#100: Subject: Nominations for Society Officers and PC Members
Moved that the posted slate of nominees for officer and PC member posts, as recommended by the Nomination Committee, be adopted by PC and put to the Society membership for election.
Proposed by: Winch, Graham
Seconded by: Andersen, David
#102: Subject: Nominations for New VP Posts
Moved that PC confirms that the present VP Members and Chapters should continue in the revised role of VP Chapters until normal retirement date, and that PC appoints the nominees for the new posts of VP Members and VP E-Presence to undertake these roles on an acting basis during 2006.
Proposed by: Winch, Graham
Seconded by: Andersen, David
#103: Subject: Conference Scholarships
Moved that The Society provides a budget of $2000 ($200/person) for ten scholarship recipients to help cover hotel accommodations during the Nijmegen conference, to come out of the Society budget, and the VP Finance, VP Meetings, Chair of the Scholarship Committee and Executive Director investigate subsidizing accommodations with future conference scholarships on a yearly basis, and/or alternatives such as a tiered conference fee structure or lower conference fees for everyone.
Proposed by: Andersen, David
Seconded by: Radzicki, Michael
#104: Subject: Program Guidelines
Moved that we accept the proposed program guidelines with the understanding that they will be merged with the site selection and conference management guidelines to form one "Conference Proposal and Management" Guidelines. Notes on Supporting Material: Please see the discussion on the Policy Council Forum, under VP Meetings, Program Guidelines.
Proposed by: Lyneis, James
Seconded by: Radzicki, Michael
#105: Subject: Revised Conference Site Selection Timetable
Moved that we revise the conference site selection timetable to Option 1 on the PC Forum, VP Meetings, Guideline Revisions and Update. This change advances the conference site and team selection date by about 4-5 months over recent decisions. Notes on Supporting Material: If this proposal is accepted, we will need to hear two sets of conference presentations at the Policy Council meeting this summer (for proposals for 2008 and pre-proposals for 2009).
Proposed by: Lyneis, James
Seconded by: Radzicki, Michael
#106: Subject: Conference Program Revision -- Drop CDs
Moved to amend the conference program guidelines as stated on the Policy Council E-Meeting Forum website. The amendment retains the web proceedings and drops the production and mailing of CDs after the conference. Notes on Supporting Material: A mechanism for producing and mailing CDs at cost to those who need it is planned.
Proposed by: Lyneis, James
Seconded by: Cavana, Robert
#107: Subject: Information Science and Information Systems SIG (iSIG)
Moved that the Information Science and Information Systems Special Interest Group (iSIG) be formally accepted into the System Dynamics Society. Ten people (nine of them Society members) have signed on to the SIG. Vedat Diker, Luis Luna and Oleg Pavlov will serve as the leaders of the group, responsible for reporting to the PC. See the email on the PC Listserv for more details.
Proposed by: Campbell, Deborah
Seconded by: Saysel, Ali
Discussion: Web Repository for Models
Deborah Lines Andersen, VP Publications, posted on 2006-1-24 at 12:44 PM
What are the important parameters in creating a web repository for models? What technical and staffing considerations must the Society consider? How will models be included in the repository? Who will make decisions about model inclusion?
Geoff_McDonnell, posted on 2006-2-6 at 05:58PM
We are grappling with this issue for the Health Policy SIG and hope to extend our current wiki at http://www.hpsig.com.
In particular, we wish to add compelling and engaging animations to our Health System Dynamics Wikipedia using Mediawiki. This may also need to include video clips and digital storytelling. We are currently exploring available extensions and plug-ins for this purpose.
In the short term we have elected to post links to specialised model websites, such as http://www.anysims.com
I believe that the SIGs could usefully maintain model repositories and link them to other subject specific resources.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 08:59PM
Interesting idea. My belief is that the chapters and SIGs are the real future of the Society.
The questions still remain, however, as to who will decide on whether or not a model gets added to a repository and by what criteria does this person(s) decide. Will there be a standardized format? A minimum set of requirements pertaining to documentation, replicability, etc.? Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:35 PM
I am worried about a solution to this issue that will require a large resource investment (say of staff) by the Society. I hope that this discussion keeps a realistic eye on how much staff it can take to mount a new function. I'm talking here about some sort of benefit to effort computation.
ThomasBeck, posted on 2006-2-10 at 04:50 PM
Alex Schmid ([email protected]) has developed a simulation model database (www.savannah-database.com) which he presented at the Oxford Conference.
I do not know, however, whether he has come up with a collecting and maintaining concept as well.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 04:50 PM
David: Perhaps the chapters (and especially SIGs) should be encouraged to host web sites full of well documented and replicable models within their respective domains. This would be of great service to the field, give the chapters and SIGs something important to do (something about which they have expertise), and disaggregate the process (rather than trying to maintain the mother of all model repositories hosted on one server). Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-2-13 at 01:36 PM
I particularly like the idea of distributing the work load for projects such as this. We would have to think about criteria for inclusion--perhaps ask each chapter or SIG to post those criteria--but it would certainly turn a large task into packets of smaller tasks that would be nicely divided along interest lines. This would also help with the issue of migrating to future formats since each entity would be responsible for archiving its own subject matter.
ThomasBeck, posted on 2006-2-13 at 04:43 PM
While I fully understand the concern of the Society in regards to the additional workload for maintaining such a repository, I have my doubts about the decentralized approach:
- the web sites of the Chapters and SIGs are very heterogeneous and they all have different concepts and technologies in place
- Maintaining a model repository is a different task compared to just adding some more text to a web site
- People would have to know quite some URLs in order to get a complete picture of what is out there etc.
My suggestion is to keep all models at one central place (the Society) using the same structure, format and technology but to give the responsibility for the content and quality to the Chapters and SIGs if need be. Regards, Thomas
Geoff_McDonnell, posted on 2006-3-4 at 09:39 AM
It would be great if the SD Society developed an maintained a single repository of models similar to the curated and annotated Biomodels Database in Systems Biology at
This activity also relies on two other related initiatives:
MIRIAM (Minimum Information Requested In the Annotation of biochemical Models) and SBML (Systems Biology Markup Language) Frameworks .
But things take time, and it may be that only domain specific modellers will be able to agree enough and to unite enough to make significant progress in this area of shared model concepts and executable and modifiable components.
While these things are taking time at the SD Society level, I have added a Health Sims Model Library item to the collaborative research agenda listed at the HPSIGwiki at www.hpsig.com
Hopefully others will add to this stone soup in the fullness of time.
Report from Publisher of SD Review - Graham Russel
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-30 at 11:32 AM
Please see the attached report from Graham Russel. The report highlights production, subscriptions and usage, as well as a section specifically looking at marketing issues. There are two additional confidential reports regarding detailed online access that have not been uploaded. If a Policy Council officer or member would like to receive these reports, please email Roberta to send them to you. The attached report is also confidential and not for re-publication.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-1 at 07:19 PM
I would like to thank Graham Russel for his help in creating the cumulative table of contents for all the System Dynamics Reviews. As he mentions in his report, it can be found on the Society website on the Publications page. The list links directly to abstracts on the Interscience site.
Promoting SD in its 50th Year
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-1-24 at 12:49 PM
Discussion: The 2007 System Dynamics conference will celebrate the 50th birthday of system dynamics. How should we, if at all, create and disseminate promotional materials for the 50th birthday? This discussion might include reasons why we should or should not promote ourselves, what form(s) the promotion might take (if at all), and what mechanisms (if any) we would use for this promotion. Discussion to date has been extremely diverse on this subject. This open forum is here to expose all points of view and the rationales behind them.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-1 at 08:23 PM
I'd be interested in hearing some of the key points from your earlier discussions on this.
