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Council Meeting

JUNE 22 & 23, 2002

Saturday, June 22

The meeting was called to order by Jan Friedman at approximately 2:00.

Council members present were J. Friedman, President; B. Slikker, Vice President; R. Tyl, Vice President-elect; J. Rogers, Treasurer; G. Dearlove, Secretary; C. Chambers, Chair of Public Affairs Committee; T. Knudsen, M. Tassinari and P. Wier, Councilors; and T. Masson, Executive Director. B. Kavlock, Past President (was delayed in route and arrived late)

President's Report - J. Friedman presented an overview of six selected items from the Strategic Planning Session held in Nashville that he had identified as requiring follow up.

  • The Journal - discussion was delayed to a later time in the meeting.

Meetings - Jan noted we would try to get more press coverage for our meetings and had asked J. DeSesso to make a presentation later in this meeting.

  • Educational activities - to be covered when Continuing Education course is discussed.

  • Consensus Workshops - are being discussed with the Public Affairs Committee and the first one will try to finish with a position paper on how to use animal data for Clinical Risk Assessment. J. Polifka, C. Kimmel, J. Friedman and T. Chambers are already working on this. Discussion followed on the type of document to be produced, how much funding would be required, when and where the workshop should be held and who should be invited as a panel participant vs. a member of the audience. Some suggestion of additional scientific society participation followed (e.g. Mike Green from ACOG, Bern Schwetz of FDA because label issues will be considered, etc).

The planning of this one day workshop will required coordination for the next annual meeting as there is already a Neurotoxicology Workshop planned for this venue (Wm. Slikker in charge). Must plan with S. Tyl and T. Masson who are planning the next meeting schedules and room allocations. Discussion about Teratology being facilitators, rather than sponsors, the addition of more days to the length of the meeting or the possibility of reorganization of the meeting to accommodate a full day workshop followed.

J. Freidman asked Wm. Slikker and T. Chambers to pursue both workshops in coordination with the meeting planning by S. Tyl and T. Masson. Both individuals were also encouraged to seek outside support for one of both workshops.

  • Information Technology - T. Knudsen noted that the Teratology Society should play a role in directing the interaction of different technologies (e.g. genomics, proetomics, etc.). To do this will require the establishment of a working group to teleconference and define the issues and publish the results. This would be preparatory to coordinating a larger group meeting which would publish a monograph. These activities will require more planning and an ad hoc committee focused around T. Knudsen and R. Felix will be formed to formulate plans for going forward.

  • The Website - discussion to be held later when R. Felix presents his report.

J. Freidman reported that the Handbook of Teratology currently has 24 of the 27 chapters submitted by various authors. B. Hales will send these chapters to the respective authors for review and updating. M. Tassanari indicated that she would submit an application for $25,000 in funding to see if Pfizer were interested in providing corporate sponsorship to cover publication costs. To do this, Melissa needs a complete listing of authors and titles (J. Friedman to provide). The intent is to publish about 10,000 copies for distribution to Universities and on the Web. Publication on CD rather than on paper will be evaluated.

J. Friedman announced that Teratology Society was going to establish the position of Historian and R. Jensh has agreed to be the first official Teratology Society Historian. The next annual meeting will have the first presentation to the membership of some of the materials currently retained in the Society archives. R. Jensh will also indicate what types of materials the membership will be requested to donate to complete the archives. This is currently an unfunded function, and the Society may want to look at providing some funding in the future.

J. Friedman indicated he had received a thank you letter from Secretary T. Thompson regarding the letter concerning the government's position on the "wedge".

The Constitutional Amendments (to be discussed at the business meeting) were within the time constraints required for membership notification. They were posted on our Website and the membership was notified via postcard and e-mail that they were posted. In addition, we offered to fax them to any member who so desired. Copies will be available at the meeting and the business meeting was extended 30 minutes to permit full discussion of all items. These items are also on the agenda for the Issues Forum. The Constitutional Committee (K. Smith) must mail any suggested changes to the membership within 60 days of the Annual meeting (J. Friedman to remind K. Smith that this is not a Council item).

