System Dynamics Society
Minutes of the Policy Council Meeting Summer 2010
Seoul, Korea
July 25, 2010

AttendanceRogelio Olivia, President; Erling, Moxnes, Past President; Brad Morrison, Secretary; , Bob Eberlein, Vice President - Electronic Presence; David Andersen, Vice President - Finance; Andreas Grossler, Vice President - Meetings;  Etienne Rouwette, Vice President - Member Services; George Richardson,  Vice President - Publications; Brian Dangerfield, System Dynamics Review Executive Editor;  Roberta Spencer, Executive Director; Policy Council Members Laura Black. Birgit Kopainsky. Martin Schaffernicht, and Enzo Bivona; and guest Khalid Saeed

  1. Welcome and Introductions
    President Rogelio Oliva called the meeting to order at 1:50 pm.  He noted that President Elect David Lane sends his regrets. He extended a welcome to the new members and officers for 2010: President Elect - David Lane; Policy Council Members: Laura Black, Ignacio Martínez-Moyano, Martin Schaffernicht, and Kim Warren; and Officers serving partial terms: Vice President Member Services Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette, Vice President Publications George P. Richardson.

    Rogelio thanked continuing members Vice President – Meetings Andreas Größler; and Vice President–at–Large Joel Rahn.  He also thanked the outgoing members and officers for their service:  Krystyna Stave, Deborah Lines Andersen, Renan Jia, Özge Pala, Warren Tignor, Khaled Wahba and announced the appointment of a new AVP Finance: Ik Jae Chung.
  1. Approval of Minutes of Winter 2010 Meeting: Bob Eberlein moved (Laura Black seconded) to approve the minutes. Motion passed.
  1. Review the electronic votes since the 2010 Winter PC Meeting included:
    1. Accept the India Chapter Proposal by Rogelio Oliva (Martin Schaffernicht) Y:23/N:0/A:0/NV:2
    2. Motion to Correct 2009 Summer PC Meeting Minutes (Birgit Kopainsky (8/2009 – 7/2012) by J. Bradley Morrison (Rogelio Oliva)Y:21/N:0/A:0/NV:4
    3. Appointment of Edward Anderson to Nominating Committee  to replace Deborah Campbell (Edward Anderson 8/2010 – 7/2013) by Rogelio Oliva (Etiënne Rouwette) Y:18/N:0/A:0/NV:7
    4. Replace VP Publication Position (George Richardson to replace Deborah Lines Andersen until the end of the term which ends December 31, 2011) by Rogelio Oliva (Ignacio Martínez-Moyano) Y:18/N:0/A:0/NV:7
  1. Vice Presidential Reports
    1. At Large:  Joel Rahn ---- No report
    2. Chapter Activities:  (Reported by AVP Martin Schaffernicht for Tim Haslett)  Martin reported that it has been hard to make contact with Tim.   Tim had reports from 4 chapters, but we have not received the VP report..  Roberta will ask Tim to submit report for review at the winter pc meeting.
    3. E-Presence:  (Bob Eberlein)  Bob has continued to provide support for the forum.  The wiki appears to be dead, with no signs of activity.  There is also some work underway on the content management system.  We are missing a webmaster, and Bob will announce the need for a webmaster at the general  business meeting
    4. Finance:  (David Andersen and AVP Ik Jae Chung)  The Society experience strong financial performance in 2009, better than 2008 when assets collapsed and we had poor financial performance of conference.  We have been reporting on an accrual basis for the last 2 years, so we have to make dynamic adjustments at end of year.  The major budget issue coming up is the new Wiley contract.  The proposed budget assumes that the new contract with Wiley Blackwell will be in place.  David estimates that the new contract with Wiley Blackwell will amount to an increase in about $250,000 over the term of the contract. David noted with thanks the tremendous job done by the negotiating committee and Roberta.

      Counsel has recommended that we get liability insurance. We need to get workers compensation insurance, but not for people who are not compensated.

