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Minutes for CSUN Conference Meeting 2008

ATHEN Minutes - March 13, 2008 at Courtyard by Marriott (LAX)
CSU Northridge Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference


Call to order by President Ron Stewart 6:45 PM.

  • The presence of a Quorum was ascertained by the Secretary
  • Ron provided the usual ATHEN spiel about who we are and why we exist.
  • Big THANK-YOU to Dolphin Computer Access for the meeting space and munchies!
  • Introduction of the officers at present
    • Ron Stewart – President
    • Terry Thompson- Vice-President
    • Eileen Berger – Treasurer (not present)
    • Dann Berkowitz – Secretary
    • Joe Humbert – Membership Coordinator
      • Special Kudos to Joe for his work on the membership lists, etc.


Joe Humbert (Membership Coordinator)

  • Database has been converted to web-platform and is being updated
  • Working on a process for members to sign in to the database and self-correct information
    • Much like the process Educause uses
  • Any web-based membership information will be accessible


  • ATHEN can now accept Institutional Purchase Orders
  • ATHEN can now accept payment through PayPal
    • Note Payment through PayPal costs an additional $1.00-$3.00 depending upon the Membership Category due to administrative costs associated with this service.
    • Refer to ATHEN website for details.
  • There was some discussion about the need to clarify or expand the information about membership categories within the bylaws.

Membership Year

  • Discussion of the need to visit the by-laws and formally make the membership year coincide with the Accessing Higher Ground (AHG) conference.
  • Membership year would start and end in November of each year.
    • Revamphow dues are paid as part of the AHG registration
    • Need to develop a better reporting structure from AHG to ATHEN about new members and returning members paying as part of their conference bregistration.
    • Uncertainty as to who will be following up on this action item.
  • QUESTION arose regarding the ability to pay for an institutional membership as part of the registration fee for AHG. No answer was forthcoming at this meeting.


  • The position of Treasurer has been contested and the question to the membership is what should be done about the situation:
    • Should we hold new elections now?
    • Should we maintain the current positions and hold an election at AHG?
  • The election leading to the disagreement took place at AHG 2007
    • According to the By-Laws the elections are to take place annually at CSUN
    • The By-Laws need to be realigned before a new election can take place.
    • As a registered non-profit organization we need to hold an annual meeting this has been agreed upon by the membership to be Accessing Higher Ground.
      • NOTE this was voted on at the 2007 CSUN conference but the minutes of that meeting are not available on the ATHEN website.
      • There is a need to either locate these minutes or retake the vote the next time the membership convenes at AHG in November 2008
    • Consensus of the membership present was that we should not hold new elections until the By-laws have been revisited, repaired, and voted upon. These actions items were passed by a unanimous vote of the members present.
    • Gaeir Dietrich will form a committee to fix the By-Laws.
    • Committee will submit revisions to the By-Laws to the Voting Membership no later than June 1st, 2008.
    • The membership will have 30 days to ratify the By-Law changes
      • No later than July 1st, 2008
    • Joe Humbert will have a process in place so that elections can be held on-line.


  • Issue #3 is available on the ATHEN website and is receiving positive feedback from a national readership (and some international)
  • Issue #4 will edited by Terry Thompson and will focus on the ATHEN Survey
    • The overall theme will be who we are as a profession and is designed to dovetail with the survey results
    • Terry is actively seeking submissions.
  • Issue #5 is undecided and the membership is asked to provide a topic/theme.
    • Teresa Wells Haven is the editor
  • Overall the Journal is seeking members interested in being on the Editorial Board
    • Contact President Ron if interested.


Terry Thompson

The Quatra-Annual Survey (2004, 2008) is divided into six (6) sections.

  • Presented on-line with participants logging-in to answer questions.
    • Designed to allow multiple contributors from a single institution.
  • The beta version is being tested and should be available by mid-April
  • NOTE the next version of the AHEAD E-Text survey will be unveiled in Mid-May with the results available at the AHEAD Conference in July 2008.


Sean Keegan

  • Almost ready for public consumption (anticipated April 2008)
  • Needs additional security from hackers (this is being worked on)

Student Scholarship for AHG

Dann Berkowitz

  • Draft presented to the membership
  • Will be placed on the website for comment and questions
  • Will be discussed via membership e-mail list.


Howard Kramer

  • ATIA Took place in January 2008 – Orlando, FL
    • Higher Education strand went over very well
    • ATIA wants ATHEN to be involved again next year
    • Howard Kramer has agreed to be the Strand Manager again
    • Actively seeking proposals
    • Discussion about a combined ATHEN/AHEAD Track – Ron Stewart is discussing this with the AHEAD leadership
  • Accessing Higher Ground
    • Still seeking / inviting proposals
    • Howard Kramer is seeking individuals to read/evaluate proposals

Old Business

Ron Stewart

  • Collaborative Activities with private industry
    • Continued issue that if we do take on such activities it will be under the umbrella of the private company or companies who do not want the information we help them develop to be shared with the educational community as a whole.
    • Several members were adamantly opposed to such collaboration and the organization as a whole felt it was not appropriate.
    • An example of such collaboration is the iTunes Accessibility Group which has shown both positive results and reflected positively upon the organization.

Meeting Closed and Adjourned by Ron Stewart at 7:56 PM.

Minutes submitted by Secretary Daniel Berkowitz