 Loudoun-only members). There were 32 new members for the spring term – 14 full members ($350/year), 2 Loudoun-only members ($125/year), and 16 who joined at the introductory rate ($150 for the spring term only).
     Thom had met with the developer of our online registration system to discuss improvements, including some suggestions from members received via email and in a late February meeting. Changes are being made in the appearance and functioning of the system, including sending out final course confirmations via email rather than first-class letter and providing a “calendar” view of course selections. The developer will also be working on a system for electronic voting for board candidates and by-laws changes, starting no earlier than May 2010.
The annual Teacher Appreciation Reception will be held at the Center for the Arts on Fri, Apr 17, from 3:30-5:30. This is an invitation-only event; invitations will be sent to, among others, all OLLI instructors for the summer 2008 through spring 2009 terms and Friends of OLLI in the Benefactor and Patron categories.
Since Friends of OLLI donations are low, Thom delayed the order for reupholstering of additional chairs. The Treasurer reported in a written report that OLLI finances are sound, and there are no pending financial concerns.
A proposed by-laws change was introduced that would establish two classes of membership, one of “full” members (paying full dues, now $350, entitled to attend classes at all sites), another of “limited” members (paying less than full dues or an amount for less than a year), and only full members would be allowed to vote. After considerable debate, the proposal was rejected by the majority of those voting.
A resolution was introduced to establish a “working capital fund” to cover potential temporary shortages in OLLI’s operating cash. After lengthy discussion the resolution was amended and approved as follows: The Executive Director, with the concurrence of the President and Treasurer, is authorized to use up to $10,000 of monies from the “Rainy Day Fund” as a “temporary working capital reserve.” Any “Rainy Day Fund” monies so used shall be replenished within 90 days by monies from semester fees. The Executive Director shall report to the Board both the use and the replenishment of monies from the “Rainy Day Fund.”
Finally, in a “sense of the Board” vote, the Board voted to have one board meeting per year at the Reston and Loudoun sites.
The next Board meeting will be at 10:00 on Fri, Apr 17. All OLLI members are invited to attend.
Back


FEB 20, 2009: THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REPORTEDthat we now have 770 full members plus 99 Loudoun-only members, including 37 new full members and 17 new Loudoun members who joined us for the winter term.
With registration for the spring term starting February 23, Thom Clement solicited suggestions for improving the online registration system.
The Board approved a recommendation for electronic voting by the A/V Support Committee that the Executive Director consult with OLLI members with software development or project management backgrounds. He should then solicit a proposal for the project from Mr. McLean and proceed, if an acceptable proposal is received and agreement reached, with the development of an OLLI electronic voting application for a cost not to exceed $2000 without further reference to the BOD.
President Pat Carroll reported on our recent meeting with Mason administrators Peter Stearns, Provost; Tom Hennessey, Chief of Staff; and Maurice Scherrens, Vice President. Although Mason is still committed to the University Based Retirement Community (UBRC), the current economic conditions have pushed this project farther into the future. Mason is still actively pursuing options for an expanded campus in Loudoun County.
We received letters of appreciation from several Mason deans and department chairs regarding the OLLI scholarships for this year. A total of $13,000 will be presented to selected students at our annual Teacher Appreciation Reception on April 17.
We also received a very complimentary response from David Blazevich, Senior Program Officer for the Osher Foundation, regarding our submission of our 2008 Annual Endowment Report.
Back


JAN 16, 2009: THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met at Tallwood on Fri, Jan 16, for its regular monthly meeting. Fifteen of 19 directors were present, and five other OLLI members also attended. (OLLI members are always welcome to attend and are given an opportunity to comment during the period for public comments.)
The Board approved a total of $13,000 from Friends of OLLI funds to be given as OLLI scholarships to deserving Mason students as selected by the chairs of various Mason schools and departments; this is an increase from the $8,000 total in OLLI scholarships to Mason students last year. In addition, the Board approved $1,000 from Friends of OLLI funds for the 2009 Fall for the Book festival (this is the same amount provided last year).
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that we now have 853 members (90 Loudoun-only; 763 full) compared to 731 at this time last year.

     Thom also advised the Board of the following revised class times during the summer and fall terms–
Summer:
Tallwood – One class at 9:30; two classes at 11:30.
Reston – 10:00 and 2:00.
Loudoun – 10:30 and 1:00.
Fall:
Tallwood and Reston – 9:30; 11:45; 2:00.
Loudoun – 10:30 and 1:00.

     There was some discussion about electronic voting options for the upcoming Board elections in May. The ad hoc committee had just recommended developing customized software at a cost of $2,000 but some directors thought that off-the-shelf software or a Web service would be a better choice. The sense of the Board was to wait until the February Board meeting to decide the matter, which also allows time for the Nominating Committee to discuss options and voice its opinion.
The next meeting of the Board will be held at Tallwood on Fri, Feb 20, at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend.
Back


DEC 2008: No Board meeting was held but via email the Board elected David Mason as Treasurer effective Jan 1, 2009, replacing outgoing Treasurer Gordon Canyock. Back


NOV 19, 2008: THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET ON FRI, NOV 19. In the executive director’s financial report, Thom Clement noted that income is $4,570 more and expenses are $16,378 less than projected at this stage of the year. The Board approved his proposed budget for 2009, which does not include a change in dues. Membership now totals 846, including 80 Loudoun-only members.
The Board accepted the Ad Hoc Loudoun Study Committee’s proposed measures for determining how well Loudoun will have progressed toward achieving a vibrant, self-sustaining, quality program by Oct 2009. These milestones were to reach a membership of 125 with at least 20 volunteers and 16 courses offered per term. Dues for self-sufficiency are expected to be in the range of $150-$175.
The Board approved a resolution introduced by Ben Gold to provide a one-time-only contribution of $250 to Reston’s Used Book Store in recognition of its long-term support of the Literary Roundtable class. Never asking for any compensation, the store has generously provided space and a welcoming atmosphere to the class every week of every term since fall 1999.
Gordon Canyock announced that he would resign as treasurer effective Dec 31 so a new treasurer could work with the executive director from the very start of the new budget year.
Back


OCT 17, 2008: THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MET in a three-and-a-quarter-hour session on Fri, Oct 17, for its regular monthly meeting.
Executive Director Thom Clement reviewed the draft OLLI budget for 2009 that will be presented to the membership at the Town Hall Meeting on Fri, Oct 31 (10:00 to 12 noon). The proposed 2009 budget assumes no change to the current $350 dues for full membership. The final 2009 budget will be voted upon by the Board at the November Board meeting.
Several resolutions were discussed, and all received overwhelming Board approval.

  • “Introductory” membership rate. Effective with the spring 2009 term, the Board approved an “introductory” new-membership rate of $150 for one term; new members choosing this option could continue their membership for a full year by paying $250 for the ensuing three terms.
  • Loudoun pilot program. The Board extended the Loudoun pilot program through all of calendar year 2009 (previously it had been extended through the summer 2009 term) with a final decision on the program’s future to be made by the Board at its Oct 2009 meeting. If the program is terminated at that time or earlier, Loudoun members will receive a pro rata dues refund. The Board agreed to underwrite (i.e., subsidize out of operating funds) the Loudoun program in 2009 by an amount up to $10,000.
  • Elections to the Board. The Board accepted and directed implementation of the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review OLLI Nominating Procedures. Key recommendations were: (1) To establish a committee to explore and recommend ways and means of implementing an electronic election process for the 2009 Board elections; and (2) To delete from “What Is Expected of an OLLI Board Member,” a document given to prospective Board candidates, the language ‘requiring Board members to contribute to Friends of OLLI.’ [Note: the revised document is Exhibit A of “Procedures and Guidelines for the Nominating Committee,” a pdf document at this page.]

  • New signage. The Board approved up to $750 from Friends of OLLI funds for permanent signs for parking areas, classrooms and common areas.
  • Chairs. The Board approved up to $9,000 from Friends of OLLI funds for reupholstering all chairs in TA-2 and TA-3 as was done last year for TA-1 chairs.
  • Audiovisual equipment. The Board approved up to $4,533 from Friends of OLLI funds for upgrades to OLLI’s audiovisual resources at Tallwood and for Internet improvements at Reston. The largest portion is for a new, high-quality video projector for TA-3.

     The next Board meeting will be held on Fri, Nov 21. All members are invited to attend. Back


 SEP 19, 2008: ON FRI, SEP 19, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS METfor its regular monthly meeting. Reston Coordinator Al Roe presented an update on the Reston organization and its focus. Of interest were his emphatic re-affirmation that Reston is not interested in becoming independent or having a different dues structure than Tallwood. According to Al, 196 full OLLI members reside in a Reston-associated ZIP Code (Reston, Oakton, Herndon and western Vienna); this represents 26 percent of OLLI membership and generates $68,600 in revenue vs. $21,500 in direct Reston expenses (e.g., the OLLI employee at Reston, rent of church spaces).
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that there are now 756 full members (i.e., $350 in annual dues), a slight increase over this time last year. Thom also announced that he has arranged for Mason to re-carpet Tallwood and re-paint most of the walls later this year at no cost to OLLI.

Loudoun program.
Treasurer Gordon Canyock advised the Board that he believes the executive director has an impossible assignment in trying to achieve a balanced budget (revenue equal to expenses) for the Loudoun pilot program during 2009. The fall 2008 registration of some 72 Loudoun members at $125 each raised approximately $9,000 — enough to put the Loudoun program in the black (no deficit) for 2008 — but this new Loudoun dues structure makes it very difficult to raise enough money to match expenses during 2009. Gordon asked the Board to consider two possible options:
1.  Eliminate local staff support, which would reduce expenses by almost two-thirds; however, Gordon feels not having staff support would effectively kill the Loudoun program because it would not be able to continue to operate effectively.
2.  Allocate $5,000-$7,000 from either Friends of OLLI or income from the Osher Endowment to fund Loudoun over the next year or two to give it a chance to get on its feet and become self-sustaining, either as a fully integrated part of OLLI or as an independent entity.
Gordon posed the matter this way: Did the Osher Foundation give us the $1-million endowment so that we could keep our dues down, or did the Foundation expect OLLI to use the endowment’s income to expand our outstanding program?

