Summary of the motions and key items discussed at the
THIRD 2004 COUNCIL MEETING of the
MINERALOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
for posting on the MSA website
Attending:Michael A. Carpenter, President
Visitors:J. Alex Speer, MSA Executive Director
Note: Motions and council action items are presented in italics; SoC = Sense of Council, S = Second.
The Third meeting of the 2004 Council of the Mineralogical Society of America was held in the Denver Marriott Hotel City Center, Denver, CO on Saturday, November 6, 2004.
1. Call to Order
M. Carpenter called the meeting to order at 8:09 PM, Saturday, November 6, 2004, and everyone introduced themselves, stating their relationship to MSA and/or the Council.
2. Accept Reports to Council containing no questions or action items as a group. Reports will be acknowledged by Secretary.
Lecture Program Administrator; MSA Webmaster, MSA Representatives to the American Crystallographic Association (ACA), American Geological Institute (AGI), Clay Minerals Society (CMS), European Mineralogical Union (EMU), International Mineralogical Association (IMA), IMA Commission on the Classification of Minerals, and the Pegmatites Interest Group.
D. Rumble moved to accept these Reports to Council. S = D. London. Motion passed unanimously.
The incoming President (Hazen) will write a letter to retiring Lecture Program Administrator Helen Lang, thanking her for her service.
3. Approval of Minutes of the Third 2003 Council Meeting and First 2004 Council Meeting.
There were no amendments or discussion of the minutes.
D. Rumble moved to approve the Minutes of the Second 2004 Council Meeting. S = B Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.
4. Acceptance of medal, award, grant and honor recommendations
Roebling Medal:...................................................Ho-kwang Mao
Distinguished Public Service Medal:............. ..Robin P. Brett
Dana Medal:................................................ .....Rodney C. Ewing
MSA Award:........................................ ....Tiziana Boffa-Ballaran
Prof. Isabelle Daniel, Dr. Yoshikuni Hiroi, Dr. Marc M. Hirschmann, Dr. Hans Keppler, Dr. Martin Kunz, Prof. Hans-Joachim Massonne, Dr. David R.M. Pattison, Dr/Prof Stefano Poli, Prof. David J. Prior, Dr. Thomas G. Sharp, Prof. Akira Tsuchiyama
Crystallographic Research Grant:.......................Christina L. Lopano
Mineralogy/Petrology Research Grant:.Saumyaditya Bose and Elizabeth R. Goeke
There was a discussion of the request of the Crystallographic Research Grant Committee to split the award between two candidates on the grounds of merit and a desire to maintain the crystallographic focus of the award. A year ago, it was decided to increase the breadth of what would be considered as part of crystallography to enhance submission; this topic was revisited and sustained. Moreover, the announcement of the grant states a (single) grant in the amount of $5000, so that splitting the award would violate that announcement and punish the recipients. It was the SoC that the process should not be changed and only a single award be made.
D. Rumble reminded Council members of the secrecy required in handling all award activities and that no communication can be made with candidates until after Council has approved the recommendations of the Award Committees and the Council has notified the awardees. Moreover, this is the duty of the President and not the committees or their members.
M. Gunter moved to approve the recommendations for awards, grants and honors. S = D. Rumble. Motion passed unanimously.
The number of new Fellows each year is set at 0.5% of the membership. With 2270 members this is 11.35 or 11 individuals. The Business Office sends letters signed by the President to new Fellows, and emails to those who will (and will not) receive the research grants.
5. Action Items from Committees
From the Roebling Medal Committee:
(a) Expressed concerns and possible pitfalls in having the last three recipients of the Roebling Medal being from the Geophysical Laboratory. B. Dutrow, Chair of the Committee, discussed the problems with the continued perception of "an old-boys club." Various ideas to improve the procedures were discussed.
(b) Requiring ALL nomination materials (specifically supporting letters) be submitted electronically. This suggestion was accepted as the SoC.
From the Distinguished Public Service Medal Committee.
(c) Should the DPSM be an annual or biennial award? A biennial award makes more sense because the rate of new nominations for the award is quite low. After a short discussion, D. Rumble moved to make the Distinguished Public Service Medal a biannual award. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
From the Kraus Research Grant Committee.
