SUMMARY: Actions & Decisions of the Second 1999 Council Meeting Mineralogical Society of America

John Ferry, President
E. Bruce Watson, Past-President, absent
William Carlson, Vice-President
Brooks Hanson, Treasurer
Barb Dutrow, Secretary
Jillian Banfield, Councillor, absent
Michael Carpenter, Councillor
Sorena Sorensen, Councillor
John Holloway, Councillor, absent
Mark Ghiorso, Councillor, absent
Robert Luth, Councillor
J. Alex Speer, MSA Administrator
Bob Dymek, Am. Min. Editor
no visitors

Note that motions are presented in < >; SoC = Sense of Council; S = second; BB = Bluebook.

The second meeting of the 1999 Council of the Mineralogical Society of America was held at the Copley Marriott, Boston, MA, on June 5, 1999.


1. Call to Order

President John Ferry called the meeting to order at 8:15 a.m. Saturday, June 5, 1999, welcomed those attending, thanked council members for contributing their time and effort as needed to sustain the Society, and reminded council that the meeting schedule is tight, as several councillors have 7 p.m. flights!

2. Acceptance of reports with no action items

The following reports contained no action items and were accepted, after discussion, en mass.

Tellers Committee, Editors of Geological Materials Research, Short Course Committee, Lecture Program Committee and Lecture Program Administrator, Distinguished Public Service Award, Nominating Committee for Fellows, Crystallographic Research Grant Committee; SEG Representative; Industrial Mineralogy, Mineral Surfaces and Interfaces and Planetary Mineralogy Interest groups.

In response to the GMR editors' report,

< It was the SoC to request GMR Editors, J. Brady and F. Spear, to submit a Proposal for a symposium which highlights GMR, with a topic and time to be selected by the Editors. Optimally, the proposal should be ready in time for consideration at the Fall Council meeting.>

3. Acceptance of the Secretary's report from the Third 1998 and First 1999 council meetings.

< The minutes of the Third 1998 and First 1999 council meetings were accepted as ammended>

4. Evaluation of DTP; Report of the Am.Min. Editors

Pres. Ferry thanked the Editors and the Editorial Office for quickly making the transition to DTP. B. Dymek reported the cost per page for DTP dropped; resulting in a savings of about $5,000 per issue.

Electronic files are now available for all Am. Min. papers. Several authors have requested acquisition of these files for their paper(s).

< It was the SoC to provide the electronic files at no extra cost to those authors who paid full page charges or who purchased 100 offprints; or to sell the electronic file to authors who did not purchase offprints or pay page charges, for the cost of 100 offprints.>

J. A. Speer will compose a letter to accompany the sale of these PDF files which states proper use of the files.

J. Ferry proposed several options to overcome the need for increased staffing int he Washington University Editorial Office.

5. Treasurer's Report

B. Hanson summarized the report. A large drain on Society's finances has been minimized for 1999, in part by the move to DTP.

a. Subscription rates for 2000: A2-A3

Am. Min. has increased subscription rates to institutions about 60% in the past three years; while member costs have not increased in the past seven. U.S. subscribers remain the same, while foreign subscribers have dropped from a high near 700 to 350. This decline occurred concurrent with the increase in foreign submissions to Am. Min.

B. Hanson proposes to hold the rates at their current level (same number of issues) but, in doing so, have a vigorous marketing campaign to raise members awareness that MSA is doing all that it can to hold costs down while producing a first rate journal. We need member's help to increase institutional subscribers.

b. 2000 budget

B. Luth suggested that MSA have a "for Members Use Only" web page.

< W. Carlson moved to hold institutional subscription rates at their current level and to bring this to member's attention.>

6. President's Report: Change in selected MSA Committee Structures

a. Change in committee terms

Pres. Ferry noted the motivation and rational for changing the structure of several committees. Councillors are placed on committees as chairs, because they are the most committed to MSA and provide direct communication with council.

