Summary of the motions and key items discussed at the



for posting on the MSA website



Robert M. Hazen, President
Michael A. Carpenter, Past President
John W. Valley, Vice President
John M. Hughes, Treasurer
George E. Harlow, Secretary
Ross Angel, Councilor
Barb Dutrow, Councilor
Mickey Gunter, Councilor
Robert Downs, Councilor

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 2005 Council of the Mineralogical Society of America was held in The Michael Boardroom, J.A. Albertson Building, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA on May 26, 2005.


1. Call to Order

Bob Hazen called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM, Thursday, May 26, 2005, and each person attending introduced themselves and their position with respect to MSA. Hazen declared that the Society is in good shape but many issues face it, such as the need for an editor to replace Lee Groat, many activities moving to or increasing on the World-Wide Web, and, certainly not least, the need to address long-term finances. Bob emphasized the credit and thanks due Alex Speer, Executive Director, for his dedication to the efficient and smooth operation of MSA.

2. Approval of Minutes of the Third 2004 Council Meeting and First 2005 Council Meeting.

John Hughes pointed out that the time of the start of the meeting in the minutes of Third 2004 Council Meeting was 8:09 AM rather than PM.

John Valley moved to approve the Minutes of the Third 2003 Council Meeting and First 2004 Council Meeting, as amended. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.

3. Accept Reports to Council containing no questions or action items as a group. Reports will be acknowledged by the Secretary.

Benefactor Committee, American Mineralogist Editorial Office and Editors, Reviews and Monographs Series Editor, MSA WebMaster, Lecture Program Committee, Roebling Medal Committee, MSA Award Committee, Mineralogy/Petrology Grant Committee, MSA Representative to ACA, AGI, CMS, GIA, IMA, and Special Interest Group on Pegmatites, Planetary Materials, and Teaching.

M. Gunter moved to accept these Reports to Council. S = J. Valley Motion passed unanimously.

4. Review of Executive Committee actions—President’s Report:

Pres. Hazen noted that his report contained action items that will be dealt with later under individual items of business, here he was presenting the information-only items. Since the last Council meeting, the Executive Committee acted upon the following:

1. Approved the list of potential MSA Lecturers provided by the MSA Lecture Committee from which the Lecture Program Coordinator would find 3 volunteers. MSA Lecture Program will feature Lecturers Thomas Sharp, Penny King, and Patrick O’Brien for 2005/6.

2. Ken Bladh, one of the four original authors of the Handbook of Mineralogy, has offered to complete the revision of Volume 1. No decision has been made about the other volumes.

3. With respect to a Geochemical Society representative to the MSA Short Course Committee, following discussions with Tim Drever, president of GS, Hazen asked Scott Wood to serve on the Short Course Committee as a liaison between the two societies.

No actions were required.

5. Treasurers Report: Dues, subscriptions and finances

We need to set the member and institutional American Mineralogist subscription rates for 2006 and member dues. The Treasurer recommends:

(a) No increase in dues from $55/yr for members or $5 /yr for students for 2006, but seriously consider a dues increased at the Spring 2006 Council meeting. For context, dues were last raised for calendar year 2004.

(b) A $5.00 increase in the individual subscription rate for the American Mineralogist for 2006, to $45/yr. Such an increase would enable the individual subscription income to continue to cover costs of individual member subscriptions. For context, the cost of an individual subscription in 1988 was $20.00, and was $40.00 for 2004 and 2005.

(c) A $25.00 increase in domestic and foreign subscriptions for 2006, to $675 for domestic and $700 for foreign subscriptions. Such an increase would nearly enable subscription income to cover the costs of institutional subscriptions after a long period of subsidizing such costs.

(d) Retain the current $15/yr charge for professional and student member access to the online journal.

J. Hughes commenced the discussion of his recommendations by extending his sincere thanks to Alex Speer, Executive Director, for his help in bringing this new treasurer up to speed on the Society’s operation. Hughes stated the goal is to adjust (raise) rates in $5.00 increments, which represents an inflationary adjustment needed every 2-3 years.

M. Gunter moved to retain the membership rates (a) and approve the increase in individual subscriptions (b) for AmMin to $45 for 2006. S = R. Angel. Motion passed unanimously.

With respect to items (c) and (d), a discussion ensued on the mechanism and need for changing subscription rates. A. Speer noted experience shows that the size of increases must be modest in trying to match expenses with rates, otherwise AmMin loses too many subscriptions. With electronic access libraries will now be able to track journal usage much better, and that information will become increasingly more important to argue for subscription retention. With respect to decreasing subscriptions, it is from both foreign and U.S. institutions. The impact of GSW is dealt with later.