It seems desireable to promote the 50th year in some way(s). If we are talking only about promoting the conference, and promoting it beyond what we normally we do, I think we might need to be cognizant of any space constraints at the Seaport. I imagine even without any special promotion, there will be many people who do not ordinarily come to the conference in attendance for at least portions of this one (for example, some others of Jay's first students). I'll check with Roberta (if she does not add her comments here) about space constraints at the Seaport. Jim
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-3 at 11:10 AM
I recommend that the PC coordinate anything we might wish to do with Sterman and Repenning. They seem to have a whole bunch of ideas about the 50th anniversary celebration and our initiatives should be in harmony with these. Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
LMalczynski, posted on 2006-2-6 at 01:26 PM
Last Fall I passed a list of suggestions to Roberta that were passed on to John Sterman. I was brainstorming about promotion in the sense that we inform the public about system dynamics, not to increase attendance at the 2007 conference.
Some of the ideas were:
- a 50th anniversary retrospective in the HBR
- a mention on all the software vendor sites with a link to a special society web page
- a report on NPR from a correspondant visiting the conference in 2007
- possible opinion pieces or reporting on local sd applications in our hometown newspapers
In addition I believe that a separate 'celebration' effort should be made to actually celebrate in Boston.
Seeking forgiveness or permission?
Respectfully, Len Malczynski
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-2-7 at 08:46 AM
I would like to make a distinction between celebratory activities. One kind has to do with the conference and I believe we should follow the lead of the conference committee on this one--particularly John Sterman.
The other activity has to do with promoting the 50th anniversary in general. There has been email discussion about many possible advertising venues including journal articles, advertisements, postings to other organizations. I believe that this one is much tougher since it might require that the policy council "approve" or at least give an o.k. on the kinds of materials that would be appropriate.
There have been dissenting views on advertising saying that the best advertising is our good work and we should just encourage people to keep publishing their best models.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:33 PM
I suggest that we clearly designate someone (say the VP Publications) to coordinate all of this and then just do it.
Bob_Cavana, posted on 2006-2-11 at 06:27 PM
i am not sure whether this is the right place to discuss this topic, but i think the 50th anniversary conference for the SD society should be as close to MIT as possible (rather Seaport Hotel again).
we may need to be a bit more 'creative' about the 50th conference. does MIT have student rooms on site or nearby?
cant we just use the MIT lecture rooms etc for the presentations, workshops, laboratories, discussions or whatever format is adopted?
i had the great pleasure of attending Prof Qifan Wang's SD/sustainable development conference held in Nov 05 at Tongji University in Shanghai (one of the biggest cities on earth!) and that worked extremely well.
i think many people in the international SD community have never been to MIT (incl. me!), hence it would be seem quite appropriate to get the 50th anniversary conference back there some how.
will the focus of the 50th anniversary celebrations to bring as many people to the SD conference as possible or to 'promote' SD as widely as possible across the globe?
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-12 at 07:27 AM
Probably the 2007 conference report is a better thread - but the conference is being held at the Seaport - that is definite and the contract is signed. MIT is simply not a practical place to hold a conference. We are looking into having a special event at MIT.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 04:44 PM
How about a 50th anniversary issue of the SD Review? Some senior SDers can be asked to provide their recollections, perspectives, forecasts for the future of the field, etc.
Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
BrianDangerfield, posted on 2006-2-20 at 10:35 AM
The idea of a 50th Anniversary issue of SDR has already been agreed between myself & John Sterman. However, I await further ideas as to its structure e.g. do you want a double issue?
BrianDangerfield, posted on 2006-2-20 at 10:39 AM
It's very flattering that Bob Cavana & myself are classed as 'junior members'.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-1 at 07:04 PM
For the "in general promotion" if someone (say the VP Publications) was designated to coordinate all of this, does this have to be a motion? Does the PC need to approve the kinds of materials that would be appropriate?
BTW: The Ballroom at the Seaport can hold up to 700 theater style seating.
Also, the "junior member" distinction is specific to this forum site software
Open source materials for the Society
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-1-24 at 12:41 PM
Discussion Topic: What is the role of open source information for the Society? What information might be open source? What technology and staff support would the Society need to maintain open source materials? What are the pros and cons of pursuing this method of disseminating Society information resources?
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:41 PM
I recall a conversation that I had about a year ago with a bibliographer from Cornell. It seems to me that the Society should partner with a honest-to-gosh archives section of an established research library (say at UAlbany or Cornell or MIT or some similar site) to work on this issue to making resources globally available on line. Of course, we should work with Wiley on this. But our present initiative to put up our own conference and back issues stuff will eventually need to confront the issue of where to and how to archive all of this material. Why not start partnering with an open source/ archival unit at an established site right from the beginning?
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:02 PM
This, of course, sounds like and entirely reasonable suggestion. That said, who will lead such an initiative? Does, say, the VP Pubs have the time? Should a committee be appointed? Who would serve on such a committee? Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-2-13 at 01:32 PM
As we move into more and more electronic dissemination of materials we will probably have to think about a committee or committees to propose policy for dealing with materials. I do not think this is a stand alone for the VP Publications--me or anyone else.
On what platform should documents be placed?
Who decides if a document is appropriate?
What are the standards for appropriate materials?
How does Wiley get involved?
How is the society office involved?
There is a separate discussion going on right now about what to do with paper journals and proceedings. We will need similar discussions about electronic materials in terms of selection, ownership, access, and preservation.
Report from Editor of System Dynamics Review - Brian Dangerfield
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:45 PM
I always wonder how we are doing with respect to coverage of upcoming issues and how is the incoming flow of articles. Is the review process on track? How is the new editorial team functioning?
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 04:53 PM
As I suggested in the 50th anniversary thread, should we consider publishing a special 50th anniversary edition of the SD Review? Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
BrianDangerfield, posted on 2006-2-13 at 11:51 AM
My report answers the questions posed by PC members.
Report from Web Repository Committee - Bob Eberlein
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 12:00 PM
Members: Brian Dangerfield, Jack Pugh, Deborah Andersen, Oleg Pavlov, and Graham Russel Last meeting held at Boston 2005 conference.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:44 PM
This topic seems to me to be almost identical to the threaded discussion launched by Deborah Andersen on Repository for models (just above). I suggest that we comment on that thread rather than creating two separate discussions.
Report from VP Publications - Deborah Andersen
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-1-23 at 03:53 PM
Report of the Vice President for Publications
Deborah Lines Andersen
Associate Professor of Information Studies, College of Computing and Information, University at Albany
Albany, NY 12222 [email protected]
- Publication activities for the Society continue to be varied and growing. Items of interest are covered by the individuals listed below in their separate reports. Please see their individual reports listed in this section of the winter e-meeting.
- Report of the Publisher of the System Dynamics Review: Graham Russel.
- Report by the Webmaster: Jack Pugh
- Report of the Editor of the System Dynamics Review: Brian Dangerfield. Note that a list of all articles and titles for all past issues is available at http://www.systemdynamics.org/SDRListOfAllTitles.htm. Non-members view an abstract of each article. Members have access to full text.
