SRP 1999: Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Board

Present: Lee Anna Clark, Phil Holzman, Jill Hooley, Suzanne King, Ray Knight, David Miklowitz, Mike Obuchowski, Mike O'Hara, Mike Raulin, Elaine Walker, Mike Young

Unable to attend: Barbara Cornblatt, Mike Dawson, Keith Nuechterlein

Called to order at 6:10 PM by Mike O'Hara

Welcome of new board members (Susan Mineka and Robert Dworkin) and the new treasurer (Robert Bilder), and Barbara Cornblatt as the new president

Local Arrangements: Suzanne King

The estimated budget was based on an estimate of 200 attending and 100 attending the dinner. Estimated expenses are $18,638 (American), with estimated revenue of $20,448 (American). Mike O'Hara thanked Suzanne for her fine work with local arrangements.

Program Committee: Michael Young

Eighty nine posters were submitted and all were accepted. Four symposia were submitted and all were accepted. Twenty-one papers were submitted and 8 were accepted as papers and 11 were converted to posters. The committee tried to balance content and how recently people had talked to the group. There were 24 Smadar Levin submissions, which will be judged by Paul Blaney (Chair), David Kosson, Keith Nuechterlein, and Edwin Cook.

Mike O’Hara noted that there still seems to be controversy about how many papers or posters a member could contribute. We had passed a resolution last year on this issue, but it continues to be controversial. The discussion of this issue was deferred.

Membership Committee: Michael Obuchowski for Barbara Cornblatt

New Full Members: Jonathan Abramowitz, Clayton Curtis, Bruce Cuthbert, Patricia J. Deldin, William Hetrick, Robert Krueger, Mark Lau, Scott, B. McCabe, Thomas D. Meyer, Jack B. Nitschke, Gillian O’Driscoll, Katherine Putnam, Lawrence Riso, David Tolin

New Associate Members: Shelli Dimarco, Anita Keener, Tania Lecomte

Mike O’Hara raised a question about one of the membership applications (Nashaat Boutros). This application came from someone who does not know anyone in the organization. He asked what might be done with someone in such a situation. It was suggested that in such cases, it would be best to have two members with expertise in this applicant’s research area judge the application and report back to the membership committee.

Motion: That there be a variation on our normal procedure and have two members with appropriate background review his work and evaluate him for membership. Motion passed unanimously.

Treasurers Report: Ray Knight

Ray Knight explained his procedures for trying to maintain the members who had not paid dues in a while. Ray has made extensive efforts to retain members who have not paid their dues by sending multiple letters.

Ray reported a closing balance of $37,430.57. The Boston conference cost the organization $24,509.85. The banquet turned out to be much more expensive than anticipated. We have so far paid out $9000 for the Montreal Conference. Since the end of the last program, we have brought in $29,380.00. He expects that we will break even with this conference. He expects that we will have a balance of approximately a balance of $21,000 at the end of this conference. We tend to loose a little bit of money on the conference, which is made up by dues.

Ray suggested that we should consider using money for secretarial tasks as the size of the organization continues to grow. There was a discussion that we may be able to automate some things that need to be shared by several people, such as registration. There needs to be more complete information in the database. For example, we need a way to get consistently a person’s affiliation for the badges. We also need to maintain a database of people who attend or expect to attend (those submitting papers) in order to inform people about arrangements. Having much of the material on the web site as was done this year permits the organization to distribute this information by referencing the web site when the request for papers goes out and when the program is announced.

Secretary Report:

A basic web site has been set up. The site has minutes from the last three years, several newsletters, links to the program and local arrangements sites, and some other features (e.g., list of award winners). In the coming year, Mike plans to restructure the web site and expand it by adding back issues of the newsletter and the minutes. It was suggested that we look into online voting. Mike agreed to check into the mechanism for this.

Local Arrangements for 2000 Conference: David Miklowitz

David Miklowitz noted that the 2000 conference would be held in the same hotel that the organization used when we last visited Bolder. The conference is scheduled for November 30th through December 3rd, 2000.

New Business:

Mike O"Hara raised two issues for discussion. (1) the issues of how many submissions one should be allowed and (2) whether we should check with current members who do not attend about what would make the meetings more of a draw.

The reason for restricting the number of submissions is to not overburden the program. We have not generally worried about the number of posters. Phil is suggesting that we might drop a limit, but ask the chair to be mindful of spreading around the opportunities. Howard asked whether we should continue to accept all posters as we have in the past. It would be difficult to add another poster session without deleting something. If we eliminate the limit, we might well get more than we can handle. Perhaps getting more sponsorship money for the conference would help some. It was agreed to study this issue rather than change things because the venue for the next two meetings are set and it is not clear that we would probably not be able to handle more submissions. It was decided to talk among the members of the organization between this meeting and the Sunday board meeting about getting sponsorship money, especially drug company money. We also discussed raising the conference fees if money is a problem.

Will take up the issue of registration fees with the membership on Saturday and discuss this matter more on Sunday.

Mike O’Hara asked if we want to do an initiate to encourage non-active members to become involved. Ray Knight could determine from his records how many of the members come to a typical meeting. Generally, about 80 members attend at any given meeting. Mike thought it might be useful to find out why some members attend regularly, whereas others almost never attend. After considerable discussion, no formal action was taken on this matter.

Motion: Phil Holzman moved that there be a formal study of obtaining external funding for the conference. Mike and Elaine will talk about how to study this issue. Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Raulin