Minutes of the Meeting of the Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society

22 July 1998

Québec City, Canada

In Attendance.


David Andersen (Vice President - Finance), Yaman Barlas (President), Alexander L. Pugh, III (President Elect), Michael J. Radzicki (Secretary), George P. Richardson (Past President)

Policy Council:

Carmine Bianchi, David Ford, Jay W. Forrester (Founding President), Frank Maier, Magne Myrtveit, Showing Young


Nathan Forrester, Usman Ghani, John D. W. Morecroft, Julie Pugh, Khalid Saeed, Roberta L. Spencer (Executive Director), John D. Sterman, Diane Taylor, Quifan Wang

1. Call to Order.

The meeting was called to order at 12:51 PM by President Barlas.

2. Action Items.


1999 Budget. The Council voted to untable the motion, tabled at the last Policy Council meeting, that the Policy Council approve the 1999 budget as presented in the Report of the Vice President - Finance.

The discussion centered on two issues. The first was the likely revenues the Society would earn from the 1999 conference in New Zealand. John Sterman noted that the attendance at, and revenues from, system dynamics conferences held in Asia is always significantly smaller than the attendance at, and revenues from, system dynamics conferences held in western Europe or North America. Jay Forrester suggested raising the conference fee to boost the conference revenues to the Society.

The second issue discussed was the mechanism for providing the Society's professional staff with merit raises. David Andersen noted that SUNY Albany can give COLAs but not merit raises because the Society's professional staff is externally funded. As a consequence, any merit raises would have to come as a bonus, decided by the Administrative Committee and approved by the Policy Council.

At this point Jack Pugh called the question. The motion was voted on and passed.


Revising the Requirements for Hosting the System Dynamics Conference Document. Yaman Barlas moved and Mike Radzicki seconded a motion that the Administrative Committee revise the "Requirements for Hosting the System Dynamics Conference" document so that it is integrated with the new "Memorandum of Understanding Between the Society and the Organizers of the System Dynamics Conference" document. The revised document should be sent to Mike Radzicki and placed on the Policy Council web site. The motion passed with no debate.


Increasing the Society's Dues. Mike Radzicki moved and Dave Ford seconded a motion to increase the Society's dues for regular members from US$80 to US$90 and for reduced price members from US$40 to US$45.

Radzicki noted that this motion was based on a suggestion from Diane Taylor of John Wiley and Sons, Inc., who raised it during a discussion about page extent at an editor's meeting of the System Dynamics Review.

The sentiment of the Council was that a good case for raising the Society's dues at this time was not apparent. A dues increase might be tied to, say, an increase in the Review's page count, but before this happens Graham Winch would have to consulted and further, increasing the page count might not be a good idea until the quality of submissions to the Review improves.

Davide Andersen argued that, as the Society's membership increases (as it currently is), the Society should receive a larger percentage of member dues from John Wiley and/or Society dues should fall, because unit costs are falling.

The motion did not pass.


Approval of the 2000 Slate of Candidates. George Richardson moved and Jack Pugh seconded a motion that the Policy Council approve the following slate of candidates: Ali Mashayekhi (Iran): President Elect, Eric Wolstenholme (UK):Vice President - Publications, John Barton (Australia): Policy Council, John Heinbokel (US): Policy Council, Celine Bak (Spain, A. T. Kearney): Policy Council, and Jonathon Coyle (UK): Policy Council.

Richardson pointed out that the slate of candidates contains representatives from the areas of system dynamics consulting, system dynamics in academia, and K-12 system dynamics education. The candidates are also geographically diverse. The motion passed.


Recommendations on How to Grow the Society. John Sterman moved and Jack Pugh seconded a motion that the Administrative Committee arrive at the winter Policy Council meeting with a recommendation on how the Society should spend its surplus revenue to grow its membership.

A short discussion followed the motion. The principal point made during the discussion was that the Administrative Committee should solicit input from Society members during its formulation of recommendations to the Policy Council. The motion passed.

2. Discussion Items.


Date, Time and Place of the Winter Policy Council Meeting. Roberta Spencer announced that the winter meeting of the Policy Council would be held during the second week of February 1999 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The day and time will be announced via e-mail.


Conducting Policy Council Meetings by E-mail. George Richardson suggested that he be authorized to ask the general membership of the Society for permission for the Policy Council to conduct its business, including voting, via e-mail, during the Society's next General Business meeting. The sentiment of the Council was that this was a good idea.

3. Adjournment.

Yaman Barlas moved and David Ford seconded a motion that: "the meeting be adjourned." The motion passed. The meeting was adjourned at by Yaman Barlas at 1:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted.

Michael J. Radzicki