R. Angel moved to approve the increase in institutional subscriptions (c) to AmMin by $25 for 2006. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.

B. Dutrow moved to approve the retention of the current $15/yr charge (d) for professional and student member access to the online journal. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed unanimously.

J. Hughes commented that the FAC urges continued conservative expenditures from the Society’s endowment (which means the Roebling Fund) in the range of no more than 4-5% of its value annually. This was agreed to be the SoC.


6. Update from the Treasurer and MSA Executive Director on MSA membership numbers, subscriptions, and MSA finances.

A. Speer reviewed the financial status of the Society. Investments stand at just over $1.9 million. Presently bonds are down in the market. Wachovia, our financial management company, foresees little movement in the market — a bouncing up and down of the various indicators about a plateau — for the time being.

MSA has signed a lease on 6740 sq.ft. of office/warehouse space at 3635 Concorde Parkway Suite 500, Chantilly, VA 20131-1125 in the Avion Business Park, which is just south of Dulles Airport. The lease is for 10 years starting August 1, with an option for a 5-year extension. Alex Speer reviewed the building plans, finances and related matters of the new offices. He added that our relationship with the Clay Minerals Society will allow apportioning the costs an additional employee and the new office space.

J. Hughes had nothing to add to his written report.

7. Report of the MSA Representative to Elements:

John Hughes attended the Elements Executive Committee meeting on Saturday and reported that production of the magazine was on schedule and meeting the development plan; advertising is also on target.

1) He recommends approval of the 2006 Elements budget and continued vigilance on future budgets.

J. Valley moved to approve the 2006 Elements budget. S = R. Downs. Motion passed unanimously.

Other issues for Elements were discussed for possible comment by Council:

(2) The MSA Elements Executive Committee member John M. Hughes, after discussion with Executive Director Alex Speer, voted for the Society to approve a $5,000 honorarium for Managing Editor Pierrette Tremblay from the 2004 budget reserve. From 2005 forward a salary is budgeted for the Managing Editor.

(3) Approval of a new member category, Affiliated Organization, has been requested. MSA has been asked to discuss this item at the Spring Elements Executive Committee meeting, to clarify the financial contributions of such member organizations. This new category is for organizations that have not been making a financial contribution to Elements but have expectations of being frequently publicized in its pages.

(4) MSA voted for approval of the French mineralogical society (Société Française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie) to join Elements. As first-copy costs have already been covered, additional member societies increase the visibility and income of Elements.

8. Report of the Financial Advisory Committee:

The FAC has no specific items for Council approval, but the FAC urges Council to undertake, by whatever means possible, to (1) continue to use a conservative approach to the expenditure of endowment funds for the operation of the Society and (2) continue to solicit endowment funds from members and corporations, in an effort to maintain the financial health of MSA.

There was discussion about the rate at which expenditures could be made based on the value of the endowments and those portions of expenditures which are non-discretionary, namely the costs Life Members and the research grants. Life Members are "priced" at 25 times the dues of an individual member, which assumes that earnings on investing the amount will at least match 4% plus inflation over the life of the member and retain its initial value. There was some discussion whether this was adequate but historically the problem was that most of the early Life Members payments were expended rather than invested. The FAC and Council must remain alert never to use Life Fellow/Life Member funds for current expenses.

9. Review of Report from Committee on Committees for new committee MSA members for 2006-2008

(a) Confirm proposed lists of committee members. Authorize George Harlow, as Secretary, to contact individuals in the order listed (except when restricted by guidelines for the position).

The Council examined the report of the Committee on Committees and, in particular, the listing for 2006-2008 committee members. R. Angel noted several overlaps in educational/institutional relationships among those assigned to some committees that would eliminate half of the committee from discussing some award candidates. This complication was alleviated by delaying appointment of some committee chairs until the next Council meeting when committee memberships would be known. There was discussion of the concerns by the chair of the Nominating Committee for Fellows that the committee was not sufficiently large to get the best list of nominations for fellows. It was generally agreed that six members and the list of eligible members provide adequate resources to the committee. On the subject of the MSA Meetings Committee concerns were again expressed about MSA’s relationship with AGU and how best to have MSA’s interests represented at meetings. R. Angel agreed to look in to the relationship between MSA and AGU including why we have 4 representatives to AGU, how we might rationalize things, whether or not we can raise our profile with AGU, and what delegates should be doing. Everyone commended the CoC on a job well done.

