MINUTES OF THE SECOND 2004 COUNCIL MEETING
MINERALOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Attending:Michael A. Carpenter, President
J. Alex Speer, MSA Executive Director
Note: Motions and council action items are presented in italics; SoC = Sense of Council, S = Second.
The second meeting of the 2004 Council of the Mineralogical Society of America was held in the Geological Institute, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark on June 4, 2004.
1. Call to Order
M. Carpenter called the meeting to order at 8:40 PM, Friday, June 4, 2004, and introductions were not necessary as the attendees are all familiar from prior Meetings of Council. Carpenter went over the days agenda and noted that Susan Stripp, organizer for the present Goldschmidt Conference wanted some time to discuss issues with MSA.
2. Approval of Minutes of the Third 2003 Council Meeting and First 2004 Council Meeting.
There was no amendments or discussion of either set of minutes.
B. Dutrow moved to approve the Minutes of the Third 2003 Council Meeting and First 2004 Council Meeting. S = P Heaney. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Accept Reports to Council containing no questions or action items as a group. Reports will be acknowledged by Secretary.
Nominating Committee for Officers, American Mineralogist Editorial Office and Editors, Reviews and Monographs Series Editor, Handbook Editor, MSA Webmaster, Outreach (K-12) Committee, Lecture Program Committee, Lecture Program Administrator; Roebling Medal Committee, Distinguished Public Service Medal Committee, Dana Medal Committee, Crystallographic Research Grant Committee; Mineralogy/Petrology Grant Committee, MSA Representative to ACA, AGI, CMS, and Special Interest Group on Pegmatites, Planetary Materials, and Teaching
M. Gunter moved to accept these Reports to Council. S = P. Heaney. Motion passed unanimously.
4. Review of Executive Committee actionsPresidents Report:
Pres. Carpenter reviewed the items in his report of Executive Committee actions including the following:
1. 2004 Roebling Medallist Francis R. (Joe) Boyd died shortly after GSA so the mechanism by which the Society will deliver the medal, to his widow Dr. M. Kingston or a colleague, has yet to be determined.
2. MSA Lecture Program will feature Lecturers Rod Ewing, Bernie Wood, and John Hanchar for 2004/5.
3. The New Magazine to replace "The Lattice" has moved forward according to plan and is discussed later in the Minutes.
4. A fund raising strategy document was drafted after concern was raised about the need to increase the Societys funds at the Council meetings in Seattle.
5. Planning for the move of the MSA offices has progressed considerably based on the outcome of discussions of the Long-Term Planning Committee at Seattle in November, 2003.
6. A candidate for MSA Treasurer, John M. Hughes, was found after the initial approved list of candidates was exhausted. Council also agreed to put his name uncontested on the ballot for Treasurer.
7. Freedom of information and academic publishing came up because of issues with publishing manuscripts by authors from Iran and certain US trade sanctions relating to Iran. Although the issue is not totally settled, it appears such manuscripts can be published with certain provisos, such as no active rewriting or revision of the manuscripts.
8. Correspondence from two authors to the American Mineralogist expressed dismay about the final stages of publication of their manuscripts. Review showed that the editorial procedures had worked appropriately and efficiently in spite of the problems, and the authors were assured their concerns were taken seriously.
9. Correspondence was received about gender balance on the 2004 slate of MSA officers. Review of the apparent problem focuses on the names on the approved lists of candidates, that these lists must demonstrate the need for diversity in Council. However, the process then depends on going down the list of names in the order of the voted preferences to find candidates willing to serve. There is no mechanism to make the outcome of this process gender-balanced, at present.
No actions were required.
5. Treasurers Report: Dues, subscriptions and finances
Determine the member and institutional American Mineralogist subscription rates for 2005 and member dues (Treasurer's Report, Section 4). The Treasurer recommends:
A. Speer pointed out that the library subscriptions cover the "first copy costs" so that the increase in rates are largely the result of the decrease in those subscriptions.