- Report on the Newsletters 2004/2005: Michael Radzicki. See the October 2005 newsletter available at http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/newsletters/oct05nl/WebNL_Oct_05.htm
- Additional Society publication venues include:
SD Bibliography: The System Dynamics Bibliography is updated every six months. There is a specific call on the Society’s website for updates to the bibliography at http://www.systemdynamics.org/biblioupdate.htm
MIT System Dynamics Group Literature Collection: This collection has a link from the SDS home page at http://www.systemdynamics.org/MITCollectionDVDinfo.htm It contains over 3600 D-memos, along with theses, publications, the Guided Study Program, the Road Map series and miscellaneous papers selected by Jay W. Forrester.
JW Forrester Seminar Series: This collection of 22 video tapes plus suggested readings CDs is available from the Society offices and is found on the Society website at http://www.systemdynamics.org/JWFSeminars.htm
Membership Directory: An online, password-protected resource for members at http://web.memberclicks.com/mc/prelogin.do?hidOrgID=sds
- Three additional publications topics have been prominent this year.
- Awaiting Discussion: What is the role of open source information for the Society? Greg Lawrence, Social Statistics Data Analyst Librarian, Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University ([email protected]) is very interested in how open source could play a role for the Society. Please see the discussion thread available for comment in this section of the winter e-meeting.
- Committee Action in Boston 2005: Web Repository for Models: Bob Eberlein moved David Lane seconding at the PC meeting in Oxford that: "A committee to work on this capability be appointed consisting of Brian Dangerfield, Jack Pugh, Deborah Andersen, Oleg Pavlov, and Graham Russel." Discussion noted that both ‘classic’ models as well as SDR models should be included, and that the review process is a critical element. The motion was approved unanimously." Jack Pugh agreed to chair this committee at the January 31, 2005 PC meeting.
Jack believes that this repository should contain quality models that reflect well on the Society as well as instruct others on what constitutes a good model. To that end he proposes the following:
There needs to be ongoing discussion about this possible project. Please see the discussion thread available for comment in this section of the winter e-meeting.
- The repository holds two types of models: those that lie behind papers published in our journal and all others. The first group should not require much scrutiny. The journal editors have reviewed the paper carefully and (in theory) any models lying behind it.
- To insure the quality of the "all others" he suggests that we establish a group of editors that insure the utility and quality of any model and its accompanying documentation. To start, the current committee should constitute these editors.
- With the 50th anniversary of System Dynamics occurring in 2007, there has been a variety of email discussions about ways that the Society might celebrate its birthday. The 2007 conference in Boston is sure to have celebratory features, but an additional discussion item concerns publicity about this occasion. Should we have some additional publicity to get the word out about what we do, or, to paraphrase one of our members, is our greatest advertisement the best work that we do, published in the best places? Please see the discussion thread available for comment in this section of the winter e-meeting.
Report from President on Newsletters - Mike Radzicki
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 02:54 PM
No change. Four newsletters: One in early March about PC meeting, second in mid-June e-newsletter, third mid-September with first renewal hardcopy mailout, last in late October e-newsletter about the conference. Newsletters are scheduled in conjunction with renewal efforts. We are always interested in any news that can be included in the newsletter.
Report from Web Committee - Jack Pugh
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 12:01 PM
Members: Jack Pugh, Vedat Diker, John Morecroft, Anasstossios Perdicoulis, Jac Vennix, Michael Kennedy, Brian Dangerfield, Will Glass-Husain and Deborah Andersen (Meeting held in Boston)
Administrative Committee Meeting - Peter Milling, Chair
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:28 PM
Members of the Administrative Committee: Peter Milling (chair), Mike Radzicki, Qifan Wang, Graham Winch, David Packer, Jim Lyneis, and Jac Vennix.
Contract With SUNY is Complete. We have completed the rather complicated process of contracting with the State of New York and with the SUNY system, retaining a very attractive overhead rate. However, as discussed below, the process does require us to reconsider our legal status in New York State.
Society Needs to Become a New York State Charity. The re-contracting process revealed the fact that we have been doing business in New York State while registered as a 501c3 corporation in the state of Massachusetts. While we were permitted to contract with this anomaly in place, we will need to become a New York State charity in order to comply fully with state law and SUNY regulations. In addition to more paperwork for the home office, the change will involve our charging sales tax of many transactions.
The New Investment Policy is Going Well. As you may recall, working with our investment counselor, the Society has moved toward a more formal set of policies for managing its growing asset base. We are adhering to these new policies and all seems to be going well with our asset management practices. Appendix A, drafted by Robin Langer, gives further details on this matter.
Renovation of Society Spaces Delayed for One Year. The Society has moved into its new space, but the renovations have been put off until the summer of 2006. This process will be very hectic for our staff, requiring a second move right during the height of our conference season. But, the renovation will give the Society overall better space and Roberta a private office. Acting on the advice of the Administrative Committee, I have first obtained a written letter of intent from our Dean before making the $25,000 contribution to SUNY that facilitates our new space design. All this seems to be one year delayed, but still on track for good results.
Direct Handling of Membership Renewal is On Track. As reflected in our fiscal performance for last year, the new relationships with Wiley are helping Society finances quite a bit. However, there is extra work needing to be done by the home office, as we had expected. Since we have still not filled the vacant graduate assistant position for the Society, I remain concerned about the high volume of home office work and resulting stress on our permanent staff.
Society Experienced Strong Fiscal Performance for 2005. Each year the administrative committee has a chance to examine the end of the year reports a bit more closely before my report to the full Policy Council. For 2005, we posted our second largest surplus ever, in a large part due to very strong conference attendance in Boston and a budgeted one time surplus anticipated in 2004 and associated with the new arrangements with Wiley. I have more details in the main body of the VP Finance Report.
Resolution to Repeat Staff Salary Adjustments (Market Adjustments) for 2005 (to be paid in 2006). One year ago, I proposed and the Policy Council approved a policy to add a Market Adjustment to the salaries of home office staff. In the presence of three conditions—strong program performance, strong fiscal performance, and evidence of overtime work—the Society would compensate staff in addition to their SUNY payroll amount an amount calibrated to rates being paid to non-profit senior staff in our region. In 2005, we paid out just under $10,000 in market adjustments to society staff with about 60% of that compensation targeted toward Roberta Spencer. I recommend that the Administrative Committee authorize me to conduct a similar review for 2005, making possible payments in 2006. Our budget for 2006 does allow for such adjustments.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-1 at 08:33 PM
David, I second your motion to initiate a review.
Is there any progress on getting a Grad Assistant? What seems to the the problem(s). I assume we have the budget. Jim
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:49 PM
I am currently working with Roberta Spencer on a plan to hire a graduate assistant for the upcoming academic year. We do have funds to cover this expenditure. I do not think that we need a motion to conduct the review. I understand that we are going ahead with this review for 2005 in any case. I believe that it is already authorized under previous actions of the Policy Council. If anyone thinks not, speak now or forever hold your peace…
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-1 at 07:24 PM
We are currently working on getting a graduate assistant to start in September 2006. We do have this in the budget. Part of the problem was that I was not in synch with the application-recruiting-acceptance schedule here at the University.
VP Meetings: Conference Program Revision -- Drop CDs
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-1-28 at 12:29 PM
Conference Program Revision -- Drop CDs
For the past 5-plus years, we have published the final conference proceedings on CDs and sent them to all conference attendees. The cost of doing this is in excess of $5,000. Given the ease with which the proceedings can now be published via the web, it seems that producing and mailing CDs is no longer necessary or desirable. The advantages of web-based conference proceedings are:
• Reduced direct costs of printing and sending the proceedings;
• Easier referencing of papers and access to papers by others, both in and out of the field
• The time spent on producing and mailing the CDs can be spent on activities that return more to the Society and to the field
We will continue to publish the printed abstracts for use during the Conference. Discussion?