J. Valley moved to confirm proposed lists of committee members for 2006-2008 and authorize George Harlow, as Secretary, to contact individuals in the order listed. S = R. Angel. Motion passed unanimously.

(b) Increase the term for members of the Distinguished Public Service Medal Committee to 4 years.

(c) Confirm that the Distinguished Public Service Medal will be given every other year.

M. Carpenter moved to confirm that the Distinguished Public Service Medal will be given every other year. S = J. Valley. Motion passed unanimously.

J. Valley moved to increase the term for members of the Distinguished Public Service Medal Committee to 4 years. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.

The Council meeting had a short break from 10:26 to 10:41 AM.

10. President’s business: Search for and appointment of a new Editor for the American Mineralogist

With the resignation of Editor Lee Groat, President Hazen suggests MSA needs to find a new Editor who will be committed to maintaining the excellence of our flagship publication, while being open to changes that might increase the impact factor of the journal. Our discussion needs to focus on two issues:

(a) who should we consider as candidates for this demanding job?

(b) what possible changes in American Mineralogist might we consider?

Suggestions made so far for increasing the journal’s impact while controlling or even reducing costs include: (1) dropping the acceptance rate from the current value of approximately 85%; (2) soliciting timely review articles that treat the interfaces between mineralogy/petrology and other fields (especially subjects not covered in recent Reviews volumes); and (3) proactive solicitation of the most exciting manuscripts in mineralogy, petrology, and crystallography.

In the ensuing discussion the following points were made: An incredible amount of editing and rewriting is taken on by the editors. It was agreed that extensive rewriting is not the responsibility of editors. There was general agreement that it is the authors’ responsibility to provide a well-written manuscript, in language terms, and that the associate editor should have clear guidelines for making evaluations, even prior to review, if language is sufficient enough problem that the manuscript should be returned at that stage for rewriting. President Hazen agreed to send a letter to Editor Bob Dymek about improved guidelines for increased efficiency in the handling of manuscripts. Otherwise, it was agreed Council members must focus on these issues, particularly finding a qualified Editor, as soon as possible.

11. Mickey Gunter, MSA's Meeting Coordinator, asks to be replaced

In a moment of weakness Mickey volunteered for the job in Copenhagen last year, but the Moscow Goldschmidt Conference has drained most of his meeting organizational skills and all of his patience. A discussion and cajoling among council did not shake Mickey from his decision, and no ready candidate to replace him was identified — to be continued.

12. Replacing the gold Roebling Medal with a gold-plated one.

The President suggests the Society could save several thousand dollars per year if we presented a single gold-plated Roebling Medal rather than a 22K gold medal and a bronze replica. There was an animated discussion on the virtues of a gold medal for the Society’s most prestigious award versus the real value in the award being the acknowledgement by the Society and its members for an individuals lifetime accomplishments in the geosciences.

J. Hughes moved to change the Roebling Medal to a single gold-plated medal from a 22K gold medal plus a bronze replica. S = R. Angel. Vote: 4 for, 5 against. Motion failed.

13. Operational Items from the Executive Director

a) J. Valley moved to confirm that the Third 2005 and First 2006 MSA Council Meetings will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday October 15, 2005, and the MSA Management Committee meeting will be held on Friday afternoon or evening October 14, 2005. S = G. Harlow. Motion passed unanimously.

b) The management letter from Rubino & McGeehin suggested that MSA formulate Record Retention and Whistleblower policies. Drafts for consideration appear in the bluebook. The Executive Director would appreciate comments on these by Council members by August so that the draft policies can be revised for approval at the Third 2005 MSA Council Meeting in the Fall.

c) The Executive Director recommends that MSA respond to Robert R. Jordan's, representing the American Association of State Geologists (AASG), request for suggestions from MSA to improve awareness of the Ian Campbell Medal. It was the SoC for the Secretary to respond to R. Jordan as suggested.

14. The Dana Medal Committee asks Council to consider the definitions of "mid-career" in light of the award criteria.

The committee suggested additional criteria be added to the description for nominations because of a lack of specificity. Several people have commented to the chair that it would be nice to see the ‘age/experience’ of the Dana Medallist be reduced somewhat. After some discussion, J. Valley suggested stipulating nomination no more than 20 years after receipt of a Ph.D. Others were concerned at not stipulating an age limit or bracket as well.

