[jpcarson@tds.net: petition to amend ASA Constitutional Objectives?]

From: Joel Cannon <jcannon@jcannon.washjeff.edu>
Date: Wed Nov 30 2005 - 16:56:26 EST

I can appreciate your concerns and I know that you are a deeply
concerned Christian Engineer. However, I am comfortable with the current
objectives and comfortable with how the ASA functions so I would not
support bringing it to a vote.

I can appreciate that you may feel in this situation like the
Executive Director is "the leader of ASA and the Executive Council his
rubber-stamp," but I doubt that it is really accurate. I suspect that
the Executive Director reflects their opinion accurately. This could
be easily checked out by writing to the Directors, who if they agreed
with you (or with the appropriateness of bring it up) would most
certainly have it put on the agenda. In the Directors do not agree
with you, you would want a new slate of Directors, not a
new Constitution.

I also find the statement, "What I wish to see is the ASA President
and Executive Council start to more actively govern ASA, instead of
apparently delegating their responsibilities for governing ASA to the
ASA Executive Director," to be presumptuous, if not a case of sour

----- Forwarded message from Joe Carson <jpcarson@tds.net> -----
> Dear ASA listserv,
> I'm Joe Carson, P.E., President of the Affiliation of Christian
> Engineers. I am a deeply concerned engineer and Christian.
> As this touches ASA, I do not think ASA, which I consider an
> auxiliary engineering/scientific professional society for Christian
> engineers and scientists, to have adequate "objectives" by its
> Constitution. (Note: ASA's Constitution and Bylaws can be found in
> its membership directory.)
> By its Constitution, Article 1 Section 2, ASA has the following objectives:
> a. to integrate and to interpret the discoveries of the natural and
> social sciences with the insights derived from Scripture and
> Christian theology;
> b. to share scientific knowledge, ethical concerns, and the results
> of the integration and interpretation produced in Objective 2.a with
> other Christians, in order to help the Church better understand
> science, technology, and the Christian theology; and
> c. to share faith and scholarship with scientific colleagues.
> ********************************************************
> I do not disagree with these objectives, as far as they go. But I
> disagree that they are closed-ended and too specific. I do not think
> them an adequate reflection of God's will for ASA and its
> members. My proposal for amended objectives for ASA follows.
> The Objectives of ASA is to serve as an organizational vehicle by
> which Christian members of science and engineering professions can:
> a) collectively and intentionally, with theologians and others,
> ascertain God's will for science and engineering professions and
> their Christian members;
> b) document and disseminate the results of such efforts; and
> c) equip and encourage its members to intentionally, individually and
> collectively, influence the science and engineering professions to
> advance God's will in and through them.
> ********************************************************
> I have had some communication with Randy Isaac, Executive Director of
> ASA about my concerns and suggestions for ASA's objectives. He does
> not agree with my perceptions, which is certainly his
> prerogative. However, I am concerned that he may be assuming too
> much power vis-a-vis the governance of ASA. By ASA's Constitution
> and Bylaws, the ASA Executive Council "governs" ASA affairs, to
> advance its objectives, consistent with the will of its
> membership. The Executive Director is employed by the Executive
> Council and under its director, to fulfill the duties listed in for
> the position in the ASA bylaws. Randy Isaac's current position is
> that he will not allow the Executive Council to consider my proposal,
> making him the leader of ASA and the Executive Council his
> rubber-stamp. (Why is he controlling the agenda for Executive
> Council meetings?)
> The President of ASA, not the Executive Director (who is not even a
> voting member of the Executive Council), "leads" ASA, by the ASA
> Bylaws. In the ASA newsletter, the ASA President, not the Executive
> Director, should have a column (or they should alternate, or both
> have columns.)
> I wish to see ASA follow its Constitution and bylaws in its
> governance. I wish to circulate a petition to the ASA membership
> about amending its Constitution regarding its objectives, per ASA
> Constitution Article V Section 1. (if 5% of ASA membership signs a
> petition proposing a change to its Constitution, it must be submitted
> to the ASA membership, by mail, for a vote.)
> What I wish to see is the ASA President and Executive Council start
> to more actively govern ASA, instead of apparently delegating their
> responsibilities for governing ASA to the ASA Executive
> Director. This includes creating a strategic plan, vision statement,
> etc - not in a vacuum, but via a Committee of ASA members, appointed
> by the ASA President, per ASA bylaws, charged to review ASA purposes
> and activities, to determine if they adequately reflect God's will
> for ASA and its members, in 2005 (or 2006).
> At any rate, I've offered to pay for the cost of a mailing to ASA
> membership to solicit support for a petition to propose amendments
> to its Constitutional objectives. I would appreciate any feedback
> others on this listserv have. It's our ASA, it should respond to our
> interests. Its Constitution and bylaws are not "sacred" and
> unchangeable, in fact they specifically allow for change in response
> to member interest.
> Feel free to push back, hard, if you deem appropriate. Feel free to
> contact me off-line.
> Respectfully,
> Joe Carson, P.E.
> President, Affiliation of Christian Engineers
> http://www.christianengineer.org
> president@christianengineer.org
> 865-300-5831

----- End forwarded message -----

Joel W. Cannon                   |   (724)223-6146         
Physics Department               |   jcannon@washjeff.edu 
Washington and Jefferson College |      
Washington, PA 15301             |      
Received on Wed Nov 30 16:56:53 2005

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