Minutes of the IASPRR Fourth General Assembly

Auditorium, Max Bell Building, Banff Centre, Banff, Canada

11:00 a.m. Monday, April 3, 2000


Board Members 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

Members Present: 32 other regular members were in attendance


  1. President's Report
  2. President Sawhney called the meeting to order at 11:15 a.m. He asked for permission to add three items to the agenda, including information about the list of participants, naming of a regional coordinator for Australia, and an announcment regarding the special volume of Protoplasma. Darlene Southworth moved, Abed Chaudhury seconded a motion to accept the agenda as modified. Motion carried.

  3. Approval of the Minutes
  4. The minutes of the third general assembly at Wageningen, Netherlands were distributed to the membership in the annual mailing of 1998. There were no additions or corrections to the minutes. Vice President David Mulcahy moved, Joseph Mascarenhas seconded acceptance of the minutes. Motion carried.

  5. Treasurer's Report
  6. Treasurer van Lammeren presented the budget for years 1998 and 1999. There was a balance from the Wageningen meeting, which helped to provide a slight increase in the treasury for 1998. Expenditures nearly equaled income from dues in 1999. The US region has a balance of US$798 at this time. Harry Horner moved, Darlene Southworth seconded acceptance of the treasurer's report. Motion carried.

  7. Membership Drive
    • President Sawhney noted that membership dues have remained unchanged since 1990, when the association was first formed. He noted that the entire organization contains ~510 current members in the secretary's database. Another 17 have joined so far at the conference according to the treasurer.
    • President Sawhney reported that the Executive Board had passed a resolution favoring an increase from the current rates of US$3 for student, US$10 for individuals and US$25 for corporate members be increased to US$5 for student, US$15 for individuals and US$50 for corporate members. He asked for input from the general assembly.
    • Discussion among the members indicated that they did not believe that an increase would be a hardship. An increased treasury could be used to provide additional services to the membership. Secretary Russell noted that the balance in the society’s treasury was inadequate to cover the costs of reserving the Banff Centre. Certainly, a financial goal of the association to have adequate resources to conduct its functions, like holding meetings, is a modest request. Funds had also been borrowed from the IUBS.
    • Michiel Willemse suggested changing the dues to US$10 for students and US$20 for individuals. Harry Horner moved and Clifford Hunter seconded increasing the dues to US$10 for students and US$20 for individuals. Motion to increase student and individual dues passed unanimously.
    • The matter of corporate memberships generated considerable discussion. The major comment in favor of an increase was that corporate dues could be increased considerably given the high cost of corporate memberships in other organizations. The major counter argument was that higher corporate dues might be counted against other forms of corporate support. Some representatives with companies pointed out that corporations expect to receive some direct benefit from membership. As currently structured, IASPRR does not have much to offer outside of their mailing list. Given this rationale, Harry Horner moved and Reid Palmer seconded an elimination of corporate dues. Secretary Russell pointed out that a change of the bylaws would be needed, although suspending the corporate membership might be possible immediately. Abed Chaudhury moved and Mohan Singh seconded increasing corporate dues to US$100 per year. Michiel van Lookeren Champagne asked for clarification regarding whether individual members who were members of corporations would be required to pay the corporate rate. President Sawhney and Treasurer van Lammeren noted that they regard the individual and corporate memberships as being entirely separate, and that anyone with an interest in sexual plant reproduction research could join as an individual member. Prof. Willemse noted that the corporate rate was originally created to save institutions with multiple members some money, since each corporate membership allows five names to be added to the roll. Motion to increase the corporate dues was carried.
    • President Sawhney noted that many organizations have a single-payment lifetime membership. Several members remarked that most young scientists would stand to gain the most from it, but that they would likely have other priorities. In fact, the consensus was that few would join to save money; however, some might join as a matter of convenience and/or in support of the IASPRR. The Executive Board passed a resolution at its last meeting favoring the creation of a lifetime membership based on the payment of US$200. In light of the increase in the general dues, President Sawhney asked for input from the membership on whether this was an appropriate cost for lifetime dues. Secretary Russell reported that a new membership category would require a change in the bylaws and that currently dues could not be paid in excess of 10 years ahead. Joseph suggested using 20 times the yearly membership. He moved that lifetime dues be US$400. Past President Mauro Cresti seconded the motion. Motion carried.

  8. Banff Conference
    • President Sawhney announced that 155 persons had registered at the conference from many countries around the world, including China, Taiwan, Australia, Russia and many others. The scientific program has been well received. Interest in conference tours was sufficient to allow a second filed trip to Lake Louise on Tuesday, which will leave at 1 p.m.
    • President Sawhney announced that there would be four awards made at the conference. General awards would be given to three young scientists, defined as those with less than 5 years past the Ph.D. Two awards will be given for best poster and one will be given for best oral presentation. A special award will also be given to Professor M.T.M. Willemse, who helped to foster this series of meetings that have been held every two years since 1968. He has been centrally involved in the governance of the association since its creation in 1990. He will receive the award at the banquet.

  9. Conferences 2002, 2004
    • President Sawhney announced that the Executive Board had recommended that the 2002 Congress be held in Lublin, Poland, under the direction of Professor Joesef Bednara and Professor Renate Sniezko, who are present at the current congress. A question was asked about availability of mass transit for local transportation. Trains connect Warsaw and Lublin via an approximately two-hour journey. Transit buses are also available from the airport. Darlene Southworth moved, Harry Horner seconded that the General Assembly accept the recommendation of the Executive and that the XVII Congress be held in Lublin, Poland. The dates and exact arrangements will be determined by the local coordinators. Motion carried.
    • President Sawhney announced that the Executive Board had recommended that the 2004 Congress be held in Beijing, China under the direction of Professor Yi-Qin Li. This would be conducted in cooperation with Beijing University and Tsingsua University in Beijing. Joseph Mascarenhas moved, Cliff Hunter seconded that the General Assembly accept the recommendation of the Executive and that the XVIII Congress be held in Beijing, China. The dates and meeting arrangements will be determined by the local coordinators. Motion carried.

  10. Other Business
    • List of Participants: David Cass explained that the Province of Alberta does not permit the free distribution of personal information without the approval of each person. This means that Banff Centre will not be able to provide a list of participants unless all who appear on the list agree. A list of participants was circulated for approval by participants.
    • Regional Coordinator, Australia: Abed Chaudury volunteered to serve. The association accepted his offer without objection.
    • Dr. van Lammeren announced that copies of the papers from the XV International Congress on Sexual Plant Reproduction held in 1998 in Wageningen were published in a special issue of Protoplasma last year. These are on sale by Springer Verlag at a reduced fee for members.

  11. Adjournment. Joseph Mascarenhas moved, Anna Koltonow seconded a motion for adjournment. Meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Scott Russell, Secretary-General, IASPRR