In an email to National Book Critics Circle members from the organization's v-p of membership, Richard Z. Santos, the NBCC provided an update on the circumstances that roiled the organization earlier this month.
"We are aware of multiple groups of members gathering support to remove a current board member. In addition, the NBCC has received nearly 20 emails calling for this board member's removal, one of them with 30 signatures, and we have also received a handful of emails in support of this board member," Santos wrote.
Though never named by Santos, he is referring to NBCC v-p of grants Carlin Romano, whose internal email to fellow board members on issues pertaining to a diversity statement, leaked via email, is at the center of the controversy in which the NBCC finds itself. "Once we have verified that the required number of active members have joined this call, the special membership meeting to vote on the removal of a board member will be scheduled and announced. This special meeting will follow the NBCC bylaws, which state that removal is only possible if two-thirds of those attending the meeting vote for removal."
The board of directors, which currently has 15 open seats, is "in the process of gauging interest from both former board members and general members about joining us to fill out these terms," Santos added. Those interesting nominating anyone, including themselves, for the appointment, or who have any other concerns at this time, are asked to email Santos.
"The future of the National Book Critics Circle lies with the membership," Santos wrote. "The board has sought out ideas from many members about the NBCC and its governance. Changes that have been recommended include: term limits, changing the size and responsibility of the board, involving the members more significantly in the awards process, and much more. The remaining board members are committed to gathering and implementing the best and most fair ideas, and to amending the bylaws as soon as possible to bring about change."