HomeVolume Spring 2005
Message from the Secretary

Sunny K. Boyd

Our most important matter of business with this, the Spring Newsletter, is the elections. Biographies for candidates for society-wide and division offices are included in this newsletter. Please support the society by participating in the election process.

A draft of the minutes from the 2005 business meeting in San Diego has been posted (see below). Please read the minutes and write me (boyd.1@nd.edu) if you have corrections, additions, or other comments. We will vote on acceptance of the minutes at the 2006 business meeting.

The secretaries have been working hard to improve the usefulness of the SICB division webpages. Please view your division's pages and send your division secretary any ideas for further improvements. We would like to keep these pages vital, interesting and ever-changing. Thus, division secretaries are always happy to receive new material (eg, photos, video clips, news of breaking research stories) for incorporation on the webpages. With this newsletter, I would also like to draw your attention to a new feature: division bulletin boards (http://sicb.org/phpBB2/index.php) . We hope that this mechanism will increase the involvement of members in division business throughout the year. Please have a look at the bulletin board discussion items currently posted and feel free to comment. Contact me or your division secretary if you have an idea for a new forum specific to your division. We can help you create it.

Finally, I urge you to educate yourself about an important new direction in scientific publication. On February 3, 2005, the National Institutes of Health issued its new policy on "open access" to publications resulting from NIH funded research. You can view this policy at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-022.html . Even if your own research is not funded by NIH, it is likely this policy will impact your program. This policy may eventually be followed by other granting agencies, it may significantly change how the publishing industry does business, and it may jeopardize the health of societies (such as SICB) which depend on journal revenue.


SICB Business Meeting Minutes

January 7th, 2005

The meeting was opened at 17:15 by President John Wingfield.


Secretary Boyd commented that we need to approve the minutes from the 2004 meeting. The minutes were approved by a majority of members present. Boyd added that the bylaws for the Society are in good shape but the bylaws for divisions need some attention. The plan is to have an online bulletin board by February. This bulletin board can be used by divisions to discuss possible bylaws changes, before future voting on those changes.


Program Officer Loudon announced that the numbers for the 2005 meeting are 1459 registrants as opposed to 1529 in 2004 (which was a record for recent years). Loudon thanked the judges, session chairs, and members of the program committee. It was noted that attendance over about 1,200 is considered a large meeting.


Treasurer Dimock commented that our assets as of the last fiscal year audit were on the order of $1.5 million, but we have some upcoming challenges to consider. SICB is in much better financial shape than 10 years ago. Among some of the problems, however, are revenues from the journal, as these continually decline. Investments are going well but our return is unrealized. Student Support costs continue to increase. There has been a change in attitude from NSF for funding some symposia, which may have a negative impact. Dimock continued by explaining that student support costs SICB $46,800 this year. It would have been higher, except Sue Burk negotiated a good rate for this meeting. Investments have gained 19% over the past few years (during the same period the S&P was up only 5%). Hopefully, this trend will continue.


President Wingfield commented that the Society has done well overall. However, finances change and we are facing a shortfall this year. In the future, lunches might not be so elaborate. Also, we have reduced dues over the last 10 years, but we may have to increase dues again. We will try to protect student rates. It is possible that we will increase registration for full members and will also add a line for donations to Student Support onto the membership renewal. He continued by explaining that revenue from the journal is declining due to loss of print-based institutional subscriptions.


The 2006 annual national meeting will be held in Orlando, FL. The 2007 meeting venue is not finalized but Tucson and Phoenix are on the short list. The 2008 meeting will be in San Antonio.


Thanks to the Executive Committee, BAI & Staff (drop by registration desk and thank the BAI staff). Thanks to Ruedi, Bill Kier, Billie Swalla, Rich Satterlie, Mike Dickinson, Miriam Ashley-Ross, Stacia Sower, Sally Woodin, Frank Fish, Robin Cooper, Mary Alice Coffroth and Marvalee Wake.

VII. Presentation by Cliff Cunningham on NESCENT

VIII. Presentation by Trish Morse on Digital Library

Adjournment 18:05