Monday, March 12, 2007

From the USCF Forum

I have been critical of the web content editor at the USCF (United States Chess Federation). I had stated that a full time person ought to at least be able to keep up with what is going on in her own organization if not with the chess scene in the country. In today’s post, I explained why I have been so critical:


As stated elsewhere, I regard the web editor position as only the first position management ought to direct attention to other than accounting. This is because so many great things could be done on the internet if only we had people with drive and initiative to do the job. Unfortunately, what we have now is someone who celebrates Christmas in February, and whose supporters stipulate that she ought to not even have to keep up on USCF issues. Am I radical for just thinking the person in charge of news ought to contact their sources instead of just sitting back and waiting for the e-mail to arrive or the phone to ring.?

But this is only the first concern.

Then others have stated that the USCF governing committees aren't doing anything worth reporting on anyway. There is another concern.

Going onwards from there, I see that we have an advertising person on staff. A member of the accounting committee requested information on an advertising contract and were told that the contract was unavailable since the Executive Director was sick. If the advertising person does not do advertising contracts and has no access to advertising agreements, then what does that person do? It is not like we have a lot of advertising to keep track of. (Chess Life, the USCF's magazine does not have any outside advertising to speak of.)

Then I see we have a director of communications and affiliate relations. I wonder if the affiliates have heard any more from that person than any of us have. Wouldn't answering questions in the USCF forum be the kind of thing that one would expect from a Director of Communications?

And we could go on and on. The same person is responsible for Sponsorships and for Fundraising. Apparently, this is just an empty slot. Without looking, can anyone name the person who is responsible for this? Sponsorships, Fundraising, Communications, and Affiliate Relations. That is probably the key person in the whole organization. Probably does not do any of those things though. Because that same person is responsible for entering in the TLA's. I visualize some kind of clerk type who just does data entry all day.

The governance crew ought to be concerned about these job responsibilities and how they're being handled. I realize there's concerns about accounting issues and expense reduction. But I just wonder if the expenses for jobs are worth the dollars outgoing. These job functions don't seem to be getting done.

Yes, I know - I'm posting yet another downer. I just want everybody to be aware that I'm not on some kind of personal vendetta against the USCF Web Editor. I targeted that particular job position only because the job output is 1) so clear and 2) so important. It seems to me to be the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem at the USCF.


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