The board of directors has approved moving forward with a vote by the association membership on the proposed new governance model. This vote will take place at the General Membership Assembly on July 24, 2015.
When proposed changes are significant, it is recommended that an organization’s current bylaws be replaced with a completely rewritten version, rather than amending the current version line by line. This process is referred to as a “revision” of the bylaws. A revision is recommended for changing NACUFS’ bylaws to support the proposed governance model coming before the membership this July.
The Bylaws Committee worked closely with NACUFS’ legal counsel prior to presenting this revised set of bylaws to the board of directors, and subsequently to you.
As Bylaws Committee Chair, I write to communicate the results of the recent board meeting in Lansing, Michigan. The Governance Work Group and board of directors clearly heard the membership and have responded by making changes to address their concerns about the governance proposal while also closing performance gaps related to the association’s current structure. These changes have been incorporated into a proposed bylaws amendment which the board approved to be submitted to the membership in July. I have outlined the changes below.
Members shared comments and concerns about the ability to vote on candidates for national office and on bylaws amendments. The proposed bylaws provide a process whereby the nominating committee will present an uncontested slate of candidates to the board of trustees for endorsement. The board and/or membership may then submit alternate, additional nominees, and voting delegates will approve the final slate of candidates and/or elect leaders at the General Membership Assembly during the national conference.
Members also asked to retain voting authority on amendments to the bylaws. The revised proposal allows the board of trustees the authority to amend only certain articles and sections of the bylaws at its discretion. Other key articles and sections, primarily related to the fundamental structure and purpose of NACUFS and the board of trustees, will require approval of the membership to amend.
Members expressed concerns about lack of guaranteed regional representation on the board of trustees and committees. The revised bylaws proposal states that geographic and other types of diversity will be encouraged, however competency will remain the first consideration when recruiting leaders for appointed positions and elected offices.
The current title of “regional council” will be retained, instead of “regional coordinating committee” as originally proposed. This will prevent any confusion; the council itself is not a committee. The role of the regional council will be to coordinate and implement activities at the regional level.
The regional councils will be led by a “regional director,” currently known as regional president. This title more accurately reflects this position’s role and responsibility of carrying out the association’s programs and activities at the regional level.
The title of the board of directors will change to “board of trustees” with the title of president changing to “chair of the board of trustees.” These titles more accurately reflect that the board of trustees will focus on governing the association while staff will focus on managing the association. This change will also help avoid confusion with the title of regional director; there will be no implication that a regional director serves on a board of trustees.
The proposed title of NACUFS’ executive director will be chief executive officer (CEO), instead of president as originally proposed. This title more accurately describes the position’s responsibilities in managing the association, respects the contributions of former NACUFS volunteer presidents, and honors their title and role.
Roles and Responsibilities
Similar to higher education institutions, a board governs and a chair of the board leads its strategic efforts, while the professional staff manages the organization. This model is also common in business and associations. In adopting this model, NACUFS will create a clear delineation between board, volunteer, and staff responsibilities.
As competent, highly-regarded operators, the board of trustees will set the strategic direction for NACUFS, defining what members want and need most from their association. The membership will continue to serve in various leadership roles to help carry out programs and services identified by the board and provided by the association. The CEO will manage the staff, build systems to support the board of trustees and volunteers, and provide continuity. This will allow volunteers to contribute in meaningful ways with association staff to provide professional expertise to support them.
Many of our members voiced concern with paths to leadership roles in the association. Although not a bylaws issue, I am including an explanation here. The vision of the Governance Work Group and the board of directors is that NACUFS will establish an annual volunteer management program, as previously recommended by two project teams. It will include an open call for volunteers, which will provide a structured method for notifying members of available volunteer opportunities. Selected volunteers will receive appropriate orientation, training, and recognition. Volunteer participation will be tracked to encourage broad member engagement.
The role of regional director is envisioned as a potential developmental position for future leaders, including for positions on the board of trustees, just like the current regional president position. Likewise, committee members serving on regional councils still have a clear pathway to roles of greater responsibility.
After thoughtful discussion and careful consideration by the Governance Work Group and the board of directors, I am confident the questions raised by many dedicated and concerned members have been addressed in the bylaws to the extent possible while still closing the performance gaps in the association’s current structure. There will be further opportunities to ask questions and learn more about the proposed changes before voting at the General Membership Assembly in July 2015. As NACUFS president Zia Ahmed indicated in his blog, please feel free email him at email@example.com if you have questions and would like to speak directly with him.
Janet Paul is the director of dining services at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) has embarked on a significant process of strategic planning and governance review, as recently approved in a conceptual vote by the general membership during the 2014 NACUFS National Conference.
