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Conference Call

June 15, 2007

Participating:  E. Faustman, T. Knudsen, T. Chambers, D. Hansen, I. Washington, E. Carney, K. Filkins, M. Tassinari, M. Collins, J. Polifka and T. Masson.  The call began at 9:03 AM (EDT).

The agenda was reviewed and revised.

The timing of the Council I meeting in Pittsburgh was reviewed.  At least 2 members will be attending the OTIS meeting on Saturday morning and will be unable to attend the Council meeting.  T. Knudsen should arrive in Pittsburgh by 9 AM on Saturday, so the meeting was moved from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM.  The financial report was put off until later in hopes that the individuals attending the OTIS meeting will be able to hear the presentation and participate in the discussions. 

D. Hansen provided the Secretary’s Report.  She reviewed the membership numbers over the past 5 years.  Since 2003, regular (U.S. and international) members paying dues has decreased from 485 to 383 in 2007; a loss of 102 members.  That represents a decline of 21%.  Membership numbers were fairly consistent for 2003 and 2004, and most of the decline has occurred after 2004.  Membership declined by 7% in 2006 and another 9% in 2007, for a total of a 15% decline in the last two years. Deb had previously reviewed the disciplinary affiliations of members and found that most of the loss had occurred in the industry sector.  Reasons for the decline were discussed, including the fact that funding restrictions in industry now force these members to choose one meeting per year to attend, and many choose the SOT meeting instead of Teratology.  Funding cutbacks have also forced academic and government members to choose between meetings and Society memberships.  Although the number of students seems to be increasing, that number may be misleading, because many student members are no longer active and do not pay dues.  This information should be communicated to the Membership Working Group.  A question was also raised about the number of regular members going to emeritus status, but that category does not seem to have increased much over the last 5 years.  She also discussed the next issue of the Newsletter which should be going out to the membership in the next day or two.

The Strategic Planning Session Issues Forum was then discussed.  All participants in the Planning Session should plan to attend the Issues Forum.  After a brief overview presentation, there will be breakout groups according to the Working Groups.  A leader and co-leader for each Working Group should be chosen.  At these breakout groups, talking points will be distributed to the Strategic Planning Session participants to discuss with any Society members who are interested in that particular Working Group.  There will be sign-up sheets in each Working Group for Society members to sign up if they are interested in participating in that Working Group.  There will also be a Strategic Planning Session page on the website as well as a volunteer form for members who are unable to attend the Annual Meeting but wish to volunteer.  There will be a link in the next edition of the Newsletter to link to the Volunteer Form.  There was also discussion to have a link to the membership database from the Volunteer form so if someone volunteers for any of the Working Groups, this will be noted in the database.  The slides to be used in the Issues Forum will also be placed on the website.

T. Chambers provided additional information about the communications process for the outcome of the Strategic Planning Session.  The Working Group leaders have received communication about participating in the Issues Forum.  Additional information to include talking points and an overview of the strategic intents will be provided to the group leaders.  The slide presentation draft was circulated to Council.  Input on the slide presentation was requested by Monday, June 18.

The volunteer form should include the opportunity to indicate interest in a Working Group.

The schedule for the Council 1-B meeting was discussed.  The committee chairs have been invited to join Council at 6:30 PM for dessert and an overview of the outcome from the Strategic Planning session and will be shown a test run of the slide show.  Council will meet at 5 PM to finish business from Council 1-A and dinner will be provided.

T. Chambers provided an update on the progress of the 2008 planning and on the CMEs and impact on sponsors.  Conversations will be held with potential sponsors during the 2007 meeting.  A recommendation was made to include the Berkeley Child Health Centers in the program/attendance.

The Vice President’s Report will be provided during Council 1-A.

J. Polifka provided an overview of the materials that were circulated.  Clarification on the desires for the ethic in testifying paper was requested.  The pregnancy label paper is awaiting Council’s approval.

The call adjourned at 10:35 AM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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