On April 6 and 7, the joint IRIS/UNAVCO Negotiation Committee held its 3rd meeting. Originally scheduled to be a full day in Chicago, our meeting was successfully held as two, half-day video conferences.
As with prior in-person meetings, the discussion reflected the tremendous alignment and collaborative potential of the two consortia. Many discussions were significantly advanced.
- We welcomed UNAVCO board member Ronni Grapenthin to the committee. He replaces UNAVCO Board member Andrea Donnellan.
- Robert Gagosian joined the meeting to share his experience as the initial President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, which formed through the successful 2007 merger of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) and the Joint Oceanographic Institutions (JOI). He shared lessons learned from the merger and integration process and answered questions from the committee.
- The committee reaffirmed our commitment to a merger of equals and discussed research on the legal options for executing the merger, with guidance from experienced nonprofit consortium merger attorneys, including a review of the benefits and costs of several technical variations. The discussion also included a review of the contracts and liabilities of each organization that would inform the legal options.
- Staff from both organizations shared data on the financials, personnel policies, and benefits of each organization to inform discussion of the integration structure and costs.
- We began to discuss criteria for which functions and activities of the new organization might be co-located. We also discussed a community-informed process by which locations would be chosen for these facilities and offices.
- The committee developed a draft timeline for merger and transition activities. The timeline will include substantial efforts to inform and engage our members prior to any decisions being made. We assigned subgroups to further develop the member engagement and transition plans.
- We scheduled our next Negotiation Team meeting for June 16 and 17 via video conference.
We are excited about the progress we have made through careful and thoughtful research and deliberation. The vision of a strong, combined geophysical consortium is beginning to take shape. We look forward to your questions and input this summer prior to the development of formal recommendations for approval.
Please let me know if you have any questions.