<It was the SoC to have the Research grants committees consist of three members each, at least one of whom is non-U.S. (international) plus the chair.>

< S. Sorensen moved to have committees for the Roebling Medal, Mid-Career Award, MSA Award, and the Officers Nominating Committee each consist of six appointed members, each serving three year terms (with two rotations per year) plus one councillor who serves as Chair (seven members total for each committee); the Short Course and Benefactors committees, each consist of three appointed members, each serving three year terms (with one rotation per year) with the RiM\&G Series Editor serving as an additional member of the Short Course Committee; and the Kraus and Min-Pet Grant committees each consist of three appointed members, each serving three year terms (with one rotation per year) plus one councillor who serves as chair (four members total for each committee).> S = M. Carpenter. The motion passed unanimously.

b. Committee on Management

J. Ferry noted the problems that have plagued the Management Committee and suggested that after current duties are completed, the Management Committee duties be transferred to the Executive Committee. This change would involve no procedural change; the change is in membership only.

< W. Carlson moved to have the Executive Committee, inclusive of the Past President, formally serve as the Committee on Management.>

S = B. Luth. The motion passed unanimously.

c. Tellers Committee

J. A. Speer summarized the work required of the Business Office to prepare the ballots and information for the Tellers Committee, which duplicates the work of the Committee. Alternatively, it was suggested that councillor Sorensen be made a Teller for life.

< W. Carlson moved to abolish the Tellers Committee and move the responsibilities to the Scientific Administrator of the Society.>

S = B. Luth. The motion passed unanimously.

d. Benefactors Committee (BC)

D. London, Chair of the Benefactors Committee, seeks specific targets for fund raising. Currently, all monies raised by the BC go to the Outreach Fund that sponsors the Lectureship Program, website, and other educational outreach activities of MSA. An endowment of ca. \$150,000 would be needed to support the Mid-Career Awd. Further discussion resulted in:

< It was the SoC to have the Benefactor's Committee target contributions for the Outreach Fund and for Short Courses. Donations to the Outreach Fund should be used for the Lectureship Program and the website.>

e. Publications Committee (PC)

J. Ferry summarized the activities of the Publications Committee. Discussion followed. W. Carlson noted that publications are extremely important to MSA. J. A. Speer noted the differences between the Editors and the PC, and that the Committee Handbook has tasks (some of which are related to Am.Min.). B. Hanson noted that feedback from membership about our publications is useful. M. Carpenter noted the importance of the committee as an appeal process and as an independent safety valve if authors feel as though they have been treated poorly. B. Hanson also noted that the publishing world is changing very rapidly. MSA needs a mechanism for information exchange about publishing technologies that allows the Editors to concentrate on managing the journal.

< It was the SoC to retain the publications committee and to charge the committee with specific duties, to be enumerated by V.Pres. Carlson, including providing feedback to council on how membership views the publications, how they are doing, etc.>

7. Break from 10:20 - 10:40 a.m.

8. Report of the Management Committee

B. Luth, Chair, reviewed the objectives and structure of the Committee. The M.C. suggests the following.

1. Obtain an accurate job description for each position, required for evaluation.

Supervisors will revise job descriptions of employees they supervise and present these descriptions to the employees for revision. Job descriptions must be refined/updated each year. Job descriptions can then be folded into the evaluation system.

2. The Executive committee should then set dollar ranges for each position after receiving preliminary information.

< It was the SoC to adopt a geographically adjusted cost of living increase as defined by the federal government.>

Merit raises should be kept as merit raises with no relationship to the cost of living increase.

<As per the federal government, it was the SoC to cap merit raises at some yet-to-be-defined percent of the salary. The provisional salary cap will be commensurate with the federal government's cap.>

9. Report of the Committee on Committee

W. Carlson reviewed the suggested list of members to serve on the various committees. Revisions were made to the committees based on the recommendations of council and committee changes passed earlier in the meeting.

b. Meetings Committee activities

B. Hanson questioned the status of MSA's Meetings committee. Spring AGU was abysmal with low turnout. AGU continues to dictate oral vs. poster presentations as well as timing of sessions. In the future, MSA sponsored symposium at AGU should be submitted to AGU on MSA letterhead.

