SOCIETY COUNCIL II MEETING
June 27, 1996
meeting was called to order at 1:00 PM MDT. In attendance were Jose
Cordero, Kathy Sulik, Tony Scialli, Elaine Francis, Barbara Hales,
Bob Kavlock, Bill Slikker, Jan Friedman, Carol Lemire (ex officio)
and George Daston. Dr. Cordero presided.
Strategic Planning Committee: Dr. Cordero reported that he
had spoken by phone with Vince Coughlan of March of Dimes (MOD),
who was willing to serve as a facilitator for our strategic planning
effort. Mr. Coughlan will ask Ms. House of MOD to cover his expenses.
Dr. Cordero and Dr. Mirkes will determine when the strategic planning
meeting will take place.
was reported that Dr. Mirkes had decided that initially the strategic
planning group would have only a few members, whose task would be
to more clearly define the goals of the committee. The size of the
committee would increase as the strategic plan develops. The initial
working group will be Drs. Mirkes, Kavlock and Daston. Dr. Francis
stressed that it was important to include participants who are not
Legislative and Funding Issues: Dr. Cordero had been informed
by Allan Lock that the House Appropriations Committee had approved
a $600 million increase for the NIH budget. Jim Hanson related in
a phone conversation with Dr., Cordero that he believed that half
of this increase would be used to rehabilitate the NIH clinical
program, and the rest would be divided among all of the institutes,
leaving only about $6 million for NICHD. It was Dr. Hanson's opinion
that this would be insufficient to make a real impact. Dr. Hanson
indicated that there was movement to request that Duane Alexander,
head of NICHD, develop a multi-institute initiative on birth defects.
Dr. Hanson is interested in holding a conference at NIH to establish
a research agenda on birth defects. The conference would include
external groups, and there may be an invitation extended to the
Teratology Society. Dr. Hanson believed that we should wait for
Dr. Alexander to endorse these ideas before we attempt to influence
Cordero informed the group that the new Legislative Affairs Committee
would consist of Elaine Francis, Gary Kimmel, Jim Hanson and John
DeSesso. Dr. Francis moved that the Society send a letter to all
members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees supporting
the NIH budget increase, and requesting that some should be earmarked
for training and research on birth defects prevention. The motion
passed. Dr. Daston was asked to draft the letter.
Committee Assignments: Dr. Cordero indicated that he desired
to optimize diversity of backgrounds in appointees to the committees.
He also indicated that half of the committee assignments would come
from the list of volunteers gathered by the Societal Participation
Committee. The Council liaisons will be the same as last year, with
Dr. Kavlock picking up the ad hoc Terminology Committee, and Dr.
Hales taking over Dr. Rodier's responsibilities.
was some discussion of the composition of the search committee for
Editor-in-Chief of Teratology. As all three members of the Publications
Committee are from basic research labs in academia, Dr. Cordero
was interested in having other backgrounds represented. It was agreed
that Bern Schwetz would be asked to serve on the search committee.
Contracts for the Office Staff: Ms. Lemire was excused from
the meeting. Dr. Francis reminded Council that we had been informed
three years ago by our accountant that it would be in everyone's
best interest to have contracts with our staff. Ms. Lemire and Ms.
Kagan had presented drafts of contracts at the October 1995 Council
meeting, and that these had been discussed in detail during a March
1996 conference call. Dr. Francis had subsequently talked with the
accountant about the most appropriate form for the contracts. The
accountant expressed the opinion that the contract be a simple one
page document with an attachment of job responsibilities. Dr. Francis
has learned that comparable draft contracts had been presented to
the American College of Toxicology, which has not acted on them.
was considerable discussion about the contracts and about the skills
mix that might best suit the Society, such as professional meeting
planning, legislative tracking and influence, etc. Dr. Scialli moved
that within one month Dr. Daston solicit proposals for the administration
of the Society from several management groups, that these be reviewed
and voted on by Council and that action on the draft contracts with
the office staff be deferred until then. The motion was approved.
Update on Keystone: Council was informed that information
about a possible meeting here in 1999 would not be available until
the following week. It was reiterated that the membership would
be informed via the newsletter about the details of our contract
negotiations with Keystone as soon as they have been concluded.
