Gamma Sigma Delta

2000 Annual Meeting Minutes

Gamma Sigma Delta Business Meeting -- January 20, 2000
Submitted by Mary Marchant, Chapter Past President

A reception preceded the 2000 business meeting, providing an opportunity for Gamma Sigma Delta (GSD) members to socialize.

The 2000 business meeting was called to order by President Deborah Witham at 3:00 p.m. on January 20, 2000. Approximately 30 members attended. President Witham announced that our chapter had received the 1998-99 Outstanding GSD Chapter Award from the GSD International Executive Committee. The International Committee stated that they were particularly impressed with the chapter's two new activities Distinguished Lecture Series and Outstanding Staff Awards Program as well as our Retirement Reception. President Witham also announced recent chapter activities: development of a new brochure, new display and web site ( and completion of the second year for the Distinguished Lecture Series and Outstanding Staff Awards Programs. The chapter received a $500 grant from the College's Barnhart Fund for Excellence. Minutes of the 1999 meeting, prepared by then chapter Secretary Deborah Witham, were accepted. Treasurer George Duncan presented the 1999 Financial Statement. Former Treasurer Susannah Denomme noted that the newly established George Mitchell Award for $750 is covered by an endowment and should not come out of chapter funds. Treasurer Duncan will follow-up with the Development Office. In addition, Treasurer Duncan presented a proposed budget for 2000. Motion to accept the budget, contingent on the above changes, was proposed by Susannah Denomme; seconded by Susan Skees; passed.

Committee Reports:

Larry Grabau, member of the Nominating Committee, passed out ballots. Two candidates, Kim Ragland (Ag. Communication) and Lee Edgerton (Animal Science) were presented for the position of president-elect. Candidates for secretary included Susan Sponcil (Ag. Administration) and Patty Scharko (Livestock Diagnostic Lab.) Last spring, chapter Secretary, Deborah Witham was elected President-Elect to replace Susannah Denomme, who regretfully resigned, due to a job change. Carl Dillon was elected secretary for a one year term.

Rita Parsons, chair of the Outstanding Staff Awards Committee, submitted a report which was presented by Deborah Witham. This is the second year for this event. It was held during the College's homecoming week on September 10, 1999. Thirty-two nominations were received in three categories and five awards were presented. All nominees were recognized at a morning reception. Award winners were later announced "under the tent" at the College's Staff Appreciation Day luncheon, attended by over 800 staff members. Follow-up publicity included press releases to over 500 state and local newspapers, articles in University and College publications--UK News, The Agriculturist--and on the College of Agriculture's web site.

Jerry Skees, chair of the Distinguished Lecturer Series Committee, submitted a report which was also presented by President Witham. Dr. Michael Dunn, USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture, gave the second distinguished GSD lecture on November 19, 1999. The lecture, "Challenges in Regulating America's Food Supply," was held in the Gluck auditorium and attended by both faculty and students (several academic classes attended). The lecture was preceded by a breakfast with selected researchers, College of Agriculture Dean Oran Little and Associate Dean Scott Smith. There was a lively exchange between the faculty and Under Secretary Dunn at the breakfast. President Witham closed this report by commending Jerry Skees and his committee members for their outstanding job in initiating this program over the last two years.

Lee Edgerton, chair of the Membership Committee presented his report. He thanked Susan Skees for providing the list of undergraduates, who met the GSD selection criteria: senior status within the College of Agriculture, with at least 90 credit hours OR students who graduated at the end of the Fall semester 1999; minimum GPA of 3.0; upper 15% of seniors in the College; minimum of 45 hours taken at UK or its community colleges; and high moral character. For graduate students, membership criteria include: minimum GPA of 3.5; completion of 15 UK credit hours of graduate courses; demonstrated outstanding ability for advanced study; and high moral character. For faculty and staff, criteria include: member of faculty or staff for a minimum of three years; shown exceptional ability; and holds a position in the professional ranks of teaching, research or extension. For alumni, criteria include: graduate of College (at UK or other institution with comparable degree); provided significant service to agriculture in Kentucky; and graduated at least five years ago. The membership committee submitted its list for membership approval. Discussion followed, regarding expansion of individuals eligible for nomination. Dave Debertin made a motion to change the wording of the local chapter's constitution to match the international constitution with respect to the initiation of staff. Bob Harmon seconded the motion; it passed. Susan Skees moved to accept the nomination list, pending verification of student status; seconded by George Duncan; motion passed.

Susannah Denomme, chair of the Auditing Committee, reported that the books are in good order and commended Secretary Duncan for his efforts. Denomme did caution the chapter about declining funds in conjunction with financial support of our good activities.

Bill Moody, chair of the Awards Committee, thanked his committee members Martha Thompson and Susan Skees. Moody reported on the number of nominations received for the GSD Distinguished Service and Outstanding Alumnus awards.

Sue Nokes, chair of the Master Teacher Award Committee, reported that she had 12 solid nominations for the award.

Bob Harmon, chair of the Mitchell Award for Outstanding Faculty Service to Graduate Students, want is extending the nomination deadline to February 1, 2000.

David Debertin, chair of the Outstanding Graduate Students Awards Committee, reported on the status of nominations for outstanding M.S. and Ph.D. students.

Haven Miller, chair of the Banquet Committee, discussed plans for the March 28, 2000 Banquet. This event will be particularly special for several reasons. The chapter will be presented the Outstanding GSD Chapter Award by Richard Bull, International GSD resident-Elect. Also, it is our chapter's 45th anniversary and historic photos will be displayed.

Grace Gorrell, chair of the Retirement and Recognition Program Committee, has planned the reception for May 8, 2000.

Ken Wells, chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee, thanked committee members Joe Davis and Anna Lucas. He raised 4 questions to the membership: (1) Can the UK chapter offer membership to undergraduate juniors? This is allowed in the International Constitution and By-Laws (C&BL), but would require a change in our chapter's C&BL. (2) Is membership open to individuals at Kentucky State University? This is not possible under our C&BL. (3) Can election of chapter officers be done with a slate of candidates (1 person for each office) from the nomination committee, together with a call for nominations from the floor? There is an nconsistency in our chapter's C&BL, whereby the constitution (Article IV) calls for "a slate" and the By-Laws (Article II, Sec.1) specifies that the Nomination Committee shall nominate "two or more" candidates for each office. Thus, nominating a "slate" would require a change in the y-Laws. (4) Can our chapter sponsor a student paper competition? Yes. Regarding changes in the C&BL, the C&BL can be changed by approval of 3/4 of members present at a business meeting. Members shall be given 15 days prior notification for changes in the constitution and 7 days for changes in the By-Laws. Members indicated that discussion of these issues should occur at a future business meeting.

Old Business:

The dues structure and the possibility of creating lifetime dues was discussed.

Dave Debertin suggested that endowments for awards be investigated. Loys Mather proposed that a subcommittee be formed. Dave Debertin volunteered.

Bill Witt suggested that the student paper competition activity be explored.

There was no new business, or business from the floor.

The Nominating Committee announced the election results:
President-Elect, Lee Edgerton, and Secretary, Susan Sponcil.
President Witham adjourned the meeting at 5:00 p.m.