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 09:00 PM
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:57 PM
Let's get rid of the CDs (unless someone can raise a compelling reason not to do it). Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
This topic interacts with the thread about web presence and open source initiated by Deborah Andersen, VP Publications. If we are to stop producing the CDs, then we must make sure that we have an archivally secure open source way to make our materials available for the long run. This is just what libraries know how to do. We should be working with a reliable research library as our partner.
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-2-13 at 01:43 PM
Agreeing with David Andersen. We do need to make sure that we have a place that will archive and migrate our materials as necessary. Paper does have the advantage that it is not tied to technology. Some archival institutions have gone to microforms as their backup plan. If all else fails one can always shine a light through the film.
As a policy issue we need an institutional memory that will "know" what materials were produced and how they were archived. I expect that this memory should be a function of the society office. Feedback here?
JamesThompson, posted on 2006-2-13 at 01:48 PM
These may be points that David Andersen is raising in a broader sense:
- Some potential users may not have Web access and may want to reference conference proceedings.
- Others may wish to have content available without having to rely exclusively on Web technology.
Could the Society offer to prepare CDs for such potential users? What would the breakeven price of such a limted-production resource be?
Bob_Cavana,, posted on 2006-2-23 at 12:22 AM
what about handing out final CDs at the conference, for conference participants, and publishing the CD proceedings on the web for the wider community. that means the final papers should be completed before the conference, as was the earlier practice at SD conferences.
in some respects it would be better to place less emphasis on the conference papers and more on getting participants to upgrade their papers after the conference for publishing in SDR or other peer reviewed journals.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-23 at 01:17 AM
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-23 at 02:49 PM
It seems to me there is a strategic issue here and an operational issue. The operational issue is: to send or not to send? The question I have is, how much of the $5K is the shipping and how much is the CD production? That would tell us right away whether producing the CD for delivery at the conference (instead of mailing) addresses the economic concern.
The strategic issue is: if we don't send, then what? Whatever answer we come up with operationally needs to fit into a strategic archival plan.
One of the reasons we moved from handing CD's out at the conference to mailing them after the conference was to ease labor demands at the peak time just before the conference. An additional great benefit to this is that authors have time to consider the reviews and reactions at the conference to upgrade their papers, making what we archive better quality. Personally, I would prefer not to go back to handing out CD's at the conference.
With regard to preparing CD's for people who cannot access the web, we could probably do that on demand in our office. Over the last two years, we have sold 25 - 35 conference abstract proceedings with CD's. I imagine we would charge for this service, we currently charge $50 per proceedings. We would make a master from the web proceedings and copy it as needed.
In 2004 the shipping cost for sending CD's to conference participants was $1150, in 2005 it was $1668. Reproducing the CD is about $1700 for 1000 copies. The rest is labor and incidentals like the 50-cents-each mailers. If we reverted to handing out the CD at the conference, the labor increases before the conference to probably negate any savings for not mailing.
My personal opinion is that:
- we proceed with the web proceedings and no CD at or after the conference; that the web proceedings continue to be available as open source.
- we set up the web proceedings so that if someone wanted to download the entire proceedings onto their own CD or drive, this was possible and easy to do. (Is it Bob?)
- the office creates a master from the web proceedings and sells it on demand for those who do not have web access.
- the office archives a master of the proceedings.
- CD's are not handed out at the conference.
- we survey our conference participants to see what they prefer regarding having the web proceedings in lieu of a CD.
- the Society office and VP Publications work on an overall archival plan for ALL materials, create the institutional memory of what materials were produced and how they were archived.
These are just my thoughts, and would like to hear responses please. I am also concerned with changes in technology. I have in our archives right now 8" floppy disks.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-27 at 12:53 PM
Thanks Roberta for this helpful information. As an occasional author, I also like the proceedings closing later, allowing for the papers to be revised based on feedback at the conference.
I like your proposal. The one concern I have is charging conference attendees without web access for copies of the CD. I can understand doing this for people who did not attend. But it seems to me that a copy of the proceedings would be included in the conference fee. And that those without web access may be our members least able to afford $50 for a copy of the proceedings. (Do we know anything about web access among our members?)
The issue we may have if we offer the CD for free to conference attendees is how do we know who truly doesn't have web access. If there is a way to easily make a CD on your own from the web proceedings, perhaps this will be less of an issue. Other thoughts?
JamesThompson, posted on 2006-2-27 at 10:00 PM
Following up on Roberta's responses to my question about costs and Deborah's questions: the estimated post-conference demand (25-50) probably includes a number of people with Web access.
I am guessing that very few libraries lack Web access, and a request for a CD would come in a letter (no Web access). Our administrative staff could decide in which cases to wave fees.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-28 at 05:42 PM
Jim, are you assuming that people could burn a CD at a library to get access to the proceedings? I don't think libraries usually provide anything but read-access to the web for patrons. I'm not even sure you could print a 30 page paper at a library.
And what about foreign countries where web access may be limited by censorship? I don't know how much problem this creates for our membership.
This definitely fits into the bigger question of how we will provide information to the membership in the future.
Roberta, we have gone to electronic newsletters twice a year -- do we know if this is a problem for people? Do we know who has access and who does not?
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-1 at 07:41 PM
We do not have email addresses for 33/1052 of our 2005 membership. This is the only indicator I have and it may not necessarily mean they do not have web access, just that they do not provide an email address.
It is a thorny problem about charging conference attendees or not for a CD if it's not included AND how do we know who truly doesn't have web access. Manufacturing the CD will be deleted from the conference budget, so the registration fee will reflect this.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-3-4 at 09:52 AM
There seems to be general agreement that mailing CDs to all conference attendees is not necessary, but less agreement on how to assure that every participant has access to the papers. I therefore propose the following: (1) someone (VP Electronic Presence and/or VP Publications) arrange to have a system developed whereby final conference papers are posted to the Society Web Site and participants and Society members given access to those papers (presumably this is an extension of the current submittal system); (2) these papers should be accessible to the general public as well, such that conference papers can be cited and referenced (I’m not sure if there was consensus on that or not, but it seems a good idea to me); (3) we do not advertisethis service, but if requested, burn CDs of all the papers, at no charge, for those who are unable to access the papers from the web site (I’m assuming that this process can be made relatively easy for the Home Office, and some justification should be provided by those requesting the CD).
Before I move this proposal, I would like to have agreement on who to list as responsible for development of the posting system, and that a relatively painless CD burning process is included. Comments?
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-4 at 10:38 AM
Electronic conference proceedings are already available to the general public; they are not restricted to members or conference attendees.
Bob_Cavana, posted on 2006-3-4 at 07:10 PM
electronic journals & CD proceedings
just a few minor points about current practice elsewhere with electronic journals & electronic proceedings:
(1) does anyone know if there are journals (& conference proceedings) that are just published electronically? do they also make available a CD rom or hard copy also?
