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IPS Election 2018 - Candidate Statements and By-laws Revisions
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Levent photoI am truly delighted and honored to receive another nomination for IPS president elect. It is such a prestigious and challenging six-year-long commitment to the organization with tremendous amount of work. However, I feel ready for the challenge.

I am the planetarium director of the University of Texas-Austin Planetarium located in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex of Texas, USA. I have served as Southwestern Association of Planetariums (SWAP) president twice, and have gained significant experience in organization running that I would like to extend to IPS.

I am currently involved in the IPS Vision 2020 team as the head of Goal #5: Provide support and leadership in transitioning to next-generation planetarium design, technologies, and content development. I am also a current board member of the NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) that disseminates space grants in the Texas region.

I see a great potential in IPS to grow in membership. Currently, about one of every five planetariums in the world are IPS members (according to the Worldwide Planetarium Database there are 3000+ planetariums around the world; the number of IPS members is around 600). This means that we need to implement new initiatives to recruit more members.

As IPS being a worldwide organization, increasing membership will require understanding the culture and economics in each region where the membership is running behind. Therefore, IPS needs strong communication and involvement with regional organizations that will be instrumental to accomplish this goal.

To be able to offer attractive initiatives, the organization will also need better financial resources as relying on membership income alone wonít be sufficient. In my opinion, the next president should be working on tying to increase the amount of sponsorship and government grants to the organization. This will require increased presence of the organization around the world and partnership with major observatories as well. Astronomy organizations may play a key role.

As part of the Vision 2020 team, I am currently working on defining our industry standards and developing an online library that will host rich resource documentation. I will continue working on this task until it is accomplished and I will be happy to serve you as the next president of IPS.

Kaoru photoThank you for considering me as a candidate for the position of president-elect of the International Planetarium Society. I am honored to receive this nomination and am pleased to have the opportunity to share my international relationship, astronomy education, and planetarium experience with IPS members around the world.

I am an astronomy educator at the Science Museum, Tokyo, and education/public outreach staff of Venus Climate Orbiter ìAkatsuki (Planet-C)î operated by JAXA, the Japan Space Agency. I am engaged in ongoing work to relate formal/non-formal education to research organization goals.

I have been involved with planetariums since 1987 and joined IPS in 1996 in Osaka. After our astronomical museum GOTOH Planetarium was closed, I studied program coordination at Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin and worked at the Riken Institute for E/PO staff in Japan. After that, I became more involved with IPS. I acted as the representative of the Japan Planetarium Association for over ten years and now sit on the Education Committee and the professional development team of Vision 2020.

IPS is a unique organization. All members have the same purpose and passion under the sheltering sky of air or domeóeven if we have different languages and cultures. My vision as president-elect is that I would like to use my experience and be even more involved in IPSís workóincluding international exchange through astronomy education, culture and the planetarium, museum-school relations, and relations with research organizations.

We share communication methods of all astronomical information, including the latest astronomy data visualization. My efforts would be to intensify collaborations with relevant organizations that align with IPS, and promoting the latest scientific materials and see that they are used more effectively.

Also, IPS will be starting a new management system. I would advocate for collecting more information using websites and social communication so that IPS becomes ìthe hubî of localized information. I really look forward to working with committees and officers together to assure each regionís interests and support of their projects.

If I become the president-elect, I suggest four priorities:

  1. Make a good strategy for communication with different languages and cultures
  2. Focus on STEM and STEAM education at our planetariums and more professional development training
  3. Carry out Vision 2020 and make communication more comfortable between each region
  4. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the invention of the planetarium in 2023

I am committed to serving IPS to the best of my ability and humbly request your support.

Maciej photoI'm honored to receive this nomination from my colleagues who have served IPS for so many years. Ever since I joined the planetarium community I've been astonished by how friendly and collaborative it is. We are a global community that connects people from around the world. We're coming from different countries, and different cultures, but it is our mission that brings us together: to make the world better, to educate, to inspire, to bring awareness, to shape the future. And this why I believe being IPS president elect is not only an honor, but also a great responsibility. The world around us is evolving at a great pace. There are new immersive technologies appearing every day. Every year we see important scientific discoveries that shape our understanding of the universe.