Jan announced that J. Cordero is now director of a new CDC center on Birth Defects. Jose will address the membership at the meeting and Council II regarding his thoughts on strengthening the ties with Teratology and CDC and how we might work more closely with NICHD.

Vice President's Report - Bill Slikker reported the 2002 Education Course was under way without the benefit of the course notebooks. The notebooks missed the plane they were to have been shipped on, and were instead put on a truck that had not yet arrived. T. Masson is having copies made to keep ahead of the speakers and the faculty and students are moving ahead.

The cancellations this year's meeting were not great, and have been identified for the membership as a handout in their registration package. One change not listed was the substitution of S. Kweder for B. Schwetz. There were also two platform speakers who had to cancel their presentations.

Many of the sessions have financial support this year thanks to the efforts of the Program Committee. The Mini Course innovation seems to have been a success. There are 74 people pre-registered for the inaugural course. There were 326 people pre-registered, so we have achieved the room block requirements.

The final budget for the meeting this year is close to breakeven because we have been successful in getting outside support for many events.

There will be a special Liaison breakfast this year to try to establish better working arrangements with our Liaisons to other scientific societies. G. Dearlove will present an outline of what is expected from the people who function as Liaisons with different societies (Newsletter articles, booth duty, meeting announcements, reports to the membership at the business meeting, etc.). All Council members are invited to attend the breakfast.

Vice President-Elect's Report - Shelley Tyl reported the grant application for $30,000 had been submitted to the CDC. Symposia ideas are coming in and being evaluated.

Shelley asked that we establish a list for funding requests so different members of the Society are not calling the same individuals seeking funding for different parts of the same meeting. Shelley will meet with the Program Committee nominees for confirmation at Council II.

Discussion followed regarding site selection for the meeting in 2004. There was much discussion and review of materials gathered by AIM in their efforts to find one hotel that would be able to offer all the venues we require and still retain a reasonable rate.

Secretary's Report - George Dearlove provided membership details prepared by T. Masson regarding percentages of fully paid members for 2002 (107 individuals and/or corporations on the membership list have not paid their dues). Discussion followed to find ways to determine who was dropping out and the reason for this decision to try to reduce the attrition rate in the future. The corporate reductions were all for different reasons: one loss of contributor through merger, one loss due to no member of Teratology to request funding internally, one loss relative to the sponsorship benefits, one due to a poor year financially. The lack of payment from individual members is an ongoing concern.

The membership application requirements were discussed. There is some confusion about strict interpretation of the requirements. Some standard guidance is necessary and G. Dearlove was asked to prepare a draft SOP for the Membership Committee to be discussed at the next Council meeting.

The suggestion box for member comments at the annual meeting was approved.

Executive Director's Report - Tonia Masson confirmed the pre-registration figure was 326 (Last year we had 346 pre-registered and finished with 383 total registrants), Continuing Education was over the 119 who had registered early. The new Mini Course had 74 registrants as of June 20. Our room obligation to the hotel had been fulfilled, all Council should have been moved to up-graded rooms and the commission from the hotel will be forthcoming.

Tonia reviewed the information gathered about future meeting sites. To date AIM has received proposals from Monterey, CA, Palm Springs, CA, Honolulu, HI and Vancouver, BC. The available room rates, and information about the meeting capabilities for each site were presented. Hawaii was eliminated from consideration because many corporate members would not get company support to attend. Council asked for additional information from AIM before a decision would be made for the 2004 meeting.

The directory is still not up on the Website. We may want to consider going to a different provider to get our directory up. This item will be followed up with Website committee who may want to consider additional sources and refinements.

K-12 Possibilities for future meetings was discussed and T. Masson presented a list of potential activities to be held in conjunction with the annual meeting. These included hosting area teachers and sponsoring student events. Council was to review the various ideas and relay our position to T. Masson.