(2) i would say that a lot of people still like the 'convenience' of the SD conference proceedings on a CD rom or USB memory stick.
what about just 'officially' publishing the proceedings on the SDS web site after the conference (as is our current practice), but also printing a number of CD roms and making these available to all conference attendees (or anyone else) at an extra cost.
for example we could have an extra item on the conference registration form asking if conference attendees want 1, 2 or more copies of the published CD rom sent out to them after the conference, at a prearranged price which includes production & shipping (& prepaid with the conference fee).
for example the price could be US$10 (or US$15/20?) for 1 CD rom sent (& perhaps US$2 (3/4?) for every extra CD rom sent in the same package).
we could trial that for a few years, and if eventually no-one (or very few people) wants the CD rom option then we could phase that out and just stick to web publishing of the proceedings.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-14 at 01:56 PM
from Jim Lyneis
I make a motion to amend the Conference Program Guidelines. The current guidelines state under the “Proceedings” heading: The Central Office will compile the Abstract Proceedings to be printed for distribution at the conference. Web proceedings will be made available as soon as possible after acceptance notifications go out. Authors will be allowed to update their papers through the conference and for a period of 30 days thereafter. A CD containing the conference proceedings will be produced and mailed to conference participants after this time. This is intended to make the proceedings as current as possible.
The new paragraph will read:
The Central Office will compile the Abstract Proceedings to be printed for distribution at the conference. Web proceedings will be made available as soon as possible after acceptance notifications go out. Authors will be allowed to update their papers through the conference and for a period of 30 days thereafter. Web proceedings will be updated after this time. This is intended to make the proceedings as current as possible. The web proceedings will be available at no cost to the general public via the Society website. Authors retain the copyright to all submitted work and, by submitting, grant permission for inclusion in the conference proceedings. A CD containing the conference proceedings may be produced and be available for sale at a minimal cost.
Note: The cost of developing the web proceedings is included in the conference budget. The cost of manufacturing the CD proceedings will not be included in the conference budget, which will be reflected in the conference registration fee. Our current plan is that to fulfill the needs of conference attendees (in particular those without web access), the registration form will include an option to purchase a CD. CDs will be manufactured based on registration form demand and to perhaps provide a modest inventory to sell to members and other interested parties.
Please post your comments on the forum website http://www.synthesim.com/sdpol/index.php
After the discussion period, to vote, visit the submission system at http://cgi.albany.edu/~sdsweb/sds2006.cgi, log in and click on the button “Policy Council Menu.”
Thank you, Jim Lyneis, VP Meetings
BrianDangerfield, posted on 2006-3-15 at 08:46 AM
There is fairly consistent complaints about the high costs of attending our conferences. It seems to me that foregoing the production of CD's for all attendees should provide an opportunity to reduce the conference registration cost, rather than add to the Society's bottom line.
I agree that CD's should be made available to those who wish to purchase them but that such people bear the full average cost of their production. This requirement to be waived in the case of a conference attendee who can prove they have no web access.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-3-15 at 11:06 AM
Brian, Sorry if we were unclear. The intent is for the dropping of CDs to reduce conference costs and therefore registration fee, although this is not a large number. The expenses related to the production of conference electronic proceedings, formerly included with "CD production and distribution costs," will need to continue. Once the electronic proceedings are finished, the actual cost of producing and mailing the CDs is not large, so those who desire a CD will be charged that cost. If someone without web access and who cannot afford the cost wants a CD, we will provide that at no charge. Jim
JohnSterman, posted on 2006-3-16 at 08:34 AM
I support Jim's proposal. We should drop the production of conf. proceedings CD's and use the web, as others have outlined.<>Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-3-16 at 09:03 AM
However, I don't support the idea of having the society office be responsible for the production and mailing of CDs to the small (and dropping) number of people without web access or who might want a CD along with web access. Jim and others suggest this cost is small. I suspect that it is rather high, when one considers the time that Roberta and/or other society staff will have to spend (a) setting up the system to do this, and (b) responding to individual requests of this type, including determining whether such a person should be sent the disc for free because they have no web access, etc. etc. Each such request is likely to entail multiple emails or letters, possible consultation with society officers (what if the person has web access but is from a developing nation and can't afford the fee? What if the person wanting the CD is from a library in a developing nation? And so on). Roberta's time is scarce and valuable. It's not sensible to have the society develop and maintain the capability to make a small number of discs on demand for what is surely a small segment of the membership, and one that will shrink as online access continues to expand and drop in cost.
I would amend the motion to drop the CD production. Instead, those who want a CD will be able to download the papers they want and burn them to a disc.
FYI, there are many e-journals that have no paper or disc editions at all (e.g., Berkeley electronic press, http://www.bepress.com/, the SSRN (Social Science Research Network), and the physics preprint archive, http://arxiv.org/). All are highly successful -- SSRN and arxiv in particular have completely redefined the way scholarly material in their respective disciplines is distributed. They keep costs low by avoiding any wasted effort to produce physical media; if you want a copy of something burn it or print it yourself. If you lack web access, you get a colleague who has it to burn or print for you. The society should not do this. The savings can be reinvested in lower conference fees or delivery of more important services to our members. John
I definitely agree with John's notion to minimize use of central office resources. At the same time I do want to point out that because of the way the online proceedings are created it really is simple to create a CD from the web image, and this will be done for archival purposes in any case.
So I am not sure that the motion needs amending, but I do think we need to think of this and all other product sales the same way. That is, we sell things at a price that covers all labor and materials expenses. Some things, like the beer game, should have a decent margin above that. If that means a CD costs $100 that's fine. People can decide to download.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-3-16 at 03:41 PM
Roberta and I thought that if we added a line to the registration form asking who wanted a CD (at a price to cover cost including labor), charged them the extra with the conference registration, and then farmed out the production of all these CDs at once (plus some extra), we would minimize the amount of Head Office labor. We do not intend to make CDs one at a time on requests, and would probably not make any more after the one batch was produced. Jim
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-4-4 at 03:57 PM
Subject: Conference Program Revision -- Drop CDs, Motion #106
Proposed by: Lyneis, James
Seconded by: Cavana, Robert
Voting open date: 2006.03.21 Voting close date: 2006.03.31
I make a motion to amend the conference program guidelines as stated on the Policy Council E-Meeting Forum website. The amendment retains the web proceedings and drops the production and mailing of CDs after the conference.
Notes on Supporting Material : A mechanism for producing and mailing CDs at cost to those who need it is planned.
The vote on Motion #106 regarding dropping the conference CD has passed unanimously without any abstentions or no votes.
VP Meetings: Guidelines Revisions and Update (Summary and Vote on Revised Timetable) - Jim Lyneis
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-1-28 at 12:26 PM
I've been working on some updates to the Site Selection Guidelines. Most of these are to clarify requirements and/or update data for use in preparing estimates, and therefore do not require any PC discussion or approval.
There is one substantive change that I suggest we make regarding the timing of pre-proposals. Based on the 2005 experience (receiving pre-proposals from Spain and Korea last May), it seems that having full pre-proposals for the Summer PC meeting 3 years ahead of the conference is too early. Rather, I would suggest slipping the pre-proposals 6 months along the following lines:
• Expression of interest in submitting a pre-proposal and discussion with VP Meetings/Executive Director for/at the Conference and Summer PC Meeting 3 years ahead of proposed conference (so for example, for the 2009 conference expressions of interest and preliminary screening would occur at the 2006 Conference);
• Formal pre-proposals due November 30 for discussion at the Winter PC Meeting 2 years ahead of conference (e.g., for 2009 Conference, November 30, 2006 pre-proposals due for discussion at January/February 2007 PC Meeting). The result of the pre-proposals is feedback on concerns regarding proposal, likelihood of success, and request for formal proposal);
• Full proposal due May 31 2 years ahead of conference, for discussion and vote at Summer PC meeting (no change in this last item, so for example for 2009 Conference, May 31, 2007proposals due for discussion at Summer 2007 PC Meeting).