      David reported on the tiered dues structure for the memberships years of 2008 and 2009:  1) The tiered dues structure generated an estimated $9 -10,000 per year additional revenue, but  2)  the distribution of members has not changed - there has been no increase low income members and  3)  there has actually been a slight decrease overall in membership  David recommended that we stick with new tiered dues structure and also develop some initiatives to recruit low income members.

      Rogelio asked about large increase in cost of contract with SUNY.  One reason is that we had run up a surplus with the university, so we have been trying to run down the excess accumulation. Another reason is that Robin Langer has been transferred from a contract worker to an employee under the contract at Albany. Also, for a number of years, we did not have a graduate assistant.  Brad asked if it is  worth the extra work to see how conference work splits out between years. Roberta thinks it is not that much extra effort to separate out the different conference years. David thinks this is valuable in retrospect, but that he is not able to say anything about conferences prospectively.  Consequently, he now considers simply adding a conference surplus to the amount of central office labor expected to be expended on the conference.  In particular, the budget is not based on projections for conference line items, but instead assumes a $25,000 surplus for each conference.

      Etienne asked if we knew why beer game sales went down.  Without Beer Game sales, the Society would operate at a loss.
    1. Meetings:  Andreas Größler
      • 2010 Conference Report - Korea: (Man Hyung Lee and 2010 Conference Team)  We have more than 300 participants from >40 countries. This is the third Asian conference; the others had less than 200 participants. We have >33 devoted volunteers. The conference has been well organized, although there have been problems finding supporting organizations. We ended up with 8 from state or government organizations, but only 2 from private companies. More than 40 participants are from China, but there are only about 8 or 10 from Japan. Usually about 5 - 10% participants from Asia, but for this conference we have about 40%. About 45% of attendees are first-time attendees. 
      • 2011 Conference Report - Washington: (Umar Imrana and 2011 Conference Team) Umar noted that the home office is doing more than usual. Planning has started. There are a number of volunteers working on organization. The conference organizers met with program committee.
        George Richardson added that there are a number of very interesting professionals in Washington area, and they have lots of ideas about content they would like to see developed. It will be a wonderful group with whom to work.
      • 2012 Conference Report - St. Gallen: (Stefan Groesser) Roberta reported that she and Stefan have been in continuous contact. She will make a trip there in September. Planning is proceeding appropriately.
      • 2013 North America: Roberta Spencer
        Andreas explained that the new policy on default locations says we should have a default site in North America.
        Roberta reported that we have two full proposals from hotels in the Boston area. We also have a proposal from a hotel in Seattle, Washington, but it is quite expensive. We are waiting to see if local host in Seattle may have a better proposal. Any site that is an alternative to our default site would have to be much better. Rogelio thinks we should lock in the process and only deviate from it after we have figured out the routine. There is some concern that we don't know how to compare proposals. David said that convincing evidence is that there will be attendance. Umar points out that we already have significant experience with Boston – so in a sense we do now the baseline - but we really don't understand attendance, so we should collect data. George thinks we need to get a good committee that can really make the comparison. Bob Eberlein is very worried about finding a site in Europe.
      • 2014 and beyond: Roberta Spencer
        Roberta has made contacts with hotel chains we have worked with in USA.  There has been some progress on finding a European default location, but nothing specific. We have a volunteer from Frankfurt if needed
    1. Member Activities:  (Etiënne Rouwette and AVP Agata Sawicka)
      Etienne has taken over the position, and since then has focused on three things:  examining countries with low membership, raising overall awareness of the SD Society, and building a case study repository. The UK Chapter has about six or seven cases listed. Etienne attended the conference of the Operational Research Society.  At the conference, Warwick University organized a session that brought together masters and PhD students and asked them what would make them want to be a member of their society. They would do the same thing for SD Society as well, if asked.

