Noteworthy Decisions from the April 2010 Board Meeting
By Marilynn Kulieke, Secretary, Urantia Foundation, Illinois, USA.
1. Election of Urantia Foundation's Officers
The Board of Trustees of Urantia Foundation elected the following persons to serve for the next three years: Mo Siegel as President, Georges Michelson-Dupont as Vice President, Marilynn Kulieke as Secretary, and Gard Jameson as Treasurer.
2. Revision of the Spanish Translation
The second bestselling edition of The Urantia Book, after the English edition, is the 1993 Spanish translation, which was translated by Latin Americans. After the Spanish translation was published, a team of readers in Seville, Spain, offered to revise and correct the translation. The Trustees accepted their offer. For all practical intents and purposes, their revision was a new translation - the Sevillian translation. It is preferred by most Spanish-speaking people in Spain.
In 2008, the Trustees decided to make the Sevillian translation available to the Spanish-speaking people in Spain and to call it El libro de Urantia Edición Europea. The 1993 translation continues to be sold to the Spanish-speaking peoples in Latin America.
The problem with this arrangement is that it is more expensive with respect to printing, storage, and distribution. Smaller print runs, for example, are more expensive. In addition, having two translations is confusing in study groups when both translations are present.
During the last few years the Board has commissioned professional analysis and comparisons between the two existing Spanish translations. The results have proven inconclusive with split votes on which translation is superior. Both translations have their advantages, yet both need improvement and revision. After extensive conversation with widely varying points of view, the Board voted to publish only one Spanish translation instead of revising and correcting two. The Trustees are committed to creating one new translation that incorporates the best of both existing translations, a translation which is "true to the original" and so beautiful that native speakers would not know that it is a translation.
This revision will synthesize the two current translations, as well as make improvements throughout the entire text. It will be in-depth and will require between five and ten years to complete. The Manager of Translations and the Translation Committee are preparing an implementation plan, a budget, and a revision team to move forward with this project.
3. Book Issues
A. The Perpetual Printing Fund Modified
The Perpetual Printing Fund (PPF) was originally set up to ensure that Urantia Foundation always has money to reprint the English edition of The Urantia Book. Sales of the Spanish and Portuguese translations have increased to the point that PPFs are required for these translations as well. The major donor to the English PPF is allowing $250,000 to be earmarked for these translations.
The Board, accepting the donor's offer, resolved that all printings of the Spanish and Portuguese translations, beginning in 2010, will be included in the calculations of the PPF up to $250,000. This decision provides long term financing for the Spanish and Portuguese printings.
B. Safeguarding the Text of The Urantia Book in All Languages
The Board increased 2010's budget for providing "typo and error free," standard reference system compliant, and downloadable translation texts. The English edition and the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and Italian translations have already been completed. The Polish and German translations are in the conversion process. Creating clean files requires approximately 250 hours per book.
4. Kitchen and Dining Room Renovation Plans at 533 Diversey Parkway
A donor has contributed funds for a complete renovation of the second floor kitchen and dining room. After reviewing the architectural plans, the Board accepted the generous donation and voted to proceed with the project. The cost of the renovation will range between $40,000 and $50,000.
5. Governance Committee Resolutions
The governance committee passed the following three resolutions.
A. The Charter for the Translation Committee
B. The Whistleblower Policy
Modern organizational governance increasingly demands that organizations implement whistleblower policies to protect themselves against wrong doing. The Foundation has composed such a policy, which will be available on the Foundation's website at www.urantia.org. The first paragraph of this new policy is as follows: "Urantia Foundation is committed to operating in furtherance of its tax-exempt purposes and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, including those concerning accounting and auditing, and prohibits fraudulent practices by any of its board members, officers, employees, or volunteers. Urantia Foundation requires Trustees, Associate Trustees, officers, employees, and volunteers to observe high standards of business and personal ethics while conducting their duties and responsibilities for Urantia Foundation. This policy outlines a procedure for Board members, employees, and volunteers to report actions that they believe, within reason, violates a law or regulation, or that constitutes fraudulent accounting or any other fraudulent practice."
C. Trademark License Agreement
The Board realized the need to improve the 2007 Social License Agreement for the use of Urantia Foundation's trademarks. Since the initial adoption of the license, new circumstances have prompted a review of the original agreement.