(d) Issue of splitting award: resolved under Item 4, above no splitting.
(e) Concern over diversifying proposals accepted under a broader definition of crystallography. On the one hand the number of proposals increased from 4 last year to 12 this year, and on the other the less-crystallographic proposals fell into the lower rankings. This appears to be a satisfactory situation, so no action was taken.
(f) Concern that the proposals had gotten too long. While the limit of a 500-word narrative seems fine, most of the proposals had several figures, and lengthy figure captions. Most of the proposals were 6-7 pages in length. Thus, we would suggest the proposals be limited to 4 pages including the 500-word narrative.
After a short discussion, P. Heaney moved to limit proposals to 500 words including figure captions (without a figure limit) and add another member to the committee. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
From the Min/Pet Research Grant Committee
(h) Question was raised as to whether the MSA, and hence the Committee, should seek to distribute the grants among more programs and more grants geographically. A. Speer pointed out that, only recently, the amount of the award had been increased to improve proposal quality. R. Downs argued that limiting the awards and providing valuable grants would keep them prestigious, and D. London reiterated we must encourage students to seek the awards. No action was deemed necessary.
(i) In the same context, Committee chair London voiced a concern that students might utilize or rely heavily on published work or grant applications of the supervisor in constructing the MSA grant proposal. Nevertheless, he suggested that the proposals be accepted as the product of the students. No action was taken.
(j) London would like to compose a letter thanking applicants on behalf of the entire MinPet Committee. London requested that the letter (signed & sent via email) be printed and mailed from the MSA business office once the results of the awards are finalized. If there are any changes for the messages notifying people of the results, they must be ready to be sent on November 15.
After a short discussion, it was decided that no actions are necessary.
6. Committee on Committees Report:
The actual vote on appointment of Committees and other posts will occur during the First 2005 Council Meeting. The Committee on Committees needs to fill vacancies for representatives to the Industrial Mineralogy and Minerals Surfaces special interest groups.
7. Report from the North American Abstractor for Mineralogical Abstracts:
Peter Leavens reports that there is no longer any need for this position, though assistance of volunteers is welcome.
8. Report of the Nominating Committee for Officers:
M. Carpenter commenced the discussion of the lists of officer and councilor nominees. There was some discussion of the need to enhance gender balance in the rankings, and the problem of offering two candidates from the same discipline. Minor adjustments were made in the ranking of candidates on all three lists.
R. Downs moved to approve the revised lists of candidates for Vice President and Councilors. S = J. Blencoe Motion passed unanimously.
9. Webmaster and Outreach Committee Reports.
Nancy J. McMillan has resigned from the MSA Outreach (K-12) Committee (she was also the co-chair), because she was elected to the GSA Council. A. Speer noted that Council may wish to consider not only locating and appointing a replacement but giving the new appointee a sense of what Council thinks the goals of the Mineralogy-4-Kids site ought to be and how they might best be achieved (with no budget). Mineralogy-4-Kids is the most visited portion of the MSA website.
B. Dutrow moved to have J. Valley carry out the search for a new chair of the Webmaster Committee K-12 Outreach. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
10. Report of the Management Committee:
All visitors to the council meeting were asked to excuse themselves from the room while the Management Committee reported the results of its meeting. M. Carpenter reviewed the deliberations of the Management Committee which had convened at 5:00 PM on Friday, November 4, 2004 in the Denver Marriott Hotel City Center. At this meeting, the Management Committee reviewed the job performance and salaries of A. Hunter (Admin. Assistant II), E. Johnson (Membership Coordinator), E. Baker (Production Editor), R. Russell (Managing Editor), and J. Alex Speer (Executive Director) on the basis of the job evaluations submitted to the Management Committee. The Management Committee was pleased with the performance of all of the business and editorial staff members and, particularly, with the Executive Director.
D. Rumble moved to accept the recommendation of the Management Committee on raises for salaries of the MSA staff. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
There was a meeting break from 10:00 - 10:20 AM
11. Executive Director action items
(a) Asks Council to accept the 2004 election results and give permission to
destroy the ballots upon acceptance.
