Dear Secretariat Members,
We are writing to inform you of an important motion that The Secretariat Executive Board approved at their March meeting. The motion will be introduced to you for voting at the Annual Meeting on May 16.
The motion will propose changing the name of The Secretariat to “Illinois Administrative Professionals.” Based on the 2015 survey feedback, 49% of you indicated that the name of the organization should be changed to something more relevant to today’s culture and workforce. When a second survey was conducted in 2016, and a variety of options were presented, the majority of survey users voted once again to change the name. Of those options, “Illinois Office Professionals” emerged as the preferred choice. We met with Elyne Cole, Associate Provost for Human Resources, and Alicia Lowery, Deputy Director for Staff Human Resources, to seek their input on a proposed name change, as they know The Secretariat, its history, and have always been strong supporters of our organization. They fully support a name change if the members choose to do so; however, they suggested a name that encompasses all of the eligible classifications of our organization. We have members and classifications that don’t fall into just the “office” environment or “office” job responsibilities. In the previous survey, several names were suggested that included the word “Administrative.” The name “Illinois Administrative Professionals” had been suggested in the previous survey and is very similar to what was chosen by the membership in the most recent survey. Thus, after discussing the need to make the name inclusive, the Executive Board voted to present to the membership for vote at the annual meeting the proposal to change the name from “The Secretariat” to “Illinois Administrative Professionals.”
To provide you with historical context: in 1948, Kathryn Hanson formed the “Senior Secretaries Luncheon Group.” In 1951, the organization merged with the “Secretaries Luncheon Group,” which was comprised of junior secretaries. It was at that time that the organization became known as “The Secretariat.” By 1978, classifications such as editors and nurses were added. Today, our membership includes not only office support professionals, but library specialists, HR officers, and account technicians. And, Ms. Hanson’s initial ideas evolved over time, even as far as changing the name of the organization in 1951 to better represent its members. It is clear, the membership has evolved as our campus environment has evolved and this proposed name change is reflective of that evolution.
If this vote, which will be conducted by paper ballot, passes at the Annual Meeting, immediately following will be a vote to change all language in the Bylaws referencing “The Secretariat” to “Illinois Administrative Professionals.” These changes will take effect on July 1, 2018.
Following approval of the name change, the Executive Board will begin working on a new logo, which will be finalized by the August Executive Board Meeting. That means a new logo could be presented to the membership at the August General Luncheon Meeting. The Executive Board will then begin to update all communication materials, including the newsletter, website, and brochure.
We hope that you are able to make every effort to attend the Annual Meeting in May. These votes should be very important to every single one of us.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us. We welcome your feedback.
Angie Wisehart, President
Michael Foellmer, President-Elect
Sent with the approval and support of the Executive Board in full.