Board Meeting Minutes - 2010

IBR Board Minutes
March 15, 2010

7:00 pm CST

Present: Lee McDonald (president), Lynn Cohick (secretary), Rick Hess, Craig Keener, Michelle Lee-Barnewall, Tremper Longman, Jeff Weima, Lissa Wray Beal, Kent Yinger, Carol Kaminski, Ken Litwak

Not present: Andy Johnson, Brent Strawn

Prayer: Michelle Lee-Barnewall

Approval of November minutes: Motion made by Lee McDonald; seconded by Tremper Longman. Motion carried.

1. President’s update: Lee McDonald. Lee made the following motion: Recommendation for Retired Colleagues, if they have been members for 20 years and are currently retired, they can apply for their membership to continue without dues. BBR would be extra. Seconded by Carol Kaminski. Motion carried.

Lee was contacted by Dan Reid, IVP, about refreshments for this year’s annual meeting, and also by Baker (Jim Kinney) who will provide them the following year. They may not be able to do as much by way of refreshments and free items, given the economic downturn.

Update on the book provisionally titled Foundations for a History of Israel, multi-authored volume co-edited by Bill Arnold and Rick with Baker Academic. Contract is signed.

Lee is checking with Joel Green on the status of Studies in NT studies with Baker Academic, and project editor James Earnest.

2. Membership committee’s presentation of new members: Lynn Cohick.

Lynn made the motion to accept Fellows’ list, seconded by Craig Keener. Motion carried; Lynn made the motion to accept Associates’ list, seconded by Lissa Wray Beal. Motion carried; Lynn made the motion to accept nomination for Friend, seconded by Kent Yinger. Motion carried. The board members were given the complete list before the meeting, but the minutes will not include these names due to privacy issues, as these members have not been formally approved by the membership.

3. Program Director’s report: Craig Keener

Program change: The previous speaker was unable to commit to the Friday plenary session and has been replaced by N.T. Wright; the new respondent will be Mike Bird.

Craig and Kent Yinger will be in communication about the program so that we can get into the online SBL program book. Ken Litwak will put the finalized program on the web in the next few weeks as it becomes available.

4. Annual Meeting Coordinator’s report: Kent Yinger

Dates for SBL program deadlines are uncertain. Last year it was in May, so we are in good shape it seems.

Michelle Lee-Barnewall will be in conversation with Kent Yinger and Craig Keener and Ken Litwak so that the worship information will be communicated.

Assumed amount of Friday’s annual meeting attendance: 850-900 people

5. Newsletter Report: Lissa Wray Beal.

Lissa offered the following proposal: Newsletter should be used to draw people towards membership in IBR. To that end, it would be a succinct take-away (ideally, one legal size sheet, double-sided or a folded larger sheet which is what it has been in the past) that

1. Gives an overview of who we are as IBR, what services we offer, and how to become a member;

2. Directs potential and existing members to our website and particular point-people for further connections to IBR and its services.

3. Gives information about the current year’s meeting (schedule, etc.)

4. Provides one or two brief articles for reflection (either on issues surrounding academic pursuits or towards the topic engaged during the conference).

Discussion concluded that it would be wise to send out the newsletter a few weeks before the annual meeting, and also to bring copies to place on each seat at the Friday event.

Discussion concluded that we would set up our website so that IBR members could send to Ken Litwak new publications and paper presentations to be posted on our site. Ken noted that he will be able in the future to establish a system whereby the IBR member can upload their recent publication information directly, but for the time being, all information will go directly to Ken.

6. Worship Service Report: Michelle Lee-Barnewall. Karen Jobes will be speaking this 2010 annual meeting.

7. Report on Web and Plans for future of the Ken Litwak

Lee McDonald asked if we could post our IBR members’ recent (2009/2010) publications and paper presentations, as well as offer a list of our members looking for work, or institutions having an opening. Lee McDonald will send out a letter informing members to send in their information when Ken is ready for the information. We will request that members send in their information in SBL format to Ken who will update the website page once a month.

Rick Hess asked about BBR issues on line, whether we could put up the BBR 2006 and those issues appropriate for 2007 on line. Ken will be talking with Ted Hildebrandt (former board member) on how to use the site, and he will work with Eisenbrauns and Rick Hess to get these things up.

8. Additional Items

A. Rick Hess emailed with Jim Eisenbraun concerning our membership and BBR subscriptions and received the following from Jim:

Rick: What do BBR subscriptions look like at this point compared to last year. Are we seeing more, fewer, or about the same?

