Council Impressions wp

Sharing Council Impressions

Introduction

Over the fall and winter semesters, members of the LLI class of 2019 were invited to attend Council meetings and comment afterwards about what they observed. This program was conceived of and organized by the Membership Development Committee, with the enthusiastic approval of Council members, as a way of providing members with a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of LLI. Here are some of the reactions from the new members and from Council about their joint experience.

Welcoming New Members

  • From Council members:
    I like meeting the new members in a small group and showing them what goes on at the Council (Tom Esposito).
  • My experience was that the Council members became more fully engaged, as we were seeing our own work through “new eyes.” (Nanci Kryzak)
  • The new members were clearly engaged listeners. When invited to comment on their observations after the meeting, some practically leaped out of their chairs with enthusiasm and ideas. (Deborah Lanser)
  • I’ve loved having new LLIers sit in on Council meetings and (1) give us their thoughts at the end of the meeting, (2) understand how LLI works, and (3) see how much fun we have making it happen! (Cathy Reinis)
  • Their presence has made the meetings more meaningful and their comments have been helpful. (Emily Michael)
  • Having them share with us our “business” was a two-way street. They were inspired and so were we. (Maddy Watterson)
  • I loved hearing all the positive comments from our new members attending Council for the first time. (Susan Hirsch)
  • With new members attending and providing input, the Council was “on its toes! (Robert Inglish)

COUNCIL FUNCTIONING

From new members:

  • Run in board style, reports are made and thoughtful discussions are had. The officers and committee and team chairs are devoted to sustaining LLI, involving members, and ensuring that members’ input and feedback are solicited and used for planning. (Fern Fleckman)
  • I left the Council meeting impressed with all the things that are going on and how the moving parts fit together and work together so well. (Roy Hochberg)
  • It also seems like a good mix of skills among the members, mutual respect, and creative ideas for the organization. (Tim Sullivan)

COMPLEXITY OF THE ORGANIZATION

From new members:

  • I found it really interesting to get a taste of how many people are so involved behind the scenes of what we all enjoy at LLI. (Margery Gaffin)
  • Before attending the council meeting, I had no idea that there were so many departments or teams that were needed to run an organization like LLI. (Robin Berger)

BUSINESSLIKE APPROACH

From Council:

  • Council is run similar to a business. (Tom Esposito)

From new members:

  • I was impressed with the professionalism and devotion to mission exhibited by the members. (Robert Beaury)
  • I attended one Council meeting and was very impressed with the professionalism, dedication and competence of the Council. After attending that meeting I realized why Bard LLI is such a great program. It’s run like a business and it shows! (Al Gersbeck)

WORKING TOGETHER

From new members:

  • There were so many people willing to work together as volunteers to create LLI. I immediately felt that I should get involved somehow. (Robin Berger). 
  • Everyone is so committed and dedicated to doing the right thing for the community. The Council is basically running a small private school with an all-volunteer workforce and it is inspirational to see it in person. (Carmela Gersbeck)
  • I felt the members tried to be welcoming to new members but there seemed to be a tight knit former associational relationship between some members. (Diana)

From Council members:

  • Council looks forward to these new members bringing their creativity and ideas to the operations of this dynamic community. (Mary Deady).
  • It has also been gratifying to hear their appreciation once they become aware of how many volunteers are working so hard to make LLI the wonderful program that it is. (Jill Lundquist)
  • These meetings are actually energizing and satisfying! (Deborah Lanser)

COURSE QUALITY

From a new member:

  • I want to take this opportunity to express to you just how much I enjoyed my experience with the courses I took during the fall semester. As our world had turned upside down, I had two trips planned, one to northern Italy, and one to London. Both will no doubt be canceled, but what I regret the most is the cancellation of the spring term. (Jim Crist)

From a Council member:

  • Personally, I enjoy hearing them saying how much they are enjoying their courses. This gives me the stimulation to work harder at what I am doing to produce even better courses that meet the members’ needs. (Anne Sunners)

A HOPEFUL FUTURE

From a new member:

  • These are especially crazy, weird times in which the world is on ‘pause’ to slow the spread of this insidious disease. And yet, the council members work on to get everything ready for when things return to a happy normal again. Committees and teams are meeting online. Elections are proceeding. Curriculum planning continues. Be assured LLI will come through COVID-19 strong. (Margery Gaffin)

A FINAL NOTE

Council meetings are usually held at the Campus Center on the third Monday of every month. The schedule and locations are posted on our website, as are copies of approved minutes of the meetings. However, given the current requirement to maintain social isolation, meetings are now being held via Google Meet. Once we resume face-to-face meetings, Council can again welcome visitors.

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