Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the AIA Secretary is currently considering a petition to reunify Johnson and Wyandotte Counties with AIA Kansas, effective in 2019.

Our decision to submit this petition was not entered into lightly. We are fully aware of the implications the change would have for our chapter and others.

Currently, architects in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties are automatically assigned to AIA Kansas City as their local chapter. A large number of these Kansas architects are also assigned to AIA Missouri as their state organization, pursuant to the transfer of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in 1952 and 1924, respectively, and a 1993 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Earlier this year, AIA National requested that AIA Kansas and AIA Kansas City revisit the arrangement. After thoughtful consideration, AIA Kansas chose to not renew the 1993 MOU for the following reasons:

► State boundaries matter. Arguments to the contrary ignore the very real differences in the political, legal, and regulatory environments of Kansas and Missouri. In fact, sometimes Kansas and Missouri are on opposite sides in public policy issues. AIA Kansas is best positioned and equipped to represent the interests of Kansas architects in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties at the local, state, and national levels of government.

Similarly, in AIA National matters, voting delegates from Johnson and Wyandotte Counties are assigned to AIA Kansas City, a Missouri-based chapter. We believe Kansas members’ votes should support AIA Kansas in matters of Institute governance.

► Institute bylaws govern all AIA chapters.
The 1993 MOU does not comply with AIA Institute bylaws. As a result, AIA Kansas is the only chapter in the country where architects who live and work in one state are assigned to a chapter in another state. Not only is this a confusing arrangement, it is in conflict with the Institute’s governance and organizational structure, which recognizes Kansas as the statewide organization and local chapter for Kansas. AIA Kansas is bound by its bylaws to operate in compliance with the Institute’s bylaws. We believe our proposal for reunification of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties with Kansas is the only way to achieve compliance with the bylaws.

The revised MOU, as proposed in 2017, prohibited AIA Kansas from engaging the membership at the local level, as we are required to do in our role as a statewide chapter. We believe our ability to fully serve members in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties will enhance member benefits and value. We are ready to work with AIA Kansas City to develop a cooperative approach that will mutually benefit both chapters and the membership.