J. Ferry noted that MSA/Geochemical Society (GS) member Bob Bodnar has been contacted about serving as MSA's laision between MSA and GS for the Goldschmidt meeting. He will write an article for the Lattice. Recently, GS President M. Hochella and MSA/GS member Bob Bodnar met to discuss potential short courses, symposium, etc.

< It was the SoC to have Bob Bodnar act as laision between the Geochemical Society and the Mineralogical Society of America for the Goldschmidt 2001 meeting to be held at Roanoke, VA May 24-27, 2001.>

Spring AGU 2000 will be in Washington D.C.

< B. Hanson moved to approach J. Post and C. Prewitt to develop the MSA component of the Spring 2000 AGU meeting to be held in Washington D.C. and that a letter be included in the Lattice soliciting ideas for symposium.> S = W. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.

10. Fellows

Nominations for Fellows for 1998, tabled from the Third 1998 Meeting due to a mixup in communications, were considered at this time.

< W. Carlson moved to elect the following to fellowship in the Society: Orson Anderson, Calvin Barnes, Mike Brown, I-Ming Chou, Charles Geiger, Terry Gerlach, Fergus Gibb, Kurt Kyser, John Parise, and Sorena Sorensen.> S = B. Luth. The motion passed unanimously.

11. Short Courses

A proposal was received from S. A. T. Redfern for a short course entitled; "Transformation Processes in Minerals", to be held in Cambridge, 31 August - 3 September 2000, immediately preceeding the Goldschmidt meeting in Oxford. There is widespread support by the European funding agencies.

<B. Luth moved to support this short course and to have the convenors prepare a detailed short course proposal.>

S = W. Carlson. The motion passed unanimously.

12. Geochemical Society (GS) Business from MSA's Business Office

The GS approached MSA about handling several of their business transactions: primarily consist of sending out membership renewals; filling about 50 book order per year; and, in the future, also selling the GS-generated RiM\&G volumes. J.A. Speer met with the newly appointed GCA Editor Frank Podosek, GS Treasurer Don Elthon and GS President Mike Hochella, who visited MSA to review the workings of the MSA offices. Speer feels that it would not unduly burden the MSA staff to take on these duties (already performed for GSW).

13. Lunch

The meeting broke for a working lunch from 12:30pm - 1:20pm.

14. MSA Website and Report of the Web site coordinator

a. Background

J. Ferry reviewed the current status of the MSA website, including Outreach Chair J. Brady's report, and the recent meeting with J. Brady, B. Watson, and W. Trzcienski discussing the site and how to proceed.

a. Contract renewal

The current contract renewal (no contract) is due in late June. A renewal as well as the consequences of non-renewal were reviewed.

J. Ferry summarized expectations for the coming year.

<It was the SoC to write a new contract which will have new goals, deliverables, and time times, as requested by the Web site coordinator. MSA will continue under the current arrangement until a new contract is negotiated. >

b. On-line store

J.A. Speer will resolve this.

c. Money for acquiring mineral images

J. A. Speer suggests that, MSA acquire a few images (c.f. hundreds requested). Several MSA members have offered photos which MSA can acquire on a test basis, requiring no financial outlay by MSA.

d. Board of Web site Editor

<It was the SoC to hire a web savy person via contract to act as the Web Site Editor.>

e. Handbook of Mineralogy

MSA had been approached about putting the Handbook of Mineralogy on-line. B. Dutrow met with R. Bideaux and K. Bladh at the TGMS, to discuss this further. Bideaux sent a followup letter to MSA. This material would also serve an educational component of the website.

< It was the SoC to proceed with putting the entire "Handbook" in place on the MSA website.>

Additional website related business.

