Island Grand Resort
St. Pete Beach, Florida
June 25, 2005
– At the beginning of the pre-meeting Council meeting, a
quorum was represented by voting members K. Jones, President;
M. Tassinari, Vice President; G. Dearlove, Secretary; I. Washington,
Treasurer and K. Filkins, Councilor. Non-voting members D. Hansen,
Chairperson, Publications Committee and T. Masson, Executive Secretary
were also present. A. Scialli, Chairperson of the Public Affairs
Committee arrived after presenting the Thomas H. Shepherd Lecture
at the OTIS meeting.
K. Jones rescheduled the Council Agenda Presentations in order
to permit time for Council members not yet in attendance to complete
their travel to the meeting.
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT – M. TASSINARI
M. Tassinari indicated that the meeting attendance this year was
good. There were approximately 50 pre-registrants for the OTIS
meeting, approximately 84 pre-registrants for the combined NBTS/BTS
meeting and approximately 320 pre-registrants for the Teratology
All Council members were asked to gather input from the membership
regarding placement of the poster session in the middle of the
day (rather than in the evening) at this year’s meeting.
This was done in order to provide a free evening for the attendees.
Council was requested to encourage as many members as possible
to attend the National Children’s Study Update session to
be held at noon on Wednesday. This program has a new director
(Peter Scheidt) and the Society should not only introduce itself
to him, but also encourage his actively looking for ways that
we may obtain funding from the program for support of Society
Council was also asked to again encourage members to fill out
their surveys about the meeting. M. Tassinari will present the
summarized results of last year’s survey so people realize
the surveys are actually evaluated and considered by Council.
TREASURER’S REPORT – I. WASHINGTON
Washington presented the results of her discussion with Jason
Harris of Legg Mason (our investment broker). J. Harris and I.
Washington discussed ways for the Society to increase our reserves
to one and one-half times the annual operating budget. J. Harris
feels this may be accomplished within two to three years with
an asset allocation that retains 65% of the assets in fixed income
(e.g. Certificates of Deposit) and places the remaining 35% in
slightly higher risk investments wit corresponding slightly higher
rate of return (e.g. Mutual Funds such as the Royce Fund). These
funds are back-end loaded and recent growth has been approximately
12%. The funds may be added to in increments as small as $100.
With a yearly operating budget of approximately $400,000, and
a cash account that requires up to $100,000 to pay expenses when
they come in, Council determined that 65% in fixed assets was
acceptable, but the percentage invested in growth funds should
be a little lower than recommended. Council determined that 25%
would be appropriate, with the remaining 10% of the funds available
as money market cash accounts to pay the bills.
The annual Royalty from Wiley Liss was discussed. Some of these
funds are earmarked for student travel support, and a portion
of the remainder could be relegated to investments. Council will
need to discuss this option at the interim Council meeting. The
membership should be informed of these actions, especially now
that the NIH funding for travel has been reduced. We want to demonstrate
to the membership we are investing the Journal Royalties in future
members (students) and not just paying for the Annual Meeting
Budget with these funds.
in which Council and the Society could increase corporate contributions
were discussed. The Society needs to change its approach to corporate
funding. The various contributors need to see what they will gain
from an increased contribution. This will require input from the
PAC and the Outreach Committee which will be appointed at a later
date. Council to discuss possible changes prior to next year.
PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE – D. HANSEN
D. Hansen provided a written report that contained the editor’s
summaries of activity for the year. Discussion regarding some
potential page number issues followed. P. Mirkes (BDR-A) had expressed
concern that publication of the CDC Surveillance Report in the
October issue may, at some point, “crowd out” research
papers. This is not the case currently, but Council will consider
asking the CDC to publish this document (and pay for the publication)
as a supplement in the future. Discussion followed regarding what
was considered a “good epidemiology paper” and whether
Part A was running out of pages for significant research publications.
The $117,600+ Royalty from Wiley Liss for the Journal this year
was discussed. R. Tuan has suggested possible ways to invest the
funds in an outreach program for graduate students and postdoctoral
fellows. Council will consider this suggestion at a future meeting.
The creation of a new category of membership called “Distinguished
Fellow” (handout provided by R. Tyl) was discussed. The
requirements were reviewed and agreed upon. Presentation of this
new membership classification will occur at the issues session
(K. Jones to present for membership input).
Update was presented by T. Masson. The cost of hosting a Web page
is estimated to be $100 per month ($50/month for the site and
$50/month for the data base). Council determined to pay the $1200
fee one more year and to invite the President of the European
Teratology Society to Council II to seek his input.
AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – A. SCIALLI
T. Scialli explained that position papers are signed by the committee
as a whole and unanimous approval of committee members is required
prior to publication for each document. These documents are then
sent to Council for peer review (not for revisions and editorial
changes). Council peer review is required because the Journal
Editor accepts the position papers for publication as submitted.
A majority vote of Council is required to approve submission of
the position paper to BDR-A or BDR-B for publication.
position paper on Obesity should be ready for Council review in
two to three months. The position paper on the ethics of testifying
in being discussed and a decision should be available shortly.
This position paper will not seek to define qualifications as
an “expert” in the filed.
T. Scialli provided a written outline/report dealing with an issue
the PAC wants to take up: The Appropriate Risk Communication and
the Concept of Drug “Safety” in Pregnancy. This position
paper may be expanded to include other misused terms (e.g. “risk”
and “potent”). Due to some recent concerns about PAC
position papers, the Committee asked for Council input prior to
investing time in drafting this document. Council approved moving
forward with the approach discussed in the outline provided (available
in meeting files).
PLAN MATRIX – handout provided
The matrix was discussed and Council was requested to review and
provide definitions and goals to enable the matrix to be used
as a working document in the future. Council was to review and
provide input for Council II.
SHAC THREAT – review of the potential threat from the Animal
Rights group, SHAC, was reviewed and the addition of off duty
police officers to the meeting was clarified. To date, there have
been no issues. Many of these individuals are probably in San
Francisco at the Stem Cell meetings.
FINANCIAL AUTHORIZATION – the signature limit for T. Masson
to sign on checks for Teratology Society business was discussed.
The current limit is too low, and a second signature is required
– The Executive Director of the Teratology Society, or any
person identified on the signature authorization card (President,
Vice President, Treasurer) or an AIM representative designated
by the Executive Director, will have check signing authority for
up to $5,000.00 without requiring a second signature.” Approved
OF JUNE 16 CONFERENCE CALL – G. DEARLOVE
The minutes of the June 16, 2005 Conference call were revised
and accepted as amended.
Council I-A was Recessed. Council I-B will reconvene at 5:15 pm
with a working dinner.