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Interim Council Meeting

Marriott-Baltimore, Maryland

October 28, 2002



Call to order by Wm. Slikker at approximately 0800 hours


Council members in attendance: Wm. Slikker, President; R. Tyl, Vice President; K. Jones, Vice President-elect; J. Friedman, Past President; J. Rogers, Treasurer; G. Dearlove, Secretary; C. Chambers, Chair of Public Affairs Committee, B. Abbott, Chair of Publication Committee; J. Graham, M. Tassinari, and P. Wier, Councilors and T. Masson, Executive Director


President's Synopsis: Wm. Slikker


Minutes from the Annual Meeting were discussed, corrections were made and the minutes from June 22, 23, 26 and 27, 2002 were approved as revised.


Committee Assignments:  nominations were reviewed and approved by voice vote of Council.  The suggestion was made that all potential new committee members be provided with a written description of the duties of a committee member prior to their acceptance of appointment.  This would ensure that all members were fully up to date on the responsibilities of a committee member.


            Motion to officially discontinue the Ad Hoc Placement Committee was discussed.  The motion "The Ad Hoc Placement Committee for the Teratology Society will be discontinued and any member with positions available may advertise these openings on the Society Web Site at no charge" was passed.


Warkany Lecturer will be selected from a short list by mid November so the winner can be identified in the meeting advertisements.


Clarke Fraser Award Update indicated that three candidates had been identified and one last call to the Membership would go out for additional nominations.  The winner will be announced in time for publication in the final meeting program.


Journal Update - The contract with the publisher (including the revisions requested by the Society legal advisor and the Journal working group) has been signed, the advertisements for the new Journal format have been drafted and are being distributed.


Comments followed indicating that there were a number of revisions to the advertisement that should be made.  These suggestions were to be sent back to the three editors by the Publications Committee for their input.  (A note will be placed on the Web Site informing the Membership that additional flyers are available to them upon request.)


The subscription rate for the Journal for Students and Emeritus Members will be increased to cover the full cost of the publication (per Society By-Laws); the rate to Full Members will be held to $60 for Part B for the first year (The publisher is charging $65 per year and the Society will offset the difference the first year only).


Joint Meetings with other Scientific organizations are controlled by the calendar, site selection and meeting revenue issues.  To date, no firm commitments have been made.  Societies that have been approached are Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology and Experimental Biology.  Discussions are to continue.


            The possibility of the Teratology Society establishing a Federation of Societies was discussed.  The inclusion of the March of Dimes as the facilitating organization was recommended.  Overriding desire is for the different Scientific Societies in our areas of research be able to maintain their identity, and at the same time become large enough to have an impact on Congressional action. 


            Membership input will be required (possible discussion at the annual meeting) and the start date should be targeted at 2007 or later to permit adequate time for establishing the basic framework (officers, terms, management, site selections, etc).  P. Wier will Chair an Ad Hoc Committee to explore the potential of moving forward on this proposal and circulate a draft document for Council review.


IFTS Proposal was discussed.  The four Teratology Societies (JTS, ETS, Aust.TS and USTS) are being requested to support a Web Site with educational materials and with funding.  The information was put before Council by D. Wise and M. Barr in the form of two proposals submitted electronically.  Discussion of the support of these efforts followed and Council approved the following motions: 

motion "The Teratology Society agrees to support maintenance of the IFTS Web Site at an annual rate of $308.75." 

motion "The Teratology Society will establish an Ad Hoc Committee of up to three members to solicit images and to revise the terminology publication to currently accepted norms."


David Wise will be asked to Chair the Ad Hoc Committee and to provide the Society with an update on usage of the Web Site over the last two years.


FASEB Interaction improvement was discussed. 


ETS Representative A. Ornoy proposed that the Society become more actively involved in program development with ETS.  A. Ornoy would like to be the Society representative.  Council determined that Wm. Slikker will contact A. Ornoy and inform him that Teratology Society supports ETS discussions, but will not nominate a representative nor provide financial support for such candidate.


Vice President's Report:  R. Tyl


Preliminary Meeting Program was distributed and discussion followed regarding the possibility of rearranging some of the symposia.  R. Tyl to take suggestions into account before production to the final program.


The meeting will be preceded by a separate registration Behavioral Test Methods Workshop being proposed by a number of individuals who have agreed to organize the entire program.  This will be a stand alone event that will be completed before the continuing education course begins.


