What happened to our committees?

The latest iteration of the FCLIR committee structure is outlined at fclir.org/committees/. We now have only two Council-established committees in addition to the four bylaws-mandated committees.

FCLIR is a membership organization, and all of our programming is developed by members. Policy is developed by the membership acting through Council. Outreach, publicity, and many other member services are designed and implemented by members with the assistance of our single paid employee, office manager Kristin Langevin.


Four of the six current committees are mandated by our bylaws. Three of those–the Finance, Nominating, and Executive committees–are integral to the governance of our organization, and their composition and duties are spelled out in the bylaws. The fourth, the Curriculum Committee, oversees our core program of seminars and workshops; it is currently chaired by Jake Greenburg and Tom Jones.

Almost all of the other functions traditionally carried out by an ever-fluctuating array of Council-established committees are now subsumed under just two umbrella committees:

  • The Communication Committee initiates and coordinates our messaging both internally and externally. Production of the quarterly newsletter and oversight of the FCLIR website also fall under the umbrella of this committee. The Communication Committee is currently chaired by Dick “Stony” Stonberg and Edie Kirk.
  • All non-academic programs (that is, all programs that are not overseen by the Curriculum Committee) are now under the purview of the new Program Coordination Committee. This committee includes the coordinators of several ongoing programs, some of whom chair familiarly-named subcommittees to help with their work. The Program Coordination Committee is currently chaired by Martha Cohen and Suzie Metz.

There remain a handful of volunteer positions that do not fall under any committee, such as archiving and providing technological assistance to members.


A major goal of this reorganization is to open up more ways to volunteer your time to support FCLIR. Whether you have a very little time or are willing to commit to a term of a year or longer; whether you are ready to moderate a seminar or workshop or think that your talents are better employed helping with social events; whether you prefer a single high-intensity activity like planning an excursion for members during the summer or occasional contributions like writing for the newsletter; whether you enjoy the responsibility of being in charge or would prefer to follow the lead of someone else– No matter what your preferences, if you have the time and interest, FCLIR want you!

It is no longer necessary to become a member of a committee to volunteer, although of course all of our committees are perpetually seeking new members, with or without specific portfolios. In fact, of course, it never has been necessary to join a committee in order to volunteer! The moderators of the seminars and workshops that define FCLIR’s core program are a prime counter-example. So the goal is to extend that successful model of flexible volunteering to the other areas requiring member participation.


Our new volunteer form  emphasizes your skills and preferences. Please take a look and help us help you to figure out where you fit in by completing it.

We are also trying to make it easier to propose other types of programs. On the new web site you will find links to proposal forms for summer/winter seminars, interest groups, special programs, and other extracurricular programs for members.

Of course, as always, the committees are always looking for new members. And the Nominating Committee is presently at work seeking candidates for Council.

But there are many other roles, large and small, in need of filling. Here are just a handful of them:

  • Archives: Our long-time historian and archivist, Sara Wright, is ready to step down. It will probably take two or three people to replace her! The paper archives were transferred from Smith to the FCI Annex in Hatfield, hopefully without too many losses, but still require curation. Electronic archives are being assembled, starting from what existed on the old web site, but they remain incomplete and policy to guide their future evolution is needed. An immediate task is updating the FCLIR “time line” to reflect the last five years as we approach our 35th anniversary this spring.

  • There is a technological component not only to the archives, but also to the production of the newsletter and the maintenance of a smoothly functioning web site. Please consider volunteering your IT skills. Training in the specific tasks will be provided.

  • Writers! Contribute to the newsletter, improve the writing on our web site, document technological tasks so that we are not continually reinventing the wheel…

  • Photographers! Bring your cameras to the growing number of in-person events so that we can have some photos of real people and events to accompany our newsletter articles.

Committees and volunteers are what hold FCLIR together and generate the wide array of programs and opportunities its members enjoy. And there is no better way to make a new friend than by working together on a project you both think important.

Kathy Campbell