New Foundations for CMS

williams_davidDavid B. Williams, CMS President
Illinois State University, Emeritus

Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the CMS Membership, San Diego, November 2012

Last year's report to the Society was entitled "The Wealth of the Society." I offered five intangible assets that contribute to the "wealth" of CMS and to our collective "quality of professional life" as CMS members. Those assets are:

1. Diversity of our membership
2. Ecumenical or all-inclusive spirit of collaboration
3. Openness to embrace change and innovation in our programming
4. Willingness to use technology to support and enhance all that we do
5. Strength of our spirit of volunteerism and leadership

We also have a tangible collection of assets: the financial, content and information, and membership resources of the Society

Reports from our treasurer, secretary, and the president of The CMS Fund will give us an update on these tangible assets elsewhere in the 2012 Annual Report.


Robby Gunstream, Executive Director of The College Music Society, and I chatted about the message I might offer for the annual "State of the Society" report. What evolved from our conversation was an awareness of what we might call "new foundations" for CMS. Those new foundation are:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Advocacy
  • Technology

Let me briefly elaborate on each "foundation" as a way to frame the State of the Society message this year.


Starting with the leadership of Cynthia Taggart, CMS President 2009-2010, we began a multi-year strategic visioning process that included:

  • Survey of the Membership
  • Development, vetting, and adoption of a Strategic Vision Plan 2016
  • Establishment of an annual method for review and strategic goal setting (The Quick Starts)

This process establishes a "new planning foundation" for the Society upon which to build our future vision for CMS. Such strategic grounding ensures that the core mission of the Society continues through changing leadership roles and committee memberships. It also provides a blueprint for the day-to-day operations and decision making of the Executive Office.

I am pleased to report that we successfully completed the majority of our Quick Starts for 2011-2012 and we are well on our way with a new set of Quick Starts for 2012-2013. More on the Quick Starts progress in a moment. But, suffice it to say that our "new strategic planning foundation" is on firm ground and working well.