Development Committee Chair John Woods proposed that the Board authorize up to $3,000 from the Friends of OLLI account to put gravel on part of the grassy area below the ‘loop’ for additional parking spaces; this project would make the area usable during the winter and when the area is soggy. The Board approved the resolution.
The next Board meeting will be held at Tallwood at 10:00 on Fri, Oct 17. All members are invited to attend. Back


AUG 22, 2008: THE BOARD MET ON FRI, AUG 22, FOR ITS REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING. President Pat Carroll announced that Tallwood Site Administrator Ann Hartmann has accepted a full-time position elsewhere but has agreed to stay at OLLI until Fri, Sep 19.
OLLI leadership met earlier on Aug 22 with the Mason Provost and the Chief of Staff for a semi-annual discussion about our institute. Mason now projects that Mason’s University Based Retirement Center (where OLLI will then be located) will be in operation by 2012.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that we have 768 members. With open houses scheduled for Tue, Sep 9 (Tallwood), Wed, Sep 10 (Loudoun), and Thu, Sep 11 (Reston), OLLI members are encouraged to hand out catalogs and business cards to potential members and to post notices about the open houses (see the office for catalogs, cards and notices).
Treasurer Gordon Canyock discussed the 2009 budget assumptions and the guidance recommended by the Finance Committee for use in developing the 2009 budget. The Board approved the guidance, including that: (1) the baseline budget will have no increase in dues; and (2) dues increases in any optional budget scenarios must not significantly exceed the inflation factor. The Finance Committee was tasked with researching, assessing, and proposing any changes to our existing dues structure prior to the October Board meeting.
The Board accepted the ad hoc committee’s recommendations concerning the naming of OLLI facilities that: (1) it is not appropriate to name facilities; and (2) Founder Kathryn Brooks’ unique contributions should be honored by the creation of “The Kathryn Brooks Educational Center at Tallwood” and that a sign to this effect should be placed in the vicinity of the breezeway.
The Board discussed proposed enhancements to the social room annex. The $6,600 proposal was not approved by the Board but the Board did ask the executive director to work on “sprucing up” the annex.
Loudoun. After considerable discussion, the Board voted to continue the Loudoun pilot program on a revenue-neutral basis for another four terms (through summer 2009), and the Board authorized an ad hoc committee to develop measurable criteria that will be used to support future decisions regarding the Loudoun pilot program. This effectively endorsed the executive director’s plan for Loudoun participants to become OLLI members starting in fall 2008 at a separate dues structure of $125 per year for Loudoun courses only. The option to take Loudoun and Reston courses for $200 per year membership was not approved by the Board.
The next meeting of the Board will be held at Tallwood on Fri, Sep 19, at 11:00 (delayed from the normal time because of the New Members’ Coffee at 10:00 that day). All OLLI  members are welcome to attend.
Back


JULY 18, 2008: The Board approved the formation of an ad hoc committee to consider the issue of naming facilities at the Tallwood location. Bob Persell has agreed to chair the committee.
2008 Nominating Committee Chair Bob Bohall presented a report from the committee with suggestions for the future, including that electronic voting be considered. In that regard, the Board approved an ad hoc committee to be chaired by Manny Pablo to look into electronic voting.
Executive Director Thom Clement reported that there are 767 full members, including 16 members from Loudoun. Thom proposed and the Board agreed that dues for the Loudoun fall 2008 term would be set at $125 for Loudoun courses only (no more per-course charges) with a $200 option for allowing Loudoun members to also take classes at Reston.
Under Old Business, the proposal to remodel the social room annex was discussed but then tabled until the August meeting.
Under New Business, there was much discussion about the proposed introductory pricing option of $100 for new fall-term 2008 members; these members would have to pay the balance of $250 the next time they register in 2009 (winter, spring or summer). The resolution was unanimously defeated.
The next meeting of the Board will be held at Tallwood on Fri, Aug 22, at 10:00. All OLLI members are welcome to attend.
Back


MAY AND JUNE 2008: There was no Board meeting in May (election of directors was held that month). The Board met on Jun 13 as reported by President Pat Carroll in his OLLI E-News article of Jun 20: “The new Board was seated at the Board meeting on Jun 13. The Nominating Committee presided over elections for officers of the Board. I was re-elected president, Emmett Fenlon was elected vice president, Gordon Canyock was re-elected treasurer, and Kathleen Meyer was elected secretary. The Board then approved the appointment of Dave Mason as a director to replace Paul Howard, who had resigned from the Board.”
Additional June meeting highlights included the following items–

  • Pat announced that John West and Manny Pablo had agreed to co-chair the Audiovisual Support Committee, replacing Paul Howard who recently resigned as chair.
  • Pat announced that Kathie West had agreed to chair the Membership Committee, replacing Debbie Halverson who recently resigned after four years as chair. Kathie would chair a committee without hospitality responsibilities and Sandy Driesslein has agreed to continue to lead hospitality efforts as chair of a Hospitality Committee.
  • It was the sense of the Board that OLLI should have a goal to increase membership to 1,000 with no target date set; fulfilling this goal would make us eligible for a second $1,000,000 endowment from the Osher Foundation.
  • The Friends of OLLI fund has received $5,000 from Phoebe Dexter in memory of her mother, LRI founder Kathryn Brooks.
  • An Open House is planned for Sep 9.
  • Program Associate Rae Schafer’s last day is Jun 13; Beth Davis starts officially on Jun 30.
  • Reston is seeking additional facilities and considering a Marymount venue on Wiehle Avenue.
  • OLLI is taking advantage of classroom space at Woodlands Retirement community. Back

 


APR 18, 2008: THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met at Tallwood on Fri, Apr 18, at 10:00.President Pat Carroll announced that Mason has been holding town meetings to discuss the renewal of the contract of University Provost Peter Stearns. Thom Clement attended a meeting in order to speak on behalf of OLLI in praise of Dr. Stearns and his contributions to OLLI.
Pat reported that he and Thom had attended the National Osher Conference in Phoenix. There were 119 OLLIs present at the meeting, each one different from the others. While many are just a department within the university, we are unique in being separate from our university. In most cases, the university pays the director and staff members. The breadth of our programs was superior to many others, and our Web site is turned to by many newer OLLIs as a model. At the meeting, the buzz word among OLLIs seemed to be: “1,000 members = one million.” This refers to the fact that Osher will make an additional grant of one million dollars to OLLIs reaching one thousand members.
Executive Director Thom Clement delivered the financial report, announcing that we are doing well financially. Although we expected to be under-funded at this point by $12,860, we actually have $1,958 more income than expenses for the year to date. As of 4/17/08 we have 763 members. In Loudoun, 95 people have registered for classes, including 17 full OLLI members (part of the 763-member total). We now have new OLLI business cards, and members were urged to pass them out.
Treasurer Gordon Canyock reported that the first quarter results are encouraging. We came in under budget in all expense categories and above budget in all income categories except dividends and interest, which was only about $200 below expectations. Besides, we have earned $825 on the so-called Osher Accommodation Fund, which is not included in our budget but which is available to us if we need it.
The Board passed a resolution providing a sponsorship-level donation of $1,000 to Fall for the Book in recognition of the past and current value of Fall for the Book programming to OLLI members.
The plans for the proposal for improving the social room annex are posted on the wall in the annex. The total amount requested to fund the entire project would be $5,607. The proposal to fund the project was tabled until the June Board meeting.
The next meeting of the OLLI Board of Directors will be held at 10:00 at Tallwood on Fri, Jun 13. All OLLI members are invited to attend. At that time the newly elected Board members will officially join the Board, and new officers will be elected. Back


MAR 28, 2008: THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met at Tallwood on Fri, Mar 28. Bob Bohall, Chair of the Nominating Committee, presented the slate of candidates for the Board, listed in random order:

David Mason, Manuel Pablo, Bob Persell, Ben Gold, Jack Underhill, Kathleen Meyer, and Kathie West [note: this list does not include one announced candidate who subsequently withdrew]

     Bob further pointed out that the nominating procedures allow for nominations by petition, which must be submitted to the Committee by Fri, Apr 11. One percent of the OLLI membership, or eight OLLI members, must sign any such petition.
Debbie Halverson reported on the planning of the silent auction and picnic. They are scheduled on the same day as the annual membership meeting (Fri, May 2) but will not be ongoing during the time of the annual meeting. The auction will begin at 9:00 and temporarily close down at 10:00 when the annual meeting is scheduled to begin. After the meeting has concluded, the auction will reopen, and the picnic will begin. Debbie is looking for volunteers and donations for the auction.
Thom Clement reported on current membership statistics. We currently have 754 OLLI members. 671 members have registered for spring term classes; of these, 43 percent registered online.
Loudoun will have an open house on Tue, Apr 1. Our goal for Loudoun is full integration of the schedule, registration, catalog, and membership dues by the winter term. This fall, Loudoun will be on the same schedule as Tallwood/Reston, and the OLLI catalog will include an insert with Loudoun courses so prospective Loudoun attendees can see the full range of course offerings.
The Board approved two resolutions, one allocating $3,312 from Friends of OLLI funds for upgrades and enhancements to Tallwood’s computer network and the other allocating $7,625 from Friends of OLLI funds for upgrades and enhancements to OLLI’s audiovisual instructional resources.