M. Gunter moved to approve the entire package of new rates. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.
6. Update from MSA Executive Director.
A. Speer prepared a review of the history of the financial status of the Society and the impact of active financial management of the Societys funds by Wachovia. First, he noted that each fund consists of two components, an equities portion made up of stocks and financial instruments and a cash portion in the form of cash and a money-market account. To even out the variations in monthly equity values, less than $7,000 in equities are converted to cash each month to ultimately meet annual expenses. He pointed out that the recent decline in value is not unlike previous market declines (e.g., 1967-9, 1984-7) in relative proportions. He also explained that these bad times tend to paralyze financial advisory committees, whereas professional managers focus on saving capital and have better results historically. Consequently, professional financial managers should be able to do better in the event of a future market drop than has been the Societys experience. Funds used to be 10 times expenses while now they are about 2 times; the funds do not really pick up the costs, rather MSA sells its "products" like a not-for-profit business.
Executive Director Speer reported that 53 people attended the Short Course on Non-traditional Stable Isotopes held in Montreal, 21-23 were in attendance at the Epidote Short Course here in Copenhagen. $10,000 was received from the US Department of Energy for the grant DE-FG02-01ER15127 entitled "Support of MSA and GS Short Courses and the Companion Reviews Volumes to support the Non-traditional Stable Isotopes short course."
With respect to memberships the relative influx and outflow of members because of short courses (attendees get a 1-year membership to MSA) is relatively constant. He noted that senior memberships need to be encouraged as they are relatively a no-cost item. After some discussion it was agreed that contacts by councilors or officers of senior members whose memberships have lapsed would be a good idea.
7. Review of Report from Committee on Committees for new committee MSA members for 2005-2007
The Council took upon itself the need to diversify the suggested new committee members with additional women and international members using, for example, the list of volunteers as a resource in the process. A revised list was crafted and the Secretary will follow up on soliciting from the list for 2005-2007 members. The subject of those Chairs of committees who are councilors and who those chairs might be was not discussed.
8. Request by Charles T. Prewitt for guidance in Representing MSA at the International Mineralogical Association Meeting in Florence.
After a short discussion of the performance of the previous Representative, Charles Burnham, it was the SoC that the same procedures should be followed, namely:
9. MSA Appointments to GeoScienceWorld (GSW).
After a short introduction by Executive Director Speer and a little discussion.
It was the SoC that 1) A. Speer become a candidate for the GSW Board of Directors and 2) that former president D. Rumble be requested to become a representative to the GSW Advisory Council, both for one full term.
10. Response to Financial Advisory Committee.
B. Dutrow moved to accept the report of Financial Advisory Committee, for MSA to continue the on-going policy of "reverse dollar averaging" in withdrawing moneys from the Societys Funds and to express Councils gratitude for the Financial Advisory Committees deliberations. S = P. Heaney. Motion passed unanimously.
11. Operational Items from the Executive Director
a) M. Gunter moved that MSA assist with the registration of 9th International Kimberlite Conference with the organizers being charged for direct expenses and requested to have registrants from the Indian sub-continent be handled by the Indian organizers in local currency. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.
b) P. Heaney moved to accept the recommendation of the Executive Director with respect to the sponsorship of meetings, workshops, etc., namely that, continuing with past practices, the E.D.:
S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.
c) With respect to a letter from the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy (HIM), a new, non-profit mineralogical institute and dedicated to the discovery, study and preservation of rare mineral species, and to increasing public awareness and appreciation of the mineral kingdom through outreach and education, the E.D. recommends that MSA contact HIM, congratulate them on their organization and invite them to contact MSA whenever they identify any project they believe might make sense for both MSA and HIM to cooperate. After a short discussion, it was a SoC to do as the E.D. suggests.
d) P. Heaney moved to confirm that the Third 2004 and First 2005 MSA Council Meetings will be held in Denver, CO on Saturday November 6, 2004 and the MSA Management Committee meeting will be held Friday afternoon or evening November 5, 2004. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.
e) P. Heaney moved to confirm that the Second (Spring) 2005 MSA Council meeting will be held at the 2005 Goldschmidt Conference in Moscow, Idaho, USA. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.