Jim: Here are the numbers for the last 3 years, with the numbers for 2010 as of today. We always have late sometimes very late renewals, so there is no doubt that another 20-30 renewals of membership will come in; they always do. So it’s important to bear in mind that the 2008 and 2009 figures include all memberships through today; we had some 2009 renewals in December 2009, believe it or not! But the overall picture is one of decline, something we’re seeing in other areas too, as the economy has an effect on individuals’ ability to maintain their memberships. First, the numbers:

  2010 2009 2008
Associates 31 29 33
Friends 23 29 29
Fellows 251 285 314
Retired 23 23 29
Totals 328 366 395

Roughly, I’d say we’ll end up around 360/370 memberships for 2010. That’s a guesstimate of course. And I think a further reminder is appropriate; I’ll work on that later next week (I have the AOS meetings this coming weekend); that’ll rescue a few more memberships. One does have the feeling, when one walks into the annual meeting sessions, that more people should be members.

I welcome any of your ideas (or others) on how we might do that.

Rick: Where are matters with the idea of putting an advertisement to the Tyndale Fellowship/Bulletin membership? When do you see this happening?

Jim: I’m still working on this; and have delayed much too much. We’re all set to go with Tyndale House. They’ll send an e-mail to all subscribers; and I intend to see to this in the next week. It requires us at Eisenbrauns to put up a special page for subscriptions on our web site, and that’s something I need to see get done. Note, too, that this will certainly help the overall scenario for BBR but will not bring in more income to IBR as such: our agreement calls for Eisenbrauns to receive income from subscriptions and in return provides a reduced rate for the journal to the IBR (but you know that).

Rick: Any further thoughts on increasing subscriptions?

Jim: I presume that you mean memberships by this question? Or do you mean both memberships and subscriptions (general visibility)? In terms of memberships, I wonder if we could do more at the annual meeting. I’m thinking that even providing a way of carrying out the paperwork there, somehow, rather than doing it later, would help (striking while the iron is hot, as it were). I think, too, that recommending that persons who publish in the journal become members (if they fit the profile) would be a good idea; I know that not all of them are members because we get requests for copies of the journal from people who’ve published and we can sell them a single issue, or give them one free; but I really would like to see such persons become members. (I’m not sure that we need to go to the extent that IBR once did and that SBL still does: you can’t publish in the society’s journal unless you’re a member.)

A second side-issue that will become more critical over time: postal costs keep rising. At some point, I’d like to update the numbers that we provided about 18 months ago in this regard but it might be good to wait until the next round of increases, promised soon by the postal service, which is in deep trouble, arrive and we have a clearer picture.

Rick Hess proposed that he and Lynn Cohick would prepare a 2-sided sheet of paper on becoming a member of IBR. It would be simple enough to allow a person to fill it out and sign it on the Friday evening of the plenary session, and so to pursue membership. Perhaps one side would be an application form and the other side would have the doctrinal statement that people could sign. This paper would be placed on every chair on our Friday evening session. As he did last year, Rick would take a minute to introduce and encourage membership before the speaker’s introduction. Those interested, but not knowing any present members of IBR, could list Rick and Lynn as their two references. They would later be asked to send a cv to Rick and Lynn who would then decide whether to act as references. They could hand these applications to Lynn or Rick (or any IBR board member) on the same evening or mail them to us later.”

B. Lee McDonald will be sending out a reminder letter to all IBR members, encouraging those who have not paid their dues to do so. Lee would like to look at the list of those who have not paid dues to see if we can get them to pay; we need to have that information so that we can send a reminder letter. We can likely get this information from Eisenbrauns.

C. Lynn Cohick mentioned a conversation she had with Jim Libby, who was interested in talking with IBR about distributing grant money to worthy projects done by IBR members. Lynn will follow up with Jim, and encourage him to send a proposal to the board, or to talk directly with Lee McDonald.

D. Jeff Weima noted that the unexpected under-billing from Eisenbrauns, to the tune of $6000, has put a bit of a crimp in our budget, but at this point it does not seem as though we need to raise dues to cover this. Jeff will have a better sense of our specific financial state when he completes the IBR tax return.

E. Lee McDonald noted that board members can request secretarial help for projects, and we will see if we can help pay those costs.

Meeting Adjourned 8:25 CST

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Cohick
Secretary, IBR