Large membership causes a reduction in group’s success

When it comes to policy making, some situations call for a wide variety of voices to be heard. There are other situations, however, in which policy makers should take heed to the old saying, “too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Committees charged with setting policy can be hampered by a large membership. Such groups often can get bogged down in trivialities, thus losing perspective on their main mission.

So it comes as no surprise that a reduction in the size of the Athletic Board is being considered. Currently, the board has 31 voting members selected from students, athletes, faculty, administration and various booster clubs. The proposal calls for a reduction in that number to 15.

Because the board generally deals with non-controversial issues—such as setting athletic schedules and determining where games are to be played—there is no pressing reason for the board to remain at 31.

As long as each group represented on the current board mantains some degree of representation, the reduction appears to be a prudent move.

After all, a group of 15 would be more efficient in determining schedules than a one of 35. A smaller group would spend less time deliberating and more time voting in what still would be an equitable fashion.

There are, however, times when a larger group could be useful in setting athletic policy. The board also is charged with reviewing the athletic department’s budget and suggesting monetary allocations thereof.

When dealing with money, perhaps a larger board with supplementary members would prove beneficial. For such important matters, it would not be unreasonable to have designated others who could sit in on deliberations and vote just in those instances.

But since the board, which meets monthly, doesn’t discuss the budget or matters of similar importance during all meetings, there is no reason to have unnecessary members at every meeting.

Instead, the board could decide in advance when it is to discuss matters of extreme importance and make sure the supplementary members can attend.

Otherwise, the board should avoid cluttering itself needlessly with insignificant membership.