Minutes of the IASPRR Executive Board Meeting

Convened in 151 Max Bell Building, Banff Centre, Banff, Canada

Sunday, April 2, 2000 at 4:30 pm


Present: President Vipen Sawhney, Vice President David Mulcahy, Past President Mauro Cresti, Treasurer André van Lammeren, Secretary-General Scott Russell, Representative Yi-Qin Li

Absent: Representative G. Titova

The meeting was called to order at 4:52 pm MDT by President Vipen Sawhney.

  1. President's remarks
    • President Sawhney noted that there were 155 participants registered at the conference. The organization of a single session was viewed as a priority and six symposia were scheduled on topics of current interest. Invited symposium speakers presented 30-minute talks.
    • Contributed papers were selected from the submitted abstracts and included as 15-minute talks. Unfortunately, there was not room for all of the contributed papers to be presented at the sessions. Two people refused to come based on not being able to present a talk. This should be regarded as a experiment in congress format and should be assessed after the conference. Future conferences are not bound by the format that was selected for this conference.
    • Financial details. Banff Centre requested CDN$7500 in advance, which was beyond the ability of the treasury to support. Banff Centre accepted three payments of CDN$2,500 at intervals. These payments include considerable support from University of Saskatchewan, a loan from IUBS, and a loan from IASPRR (Dfl. 2.161,88; this represents about CDN$1,500).
    • The registration cost of CDN$350 for members was considered to be quite reasonable, as this essentially covers our costs. This is the first time that differential fees were charged for the meeting based on IASPRR membership. This is something to consider for future meetings.

  2. Approval of the minutes from August 17, 1998 in Wageningen
    • The minutes of the Executive Board meeting of August 17, 1998, in Wageningen, Netherlands submitted by Secretary-Treasurer Willemse were considered. Vice President David Mulcahy moved, Scott Russell seconded approval of the minutes. Motion carried.

  3. IASPRR awards to young scientists
    • President Sawhney asked Secretary Russell to serve as the chair of the awards committee for young scientist awards. By consensus, the executive agreed that young scientists be defined as those who are students or have received their Ph.D. degree within the last five years. By consensus, the board agreed to offer 1 young scientist award for best presentation and two awards for best poster. Secretary Russell asked the members of the executive to serve as the award committee. All accepted.
    • The program was reviewed in detail to identify eligible candidates. Eight presentations and numerous posters were tentatively identified for judging. The award committee will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4 just prior to the banquet to consider awardees. No presenters on Wednesday met the eligibility criteria. Time available to view posters is limited.
    • Noting the limited time, two members of the board expressed their interest in participating in a tour, but had been informed that no more spaces were available due to cancellation of an under-subscribed Tuesday afternoon tour. President Sawhney will be checking into offering another tour bus to Lake Louise on Tuesday afternoon as a substitute.

  4. Special award to Prof. Willemse
    • President Sawhney had contacted each of the members of the executive regarding a special award to past Secretary-General Michiel Willemse and obtained unanimous support by email for this award. Secretary Russell had one constructed in Norman, Oklahoma for the occasion. The citation reads "In recognition of lifetime contributions to the International Association of Sexual Plant Reproduction Research, this special award of appreciation is presented this fourth day of April 2000 to Michiel M. T. Willemse, Banff Centre, Banff, Canada."
    • Prof. Mauro Cresti will present the award along with a brief recollection of past meetings in the series, featuring Professor Willemse's role in forming and sustaining the IASPRR and the sexual plant reproduction congresses.

  5. Treasurer's Report
    • Dr. van Lammeren distributed a summary statement of receipts and expenditures for 1998 and 1999. He noted that postage in the future may be reduced by email. The loan to Canadian organizers for fl 2.161,88 was inadvertently repeated on the 1997 and 1998 report and therefore it was deleted from the modified 1998 report. Secretary Russell, who serves as North American regional coordinator, reported that the US treasury is currently at US$798.00. Past President Cresti moved approval of the treasurer's report as amended. Vice President David Mulcahy seconded the motion. Acceptance of the amended Treasurer's Report was approved.

