The three motions on governance that I intended to propose (clarifying process of Board approval of Chancellor, advocating a return to electing the Chancellor, and composition of governance standing committee) were brought to last nights standing committee on governance. Things went better than they did with my first attempt when introducing a motion was denied by the chair of the board. The motions were accepted by the chair and placed on the agenda. But. But. But! They went to the closed agenda.
I advised the chair and the committee members (as I handed out copies of the 3 motions to the student reporters) that I had already publicized the motions, shared them with some other governors (including emailing them several weeks prior to the meeting to the Board Chair and Governance Chair), and had in fact blogged and tweeted about the motions and my intentions to bring them forward.
"Where does that leave me now that they are being placed on the closed agenda?" I asked.
Someone said (I can't recall whom), "you're welcome to bring them to the Board directly."
But what if in the closed session the committee (of which I am not an official member) the committee voted to hold the motions back, to ignore them, or to study them in a working group, or to selectively do some and not the rest of what was included?
Well, since any discussion, debate, or agreement took place in closed session I can say nothing about what may have transpired. In fact if, for example, I do not reintroduce those motions in the open Board meeting, I can not tell anyone the reason why. It might because I am tired of the issue? Perhaps I heard an argument in closed session that convinced me not to proceed? Perhaps the committee decided to stop the discussion and tell me it was not a priority issue? Perhaps it is already being dealt with? Perhaps I realized that no matter what argument I made, no matter what evidence I might present, no matter what faculty sentiment on the subject might be, there is no way, under the current configuration, that any fundamental change opening up the inner decision making process of the board is possible. But all that would be speculation and conjecture and I can neither confirm nor deny any of those speculative thoughts. Because the motions were placed into closed session and I am prevented from speaking about anything that may have (or even did not) happen during the closed session.
It's a Gordian Knot of administrative process.