     The next meeting of the OLLI Board of Directors will be held at Tallwood on Fri, Apr 18, at 10:00. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


FEB 15, 2008: THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met at Tallwood on Fri, Feb 15, at 10:00. President Pat Carroll announced the formation of the Nominating Committee chaired by Bob Bohall with the following members: Brenda Cheadle, Abbie Edwards, Paul Howard, Cloe Ingram and Ann Wagner. OLLI members are requested to forward their suggestions for potential Board candidates to any member of the Nominating Committee
Thom reported on membership totals; we currently have 733 members, down from 754 at the end of the fall term. Last winter at this time, we had 767 members.
We have been using Mason to print our catalogs, but we are now trying out a new printer. Speedy Printers will print the spring catalog for approximately $2,500 less than we paid last fall to Mason. The suggestion was made that members be allowed to opt out of receiving printed catalogs since they are available online and can easily be printed by members at home, thereby saving OLLI the cost of printing those catalogs.
The Teacher Appreciation Reception will be held on Thu, Apr 10, from 3:30 to 5:30 on the third tier of the Center for the Arts.
The Board passed in a 12-to-1 vote the following proposal for revision of our official guest policy:

     The Executive Director, or a designated person, may invite George Mason University faculty to attend any or all sessions of a specific OLLI course or special event related to their professional disciplines through contacts with the chairs of their departments at the recommendation of an OLLI Resource Group chair following a determination that space is available.

     The Board unanimously approved the following proposal for a silent auction:

     That we combine the Tallwood event of the annual meeting on the May 2 with a silent auction, proceeds to go to Friends of OLLI. Since the annual meeting is held in TA-1, the set up of the auction should be in TA-3. Folks could come early, look at what is available and bid, then take time afterwards to do the same, even into the afternoon if that would bring a greater return. The winner would be notified by email so as not to keep too many people hanging around. They could collect their winnings over the weekend so TA-3 would be ready for classroom use on Monday. Also note: no activities are scheduled for Fri, May 2, that would conflict with the annual meeting. This is SOP for both that meeting and the town meeting in the fall.

     The Board approved in a 7-to-6 vote the following proposal:

     Resolved: The Board of Directors directs the Treasurer to disburse a donation of $1,000 to the 2008 Mason Festival of the Arts.

     The date of the March Board meeting will be announced in OLLI E-News when it has been decided upon. All OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


JAN 18, 2008: THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS met at Tallwood on Fri, Jan 18, at 10:00.

     President Pat Carroll informed the Board that Mason has a warehouse with used furniture such as chairs, tables, file cabinets, etc., all of which are available to OLLI. Pat and Executive Director Thom Clement visited the warehouse and brought back several chairs that will be placed in various classrooms for testing. Pat has asked the staff to stop by the warehouse on a regular basis to see if there are any items that might be of use to OLLI.
Treasurer Gordon Canyock pointed out that we had budgeted for a $47,000 deficit in 2007, but our income was $19,000 more than budgeted and our expenses were $19,000 less than anticipated; thus, the final 2007 deficit was about $9,000. Key items impacting the budget include 19 more registrations than expected, a $5,000 savings by not printing any OLLI brochures in 2007, and almost $11,000 in staff payroll savings because of fewer hours worked than budgeted.
After the Finance Committee recommended a full audit again this year since we are changing executive directors, OLLI signed an agreement with Gurman & Co., our past auditor; total 2008 audit and tax-return fees are projected to be $6,750.
OLLI has received a proposal from KeySignature Music (OLLI’s A/V consultant and installation/service company) to furnish and install upgrades to the existing Tallwood classroom audiovisual equipment based on Audiovisual Support Committee recommendations from 2007. Paul Howard, chair of the Audiovisual Support Committee, presented a resolution to allocate $2,100 from the Friends of OLLI for this purpose; the resolution was passed.
Thom Clement reported that he has been spending much of his time meeting with OLLI officers, committee chairs and members. He will be meeting with Mason leadership, and he has drafted year-end reports for OLLI to send to the Osher Foundation and to key officials at Mason.
The Board passed a resolution authorizing $8,000 from Friends of OLLI funds to be donated to Mason for scholarships as recommended by the Program Review Committee; scholarships would go to students of the Department of Music, Department of Economics, Department of Philosophy and College of Science.
Pat Carroll announced that so far he has not been able to find a member willing to chair the Nominating Committee for 2008 Board elections although several candidates have been approached.

The next meeting of the OLLI Board of Directors will be held on Fri, Feb 15, at 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are invited to attend. Back


DEC 14, 2007: THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood on Fri, Dec 14, at 10:00.

     President Pat Carroll called the meeting to order and welcomed guests and new Board member Al Roe. Board members were urged to attend the open house at our Loudoun campus on Jan 8.
Development Committee Chair John Woods reported that so far $7,900 has been contributed to OLLI in response to the Friends of OLLI solicitation
Treasurer Gordon Canyock introduced two resolutions on behalf of the Finance Committee, and both were passed by the Board.

          • Resolved: That in case there is no executive director on board, the Treasurer will assume the responsibility to act as required under the provisions in the Board Handbook related to Authorization for Expenditures, Program Expenditures, and Budget Overruns.
     • Resolved: The OLLI Board of Directors approves the proposed FY2008 Budget for the Loudoun Program as presented by the Finance Committee.

Dick Hibbert presented some preliminary ideas about upgrading the annex and social room to improve their functionality and appearance. The Board requested that Dick prepare a preliminary design and cost estimate.
Executive Director Dick Chobot thanked the Board for the recognition he received at the recent reception that was held in his honor. He reported on the following issues:
     • Registration System: There was a minor glitch at the start of online registration that caused a few individuals to receive an erroneous communication. The problem was quickly fixed and the system is now operating normally.
     • Catalogs: Many of our members had not received their catalogs at the start of registration. This was most likely as a result of bulk mailing and the busy time of year.
     • Infrastructure: We are currently seeking a proposal for the cost of running an underground cable to replace our wireless connection in TA-2 and TA-3. This will improve the quality of online connections to these classrooms and the ED’s office.
The Board passed the following resolutions:

          • Resolved: The OLLI Board of Directors authorizes up to $4,000 from the Friends of OLLI Fund for the purpose of upgrading the phone system at Tallwood.
     • Resolved: Add Ann Hartmann, the OLLI Administrator, to the list of authorized signers at the bank. Also, have a credit card issued to be used for purchasing operating and administrative items such paper, folders, printer supplies, coffee and cookies.

At 12:30, Thomas Clement (the candidate for the executive director position who had been recommended by the ED Search Committee) gave a short presentation in open session to directors and OLLI members present. The informal presentation covered his background, qualifications and interest in the job. Afterwards, he briefly chatted over coffee with directors.
Back in session, the Board passed the following resolution:

          • Resolved: The OLLI Board of Directors empowers the president to make an offer to Thomas Clement for the position of executive director and to work out with him the details of a written employment agreement.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:05. The next meeting of the OLLI Board of Directors will be held at Tallwood on Fri, Jan 18, at 10:00. All OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


NOV 16, 2007: THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood on Fri, Nov 16, at 10:00.
At the recommendation of President Pat Carroll, Al Roe was nominated and approved to fill the seat on the Board that had been vacated as a result of the resignation of Ed Mentz. The following committee chair appointments were announced:Audiovisual Support–Paul Howard; Development–John Woods; and Planning–Valerie Braybrooke.
John Woods, Chair of the Development Committee, reported that he had met with members of the Mason Development Office. The purpose of the meeting was to ascertain how Mason could help OLLI with a development plan and support fund-raising activities channeling money through the Foundation. The George Mason University Foundation would charge a 3% processing fee.
A resolution was introduced by Paul Howard with the purpose of trying to get as much information stored electronically as possible. The following resolution was passed– Resolved: OLLI Board meeting minutes, committee reports, financial data, executive director’s report, and other information normally presented to the Board shall be stored in electronic form on the OLLI server for ongoing reference and archival purposes, to begin as soon as reasonable. (Executive Session minutes, and personnel issue information, and other material of a sensitive nature shall be retained by the Secretary in “Board Only” files.)
Treasurer Gordon Canyock introduced the following resolution, which was passed by the Board– Resolved: The OLLI Board of Directors approves the proposed FY2008 Budget as presented by the Finance Committee.

     Executive Director Dick Chobot reported on the Loudoun program. He recommended that the Board approve continuation of the Loudoun program through 2008. Questions were raised about integrating the Loudoun catalog into the existing OLLI catalog. Gordon requested that the Finance Committee be given the opportunity to review the Loudoun budget. The question was raised as to what the parameters would be in a year when we will need to decide whether to continue or not; it was suggested that an ad hoc committee be appointed to come up with measurable criteria for evaluating the Loudoun program.
Dick introduced the following two resolutions, which were both passed by the Board–
Resolved: The OLLI Board of Directors authorizes the Loudoun program to continue through 2008.
Resolved: The OLLI Board of Directors authorizes an additional $1,000 to cover the expenses of the Loudoun administrator (currently Madeline Lynn).

Under “New Business,” Vice President Ben Gold reported on two issues that were raised during the 2007 Town Meeting–
There was a suggestion made to place a box next to the coffee and cookies for people to make donations. It was the sense of the Board that this was not a good idea.
The issue of changing the class hours was raised. Our members have been surveyed on this issue several times and the results have always come back that the majority of the members are not in favor of a change. It was suggested that it might be time to look at this again. Bruce Reinhart responded that the Program Review Committee will consider repeating the survey and report back to the Board in January.
The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Fri, Dec 14, 10:00 at Tallwood. All OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


OCT 24, 2007: THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood on Wed, Oct 24, at 3:30.

     The Board passed several resolutions–

          To restructure committees (the restructure adds an Audiovisual Support Committee, renames Publications Committee to Communications Committee, places Hospitality and Reston Support committees under the Membership Committee, revises specific responsibilities of committees, and adds presidential appointments of OLLI Historian, OLLI Representative to Arts at Mason Board and University Liaison; see the Organization page for more information);
To revise the job description of the executive director’s position (read the revised job description on this Website page); and
To transfer $50,000 (the amount of the $1 million endowment that the Osher Foundation set aside for our possible use and subsequent pay back by 2014) from the George Mason Foundation, now held in a non-interest-bearing account, to OLLI so that we can put it into a money-market account and earn about $2,500 per year in additional income.