B. Dutrow moved to set the following criterion for the Dana Award: In the year of being nominated, the candidate must be no more than 25 years past receipt of her/his Ph.D. S = R. Angel. Motion passed unanimously.

15. The Committee on Nominations for Fellows requests that Council discuss raising the membership from six to nine Fellows of the Society.

There was a discussion whether more members were required to develop a list of candidates for nomination to Fellow. It was generally felt that with 6 committee members and each member carefully choosing two members from the list of eligible members, the task of the committee was not unduly difficult. Moreover, there is no requirement that the maximum number of fellows be nominated. No action required.

16. Lectures by the Roebling Medallist and MSA Awardee

President Hazen and A. Speer discussed plans involving the awardees and the MSA luncheon at the annual GSA meeting. R. Hazen proposed that MSA should make every effort to provide the Roebling Medallist and MSA Awardee the opportunity to give a lecture during GSA, to be arranged appropriately each year, via an invitation from the President.

J. Hughes moved to schedule half-hour talks by the Roebling Medallist and MSA Awardee between the MSA luncheon and the President’s address. S = R. Downs. Motion passed unanimously.

It was the SoC that with the present scheduling they will be at 3:00 (Roebling Medallist) and 3:30 (MSA Awardee), unless alternate venues for the talks are planned.

The Council meeting broke for lunch at 12:20 and reconvened at 12:40.

17. The Executive Director and the Managing Editor of the American Mineralogist make two recommendations regarding the electronic publishing and open-access and self-archiving.

(a) MSA provide open access to any article posted on the MSA website or on GeoScienceWorld for which an author pays the $250 per page creation cost. With such a payment MSA would make it freely available upon the first day of publication. The author could link to this free access article from any other site. A. Speer noted that the open-access model has yet to cope with the reality that publishing incurs real costs that must be addressed in whatever realistic process that survives; will it be an author pays or reader/library pays model? This recommendation deals with the demand for a change to the subscription model in the new paradigm.

J. Hughes moved to authorize a $250 per page creation charge to authors for open access to Am. Min. articles. S = J. Valley. Motion passed unanimously.

(b) MSA provide a PDF file for self-archiving of any article for which an author pays the $250 per page creation cost. The organization should be encouraged to link to the article on the MSA site, rather than hosting the file themselves.

G. Harlow moved to authorize a $250 per page creation charge to authors to provide a PDF file of Am. Min. articles. S = J. Valley.

A short discussion ensued on the question of whether this move would really address the issue of demands by some institutions for self archiving. R. Hazen questioned whether there may be alternate choices, though he was not prepared to address the issue now. Motion passed unanimously.

18. The Meetings Coordinator has two action items:

(a) discuss the joint MS/MSA/MAC meeting: "Frontiers in Mineral Sciences, 2007", Cambridge, June 26-28, 2007. The report from the Mineralogical Society makes several requests of MSA:

Council also needs to indicate its intention whether or not to have its Spring 2007 Council meeting in conjunction with this possible joint MS/MSA/MAC meeting so that plans can be started for this If so when?

M. Carpenter reviewed these items with Council in his role as organizer of the Cambridge meeting. He said they foresee a meeting of 150-250 people and there was discussion about potential conflicts and the desirability of getting MSA and MAC participation. He stated the hopes of having the Dana Medal presented there plus a symposium organized around the medallist’s field of interest.

The only decision made was that Ross Angel agreed to be the MSA meetings representative on the planning committee for this meeting.

(b) review MSA’s involvement in Goldschmidt meetings. Reflect on the past few days. It was the SoC that a letter should be written to Bruce Yardley (EAG President) and Jim Drever (GS President) to express a sense of satisfaction with the 2005 Goldschmidt meeting but reiterate MSA’s position that the GS and EAG would shoulder the burden for the Goldschmidt Conferences whereas MSA would take on the primary responsibility for short courses and RIMG volumes. MSA would pay the costs of any events that it has at the Goldschmidt conferences.

19. Short Course Committee action items:

(a) Hans Keppler and the organizers of the "Water in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals" Short Course have settled on a date of Fall 2006 at Verbania, Italy in conjunction with a meeting in early October.

R. Angel moved to approve a Fall 2006 date for this short course. S = B. Downs. Motion passed unanimously.

(b) The committee recommends a February 2007 publication for the "Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets, Asteroids and Meteorites" RIMG volume with a November 2006 submittal date.

