[Talk] AUUG'S Declining Membership

Greg Black gjb at gbch.net
Wed Jul 24 17:25:59 EST 2002

David Newall wrote:

|  o Mailing lists should be available to everybody
|  o Conference CFPs sent to all Asia Pacific universities

I agree with both these ideas.

|  o AUUGN on web, not on paper

Yes, provided dues go down in proportion to the saving from
postage, printing, etc.

|  o Exec to meet electronically

I doubt if this is a good idea -- assuming the exec actually
does anything at the meetings, having at least a minimum amount
of face-to-face contact should improve the quality of the work
that can be done.  I guess that the exec also uses email and
other electronic mechanisms to supplement the face-to-face
meetings, and I think that would be essential.  Perhaps they
could switch to three real meetings a year and achieve a saving
of around $4k that could also go towards reduced dues.

|  o Can we afford a business manager?

This one is tricky.  I've never been on the committee, and I
don't really know either what the position costs us or exactly
what it accomplishes (let alone what it accomplishes that we
could not do without).

It certainly has always seemed strange to me that such a small
organisation could have a full-time business manager.  But I
have understood that the job was largely to do with the annual
conference and was funded from there, with extra value provided
during the rest of the year.

If the conference is the main thing, then there are alternatives
in the form of conference organisers.  Some of these groups are
very good and some are pretty bad, and I don't know how much
consideration has been given to that option.

| Where do we go from here?  Well, I've stuck my neck out by asking the
| question; I hope it doesn't get chopped off.  I hope we can have some
| restrained and considered discussion.  Please, somebody else take it
| from here!

Certainly, it seems that we need to involve a good number of
members in this question -- I would hate to see AUUG die, and I
think many others would feel similarly.  Part of the problem is
that most of us probably have a limited understanding of the
underlying issues and the thinking that has gone into the
various decisions that have got us to where we now are.

I certainly don't want to give the impression that I think I
know better than all the committee members who have wrestled
with these questions over the years.  But perhaps, as an
organisation, we can work towards developing some strategies
that will help AUUG continue for years to come.  If discussion
on this list can contribute to that, then lets have some more


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