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-1-30 at 08:19 PM
Hi Jim, I am worried that two years is not enough. Some facilities contract more than two years ahead. Others don't but I don't think it serves us to preclude the former.
On the other hand I agree that 3 years is probably too far ahead. I would be inclined to recommend a medium proposal at the summer meeting 3 years ahead with some frank discussion followed by a request for 1 or more complete proposals and an electronic vote based on those during (or before) the Winter meeting.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-1 at 08:36 PM
Bob, I'm not sure that I am following you. Right now, we vote to accept formal proposals 2 years in advance of the conference. Are you suggesting that this is not far enough ahead? Jim
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 09:05 PM
Perhaps G. Wiley or someone at Pegasus can weigh-in on the "optimal" amount of lead time necessary for planning a major conference. Pegasus does a lot of conferences, right?
Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-7 at 10:42 AM
I am saying that two years is not far enough ahead. There is the one problem that I mentioned - Venues getting booked earlier than this. The second problem I see is the lack of a buffer - with only 2 years lead time if we can't decide on a spot during the summer meeting quite a bit of scrambling needs to be done.
Am I the only one that feels this way?
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-7 at 08:11 PM
Since you have the most experience as VP meetings, I would defer to your judgement. I'd like to hear from Roberta, Ginny, and perhaps some of the recent and current proposers as well.
If we do go to a longer schedule, that presumably would mean selecting the conference site at the Summer PC meeting 3 years before the date of the conference. Pre-proposals would be up for the Winter PC meeting 3 years in advance. Jim
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-8 at 06:38 AM
Hi Jim, We might be better served with a process that allowed a thorough review of the alternatives based on an enhanced pre-proposal at the summer meeting 3 years ahead. The outcome of that meeting would be a recommendation for a site with a set of issues that need to be addressed or feedback to more than one proposer asking for a response on important issues. The verification of the selected site, or the final selection, could then be done at the Winter meeting or in advance of that if timing requires it.
I do think it is important that the conference proposals get discussed in person at the summer meeting. I do not, however, think it is effective to be required to make a decision based on that discussion without being able to learn things that take time to find out.
I hope my thoughts on this are clearer now. I, like you, would like to hear from others including those who have proposed conferences in the past (whether formally on the PC or not).
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-24 at 12:10 PM
There has been a little discussion of this "offline" via email. It was noted that for 2004 and 2006, a two year lead time worked fine. Based on the discussion, I would suggest the following two options:
Option 1 – Selection Made Winter PC Meeting 2 Years Ahead of Conference:
• VP Meetings issues a “Call for Conference Pre-Proposals” (via Newsletter and ListServe?) during the Winter 3 years ahead of the Conference year (for example, Spring 2006 for 2009 Conference). Prospective bidders are advised of proposal selection guidelines and key selection criteria.
• Formal pre-proposals are due May 31, 3 years ahead of the conference year, for discussion at the Summer PC Meeting. The result of the pre-proposals is feedback on concerns regarding the proposal, additional information required, likelihood of success, and request for formal proposal).
• Full proposals are due November 30, 3 years ahead of conference, for discussion and vote at the Winter PC meeting (so for example for 2009 Conference, November 31, 2006 proposals are due for discussion at Winter 2007 PC Meeting).
Option 2 – Selection Made Summer PC Meeting 2 Years Ahead of Conference:
• VP Meetings issues a “Call for Conference Pre-Proposals” (via Newsletter and ListServe?) during the spring 3 years ahead of the Conference year (for example, Spring 2006 for 2009 Conference). Interested bidders should check local sites for availability in the mid- to late-July time frame, and for approximate cost.
• At the Conference 3 years ahead of the proposed conference, the VP Meetings and Executive Director will meet with prospective bidders as a group to discuss proposal submission guidelines, key criteria, and potential site availability issues (so for example, for the 2009 conference, expressions of interest and preliminary screening would occur at the 2006 Conference). To the extent that there are insufficient expressions of interest, the VP Meetings will work to correct the problem; to the extent that there are availability constraints, the VP Meetings will suggest an accelerated decision process.
• Formal pre-proposals will be due November 30 for discussion at the Winter PC Meeting 2 years ahead of conference (e.g., for 2009 Conference, November 30, 2006 pre-proposals due for discussion at January/February 2007 PC Meeting). The result of the pre-proposals is feedback on concerns regarding the proposal, additional information required, likelihood of success, and request for formal proposal). To the extent availability constraints dictate an accelerated decision process, a formal decision can be taken at the Winter PC meeting.
• Full proposals are due May 31, 2 years ahead of conference, for discussion and vote at Summer PC meeting (so for example for 2009 Conference, May 31, 2007proposals due for discussion at Summer 2007 PC Meeting).
Of course, there is a third option which would be Option 2 shifted one year earlier, so the formal decision is made at the Summer PC meeting 3 years in advance. This would be difficult for 2009, but we could transition. Discussion?
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-3-4 at 10:06 AM
Motion: Revised Conference Site Selection Timetable
Proposed Conference Site Selection Timetable: Selection Made Winter PC Meeting 2 ½ Years Ahead of Conference
• VP Meetings issues a “Call for Conference Pre-Proposals” (via Newsletter, Chapter and SIG representatives, and the Society ListServe) during the Winter 3 years ahead of the Conference year (for example, Spring 2006 for 2009 Conference). Prospective bidders are advised of proposal selection guidelines and key selection criteria.
• Formal pre-proposals are due May 31, 3 years ahead of the conference year, for presentation and discussion at the Summer PC Meeting. The result of the pre-proposals is feedback on concerns regarding the proposal, additional information required, likelihood of success, and request for formal proposal. To the extent that there are insufficient expressions of interest or inadequate pre-proposals, the VP Meetings will work to correct the problem.
• Full proposals are due November 30, 3 years ahead of conference, for discussion and vote at the Winter PC meeting (so for example for 2009 Conference, November 31, 2006 proposals are due for discussion at Winter 2007 PC Meeting).
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-3-5 at 07:23 AM
Jim, Thank you for clarifying this motion. I hate to say it but I think you should probably post the same content via the email list to that people really read it.
I like the end state this provides - right now I find myself thinking I should know where the 2008 conference will be and I don't. This does mean that this summer we need to pick 2008, and become clearly informed on 2009. I think this will work best if we get good discussion on both of these electronically well in advance of the conference.
BrianDangerfield, posted on 2006-3-5 at 11:58 AM
I have been involved with the Athens proposal for 2008. I would say the motion formulated by Jim is ok. There may be problems with, say, hotels agreeing a price so far in advance but bidders should perhaps be requested to alert the Society if costs look to be escalating as the date of the chosen venue nears.
Graham Winch, posted on 2006-3-6 at 02:29 AM
It has to be said that there has been no discussion that is based on a shown need for the timetable to be changed, and there has been one concern raised over how fixed hotel prices would be this far in advance. There has not been any problem with the timetable on the non-America rotation - indeed we have usually had a very difficult choice from several excellent proposals. The decision to fix Boston as the default option, at least for the Americas rotation, was intended to deal with a situation of having no viable proposals. Do we understand that this is now felt not to be enough?
I am not convinced of the need for change, but would not vote against, if others think is necessary.
ScottJohnson, posted on 2006-3-6 at 09:13 PM
Have read the entire thread and second Graham's comments. Those who have been involved in the conference selection process in the past are in the best position to know if a change in procedure is required. Bob - is this feedback helpful?