R. Angel moved to approve the recommendation of the Short Course Committee for a November 2006 submittal date and February 2007 publication date for the "Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets…" RIMG volume. S = B. Dutrow. Motion passed unanimously.

Rod Ewing joined the meeting after lunch and Council dealt with this item immediately (out of sequence in the meeting but presented here in correct order).

20. Rod Ewing gave a progress report on Elements:

The June issue of Elements on "Rocks, Minerals, and the Geochemical Origin of Life" consists of 56 pages and has been sent to 4235 non-US addresses and 3754 US addresses. The Editors met on Friday and approved the themes of two future issues: "Large Scale Igneous Provinces" and "Toxic Metals in the Environment." For 2006 the issue themes will be "Large User Facilities" with Steve Sutton as guest editor, "Arsenic" with David Vaughan, "Water on Mars" with Hap McSween, and "Early Earth" with John Valley. Other topics that have been proposed are Teaching (David Mogk), Nuclear Waste (Rod Ewing), Carbon Sequestration, Soils, Geo-Health / Medical Mineralogy, and Micro-organisms in Earth Systems. Non thematic areas to be addressed in future issues include Science Policy, Funding and Editor’s Choice. Elements is on budget for 2005; for 2006 the budget calls for a $12 (US) fee to members. A category of "Affiliated Organization" has been established for the European Mineralogical Union which does not have the membership and organization to join as a participating society — thus they will have a non-voting status on the Elements board. Editors will eventually have staggered 3-year terms, and Bruce Watson has agreed to serve for 2006-2008. The board will be developing a pool of candidates over a number of years to fill the editor slots.

Rod discussed the potential problem of success leading to too many societies wanting to join in Elements. The board is discussing adjusting the rules for expanding the membership of Elements, weighting of influence/voting based on founders versus newcomers and/or membership weighting. This concluded the report and discussion with everyone thanking Rod, Pierrette Tremblay, the editors, etc. for the fine performance and excellent results with the Elements initiative.

Rod departed the meeting at 1:24 PM.

As an afterthought but related to Elements, a discussion arose about members sponsoring gift subscriptions for educational and informational purposes (e.g., G. Harlow mentioned he was sponsoring issues for the offices of his Congressman, Senators, and the House Science Committee chairman as personal way of getting information about our science in the hands of the staff of legislative policy makers). Alex Speer said the incremental cost for Elements would be a $25 fulfillment charge.

J. Valley moved to authorize a check off on MSA membership renewals and orders for an unlimited number of gift subscriptions to Elements at the fulfillment cost (presently $25 each). S = R. Downs. Motion passed unanimously.

21. The MSA Executive Director on GeoScienceWorld (GSW).

The launch of GSW occurred in mid-March, which included a trial free-access period, rather than in February as originally planned because so many journals needed to be made available. HighWire also launched a new search engine, which had a bumpy start. GSW is now functioning as envisioned and all available issues are now up. From now on AmMin issues will first become available on the MSA web site for a few weeks to enable authors to make corrections; after that the files are sent to Allen Press for printing the paper copy and to GSW for posting. The response has been positive; there are now 10 subscribers, 100 quotes have been provided (which include consortia combining a total of 200 institutions) including a number of independent petroleum and gas exploration and production companies. Many of these are not presently subscribers to American Mineralogist! Vendors marketing GSW include Cambridge Abstract Service, i-group, and Kinokuniya. Thirty more journals have asked to join GSW.

The tasks ahead are: refining the interface, terms to libraries, dealing with comments on content. A planning committee has been appointed which needs to address how GSW will evolve in the next 3 to 5 years. Sponsorships for "third-world" universities and libraries have been provided from commercial users like petroleum and mineral exploration companies. Rates will be fixed for the next 2 years, but then… Currently GSW is only available as single all inclusive package. There is thought to providing access by thematic content modules (certain groupings of journals) or choosing individual journals à la carte.

Hits or usage of each journal more or less coincides with a journal’s impact factor. The percentage of hits for AmMin is about 14% from Google and 85% from GSW, itself. The most heavily used search terms for hits have been: 1) American Mineralogist, 2) cellular precipitate, 3) mineralogist, and 4) optical properties of andalusite.

With respect to MSA, 2003-2005 AmMin are on line. 2002 has been sent in to be converted into the millennial format (both PDF and html versions, full text searching, linked references, both low and high resolution figures, bibliographic exporting. 2003-2004-2005 RIMG volumes have been sent in for conversion and posting, but there is a problem with earlier volumes as many of the "Ribbe versions" are not suitably electronic in layout.