The Governance Committee has revised the procedures for granting trademark licenses to organizations and groups whose sole focus and purpose is to promote The Urantia Book and its teachings. The new policy provides for the following:
- Urantia Foundation's approval of the licensee's URL name before issuing a license;
- Licensee groups that have trademark disputes with other licensees must follow a dispute resolution system outlined in the new agreement;
- The new agreement has been changed from "Social License Agreement" to "Urantia Foundation's Trademark Usage License Agreement and Application Form."
The intent of the new agreement is to provide trademark licensing opportunities to more than social groups. For a copy of the new agreement please contact Urantia Foundation's Executive Director, Jay Peregrine, at 1-733-525-3319.
6. The Education Committee and UBIS Report
The Education Committee reported on the June 2010 Study Group Initiative being held at Urantia Foundation's Chicago headquarters. With an increasing focus on forming 1,000 study groups by 2020, leaders are coming together to help one another in forming, fostering, and maintaining study groups.
Dorothy Elder, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Urantia Book Internet School (UBIS), presented the new streamlined and user friendly software program being implemented for online courses this spring. She provided the Board with an overview of how the software works from a students' and teachers' perspective. The new software will accommodate significant growth in the future. The Board was deeply appreciative and expressed its commitment to the work of the UBIS team. If you are interested in taking a class or teaching one, please visit: http://www.urantiabookschool.org/UBIS/index.gsp.
7. Text Committee
The Board established the Text Committee to protect the text in all formats and translations for future generations. This standing committee's purpose is for the oversight, preservation, protection, and updating of the new and old text in all formats and in all translations.
8. The Mission Statement
The Board made a slight modification to its mission statement, which now reads: "The mission of Urantia Foundation is to seed The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the world." We invite you to join us in accomplishing this mission.
9. Urantia Foundation Endorsement Policy
Over the years many readers and groups have asked Urantia Foundation to endorse their books, music, or other worthy efforts inspired by The Urantia Book. After carefully considering the positives and negatives of providing endorsements, the Board decided not to issue endorsements.
10. European Leadership Meeting
Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie and Olga López proposed to convene a meeting with European leaders to share their ideas with respect to the seeding of The Urantia Book in Europe. With gratitude the Board accepted their proposal. The meeting will take place later this year.
11. Urantia Foundation Committee Appointments
Finance Committee (includes Audit and Investment). Chair: Gard Jameson. Members: Jan Bernard, Richard Keeler, Jay Peregrine, Mo Siegel, and Judy Van Cleave.
Governance. Chair: Judy Van Cleave. Members: Jan Bernard and Mo Siegel.
Public Relations. Chair: Richard Keeler. Members: Gard Jameson, Marilynn Kulieke, Olga López, Tamara Strumfeld, and Judy Van Cleave.
Education. Chair: Gard Jameson. Members: Marta Elders, Marilynn Kulieke, Georges Michelson-Dupont, Claire Mylanus, Jane Ploetz, and Merritt Horn.
Book Committee. Co-Chair: Mo Siegel and Jan Bernard. Members: Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie, Georges Michelson-Dupont, Henk Mylanus, Jay Peregrine, and Tamara Strumfeld.
Fund Raising. Co-Chair: Gard Jameson and Ralph Zehr. Members: Richard Keeler, Jay Peregrine, Mo Siegel, and Tamara Strumfeld.
Translations. Chair: Georges Michelson-Dupont. Members: Gábor Cseh, Richard Keeler, Olga López, and Claire Mylanus.
Compensation. Chair: Mo Siegel. Members: Gard Jameson and Richard Keeler.
Strategic Planning. Chair: Marta Elders. Members: Marilynn Kulieke and Judy Van Cleave.
Text. Co-Chair: Marilynn Kulieke and Merritt Horn. Members: Seppo Kanerva, Richard Keeler, Jay Peregrine, and Ralph Zehr.
12. Upcoming meetings
July 22-23, 2010 (Chicago, Illinois)
October 15-16, 2010 (Chicago, Illinois)
January 14-15, 2011 (Dallas, Texas)
April 15-16, 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
July 2011 (Chicago, Illinois)
October 2011 (Paris, France)
Audio Urantia Book
Board Meeting Decisions
Urantia Foundation History