  6. Agenda for General Assembly
    • Past President Cresti suggested adding information about visits to the IASPRR web pages. Secretary and Webmaster Russell agreed to do this, provided access to the Internet is available. There was consensus to accept the agenda as amended.
    • The meeting was moved to a lounge in the Max Bell building to continue the meeting in a more informal setting.

  7. Membership drive
    • President Sawhney noted that there is a need to expand the membership to obtain better support for the activities of the IASPRR. He asked if there was a web site form for membership. Webmaster Russell noted that there are currently three forms, including one that sends an email to the Secretary and the Treasurer, but we cannot accept credit card transactions online since there is no secure site. Discussion of the costs of international banking for currency exchange ensued. In this light, Treasurer van Lammeren noted that Dutch laws do not permit sending cash through the post for membership dues, though he noted that transaction fees are reduced for cash.
    • Prof. Cresti suggested adding a request for dues as part of meeting registration. A number of different membership durations for this line were discussed, from one to five years. Secretary Russell suggested making it two years as this is the interval between meetings. He noted that this would avoid the need of checking the database to confirm membership status when we offer a registration discount to members. There was general agreement that members should have preferential registration fees for congresses and that membership collections from the registration form was a good mechanism for collecting dues.
    • President Sawhney noted that the Bylaws do not currently support a lifetime membership fee. In fact, the bylaws specify that no more than ten years may be paid in advance. Past President Mauro Cresti asked if we should look more generally at the mission of the society to make sure that dues and membership categories are consistent with the mission. Treasurer van Lammeren pointed out that travel grants allow members from eastern European countries. Prof. Cresti pointed out the need to promote research, but also noted that this may be unrealistic given current costs of research. Perhaps modest travel grants are possible, as have been awarded in the past. Treasurer van Lammeren noted that in his opinion the goal has been "equalization" of costs rather than a complete subsidy.
    • President Sawhney suggested an increase in fees for individuals from $10 to $15, for students from $3 to $5 and for corporate members from $25 to $50. According to the bylaws such a request requires a motion and a vote by the General Assembly. Secretary Russell moved, Vice President Mulcahy seconded that dues be increased from $10 to $15 for individuals, from $3 to $5 for students and from $25 to $50 for corporate members. Motion to increase dues approved. This proposal will be presented to the General Assembly.

  8. IASPRR conferences in 2002 and 2004
    • Conference for 2002. At the last congress, Poland was tentatively accepted as the location of the congress for 2002. Questions ensued about the ability of the organizers to provide modern facilities for presentations (especially PowerPoint computer presentations) and suitable accommodations. Professor Bednara had indicated that computer presentation may likely be possible, but did not definitely answer this. Questions were raised about exactly where the meetings will be held. Past President Cresti noted that in the past there has also been a dedication to alternate Western Europe and Eastern Europe. A suggestion was made that a national committee was needed for organizing a major conference like this. Past President Cresti noted the responsibility of IASPRR to provide access for eastern block countries. Despite initial concern there was a unanimous vote to accept the proposal of Professor Josef Bednara to hold the meeting in Lublin, Poland.
    • The meeting moved to the Dining Hall.
    • Conference for 2004. Representative Li presented her proposal that the 2004 meetings be held in Beijing, noting the support of Tsingsua University and Peking University. She assured the executive that all participants could be "invited" for preferential visa treatments and that modern housing facilities could be obtained. There was also discussion of the season for the meeting based on a desire to avoid summer heat and potential health concerns that this could cause, and also with respect to teaching commitments in the spring. With these assurances, Mulcahy moved, Cresti seconded. That the proposal of Representative Li to hold the 2004 meeting in Beijing, China, be accepted was carried unanimously.

  9. Other business
  10. Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Scott Russell, Secretary-General, IASPRR