James Hines (Vice President - Meetings), Alexander L. Pugh (Vice President - Finance), Michael J. Radzicki (Secretary), George P. Richardson (President),
David Andersen, Robert Eberlein, Jay W. Forrester (Founding President)
Bradd Libby, James Lyneis, Nan Lux, Roberta Spencer (Executive Director)
The meeting was called to order at 11:15 AM by President Richardson.
Jack Pugh noted that the Gordon Brown Fund (GBF) was established to support and encourage the writing-up of existing K-12 system dynamics materials so that they can distributed through the Creative Learning Exchange (CLE). The three persons who originally donated the funds did so with the understanding that they would be used, rather than become part of an endowment. Yet, the fund has never spent more than it has earned in interest, and this could jeopardize the Society's status as a nonprofit organization. By moving the Fund to the Creative Learning Exchange, the Society could avoid any potential problems vis-à-vis its nonprofit status and the CLE could, perhaps, do a better job disbursing the funds.
Jay Forrester noted that the CLE is already doing everything it can to disburse the funds and hence that moving the GBF would result in a loss to the Society and no gain to the GBF. He also pointed out that there is some interest in K-12 system dynamics education within the Society and that moving the GBF might send the wrong message vis-à-vis the importance the Society attaches to K-12 education.
George Richardson argued that, in his experience, K-12 teachers are "teachers," not "writers." Thus, what the GBF should do is hire someone to identify the good K-12 system dynamics materials that exist around the world and write them up for the CLE.
Bob Eberlein moved and Jim Hines seconded a motion to: "Table the motion to move the Gordon Brown Fund to the Creative Learning Exchange."
Eberlein argued that, since only a small fraction of the Society's members were in the room but that Pugh's motion involved a large fraction of the Society's funds, the motion be tabled until the next Policy Council meeting. The motion passed 4 to 2.
President Richardson appointed a committee consisting of Jay Forrester, Jim Hines, Nan Lux, Mike Radzicki, Lees Stunts, and himself, to rethink the administration of the GBF and report back to the Council at its next meeting.
David Andersen noted that Kellie Wardman O'Reilly of Pegasus Communications had contacted the Society with an offer to include the beer game in Pegasus' catalogs, as a service to the Society.
Roberta Spencer suggested that Pegasus simply put an ad in their catalogs indicating the game can be purchased from the Society office.
Jay Forrester suggested selling the game to Pegasus at the Society's normal price and letting them mark it up to whatever price they wish.
Jim Hines reminded everyone that the Society originally got into the "business" of selling the beer game as a service to its members. Thus, it's not in the Society's interest to enter into an agreement with Pegasus.
Jay Forrester voiced concern that such an agreement would set a precedent and motivate other firms to seek commercial relationships with the Society.
Jack Pugh noted that, if the Society turns Pegasus' offer down, Pegasus can simply sell the beer game on its own. This may very well hurt Society beer game sales.
Bob Eberlein pointed out that there are two conflicting issues at hand. The first is that the Society is a nonprofit organization and thus should not be "in the business" of selling beer games. The second is that the field of system dynamics benefits if more beer games are sold, and the Society is "in business" to do things that benefit the field.
Bob Eberlein offered this friendly amendment: "The agreement must not set a precedent for commercial relationships with the Society and it must adhere to one of the following formats: (a) the Society simply sells the game to Pegasus; (b) Pegasus advertises the game and the Society handles all aspects of the transactions; or (c) Pegasus makes its own version of the game and sells it." The motion passed 4 to 1.
David Andersen argued that the Society should pay for Julie Pugh's trip to the 1997 conference to thank her for her service as Executive Director through 15 January 1997. The motion passed.
Jack Pugh noted that, since the Society's principal office has moved to Albany, it made sense that the Interim Vice President - Finance live near Albany. The motion passed.
George Richardson felt that the problem is with the Review's Editorial Board and not the conference program committees.
Jay Forrester pointed out that the Review should consider adding more junior people (e.g., new Ph.D.s) to the Editorial Board. Junior people have more motivation to participate actively and enthusiastically on the Editorial Board.
Jim Hines suggested that the Review establish criteria for participation on the Editorial Board. He also wondered if there was still time for Yaman and his colleagues to act on this matter prior to the 1997 conference. Yaman could send the quality abstracts the program committee identified to Graham, and Graham could send them to the Associate Editors for solicitation.
David Andersen suggested making the Associate Editors judges and awarding "best paper" awards in five categories.
Forrester also felt that submitting four page abstracts as "papers" was insufficient and probably the cause of the poor quality of conference papers. Full papers should be submitted to the conference, reviewed, and placed on a Society web site.
Mike Radzicki noted that this issue was extensively discussed during the summer Policy Council meetings and the general principle of virtual proceedings was adopted by the Council.
Bob Eberlein reminded everyone that assembling the proceedings requires significant amounts of time by those who are the best in the field.
Jim Hines argued that there are three issues associated with the virtual proceedings:
|Abstracts versus full papers for acceptance.
|Paper versus virtual papers.
George Richardson suggested there were seven issues associated with the virtual proceedings debate:
|Where will the virtual papers be stored?
|How long should the paper abstracts that are required for acceptance be?
|How selective should the program committees be?
|Should the proceedings be available on CD?
|Should the Society only publish the best 1/3 of the presented papers?
|Many conference participants will not be able to get funding from their schools to attend the conference without a "publication."
|Proceedings are generally understood to consist of working papers and "first tries," and not to consist of a field's best work.
Richardson then suggested that an experiment is needed for the 1998 conference. He appointed a committee consisting of Jim Hines, John Morecroft, Jack Pugh, and Mike Radzicki to look further into the virtual proceedings issue and prepare a proposal for the Policy Council meetings in Istanbul. The committee should focus in particular on paper quality and selectivity issues.
Jay Forrester cautioned that this sort of financial guarantee could give the conference organizer a "blank check." As a consequence, the Society and SUNY must have control over the conference budget. The Society and SUNY should be willing to share the income risk but not the expenditures risk.
Jack Pugh pointed out that for the 1996 conference, corporate sponsors loaned the conference organizers money, which they got back when the conference ran a surplus. In return for their loans, the corporations received free advertising at the conference.
George Richardson appointed a committee consisting of David Andersen, Bob Eberlein, Peter Milling, and Roberta Spencer to look into the issue further and report to the Council at the Istanbul meetings.
Mike Radzicki reminded the Council that it had addressed the issue of the general location of the 1999 conference during the 1996 summer meetings. More specifically, if Bergen is to host the 2000 conference in Europe, and if the principle of holding the conference, on average, every other year in North America is upheld, the 1999 conference must be held in North America.
George Richardson reminded Jim Hines that the Society needs a proposal for the 1999 conference presented in Istanbul.
|Consolidation of Society Policies and Procedures.
|Relationship of the Society Office to Conferences and the Policy Council.
|Society Electronic Presence.
|Interest Groups and Constituencies.
|Ph.D. and Other Annual Awards.
|Linkages to Larger Societies.
|The "Image" of the Society.
|Stronger Links to Chapters.
|The System Dynamics Bibliography.
A general discussion pertaining to these initiatives ensued. Nan Lux volunteered to work on the establishment of K-12 best paper awards.
Jim Hines moved and Bob Eberlein seconded a motion "to adjourn." The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 2:39 PM.
Respectfully submitted.Michael J. Radzicki