A resolution was introduced to approve the 2008 OLLI budget as proposed by the Finance Committee. This resolution is scheduled to be discussed and voted upon at the next regular Board meeting on Fri, Nov 16. The proposed budget is described by Treasurer/Finance Committee chair Gordon Canyock as follows–

          • It will be a balanced budget (expenses equal revenues).
Revenues are based on an average 750 members excluding Loudoun.
• No dues increase.
Loudoun to be a break-even budget for 2008.
Landscape budget be reduced to a minimum.
Pool parking increase per negotiation (not to exceed $14,000).
A reserve for repair/replacement of audio/visual equipment would be established.
The Rainy Day Fund would not be touched.
Friends of OLLI will continue to be budgeted separately and be used for Mason scholarships and capital-related expenditures.
Retains $60,000 for the executive director’s compensation.

At the OLLI Town Meeting on Nov 2, Treasurer/Finance Committee chair Gordon Canyock will summarize this proposed budget and will answer questions. There will be no separate meeting to discuss the 2008 budget, so the Town Meeting is the opportunity for members to learn more about the budget, ask questions and express concerns.

The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for 10:00 on Fri, Nov 16, at Tallwood. All OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


SEP 11, 2007: THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood on Tue, Sep 11, at 10:00.
Debbie Halverson and Bob Lawshe encouraged volunteers to sign up and to help out for the OLLI yard sale, which is scheduled for Sat, Oct 27.
The Treasurer’s report included initial data on fall registration, which indicates that we took a net loss of 31 members. Actual current membership as of Sep 10 was 724. A loss of 31 members translates to $10,850 in revenue.
Friends of OLLI received $2,135 in contributions during August. Last year we received $3,950 for the same month. The year-to-date contributions this year are $6,100; last year they were $13,200, suggesting that some members may have decided to reduce their contributions to offset the increased dues.
Dick Chobot announced that Madeline Lynn has been hired as a new site associate for Loudoun and that Bill Walsh has been hired to fill the administrative assistant position vacated by Diana Richards at Tallwood. Bill brings extensive audiovisual experience to the job.
The Affiliation Agreement and Lease with Mason are now completed, and signing ceremonies are being planned.
Sandra Driesslein reminded everyone to attend the new members’ coffee at Tallwood on Sep 21, at 10:30.
In executive session, the Board approved the following resolution:
          > Due to financial considerations, the contract of the incumbent Executive Director shall not be extended past December 31, 2007.
This issue is being addressed in a separate President’s Message.
After returning to open session, the Board heard a report from John Woods, chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on ED Job Description. The purpose of the committee is to review and make suggested refinements based upon two years’ experience. A draft revised job description was presented and compared with the original job description of Jul 2005. The committee recommended that Board approval of the proposed job description be tabled for a vote at the next Board meeting after the members have had a chance to review the materials and the draft has been discussed.
Ben Gold reported that tour buses are now restricted from the vicinity of the U.S. Capitol and the Supreme Court, and this is causing problems with Ben’s arranged tours of the Court. Permission has now been granted to park on 3rd Street, which is about two blocks from the court.
The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Wed, Oct 24, at 3:30 at Tallwood. (Please note the time change.) All OLLI members are welcome to attend.
Back


AUG 31, 2007: A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood on Fri, Aug 31.
The meeting was called to order by Ben Gold, who was serving as interim president pending election of a president to replace Debbie Halverson who resigned on Aug 20. Ben welcomed OLLI members in attendance.
Pat Carroll resigned as treasurer and was elected to the office of president. Ben handed the gavel and the chair over to Pat, who then took charge of the meeting.
Gordon Canyock was elected to the office of treasurer. Per the guidelines in our Board Handbook, as treasurer Gordon also serves as chair of the Finance Committee.
The president announced that we would adjourn into executive session. He explained to non-Board members present that we would be discussing personnel issues, and that such discussions are always held in executive session.
The next meeting of the Board will be held on Tue, Sep 11, at 10:00 at Tallwood.
Back


AUG 17, 2007: THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood on Fri, Aug 17, 2007.
Debbie Halverson spoke about the possibility of OLLI having a yard sale, details to be worked out later.
Treasurer Pat Carroll led a discussion on budget assumptions for the 2008 OLLI budget. Along with several other possible assumptions, maintaining a balanced budget and not touching the rainy day fund were two of the issues mentioned. At present our working cash is down to $12,000. The end-of-year projection is for a budget deficit of $35,000. Information about fall registration totals should be available by Aug 31, the last day of registration. The fee for the use of the pool parking lot has been negotiated to $14,000/year.
The Board passed a resolution that the Affiliation Agreement/Lease with GMU shall be accepted as written.
Loudoun will be holding an open house on Mon, Sep 10. Advertisements have been placed in local Loudoun newspapers. An assistant will be hired to staff the Loudoun office. Our goal in Loudoun remains to be revenue neutral.
Board members were reminded that the New Member Coffee is scheduled for Fri, Sep 21, at 10:00. The next OLLI Town Meeting is scheduled for Fri, Nov 2, at 10:00.
Debbie Halverson announced her resignation as president as of noon, Mon, Aug 20, 2007. At that time, Vice President Ben Gold will take over as president until a new president is elected.
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JUL 20, 2007: THE REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING OF THE OLLI BOARD OF DIRECTORS was held at Tallwood. The Board approved the President’s appointment of Paul Howard to fill a vacant seat on the Board. President Debbie Halverson announced the following board-member assignments:

> Pat Carroll, chair of the Finance Committee;
> Kathryn Russell, chair of the Program Committee;
> Bruce Reinhart, chair of the Program Review Committee;
> RoseMary Gustin, Rosemary McDonald and Kathryn Russell, members of the Program Review Committee;
> Jack Underhill, chair of the to-be-reinstated Facilities Committee;
> Emmett Fenlon, co-chair of the History, International Studies and Current Events Resource Group;
> Ed Mentz, in charge of corporate relations in Reston, with a focus on retirement groups; and
> Paul Howard, in charge of audio/visual equipment and related issues as well as a member of the Finance Committee.

Treasurer Pat Carroll reported we currently have a $56,000 year-to-date deficit. However, July is our tightest month financially, and cash will again build up when fall registration starts on Aug 22. There will be a bank fee for using credit cards for registration and course/event fees.
Executive Director Dick Chobot reported that the University has agreed to repair TA-3 at its expense. An analysis of the survey data has been completed, and several Board members will be meeting to review the materials. The executive director stated that consideration needs to be given to continuing the Loudoun Program for a sufficient period to allow for growth. He proposed presenting a business plan and a recommendation for a specific continuation period at the August meeting of the Board.
The Board authorized the Finance Committee chair to continue to negotiate with the swimming pool management concerning the annual rent amount to be paid by OLLI for use of the parking lot.
The Board passed the following resolutions–

> Regarding the Fall for the Book program at Mason:
>> That the $1,527.40 currently obligated [but not spent] for chairs be moved to unobligated funds.
>> A sponsorship-level donation of $1,000 be made by OLLI to Fall for the Book in recognition of the past and current value of Fall for the Book programming to OLLI members.
> Regarding committees:
>> The OLLI Board of Directors directs the President to establish an Ad Hoc Committee on Committee Structure to draft recommendations to
be available no later than the Board’s September meeting.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for Fri, Aug 17, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. A time for public comments is provided prior to adjournment. Back


JUN 15, 2007 — The Board elected officers at its meeting on Jun 15:

> Debbie Halverson, president;
> Ben Gold, vice president;
> Pat Carroll, treasurer; and
> Susanne Zumbro, secretary.

The Board also provided guidance to executive director Dick Chobot on the extension of OLLI’s Affiliation Agreement with George Mason University and on the OLLI contribution to the paving of the parking lot used by OLLI at the Fairfax Swimming Pool.
The Board received reports from the treasurer and the executive director. As chair of an ad hoc committee, the outgoing secretary provided to directors copies of a major revision of the Board Handbook, also available on the OLLI Website.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Fri, Jul 20, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


Note: No board meeting was held in May 2007 due to the annual election of six board members.


AT THE APR 27, 2007 BOARD MEETING, The Board made several decisions:

  • Extended the Loudoun pilot program through the fall term at $50 per course or $125 for unlimited access to the experimental Loudoun program. Persons who participate in the fall Loudoun pilot program may apply their fee payment against a regular full year OLLI membership commencing in winter 2008. (As before, persons who participate in the spring or summer 2007 Loudoun pilot program may apply the sum of their fee payments against a regular full-year OLLI membership commencing in fall 2007.)
  • Approved three-year operating guidelines for the Institute.
  • Implemented a procedure for provisional approval of Board minutes by email in order to send them more promptly to OLLI members who request that minutes be emailed to them.
  • Approved a major revision of the Board Handbook (to be posted on the OLLI Website shortly).
  • Approved resolutions of appreciation to the American Foreign Service Association and the National Park Service for consistently providing high quality programming to OLLI members.

