MINNEAPOLIS -- The National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Board of Directors met in Minneapolis in mid-September to discuss a variety of topics including the continuation of hurricane relief assistance and two new research projects.

Here is list of highlights from the 2006 mid-year meeting:

1. Continuation of hurricane relief assistance
NIRSA extended the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief assistance for NIRSA members in five hurricane-affected states through Sept. 30, 2007. This included NIRSA membership dues and registration fees waivers.

2. NIRSA knowledge communities
NIRSA authorized criteria for NIRSA Knowledge Communities (KC) and specified Student Learning, Sustainability, and Health and Wellness as initial NIRSA KCs. Knowledge Communities will function like think tanks, providing insight and guidance to association leaders in meeting member needs and expectations in underdeveloped areas and new NIRSA frontiers.

3. International institutional membership dues reduction
The group established a new program that would allow new and renewing campus recreational sports programs located outside the United States to receive a 25 percent reduction in annual dues.

4. Two new research projects approved
NIRSA will undertake a comprehensive member needs assessment in early 2007 with results of the study presented at the 2007 annual conference and expo in April in Minneapolis. The survey research project will be conducted online and is intended to provide information that will help association leaders maintain a vibrant and meaningful strategic map, meet evolving member expectations, and continue to provide valued programs and services. The board also approved assessment research of student athletes participating at the 2007 NIRSA National Volleyball Sport Club Championships in April in Louisville, KY. The assessment will measure student learning outcomes and quality of life issues among college students who participate in collegiate sport clubs--specifically the effects participation has on academic success, leadership, self esteem, life satisfaction and other variables. Both research projects will be implemented by NIRSA's strategic partner, the National Research Institute for College Recreational Sports and Wellness at The Ohio State University.

5. New Intramural Sports Symposium approved
A National Intramural Sports Symposium will be developed for a debut as early as 2008.

6. New annual conference leadership opportunity
The responsibility for the Annual Conference Program Chair will shift from the past president to a NIRSA member beginning with the 2009 annual conference. The deadline to apply for the chair-elect position will be in December 2006.

7. Lightening the load for NIRSA candidates
New funding was approved to support candidates standing for election for NIRSA board of director positions. NIRSA will cover candidate expenses incurred for overnight lodging when attending board meetings that are conducted immediately prior to the start of the annual conference.

8. FY 2007 balanced budget adopted
The board adopted a balanced FY 2007 consolidated operating budget of $2.7 million that includes fully funding depreciation at $86,306.

9. Full financial audit scheduled in 2007
NIRSA's outside CPA audit firm, Moss Adams Inc., will perform a full audit of NIRSA's FY 2006 financial records in spring/summer 2007. The NIRSA Finance Committee and the NIRSA board have approved having a CPA audit firm perform a financial review every year with a full audit scheduled every fifth year.

10. Historian travel
Approved funding for NIRSA Historian Paul Wilson to return to the NIRSA National Center in summer 2007 to continue documenting the association's history. Wilson first traveled to the center in Corvallis, OR, in summer 2006 to begin his historical research.

11. Complimentary annual conference registration for special VIPs
Approved continued funding for NIRSA historical dignitaries to attend the annual conference.

12. Financial support for student leaders
Members of the Student Leadership Team (SLT)--the National Student Rep and Regional Student Reps--will receive complimentary annual conference registration, as well as financial underwriting of the SLT summer meeting held at the NIRSA National Center.

13. National Internship Program
The NNC Student Internship Program, initiated in 2006, is now part of the FY 2007 operating budget.