12. Meetings Coordinator has no action items, however the coordinators term is about to retire. Consequently, Council needs to identify a replacement. It was the SoC that the coordinator should be a councilor. M. Gunter volunteered and
B. Dutrow moved to appoint M. Gunter at Meetings Coordinator for a term of 3 years. S = P. Heaney. Motion passed unanimously.
A note was received from Michael Brown inviting MSA participation and co-sponsorship for the Spring AGU Meeting in 2006.
M. Gunter moved to accept the invitation and cosponsor the Spring AGU Meeting in 2006. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously. M. Carpenter will write a note to M. Brown to this effect.
13. Short Course Committee action items:
RiMG editor Jodi Rosso reported that two Short courses and their volumes are on schedule for Fall 2005. The E.D. discussed the concerns of scheduling more than two short courses in a short period of time.
October Low-temperature Thermochronometry: Techniques, Interpretations, and Applications by Peter Reiners and Todd Ehlers with a revised budget plan that is recommended for acceptance
December Neutron Scattering Applied to Earth Sciences by Rudy Wenk with a preliminary outline that is recommended for acceptance
Molecular Geomicrobiology: From Genes to Geochemical Cycles by Jillian Banfield and Ken Nealson is behind schedule and needs to be rescheduled for a later date.
The SoC was to accept the recommendations of the Committee: Accept the revised budget of Low-temperature Thermochronometry, Accept the outline of Neutron Scattering Applied to Earth Sciences and requests that it ask the organizers for a more detailed course proposal and budget, and Push Back Molecular Geomicrobiology to Spring 2006.
Council had previously decided that there be a limit of 2 moderately long or 3 short RiMG Volumes in 2003, and, hence, per year in general (with or without a short course). That is, the deciding factor is the number of pages rather than the number of volumes.
14. Request from Roger Mitchell that MSA serve as distributor for the self-published books Kimberlites, Orangeites, Lamproites, Melilitites, and Minettes: A Petrographic Atlas and Perovskites: Modern and Ancient. The Publication director recommends that any future requests of this nature be handled on a case-by-case basis, with a careful vetting of the books and assurances that the Society be assured of freedom from financial liability.
B. Dutrow moved to approve the distribution request and policy recommendation. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.
15. M. Gunter introduced his proposal to rename the Distinguished Public Service Medal after Paul H. Ribbe. After a discussion of the history of the medal and the question of setting precedents of awards named after living members, Mickey decided to table the proposal.
16. The E.D. reported requests to MSA for feedback on why student research proposals were not funded. Providing such information would require a much greater effort on the part of the committees that review the proposals and expenses to provide the reviews, which would have to be paid at the expense of the grants. After some discussion, the SoC was to concur that the costs do not justify the benefit of such numerous reviews and that an additional statement be added to the regret letters to applicants explaining the reason why a review of a proposal cannot be returned.
17. The Executive Director recommends that any student receiving an AMU award be given a certificate, a choice of MSA publications, and a student membership with electronic access to the American Mineralogist. The MSA membership would also entitle the students to receive Elements (the new magazine).
P. Heaney moved to approve the recommendation for adding the choice of a MSA publication, one-year electronic access to AmMin and a one-year subscription to Elements to the AMU award. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.
18. Request from Brad Jolliff, Jim Papike and the Planetary Materials Special Interest Group
Papike and Jolliff asked Council to consider enlarging the page format of the RiMG volumes and providing the option for publishing a number of hardbound copies. A considerable discussion ensued about the hard-won recognition and "branding" of the white volumes that span many bookshelves in libraries, both personal and institutional, and the potential problems with a change. If book editors come up with the funds, a certain portion of a printing of a RiMG volume can always be hardbound for a special, targeted distribution. However, changing the volume size is much more problematical; increasing the size of the pages is not, by itself, sufficient justification for a major change to a successful formula. The SoC was to table the suggestion and inform the chair of the PMSIG of tenor of the discussion.