Treasurer Charles Duggan reported that the OLLI year-to-date budget is ahead by approximately $20,000, and the overall deficit for the year should be less than originally projected. This is due to membership being higher than projected (758 rather than 725), to keeping expenses under budget, and to some billings not yet received.
President Debbie Halverson and executive director Dick Chobot provided observations from their attendance at the recent conference of Osher Foundation-funded LLIs. Both said it was clear that OLLI-Mason is recognized as a leader, and both were impressed anew by the generosity of the University compared with the experience of some other OLLIs. The OLLIwood Gardens and the OLLI Players presentation at the Mason Theater of the First Amendment event were among this year’s WOW-worthy LLI activities highlighted at the OLLI Network conference. OLLI E-News was highlighted in a presentation by Dick Chobot.
Debbie announced two appointments: Valerie Braybrooke has been appointed as the chair of the new Landscape Committee, and Pat Carroll has been appointed as the OLLI representative to the Arts at Mason Board (per the request of the College of Visual and Performing Arts for an OLLI rep). In making this appointment, Debbie secured clarification that OLLI does not provide member names for fund-raising purposes.
Discussion items included suggestions for continuing to improve the election process by ensuring that members could petition to be a Board candidate, that there would be regular publicity, and that ballots would be mailed closer to the dates for candidate speeches.
When a Board member observed that the OLLI E-News should not be used to chide individuals through letters to the editor, Publications Committee chair Gordon Canyock and OLLI E-News editor Rod Zumbro explained their revised policy on letters to the editor: Whenever an OLLI response is clearly appropriate, they will commit to publishing an OLLI response in the same issue so that members will have more complete information and a balanced picture. To that end, there is an earlier deadline for letters to the editor — 7pm on Mon rather than 7pm Wed — to provide time for the appropriate OLLI official to respond. Rod and Gordon will also work with letter writers to help ensure civil discourse and accuracy of facts.
The OLLI Annual Membership Meeting is Fri, May 4, at 10:00 at Tallwood. The agenda includes Board candidate speeches and an annual report. Voting continues until May 18. There is no regularly scheduled Board meeting in May. The next Board meeting is for election of officers and takes place on Fri, Jun 15, at 10:00 at Tallwood. Back


AT THE MAR 16, 2007 BOARD MEETING, President Debbie Halverson made several announcements. On behalf of Richard Lanterman, chair of the Nominating Committee, she announced the committee’s slate of candidates for the OLLI Board: Joan Axilbund, Joe Cowden, Emmett Fenlon, Debbie Halverson, Bob Lawshe, Rosemary McDonald, Ed Mentz, Al Roe and John Woods. Debbie welcomed Jack Underhill as an appointed member of the Board to fill out the term of Don Yesukaitis, who resigned. She announced that Ben Gold had resigned as chair of the Facilities Committee since he has become the chair of the Reston Resource Group.
The Board dissolved the Facilities Committee and established a Landscaping Committee. This was done because the functions of the Facilities Committee, except for the landscaping of the Tallwood grounds, are now handled by the executive director and staff. The Board defeated a proposal to change the winter closing policy to following the George Mason University Fairfax Campus from the current policy of following the Fairfax County School System.
The Board agreed with a Planning Committee recommendation that the dues for the Loudoun pilot program for the summer will be $50. Any person who participates in the spring program, the summer program or both, may apply the sum of their Loudoun fee payments against a regular full year OLLI membership commencing in the fall 2007. Regular OLLI members will continue to be able to attend Loudoun pilot program courses with no additional fee on a space-available basis.
Executive director Dick Chobot announced he has been able to replace the insurance policy for OLLI directors and officers with a broader-coverage policy that includes all volunteers acting in an official or sanctioned capacity, in addition to directors, officers and employees.
The April Board meeting will take place on Fri, Apr 27 at 10:00 at Tallwood. This is a change from the previous date of Apr 21, because on that date Debbie and Dick Chobot will attend a conference in Atlanta of the 115 Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes throughout the country. OLLI members are welcome to attend the Apr 27 Board meeting. Debbie schedules a period near the end of the agenda for public comments. Back


AT THE FRI, FEB 23, 2007, BOARD MEETING, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the president’s appointment of Jack Underhill to fill the remainder of the term of Director Don Yesukaitis, which expires in May 2008.
The Board also approved the appointments by Richard Lanterman, Nominating Committee Chair, of the following members to fill his committee: Florence Adler, Leo Brennan, Eileen Duggan, Abbie Edwards, and Ted Parker.
Charles Duggan commented on the final 2007 budget and reminded the Board that the budget projects a deficit of $47,000 for the year. The budget is based on 725 members and we currently have over 750 members, so we can possibly reduce the deficit if the number of registered members remains the same or increases. Charles also noted that the recent raising of our dues might possibly cause a drop off in membership.
Over 100 people already have signed up under the spring pilot program in Loudoun where 10 courses and two ongoing activities are being offered to Loudoun members. Once registration closes on Mar 14, a list of open classes will be published in OLLI E-News and made available to all OLLI members.
The Board will host a party on Mar 23 for volunteers in non-teaching capacities. Invitations will be sent out shortly. The Teacher Appreciation event to recognize our instructors will be held on Apr 27.
The Executive Director announced that he and Valerie Braybrooke have been working on creating a Web-based membership survey. The information gathered will be used to help with planning and program evaluation.
The next regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Fri, Mar 16, at Tallwood at 10:00. OLLI members are welcome to attend. President Debbie Halverson schedules a period near the end of the agenda for public comments. Back


AT THE BOARD’S MEETING ON JAN 19, 2007, Charles Duggan was elected OLLI Treasurer. Former treasurer Don Yesukaitis, who had resigned from the Board at the end of December, was honored for his significant contributions to the Institute’s financial infrastructure. The Board approved president Debbie Halverson’s appointments of Charles Duggan as chair of the Finance Committee and Richard Lanterman as chair of the Nominating Committee.
Executive director Dick Chobot made a presentation to the Board on a major database upgrade and online registration system. He is working with Kenneth McLean, who developed the Arlington LRI’s system, on an adaptation to meet OLLI’s needs. Dick has had the advice of several OLLI members who are technically knowledgeable; this arrangement was formalized in Board approval of an Ad Hoc Oversight Committee on Database Upgrade. Also, the board approved a change to the way registration would work when the new online registration system starts (fall 2007 at the earliest); this change, affecting only the few courses that are oversubscribed, would make registration fairer to all members.
The Board approved several specific expenditures of  Friends of OLLI funds:

  • $13,500 toward the cost of the membership database upgrade and programming,
  • $8,000 for the award of four $2,000 scholarships to George Mason University, and
  • $6,960 to be used for the purchase of classroom chairs for TA-1.

A TRANSPARENCY POLICYin matters relating to OLLI finance and governance was approved. Among its provisions are an email message to the membership providing the agenda for Board meetings as soon as practicable after it has been sent to Directors and an email of approved Board minutes and non-confidential attachments to those who request them. A hard copy of approved Board minutes and non-confidential attachments will also be posted or available at all major OLLI locations.
The Board approved Provisional Procedures and Guidelines for the Nominating Committee to provide guidance for its first operation under the revised Bylaws.
The next regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Fri, Feb 16, at Tallwood at 10:00. OLLI members are welcome to attend. President Debbie Halverson schedules a period near the end of the agenda for public comments. Back


ON JAN 4, 2007 THE BOARD HELD AN ANNUAL RETREAT for Directors and the executive director in a self-assessment process that focused on building teamwork among the components of OLLI’s leadership: the Board, the president and the executive director. President Debbie Halverson used The Nonprofit Leadership Team; Building the Board-Executive Director Partnership by Fisher Howe (2004, Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco) as a basis for discussing building teamwork, reviewing the OLLI mission and working toward a vision for the future.
The retreat was held at the George Mason University campus facility in Loudoun County. This building, with modern well-equipped classrooms, computer labs and conference rooms, is at 21641 Ridgetop Circle in Sterling. It will house the first OLLI courses to be offered in Loudoun County this spring. Back


DEC 15, 2006 BOARD MEETING: As part of approval of a 2007 budget for OLLI, the Board set a dues level of $350, effective with any annual dues paid that begin with the spring term in 2007. A president’s message from Debbie Halverson released on Jan 2 explained the reasons for this in more detail. This article summarizes the Board’s actions at its Dec 15 meeting.
The Finance Committee had calculated expenses in 2007 of $345,000, a six percent increase over similar expense items in 2006, when the $100,000 to pay for the executive director’s salary and benefits is included. Osher grants were used to pay the ED in 2006, so no OLLI funds had to be used, minimizing the effect on members. The Finance Committee recommended dues of $320, less than the cost per member of $476.
The difference would be financed through use of either the Osher endowment loan or use of undesignated cash plus other minor sources of income. The Finance Committee felt that any future dues increases could be determined better once we know more about the University’s plans for the Tallwood site, the status of the University Based Retirement Community, whether or not our expansion into Loudoun will provide additional revenue, and whether or not we can obtain funding from outside sources.
Taking these factors into account, the Board felt it was wise to base expenses more heavily on dues now rather than draw down undesignated cash built up over the years or to use a loan from the Osher endowment. The $350 dues level narrows but does not eliminate the gap between costs and dues income. The Board also agreed not to use the Osher endowment loan or to borrow without specific Board action to approve this step. The Board agreed to a four percent increase in hourly staff salaries, and a bonus to recognize these staff members’ work during the 2006 transition year.     The Board approved a recommendation from the Planning Committee that new OLLI members who registered for the spring 2007 Loudoun Pilot Program will receive a discount equal to the amount paid in the spring ($35 or $100) on regular annual OLLI dues if they join in summer or fall 2007.
The Board approved a recommendation from the Program Review Committee that the following statement on controversial Issues become OLLI Board Policy and serve as guidance to the Program Committee and Resource Groups:

STATEMENT ON CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

     A vital activity of a learning community is the critical examination of ideologies and institutions. It is essential that OLLI instructors have the right to express their views in a professionally responsible manner. This is consistent with basic rights and the climate of academic freedom that exists within George Mason University, the institution with which OLLI is affiliated. Toward this end OLLI supports the freedom of intellectual inquiry in the pursuit of ideas and the freedom of speech and open exchange of ideas in all of its programs and course offerings.


