Convention 2018: Innovation and Hard Work, Plus Fun

22 Jun Convention 2018: Innovation and Hard Work, Plus Fun

By Michael Becker SP08 TA13

This past weekend, Telluride Association members and associates gathered in Ithaca, New York, for the 107th annual Convention. At this annual meeting, we evaluate the success of our programs and committees throughout the year, make decisions on major policy and spending matters, and plan for the year ahead. It’s a time to reunite with friends and co-volunteers, celebrate the work that makes our transformative educational programs possible, and lay the groundwork for the future of Telluride. 

Building on the work of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the Association devoted the first day of Convention to a strategic planning retreat. Members voted to adopt a new mission statement and a strategic plan to be internally utilized and modified in the form of a soft launch over the coming year. In an unusual twist for Convention, we then convened into our previous year’s standing committees to begin crafting strategic workplans. This process aims to concretize our annual tasks in relation to strategic goals and priorities and enable us to more holistically gauge how successfully our work meshes with our articulated goals. We are also hopeful that the adoption of a centralized spreadsheet to track work plans will allow all members and staff to view the progress of each committee in achieving its ends throughout the year.

In recognition of Deep Springs College’s successful implementation of coeducation, beginning with the matriculation of an incoming class composed of 10 women and 5 men in about two weeks, Telluride Association issued a formal resolution of congratulations. Convention also took the first steps to revisiting the status of the L.L. Nunn Limited Liability Corporation, a joint property-holding partnership between TA and DS that was chartered in the late 1990s to facilitate rebuilding of the DS Main Building. Another blog post will be published shortly to give details on this complex topic.

The Association also took steps, on the basis of excellent research and the cultivation of institutional partnerships by Cornell branchmembers, to reinstate a residential fellowship for a graduate scholar from Central European University to reside at the Cornell Branch. The new process of this grant will allow the Association to fulfill the mission of our international exchange in a way that’s more financially sound and provides better institutional support from Cornell and CEU in securing the necessary visa and health insurance. The first scholar to matriculate under this new iteration of the exchange will arrive in fall 2019.

In other news, the Association made steps to adjust our calendar and timeline for expanding the Telluride Association Summer Programs (TASP). This summer’s University of Maryland TASP will mark the first step in a process tentatively slated to result in 6 TASPs per summer by 2023. We are excited by our new institutional partnership and look forward to seeing the results of this summer’s program. Other Convention business ranged from plans to repave the Michigan Branch parking lot and bring it up to ADA compliance, reallocate the responsibilities for managing the Association’s insurance policies, and many other matters.

We were excited to welcome 13 new members of the Association and look forward to working with them over the coming years. Eight current members resigned or otherwise left the Association’s service this year, and we will miss their contributions.

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