There are also some global challenges we face. Today, it is perhaps more important than ever to share this knowledge and awareness with the public. Planetariums are unique in this sense. We use high-end technologies to achieve important goals. But the expectations of the audiences that are accustomed to visual quality of games and giant screen animations are high. It is therefore important to constantly improve the quality of planetarium content. I believe that with forward thinking and well-planned actions we can stay competitive and increase the number of people we reach every day.

I have always believed that each of us can make a difference if only we want it. This motivated me to organize IPS2016 in Warsaw, which was a great experience. Being a host, I've learned a lot, not only about myself but also about the organization. I've joined several council meetings, I'm an ad-hoc member of Vision 2020 planning team, and I've been a member of the Conference Committee. Being involved with IPS for several years I recognize its great number of strengths but also some weaknesses. If elected I will focus on: Introducing new governance structure as the result of Vision 2020 planning process to achieve more equitable representation of membership worldwide, make the governing board more accountable, and increase the IPS membership; Introducing standards and developing new strategies to ease bringing fresh and attractive content to domes worldwide; Expanding professional development opportunities by offering chances for in-depth discussions and workshops; Finding ways to encourage young people to join IPS structures.

Coming from Poland and being a witness to its political and economic transformation, I also have an experience which may help IPS to become more international and expand to emerging countries.

In my career I worked both in a big public planetarium and as an independent producer. These two perspectives give me better understanding of needs and expectations of various members of our community. I humbly ask you for your support as IPS president elect and I can assure you that, as with anything else that I do in my life, I will put all my heart and energy into serving IPS to make it better.

Patty photoIt is quite an honor to be asked again to run for the office of executive secretary. I appreciate the opportunity to serve this organization, being able to use the experience I have gained by serving my regional planetarium society. I have 12 years of experience serving consecutive terms as president-elect, president, and past-president of the Middle Atlantic Planetarium Society (MAPS), from 2003-2015. I was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors in early June 2018.

I am the chair of the MAPS Elections Committee and recently filled the role as Awards Chair. I served as part of the ad-hoc Strategic Planning committee, where I took the minutes and maintained all the documents we developed for the organization.

While President of MAPS, because I believed that we should work more collaboratively with other regional organizations I attended several Western Alliance Planetarium Conferences to meet my colleagues from the West Coast and Central regions. I helped orchestrate the 2007 ìTriple Conjunctionî conference sponsored by three US regions and attended by delegates from all seven US regions.

As president of MAPS, I was also the representative for IPS Council, so I attended my first council meeting at IPS 2012 in Baton Rouge. I enjoyed meeting representatives from all over the world and learned the process of how Council works. I was part of the initial discussions for Vision 2020, and look forward to being part of the team that helps continue to implement the initiatives proposed by this project. I have been an active participant at these meetings, as well as a regular presenter at every IPS since Baton Rouge.

†I cannot stress enough the importance of participation in an international organization:

  • To be exposed to projects that are running all over the world, from small planetariums in Ghana to large planetariums in Beijing, China.
  • To share educational ideas and out-of-the-box ideas for our theaters.
  • To see how technology is being used all over the world to inspire a love of science in all we come in contact with.

What an unbelievable opportunity we have through IPS! I am ready to use my talents and abilities to serve this organization, because I truly love it with all my heart.

Ann photoI am honored to have the opportunity to continue in the office of IPS treasurer for a third term. Despite the additional work that holding an International Planetarium Society office entails, I have enjoyed participating in IPS in a deeper way and I am happy to serve in this role, and also as membership chair, for another two years.

Why do I want to serve the planetarium field as an IPS officer? While I began my post-secondary education intending to become an astronomy researcher, I ultimately concluded that I was primarily interested in teaching and outreach, which eventually lead to my current position as both the planetarium director and an associate professor of Physics at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. In this role, I teach physics and astronomy courses at all levels, interacting with both general education students and physics majors.

I also regularly present outreach planetarium programs to groups of all ages. Participation in both IPS conferences and regional affiliate conferences has aided me greatly due to the professional development opportunities and the networking opportunities I have found there. Serving as an officer has allowed me to give something back to this wonderful community.

The most exciting aspect of my time as treasurer has been Vision 2020. During my nearly four years as treasurer, I have participated in some lively days with IPS Council dedicated to the eventual transformation of the society.

While many of the changes are not yet fully implemented, the seeds have been planted for a bright future, promising increased resources and opportunities for IPS members to enhance their skills as planetarians in collaboration with others. I look forward to continued participation in this process to improve the society for the good of all of its present and future members, and in seeing the process through its ì2020î target date.

