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Council Meeting II

Omni William Penn Hotel
Pittsburgh, PA
June 28, 2007

Attending:  President T. Knudsen, Vice-President T. Chambers, Vice President-Elect B. Hales, Secretary D. Hansen, Treasurer I. Washington, Councilor E. Carney, Past President E. Faustman, Chair of the Publications Committee M. Hurtt and Chair of the Public Affairs Committee P. Bittner and Executive Director T. Masson.  Councilor D. Shuey was attending a meeting of HESI and joined the meeting later.

The meeting was called to order by T. Knudsen at 1:09 PM. 

2007 Meeting Feedback:  Most of the feedback on the meeting has been positive.  There were still 23 people in the folate symposium, and 37 in the estrogen symposium at the end.  One suggestion was to encourage those chairing sessions to remind people to turn off their cell phones while in the session; the possibility of having signage to indicate this also was discussed.  Tom had spoken with the exhibitors, and although they feel somewhat isolated from the rest of the meeting, they plan to return to the Teratology Society meeting next 2 years.  Karen Filkins had spoken with the exhibitors about the CMEs and advertising; all were enthusiastic that CMEs would increase meeting attendance and are willing to work with the Society on advertising that will allow CMEs to be given.  Two representatives from NIAAA were impressed with the meeting and indicated that although the RSA meeting in Washington, DC will coincide with our meeting next year, they may try to attend our meeting.  We would also like to get FASEB representatives to the meeting next year.  E. Faustman to contact FASEB.

Committee Appointments:  The following will be appointed to the Nominations and Elections Committee:  Sue Makris, Past Chair; Melissa Tassinari Chair; John DeSesso, member; Bill Slikker, member; Claudia Kappen, member and Bob Kavlock, member.  E. Faustman moved to approve the committee as indicated; E. Carney seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
            The Education Committee will be constituted as follows: Chris Lau, Past Chair; Eias Zahalka, Chair; John Rogers, Secretary (’09); Sue Marty, member (’08); Tacey White, member (’09); Jan Friedman, member (’10); Louise Winn, member (’10); Tina Chambers, Vice President.  Marianne Barrier will be added as a student member, and Keith Robinson will be added as an ad hoc member.  Rocky Tuan will be a consultant to the Committee.  The discussion centered around the fact that Louise Winn submitted her application for the July review deadline.  The approval should be returned by September.  E. Faustman moved that the Education Committee be approved with the contingency that Louise Winn will be considered an ad hoc member until her membership status is upgraded.  B. Hales seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
            There was some discussion about having the Agnish Lecturer be a part of the Education Committee.  This position is chosen by a collaboration between the Education Committee and the Program Committee.  Following some discussion, it was moved by E. Faustman to have the Agnish Lecturer chosen early in the year so that the individual chosen can participate as an ad hoc member of the Education Committee during the year, if they so chose.  B. Hales seconded the motion.  There was also some discussion on the role and perception of this position.  T. Knudsen indicated that he would talk with the last two Lecturers to see how they felt about this appointment and their continuing role as a mentor for the members of the Education course.  The motion passed unanimously.
            John DeSesso will be reappointed as a member of the FASEB Task Force.  T. Knudsen will talk with Tony Scialli to see if he is interested in participating as well.  It was also indicated that these individuals can involve other individuals at their discretion when issues arise.
            The Public Affairs Committee will be constituted as follows: J. Polifka, Past Chair  (1 year); P. Bittner, Chair (3 years); S. Rasmussen, member (’08); D. Shuey, member (’08); C. Lyons-Gaffney, member (’08); C. Stodgell, member [to replace T. Chambers who has resigned due to commitments as Vice President] (’08); R. Brown, member [replacing P. Bittner] (’09); J. Hardy, member (’09); M. Shelby, member (’09); T. White, member (’09); J. Mills, member (’10); R. Miller, member (’10); G. Kimmel, member (’10); S. Harris, member (‘10).  Emily Peterson will be the student representative. 
            The Membership Committee will be made up of the following: M. O’Hara, Past-Chair; E. Fisher, Chair (’08); B. Parker, member (’09); B. Abbott, member was suggested as the new member (’10), and D. Hansen, liaison.  Josh Robinson will be the student representative.  D. Hansen moved that this committee be approved as indicated; E. Carney seconded.  The motion passed unanimously. 
Post meeting note:  B. Abbott agreed to serve on the membership committee.
            The Constitution and By-Laws Committee will be: G. Clemons, Past-Chair; K.W. Hew, Chair (’09); H. Buttar, member (’08); G. Jahnke, member (’09); S. Inman-Wood, member (’10); T. Knudsen, liaison.
            The Student Affairs Committee will be made up of: G. Shaw, Past-Chair; M.A. Smith, Chair; T. Chambers, member (’08); M. Collins, member (’09); M. Rocca, member (’10); R. Ellis-Hutchings, student representative.  D. Hansen moved that this committee be approved as indicated; E. Carney seconded the motion which passed unanimously. 

MARTA/MTA Partnering:  Both MARTA and MTA have noted a decrease in membership over the last few years.  They have historically reached out to individuals, primarily technicians, who were in their regions and were unable to attend the Teratology Society meeting.  There was some discussion about having them retain their identity but also have a member on Council.  It was pointed out that the technical staff can join the Teratology Society as Associate Members which may help them justify attendance at the meeting to their employer.  This issue will be discussed further later.