The PAC Symposium will have approximately 20 invited speakers and an open comment period to try to address concerns and questions to arrive at a conclusion by the end of the day.  This undertaking will require the entire day.  Local Clinicians will be invited to participate in this part of the program.


R. Tyl noted that the cost for AV equipment in the Philadelphia area was quite high.


The budget for the Annual Meeting was discussed.  Council looked at the registration fee and determined that a target would be$275 for full members and $475 for non-members.  These figures may be reduced to $250 if the CDC is able to provide the $30,000 Grant for which the Society has applied.


The reimbursement schedule for members and non-members who are on the program was raised.  The rationale and details for amounts and times will be further discussed at the June Council meeting.  For the current meeting, member invited speakers will receive one night lodging, non-members will receive two nights in the hotel, airfare and up to $75 per day for expenses for up to three days.


The Liaison Breakfast was discussed.  Council was to vote electronically on the inclusion of this in the meeting budget after more definitive numbers become available.  There is currently no entry item for this breakfast, nor that of any other Committee in the budget.


Vice President-elect Report:  K. Jones


K. Jones reported on site visits he and J. Friedman had made in order to evaluate potential meeting sites for 2004 and 2005.  K. Jones discussed sites in Hawaii, and in Oakland and Monterey, California.  J. Friedman reported on sites in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Included in the discussions were condition of hotel (and renovations if appropriate), room costs, exhibit/symposium space and travel restrictions.


Council was to discuss and make a decision in two weeks: AIM was to continue evaluating possible sites (e.g. Cincinnati) for future meetings.


Secretary's Report:  G. Dearlove


G. Dearlove reported that a number of members still had not paid their dues for 2002.  The list (prepared by AIM) was circulated and Council members with the request that each Councilor identify those individuals whom they would contact before the next meeting.  This list was retained and the results will be evaluated at the June Council meeting.


The recruitment capabilities of exhibiting the Teratology booth at the SOT meeting were reiterated.  The second meeting attended this year at the CDC in Atlanta (Birth Defects meeting) was not as productive and should probably be replaced by another meeting in the future.  Council was asked to prepare suggestions of other meetings where Teratology Society could exhibit with the intent to attract new members.  Coordination of booth coverage and set up and take down continue to be the responsibility of the office of Secretary.


A plea was made for more newsletter assistance from Council.  More articles are needed.  New Liaisons will be informed that they are expected to submit at least one article about the Scientific Society for which they are the Liaison.


Treasurer's Report:  J. Rogers


The Treasurer's report was presented in a new format this year.  The overall income for the Society through September was 91% of the projected amount and our expenses have been 78% of the budgeted amount.  The final numbers appear to be on track to come in under budget.


Total assets for September, 2002 are $450,328; total assets for September 2001 were $416,714.  The balance sheet assets are up versus last year.  We have a CD that matures in December and that will be reinvested in another CD.  We have also accumulated sufficient funds in checking that we can authorize another $25,000 in investment transfer to Legg-Mason.


The draft 2003 budget was discussed.  (The AIM fee for management of the Society was approximately $120,000.) 


Council was to review the budget proposal and vote electronically on acceptance or revision within two weeks of the meeting date.


Executive Director's Report:  T. Masson


            The Executive Director prepared review documents regarding online membership renewal and current membership status (including a tabular presentation of dues classifications for 2001 and 2002 to October) and a summary of new member applications. 


            A spreadsheet comparing a number of suggested future meeting sites in response to the suggestion box (provided at the annual meeting in Scottsdale) was presented.  The site review included evaluation of room rates, airfares, meeting space, geographical location and personal comments from the staff members who visited most of the 40 sites enumerated.


            The results of the membership vote on amending the Bylaws has been unanimous; all votes cast to date have been in favor of the changes recommended.


            The SOT Publication Style Guidelines, which were established for staff use, were distributed for review and consideration for the Teratology Society.


Public Affairs Committee Report: T. Chambers


            The newly revised text on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was distributed for review and minor revisions were suggested.  The publication has been accepted in Birth Defects Research (Part B).  This document will be a statement of the PAC and not of the Society; therefore, the list of author is appropriate.  The manuscript, which will be co-endorsed by the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Task Force, will also be submitted to another Journal (possibly JAMA) for joint publication to insure the widest distribution possible.


