Minutes of the Canadian Association of Palynologists
Annual General Meeting, 1995
Thursday, October 12, 1995, 6.00 pm
Palladian Room, Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Canada
G. M. MacDonald (CAP President), T. Anderson, A. B. Beaudoin (Newsletter Editor, Recording Secretary), I. D. Campbell, M. Garneau, M. J. Head (CAP Secretary-Treasurer), J. Jansonius, D. M. Jarzen (CAP Councillor to IFPS), S. A. Jarzen, J. H. McAndrews, F. McCarthy, C. Peñalba, P. J. H. Richard, J. Szeicz, Z. Yu.
The President called the meeting to order at 6.10 pm, welcoming those in attendance. Martin Head distributed the meeting agenda and ancillary documents to those present.
3. Minutes of 1994 Annual General Meeting
The last AGM was held at the GAC Meeting at the University of Waterloo, May 17 1994, but did not have a quorum. In fact, only one person, the President, Elliott Burden, showed up for the meeting. Hence there are no formal minutes from the 1994 Annual General Meeting. It was agreed to accept the various reports presented in the CAP Newsletter 17(2): 4-7 (1994) as a statement of the Association’s business in lieu of minutes.
4. President’s Report
After introducing the Executive, Glen MacDonald, CAP President, opened his report by noting that this was an important AGM for CAP. Palynology is under attack from funding cuts and we can help the discipline to survive by a strong Association. He noted that there has been a continual worrying decline in membership over the last few years and pointed out that we can all help ensure the survival of the Association by encouraging new members, especially graduate students. He reported on an initiative that he had taken over the last year – sending out a “recruiting” letter and sample CAP Newsletter to a number of prominent Canadian and other palynologists who have not hitherto been members. As part of our examination of membership, the meeting would have to consider the dues structure.
The President also indicated that this meeting marks important changes in the Executive of CAP. Owing to his move to California, he was tendering his early resignation from the CAP Presidency and so there would be an early change to a new President and President-Elect. David Jarzen has been CAP’s representative to IFPS and his term is also coming to an end.
The President pointed out several factors that indicate a strong and healthy Association. He indicated that the Newsletter is still excellent. Martin Head continues to be a very effective Secretary-Treasurer. The CAP WWW page is another new initiative and is a good resource for palynologists, especially the links to numerous other sites.
The President considered that the great success of the CAP-sponsored AASP Meeting was another tribute to the Association and its members. He singled out the outstanding Quaternary Palynology Session organized by Pierre Richard for special mention.
In conclusion, the President indicated that CAP is certainly going in the right direction and has a solid foundation on which to build. The President thanked the Executive and Members for their support and stated that he still intended to continue participation in the Association and will attempt to encourage some US colleagues to join.
5. Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
Martin Head distributed the financial statement to the meeting. (This report is included on p. 8). Martin Head pointed out that on October 2, 1995, CAP had a balance of $706 in the black. This included a subtraction for prepaid membership dues and for printing the Special Issue of the CAP Newsletter for the AASP meeting. Martin Head stated that the present balance was healthy.
6. Membership Report
The membership report was distributed to those present. (This report is included on below). Martin Head briefly reviewed the membership structure to the meeting, pointing out the difference between full members (those who are Canadians or non-Canadians working in Canada) and corresponding members (those outside Canada who have an interest in Canadian palynology but are not Canadians). Martin Head noted that the membership for 1995 stood at 59; this was expected to increase into 1996 with payment of back dues. He highlighted a trend towards declining membership which began in 1992. He remarked that encouraging new members to join CAP will be important for the long-term survival of the organization. In 1995, CAP has had several new members join (see list in Dues Due section, p. 4).
This report generated considerable discussion. Some present asked if they were in arrears; Martin Head undertook to check and report back to those enquiring. Pierre Richard pointed out that reminding those who are in arrears may be important to keeping members. This was acknowledged to be important. Martin Head raised the issue of payment by credit card, which several members had asked him about prior to the meeting. It was mentioned that AASP members now have the option to pay this way. It makes payment especially easy for overseas members who may not have ready access to foreign money orders or who may have to pay a substantial premium (in some cases, close to the value of the dues) to have a money order issued in Canadian funds. It was felt that this option might help to sustain membership. It was unclear what the charges to CAP involved in instituting this service might be, although several people noted that the charges might make it impractical. Jan Jansonius indicated that the charges to AASP are high and that there has to be a large amount of money involved before the service would be financially justified. Martin Head undertook to look into this, by enquiring of David Pocknall (AASP Secretary-Treasurer) and report back to the membership through the CAP Newsletter.
7. Dues Structure
The discussion then moved into a review of the dues structure. Martin Head reported on some of the factors that should be considered: dues are now payable up to three years in advance, money orders for overseas members are expensive, and production and postage costs for the Newsletter are increasing.
Alwynne Beaudoin distributed to the meeting a detailed breakdown of the production and mailing costs for the Newsletter and made some comments on these figures. For the benefit of those not at the meeting, these are summarized below:
A typical Newsletter (May 1995) weighs 89 g (32 pages + envelope). Mailing charges are as follows: 90¢ within Canada, $1.17 to US, $2.25 overseas. Mailing charges substantially increase if the item weighs more than 100 g ($1.45 in Canada, $2.23 to US, $5.05 overseas). To stay under the 100 g limit, the Newsletter cannot exceed 34 pages. Total mailing charges vary, depending on the mix of domestic/US/overseas members, but are usually around $130/issue.
Sample production costs: Printing only, 30 pages/100 copies is about $89 + GST. This is a corporate rate and is a good price. Each photograph costs up to $21.39 to include; this cost comprises production of black-and-white print from a colour slide ($5.87) and production of a half-tone PMT ($15.52).
Alwynne Beaudoin pointed out that the major component of the membership dues go towards production of the Newsletter. Mailing charges have increased recently and may go up again soon. The figures above show that one year’s dues barely cover the Newsletter costs for an overseas member, especially when IFPS dues are also factored in. She also pointed out that the actual production costs for the Newsletter can be lower then those given above (e.g., including two photos on a PMT) and that many of the costs are simply absorbed by the Editor and never appear on the balance sheet. She noted that the actual costs, which include postal charges, depend on the relative proportions of domestic/US/overseas members and that there has been a trend for the non-domestic component of membership to increase in recent years. Finally, although CAP’s balance sheet may be in a healthy state at present, if costs per member continue to increase, this situation will not last for long. To be pro-active, she suggested increasing the dues now, and suggested $15/year as a reasonable rate.
This generated much discussion. David Jarzen pointed out that the last dues increase was in 1992 and this was when membership began to decline – perhaps these facts are linked? Susan Jarzen wondered if the Newsletter could be distributed by e-mail to save on postage. Alwynne Beaudoin explained why this is not practical at present (i.e., a text-only version of the Newsletter could be distributed, but it would not have the appearance of the present Newsletter, all the formatting and graphics would be lost. The formatting and layout in particular are printer-specific). She also pointed out that CAP cannot take advantage of bulk mailing rates or any other special postal rates because the numbers we are mailing out are too small.
Francine McCarthy wondered if it might be practical to institute a differential fee for US or overseas members. This suggestion was discussed extensively. Martin Head felt that it would be complicated to administer. Ian Campbell also felt that raising dues for overseas members was not a good idea and might discourage participants.
Other suggestions were raised for decreasing the postal charges. Jan Jansonius suggested reducing the size of the Newsletter or dispensing with an envelope. Alwynne Beaudoin pointed out that mailing charges are constant for items weighing 30 – 100 g, i.e., to get cheaper postal rates we would have to decrease the Newsletter so that it weighed less than 30 g or about 8 – 10 pages (4 sheets of paper). It was felt that reductions on this scale were not warranted, especially as the Newsletter is the main benefit of membership. Jan Jansonius further suggested that US-bound Newsletters could be sent to the US and mailed from there to take advantage of cheaper rates, similarly overseas-bound Newsletters could be shipped to a correspondent in Europe for mailing. Martin Head felt that this would create confusion and might not save much because the bulk package would still require shipping.
Alwynne Beaudoin pointed out that we have traditionally carried members in arrears for at least a year (recently reduced from two years) and that this resulted in substantial costs. Martin Head noted that many members in arrears do pay up eventually, and often pay for several years at once. However, in present circumstances, it was felt that this policy was no longer practicable. Jan Jansonius suggested that members should not be carried for a full year. After further discussion, Glen MacDonald proposed that the grace period should be decreased to one issue (i.e., May issue of the year in which dues are in arrears). Seconded by Alwynne Beaudoin. This was carried unanimously. It was suggested that those in arrears should receive a reminder letter in lieu of the December Newsletter issue. [Editor’s note: This policy has been instituted with this issue].
Jock McAndrews enquired what proportion of the membership was from overseas and how a $15 annual dues figure was arrived at. Alwynne Beaudoin acknowledged that the figure was proposed as a reasonable figure and was not based on any detailed computation of future costs. Pierre Richard noted the importance of encouraging more domestic members. Jan Jansonius indicated that he felt that at $15/year, CAP membership might not look like such a good deal and would be of marginal value compared to the AASP dues ($30 USD/year which includes the AASP Newsletter and Palynology). Martin Head felt that with the present financial situation, we could carry on at the current dues level for another year.
David Jarzen wondered whether some institution might be able to absorb the Newsletter mailing costs. Ian Campbell undertook to explore this option when he takes over as CAP President.
Glen MacDonald then summarized the general consensus of the meeting: that CAP should maintain the present dues structure for another year, that CAP should explore cost-cutting measures, and that CAP should undertake a vigorous membership drive. No formal vote was taken but this proposal was accepted unanimously.
8. Newsletter Editor’s Report
This report was distributed to those present and the salient points are reproduced below. Alwynne Beaudoin reported that the Newsletter was in a healthy state, with many contributors, although she welcomed more input from the membership. She noted the continual support from a number of outstanding contributors, especially David Jarzen and Martin Head, and thanked all contributors for their assistance. She thanked the meeting for their many complimentary remarks about the Newsletter but emphasized that this is mainly due to the high quality of the contributions to the Newsletter.
Alwynne Beaudoin noted the innovation of the CAP WWW page and its general popularity and success. On this topic several points were raised. Martin Head asked if the WWW page could include a list of Canadian palynology theses, because this information is often not readily available, and noted that the statistics button needed updating. Alwynne Beaudoin undertook to correct this and indicated that a list of theses could be included. Pierre Richard noted that his palynology lab was developing a WWW page and asked about including a link to the CAP page within it.
9. Report from CAP Councillor to IFPS
This report was distributed to those present and is reproduced below. David Jarzen (CAP Councillor to IFPS) noted that CAP required a strong presence on the international palynological scene and especially at the upcoming IPC in Houston. He pointed out that he had served two terms as CAP’s representative to IFPS and a replacement is needed. This new IFPS representative would take over at the closing ceremony of the IPC.
10. Selection of new IFPS Councillor
Because CAP currently does not have a nominating committee, Martin Head indicated that he proposed Julian Szeicz as the next representative to IFPS. Glen MacDonald seconded this proposal. Glen expressed his pleasure at this nomination, not only because Julian Szeicz was formerly his student, but because the suggestion had been made independently by other CAP members. He emphasized that Julian Szeicz is an outstanding young palynologist and will be a fine representative for CAP. He summarized Julian Szeicz’s career and status, especially his international experience. There were no other nominations from the meeting and so Julian Szeicz’s nomination was accepted by acclamation.
David Jarzen and Julian Szeicz commented on the situation if the IFPS Councillor cannot attend an international meeting, because of funding constraints or other commitments. Julian Szeicz indicated that he was willing to accept the position, with the proviso that if he cannot attend an international meeting at which an IFPS meeting will occur, then CAP would appoint a proxy to attend on his behalf (this could be another CAP member who would be at the meeting, for example). It was agreed that this was reasonable.
David Jarzen noted that the other main expense of being CAP’s IFPS Councillor is the mailing costs for PALYNOS. Julian Szeicz undertook to explore the possibility of his home department covering these costs. Glen MacDonald suggested that the CAP President could write a letter to Queen’s to encourage help for PALYNOS. The meeting then offered congratulations to Julian.
11. Appointment of new President-Elect
Glen MacDonald noted that the lack of an AGM last year had left CAP in an anomalous situation with respect to the Executive. Ian Campbell had been nominated as President-Elect but no formal vote had been taken at the last AGM. With Glen’s early retirement as President, the President-Elect would normally assume the Presidency automatically. After some discussion of this situation, the meeting confirmed the nomination of Ian Campbell as President-Elect, to take over from Glen MacDonald as President, effective at this AGM.
Martin Head had examined the CAP bylaws with respect to this situation, which was not covered explicitly in the present bylaws. However, the Executive is empowered to appoint someone to replace the President-Elect. Martin Head indicated that Rob Fensome had expressed interest and a willingness to accept the nomination, if asked. Martin Head summarized Rob Fensome’s involvement with CAP, noting his service as CAP Secretary-Treasurer for many years, and that he had drafted the CAP bylaws. His status as a scientist of international stature and repute was emphasized. Among other achievements, a monograph on dinoflagellates, of which he was principal author, had recently received the prestigous Golden Trilobite Award of the Paleontological Society. The CAP Executive enthusiastically endorsed the proposal of Rob Fensome as President-Elect.
In clarification, Glen MacDonald has resigned as CAP President half-way through the 1995-96 term. Ian Campbell has taken over as CAP President for the remainder of the term. Rob Fensome has taken over as President-Elect. These positions will be confirmed at the next AGM (1996) when there will be a call for other nominations for the next term. No formal Nominating Committee was appointed by this meeting.
12. Appointment of Auditor
Geoff Norris has been CAP’s auditor for many years. Martin Head reported that Geoff Norris had agreed to continue in this capacity. Accepted by the meeting.
13. Location of AGM for 1996
Martin Head will contact Doug Nichols to arrange a time and place for the next CAP AGM during the IPC in Houston. A survey of those at the meeting showed that several of the CAP Executive were planning to attend the IPC as were several other members. It was felt that there would be sufficient CAP members there to form a quorum. Martin Head was directed to check the bylaws to see how many attendees are required for a quorum.
14. Other business
Jan Jansonius, as AASP Councillor to IFPS, drew the attention of the meeting to several concerns with respect to arrangements and funding of IPC meetings. He noted that there is at present no requirement for a local IPC committee to provide full accounting to IFPS for the meeting. Hence there is no way to check whether IFPS is receiving full funds from any surpluses generated by the IPCs. Alternatively, there would be no way to verify a loss. This unfortunate situation has led to some unpleasantness in the past. The meeting expressed general surprise and alarm at this situation. David Jarzen emphasized that it is important for the CAP Councillor to IFPS to have an opinion on this matter. He noted that the IFPS bylaws need amending to ensure proper accounting. This cannot take place until the next Plenary session (i.e., 4 years from now). David Jarzen provided the meeting with further background on this situation, drawn from his experience with IFPS. David Jarzen will ensure that it is placed on record at the next IFPS meeting that the books from IPCs should be submitted to IFPS for record and verification. David Jarzen informed the meeting that copies of the IFPS bylaws are available from Owen Davis.
David Jarzen suggested that the new CAP Executive should check into CAP’s bylaws to see if they need some refinement about election of officers, to ensure that the present situation does not arise again.
15. Closing of meeting
Glen MacDonald then thanked everyone for attending the CAP AGM. He proposed a vote of thanks to the continuing members of the CAP Executive, David Jarzen, Martin Head, and Alwynne Beaudoin. He then proposed a vote of thanks to the new members of the CAP Executive, Ian Campbell and Julian Szeicz. Glen MacDonald indicated that he felt he was leaving the Presidency in good hands. General applause. The symbolic gavel was passed on. Ian Campbell thanked the meeting for their confidence. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 7.36 pm, followed by a group photograph, taken by Susan Jarzen.
Newsletter Editor’s Report
The CAP Newsletter has again had a very successful year, with two substantial issues in December 1994 and May 1995. The CAP Newsletter Special Issue produced for this AASP Meeting is especially noteworthy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the contributors to these issues and encourage all CAP members and palynologists to consider contributing to future Newsletters.In my opinion, one major factor in obtaining material for the Newsletter has been the reminders that I have sent out to all CAP members with e-mail addresses just prior to the Newsletter deadlines. I have set up an e-mail mailing list which allows me to reach a large number of people very easily and quickly.
Production costs for the Newsletter have increased substantially over the last year and mailing costs have increased again recently. I will be providing the meeting with a summary of the Newsletter costs for their review. If members want the Newsletter maintained in its present format and style, these figures carry several implications. I believe the policy of carrying CAP members who do not pay their dues for two years can no longer be sustained. In addition, these figures suggest that it is time to debate a dues increase.
As a spin-off from the Newsletter, I have established a World Wide Web page for CAP. This has also been a successful venture, judging from the feedback I have received. The Web page allows more informal and flexible ways of communicating information than the Newsletter because it can be updated and changed easily. I see this as an adjunct to, not a substitute for, the Newsletter. I welcome comments and suggestion on this presentation.
Unless these are objections, I am willing to continue serving as CAP Newsletter Editor and maintain the Web page for another year.
Alwynne B. Beaudoin
CAP Newsletter Editor
On October 2, 1995, CAP had a total of 59 members in good standing, comprising 43 full members, 14 correspondents, and 2 institutional members (see Chart and Table). The chart shows a decline in total membership that has continued since 1992 with the loss of 35 members. I believe this downward trend reflects the shrinkage of industry and academic job markets on both sides of the Atlantic; not the benefits of CAP membership which remain very attractive through low subscription rates and two excellent issues of the CAP Newsletter each year.Respectfully submitted by:
Martin J. Head, CAP Secretary/Treasurer, Toronto, Ontario
|Paid up to 1993 (inclusive):||Full members 52
Institutional Members 5
|TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 79|
|Paid up to 1994 (inclusive):||Full members 51
Institutional Members 5
|TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 70|
|Paid up to 1995 (inclusive):||Full members 43
Institutional Members 2
|TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 59|
|Prepaid to 1996 (inclusive):||Full members 21
Institutional Members 1
|TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 29|
|Prepaid to 1997-98 (inclusive):||Full members 9
Institutional Members 0
|TOTAL MEMBERSHIP 16|
IFPS Councillor’s Report
IFPS activities for 1995 have been somewhat slow. As Councillor, I have not received requests from the IFPS Executive for information or other matters for some time. PALYNOS continues to be posted to CAP membership with two issues per year. Volume 18(1) June 1995 was posted to 58 paid members of CAP.
Owen Davis, IFPS Secretary/Treasurer, has requested updated information from the palynological community to be included in the second edition of the “World Directory of Palynologists”. The Directory will be distributed at the 9th IPC in Houston, June 1996. CAP members who have not updated their address and/or specialty for the directory are urged to contact Owen Davis (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, U.S.A., Tel: (602) 621-7953, FAX: (602) 621-2672, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Of major concern to the CAP Executive is the need to consider the election or appointment of a Councillor to commence a four-year term beginning at the closing ceremony at the 9th IPC. In August, I wrote to CAP President, Glen MacDonald, outlining the need to elect/appoint a new Councillor.
Preparations are now well underway for the 9th IPC to be held in Houston, Texas, in June of next year. The second circular, detailing hotel accommodations, proposed symposia and special theme meetings, as well as the numerous and exciting field trips, has been distributed and is available on the Internet World Wide Web. For those CAP members who have access to the Internet, the 9th IPC information can be viewed at: http://www.geology.utoronto.ca/AASP
Access is case sensitive, and although any web browser can be used NetscapeTM provides the most elegant rendering of the layout. This access is the result of the time and handiwork of our own Martin Head. Martin has provided a beautiful job of making the IPC information available to a mass worldwide audience. His efforts are here acknowledged with much appreciation.
Sometime near the end of December 1995, I will receive forms requesting names for nomination of the next President of IFPS. The current IFPS President’s term will expire at the close of the 9th IPC. CAP members wishing to suggest names of persons who will agree to serve as President, and who they feel would be appropriate for the position, should do so before the beginning of December. The next President will need to direct the IFPS and its member societies into the next century.
CAP Councillor to the IFPS
This summary originally appeared in CAP Newsletter 18(3):4-14, 1995. It has been slightly edited for clarity.