That said, some of the most essential duties of a treasurer are far less exciting. I have worked to maintain the financial integrity of the International Planetarium Society through timely and accurate record keeping, bill payment, and tax filing, through ensuring that IPS funds are spent appropriately and in accordance with our by-laws, as well as through working with accountants on a review of our finances each year. In a third term, I would continue to be a good steward of IPS resources while working to grow IPS membership through Vision 2020.

In all instances, the word 'Council' shall be replaced by the word 'Board', or the words 'the Board', as the case may be.

Rationale: IPS is replacing the Council with a Board. The word 'Council' is no longer relevant.

The current wording reads:

Section 4. The Council shall appoint an Elections Committee consisting of a Chair and at least three (3) additional committee members selected from the list of the members of the Society before January 1st of even-numbered years. The committee shall not include current Officers.

It is proposed that this be changed to:

Section 4. The Board shall appoint an Elections Committee consisting of a Chair and at least six (6) additional committee members selected from the list of the members of the Society before January 1 of even-numbered years. As far as possible the committee shall include at least one (1) member from each of the six continental zones specified in Article VI, Section 1. The committee shall not include current Officers.

Rationale: the new IPS Board structure will include members from each of the six zones (see the proposed changes to Article VI). The inclusion of at least one representative from each of these zones complies with the approved motion tabled at the Vision 2020 meeting in July 2018, in which it was recommended that the IPS Elections Committee be extended to increase its geographical representation.

Section 1.

Currently, this section reads:

Section 1. The Council shall consist of the Officers and one Representative selected by and from each affiliate group. The word “Council” as herein used and the word “Directors” as may be used in the Articles of Incorporation and for other legal documents, shall be held to mean one and the same thing.



It is proposed to replace this section with:

Section 1. The Board shall consist of the Officers and up to three board members from each of the following six geographic zones: Africa, North America, South America (including Central America and the Caribbean), Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The number of board members from each region shall be one for regions with fewer than 50 current IPS members; two for regions with between 50 and 499 current IPS members; and three for regions with 500 or more IPS members. IPS members in countries, or regions or territories of countries, which may be seen as belonging to more than one such zone, shall define the zone to which such countries or regions belong, with the final decision in this regard being made by the Board. The word 'Board' as herein used and the word 'Directors' as may be used in the Articles of Incorporation and for other legal documents shall be held to mean one and the same thing. Members of the Board must be current members of the Society.

Rationale:

At the Vision 2020 meeting in July 2018, a motion was passed that specified the number of board members based on the IPS membership within the region, as noted in the proposed new Section 1. This decision was made to ensure that there is greater representation on the board from regions of greater IPS membership (up to a maximum of three). The inclusion of defining a zone for a particular country, region or territory stems from a discussion about this topic at the Vision 2020 meeting. To cater for any borderline cases, or in which there is no input from IPS members in those places, the Board will make the decision.


Section 2.

This section currently reads:

Section 2. The names of the Representatives to serve on Council shall be submitted by the officers of each affiliate group to the Secretary of the Society before the end of each calendar year (or at the time of the election/appointment of the IPS Representative) by the respective affiliate.



It is proposed that this section be deleted.

Rationale: The IPS is moving to a fully elected Board. The existing Section 2 was in place because the structure allowed each affiliate to select its representative, and the qualification for having a voting affiliate representative on the board was simply to be an affiliate. The Election Procedures, which form part of the Standing Rules, will reflect this change; those procedures, being part of the Standing Rules, will be voted upon by the current Council.


Section 3.

This section currently reads:

Section 3. The elected Officers named under Article IV and the Representatives of the affiliates have each one vote at Council meetings, except for the Chair of the meeting, who shall not vote except to break a tie.



It is proposed that this be changed (and renumbered) to:

Section 2. The elected Officers and board members each have one vote at Board meetings, except for the Chair of the meeting, who shall not vote except to break a tie.

Rationale: This change is related to the overall change in the replacement of the word 'Council' by 'Board' throughout but ensures that the group of people entitled to vote is clear. It is not necessary to quote Article 4 as this is considered superfluous in this section.


New Section 3

It is proposed to introduce a new section, numbered Section 3, as follows:

Section 3. This Article shall be effective with the first seating of the Board.

Rationale: this is to ensure that there is no possible conflict during the transition period.

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