Plaudits Begin For Dollar As Term Nears Its End

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Everybody at NCUA and those in the credit union trade groups are waiting for Gonzalez.

That's Gilbert Gonzalez, Jr., the Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who is widely expected to be nominated by President Bush to be the next NCUA board member.

Though NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar's six-year term on the NCUA board officially expired in April, the White House has yet to nominate a successor and Dollar is continuing to serve as a holdover, which is another way of saying lameduck. Dollar, who has engendered much goodwill in the credit union movement, is currently on a victory lap of sorts, with testimonial speeches planned for the NAFCU convention in Boston last week, and several other stops over the summer.

The goodwill offered Dollar was created by the former credit union CEO because of his turning around the morale at the federal agency, damaged by several years of infighting among his former colleagues on the board, and because of several major reforms undertaken during his regime. Those reforms, which include his "Reg-Flex" program that eases the regulatory burden on the healthiest credit unions, new rules on field of membership, investment authority and international branching, will leave the outgoing NCUA chairman with a lasting legacy in the credit union movement. Dollar is currently working on one final project that could have a major effect on the credit union community, a risk- based capital system that could ease some of the burdens imposed by the prompt corrective action system enacted under HR 1151.

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