Board minutes, Dec. 7, 2012

NINA Board minutes

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012

Northern Star, Campus Life Building, NIU-DeKalb

Also a General Membership meeting

Present: (12) Larry Lough, John Etheredge, John

Puterbaugh, Lonny Cain, Jim Killam, Jim Slonoff, Sharon Boehlefeld, Roger Ruthhart, Jason Schaumburg, Penny Wiegert, Randy Swikle, Wally Haas.

Absent (6): Kathy Gresey, Marc Colosimo, Jeff Wisser, Nick Swedberg, Jason Akst, Dirk Johnson.

Guest: Shelley Hendricks, Northern Star adviser.

Three board seats are open.

Schaumburg called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.

Oct. 18 minutes were approved unanimously. (Haas motion / Ruthhart second)


Treasurer’s Report

Slonoff reported balances of $10,294.41 in checking and $5.94 in savings. Deposits since the last meeting include $190 in membership dues and $585 in Fall Conference revenue. Expenditures were $1,000 to Matt Marton, winner of the Excellence in Journalism Award; $233.71 to the Northern Star for Spring Conference expenses; and $75.15 to the Ledger-Sentinel for plaques. NINA has not yet received the Fall Conference bill from NIU.

Executive Secretary’s Report: None

President’s Report
Schaumburg thanked board members for their participation this year, in particular as NINA has revisited its mission and made structural adjustments. To that end, all present were invited to participate in the general membership vote on changes to the constitution and bylaws. Those changes passed unanimously (Lough / Etheredge).

Board members Nick Swedberg and Mark Colosimo have resigned because of changes in their job situations. That leaves five open seats under the old structure; the new structure simply requires at least 15 board members.

Northern Star adviser Shelley Hendricks was elected to the board for a three year term. (Killam / Haas). Gresey and Slonoff were elected to new three-year terms (Cain / Lough). So, entering 2013, the board has 17 members.

Committee Reports

Program Committee: Lough said the Fall Conference was a success.

Education Committee: Etheredge asked about new ways NINA’s annual scholarship competition could be promoted to high school students and advisers. Along with the regular mailing, suggestions included using the IJEA listserv, and posting a link to high school newspapers’ Facebook pages. Announcement of the competition usually is sent in January, with a March 15 application deadline.

Membership Committee: Haas said he now represents the Freeport Journal Standard as well as the Rockford Register Star. Both are Gatehouse newspapers.

Resource Committee: Killam said he will hand communication coordinator responsibilities off to Hendricks as of Dec. 31. He plans to remain on the board while still living in the area.


Old Business


New Business

2013 officers were elected (Cain motion / Ruthhart second). They are:

President: Larry Lough

First Vice President: Kathy Gresey

Second Vice President: John Puterbaugh

Executive Secretary: Dirk Johnson

Treasurer: Jim Slonoff

Immediate Past President: Jason Schaumburg

Communications Coordinator: Shelley Hendricks


New committees as a result of the bylaws changes are Executive, Outreach, Training (dealing with professional training) and Education (dealing with colleges and high schools). Board members, or any NINA member or employee of a member publication, are encouraged to join a committee. To volunteer, contact Lough before the Jan. 18 meeting.

Slonoff proposed that the board help the Northern Star pay for a phone line in its conference room, which will allow for conference calls. This will be useful during NINA meetings if the board needs to hear from a member who is absent. The installation charge is about $650. NINA would pay for a maximum of $250, with the balance to be shared by the Northern Star and Northern Star Alumni. This is a one-time charge. The board approved unanimously ((Slonoff / Wiegert).

Randy Swikle asked board members to be aware of Jan. 13 as the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier decision, which has been used to justify censorship of high school newspapers (and at times, college newspapers). He cited examples of school administrators taking this decision far beyond what the law allows, in effort to control student voices and not allow anything controversial in student papers. Swikle asked newspapers to consider publishing editorials on Jan. 13, emphasizing the teaching of the First Amendment in practice, not just in theory. “There are other oversight strategies much more effective than prior review,” he said.


2013 meeting dates were set. They are:

Jan. 18

March 15

June 21

Sept. 6

Oct. 24 (Fall Conference)

Dec. 6


Next meeting: 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the Northern Star


Adjourn 11:10 a.m.


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