Members of United States Track & Field attending the annual convention in Reno, N.V., this week overwhelmingly voted to approve a set of bylaw changes that will significantly alter the size and makeup of its board of directors. The organization said that the changes, which would slice the number of board members in half from 31 to 15, would increase the accountability and professionalism of the Indianapolis-based governing body for athletics in the United States. The changes were approved
by a voice vote on Wednesday.
"This was a historic vote, culminating reorganization efforts that had their roots as far back as the mid-1980s" said outgoing USATF president Bill Roe through a media release. "It is about improving the organization. Our own board, the group that will be remade by this legislation --the group that will remove most of itself with these changes-- recognized this fact. They put their own self-interest aside to act in the interest of the sport. I congratulate our membership
on making these extraordinary changes final."
The restructuring is a big victory for chief executive officer Doug Logan who took the reigns of the organization only last summer. Previous CEO Craig Masback left in January after a ten-year term and now works for Nike outside of the athletics realm.
"Somebody told me this organization was dysfunctional," Logan told the membership when he took the podium, refering to a series of critical articles reported by the website TheFinalSprint.com.
"It looks pretty functional to me."
Under the approved restructuring plan, the new board's 15 seats will be made up as follows:
1 seat: USATF's elected president (expected to be Stephanie Hightower) 6 seats: Nominees from each of the six USATF divisions (High Performance, Long Distance Running, General Competition, Youth, Coaches, Officials ) 3 seats: Athletes 3 seats: "Independent" board members 1 seat: From "5E" organizations like the NCAA, NAIA,
etc. 1 seat: USATF's IAAF council member (currently Bob Hersh)
The board will elect its own chairperson, most likely the USATF president. Should the president not be elected the chairperson, he or she will automatically be named vice-chairperson. This provision is designed to give the board the right to elect its own leader, while still ensuring that the popularly elected president has a strong voice on the board, primarily to represent the vast volunteer sector of USATF's membership.
upshot for CEO Logan is greater management efficiency and a reduction in infighting between the organizations various factions.
The complete set of updated bylaws are available at this link: