The Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Governors and Officers
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Wednesday 21 April 1999
Troy L. Best, Charles C. Carpenter, Jerry R. Choate, Brenda S. Clark, Salvador Contreras- Balderas, Robert C. Dowler, Anthony A. Echelle, Robert J. Edwards, Clark Hubbs, Michael L. Kennedy, Edie Marsh-Mathews, William J. Matthews, Karen McBee, David L. McNeely, Dwight Moore, Robert D. Owen, Bruce G. Stewart, Phillip D. Sudphen, Christopher Taylor, Caryn C.Vaughn, Paula S. Williamson, Earl G. Zimmerman.
President Echelle called the meeting to order at 1350 CST with a quorum of Officers and Governors present.
Committee reports were taken first.
Salvador Contreras-Balderas welcomed the BOG for the Local Committee, and reported that the meeting was organized and well in hand. The BOG thanked Contreras-Balderas and all members of the local committee.
The BOG approved the 1998 BOG minutes and the 1998 Business Meeting minutes as they appear in The Southwestern Naturalist 43(4), December 1998.
Treasurer Williamson reported 1998 income of $44,934 including $32,220 from dues, $270 from contributions and meeting proceeds, $11,444 from page charges, $430 from back issues sales, $371 from royalties and $199 from interest on checking accounts. She reported expenses totaling $57,948 including $708 for returned checks and bank fees; $4,423 for Treasurer's expenses (office help $3,500, office supplies $181, mailing $742); editorial expenses of $6,876 ($5,500 for new editor's start-up costs including purchase of a computer and related items, $775 for salaries, $300 for the index, $601 for mailing); printing (by Allen Press of issues 42(4) through 43(3) of The Southwestern Naturalist) costs of $42,798; Wilks Awards of $250; Student Poster Awards of $150; tax preparation charges of $195; President's contingency fund of $800; ITS storage charges of $360 (back issues); $396 to move back issues from San Marcos to San Angelo (Angelo State University will now store them for no charge), Biographics charge of $288 to prepare awards; $200 to set up a back issues account; and meeting expenses of $504. The checkbook balance at the year's beginning was $24,982, expenses exceeded income by $13,014 and $5,020 was transferred to the Trustees for investment. The checkbook balance ended the year at $6,948.
Due to a question from Trustee Jerry Choate the BOG briefly discussed the budget deficit and President Echelle placed consideration of the dues structure and page charges on the agenda for "New Business" for later in the BOG meeting.
Treasurer Williamson also reported that membership on 1 April 1999 was down from membership in December 1998 (729 total non-institutional members vs. 877), that there were 347 institutional members on 1 April (vs. 369 in December 1998), and that there were 24 new Life, Patron and Regular, 37 new student, 1 new family, 2 new gift and 6 new institutional memberships paid so far for 1999. New members were listed in the Treasurer's Report and were to be submitted for members approval at the Business Meeting. Williamson further reported that the primary interests of members included 328 - mammals, 239 - amphibians and reptiles, 205 - birds, 174 - plants, 150 - invertebrates, and 149 - fishes (editorial comment from the secretary: the fish interest is, however, intense). She pointed out that memberships are typically lower in April than in the previous December, and that members join throughout the year. Williamson presented projected 1999 income and expenses each at $54,300 as approved at the 1998 BOG meeting. Details of the 1999 budget and projected 2000 income and budget were left for "New Business." The BOG thanked Williamson for her report and her work for SWAN.
Jerry Choate reported for the Trustees (Chair Choate, David Schmidly, Terry Yates) that: (1) Since 1998 was a good year in the stock market, SWAN assets increased in value by $39,540.88 to $239,220.08 from 31 December 1997 to 31 December 1998, or 19.8% including $11,120 in contributions; (2) Market performance increased assets by 14.2% (compared to an increase of 16.1% in the Dow Jones Industrial Average). Another 5% in market growth has been experienced in 1999, and the Endowment Fund balance was about $252,884.60 on 5 April. Details of the investment activity of the Trustees and results thereof are contained in the Trustees written report. The BOG thanked Choate and the Trustees for their work and success on behalf of the organization.
The BOG unanimously reappointed Terry Yates to the Board of Trustees.
In the absence of committee chair Beth Leuck, Robert Edwards reported for the Budget Oversight Committee (Leuck, Phyllis Kennedy, Bill Baltosser, Robert Edwards) that the committee had examined the Trustees' records, the Treasurers' records and the current and proposed budgets, and found all aspects of the fiscal operation of the association to be in good order. Roberts also reported that both the Trustees and the Treasurer were very cooperative with the committee.
Karen McBee, who assumed the Managing Editor's duties in mid-May 1998, gave the Managing Editor's Report. She reported that since that time 90 feature manuscripts and 46 note manuscripts have been submitted for review, and that 47 feature manuscripts and 19 note manuscripts have been rejected. At the time of the report, 56 accepted manuscripts were in the Managing Editor's office, and Associate Editors had 126 manuscripts under review.
Editor McBee also reported that Volume 43 of The Southwestern Naturalist contained a total of 79 reports, including 53 feature reports and 26 notes. There were reports on plant ecology, invertebrates, fishes, reptiles and amphibians, birds, and mammals, but none in plant taxonomy. The volume contained 530 pages of scientific reports. Issues 1 and 2 of Volume 44 will contain 19 feature reports and 21 notes, including articles in each of the above mentioned categories except plant taxonomy. Through 44(2) the journal will have published an estimated 144 pages of reports in 1999.
She further reported that Dr. Paul R. Krasuman of The University of Arizona took on the newly approved job of Associate Editor for Conservation and Management in October 1998, and that Associate Editor for Birds Charles Brown, and Associate Editor for Amphibians and Reptiles Stanley Fox have completed their terms. McBee thanked these two for their service. She also announced that Dr. William H. Baltosser of The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has accepted the job of Associate Editor for Birds, and that Dr. Geoffrey C. Carpenter of the New Mexico Natural Heritage Program is now Associate Editor for Amphibians and Reptiles. She further announced that Mark Engstrom, Associate Editor for Mammals will complete his term in December 1999. McBee also reported that while Stanley Fox was in Argentina his editorial chores were handled by Dr. Charles Peterson of Oklahoma State University, that Susana Perea Fox has been acting as Editorial Assistant for Spanish Abstracts, and that Meredith Hamilton has been serving as General Editorial Assistant, and she asked the BOG to thank each of them. The BOG complied, and also thanked Karen McBee and the entire editorial board for the report and their service to the association.
William J. Matthews reported for the Honors Committee (Matthews, Gary Schnell, Alice Echelle, and Gary Heidt) that nominations were received for the W. Frank Blair Eminent Naturalist Award, the Donald W. Tinkle Research Excellence Award, the Robert L. Packard Outstanding Educator Award, and the Service Award, complete with C.V., nomination letters and support letters, and he moved as committee chair that one nomination for each award be approved without identification so that the award could be announced at the Business Meeting as is traditional. The motion was seconded and passed.
Jennifer K. Frey, Chair of the Conservation Committee reported by mail that the committee reviewed The Southwestern Naturalist to select a nominee for the G.M. Sutton Award for Conservation Research for 1998. The committee had chosen, "Regional Priorities for Conservation of Rare Species in Texas", The Southwestern Naturalist 42:400-408, authored by D.D. Diamond, C.D. True, and K. He. The Board had previously approved this nomination by mail ballot, and President Echelle announced that the authors have been notified but are unable to attend the meeting to receive the award, and so would receive it by mail.
President Echelle summarized the written report he received from the Public Relations and Publicity Commttee (Chair Robert S. Sikes, Stan Gehrt, Meredeth J. Hamilton, Derrick W. Sugg, Renn Tumlison and Kathryn Vaughn). The committee publicized the awards given last year by announcements to appropriate media outlets and planned to make similar announcements this year.
Brenda S. Clark reported for the Membership Committee (Clark, Dwight Moore, Joseph Maness, and Earl Zimmerman) that (1) membership fliers provided to non-members attending the 1998 meeting produced 3 new members, (2) a recruitment brochure designed by Dwight Moore has been printed and is available at the registration table at this meeting, and (3) a recruitment letter to be sent to non-member authors beginning with the Volume 44 of the journal has been prepared.
Clark reported also that a major activity of the committee has been to solicit student memberships by awarding 1-year free memberships to persons nominated by current members. The committee awarded 30 such free memberships in 1998, and requested new nominations for 1999. In response to a question, Clark stated that of the 30 students awarded free memberships in 1998, 6 have renewed their memberships for 1999. She also reported that there are 10 available free memberships for Mexican students, and Contreras-Balderas stated that persons will be nominated by the International Relations Committee later. These free memberships were originally due to a gift from Loren G. Hill, and the BOG expressed thanks to Hill for the gift. The BOG approved at the 1998 BOG meeting that we would continue the awards in future years. The BOG thanked Clarke and the committee for its work and for the report.
Troy Best reported for the Student Awards Committee that the committee received 10 complete entries for the Wilks award and that four finalists were scheduled to present papers at the Plenery Session on Thursday. Entries were received from Baja California Sur (1 entry), Distrito Federal (1), Oklahoma (3), and Texas (5). He also reported that the committee received five entries for the Student Poster Award, but that additional entries may be allowed from among posters entered for presentation. Selection will be based on quality of presentation and significance.
In the absence of a report from the Historian Janet Braun, William J. Matthews reported orally that Braun desires to remain as Historian for the association. He reminded the BOG that The University of Oklahoma archives our materials, that Braun is at OU, and he stated that she will get the materials archived, including the complete set of SWANNEWS that Charles Carpenter donated and President Echelle's papers. Echelle reminded BOG members that much business is being transacted by email now, and suggested saving those materials. Michael Kennedy requested that the archives be inventoried, and Matthews responded that an inventory is available at any time from the University of Oklahoma Archives catalog.
Salvador Contreras - Balderas reported for the International Committee. He reminded the BOG that one purpose of the association is to study Latin American natural history, and opined that that should be understood to include study by Latin Americans. He urged participation in the association' s business and activity by Latin Americans, including participation as editors, reviewers, authors, governors, and officers. He further urged the society to publish Spanish language manuscripts in its journal. These comments led to much discussion including contributions from Robert Owen, Michael Kennedy, President Echelle, Dwight Moore, Brenda Clark, Paula Williamson., Edie Marsh - Matthews, Charles Carpenter, and additional comments from Contreras. Moore agreed to put a Spanish language version of the membership application on the web page, President Echelle agreed to get the recruiting brochure translated into Spanish. The BOG generally agreed that more involvement from Latin Americans is desirable, and that the association, especially the BOG should be active in promoting involvement. Keneddy said that suggestions would be forthcoming from the Long Range Planning Committee.
Committee reports being completed, the BOG took up Old Business:
Williamson reported that the back issues of The Southwestern Naturalist are now stored at Angelo State University at no cost to the association, and reminded the BOG that moving costs from San Marcos were shown in the 1998 budget report. The BOG thanked Angelo State and Williamson.
Michael Kennedy provided a report from the Long Range Planning Committee (Chair Kennedy, Troy Best, Jerry Choate, Bryon Clark, Robert Edwards, Dwight Moore, Bill Van Auken, Caryn Vaughn, Anthony A. Echelle). The committee is charged to examine the existing structure and role of SWAN and to provide direction for future growth and development. The committee has reviewed these, including SWAN's mission, state, structure, constitution, awards, annual meetings and programs, membership, budget, development, public relations, international relations, and electronics. The committee will carry out further discussion of these matters with recommendations to be made at the 2000 meeting in Denton. Kennedy reported that the committee will be recommending that two Associate Editors for Latin America be added to the editorial board, but he opined that very careful planning is needed before taking this step. Consideration was moved to discussion under "New Business." He then asked Best to report on a Student Research Fund and a method for financing it that the committee has been developing.
Best recommended that the BOG approve sale of 50th Anniversery pins (tie or lapel pins) for $50 each , which would yield $23,500 from sale of 500 pins costing $1,500 at $3 each. Considerable discussion led to a motion, second, and approval to include $1,500 in the 1999 budget to finance the development of the pins to be sold by subscription. The Long Range Planning Committee or an ad hoc 50th Anniversary Committee to be chaired by Bryon Clark would handle the development and sale. Best also requested that other ideas for celebration of the 50th anniversary of SWAN to be given to the Long Range Planning Committee or to Clark.
Though the Long Range Planning Committee's written report recommended a constitutional amendment to create a "Student Research Fund Committee" to set up and oversee a Student Research Fund, and much discussion of the nature and logistics of such a program occurred, no action beyond the pin sales to finance the fund was taken. The general discussion suggested positive disposition by the BOG, and approval of the financing plan suggests positive future action.
Further discussion of Long Range Planning Committee activity included the notions that the committee should include Latin American members and that small institutions including regional universities and colleges should be encouraged to remain active in the association. There was much discussion of the former idea, and Kennedy agreed to seek at least one Latin American member to be appointed to the Long Range Planning Committee by the President.
The BOG thanked Kennedy and the committee for their work and for the report, and President Echelle separately thanked Dwight Moore for his related work on the web page and his offer to include Spanish language in the page. Moore reminded the BOG that he would report on the web page under "New Business."
President Echelle announced that a Development Brochure (gift appeal) has now been developed and appears in the journal, and that the Treasurer can include it in the membership dues notice and send it to life members.
Paula Williamson reported for the Ad Hoc Committee for Botanical Concerns in SWAN ( Bill Van Auken, Williamson) that there has been much renewed interest by botanists in SWAN activities and in publishing in the journal, but that few botanists are included in leadership roles. The board discussed strategies for increasing the visibility and leadership activity of botanists. It was pointed out that only one botanist was in the room (Williamson) and Bill Van Auken was mentioned as a potential leader.
The meeting was recessed for a brief break at 3:40 p.m. and reconvened at 3:50 p.m. The BOG then took up New Business.
Dwight Moore asked for permission to move the web page to a server at Emporia State University from OU. A motion to do so was made, seconded, and passed.
Bill Matthews raised the question of the need for a printed directory. Discussion included the point that the web directory can be made printable and Moore agreed to convert it to a PDF file. Other discussion relative to the web page included the question of on-line registration, membership application and similar things. Earl Zimmerman pointed out that meeting registration is a local committee function, and stated that on-line registration will be available for the 2000 meeting.
Paula Williamson provided a written report on the 1999 and proposed 2000 budgets. Jerry Choate moved approval and Michael Kennedy seconded. Discussion followed.
Williamson answered several questions concerning specific small items in the budget to the BOG satisfaction. Amendments were offered, seconded and passed for the following small adjustments to the 2000 budget proposal:
(1) Deletion of the $500 proposed for maintenance of the web page. Dwight Moore reported that there is no cost for maintenance, (2) Deletion of the $500 proposed for student membership awards. The Membership Committee and Williamson reported that this activity entails no cost.
Discussion of the deficit status of SWAN
budgets followed. Jerry Choate moved and Clark Hubbs seconded submitting a
proposal for dues increases (by $10 annually for individual, sustaining, and
family memberships) for approval by the membership at the Business Meeting. The
motion passed. There was a motion and second to propose a $5 annual dues
increase for student memberships. The motion failed. Choate offered a motion to
propose a $15 dues increase for institutional memberships, William J. Matthews
seconded. A friendly amendment to increase the amount to $25 was accepted. The
motion passed. A question concerning life membership dues was asked, and Paula
Williamson opined that that charge would automatically increase from $500 to
$700 since the life membership category carries dues at 20 times annual dues,
which will now be $35, and that the patron membership dues will now be $1400
since it is 2 times the life membership charge. In summary, the new dues
charges if approved by the membership would become (old charge): Individual
Membership $35 (25), Student Membership $15 ($15) Sustaining Membership $40
($30), Family Membership $43 ($33), Institutional Membership $60 ($35), Life
Membership $700 ($500), and Patron Membership $1400 ($1000).
Choate then offered a motion to move the per page charge to authors for publication in The Southwestern Naturalist from $60 per page to $80 per page or part thereof, while maintaining the present waiver policy for members (who automatically receive 8 free pages per membership year and may request further waivers if they have no funding to pay page charges). The motion was seconded and passed.
The above changes resulted in amendments to these line items in the projected income and budget for the year 2000: Income -- Dues (from $32,000 to $43,500), Page and Reprint Charges ($11,000 to $14,000), Endowment (transfer of funds from (from $12,500 to $000.00)); Budget - addition of the item Transferred for Investment ($3000), Student Membership Awards (from $500 to $000.00), Web Page (from $500 to $000.00).
The BOG then approved the balanced budget proposal with the above amendments of $58,800 Income and $58,800 Expenses.
Earl G. Zimmerman reported on plans for the 2000 meeting in Denton, and he was appointed Chair of the Local Committee for the 2000 meeting. The meeting dates will be 13, 14, and 15 April, which includes Easter weekend. The meeting will utilize the Student Union Building and the newly completed Environmental Science and Technology Building.
The Board re-appointed David L. McNeely Secretary, Karen McBee Managing Editor, and Paula S. Williamson Treasurer through the coming year.
The BOG discussed future meeting sites. (1) The 2000 meeting was approved for Denton at the Little Rock meeting two years ago. (2) Jerry Choate offered a verbal invitation to meet at Fort Hays State University in Hays Kansas in 2001. (3) A proposal by The University of Oklahoma to host the 2003 50th Anniversary Meeting was approved at the Springfield, MO meeting in 1993. (4) The 2002 meeting date is open, and discussion of potential meeting sites included Wichita Falls, locations further west for geographic diversity, and Latin American locations. Considerable discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of meeting locations followed. Robert Owens advocated soliciting a meeting invitation from a Mexican university.
The earlier proposal to create two new Associate Editor positions from Latin America was brought up again. Discussion centered around the subject responsibility of such editors. A board member pointed out that the present editorial board responsibilities are divided by taxa, and there was a suggestion that we might consider a revision of the editorial board structure. The matter was dropped with no action, but the Long Range Planning Committee has it on its agenda for future consideration.
The 1999 BOG meeting adjourned at 1700 CST.
Respectfully Submitted by David L. McNeely, Secretary.
Respectfully submitted by David L. McNeely, Secretary
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