B. Dutrow moved to accept the results from the 2004 election and permit the Executive Director to destroy the ballots. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
(b) Asks Council whether it is interested in having electronic balloting for the 2005 elections? If so, announcements about the election and balloting would be made in Elements and by the MSA-Announce list. A general discussion ensued over several issues.
1. Would such a move increase or decrease the staff work-load? Maybe it would increase workload initially, but in the long run it should decrease the workload and be less expensive.
2. Will it be sufficiently democratic given not everyone has access to or uses the Internet? Will it thereby disenfranchise members, particularly older ones?
It was decided to move forward with electronic balloting.
D. Rumble moved to have the 2005 election carried out by electronic balloting (i.e., via the World-Wide-Web) contingent upon our Website having the capacity to carry it out. S = B. Hazen. Motion passed unanimously.
(c) Council needs to confirm that the Second 2005 MSA Council Meeting will be at the Goldschmidt Conference in Moscow, Idaho, USA May 20-24, 2005, and whether it is before or after the technical sessions.
R. Lange moved to schedule the Second 2005 Council meeting on Thursday, 26 May, immediately after the Goldschmidt Conference in Moscow, Idaho, USA May 20-25, 2005. S = B. Hazen. Motion passed unanimously.
(d) MSA needs a process to finalize the new space decision and sign a lease agreement. The choices have narrowed to 2 properties. Rent includes amortization of building out space for offices and storage but MSA pays taxes and HVAC. 10-year leases with option to extend. After a short discussion it was agreed to provide a mechanism for the E.D. to make the selection.
D. Rumble moved to authorize the Executive Director to choose a location, negotiate the lease, and, upon getting authorization of the Executive Committee, to sign the lease, with the President informing Council of the decision. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.
12. Treasurers Report
There were no action items, but J. Blencoe took the opportunity of his final Council meeting as Treasurer to emphasize the importance of the health of the Roebling Fund to the financial well-being of MSA. A discussion developed about how both to raise funds and control spending. R. Hazen indicated this subject would be the focus of his forthcoming presidency and would be discussed further in the 1st Council Meeting of 2005, in the afternoon.
The Executive Director took this opportunity to discuss MSAs voting to accept the liquidation plan, arrived at by a committee of creditors with the court's guidance, in the bankruptcy of Divine/RoweCom, a subscription agency which owes MSA some $18,580 for non-fulfillment. Claims against Divine/RoweCom total about $220 million. The allowed claims were $50 million and it is estimated that there is $7.5 million to $13 million for distribution; better something than nothing.
Jodi Rosso, Editor RiMG and MSA Monograph Series, entered the Council Meeting at 11:15 AM.
13. Report of the Financial Advisory Committee.
There were no action items, however the Committee wants Council to be aware that, as time passes, less and less of the Societys functions are being funded by endowment, and, for the foreseeable future, there will be continued uncertainty in stock market growth. Thus, Council should (1) make every effort to restrain growth of the annual budget, and (2) continue to emphasize the importance of annual giving to the Societys funds in an effort to increase their value even as they contribute toward our annual budgets. The Endowment, Outreach, Kraus Crystallography, and Mineralogy and Petrology funds should be emphasized for annual contributions.
B. Hazen moved to accept the report of Financial Advisory Committee. S = D. Rumble. Motion passed unanimously.
13a. Report of the Benefactors Committee:
B. Dutrow noted MSA is in a win-some and lose-some situation with respect to corporate support. She encouraged each of us to use whatever influence and contacts we have to get support from corporations. She mentioned that it could help to offer to flash/rotate the logos of commercial Benefactors in a box on MSAs home page on the Web.
It was SoC that this was easily doable and a good idea to pursue.
