Summary of the motions and key items discussed at the
FIRST 2005 COUNCIL MEETING of the
MINERALOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
for posting on the MSA website
Attending:Robert M. Hazen, 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 First meeting of the 2005 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
R. Hazen called the meeting to order at 3:44 PM, Saturday, November 6, 2004, and introductions were deemed unnecessary as the attendees corresponded, in large part, to those in the earlier 3rd Meeting of Council for 2004.
Hazen expressed his admiration for M. Carpenter for his dedication during his recent service to Council and the Society, and he thanked D. Rumble and J. Blencoe for remaining for this meeting. Hazen said the state of the Society is remarkable, marked by dedicated commitment of its members, its thriving and vibrant activities, and, yet, there is a troubling scenario for the future. Finances will be the focus of his effort as President and will be discussed in later under long-term planning.
2. 2005 Budget
There was no discussion.
M. Gunter moved to approve the 2005 Budget included in the Treasurers report. S = J. Valley. Motion passed unanimously.
3. Authorization for the Treasurer and the Administrator
B. Dutrow moved to authorize the MSA Treasurer to conduct the financial affairs of the Society and J. Alexander Speer as the Executive Director of the Society to write checks and make other forms of payment and transfers on the Societys accounts as directed by the Treasurer and Council actions. S = R. Angel. Motion passed unanimously.
4. Acceptance of committee appointments for 2005 Council year:
R. Downs moved to accept the committee members and chair appointments and other appointed posts for the 2005 Council year contained in the report of the Committee on Committees made to the Third 2004 Council meeting and as amended at the Third 2004 Council meeting. S = D. London. Motion passed unanimously.
5. Appointment of editors
The position of the editor of the Handbook of Mineralogy is open, and this appointment is tabled until the future of the Handbook is investigated by J. Valley and resolved.
M. Gunter moved to appoint Lee A. Groat and Robert F. Dymek as editors of the American Mineralogist, Jodi Rosso as editor of the Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry and Monograph series, and Andrea Koziol as the MSA events editor of Elements. S = D. London. Motion passed unanimously.
6. Authorization of mail and telephone ballots.
J. Hughes moved to authorize the use of mail, telephone and e-mail ballots, whenever necessary and allowed, to conduct the affairs of the Society. S = R. Downs. Motion passed unanimously.
7. Items Tabled from the Third 2004 Council Meeting
On long-term planning:
A. Speer commented, in line with the observations of the FAC, that MSA is growing and growth of MSA activities is not possible without adequate cost savings or enhancement of revenues. MSA is at the cusp with staffing. Any additional or new activities cannot be met without either more staff or increased productivity by automating some tasks and taking advantage of the Web. Changing times and technology will offer new options, such as GSW replacing print version of the American Mineralogist. Participating in new society activities, like Elements, is a challenge unless they are revenue and work neutral. Income from the Clay Mineral Society for handling their business operations does offset some of the costs of Web development in the office. This illustrates another approach to the future sharing the costs of resources with other societies.
J. Blencoe reiterated his message from the last Council meeting to caution expanding costs and the need to enhance revenues. A. Speer gave a round number estimate of our annual paper-publishing expenditures as $78K for printing, $27K for postage, and $15K for off-prints for a total of $120K. Certainly, there are potential economies to be had. D. Rumble, MSAs representative to the GeoscienceWorld (GSW) initiative, noted that by February 2005 there will be 30 journals going electronic via GSW. The revenue stream from GSW to MSA is unknown, but of the amount GSW has to distribute to participating publishers 40% will be distributed based on the number of articles posted and 60% of the amount will be based on usage of a society's posted articles. Within one or two years there may be no need for distributed paper copies. Presently, we have 800 library subscribers and lose 20-30 year, so the hope is that through GSW packaging we will gain rather than loose. The GSW open access is not free, just a modification of who pays for publishing; the system is flexible so anyone (or everyone?) can pay. R. Dymek asked whether GSW will provide paper copies of journals. A. Speer responded that it will not, at least not directly. GSW has requested the participating societies to provide reduced paper copy subscriptions to GSW subscribers. At some time in the future, when the demand for paper copies is too low to warrant printing them, societies will probably make arrangements with a 3rd party to provide/sell print-on-demand paper copies.
R. Hazen announced that he asked D. Rumble to head an ad-hoc subcommittee of the Long-Term Planning Committee on publications whose charge is to:
(a) Evaluate the impact of electronic publishing on MSAs publishing.
(b) Develop a policy about the acceptance rate for submissions to Am. Min.
(c) Examine how to package hard copies for distribution, with an eye to reducing mailing costs for a decreasing number of volumes.
(d) Determine how to integrate R. Downs work on producing PDFs of back copies of AmMin. into the GSW stream.
Hazen continued that his own goal as President was to raise $100K into the MSA Funds, but, on the other side, suggested creating another subcommittee on budget austerity to examine the magnitude and efficacy of reducing expenses through:
(a) electronic processing of membership renewals
(b) on-line/electronic voting
(c) cost-sharing on the MSA Distinguished Lecturer tours
(d) evaluating economies with the size and format of RiMG volumes with the possibility of selling PDF copies of individual chapters in the volumes.
8. Other business. None.
M. Gunter moved that the1st 2005 Council meeting be adjourned. S = J. Valley. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 5:00 PM.
George E. Harlow, MSA Secretary