      We  had no reports from the SIGs.
    1. Publications  (George Richardson)  George has just recently taken on this position, so the Publications report was submitted by Deborah Andersen. There is also a report from Brian Dangerfield as Executive Editor, and from Graham as our Wiley representative. The reports are self-explanatory.
      The major issue has been the renewal of the Wiley-Blackwell contract. Negotiations for renewal of the contract have been underway for well over a year. There have been three drafts of contract so far. The negotiating team (Roberta, Brian, and George) went to Wiley in May to talk about second draft. The central office produced a remarkably detailed spreadsheet, and the team provided Wiley with everything we knew based on the data collected. Up until now the journal has been a cost center. We spend about $35,000 net per year on the Journal, but we turn that into a net revenue center. Wiley re-drafted contract. The negotiating team has reviewed it and has shared with the Administrative Committee for their review as well. The Administrative Committee has reviewed the most recent draft. As of now, there are two or three remaining things to discuss with Wiley (e.g., We still need to work out details for nonmember access to articles from back issues). but the negotiating team and the Administrative Committee think it is a good contract. It took some pushing to get things moving, but Wiley has been cooperative since them.

      The committee did a great job, and the home office did a lot of work to find out what we needed to know.  Overall, they have improved the offer by about 35% relative to the original offer of Wiley. and brought back $250,000 more than the initial offer.

      George  Richardson moved (Etienne Rouwette seconded) to authorize the negotiating team (George Richardson, Brian Dangerfield, and Roberta Spencer), with the advice and consent of the Administrative Committee, to complete contract negotiations, finalize the contract and forward it to the President for signature.
      Motion passed.
    1. Report of the Publisher of the System Dynamics Review:  Graham Russel's report is posted.
    1. Editor of the System Dynamics Review ( Brian Dangerfield)  The backlog of accepted papers is still strong at between three and four issues. Authors can count a submission as a published article when it gets a DOI. The special issue on Transportation is in process based on five papers culled from the ten submitted. The impact factor had big jump last year due to 50th Anniversary issue, but this year the impact factor has gone down to 0.73.  Brian forecasts that it will go back up next year, because there will be more papers to include. The trend of citations over the past five years is that it is going up markedly. Our 5 year impact factor is holding steady at 1.4. The Publications committee is being revitalized under George.

    2. Executive Director (Roberta Spencer) The 2009 annual report is posted on the website. Membership has declined for 2 years now, from a high of 1160 in 2007. Peter Hovmand has done a great report on overall membership trends.
  1. Committee Reports
    1. Standing Committees
      • Administrative Committee: Rogelio reported that the Administrative Committee had just met and has reviewed the draft Wiley-Blackwell contract.
      • Awards Committee:  (Khalid Saeed) no report
      • Nominating Committee  (Erling Moxnes)  Four PC members need to be replaced, and the terms will be up for the Secretary, VP finance, and VP Chapters. The Nominating Committee starts working in August and will propose a slate at Winter PC meeting.
        There are a couple of committee member positions that need to be renewed, replaced or reappointed by the President and approved by the PC.
      • Organization and Bylaws Committee (Brad Morrison) The committee is working on updating the documentation of the bylaws and policies to reflect all the changes made by PC over the years. The committee is Brad, Oleg Pavlov, Jack Pugh, and Peter Otto has recently agreed to join 
      • Publications Committee:  George Richardson in process of finding people to serve on committee.  He will work with Brian to update role of committee.
      • Strategy Committee (Erling Moxnes) A document called "Initiatives" is available for anyone interested. It has been difficult to find time to sit down and do work. One issue is quality of papers at the conference. They are working on a proposal for setting standards for papers for conferences – for example all papers must have background, method, results, conclusions. Jim Lyneis has looked at it, and George Richardson has been involved. The way forward is not so clear, but Erling would like to test it out. This template is not being considered as a requirement for journal articles. Rogelio says such a proposal would need to go to SPOC. Bob is concerned about the effect on the submission system. George and Erling will discuss further.
    1. Ad Hoc Committees
      • Conference Site Selection (Andreas Größler) We need to gain momentum for 2013 and 2014 conferences that will be selected under the new default location policy. 
      • Conference Fees (Andreas Größler) The discussion on conference fees has been postponed. There is an interesting proposal from head of strategy committee that will go up on website.
      • Conference Scholarship (Bob Eberlein) We awarded 10 scholarships, providing accommodation to 10 people. Demand is strong, and there is always a waiting list.
      • Diversity (Peter Hovmand and Inge Bleijenbergh) The report has been posted.
      • Society Program Oversight Committee (SPOC) Rogelio appointed next year's program chair, George Richardson, to be the chair of SPOC.
      • Society’s Investment Committee (David Andersen reported in the absence of Jim Lyneis) Committee members are David Andersen, Jim Lyneis, and Jim Thompson. The intent is to revise the way we report our assets so that current operations and financial performance will be reported separately. They will also review our investment practices, such as how we are handling assets and what reserves are maintained.
  1. Motions and Action Items
    We agreed to use electronic voting to put motions up so as to not have to wait until next meetings. David is concerned that there is the possibility of putting up a contentious issue, so some control needs to be exercised. George proposed that if one PC member suggested that an online discussion is inappropriate, the electronic motion would be postponed to a face-to-face meeting.