N. Ross moved to accept the report of Benefactors Committee. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.
14. Meetings Coordinator
a) P. Heaney expressed concern about MSA participation in the GSA Meeting. After the robust showing with 7 session and 269 abstracts in 2003 at Seattle, this 2004 meeting drew only 106 abstracts for 6 sessions. The next meeting is at Salt Lake City, and it is suggested to have a session in relation to Dave Maos receiving the Roebling Medal and a session on the theme of the Short Course Low-Temperature Thermochronometry.
b) In response to Mike Browns solicitation for MSA participation at Spring AGU in 2006, Council decided at the 2nd 2004 meeting to have the Dana Medal Lecture at this meeting and to hold the Spring Council meeting there.
c) M. Carpenter discussed the invitation by David Price to join with the Mineralogical Society for a European mineralogical in the UK in June, 2007. L. Groat noted that he, through MAC, would be having a session on gem materials at this meeting. The other possibility for a spring 2007 MSA meeting would be the Goldschmidt Conference to be held in Cologne.
B. Lange moved to accept the Mineralogical Societys invitation for MSA to co- sponsor the Mineralogical Meeting to be held in Cambridge, UK in June, 2007. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
15. Short Course Committee action items:
a) Micro- and mesoporous phases. A proposal to publish this joint Academia Nazionale Lincei (ANL)-MSA publication as a RiMG volume. This proposed volume consists of most of the sections of a course to be offered by ANL in Rome in December 2004. Cost sharing is proposed to be 50:50 unless circumstances mitigate otherwise. The committee suggests that the volume be given approval pending the outcome of discussions between the MSA business office and the ANL about cost sharing.
b) Molecular Geomicrobiology: From genes to geochemical cycles. The committee recommends acceptance of the plan for this course/volume for fall 2005 AGU.
c) Water in nominally anhydrous minerals. This is a new proposed course and volume. Preliminary approval is recommended by the committee.
d) Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry. Nita Sahai has submitted a revised course proposal and budget for this course and volume. The committee recommends preliminary approval of this course and volume with the requirement that a more definite funding plan and commitment be established before final approval is given.
N. Ross moved to accept the recommendations of the Short Course committee on the four short-course volumes: Micro- and mesoporous phases; Molecular Geomicrobiology; Water in nominally anhydrous minerals; and Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.
e) Joint societal (MSA-XXX) RIMG volumes and short courses. Rules to ensure adequate time for review of proposal and course contents and logistics/timing for editing/publishing.
It was SoC to continue with the same rules that are presently applicable (established limits and timing of production RiMG Volumes as stated in prior Council decisions and notes to the Short Course Committee). In addition a statement should be included to the participating society/sponsor that it requires about 18 months to go from full proposal to publication.
f) Change in make-up of the RIMG (short course) MSA committee. The committee suggests that the MSA short course committee constituency be changed to be a joint MSA-GS committee with at least one GS member in good standing serving on the committee at any one time.
M. Gunter moved that the chairs of both MSA and GS committees on short courses (or a nominated member of each committee) should be cross appointed, sharing in the email distributions of both committees, to facilitate communication and decision making of short courses and volumes. S.=N. Ross Motion passed unanimously. It was agreed that this proposal would be communicated by President Hazen to President Drever of the Geochemical Society.
16. Request from the MSA Distinguished Lecture Program Administrator to consider the expansion of the MSA Distinguished Lecturer Program to truly international scope with lectures scheduled in New Zealand and South Africa and provide guidance to Cam Davidson, the new Lecture Program Administrator, on how to manage future international requests. A. Speer noted that this request does not envision adding a lecturer, and MSA would continue to pay only for transportation. B. Hazen asked about the budget outline of the program. A. Speer responded that we were not looking at substantially different expenses, the present budget being $15-17K/yr, and that clustering lecture venues, no matter the destination country, would improve the viability of a request.
D. Rumble moved that Council authorizes the MSA Distinguished Lecture Program Administrator to accept requests world-wide for Lecturers from the Lecture Program subject to the constraints of time and cost. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
A. Speer reiterated that the Administrator should advise sponsors of visiting lecturers to keep in mind including/adding nearby institutions that might be added to the "tour" at their own cost to enhance the value and potential success of their request.
Paul H. Ribbe, former RiMG Series editor, joined the meeting at 11:58 AM.
The Council meeting broke for lunch at 12:00 and reconvened at 1:15
Gordon Nord, Webmaster, joined the meeting at 1:15 PM.
