The UUA’s new Presidential Search Committee is getting a once-over from GA participants this week. The committee, which was authorized by GA delegates in 2010 but only began its work last fall, is charged with coming up with two or more names of people who will run for the office of UUA president when that office is next filled in June 2017.
The committee expects to begin soliciting names of prospective candidates this fall. This week is the first opportunity for UUs to get up close with it. The seven-member committee has a booth in the exhibit hall and it also presented a workshop Thursday on its work.
Attendance was light at the workshop––about 20 people––but they had lots of suggestions for the committee. They wanted to make sure the next president had strong financial management skills, including fundraising acumen, for one thing. They also wanted to know which the committee would value most––a leader with strong social justice skills and a prophetic voice, or one with strong management skills. The answer was that if two such candidates surfaced, then both could be presented to UU delegates who could then elect either one.
Committee member Elandria Williams, of Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville, Tenn., said the size of the audience was not indicative of a lack of interest. “We’ve all received lots of comments about our work by email and in person before and during GA.” She noted that interest in the committee is expected to increase as the time approaches to submit names.
Rosemary Donahoe of First Parish at Kingston, Mass., attended the session because “I’m interested in the process. It made sense to me to share my comments now rather than wait and wonder why they didn’t do this or that.”
The UUA Presidential Search Committee has a blog where people can follow its work. An article on the committee’s work appeared on uuworld.org in April.
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Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.