Executive Council Conference Call

May 26, 2009
5 p.m. EST

Attendees: Dave Mathewson, Doug Holland, Andy Argenio, Gary Fitch, Bob Brown, Bliss Teague, Tony Stillman, Charlie Bauer, Bill Oberdieck, Jim Rice, Jim Wallen, Jim Giffin.
Guests: Bob Underwood.
Staff: Jim Cherry, Lisa Johnson, Shawn Grubbs, Jack Frost.

Scholarship Requirements
The issue at hand is a request from a member in Jim Giffin’s District X to waive, because of extenuating circumstances, the 36-consecutive-month membership requirements for AMA scholarship applicants. There is a similar request from a member in Andy Argenio’s District I.

Andy Argenio, District I, stated that he felt there was some confusion about the 12-month membership period. Members tend to think that their membership year starts when the dues are paid. Even though they may renew sometime after the first of the year, they feel that since they renew each year, this would mean that they are a member for consecutive years. Andy suggested that maybe we should show consideration for the applicants.

Bob Underwood stated that the membership has always been a requirement of the scholarship process, even though there have been modifications to the requirements over the years. Some of the modifications, such as, the requirement to be a competitor in sanctioned events, were dropped several years ago. The class ranking was also dropped, since there were home-schooled individuals applying for scholarships. The Scholarship Committee has tried to make this process workable and fair. There have been other instances where the applicants missed the application deadline, and incomplete applications have been received. Bob used the analysis that the membership requirements for scholarships are somewhat like the requirements for insurance. If you let your membership expire and you have an accident during that time, you are not covered by the insurance. Bill Oberdieck, District VII, suggested the following wording be added to the application: “You must have your membership postmarked no later than December 31 of the current year.” Doug Holland, Chief Financial Officer, stated that we can’t bend the rules each time the requirements are not met. It would not be fair to those who have met the requirements. Jim Rice, District VIII, said that adding the wording to the application “a member for four annual years or 36 consecutive months” would eliminate the thought that someone was just a member to be eligible for the scholarship.

Jack Frost reported that 10 people did not meet the membership requirements for 2009 out of 26 total applicants. In 2008, there were seven people out of 41; 2007, there were six people out of 20; 2006, there were five people out of 30; 2005, there were seven people out of 35. Jack felt that the interpretation of when the membership starts is the problem.

It was suggested that the 36-month issue needs to be evaluated by the Scholarship Committee for presentation at a future Council meeting.

Motion I: Moved by Gary Fitch (II) and seconded by Bob Brown (III) to uphold the Scholarship Committee’s decision relative to declining a waiver.
Motion passed: 7-Yes; 3-No (I, IX, X) (VP for District XI and EVP were not present).