17. Proposal by the Planetary Materials Special Interest Group (PMSIG) to change the page size of the RiMG volumes.
Brad Jolliff, representing PMSIG, presented a case for changing the RiMG volume page size from 6 by 9 inches to a larger size (e.g., 8.5 by 11 inches or 7 by 10 inches), specifically with the volume New Views of the Moon, in mind. He emphasized that this was not a complaint about the series but a voice from the outside for a format consistent with journals, with greater flexibility such as two columns, alternate formatting of tables and larger graphics, with a reduction in the number of pages of ~25%. On the other hand various people pointed out the distinctiveness of the Shelf of White Volumes to be found in so many of our offices, the ruggedness of smaller volumes with perfect binding, lower shipping costs, and, perhaps, the need to alter shelving of volumes in libraries, and GSW considerations for electronic publishing. Alex Speer said it is basically not a cost issue, one way or the other, although it might be cheaper over the long haul.
P. Heaney moved to retain the format of RiMG volumes. S = D. Rumble. Motion passed 10 for, 1 against.
18. Webmasters report.
G. Nord discussed the status and developments with the MSA site (Nord has been webmaster since 1999). He noted that if one types "minerals" on Google, for example, the MSA site is # 18, but if one types "mineralogy" the MSA site is # 1; half of all the 10 million annual hits on the site come from such queries. Nord is presently developing software to automate the office, working on the mailing lists for Elements to root out multiple mailings, reformatting the front page to reduce scrolling with attention to the need to maintain access by members/users with older browsers. He was asked whether there is a need for ID protection of the membership list to which he commented that there was full manual access but no problem with automatic trolling by spammers.
It was the SoC to leave the directory as it is.
B. Dymek asked about updating addresses in the online Membership Directory. It does not seem to take effect immediately. Submission of updates online does not immediately take affect. The changes are reviewed and the office member database is corrected and an export is made periodically to update the online one.. R. Downs commented about the capability of doing more detailed searches on the website contents, noting for example Google does not scan PDFs for content and that even abstracts do not get indexed for content.
19. Progress on Elements, the new magazine.
Rod Ewing and Pierrette Tremblay, managing editor, discussed progress on the new multi-society magazine Elements. It is designed to replace the society newsletters of MSA, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, the Clay Minerals Society, the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and the Geochemical Society and present topic-oriented articles in our science and is well underway. The Board of Editors includes Rod Ewing, Michael Hochella, and Ian Parsons, and the 2005 production of 5 issues is in progress. Goals are to get to 10,000 copies and 8 issues, provide an online presence for instructions and contacts, and develop a more complete business model. The initial plan is to invest in making Elements self-sustaining, given the contributions from the societies for newsletter function, and then grow to create general benefits for the societies and their missions. G. Harlow and D. London asked how individual subscriptions, such as to federal decision-makers, could be sponsored. A. Speer and P. Tremblay responded that fulfillment through MSA would work, although at the moment it has been decided to concentrate on the members and institutions of the participating societies.
20. Long-Term Planning Committee.
The committee proposes alternative arrangements for the MSA lunch and awards ceremony at the Fall GSA meetings. The proposed scheme is:
Saturday: MSA Council meeting.
Sunday, p.m.: Roebling Medal presented during the GSA awards ceremony.
Tuesday: MSA lunch. Acknowledgement of awardees, presentations to MSA distinguished lecturers. Only 2 speeches Roebling Medal citationist and reply from Roebling Medallist. Transfer of Presidential gavel.
Tuesday, afternoon session:
Presentation of MSA Award, short acceptance speech followed by ~30 minute lecture from awardee.
Presentation of Distinguished Public Service Medal, short acceptance speech followed by ~30 minute lecture from awardee.
Presidential address, ~30-45 minutes.
Annual Meeting (Business meeting), includes announcement of awards for the following year.
Tuesday evening: MSA reception (jointly with Geochemical Society).
Other sessions: The Roebling Medallist might be asked to give the first lecture in a session on a topic relating to his/her research interests. MSA would continue to sponsor other sessions likely to be of interest to members.
