At the recent ACSM conference in Phoenix, a big stir was caused by a motion made before the NSPS Board of Governors to withdraw from ACSM. I asked Tony Cavell, the Louisiana NSPS Governor and Secretary to the Board of Governors, about it and here’s what he said:
ACSM & the MOs employed Scott Oser Associates & Whorton Marketing & Research to research and explain to them how to improve the marketing or branding of ACSM in particular and surveying in general. The general take has been that the Oser report copped out somewhat by saying if you were organized differently (monolithically much like ASCE) then we have this (off the shelf) solution for your marketing. The gossip was mostly a question about where is the advice we sought to market what we are?
The report was addressed to the Congress that meets on the last day of meetings after most folks have already departed. It does so to give the MOs time to meet and give their delegates direction. NSPS Board of Directors meets a day after the Board of Governors meets to advise the BOD. In part due to this chronology some folks were included in discussion about complications that might arise if the decision to accept the advice of Oser was made because by agreement of the last re-org. an MO must give 2 years notice before changing the relationship. So…
Before the report was even delivered a well-intentioned governor made a motion, which he thought was simply a housekeeping thing, to initiate withdrawal of NSPS from ACSM. He reasoned that if we waiting until next opportunity it would be a 6-12 mo. Delay before the decided correction could take place. Plus, the activity to withdraw could be rescinded at any time in the 2 year period.
Well, you had 50+ governors, who hadn’t seen the Oser report and had only first heard about withdrawal that day and reaction to the motion was, to say the least, EMOTIONAL. The motion was passed by a slim majority. This prompted a second motion to study the idea of withdrawal instead of acting on it. Emotions rose again and this was amended to do both and passed with a significant majority. The Directors met the next day and approved the amended motion. Then the congress met and I am not privy to those events. Obviously, the report was delivered and Curt’s letter was sent.
Subsequent to the meeting, a document was prepared, written by Wayne Harrison, NSPS President, Curt Sumner, NSPS Executive Director, and John Matonich, NSPS Immediate Past President, titled The Evolution of a National Voice: The Future of the National Society of Professional Surveyors
You can read this document, a 14Kb Word doc, by clicking HERE
You can read the 256Kb Word doc of the Oser/Whorton Report HERE
After the meeting, Tony wrote an article titled Is Your Association Healthy? which we have posted in amerisurv’s exclusive online-only area.
Tony had this to say about his article:
All too often associations don’t hear why folks choose not to join. All too often members lack the vocabulary to express clearly their reasons. I, for one, believe the better each individual (prospective and existing) member of associations understands, the more able they each are to express what is desirable and from that the associations are better able to accommodate and serve those needs and grow.
I believe the true solution opportunity lies at the local level. If local surveyors can pick up their heads and look around the social & political landscape the same way they would a topo, they would see how to advance their careers along with the profession. Hopefully enough people will read my article before all the gossip and scuttlebutt gets more leverage.
You can read the 41Kb Word doc of Tony’s article HERE