The most important question to be answered in the next 2-3 years — will GSW support the participating journals as electronic subscriptions supplant paper subscriptions? If it does not, GSW will fail. Although GSW is marketed as an all-or-nothing product, the market may demand à la carte.

One question was what happens when a library ends its subscription to GSW? Those subscribers will be able to get PDFs of what they have paid for sent to them, but they will be responsible to getting these in an accessible format for their users.

No Council actions were required

22. The MSA Executive Director was to provide an update of discussions with Elsevier during the preceding days at the Goldschmidt Conference about Experimental Earth virtual journal and who should take on the publishing role in the future. The planned discussions with Elsevier did not occur, so there was no need to discuss the topic.

23. Discussion about future relationship of MSA with Mineralogical Abstracts.

The MSA President received a letter from Adrian Lloyd-Lawrence, Executive Secretary of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. In his letter he complains that the US abstractors are not supplying material in a timely fashion for Mineralogical Abstracts. There was a discussion about the role for Mineralogical Abstracts in the present publishing environment with GeoRef, Chemical Abstracts, GeoScienceWorld, etc. A. Speer pointed out that the formal agreement between MSA and the Mineralogical Society to co-publish Mineralogical Abstracts was terminated in the early 1990s.

President Hazen will write a letter to Adrian Lloyd-Lawrence relating Council's discussion and the Sense of Council that Council is not in a position to micromanage the operations of the Mineralogical Abstracts.

24. Outreach Committee (Databases) report on the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database (AMCSD) and action items:

(a) Bob Downs reported he has been scanning articles from American Mineralogist from 1998 to as far back as 1915 and linking those articles containing crystal structure information to the crystal structure database through a small PDF icon (he has obtained permission to do the same with the Canadian Mineralogist and Mineralogical Magazine, and the IUCr is permitting links with domain filters). The Executive Director and American Mineralogist Managing Editor have discussed these PDFs and recommend:

R. Hazen moved to approve the above PDF posting recommendation with the caveat that Council revisit the decision should the policy pose a danger to the financial well being of AmMin. S = J. Valley. Motion passed unanimously.

Executive Director Speer noted that the present policy makes PDFs of articles freely available on the MSA website after three years from publication (since 1997), paper copies of the journal are kept for 3 years, then the rights are sold to a reprinter, 10 copies are conveyed to that reprinter, and the rest are recycled.

The SoC is to follow this suggestion for handling enhanced electronic versions of journal articles should they be produced.

(b) Before Dick Bideaux died, he and Bob Downs were planning to make all the pages of Handbook of Mineralogy (which is actually a paged version of a database) available as PDFs on the web, just as they now are with the silicate volumes. Their goal was to develop the HoM files as a step for launching a complete database of mineral properties. He would like to link the HoM PDFs to the crystal structure database.

No action required.

25. Financial future of MSA

MSA continues to run at a close to break-even state financially, but this situation could change quickly with a major downturn in the financial markets. It is the responsibility of Council to maintain the long-term financial security of MSA.

Ways to increase income: The most obvious way to increase income is to raise prices, which is done on a routine basis. With respect to RIMG volumes, prices were increased to recover editorial ,storage, freight, and distribution costs as well as printing costs. A question was raised whether we could better match print demands for RIMG volumes by printing on demand. Alex Speer responded that print-on-demand production is not up to the quality needed, and only makes economic sense at print runs much lower than the RIMG volumes.

Fund raising: Bob Hazen said he had challenged past presidents with a contribution to a fund with $20K having come into it as a result. The question of whether Life Members is a good option came up (see Item 8, above) and whether this type of membership makes financial sense. The methods and markoffs of fund raising on the annual membership renewal form was raised and a suggestion was made that we need more options for gifting including advice on such mechanisms as charitable trusts and bequests. A. Speer noted that we would probably require legal advice on offering these options.

R. Angel moved to strike any mention of Life Memberships on the renewal forms and notices. S = M. Gunter. Motion passed 7 for and 1 against.

There was a general sentiment that we should review Life Memberships in more detail prior to the next Council meeting.

26. Other or New business. None

27. Adjournment

J. Valley moved that the 2nd 2005 Council meeting be adjourned. S = R. Downs. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 4:45 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

George E. Harlow, MSA Secretary