            The Public Affairs Symposium for the 2003 annual meeting will be replaced by the PAC workshop.  C. Kimmel and J. Polifka are organizing the format and several sources of outside support have been approached.  The tentative title for the workshop is: "Clinician Guidelines for Interpreting and Communicating Risk for Medications Used During Pregnancy".


            The PAC requested input from AIM on publicity for the meeting.  In order to provide such assistance, AIM estimated 5% of a staff member at $55/hour.  If the Society wanted between six and ten press releases, specific sectors targeted, etc, this would be approximately $5,000.

            motion to authorize AIM, under supervision of the PAC, with input from the President and Vice President, to do Public Relations work for the 2003 meeting.  A proposal, when available, was to be distributed electronically for Council review.


            Council determined that a special one day rate of $100 would be charged to people who only attended the workshop on Monday.


            The pregnancy Registry guidance is being discussed with OTIS.  The goal is to reach out to other professional societies.  Determining what is needed to be considered an "expert" is critical.  The suggestion was made to look into Teratology setting up a list of "approved consultants" which could be made available to interested companies or individuals for a fee.  PAC will take under advisement and generate a proposal for review by Council as this is a service Teratology should be able to provide to the industry.


Publications Committee Report:  B. Abbott


B. Abbott reported that the committee was understaffed currently as some of the previous members had to withdraw when they became Associate Editors of the Journal.  With the increase in number of members to eight (By-Law Amendment) the need is for five people: two for one year terms, one for a three year term and two for four year terms.


            The Wiley-Liss Symposium tentative program was presented and some questions regarding printing of the Wilson Award and the program for the annual meeting were discussed (e.g. which Part of the Journal should publish?)


Reports from the Editors of Part A, B & C were presented.  Reviews of the current status of funding and staffing for each of the three component parts of the journal by the respective editors were reviewed.  Some confusion regarding the exact name for part C was identified and this will be clarified with the Editor.


Committee Liaison Reports:


            Nominations:   J. Friedman reported that the nominations required for the office of Vice-President and Secretary, as well as the open Council seats for the next election were incomplete.  AIM will send a call for nominations to the membership within the next two weeks.


            Constitution and By-laws:  Wm. Slikker suggested a change should be made to separate membership fees and dues so that a constitutional amendment is not required every two years as the price of the Journal increases.  This will require a change in the By-laws and will be discussed with the membership at the annual business meeting.  The committee is to have a draft proposal for review at the next Council meeting.


            Web Site:  J. Friedman reported that it was important for Council to demonstrate a strong commitment of support for the Web site and an active Web site committee in order to develop and maintain a more user friendly Web site supported by an active Web site committee.  New members will be appointed to bring the committee up to capacity.


            AIM was asked to provide input on the costs of an upgrade to the Web Site including putting the Membership Directory on-line.  The cost estimates were presented ($12,800 for initial set up work and $2,500 annually to maintain)


                        motion:  The Teratology Society would, by the end of this year, invest up to $2,500 to have AIM put the membership directory on-line and to include $15,000 in the budget for next year for the Web Site Committee to obtain estimates for up dates, on-line registration, on-line abstracting for the annual meeting.  These items will be allocated as special expenditures and require approval of Council.


Student Affairs:  R. Tyl reported that the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, J. Bishop, indicated the committee was moving forward with plans for the 2003 meeting.


Bioinformatics, Genomics and Proteomics Ad Hoc Committee; report was presented by Wm. Slikker.  T. Knudsen, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee has established a committee and they are moving forward with the drafting of a mission statement.


Other Business:


            Primer of Teratology:  J. Friedman reported that B. Hales has had to put this on a low priority until she is able to obtain secretarial assistance.  M. Tassinari indicated that Pfizer requires specifics in a formal request for funding.  Pfizer is being approached to grant assistance with publication costs for a CD and print versions of the Primer.


            CDC/NCBDDD - inaugural meeting:  overview by J. Friedman indicated that a wide spectrum of participants were represented.  This may have accounted for the paucity of scientific content in the presentations.  However, the Teratology Society should continue to support in the future if funds are available.


            March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign status up date was presented by Wm Slikker.  To date, no funds from the Society are committed to this campaign.



Meeting adjourned: 5:00 PM





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