May 20, 2020

Ever wondered what a virtual AIAS E-Board Meeting might look like? Wonder no more! The 2019-2020 AIAS Governance Committee has put together this mock Board Meeting in order to help you realize that Chapter management and taking care of the student body doesn’t have to pause once we’ve left campus. Even as the school year comes to a close, your members need you now more than ever to help them make sense of their “new normal”.

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At the time of this meeting, the AIAS Chapter at Zoom University just evacuated campus and is having their first E-Board Meeting. Although we usually have meetings once a month, we’ll be increasing the frequency now that we can’t see each other in the hallways and such. We sent out a Doodle poll to see what time worked best for (almost everyone) and then our Secretary prepared and distributed the agenda via Slack. Here’s the agenda:


Our E-Board begins every meeting with a fun ice-breaker and checking in with each other. This helps everyone share how they’re doing personally before we get down to business. It also reminds us to be respectful of one another, and to give everyone the chance to speak. Sometimes we do Netflix recs, or good music, or “what character from Blue’s Clues do you identify most with?” These sorts of interactions are especially important now that we don’t get to see each other and our friends everyday.


Conducting roll call is one of the ways we keep a good record of our meetings and hold each other accountable. In addition, it helps us adhere as necessary to Robert’s Rules of Order: sometimes our meetings require the Board to vote on a motion, in which case the Secretary would need to make sure that we had enough people present to hold an official meeting (that’s called quorum). In today’s meeting, our Freedom by Design Director was unable to make it, and that’s okay! They notified us of their planned absence in advance and sent in their notes to be read at the meeting ahead of time – that means that this absence is excused. The Secretary also records the minutes for the entire meeting, and distributes them to everyone after the meeting has concluded.


This portion of the meeting is when we all discuss what we’re working on right now. Especially now that we’re apart, we want to make sure that we’re all up to date on what’s going on with the Chapter and how we can best support our members and retain engagement. The President updated the Board on the upcoming Chapter Elections, as well as the subsequent Transition Meetings that would occur in the following month. They also shared some information from the National Board of Directors and our incoming and outgoing Quad Directors. Our Vice President, who is also our AIA Zoom City Liaison, informed us on the state of affairs among the local profession, and advised us to not ask for donations right now. Instead of donating money, the Vice President suggested that we ask for donations of time, and that we stay engaged with the AIA by proposing a casual mentorship video call or a webinar about professional development advice. Our Faculty Advisor reminded the Board to involve them in the upcoming Transition Meetings, as they have seen many a Zoom University AIAS E-Board, and have much advice to offer. They also mentioned that we have to remain committed to monitoring and improving Studio Culture, even though we’ve transitioned to virtual learning. The Freedom by Design Director was not in attendance, but they sent their notes anyway to let us know that the Design-Build project would be placed on hold for the time being. The client is very understanding, and in the meantime, we’ll be thinking about service projects we can all do from home! Our Professional Development Coordinator, who also serves as our NCARB Student Licensing Advisor, had pulled together a list of webinars and content that our students can virtually take advantage of during this season; that’s great content for the membership, especially because we’re an IPAL school. Our faculty and administrators haven’t yet offered us any information about our end of the year ARE’s, but since NCARB announced that the Prometric centers are closed, we should send some emails to our Department Head and spread the information we do have. Our Public Relations Director has done a fantastic job of pivoting our Spring merchandise sales to an online platform that lets our members order our logo on the items they want. They will also be working with the President on social media advertising and instructions for elections.The Treasurer led us through a discussion about what we can do to raise money for Grassroots attendance, but since times are tough for everyone right now, most of us were not optimistic about a lot of fundraising. The Treasurer will pull together a budget, though, which will help us make a decision. Last, but certainly not least, our Secretary went through some administrative updates with us. They encouraged us to do better with organizing the Google Drive and keeping our files tidy for the incoming Board. We also discussed our communication strategy for the announcement of elections results and other updates from the E-Board to the membership.


After such a robust discussion, there was not much to address in the New Business portion of the meeting. However, the issue of next year’s membership was on everyone’s minds, and we committed to doing our part as an outgoing E-Board to help support the incoming E-Board and any ideas they may have for member engagement and retention.


At the end of every meeting, the Secretary sums up the action items that were discussed and who is performing each item. We use that as a helpful reminder of our “homework” to prepare for the next meeting, and it clears up any confusion about who will be doing what.


We didn’t have any questions or concerns at the meeting, but we know that we can ask anything and get a quick response through our Chapter’s Slack Workspace. The Next Steps portion of the meeting, and our accessibility to each other helps keep our meetings short; we don’t want to add another long Zoom call to everyone’s day of classes, and we do want to encourage the entire E-Board to be energized and efficient. Once the meeting was adjourned, we hopped off the call, and some of us jumped onto a casual Google Hangout to chat and catch-up on all things not-AIAS-related!


The 2019-2020 Governance Committee hopes you enjoyed this mock E-Board Meeting. If you found it helpful or have any more questions, find one of us on Slack, or email the AIAS President, at