While board structure may not be a “hot” topic among AIA members, it is the mechanism that allows member voices to be transmitted to the AIA Board of Directors. How well that works — or doesn’t work — should be of high interest to AIA members and was for the most recent meeting of the Texas Architects Board of Directors.
After considerable discussion, the Texas Architects board unanimously approved the following motion to be conveyed to AIA:
- The AIA should focus on the prioritization of initiatives and the 10 elements of repositioning. After the highest priorities of the Institute have been delineated, the governance structures could be examined for changes.
- It is imperative that regional representation continues to be the basis for selection of membership to the decision-making board. The Texas Society of Architects is unwilling to support any bylaws amendment without this essential element.
- We concur that a smaller board should be considered and see no advantages to a two-chambered structure.
Bill T. Wilson II, FAIA, who served as the AIA Board representative from Texas for 2010-2012, has made a thorough investigation of the proposed design for the new board. His open letter to the membership addresses concerns that have been voiced by many.
I urge all AIA members to review the AIA governance proposal and read Wilson’s letter so as to be well informed. The AIA Board will consider this issue at its next meeting in December; Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA, John Nyfeler, FAIA, and James Nader, FAIA, will represent Texas.
Should the AIA approve a new board structure, it will be further discussed at the AIA Grassroots meeting in March 2014, and the bylaws change delineating the new board structure will need to be approved by the membership at the AIA National Convention in Chicago.