Note:  The above wording is adapted from:

  • The Judicial System for Student Conduct (George Mason University, Office of Student Life, June 2004)
  • The George Mason University Faculty Handbook (1994)

The next regular meeting of the Board is scheduled for Fri, Jan 19, at Tallwood at 10:00. OLLI members are welcome to attend. President Debbie Halverson schedules a period near the end of the agenda for public comments. Back


A SPECIAL OPEN BOARD MEETING ON DEC 7, 2006 on the proposed 2007 OLLI budget was attended by eight OLLI members in addition to Directors and staff.
The budget as proposed by the Finance Committee includes expenses in 2007 of $345,000, which represents a six percent increase over similar expense items in 2006, and also includes an additional $100,000 to pay for the executive director’s salary and benefits in 2007. Osher grants were used to pay the ED in 2006, so no OLLI funds had to be used. Based on 725 members, the proposed 2007 cost per member would be $476. The proposed dues level is $320, a 14 percent increase over the current $280. The difference between the $476 cost per member and the $320 annual membership dues amount is $156, and is proposed to be financed through use of Osher-related grant and interest income ($40), other interest income ($5), either use of the Osher endowment loan or use of undesignated cash ($97), and the OLLI initiative in Loudoun County ($14).
Several OLLI members challenged the Board to think long-term and to reduce the level of dependence on an Osher Endowment loan or undesignated cash by increasing the dues to a higher level than the proposed $320 per year. Amounts of $340, $350 or $400 were mentioned. Raising the dues by a lesser amount was felt to be a temporary solution and not wise. Members mentioned the potential for major expenses down the line, such as moving to Mason’s University Based Retirement Community, and the need to “put some money in the pot” for such unknowns and possible emergencies.
Several Directors suggested a higher dues amount than proposed, either to base the budget to a greater extent on dues or to lessen the amount needed from the Osher Endowment loan or from undesignated cash. One Director will propose an amendment to the proposed budget to raise the dues to $360. One member expressed concern about the impact of a larger dues increase on couples paying for two memberships in one family.
No votes were planned for this discussion meeting. The Board will vote on the 2007 budget at the Dec 15 Board meeting at Tallwood at 10:00. OLLI members are welcome to attend. President Debbie Halverson schedules a period near the end of the agenda for public comments.
Back


THE MAJOR DECISION BY THE BOARD at its Nov 17, 2006, meeting was taken in executive session, where Directors approved the extension of executive director Dick Chobot’s contract for a ten-month period, ending Dec 31, 2007, at the current salary rate and related benefits.
The Board established an ad hoc committee to develop a major revision of the Executive Handbook, a compilation of legal documents, policy and procedures that serves as a reference resource for Board members. Secretary Carol Henderson will chair this committee. Its membership will include previous secretaries Gordon Canyock and Eileen Duggan and ED Dick Chobot.
Because the Board had approved installation of defibrillators at OLLI campuses, Dick Chobot asked guest expert Doug First to speak with the Board about George Mason University policy on the machines. Doug is retired from the Mason faculty, and is a consultant to the Mason Office of Risk Management and Safety. He provided a brief history of the development of defibrillators and how they work, and answered questions about them. The Mason Office gives a four-hour training course regularly in defibrillator use and CPR. The defibrillator provides a jolt if restarting the heart is needed, but if breathing does not resume, CPR is then needed.
He explained that neither the University nor Virginia law require the use of defibrillators, but the Mason Office strongly recommends their use. Operators are protected under the Virginia Good Samaritan law and the University is insured, as well.
Defibrillator pads need replacement about every six months, and the machines should have a weekly visual inspection to make sure they are in working order. Any OLLI machines purchased with OLLI funds but housed on University property would be owned and maintained by the University and be covered by the Mason liability policy. Details still to be worked out include maintenance of machines at OLLI sites not University property, such as at Reston.
The Finance Committee and executive director are completing work on the 2007 OLLI budget to be presented to the Board. Treasurer Don Yesukaitis announced that there will be a special Board meeting solely on the proposed budget. Interested OLLI members are encouraged to attend and ask questions. This open meeting on the 2007 budget will be held on Thu, Dec 7, at 10:00 at Tallwood.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board will be held on Fri, Dec 15, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. President Debbie Halverson schedules a public comment period near the end of the agenda to hear from members attending Board meetings. Back


AT ITS MONTHLY BOARD MEETING ON FRI, OCT 27, 2006, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS passed a resolution of appreciation “to express profound appreciation to Janice Dewire for her leadership and dedication to OLLI as demonstrated in the organization and execution of the OLLI Fifteenth Anniversary Celebration.” Janice acknowledged the help of all the people it took to throw a party for 150 people.
The topic of what’s known as directors and officers insurance coverage (or D&O coverage) was discussed. In January 2005 OLLI switched to VARisk2 as a function of its affiliation with GMU; this coverage was less expensive than OLLI’s previous commercial coverage. However, as Executive Director Dick Chobot investigated the details of this coverage, he identified several potential flaws. An example is considerable uncertainty as to coverage for non-Board members serving in assignments where there is an exposure. This situation led to a resignation of a member of the Finance Committee.
Dick recommended that OLLI change back to commercial D&O coverage. The estimated cost is $1,300 compared to $500 under VARisk2. The Board agreed, and a resolution was approved to authorize this additional expenditure.
President Debbie Halverson announced that Dick Chobot would be sending an email to the membership asking any member to respond if they would like to have Board minutes emailed to them. A copy of the minutes will continue to be posted in the Social Room.     The Board approved the use of absentee votes by Board members on proposed resolutions circulated before the meeting. Such votes would be valid if received by the secretary prior to the Board meeting, and only for the original resolution.
In executive session the Board heard and discussed the report and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Future of the Executive Director position. This session was for discussion only. Board members are expected to vote on the issue in executive session in November.
The next meeting of the Board will be held on Fri, Nov 17, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend the open portion of this meeting. President Debbie Halverson schedules a public comment period near the end of the agenda to hear from members attending Board meetings. Back


THE SEP 15, 2006, BOARD MEETING was held in Reston in the classroom space at Lake Anne with several OLLI members present as observers. President Debbie Halverson took special care to explain Board procedures for the benefit of the guests.
Development Committee chair Eileen Duggan and executive director Dick Chobot presented a development plan. Eileen explained to Board members that she would need their help in cultivating potential donors as OLLI looks ahead to the need within the next few years to raise substantial funding for moving and other expenses depending on GMU’s plans for the Tallwood site and the development of its University Based Retirement Community.
The Board approved unanimously a set of revised bylaws prepared by Gordon Canyock, who chairs an Ad Hoc Bylaws Revision Committee. This followed up on months of work by the committee and deliberations by Board members via email and at the two previous Board meetings. The next step is to bring this package to the full membership via a special mailing with a mail ballot, and a special membership meeting, now scheduled for Nov 14 at 10:00 at Tallwood.

 

     The Nov 14 meeting is just one of several key dates this fall. Debbie Halverson called attention to the full list:

  • Fri, Oct 20, 11:30:    OLLI’s 15th anniversary celebration, Christ Lutheran Church
  • Fri, Oct 27, 10:00:    The October Board meeting is being moved a week later to this date at Tallwood in order not to conflict with the 15th anniversary event
  • Fri, Nov 3, 10:00:    OLLI Town Meeting, Tallwood
  • Tues, Nov 14, 10:00:    Special Membership Meeting on bylaws revision, Tallwood
  • Fri, Nov 17, 10:00:    November Board meeting, Tallwood
  • Fri, Dec 1, 11:30:    Holiday Party, International Country Club of Fairfax

 

     The Board also approved by a vote of 8 to 2 language to provide strict accounting for the use of any meals and entertainment expenses as authorized by the Board in July. The implementing language reads as follows: It is expected that there will be occasions when an OLLI representative will be expected to incur meals and entertainment expense on behalf of the Institute. Such occasions shall typically be instances when an OLLI representative is hosting or entertaining a GMU contact or other non-OLLI guest. The only individuals empowered to incur or authorize such expenses are the president and the Executive Director. If an individual other than the president or the Executive Director incurs such expense, pre-approval, if possible, must be obtained. All requests for reimbursement of meal and entertainment expense must be documented, approved by the president and reviewed by the treasurer before reimbursement.
The next meeting of the Board will be held on Friday, Oct 27 at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. President Debbie Halverson has been scheduling a public comment period near the end of the agenda to hear from members attending Board meetings. Back


AT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2006, the Board approved the appointment of Pat Carroll to the Board to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Roberta Wulf. The Board dissolved the Administration Committee since its functions are now the responsibility of the Executive Director.
The Board approved a resolution to support George Mason University’s plan to develop a university-based retirement community that will include a new home and headquarters for OLLI. This is intended for Mason’s Board of Visitors as it takes up the issue this month.
A plan was approved for a pilot program at Mason’s Loudoun Campus for the spring 2007 term. The pilot plan of at least five courses is expected to break even financially. It has been developed with the assistance of the university and members from Loudoun County.
Both Treasurer Don Yesukaitis and Executive Director Dick Chobot noted the good results of this year’s outside audit of OLLI finances. Looking ahead to the development of the 2007 budget, the Board also provided some guidance to the Finance Committee on budget assumptions. These included such common-sense points as aiming for a balanced budget and relying mainly on dues revenues but determining the feasibility of other revenue sources as well.
Debbie Halverson’s plan to appoint an Ad Hoc Committee to Consider the Future of the Executive Director Position was approved. The Board also spent time on bylaws revision issues, and on whether it is possible to provide defibrillators if some members do not want these machines used on them.
The next meeting of the Board will be held in Reston at the Washington Plaza Baptist Church (where Lake Anne classes are held) at 10:00 on Friday, September 15. OLLI members are welcome to attend, and Reston area members are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to see the Board in action. Members’ questions and comments are always welcome in Board deliberations, and President Debbie Halverson has also been scheduling a public-comment period near the end of the agenda to hear from members attending Board meetings. Back


AT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ON FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006, the Board of Directors approved the extension of the Executive Director’s contract through February 28, 2006.
The Board also gave approval to the Planning Committee to move ahead with a pilot program on Mason’s Loudoun campus involving two to five classes. Peter Stearns, GMU’s Provost, asked OLLI to initiate this program. Mason will provide space and some funds for marketing. Loudoun residents attending classes will be charged a minimal fee but will not be considered OLLI members and will not be able to participate in classes at Tallwood or Reston. OLLI members will be able to attend the courses offered in Loudoun at no cost. OLLI member Ray Beery, a Loudoun county resident and former OLLI president, will spearhead the effort. This will be a test program to determine the level of interest in Loudoun County.
The Board determined that the President and Executive Director should have some funds for discretionary use such as meals and entertainment and voted to provide a monthly budget of $200 per month. It was further determined that a policy needed to be implemented for the governance and use of such funds. Gordon Canyock and Charles Duggan will draft a policy statement for consideration at the August Board meeting.
Gordon Canyock, the Bylaws Committee Chair, distributed copies of new draft Bylaws for the Board to review and discuss over the next two months. In September the Board will be asked to vote in favor of the proposed changes to the Bylaws. Assuming the vote is positive, the Bylaws then will go to the membership and they will have the opportunity to vote on them at a special meeting in November.
The Board of Directors approved making a $500 contribution in 2006 to the Fall for the Book Festival from “Friends of OLLI” funds. The festival, whose principal sponsors include George Mason University and the City of Fairfax, has arranged to have authors speak at OLLI each year since 1999, the year the festival was organized. In addition, the festival has provided bus transportation from Tallwood to the main campus to hear some of the more well-known authors. Details about this year’s festival will be included in upcoming issues of OLLI E-News. Back


AT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ON FRIDAY, JUNE 16, 2006, President Debbie Halverson announced the following appointments:

  • Charles Duggan as chair of the University Liaison Committee;
  • Pat Carroll as chair of the Planning Committee;
  • Susanne Zumbro as Class Liaison Coordinator; and
  • Roberta Wulf as coordinator for the OLLI Town Meeting on Nov. 3, 2006.

