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Teratology Society Council Meeting IA
, 2001

The meeting was called to order by Bob Kavlock at approximately 2:00 p.m.

Council members present were B. Kavlock, President; J. Friedman, Vice President; B. Slikker, Vice President-Elect; G. Daston, Past President; J. Rogers, Treasurer; G. Dearlove, Secretary; K. Jones, Chair of Public Affairs Committee; Councilors T. Knudsen, L.D. Wise and M. Tassinari; and T. Masson, Executive Director.

President's Report - B. Kavlock presented an overview of his focus during the past year. Special attention was paid to the Strategic Planning Session recommendations, the Journal, our Society Finances and increasing the attendance of the Annual Meeting. Bob announced that the Society has recently had an overhaul of the Web site. He also noted that the Society might try to offer a joint symposium with the European Teratology Society for the 2002 Meeting (B. Slikker to follow up). The Society finances are doing well, and the new membership criteria for corporate sponsors have made for a very successful fund raising this year ($53,000 in pledges for the Annual Meeting). Bob suggested we may want to reconsider the benefits afforded to the different levels of corporate membership in order to ensure a clear distinction between the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels. Discussion followed and the suggestion was made to survey all contributors and determine a broader consensus on this issue.
Action Item: M. Tassinari and D. Wise to survey Sustaining Members.

Bob reported that Teratology Society again obtained the $15,000 student travel grant from the NIH, but we were not successful in gaining funding from the FDA, nor the NSF (grant application in conjunction with NBTS). Additionally, this may be the last year for the $5,000 grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund due to reprogramming. We are also not guaranteed funding from the NIEHS next year. Action Item: J. Rogers to check with CIIT.

Bob reported that Lew Holmes had informed him that, due to the press of other commitments, Lew did not wish to be considered for renewal of his editorship when the current term expires at the end of next year. Council will discuss forming a search committee to make recommendations to Council for the selection of a new editor for the Journal as specified in the Constitution.

Bob commented on the success of the new membership booth. The suggestion was made that the Membership Committee send a follow-up letter to the booth visitors and then make a phone call to follow up in person.

Bob also suggested, and Council approved, the planning of a follow up strategic planning session for next year. Council voted to set aside funds (amount to be determined at the Fall Council meeting) to cover expenses to hold the meeting on March 15 and 16, 2002, just prior to the SOT meeting in Nashville. J. Friedman, B. Slikker, G. Daston and M. Tassinari will organize the meeting and try to secure the services of the same facilitator used in the first Strategic Planning Session. Selection of participants in the sessions was discussed and suggestions included students, Platinum contributors, Council members, etc. The final participant list will be submitted for approval by Council.

Vice President's Report - Jan Friedman reported on the Annual Meeting. We had a 17% increase in the number of abstracts submitted (approximately 125), coupled with at least a 10% increase in pre-registration (346 people to date). Additionally, the continuing education course was over subscribed (mores than 150 applicants).

Jan plans on meeting with NBTS and OTIS during the meeting to facilitate joint meetings in the future (neither society has committed past 2003). OTIS has voiced some concerns about some of their abstracts not being included in a joint session. This issue will be addressed during the meeting.

Vice President-Elect's Report - Bill Slikker reported he had established a Program Committee (composed of ten Society members) to assist in planning the Annual Meeting for next year. The Committee will be working on mini courses and symposia developed by the membership, in addition to symposia planned by the Program Committee.

Bill indicated that Philadelphia, PA has been selected as the site for the 2003 Annual Meeting and that suggestions for 2004 would be welcomed. Some discussion followed as to whether the 2004 meeting would be based in a major metropolitan area or in a resort setting. Council discussed the Society commitment to seek out lower cost venues in order to minimize the cost of attending the Annual Meeting and concluded that a metropolitan area was most likely to meet this requirement.

Secretary's Report - George Dearlove provided membership details prepared by T. Masson regarding percentages of fully paid members for 2001 (85% of those on the membership list have paid their dues). Discussion followed to find ways to determine who was dropping out and the reason for this decision in an attempt to try to reduce the attrition rate in the future.

George reported on the tabletop display that was first unveiled at the SOT meeting this year. The booth is present in the exhibit area for all to see this year. There was some discussion regarding which Clinical meeting would be appropriate for the new Teratology Society booth to be displayed to try to recruit new members. The American College of Medical Genetics and the American Society of Human Genetics were suggested. Council members were asked to check with some of the clinicians who attend these meetings to determine which meeting would be most appropriate for a tabletop display.

The newsletter was discussed and Council members were requested to prepare articles for the next issue.