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-14 at 11:46 AM
From Jim Lyneis
While the site selection process with a decision 2 years ahead of the conference has worked reasonably well since 2003, there are a couple of advantages to pushing forward the decision by six months.
First, a great advantage is that if there is a problem with the approved site, it gives the PC and the home office 6 months to resolve. The intent would be to visit the site to identify any major issues and finalize a budget with the hosts. A realistic final budget would be presented at the summer meeting 2 years in advance. While extremely undesirable, if there are any insurmountable problems we could opt to select an alternate site.
Second, deciding on a location earlier ensures that we can book sufficient sleeping and meeting space with some growth flexibility. While some hotels may not be willing to give a firm price, we may be able to negotiate prices with predetermined yearly escalation percentages.
After discussing this with Bob Eberlein and Roberta Spencer, we think this will work better, and I recommend this motion be passed. If ultimately it does not serve our purposes, we can re-evaluate the design and dates. Please vote on motion number 105: “Revised Conference Site Selection Timetable” moved by James Lyneis, seconded by Michael Radzicki).
Thank you, Jim Lyneis, VP Meetings
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-4-4 at 03:54 PM
Subject: Revised Conference Site Selection Timetable, Motion #105
Proposed by: Lyneis, James
Seconded by: Radzicki, Michael
Voting open date: 2006.03.11 Voting close date: 2006.03.21
I move that we revise the conference site selection timetable to Option 1 on the PC Forum, VP Meetings, Guideline Revisions and Update. This change advances the conference site and team selection date by about 4-5 months over recent decisions.
Notes on Supporting Material : If this proposal is accepted, we will need to hear two sets of conference presentations at the Policy Council meeting this summer (for proposals for 2008 and pre-proposals for 2009).
The vote on Motion #105 regarding Revising Site Selection Guidelines has passed unanimously without any abstentions or no votes.
VP Meetings: Program Guidelines - Jim Lyneis
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-1-28 at 12:41 PM
Bob Eberlein has prepared a set of conference program guidelines which I do not believe were ever voted on by the Policy Council. A draft of these guidelines is attached. Once approved, I suggest that these program guidelines be merged with the site selection guidelines to produce one Conference Guidelines document.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:25 PM
Jim: Do you want to make a motion?
Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-4-4 at 03:17 PM
Subject: Program Guidelines, Motion #104
Proposed by: Lyneis, James
Seconded by: Radzicki, Michael
Voting open date: 2006.03.11 Voting close date: 2006.03.21
Formal Motion: I move that we accept the proposed program guidelines with the understanding that they will be merged with the site selection and conference management guidelines to form one “Conference Proposal and Management” Guidelines.
The vote on Motion #104 regarding Program Guidelines has passed unanimously without any abstentions or no votes.
Roberta L. Spencer
System Dynamics Society
VP Meetings: 2007 Boston Conference Progress Report - Bob Eberlein
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-1-26 at 06:31 AM
2007 Conference status report
By Bob Eberlein and John Sterman
Theme: 50th anniversary of the field
Dates: July 29, 2007 - August 2, 2007
Contract: We have a signed contract with the Seaport Hotel, Boston, Massachusetts.
Room Rates: $145 for a double or single plus taxes and hotel fees.
Special Consideration: The Seaport is donating five complimentary double rooms for four nights each (20 room nights) for conference scholarship recipients. Additionally, the Seaport is donating a complimentary 2-night weekend stay to encourage early room reservations.
Conference Team: Program Co-chairs: John Sterman and Nelson Repenning of MIT; Conference Chair Bob Eberlein or Ventana Systems; Roberta Spencer: Conference Manager. In addition, Khalid Saeed, Mike Radzicki, and Jim Lyneis of WPI have agreed to play significant roles in organizing the conference and the program. A long list of others, including John Morecroft, Brad Morrison, and Scott Rockart, have agreed to provide support and will be nominated to organize specific events as needed.
Program Notes: We are in the process of establishing a 50th anniversary celebration committee with broad international representation to help coordinate the publication of a special issue of the System Dynamics Review and highlight other activities done in celebration of this anniversary around the globe.
Conference Budget: The 2007 conference budget is attached. The "realistic" budget shows a profit of over $21,000. This budget is based on a 15% increase in attendance over the Boston 2005 conference. The "pessimistic" budget shows a profit of $3,700 and the "optimistic" budget shows a profit of about $31,000.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:05 PM
I took a fast look at the budget and might be a bit concerned, if I am reading it well. We assume a 15% growth over the best attended conference we have ever had (which returned well to the Society) and are expecting a net profit of only $21,000. While we are surely doing OK right now, I woult think of the 50th anniversary in Boston as a kind of "Blockbuster" conference that could help support other venue at a distance in the future. This does not seem to be budgeted at the "Blockbuster" level.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-9 at 07:49 PM
The 2007 conference is budgeted with the same registration fee as 2005 and increased costs. Raising the registration fee will indeed raise the profit - but it is not clear in my mind that this is the best thing for the Society. I think this something that needs discussion and can be strongly informed by Jim Lyneis's multiyear budgeting undertaking.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-10 at 05:17 PM
I also raised a question about this in an email that perhaps David was not cc'd on. We don't need to set the registration fee yet. I would hope that David and I can work together on some proposal for multi-year budgeting of conferences that would allow less than the "normal" surplus on occasion. However, it did seem to me that locations such as Boston would be ones that should generate more than the "normal" surplus so that we could on occasion have conferences in locations that might not be able to generate the same surplus. 2007 is a special case.
I plan to work with David on this in the near future, assuming he is willing. Jim
BrianDangerfield, posted on 2006-2-20 at 10:44 AM
Can the Seaport cope if we have a really good turn out requiring rooms i.e. not locals? What is their maximum room availability?
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-20 at 02:10 PM
The Seaport has 450 rooms but they were sold out for last years conference (we had a little over half). We have a bigger room block for 2007 but there is a good chance they will again be sold out. There are other hotels around which pratically require a short cab ride to the Seaport. Best advice is to book early.
VP Meetings:2008 Possibilities - Jim Lyneis
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-1-24 at 05:41 PM
We have received and responded to pre-proposals for the 2008 conference from
• Jose Sarriegui, Javier Santos, and Jose Gonzalez to be held in San Sebastian, Spain, July 20-25, 2008
• Namsung Ahn to be held in Seoul, South Korea, July 19-23, 2008
• Brian Dangerfield and Nikko Georgantzas to be held in Athens, Greece.
Formal proposals are requested by May 30th, 2006. They will be discussed and a vote taken at the Summer Policy Council meeting. The format will be similar to that followed in Oxford: brief presentation (5 minutes) by each proposer; summary and comparison by VP Meetings; discussion and questions; blind vote.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:51 PM
I really liked the earlier proposal from the Swiss Chapter. Have we heard back from them? Do we actually invite resubmissions or just wait to see what happens--I don't really know.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-9 at 07:51 PM
I touched base with Markus Schwaninger - he is thinking 2012 at this point but I don't know about other people from the Chapter.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-10 at 05:12 PM
Right, I did talk to him awhile ago and he indicated that they wanted to move the location to a university to reduce costs, but the facilities were under renovation and would not be available in 2008.