    David Andersen moved (Erling Moxnes seconded) to accept the budget as presented.  Motion passed.

    The approved Slate of Candidates to take office on January 1, 2011 is:  President-Elect: David Ford, Secretary: Brad Morrison (re-appointment), VP Finance: David Andersen (re-appointment), VP Chapters: Tim Haslett (re-appointment), PC Members: Allyson Beall, Peter Hovmand, Len Malczynski, and Markus Schwaninger.

    David Andersen moved (Birgit Kopainsky seconded) to adopt the following motion:

Motion Regarding Workers’
Compensation Insurance

        WHEREAS, the System Dynamics Society, Inc. (the “Society”) has a contract with the University at Albany (the “University”) regarding the employment of the Society’s staff and use of office space owned by the University; and

        WHEREAS, the Society’s contract with the University requires the Society to maintain an appropriate workers’ compensation insurance policy for the employees of the Society (even though such employees are paid by the University pursuant to said contract); and

        WHEREAS, the New York Worker’s Compensation Law requires that full-time and part-time employees whose work is directed by and who are subject to hiring and firing by the Society and its Policy Council are required to be covered by a workers’ compensation insurance policy acceptable to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board; and

        WHEREAS, the Workers’ Compensation Law allows, but does not require, an employer to exempt volunteer members of a governing or policy board as well as independent contractors from coverage under a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

        AFTER DUE DELIBERATION by the Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society, Inc., at a meeting held by said Council on the 25th day of July, 2010, it is hereby

        RESOLVED, that the Executive Director of the Society shall obtain a workers’ compensation insurance policy acceptable to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board for the benefit of the Society’s staff at the Society’s office on the campus of the University of Albany; and it is further

        RESOLVED, that the Policy Council of the Society elects to exempt the current and future members of the Policy Council of the Society from coverage under such workers’ compensation insurance policy; and it is further

        RESOLVED, that independent contractors, as that term is understood with respect to the United States Internal Revenue Code, the New York Tax Law, and the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, shall not be included within the coverage of the aforementioned workers’ compensation insurance policy unless the relationship between the Society and such independent contractors changes to the extent that such independent contractors cannot be considered an independent contractor; and it is further

        RESOLVED, that the Executive Director of the Society shall collect any information necessary to identify individuals exempt from coverage under a workers’ compensation insurance policy and to complete any required application for a workers’ compensation insurance policy from the members of the Policy Council of the Society, the employees of the Society, and any independent contractors doing business with the Society; and it is further

        RESOLVED, that the Executive Director of the Society shall, from time to time, update and amend as necessary the information provided to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the insurance carrier providing the Society a workers’ compensation insurance policy as members of the Policy Council of the Society are added and/or removed (whether because of the expiration of the member’s term or for some other reason); and it is further

        RESOLVED, that the Executive Director of the Society shall comply with all requirements of the Workers’ Compensation Law and the Workers’ Compensation Board regarding notice to covered employees, notices to the Society’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and any claims that may arise with respect to the workers’ compensation employee policy.

        Motion passed.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:42 pm.

Recorded by Secretary Brad Morrison.