The conceptual vote was brought forward to the general membership at the General Membership Assembly on Friday, July 11. This vote allowed the board of directors, strategic planning committee, and the Governance Work Group (GWG) to move forward with the proposed governance changes with input from the general membership. More than 90 percent of members present voted to pass the conceptual vote and have the opportunity to have influence over the new structure.
NACUFS will create avenues allowing members’ voices to continue to be heard, and the GWG along with the board will take any proposals into consideration before finalizing the new governance model in 2015. This process honors the effort and success of the past, while taking a careful and deliberate look to the future and concentrating on member-focused, data-driven, outcome-based organizational decisions.
NACUFS past president Mark LoParco spoke about the upcoming changes, saying, “How an organization is governed is key to what it accomplishes. Great organizations recognize the need to plan proactively for the future and adapt to changing environments. NACUFS is at an historic moment when it is important to look to the future and explore opportunities for change, which will result in greater support to our regions and better programs for our members.”
Current NACUFS president Zia Ahmed looks to the future of the organization, “NACUFS is looking to make changes from a position of strength. As it moves into the future, the association is positioning itself to deliver increased value through programs and services that will result in stronger campus dining programs for our members.”
NACUFS is a strong organization with more than 1,000 institutional and industry members. With a retention rate of 93 percent and a satisfaction rate of nearly 80 percent, the association serves the changing needs of its members through resources, education, networking, and volunteer opportunities.
NACUFS is in a position of strength both in membership and financially. Structural and procedural changes will ensure that the organization continues to be strong and serve the needs of its members in the coming years.
Governance determines how decisions will be made, by whom and within what parameters. Each college or university has a governance model and structure, as does NACUFS. How an organization is governed is key to what it accomplishes. As a corporate governing body, the NACUFS Board of Directors has certain duties that it can’t delegate, such as legal and fiduciary responsibilities. Therefore, governance should facilitate the performance and duties of the board.
Below are resources to help familiarize and gain understanding on the proposed governance model approved by the board of directors:
Please note: There will be an information session on governance and strategic planning at the national conference in Baltimore on Thursday, July 10 at 10:45 a.m. Voting delegates will be asked to approve the foundation elements of the proposed governance structure at the General Membership Assembly taking place on Friday, July 11 at 4:45 p.m.
The past few weeks have drawn attention to collegiate dining services and key leaders in the profession. We are proud to showcase some of the recent NACUFS members who have been honored for their accomplishments in the industry.
Kevin D’Onofrio, director of food services at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., is the IFMA Silver Plate Award winner for the Specialty Foodservice category.
"Receiving the IFMA Silver Plate is an incredible honor and extremely humbling. I am proud to be considered among such an outstanding group of professionals. This award is clear validation that perseverance in a very challenging industry is rewarded. The IFMA Silver Plate rewards the entire Culinary Group, all of whom made this honor possible. It recognizes not only me, but all of the incredibly talented people who have inspired with me and supported me throughout my many years in food service. I have been extremely fortunate to have had many outstanding mentors over the years. These include General and Kathy Boylan, Colonels Hudgins, Kinney, Endres, Flowers and Orecchio. This award serves as a reminder that my organization must continue to set the standard for success in the food service industry," he stated.
D'Onofrio is one of eight award winners who will be featured at a banquet on May 19 in Chicago, Ill. during the National Restaurant Association Show.
NACUFS president Mark LoParco was chosen as the winner for the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award for the College and Universities category. LoParco is the director of dining at the University of Montana where he directs all UM Dining Services such as Food Zoo, UM Farm to College Program, and UM Catering. He is the first standing NACUFS president to win a Silver Plate Award.
“Thank you all so much for the heartfelt congratulations and support that have poured in. I am thrilled and humbled to receive this honor and wish to express my immense gratitude for the people who rightfully share this award with me,” stated LoParco in his blog.
Rafi Taherian, executive director of Yale Dining at Yale University, was named FoodService Director Magazine’s Foodservice Director of the Year for 2013. He was selected by a panel of FoodService Director editors, the FSD advisory board, and the FSDs of the Month from 2012.
"I am very humbled, very, very grateful; I am very proud of just being named FoodService Director's FSD of the Month for the month of February," Taherian said. "Obviously, this was an extra bonus I was not expecting. I can only be even further proud I am one of this group. This industry is all about excellence. What I know and what I've learned is from the people in this room. We don’t get credit for what we do—we stand on other people's shoulders."
Congratulations to all of the recipients of these honors. We are proud of our members' many accomplishments!