Scheduling of future meetings:  The Interim Council meeting will possibly be held in Louisville, KY in late October or early November.  Council members should email Tonia with their availability for these times.  Monthly conference calls will continue on the second Friday of each month at 9 AM (Eastern time).  The first of these calls will be held August 10, 2007.

2008 Meeting Update:  T. Chambers discussed the status of the 2008 meeting in Monterey, CA.  She is currently waiting on the Publications Committee to decide on the topic of the Wiley-Liss Symposium; their back-up choice may be used for the March of Dimes Symposium.  The Education Committee will decide within the next 7-10 days on the topics of the Education Course and the Sunrise Mini-Course.  D. Shuey indicated that HESI is willing to support a symposium as they did this year; they like the discussion format and are considering a symposium on use of vaccines/biologics in pregnancy.  NBTS and OTIS are looking at possible joint sessions.  Tina will talk with sponsors about the problem with advertising and CME credits; a subcommittee of the Program Committee will write a letter to each sponsor indicating the ACOG requirements and how the Society plans to meet those requirements.  We will have to make sure that NBTS and OTIS are also in compliance with these requirements.  T. Knudsen indicated that we need to raise about another $30,000 for next year’s meeting.  It was discussed that MARTA/MTA could help in sponsoring a mid-year 3 day course on Developmental Toxicology Methods.  The course would be a hands-on type of course aimed at new technical staff.  Registration could be as much as $3000 per person.  If 30 people register for the course, and the Society takes 1/3 of the registration fee, that could make up the additional $30,000.  This item will be discussed further in future meetings.

Future Meetings:  There has been some discussion about having a single registration fee for the TS/NBTS/OTIS meeting.  T. Chambers will talk with the Presidents of NBTS and OTIS to see if there is interest in having a joint task force approach this issue.  B. Hales and T. Chambers will represent the Teratology Society if such meetings are held.  A Committee will be formed to plan for the 50th Meeting Celebration in Louisville in 2010.  Possible committee members include Ed Carney, Bill Scott, George Daston, Clarke Fraser and Godfrey Oakley.  Possible meeting sites for the 2011 and 2012 meeting could include San Antonio, TX; Santa Fe, NM; New Orleans, LA; and Portland, OR. 

Electronic Balloting:  K. Hew looked at the Constitution and believes that the wording is already there to allow the Society to go to electronic balloting.  E. Carney moved that the Society go to electronic balloting; T. Chambers seconded the motion which passed unanimously.  Tonia will look into the best way for the Society to do this.  There was some discussion of costs of electronic balloting vs. mailing the ballots.  It may be approximately the same cost depending on the method used.  There had been some Constitutional changes suggested at the 2006 meeting which were not voted on this year that could serve as a type of mock election to test the electronic system. 

Investment Policy:  I. Washington indicated that some concern had been raised that Merrill Lynch’s estimate of a service fee of 1.5% might be too low.  It is believed that the fee with Legg-Mason had been around 1 – 1.5%.  Ida had gotten no feedback from the Business Meeting on switching financial advisors.  It was suggested that the Finance Committee be re-activated.  The Committee will consist of the Treasurer, I. Washington; Past Treasurer, J. Rogers; Vice President, T. Chambers; Executive Director, T. Masson.  T. Knudsen will ask G. Daston to join the committee as an ad hoc member.  Ida will continue to check the references supplied by Merrill Lynch, and the Finance Committee will be asked to review the investment policy.
Post meeting note:  George Daston has agreed to join the Finance Committee.

It was noted that the next issue of the newsletter is scheduled for early September.

Strategic Planning:  T. Chambers presented an overview of the next steps and outcome of the Issues Session.  The Issues Session was well attended, generated excitement, and many individuals provided feedback to the Working Groups.  The Working Groups collected the names of several volunteers.  A plan is needed for moving forward.  An Ad Hoc Committee responsible for oversight of the Working Groups was appointed.  The chair is M. Tassinari, E. Faustman and T. Chambers will also participate.  The Working Groups should plan on holding 2-3 conference calls.  The deadlines and prioritizations should be completed by the interim Council meeting.  It was noted that the outcome of the Strategic Planning Session needs to be published.  A draft should be prepared by the interim Council meeting.

A few Working Groups need additional people.  The Communications Working Group could use a few more although there is anticipated to be overlap with the Web site Committee.  One student presenter used technology in his presentation and may be a good addition.  J. DeSesso should be asked to Co-lead the Visibility Working Group.  It is important to establish the interaction between the Working Groups and the Committees and to ensure that they understand their roles.  One goal for the Working Groups is for them to generate information to provide to Council for consideration rather than Council initiating the interaction.

Additional feedback received during the Issues Forum included a great deal of excitement about the participation of Scott Gilbert during the 2008 meeting.  Many undergraduate students may be interested in attending the meeting in Monterey and it would be nice to identify funding for them to attend.  The NSF has a REU undergraduate training program that may be a resource.

The other item raised is that the non-member registration fee is high for those not interested in joining the Society.  A comment was received that the full vs. associate membership categories seem too restrictive for the diversity of the membership.  It was recommended that this issue be provided to the Membership Committee for review.  The committees should also consider the opportunity for providing a scholarship to a future meeting for non-member registrants of the previous meeting.

E. Carney made a motion to adjourn.  D. Shuey seconded the motion.  The motions passed unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM.







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