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 2001 from Huey and Associates, P.C. (independent auditor's report). Following some discussion about the calculation of the change in net assets, the audit was accepted as stated by unanimous vote. John explained the variances in revenues and expenses from the approved budget for the year. The Society appears to be on the way to better than break even.

The resultant fiscal year 2001 net assets came to $395,138 (up from $342,281 in 2000). John announced that we will be looking for a new investments as our CDs mature.

The balance sheet for January, '02 to April, '02 was presented in comparison to the same period last year. Our total Liabilities and Equity currently comes to $511,745.88 and last year at this time we had $463,115.49.

Review of Management Services Contract - J. Friedman and J. Rogers indicated that the contract has another year to go before any renegotiations are necessary (contract through December, 2003). However, the current contract allows for a rate increase at the end of the year. Council had no further discussion as all were satisfied with the job AIM has been doing for the Teratology Society.

FASEB Update - Tom Knudsen pointed out that Jeanne Manson was now the representative of the Teratology Society to FASEB. Tom will attend the meetings if Jeanne is unable to attend.

FASEB Participation - John DeSesso reported that G. Schoenwolf had talked to him about having a joint meeting with the Anatomists in the future. They currently meet with Experimental Biology (which has the meeting sites selected for the next seven years). This would be to emphasize areas of similarities (image analysis and morphometry) and they would be willing to time the meeting to meet our schedule. They currently meet in April. If we go forward, we need to consider one fee to attend all sessions as an inducement. Council determined that T. Masson should contact Gary to get more details.

John then offered some suggestion on how to go about improving our visibility in the press. We need to specifically invite Science Writers from selected papers to our meetings and provide them abstracts so they can report on the meetings. John suggested the name of a person who covered the meetings when he was President. Council to look into this in the future.

MART/MTA Events - Jan Friedman provided the minutes of two conference calls the planners of MARTA and MTA had for the student mixer. The details were for Council information and to let Council know how much work had gone into the planning of the Student event. The discussion regarding the absence of any reference to the Teratology Society in the advertising of the mixer followed. The point being, that the Teratology Society did not want to "horn in" on the success of this function. However, the event costs are partly shared by the Society, and the venue is possible because of the annual meeting. Therefore, the organizers will be approached in the future to see if the event can give some credit to the Teratology Society.

Sustaining Membership Benefits Survey: update -M. Tassinari presented the results of a survey of past and present corporate sponsors of the annual meeting. The general response was that the current sustaining members will remain sustaining members as long as they have a member of Teratology Society on their staff and as long as that person makes the effort to push the necessary paperwork through the proper channels for continued funding. This response was for both annual meeting sponsors and for Sustaining members.

Melissa also announced that CTBR had agreed to publish the continuing education course book in the future and this would not cause a reduction in their annual contribution.

There was a comment from the CROs who are sustaining members: they liked the Website listing. The Website Committee will be asked to look into making the references directs links to the various CRO's home Website.

Sunday, June 23

All the same Council members were in attendance.

The Search for an Editor - Parts B and C of Birth Defects Research J. Friedman led the discussion on the search for an editor for each part of the new Journal and indicated that the name for part C was still not firm. Part C editor is to be Rocky Tuan, but not until after he joins the Society. The name for part C appears to be BDR: Embryo Today - Review. This addresses concerns of Rocky and the Publishers. This part of the Journal will be available as both an electronic and a print journal. This will be announced at the business meeting.

Part B editor search update has been very professional and the committee has identified the final two candidates. Council reviewed the materials provided by each candidate. The current position of one of the candidates as an Associate Editor of another scientific journal was of some concern. The suggestion was made that the candidate be questioned to determine if he felt this was a conflict of interest and no decision be made until this issue was rectified (unanimous approval for this course of action).

