August 10, 2007
Participating –Vice-President T. Chambers, Vice President-Elect B. Hales, Secretary D. Hansen, Treasurer I. Washington, Past-President E. Faustman, Councilors E. Carney and D. Shuey, Executive Director T. Masson, P. Bittner, Chairperson of the Public Affairs Committee and M. Hurtt, Chairperson of the Publications Committee. The meeting was called to order by Vice-President T. Chambers at 9:03 AM (EDT). President T. Knudsen joined the call later. Councilor K. Augustine was not present.
1. 2008 Annual Meeting Update – A preliminary schedule for the 2008 Annual Meeting was sent to Council members prior to the teleconference. Some changes will be instituted for this meeting. The program has been compacted and moved forward a day so attendees can be home for the 4th of July holiday. The Continuing Education Course will meet all day on Saturday, June 28 instead of half day on Saturday and a half day on Sunday. The meeting will begin early on Sunday, June 29 and will end after the banquet on Wednesday, July 2. Because the education course will be approximately 8 hours, a longer than usual break will occur in the middle of the course, and a volleyball game or other recreational events may be scheduled during that break. Council meetings could occur on Friday afternoon, Saturday evening and Thursday morning. There was some discussion about possibly shortening the Education Course or splitting it into 2 different but related courses. It was decided to try the one full day course in 2008 to see how that is received before making any additional changes. Past sponsors are being contacted to see if they will be able to continue their sponsorship, and many of the sessions have commitments from sponsors. NIEHS was contacted about sponsoring a session, but they are no longer able to do that. The International Society of Pediatric Epidemiology (ISPE) is partnering with the Teratology Society to sponsor a workshop on pregnancy registry methods. This workshop will be geared toward individuals who do not usually attend the meeting, and a one day registration will be available. Individuals of the Teratology Society and ISPE will discuss possible future possibilities for partnering activities. The possibility of a single registration fee for Teratology, NBTS and OTIS members is being discussed among the 3 societies. No decision has yet been reached on this issue.
There was also some discussion about the possibility of raising registration fees to cover more of the meeting. Currently, a very rough projection is that the 2008 meeting will lose about $21,000. Tonia indicated that Teratology Society registration fees are comparable to those of other meetings, but the Teratology meeting tends to provide more food and beverage items for attendees. Since it is unlikely that additional sponsors might be found for the meeting, Council members are being asked to consider this issue which will be discussed again in the near future.
2. R13 Application – Discussions with NIEHS: T. Knudsen informed Council that NBTS has submitted an R13 application for their meeting. There is confusion about whether the NBTS and Teratology Society meetings are different meetings or actually a single meeting. There is a good deal of overlap between the meetings, but there are separate registration fees. NIEHS only funds a R13 application for a single meeting and has funded the Teratology Society in the past. Therefore, it is important for both societies that a perception of separate meetings must be evident to the public when viewing either NBTS or TS programs on-line.
T. Knudsen informed NIEHS that the Teratology Society will submit its own R13 application for the support of student travel to the meeting on the December 10 submission deadline. He discussed the potential overlap with NIEHS staff members, who agreed that so long as TS and NBTS maintain separate meeting registrations the two R13 applications will be considered distinct for this year.
3. Interactions with MTA/MARTA: At the Council II meeting in Pittsburgh, there was some discussion concerning a possible tutorial course that could be sponsored by the Teratology Society. This tutorial could raise some additional funds to support the Annual Meeting as well as utilizing the expertise within the Society. There was some discussion as to the type of course to offer – either a 1 – 1.5 day course of lectures or a longer course with hands-on experiences. At this time, hosting labs might have difficulty with getting approval to use animals for these types of demonstration purposes. The location of such a course would also be important, and the northeast and Washington, DC areas were discussed as possible sites. MTA/MARTA could be involved in either helping to organize the course or providing their expertise as lecturers. This is an issue that Council will continue to discuss. T. Knudsen also discussed a letter that he had received from a former President of MTA/MARTA suggesting that MTA/MARTA dues could be collected through the Teratology Society, and that MTA/MARTA would like to gain access to the Teratology Society membership list to more widely publicize their events. Tonia indicated that MTA/MARTA dues could only be collected legally if this group was considered as a regional chapter, similar to the regional chapters for SOT. As for gaining access to our membership list, they can purchase the list just as any other organization can purchase the list. Tom suggested a subcommittee to look into possible closer association between MTA/MARTA and the Teratology Society. D. Shuey will head this subcommittee and will select 3 to 4 other members after getting input from MTA/MARTA members.
4. Posting of Council Teleconference Minutes on the Web: Currently, the minutes for Council’s teleconferences are not being put on the website. In a few cases, not enough Council members have approved the minutes from some teleconferences for them to be considered as approved minutes. Initially these teleconferences were set up to inform Council members, but more recently more business has been conducted during these calls. After a very brief discussion, E. Faustman moved that the minutes from these teleconferences be formalized and posted on the website. D. Shuey seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
5. Working Group Updates: Melissa Tassinari has agreed to serve as the Chair over all of the Working Groups. T. Chambers, E. Faustman and B. Hales will discuss the next steps for the Working Groups. Future teleconferences between Working Group members will be coordinated through the Teratology Society headquarters.
6. Old Business:
Investment Policy: Ida will discuss utilizing Ron Loeser of Merrill Lynch with the Finance Committee members who will make a recommendation to Council on this selection.
Constitution and By-Laws Change Ballot: Council members were asked to look at the link that they were provided. This Constitutional change issue will be the first electronic ballot. Council members were requested to please not vote on this ballot as that precludes any future changes.
Committee List: Council members were encouraged to review the list of Committee members. Ed Carney provided input on the Web Site Committee.
Interim Meeting Date: Some Council members cannot attend an Interim meeting held on Nov. 10 and 11 and other Council members cannot attend if the meeting is held on Nov. 17 and 18. It appears that Nov. 11-12 will work for most Council members. The meeting will be held in Louisville, KY all day on Nov. 11 and the morning of Nov. 12.
7. New Business:
Editor Search: The individual selected to be the next editor of BDRA is still negotiating the setup of the editorial office with Wiley-Liss. There is some confusion as to whether the work of the search committee is finished, since they have identified a candidate or if they are to remain involved until all negotiations are final. It was suggested that the Publications Committee might now step in and help during this transition period. M. Hurtt will contact the Wiley representative and the selected editor to determine how the Publications Committee can help this transition go smoothly.
There was no other business, and the meeting was adjourned at 10:24 AM (EDT).