Debbie also announced that Jan Dewire is putting together plans for an OLLI 15th year anniversary celebration to be held on Oct. 20, 2006.
The Board was told about queries concerning Loudoun County. Mason is creating a new Loudoun County campus, and Mason Provost, Dr. Peter Stearns, has requested that OLLI consider providing a program to seniors living in that area. OLLI representatives explained that OLLI does not have the financial resources for program support in Loudoun and that there is no groundswell of citizen demand for such a program. Understanding the complications, the Provost offered to host a meeting with Mason’s Loudoun Operations Director to explore possible solutions. OLLI has made no commitment or plans and is involved only in preliminary discussions.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CONTRACT

Part of the Board meeting was held in executive session, during which time the Board directed the president to negotiate an extension of the executive director’s employment contract (which expires on Aug. 31, 2006) for another six months, through Feb. 28, 2007. Osher funds are anticipated to be the vehicle to pay for the executive director’s compensation, and the negotiated contract will be subject to Board approval.
The next Board meeting will be held on Friday, July 21, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


NEW OLLI OFFICERS: At its first meeting on JUNE 2, 2006, the new Board of directors elected the following officers: President, Debbie Halverson; Vice President, Eileen Duggan; Secretary, Carol Henderson; and Treasurer, Don Yesukaitis. These OLLI officers start serving their one-year terms immediately. Back


AT ITS MONTHLY BOARD MEETING ON APR 27, 2006, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS voted to dissolve the Long-Term Planning Committee and replace it with a Planning Committee as a permanent standing committee. The committee will be responsible for analyzing the short-term and long-term needs of the Institute, focusing on all areas of growth and development (membership, physical locations, programs, financing, etc.) and the relationship with Mason, the Bernard Osher Foundation and other potential sources of support. The committee will evaluate the Institute’s needs, opportunities and options and report its findings and recommendations to the Board.
A space crunch at Tallwood has caused a conflict between using the social room annex for small classes and keeping it available for informal social gatherings and as a lunchroom. The issue was referred to the Program Review Committee. As the issue comes up, Dick Chobot will consult with the PRC and schedule classes consistent with the committee’s advice.
     In an executive session, the Board agreed on points to be raised in the annual evaluation of the executive director. This process was begun at a date seven months into the first year in order to give OLLI’s first executive director useful feedback, and to enable all Board members who had worked with him since his hiring to participate while each was a current Board member.
The Board meeting concluded with a toast and various tributes to outgoing president Charles Duggan (photo at right by Kathie West) and his outstanding record of major change in growth and financial support for OLLI in his two terms as president. The contributions of Board members whose second term was ending, Florence Adler and Ceda McGrew, were also recognized.

     Because of Board elections being held this month, the Board will not meet in May. The next Board meeting will take place on Fri, Jun 2, at 10:00 at Tallwood. The main order of business will be the election of officers for 2006-2007. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


 

BOARD RETREAT

ON WED, MAR 22, 2006, THE BOARD HELD A RETREAT for Board members and the executive director to engage in a self-assessment process that focused on internal Board issues, major transition and organizational change, and the responsibilities of the Board, committees and the executive director. The Board reached consensus on several improvements to the functioning of the Board and to achieving a more effective relationship among the Board, committees, and the staff.
As an example, the Board developed a process for addressing key policy issues that cut across the areas of more than one committee. A temporary task force would be appointed by the president to work with the executive director to identify options and implications and make recommendations to the Board by a certain date. The first key issue on which president Charles Duggan may use such a process is the issue of OLLI growth – the possible directions of growth and the implications of various types of growth for the Institute. Back


AT ITS MONTHLY BOARD MEETING MAR 17, 2006, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS and a number of attending OLLI members heard from guest Dr. J. Thomas Hennessey, Chief of Staff to the President, George Mason University, who spoke about the planning to date for a university-based retirement community (“UBRC”) at Mason.

    Dr. Hennessey placed the UBRC in a broader context as one of several projects planned under Virginia’s Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act. These projects include faculty and staff housing, an information technology and engineering complex and a hotel/conference center as well as the UBRC.
Two UBRC proposals have been received, from Sunrise Assisted Living, Inc. and from PRACEIS LLC. Further steps include review of these proposals, a 45-day posting period, and then negotiations with the proposing firms. The committee’s criteria for a good UBRC include a location on campus, an integrated program with a Mason school or program, and community involvement.
Space requirements include space for OLLI, for the George Mason Senior Living Program, and for community space (theater space for Mason’s Theater of the First Amendment); parking; and four residential components – mostly independent living units, with assisted living units, memory care and skilled nursing care. The residential components comprise what is known as a continuing-care retirement community.
Dr. Hennessey said he is not sure that either of the proposals meets all required standards; other proposals have been solicited and one preliminary proposal has been turned down. Several elements are still uncertain, including timing and which plot of land would be used. OLLI would share space with the Senior Living Program, which uses classrooms mainly in the afternoon and evening. OLLI’s administrative space would not be shared.
To implement any negotiated final agreement, a special purpose entity, a 501(c)(3) organization, will be created; Dr. Hennessey expects that OLLI would have representation on this organization’s board. Dick Chobot is a member of the Mason committee that Dr. Hennessey currently chairs on the UBRC.
Clearly, many questions cannot be answered with available information; much will depend on negotiations. Discussion identified both concerns and opportunities related to the concept of OLLI space at a Mason UBRC.

It was the sense of the Board that the following draft OLLI Vision Statement, as proposed by the Long-Term Planning Committee, was useful and that the committee should continue its work:

OLLI VISION STATEMENT

 

  • Continue to serve the Northern Virginia community by providing intellectual and cultural experiences for residents in their retirement years.
  • Achieve net positive annual growth in membership consistent with area needs.
  • Provide expanded social atmosphere for members.
  • Provide expanded quality and quantity curriculum for learning/entertainment.
  • Permanent building in the geographic area.
  • Maintain close affiliation with George Mason to include faculty, course development and facilities.
  • Rely on an Executive Director and a capable professional staff to complement volunteer efforts.
  • Serve the larger Northern Virginia area from geographically diverse locations as a catalyst.
  • Continue to cooperate and work with other Lifelong Learning Institutes in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and elsewhere.
  • Achieve the above in a financially responsible way.

The Board voted 13 to 2 to schedule a retreat for Board members only, plus the executive director, on Mar 22. This followed a spirited discussion of whether growth issues raised in various email postings among Board members should be handled in an extra regular open Board meeting, in an executive session or in a closed Board retreat, and whether the bylaws prevented a retreat session or whether retreats were standard practice and not prohibited when a nonprofit Board needed to engage in self-assessment. The vote reflected the conclusion reached by and proposed by OLLI officers that to get a handle on transition difficulties and to review the appropriate roles of Board, committees and staff, a retreat was needed. (See retreat highlights immediately below.)
The Board also heard updates on program planning, financial reporting and budget planning and heard a report from the Nominating Committee on its slate of nominees for upcoming Board vacancies. Listed alphabetically, Board candidates are: Valerie Braybrooke, Gordon Canyock, Pat Carroll, Charles Duggan, RoseMary Gustin, Joe Torpey, Phil True, Roberta Wulf, Rod Zumbro.
The Board usually meets on the third Friday. However, due to travel schedules of several officers and the executive director, the April Board meeting has been rescheduled for Fri, Apr 28, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


AT ITS MEETING ON FEB 17, 2006, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS commended Program Review Committee members Kathryn Russell (chair), Bob Bohall and RoseMary Gustin for having stepped in so effectively on winter and spring term programming and for putting together a good new program planning structure with the executive director. The Program Committee, to be chaired by a PRC member, will consist of the heads of subject area resource groups and programmatic resource groups such as special events and Reston. Dick Chobot and program assistant Rae Shafer will be responsible for the summer program, and the new structure will evolve for fall program planning. The PRC will return to its original review function.
The Board approved up to $5,000 to provide for the engagement of outside legal counsel to review contracts and other documentation. Board members felt that the Institute had reached a level of maturity and complexity that such assistance is needed occasionally. Executive director Dick Chobot will assist in identifying attorneys knowledgeable about nonprofit organization law. The subject of an early such consultation would be travel opportunities and related contract and liability issues.
A resolution on the future budget process calling for line-item details and narrative explanations in a budget to be presented in October was defeated 3-10. The Finance Committee will consider in March a draft 2007 budget process being prepared by Dick Chobot with a timeline calling for budget submission in October and a separate Board meeting on the budget in November.
A financial report on the “Friends of OLLI” donations in 2005 included data of interest:

* 23.6 percent of OLLI members made donations, a very good record.
* Board members donated more than 14 percent of the total.
* Averaging donations at $26 per member indicates that without donations, dues would need to be significantly higher to cover operating expenses and certain capital expenses such as equipment.