The Council meeting broke for lunch at 12:08 and reconvened at 1:15
19. The Long Term Planning Committee Report.
The committee recommended Council accept the proposal to move the MSA Business Office and Editorial Office from DC to the outer suburbs, looking for suitable space during Spring-Summer 2004 with the option to purchase or sign a 10 year lease for an office plus suitable storage space for journals and books. The E.D. reviewed his progress in finding such "Flexi-space" in the Dulles area of VA, mostly examining possibilities with "professional-technology" neighbors and good access. Alex warned that cash-flow may be a problem during the transition so that we may need to dip in to capital (i.e., the Roebling fund) to carry out the move.
The SoC was the Society should proceed with the process and Alex should commence a serious search in August as suggested.
20. Final decisions on joining GeoScienceWorld (GSW).
The Executive Director recommends the following:
As a Founding Organization of GSW:
The E.D. explained in further detail the differences between initial and later resolutions (HTML and PDF) of the Millennium Collection of Am. Min., the High Wire and GeoRef search capabilities on words and geographical (GIS) information, the various levels of access and the rationale for the above subscription recommendations. With respect to the progress with GSW, Alex reported that 37 journals had been submitted to GSW and 5 or 6 had missed the deadline; AGU not joining but investigating with the suggestion of including Tectonics; Elsevier is paying attention; advertisements have been placed for an executive director; AGI is guaranteeing some operating funds; RFP's have been sent out for marketing and subscription fulfillment of GSW; and interest has been expressed by NSF, individuals, and industries for site licenses and sponsorships in least-developed countries.
B. Dutrow moved to accept the E.D.s recommendations. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously Note
At this point the Council broke from business on the agenda to talk with Susan Stripp, one of the organizers of the Copenhagen Goldschmidt Conference. She expressed concern that sponsorship by MSA did not include up-front financial support. A considerable amount of time was spent discussing this and assuring her that this has been a long standing policy of MSA, known by all representing MSA, in essence, because MSA cannot afford to accept a loss of meeting that does not meet its financial obligations. A long discussion followed, mostly involving reviewing history and policy. Susan suggested that MSA might be given some of the profits from the Copenhagen meeting (if there are any) so that we can establish a rolling fund to provide up-front costs for future Goldschmidt meetings. The view of Council was that any profits should be passed on directly to the organizers of the next meeting, without involving MSA.
21. Progress onElements, the new magazine.
M. Carpenter discussed the progress on putting together the new multi-society magazine Elements with the plan in place for at least the first 6 issues; one (inaugural) issue in 2004 and issues 2-6 during 2005. Each issue of Elements may include up to 4 MSA pages for the presidents messages, E.D.s message, announcements of awards, medals, etc. and specific advertisements. Moving forward, Council should:
There was some discussion of concerns that Elements would adequately meet the needs of the Society in the way the Lattice has provided important Society information. This was considered particularly important for those who may have difficulty accessing the Internet, where much information will reside exclusively. Council supported the view that MSA should be responsible for some part of the magazine which would be identifiably directed at MSA members. M. Carpenter agreed to take this point up with Rod Ewing.
22. Discussion of a fund-raising strategy for MSA.
There was a discussion of the fund raising document and its attempt to define a fund raising strategy to enhance the endowment and support programs. With respect to targeted giving there are possibilities near-term approaches:
The SoC was the background provided by the fund-raising document was a valuable starting point for targeted campaigns for the Endowment. In the Fall, Council should address the issue for starting a specific Campaign or Campaigns.
A. B. Dutrow announced that there would be a new deadline for nominations for the Roebling and other awards of June 1. There was some discussion of these deadlines having been changed before, but a general recognition that there is no such thing as an ideal workable deadline.
B. The E.D. announced that the Society would have to change to format in which email addresses are used on the MSA website because spam is coming from the listings on it (this does not affect the directory tool for members). Alex said the problem was being acted upon.
C. The E.D. reported an email communication from a college faculty member for a student taking a physical geology course rather than a mineralogy course who he wanted to sponsor for an AMU award. B. Dutrow moved that Council permit this student to receive an AMU award.S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.
M. Gunter moved that the 2nd 2004 Council meeting be adjourned. S = B. Dutrow. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 PM.
George E. Harlow, MSA Secretary