Lemire rejoined the meeting at this point. She was invited to give
her perspective on the negotiations with Keystone. She stated her
opinion that the negotiations for the 1996 meeting had been difficult,
with little give and take. She believes that Keystone shares the
responsibility for the inaccurate room night estimate, but that
they are being reasonable in negotiating a resolution. She warned
Council that we may still have a problem if the proposal for the
1999 meeting includes the same mix of room selections, which are
heavily weighted towards condomimium units.
Site Selection Committee: Dr. Sulik recommended that this
committee consist of Tony Scialli as Chair, John DeSesso, Barbara
Hales, Carol Lemire (ex officio) and herself. This recommendation
was accepted. The committee was charged with selecting sites for
1999 and 2000. Next year the committee will be charged with selecting
sites for 2001 and 2002; subsequent site selection will be a done
a year at a time. Dr. Cordero also asked the committee to develop
a protocol for site selection. It was decided that only the Executive
Secretary and the Vice President-Elect or his designee would travel
to inspect prospective meeting sites.
Treasurer's Report: Dr. Francis expressed the need for the
Treasurer to be involved in the financial aspects of the meeting
planning process. Dr. Cordero and Ms. Lemire agreed to provide copies
of all financial transactions and to involve her more closely.
Francis reported that the Society's contract with its auditing firm
is ending, and recommended that we renew it. This was moved and
Development Committee: Dr. Cordero reported that this ad
hoc committee has been formed to replace the ad hoc Finance Advisory
Committee, which has been dissolved. It will be chaired by Ron Jensh,
who will have the title of Development Officer. Dr. Cordero acknowledged
the fine efforts of Rich Miller who had led the Finance Advisory
Committee, and noted Dr. Miller's continuing service in other committees.
The roster of the Development Committee will otherwise be the same
as the Finance Advisory Committee, with the addition of Bob Staples.
Dr. Cordero noted that a report had been received from the Finance
Advisory Committee, and that follow-up would be through the Development
New Business: A letter from Lew Holmes proposing 1) that
the Warkany Lecture be used as a national award, and 2) that the
lecturer be selected by a committee, was presented to Council. After
discussion it was decided to leave the Warkany Lecture as it is,
but to establish a separate award for international recognition
of major research contributions to the field of teratology. The
awardee would be selected by committee. The Development Committee
will be charged with securing funds to support the award.
discussed a letter from Carole Kimmel suggesting that we join the
Council of Scientific Society Presidents, for the purpose of adding
our voice on issues of common interest. After discussion it was
decided that Council should look into membership in FASEB as a way
to accomplish the same purpose. Dr. Daston will obtain information
about FASEB membership, and report back to Council.
was reported that the Organization of Teratogen Information Services
will meet jointly with the Teratology Society in 1997. Rich Miller
will organize the OTIS program. Phil Mirkes will work with Dr. Miller
to incorporate the OTIS program into ours. Dr. Miller has requested
that OTIS members have the option of paying a special registration
fee for partial attendance of our meeting, and that 10 of the lower
cost hotel rooms at the Breakers be set aside for OTIS participants.
It was moved and approved that we make these accomodations for OTIS.
Hales suggest that we may be able to increase membership in the
Society through financial incentives. For example, we could apply
the $100 difference between member and non-member rates in meeting
registration to the membership fee if an application for membership
is received within 3 months of the annual meeting. Dr. Daston agreed
to refer this suggestion to the Membership Committee for consideration.
Cordero initiated a discussion on how the Society might communicate
with Congress. He stressed that this should be a topic for the strategic
planning committee. It was also suggested that a Communications
Committee be formed. John Harris, a possible chair for such a commitee,
has been asked to prepare a short summary about what the Teratology
Society does and why we deserve support, for use in outreach. Dr.
Sulik suggested that Dr. Mirkes' Grant Funding Committee report
be used as a starting point for this process. Dr. Friedman reminded
Council that the concept of a Communications Committee was a recommendation
of the Public Affairs Commitee, which would like to make suggestions
about potential members.
Hales reported that the Societal Participation Committee had recommended
that platform sessions be chaired by young people. Dr. Slikker,
liaison to that committee will ask Dr. McCandless for the previous
survey and recommend a second survey to determine why submissions
to the journal have decreased, feedback on the meeting, reasons
for attending or not attending the meeting, and funding status.
Slikker raised the concern that there be more communication between
Council and the membership at-large. It was agreed that the newsletter
was the best venue. Dr. Hales stated the e-mail may be a more versatile
and cost-effective means of communicating, and volunteered to look
into improving e-mail communication within the Society.
meeting was adjourned at 4:40 PM.
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