The Board also discussed the idea of advertising or sponsorships as a way to cover certain costs, such as the printing of the OLLI catalog. There was strong opposition to paid ads. Sponsorships might involve a corporation underwriting the catalog printing costs in return for a line in the catalog acknowledging their assistance. The Development Committee, chaired by Eileen Duggan, will explore the pros and cons of the sponsorship issue with Dick Chobot and report back to the Board.
Information items reported on included–

* A request by the GMU site in Loudoun County for an expression of interest in using their space for OLLI classes. Dick Chobot will prepare a draft Memorandum of Understanding on such an undertaking and report back to the Board.
* The LeisureWorld retirement community in Loudoun County is interested in an internal program of classes for their residents; Dick Chobot may advise them on development of an internal program.
* Charles Duggan and Dick Chobot will represent OLLI at the April 19-21 biennial meeting of lifelong learning institutes funded by the Osher Foundation. The Osher Foundation pays expenses for this meeting.

The Board will meet next on Fri, Mar 17, 2006, at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


AT ITS JAN 20, 2006 MEETING, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS heard from Treasurer Don Yesukaitis that OLLI ended the year with a strong cash position. The Institute showed a net income of more than $12,000 against a budgeted loss of $11,000. He attributed this difference in outcome mainly to a payroll total lower by $13,000 than budgeted due to staff departures and interim periods with less than full staffing as well as to some reduced expenses.
The Board approved President Charles Duggan’s appointment of Florence Adler as Nominating Committee chair and her appointment of Leo Brennan, Michael Coyne, Cloe Ingram, Richard Lanterman and Ceda McGrew as members of the Nominating Committee. Details are in a separate article by Florence.
The Board approved expenditures from the “Friends of OLLI” funds of $8,000 in gift scholarships for deserving GMU students and up to $5,000 for defibrillators at Tallwood and Lake Anne. Details on these uses of “Friends of OLLI” funds are explained in a separate article by Eileen Duggan.
Charles Duggan reported that he and Eileen Duggan represented OLLI at a Virginia legislature sponsored pre-session for community representatives in Northern Virginia where they presented testimony in support of strong state support for GMU.
The Board will meet next on Fri, Feb 17, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


 

AT ITS DEC 16, 2005 MEETING, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS, in a vote of 14 to 1 with one abstention, approved the 2006 operating budget. The budget had been submitted by the Finance Committee in a revised form from that presented at the November Board meeting.
The approved budget does not require a dues increase. OLLI annual dues will remain at $280 in 2006. The $7,000 in revenue a $10 increase in dues would have generated is expected to be offset by a similar amount of revenue from the income from the Osher gift of a $1 million endowment. The $1 million is expected to be received by the GMU Foundation by mid-January. This timing will allow an income payment to OLLI of approximately $7,000 in September 2006, earlier than previously believed. If the receipt of funds is delayed, then the payout will be reduced to approximately $3,400 in FY 2006.
Treasurer Don Yesukaitis walked the Board through the key provisions, noting that it is a deficit budget although proposed revenue is up about ten percent, and expenses are up six percent. He explained that proposed uses of Osher Foundation funds and Friends of OLLI funds would be considered at a future date. It was pointed out that Board action is required to allow the use of these funds.
Sources of revenue other than dues and donations include remaining Osher Foundation grant funds, sponsorships and income from services. New expenses result from new initiatives, including both registration database upgrades, donor cultivation and recognition, landscaping and landscape maintenance (moved from funding under an Osher grant to funding as part of the operating budget), computer and audiovisual equipment and maintenance, and membership promotion and retention.
The Board also approved up to $2,000 in Friends of OLLI funds to be spent for an office computer and associated software to be used by a soon-to-be-hired program assistant.
Further detail about the 2006 budget is available from Executive Director Dick Chobot. A copy of the budget will be posted in the Social Room when the Tallwood office reopens on January 3, 2006. The Board will meet next on Friday, January 20, 2006, at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are encouraged to attend. Back


AT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING ON NOV 18, 2005 the Board, following up on a report on OLLI travel opportunities by Susanne Zumbro, directed the president to establish a Travel Advisory Subcommittee to the Program Committee. The subcommittee, working with the Executive Director, will identify and evaluate tour operators and establish travel opportunities that it determines to be of interest to OLLI members.
In a sense-of-the-Board statement, the Board agreed with Publications Committee chair Gordon Canyock’s recommendations that fostering two-way communications is a valid mission for Publications, and that committee chairs should coordinate all decisions that potentially affect OLLI operations with the Executive Director, who should have the responsibility for final approval.
The balanced budget proposed for 2006 assumes new sources of income, including $8,000 in revenues from services and sponsorships, $7,000 from an assumed increase of $10 in annual dues from a membership of 700, and $8,000 of undesignated funds generated in prior years.
THE BOARD AUTHORIZED DISBURSEMENT OF UP TO $5,000 in Friends of OLLI funds for acquisition of an office copier to replace the aging GMU copier now in the office.
Don Yesukaitis’ Treasurer’s report and the Finance Committee’s 2006 budget proposal were the main subjects of discussion. Although OLLI has now received a letter from the Osher Foundation confirming its intent to provide a $1 million endowment, some issues must be clarified before the agreement can be signed by all parties.
The $1 million endowment will be sent under Osher Foundation procedures to the GMU Foundation and invested under the GMU Foundation’s investment policies, but it is expected to be at least a year and a half before any endowment income will be paid to OLLI. Thus the endowment, while providing OLLI some investment income in 2007 and beyond, will have no effect on the 2006 budget.
Don Yesukaitis described the proposed 2006 budget unanimously approved by the Finance Committee (Don as chair, Pat Carroll, Pat Cosslett, Dick Chobot, Charles Duggan, Tom Hady and Joe Torpey) as forward looking, conservative and meeting long-term needs. To create a balanced budget, it assumes new sources of income, including $8,000 in revenues from services and sponsorships, $7,000 from an assumed increase of $10 in annual dues from a membership of 700, and $8,000 of undesignated funds generated in prior years. It also assumes (as previously agreed) that the Executive Director’s salary and benefits will come from new grant or outside funding.
The budget assumption of a $10 dues increase prompted considerable concern and discussion, both pro and con. No action was taken on the budget proposal. It will be on the agenda for the Board’s December 16 meeting at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are encouraged to attend and voice their views. Back


AT THE OCT 21, 2005 BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING, Treasurer Don Yesukaitis summarized the use of the first $100,000 grant from the Osher Foundation. Approximately $80,000 of the first year Osher funds have been spent. Half of that went for the new rest rooms while the balance was spent on audiovisual equipment, furniture, computers, the storage shed, the membership brochure, the OLLI Expo and a small portion on landscaping. The remaining $20,000 will be spent to remodel the office. The second Osher grant of $100,000 received this summer is being used for the first year of the executive director’s salary and benefits.
President Charles Duggan noted that OLLI has been notified of the award of a $1 million endowment from the Osher Foundation (a year earlier than hoped for), but nothing formal had been received in writing as yet. Under the terms of Osher Foundation grants, all funds, including the endowment, are deposited with the GMU Foundation. Discussions with the GMU Foundation are ongoing regarding procedures for investment of endowment funds and OLLI’s use of income from it.
Executive Director Dick Chobot summarized his staffing plan to reorganize office duties and fill open positions. He also informed the Board that he has developed a proposal requested by the McLean Community Center for one day a week of senior programming there next year. The Program Review Committee (Kathryn Russell, Bob Bohall and RoseMary Gustin) reported that with help from Abbie Edwards and Dick Chobot, the winter term course schedule was nearly complete.
In response to an issue raised by Publications Committee chair Gordon Canyock, the Board agreed to a sense of the Board statement regarding anonymous letters or suggestions to the editor of OLLI News: The editor will not publish completely anonymous letters or suggestions; the editor will honor a request for anonymity if the author has identified himself or herself and the editor may publish the submission or may arrange for appropriate response; OLLI News will not publish slanderous or otherwise offensive material; and the editor retains the option to publish, cut, condense, or omit communications from the membership in exercising editorial discretion.
Board members presented a basket of gifts to departing Administrator Jennifer Maloney and thanked her for more than six years of service. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Nov 18 at 10:00 at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back

 


AT ITS SEP 16, 2005 meeting, the Board dissolved the Executive Director Search Ad Hoc Committee and approved a new Bylaws Revision Ad Hoc Committee chaired by Gordon Canyock. This committee will review the current bylaws and recommend to the Board any revisions that it deems appropriate.
For example, last year’s nominating committee suggested changes in election procedures that would require changes to the bylaws, and the role of an executive director is not addressed in the current bylaws. If the Board agrees with the committee’s recommendations, a special meeting of the membership will be called to vote on adoption.
Among other issues discussed was the possibility of offering international travel service to members; Susanne Zumbro was asked to investigate this possibility.
The Board also heard from the Program Review Committee and Reston Support Committee that program development is well underway for the winter term by these committees and numerous volunteers.
In addition, the Facilities Committee reported on arrangements made to hold and equip three very large classes at Christ Lutheran Church because fall enrollments were too large for TA-1 at Tallwood.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 21 at 10:00 AM at Tallwood. OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back


AT ITS MEETING ON AUG 19, 2005, the Board approved the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Executive Director Search Committee and agreed to offer the position of OLLI-GMU executive director to Dr. Richard B. Chobot.
The Board also voted to adjust the budget to support the executive director’s attendance at the Elderhostel Institute Network Mid-Atlantic Regional Lifelong Learning Institutes 2005 Conference to be held September 10-13, hosted by the LLI at the University of North Carolina. Board members felt this would be an essential learning experience about other LLIs in the region.
The next Board meeting will be Friday, September 16 at 10:00 AM at Tallwood. All OLLI members are welcome to attend. Back