The Liaisons list was brought up for consideration (needs updating) and J. Friedman will work on getting full representation in the coming months.

Executive Director's Report - Tonia Masson confirmed the pre-registration figure was 346, Continuing Education was over 150. Additionally, the Society room obligation to the hotel had been fulfilled and the commission from the hotel will be forthcoming. Discussion was placed forward concerning returning to Montreal in 2006 because the attendance was so high and the hotel staff have been very cooperative (the exchange rate has also been appreciated by all those attending from the US).

Tonia reported that, although the total funds from corporate contributions were up this year, the actual number of corporations contributing had fallen. Some of the decline in number of corporate sponsors was the result of mergers (two previously contributing companies are now one larger company with only one contribution) and some of the decline was related to the new designations of Sustaining Members with new minimum dollar requirements. Consequently, direct comparison to other years for corporate contributions are not easily obtained.

OTIS is discussing having exhibitors at the 2004 meeting and Council discussed logistics of when to have them displayed, how to arrange them in our meeting schedule, and what appropriate fees might be charged. This will be an issue for B. Slikker and the new Vice President-Elect to discuss with the organizers of both OTIS and NBTS.

Treasurer's Report - John Rogers presented the financial picture of the Society and T. Masson passed out copies of the year end financial statement for 2000 from Huey and Associates, P.C. (independent auditor's report). John explained the increase in revenues and reduction in expenses from the approved budget for the year resulted in excess revenues over expenses of $83,264. The Society also recognized $4,312 net income from the genomics meeting following the Annual Meeting last year.

The resultant fiscal year 2000 net assets came to $342,281 (up from $276,064 in 1999). John announced that we will be looking for a new investment, probably a Certificate of Deposit from Legg-Mason to provide a better return on our assets.

John then led the Review of Management Services as the AIM contract expires on December 31, 2001. AIM has proposed that the fees paid by the Teratology Society for general overhead should be increased in a stepwise manner over the next two years to come up to a level commensurate with the percentage of effort being expended by the AIM staff on Society business. There would also be a modest cost of living increase in staff salaries. Formal action on this contract renewal proposal is not required until the Fall Council meeting. The current Councilors were generally receptive to the proposal and noted that AIM had been doing exceptionally well not only in restraining our budgeted and non-budgeted expenses, but also in aiding the Societies fundraising efforts.

Journal Contract Negotiations - George Daston brought Council up to speed on the current status of contract negotiations with Wiley-Liss. George pointed out that negotiations were still ongoing (after four years) but that progress seemed to be occurring. The publisher is interested in a re-launch of a redesigned Journal in three parts to attempt to increase subscriptions. George has argued that if Teratology were to run a larger Journal, the additional work to our editors should result in the Society getting more money from the publisher for the Institutional subscriptions to the Journal. The publisher has agreed to guarantee $50,000 per year to the Society if the Journal re-launch is successful. The publisher has not committed to continuing their underwriting of the Wiley-Liss symposium if the guarantee for $50,000 per year from institutional subscriptions is part of the new contract.

George will be leading an issues session during the Annual Meeting to discuss the publisher's suggestions. The basic theme is that Teratology Society will have three journals in which to publish. Much discussion followed on the formats, and Council agreed that the input of the membership was required. George pointed out that negotiations were still ongoing and rates for electronic copies as well as discounts for getting more than one of the three component parts of the proposed Journal were being considered.

Council tabled further discussions until after the Issues Session, when membership input could be considered. This item was placed on the post-meeting Council agenda.

The Search for a New Editor was brought up by B. Kavlock. This item was initially discussed, the Constitutional requirements were reviewed and many individuals were suggested as being highly qualified for service on a search Committee. Council determined that the final Committee composition would be confirmed at the post-meeting Council meeting when the new Officers and Councilors would be able to provide input. Prior to that time, Rich Miller was to be approached about serving as the Past President representative and Chair of the Search Committee.

FASEB Update - Tom Knudsen presented a review of FASEB activity for the past year and high- lighted the lobbying efforts and input into the increased funding for NIH. Tom announced that he was ready to step down as the Teratology Society representative. Discussion of potential replacements ensued.

On-line Membership Directory and Dues - L. David Wise reported that the on-line dues function was up and running, but the membership directory was behind schedule because our Web Master had been ill. The membership will be requested to review the data to be provided and delete any material they do not want to go into the on-line directory.

Ken Jones requested permission to post a petition against capital punishment of mentally retarded individuals on the message board.
Council approved and then adjourned at 7:00 p.m.







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