Gamma Sigma Delta

1998 Annual Meeting Minutes

Gamma Sigma Delta Business Meeting -- January 29, 1998
Submitted by Deborah Witham, Chapter Secretary

A reception preceded the 1998 business meeting, providing an opportunity for Gamma Sigma Delta (GSD) members to socialize.

The 1998 business meeting was called to order by President Larry Grabau at 3:00 p.m. on January 29, 1998. Approximately 25 members attended. Minutes of the 1997 meeting, prepared by Secretary Deborah Witham, were accepted. In addition to the minutes, Secretary Witham discussed the need to distribute next year's mailings via e-mail to as many members as possible (those on campus and in county offices in particular). Treasurer Susannah Denomme presented the 1997 Financial Statement, noting that the Chapter was in a good financial position thanks to a recent dues increase. In addition, Treasurer Denomme presented a proposed budget for 1998. Her commentary included remarks on how the banquet continues to pay for itself. She also noted that having the UK Credit Union as a banker has been a good choice. All of the financial accounts are now on Quicken, and can be called up in a number of ways.

Old Business -- Committee Reports:

Susan Skees, chair of the Outstanding Staff Awards Committee (other members include Darrell Slone, Darryl Strode, Ruth Ring, and Jan Schach), presented 5 recommendations:
1) that this program be separate from the annual banquet;
2) that the awards first be presented in spring 1999;
3) that faculty, area program directors, and county agents be excluded from the awards program; approximately 1200 staff members would be eligible, including county secretaries;
4) that the award consist of a cash award and a plaque; perhaps the Ag Alumni Association and the Office of the Dean would be willing to share the costs; and
5) members of the GSD Awards Committee be part of the initial selection committee.
The committee will continue to work out the details of this program.

Anna Lucas, chair of the Nominating Committee, passed out ballots; committee members Debra Aaron and Charles Byers were not present, so Joe Williams assisted her in counting the votes. In order to get back on schedule with the elections, candidates were presented for president-elect (Susannah Denomme, ag alumni and development, and Bill Witt, agronomy) and secretary (Deborah Witham, agricultural communications and Sam McNeill, biosystems and ag engineering).

The Membership Committee chaired by Linda Kiesel next reported on proposed new initiates (other members include Sue Nokes, David Wise, Deborah Witham, and Susannah Denomme). Committee Chair Kiesel thanked Susan Skees for providing the list of undergraduates, where selection criteria include: senior status within the College of Agriculture or Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering with at least 90 credit hours OR having graduated at the end of the Fall semester 1996; 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; complete of 15 credit hours of graduate courses at UK; demonstrated outstanding ability for advanced study; and high moral character. For faculty and staff, criteria include: member of faculty or staff for minimum of three years; shown exceptional ability; and holds a position in 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 of 66 undergraduates, 43 graduate students, 23 faculty and staff, and no alumni. Discussion followed, and indicated that some Unit Coordinators and Directors of Graduate Studies had not yet responded; it was decided to try to contact those in the next few days. It was also decided to clarify the status of undergraduate majors in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering to be sure that Susan Skees had included them in her listing. The motion was unanimously passed to accept the list of those determined to be eligible, given that the list is amended and verified by the Membership Committee.

Nancy Edwards, chair of the Awards Committee, indicated that four nominations were made for outstanding alumnus, and one for outstanding service. The deadline will be extended to February 6.

Roberta Dwyer, chair of the Master Teacher Award Committee, was unable to be present; her report was presented by President Grabau. Due to the low number of entries the deadline had been extended one week, and a sufficient number of responses had been received. The Committee is in the process of collecting additional information from the nominees.

George Mitchell, chair of the Outstanding Graduate Students Awards Committee, was unable to be present; his report was presented by President Grabau. The deadline for M.S. candidates was extended to February 13 as no nominations had been received; three Ph.D. nominations were received on time, and that category is now closed. Ken Wells initiated a discussion about the low number of nominations.

John Strang, chair of the Banquet Committee, was unable to be present; his report was presented by committee member James Jackson (the other committee member is Kim Ragland). A delicious menu was detailed, flowers and music arrangements are complete, the committee is working with Secretary Witham to print the tickets and program, and the final cost should be the same as last year ($16/ticket).

Grace Gorrell, chair of the Retirement and Recognition Program Committee, was unable to be present. No date has yet been set for this spring function.

Austin Cantor, chair of the Constitution and By-Laws Committee (other committee members are Wilbur Frye and Ken Wells), reported that no changes are needed to the constitution either because of national changes or local issues. The Constitution has now been retyped and is available on disk for the first time; minutes of previous business meetings from 1987, when the Constitution was last revised, to the present were checked to be sure the current version is complete and accurate.

The last item under Old Business included reviving the committee to start up the GSD Lecture series, proposed last year. No one volunteered to chair the committee, so President Grabau will call selected members to work on this project.

Under New Business, President Grabau discussed the George Mitchell Award for Service to Graduate Students. It was given out once in 1993 and not again, and Professor Mitchell wants to see that it is awarded regularly in the future. Discussion on the criteria of the award pointed out some difficulties in the wording, which may be why the award has not been presented. Susannah Denomme offered to track down where the money now resides and who is responsible for presenting the award; Ken Wells and George Mitchell will join her on a committee to make recommendations about implementing this award before the next business meeting.

Susannah Denomme presented information on a College of Agriculture Hall of Fame. The Ag Alumni Association is interested in establishing this, and the Office of the Dean is in favor of this, too. GSD should be involved in this, and perhaps would like to contribute some funds, or help in the selection process. Susannah will continue to serve as a liaison between GSD and the Ag Alumni Association on this issue.

The Nominations Committee announced the results of the election:
President-Elect, Susannah Denomme and Secretary, Deborah Witham. Since Susannah Denomme is currently treasurer, the nominations committee distributed ballots for a 1-year treasurer's term (to keep the elections in the correct cycle). In a straw vote, George Duncan defeated James Jackson, and his name will now be forwarded to the Executive Committee; they will make the final appointment.
Anna Lucas discussed the possibility of conducting future GSD business meetings electronically, so members in Princeton, Somerset, Quicksand, and Kentucky State University could participate (the same way that AKES now conducts its meetings). The motion to do so in the future was passed unanimously.

President Grabau adjourned the meeting at 4:20 p.m.