Committee Reports:

Publications Committee - Shelley Tyl reported that the Wilson Award qualifications have been revised to include just papers that are in print by the end of the year. This way, the winner can be selected sufficiently in advance of the meeting to permit publication of the winner in the program.

Shelley noted that the committee needs a new chairperson needs to be identified. The committee make up is being revised to coincide with the three parts of the journal. The details need to be worked out and presented at the Business meeting as part of the amendments being discussed. The number of people, years of service and selection of the new Chair need to be addressed so all three parts of the journal will receive adequate supervision. The membership will be presented length of term and succession possibilities for discussion at the Business Meeting.

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

Ad hoc Committee on Journal Negotiations - George Daston reported on current status of negotiations with the publisher. The proposed new contract has addressed all the concerns expressed by the Society. Wiley wants to renegotiate the page requirements and add an escalator for the number of color pages we will be allocated without incurring extra charges.

The publisher had agreed to give us royalties of 10% on new institutional subscriptions in addition to the $50,000 per year cash award.

The cost of subscriptions will be increased so:

non-members will pay $130 for Part A or Part B and $75 for Part C of the Journal

members of related Societies will pay $99 for A or B and $60 for C

members of Teratology will pay $65 for A or B and receive C for no charge

Or

members of Teratology will pay an additional $50 (over the above rate) and receive Parts A, B & C

Electronic only subscriptions rate has not yet been determined

The Publisher expects Part A to be monthly, Part B to be bimonthly and Part C to be Quarterly once they are running normally.

A motion was made to hold membership dues at the current rate and assume the increase of $5 per subscription and pay this added expense from the royalties we will receive from the Publisher. This is a one time assumption of the increase as the Publisher predicts a $5 increase in subscription charges every other year. (motion carried).

J. Friedman will have legal review before signing the contract (copies of contract to be made available for Council to review prior to Council II).

Journal Relaunch - Nancy Olsen from Wiley-Liss presented the Publisher view on the new Journal format. The Society will receive the royalty payments each April and may schedule the payment of the $50,000 at our choice.

The Publisher feels that Part B has the most potential for growth, followed by Part A and then Part C. They will provide increased numbers of color plates to facilitate the new technology that will be presented in the new Journal.

Nancy confirmed that the publisher expects to increase the subscription every other year ($5.00 is current estimate) to cover the increases in expenses for marketing and discounts to affiliated society members (this is calculated to get more people reading the Journal).

To retain institutional subscriptions Wiley-Liss will automatically give Part B and Part C to any Library already subscribing to Part A for the first year. This is to protect the current Journal subscription base. There will then follow a marketing push to get the libraries to subscribe to all three parts on their own.

Note: institutional subscriptions to Teratology fell from 402 in 2000 to 382 in 2001;

Institutional subscriptions for TCM fell from 205 in 2000 to 193 in 2001.

The issue of pagination is still being evaluated for the different parts of the new Journal.

[Motion from Council - Motion made and carried to appoint Rocky Tuan as Editor of Part C of the Journal pending his acceptance as a member of the Society.]

Teratology Editor Report - Lew Holmes reviewed the handouts that summarized Journal activities from the start of his five year term. The charts indicated a steady rate of manuscript submission, but no dramatic increase as hoped (the Journal is stable but not growing). The number of labs sending in good manuscripts is small and many members continue to send manuscripts that would be appropriate for Teratology to other journals. The question of gaining increased manuscript submission was discussed.

Lew suggested that the first issue of the "new" Journal contain the publication goals of the new editors.

Phil Mirkes indicated that the new editorial staff will rely more heavily on the associate editors for recruiting manuscripts. The first issue will, however, be put together by Phil as the only editor to solicit manuscripts so he can demonstrate to people how the Journal is going to move forward.

Web site Committee - Robert Felix gave the report for the ongoing transition to a new committee. Bob had some requests for funding for software assistance and to expand management to other individuals. The web site details are still being investigated, along with the possibility of adding a student to the committee to maintain the student link for the web page.