The concern about the Awards Luncheon was discussed. It has become long and expensive, with few students or younger members attending. M. Gunter, in addressing the larger question of the luncheons feeding into the GSA meeting, asked whether special sessions related to the citations be added to the GSA program and what the problem was with the Roebling Medal being given at the GSA Awards Ceremony. R. Ewing responded that he had talked to GSA President Rob Vandervoo about the problems and was told that GSA did not want to set a precedent for adding non-GSA activities to its ceremony. The discussion moved back to the Awards Luncheon and there was a consensus that the model proposal was a good one.
D. Rumble moved to proceed with planning future MSA programs at the GSA Meeting with a new format on the basis of the model proposed by the Long-Term Planning Committee. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
The discussion moved on to consultation with the membership to evaluate possible models for the next GSA Meeting. It was suggested that a request to members for comment on possible formats could be placed in The Lattice / Elements and broadcast on MSA-Talk / MSA-Announce, with a pointer to a questionnaire on the MSA website, following the suggested timeline of the Committee:
November 2004: Council considers/agrees a new format, in principle.
Late 2004, early 2005: consultation with members (via the last issue of The Lattice / Elements or via MSA-Talk/MSA-Announce).
Late 2004: Alex Speer contacts GSA to start negotiations, particularly with regard to including the Roebling Medal presentation in the GSA awards ceremony.
Early 2005: Submit MSA proposals for symposia at 2005 Fall GSA.
May 2005: Council finalizes format for awards and plenary lectures for 2005 Fall GSA
D. Rumble moved that Council request comment on the new format for the MSAs program at the GSA Meeting via Elements and email with the intention to use the new format in 2005, following the general time line suggested by the Long-Term Planning Committee. S = N. Ross. Motion passed unanimously.
Incoming President Hazen agreed to follow up on this action by inviting the Roebling Medallist, MSA Award recipient and DPS Medallist to give lectures and to pursue a conversation with the GSA President on the possibility of having the Roebling Award at the GSA Award Ceremony.
21. Report of the Managing Editor of the American Mineralogist.
Does Council have any questions about special issues, office plans, peer review or the like? The Editors and Managing Editor note that their short-term growth plans for the journal include:
(a) Hire an editorial assistant next summer.
(b) Add additional Associate Editors
Rachel Russell went over these additions. There were no negative comments, and no action is required by Council for these to go forward.
22. Report of the Editors of the American Mineralogist.
The Editors request authorization to recruit a third Editor to take care of the Letters papers. R. Dymek discussed how a 48 hour job morphed into a 7 day job, with the increase of submission of Letters, often coming, it seems, in bunches. After a short discussion of the stipend, processing, and time-frame for an appointment of an additional editor, M. Carpenter stated that a new editor must function in the same manner as the other editors.
B. Dutrow moved that Council authorize the appointment of a 3rd Editor to the American Mineralogist. S = J. Blencoe. Motion passed unanimously.
It was SoC that the actual appointment of a 3rd Editor be circulated to the Executive Committee for approval.
22a. Report of the Editor of the Handbook of Mineralogy
D. Rumble gave a short eulogy to Richard Bideaux, editor of the Handbook, who died suddenly in October. Doug and Dick shared offices as graduate students at Harvard, and Dick left because, unlike most of his fellow students, he loved minerals as minerals rather than as tools for interpreting rocks. B. Dutrow commented on Dicks importance in the mineral community and how he had attended all of the 50 annual Tucson Mineral Shows. It was agreed we mark his passing with deep regret.
R. Downs reported that he is making PDFs from the headers in the Handbook with information on powder patterns and table of contents.
It was SoC that J. Valley pursue investigating the future of the project encompassed by the Handbook of Mineralogy.
23. On long-term planning:
This subject was tabled until the First Council Meeting of 2005.
President Carpenter thanked the outgoing Councilors, Treasurer and Past-President for their service to MSA while on Council. There was a unanimous felicitation to outgoing President Carpenter for his services, as well.
P. Heaney moved that the 3rd 2004 Council meeting be adjourned. S = D. Rumble. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 3:28 PM.
George E. Harlow, MSA Secretary