S. Sorensen re-iterated that MSA have a member's only portion of the website. MSA could offer web membership, with access to portions of the site, which might encourage membership.

f.Cooperation with Rocks and Minerals

Many members of the mineralogical community are not involved with MSA as Am.Min. does not serve their purpose. MSA is seeking mechanisms to involve the large segment of 'mineral' collectors. J.A. Speer noted that Rocks and Minerals is owned by a non-profit group through the endowment of an individual, that they have a huge circulation and are profitable, and that the journal has been in existence for about 70 years. Of the three R \& M editors, two are MSA members as are several of the A.E.'s.

<It was the SoC to have President Ferry begin a dialog with the Rocks and Minerals executive editors to explore a cooperative venture.>

15. Am.Min. Editors Report

a. updating computers

< It was the SoC to allocate funds for purchase of a new computer.>

b. Request for MSA to pay benefits for spouses of full time MSA employees.

Currently MSA pays full coverage for term life, health and dental benefits of employees. Employees have the option to purchase additional coverage for family members at a reduced rate. J. Ferry polled council as to the benefits offered by other institutions. This proposed request is not in accord with benefits offered by other institutions.

< B. Hanson moved to decline extending full coverage for benefits for full-time employees.>

S = M. Carpenter. The motion passed unanimously.

c. Offering electronic files to authors was passed previously

d. Expansion of the journal and increased editorial help were discussed previously.

B. Hanson requests continual updates on DTP savings from the Editors and requests ideas for future reinvestment. The editors will prepare a prioritized list by the fall meeting.

e. Approval of A.E.'s.

Several potential Associate Editors of the American Mineralogist were approved by acclamation.

16. Report of Series Editor of Reviews and Monographs

a. Request for reprinting of volume 23 has been withdrawn, as the volume needs to be updated.

b. Approval of RiM volume on Comparative Crystal Chemistry.

< It was the SoC to approve the Hazen proposal for a RiM volume on "Comparative Crystal Chemistry" without an accompanying short course.>

c. Other proposals

Additional proposals were discussed.

17. Article for Lattice on historic publication trends of MSA publications

< It was the SoC to have P. Ribbe prepare an article for publication in the Lattice on the historic publication trends of MSA publications.>

18. Additional items from the Scientific Administrator

Increase number of Min/Pet grants funded

J. A. Speer reviewed the history of the grants.

< B. Hanson moved to award as many grants as permitted by 5% of the Fund assets and to maintain the level of these grants at $3500.> S = S. Sorensen. The motion passed unanimously.

Two proposals for funding should be recommended to the Third 1999 Council Meeting,

19. Discount on Handbooks

Editors (R. Bideaux) of the Mineral Data Publishing are offering MSA members a discount on the Handbook of Mineralogy.

< W. Carlson moved to adopt the 25% discount offer of the Handbook of Mineralogy for MSA members.> S = R. Luth. The motion passed unanimously.

20. MSA Lectureship expansion into Mexico

This year MSA recieved a lectureship request from the Univ. of Mexico. Considerations of expanding the lectureship were discussed. Additionally, the lectureship could be expanded to Europe, with a designated European lecturer. More discussion will follow. Funding for lectureship expansion is a potential project for the Benefactors committee.

< It was the SoC to approve, in principle, expanding the lectureship to Mexico pending monetary considerations and agreement by one of the lecturers. Next year lectureship notices will be sent to Mexico.>

21. Other items

a. Best Paper committee

B. Dutrow suggested that a committee be created for the Am.Min. best paper award, in order to alleviate the already overworked editorial staff.

The issue was tabled until the Third Council Meeting of 1999.

b. Pins for MSA members

S. Sorensen suggested that MSA make small pins to distribute at GSA meetings to members and non-members. She volunteered to investigate this cost. B. Dutrow noted that a former Arts Council designed and manufactured the 50 and 25 yr pins, with the MSA logo; a design which could serve as a template.

<It was the SoC to have S. Sorensen investigate the cost and manufacture of small pins for distribution at the GSA meeting. >

22. Adjournment

< S. Sorensen moved to adjourn the meeting.> S = R. Luth. The motion passed unanimously.

The second council meeting of 1999 adjourned at 4:40 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Barb Dutrow,

MSA Secretary

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