Bob reported that a search engine has been added to the site, but we still need to work on simplification of the site. He is also looking at the possibility of getting corporate sponsorship to develop lead in to the education courses and links to various corporate homepages. Tonia to ask Gold and Platinum Sponsors if they would like a hot link added to the web when she sends the renewal letters.

Robert is working on the slide sets that currently are difficult to download, and plans to have assistance from AIM in putting the directory on line.

Education Committee - Donna Farmer reported that the course books missed the flight and were put on a truck rather than the next flight out. Consequently, curse participants are getting photocopies and will receive the text material when it arrives. The talks have all been "fantastic" and off-set any issues caused by lack of workbooks. There were 130 registered.

The suggestion was made that next year the material be prepared on CD in advance so the books would not be as critical.

Student Affairs Committee - Janet Uriu-Adams reported that we had received $13,000 from the NIH, $1,000 from Lilly and $400 from the L. Wetzel Fund to support 17 students' travel needs. Therefore, each student was to receive $750.

The Wilson Award will be based only on oral presentations this year because the Bradford Award covers poster presentations.

The best Pre/Postdoctoral award this year will be one of each, but going forward, we will give two awards without splitting into pre or post categories to avoid having only one or two presentations in a class to compete.

This year the students will be voting on the Taubeneck Award, not their mentors.

Question from Council - why do they need to apply for the awards rather than being automatically entered. Any poster should be eligible to win without having to apply.

Clarke Fraser Award Committee - George Dearlove gave the committee report. This year's winner is Jeff Peters and he will be making his comments to the students via video presentation as he is unable to attend the meeting.

Membership Committee - George Dearlove gave a brief report for the committee. The need for more scientific meetings for booth presentations was stressed. Council was asked to come up with a number of meetings (really need clinical meeting suggestions) for the recruiting booth.

Nominations & Elections Committee - Kok-Wah Hew presented the vote counts for the recent election. The new Vice President-Elect is Ken Jones (runner up David Wise) and the new council member is John Graham (runner up Janine Polifka).

Hew had additional comments about improvement of the education committee (student and postdoctoral participation, extended length of terms, corporate funding of food for the course, requirements for course outline more than one year in advance to better coordinate with the meeting program in the future, etc). Council agreed to consider these suggestions.

Public Affairs Committee Report - Christina Chambers reported that the fetal alcohol position paper had been lost in the review process but was resurrected and reorganized and is currently being reviewed by the committee. Copies will be made available for Council to review before it is submitted for publication.

The committee is still working on a position statement on the CDC/FDA desire for post market surveillance for Pediatric concerns. This is also a public health problem, but as a shared issue, has no actual ownership. Thus the Teratology Society position will be that some systematic follow up is necessary and that the CDC should become involved. Discussion followed regarding the need for the Society to enter this political arena and how the Safe Motherhood Bill would impact such assessments in the future. Draft copies were to be provided for Council review before too much additional effort was expended on this paper.

Press coverage for the annual meeting was discussed. The Public Affairs Committee had approached OTIS and NBTS, but they were not helpful in providing input on ideas to expand the coverage. At this meeting, the local TV and print media were contacted, but only one paper was interested in sending a reporter to provide news coverage. We need to be more aggressive and offer press releases in the future. Council may want to consider an agency to assist in this effort going forward as the amount of time required to get this operational is a lot more than most of the committee members can offer.

Another suggestion to get more local participation is to invite local physicians to specific symposia at the annual meeting.

The request for guidance from D. Wise regarding questions that come in to the web site was discussed. The committee felt that referral to OTIS was the best advice that we could offer and that some statement should be added to the website indicating how people could get in touch with OTIS for their simple questions. J. Friedman was to talk to R. Felix about setting this up.

Other Business:

The agenda for the Business Meeting was reviewed and Council was requested to remind the membership that Journal relaunch and the Constitutional amendments will be discussed at the Issues Forum, prior to the business meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 12:35

 

 

 

 

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