The Foundation’s fall meeting took place earlier this month. TIRF’s Board of Trustees, along with its Chief Operating Officer, Ryan Damerow, met virtually to further TIRF’s various programmatic and operational endeavors. Although the online format of the meeting did not allow for the usual eight hours Board members are used to when meeting face-to-face, there was ample time to address a number of TIRF activities.

Deena Boraie
Polina Vinogradova

The meeting began with TIRF President Kathi Bailey formally welcoming two new TIRF Trustees to the Board. Introductions were made to Dr. Deena Boraie and Dr. Polina Vinogradova, who both were elected as TIRF Trustees earlier this year.  

TIRF’s Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Donna Christian, provided an update on TIRF’s finances for her Board colleagues. While the financial health of the Foundation is stable, there remain obstacles to overcome in the months ahead. Challenges resulting from the ongoing pandemic continue to persist for TIRF, including the ability to deliver services globally.

TIRF’s Vice President, Dr. Jun Liu, who is responsible for leading the Foundation’s development efforts, offered an update on his activities. Although the pandemic-related challenges alluded to above are preventing TIRF from offering some of its services, there are signs of encouragement from TIRF’s partners abroad that point to the possibility of increased opportunities in 2022 and beyond.

Erik Gundersen

Earlier this year, Mr. Erik Gundersen agreed to become Chair of TIRF’s Publications Advisory Committee (PAC). Under Erik’s leadership, the PAC is realigning its activities to better complement TIRF’s mission. TIRF supporters can expect to see some substantive updates in the near future related to its Language Education in Review series and its ongoing publishing partnership with Routledge (Taylor & Francis).

The second half of the meeting involved updates from Ryan Damerow, who has been overseeing a number of TIRF initiatives over the last six months. At the direction of the Board of Trustees, Ryan has been working with a website design firm to execute a revamped online TIRF presence. By the end of the year, TIRF will be unveiling its new website; revised mission, vision, and purpose statements; and a number of new key features online visitors can utilize to get the most out of what the Foundation has to offer the public.

Further input from Ryan included updates on the Foundation’s “TIRF Talks” initiative and additional opportunities for fundraising. Via TIRF Talks, the Foundation is working to serve individuals and organizations in our field as a speakers’ bureau. Utilizing its extensive professional network, TIRF is endeavoring to help source expert speakers, who can provide professional development presentations on an array of topics. This program has only undergone a “soft release” up to this point. More detailed information will be available on TIRF’s new website later this year. As for increased fundraising opportunities, it is too early to share precisely what the Foundation is in planning, but further details are expected to be released by the end of the year via TIRF’s website, newsletter, and social media platforms.

TIRF is grateful for the efforts of its all-volunteer Board. The Foundation’s Trustees are not paid for their service, nor are they reimbursed for any travel expenses when they meet face-to-face. Without their generosity, including donations of their time and money, TIRF would be unable to accomplish all it does for the English language education and research industry.

Check our website in the near future for further updates on the initiatives discussed in this piece. If you wish to provide TIRF with any feedback, please write to [email protected].