ThomasBeck, posted on 2006-2-13 at 04:23 PM
The Swiss Chapter will not hand in a proposal for 2008 Regards, Thomas
VP Meetings: Rotation and multi-year budgeting - Jim Lyneis
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-1-28 at 12:16 PM
The official “guidelines” note that: “Conferences will generally rotate between North America (with Boston as default site) and Western Europe (with possible default site to be determined). We will look to occasionally holding a conference in another location (for example Asia/Pacific) roughly in proportion to membership (which might now be once every 5 to 10 years for AP), and subject to an acceptable proposal from someone in the region.”
The selection of any site, North America or otherwise, is contingent upon receiving a strong proposal. The requirements for a strong proposal are laid out in the Conference Site Selection Guidelines, but importantly include the prospects for a profitable conference at a reasonable registration fee (and total cost to participants). Further, prospects for profitability depend on the strength of the conference organizers and the attendance at the conference. Attendance is a key factor – given that a significant fraction of the cost of organizing a conference is fixed, the higher the attendance the lower the cost and/or the higher the surplus. Attendance, in turn, is affected by the cost and logistics of traveling to the conference site, as well as by the registration fee and local accommodation cost. In recent years, concern with attendance and surplus have dominated discussions of conference sites.
However, under the guidance of our VP Finance David Andersen, the Society’s finances have improved to the point where the surplus generated by any one conference, within reason, no longer threatens the viability of the Society. It may now be appropriate to take a longer term view that allows for more variation in planned conference surplus – in some years the planned surplus might be higher than the current target ($25,000), in others, less. A proposal with a lower or zero planned surplus might be accepted if there were other considerations that made it a strong proposal (e.g., promoting the growth of the field).
With this in mind, I would like to encourage a discussion of the three issues below, with the objective of preparing a summary and some recommendations for review at the Summer PC meeting.
1. Multi-year conference budgeting and planning: The VP Meetings and VP Finance should work together to examine the feasibility of providing some flexibility in the planned conference surplus. This flexibility would be desirable not only for site selection, but also for other field-growing actions such as providing conference fee and accommodation scholarships.
2. Role of Chapters and SIGs: Local Society Chapters and SIGs should be encouraged to continue and expand their sponsorship of local and regional conferences, and to prepare proposals to host the annual international conference. Local and regional conferences should be advertised and promoted in the Society Newsletter.
3. Other Options for Conferences: Attendance at the annual international conference, in some recent years, has exceeded 500. Is there a limit to desirable conference size? If so, should we consider means of limiting conference size? For example, holding multiple annual conferences, using geographic diversity to intentionally limit conference size, or possibly other alternatives (e. g., a conference in Korea and a significant track at INFORMS in the US and perhaps a similar UK/European conference all in the same year)?
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:58 PM
I look forward to working with Jim Lyneis on this important set of issues and would appreciate views, if any, that may exists on these topics.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:20 PM
It seems to me that our near-term efforts should be directed toward developing and testing a robust multi-year budgeting process. This mechanism will enable us to hold the conference in places like South Korea.
Longer term, however, I think the conferences hosted by the chapters and SIGs will begin to take-on ever greater importance. We should, therefore, encourage the chapters and SIGs to think hard about the issue of hosting EXCELLENT conferences.
The chapters and SIGs are the future of the field! Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
VP Meetings: 2006 Nijmegen Conference Progress Report - Etienne Rouwette
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-23 at 03:44 PM
2006 Nijmegen Conference Progress Report - Etienne Rouwette
PREPARATIONS FOR THE ISDC 2006 NIJMEGEN, THE NETHERLANDS.
This text is a short report on the preparations for the 2006 International System Dynamics Conference in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
REGISTRATION AND ACCOMMODATION
The registration brochure has been sent to the printer and is expected to be sent out by 1 February. The registration fee for the conference is set at $425, which is the same as for the 2005 conference in Boston.
Hotel room reservations will be arranged through the Regional Tourist Board Arnhem-Nijmegen (RTB). Contact information on the RTB is in the registration brochure. Conference participants can book a hotel either on their own or through the RTB. An accommodations booking form will be included with the registration brochure.
There are a number of additional activities in the program this year:
- An informal gathering of the policy council Saturday evening 18 – 19.30 in the city centre, allowing new and current PC members to introduce themselves to one another and to meet everyone in advance of the formal meeting
- A scheduled lunch with PhD Colloquium attendees and Policy Council members on Sunday.
- A Chapter/SIG Poster Session on Monday 10.30 – 11.30 in order to recognize their great contribution to the Society and increase their visibility.
- A talk entitled “Introduction to the System Dynamics Society” on Monday and/or Tuesday afternoon during the lunch break. A special invitation will be inserted for new people with registration confirmations. The hope is that some current and past Policy Council Members and others will also attend so that newcomers will have a chance to meet them.
- A “Navigator Program” was proposed to introduce novices to the field and point them to information and experts on their topics of interest. The PhD Colloquium organizers have been asked to coordinate this activity and are considering this at present. If no volunteer is found, this activity will not take place.
There are five convened sessions proposed at present:
- Organizational Learning and System Dynamics, Max Visser ([email protected])
- Social Systems Theory, Dirk Vriens and Jan Achterbergh ([email protected])
- Dynamics of Corporate Governance, Usman Ghani ([email protected])
- System Dynamics Projects that Failed, Andreas Größler ([email protected])
- Health Policy SIG: Dynamics of Health Reform, Geoff McDonnell and Gary Hirsch ([email protected])
On Wednesday a Business Day is organized which will feature plenary and parallel sessions closely related to the conference theme ‘The dynamics of innovation in networks’. The aim of the Business Day is to increase local awareness and interest in system dynamics. A reference group from Minase, Significant and other Dutch organizations with an interest in system dynamics has been formed and is preparing this event. Plenary speakers from Dutch or German industry and government are invited. The Dutch health care system changed on January 1, 2006. A number of interviews with experts from this field have been held and we aim to organize a modeling session in the Spring. Discussions and modeling on the Dutch health care system are planned for the conference as well and have a clear relation to the work of the Health Policy SIG in the last years. We aim to interest experts and policy makers from the education and energy sectors in a similar way; this is at the moment still in the planning phase.
SOME POSSIBILITIES FOR TOURING AND/OR SPOUSE PROGRAM:
More and more additional, optional activities are coming up:
- Visit the High Field Magnetic Laboratory (see http://www.hfml.sci.kun.nl/dutchinfo.shtml)
- Visit the department of astrophysics and watch through a telescope (see http://www.astro.kun.nl/en)
- Roman tour of Nijmegen or another guided tour
- Polder Landscape Bike tour
- Visit to hot springs/sauna
Except for the guided tour, these activities are free.
Conference Partner: Minase BV;
Conference Host: Methodology Department, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen;
Organizing Chair: Etiënne Rouwette;
Conference Chair: Jac Vennix;
Program Chair: Andreas Größler;
Workshop Chair: Jack B. Homer;
Conference Manager: Roberta L. Spencer; and many other volunteers.
SPONSORSHIP TO DATE: To date we have 21 sponsors.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Radboud University, Nijmegen
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:59 PM
Congratulations to Etienne and the conference team for obvious hard and good work on the upcoming conference. I am looking forward to a great event.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:11 PM
Yes...it looks like it's going to be an excellent conference. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
VP Meetings: 2005 Boston Conference Report
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-23 at 03:02 PM
Boston Conference Report - Roberta Spencer and John Sterman
FINAL REPORT ON 2005 BOSTON CONFERENCE
BOSTON WAS A SUCCESSFUL CONFERENCE. As you know the Boston conference was our biggest conference ever with 521 registrants. We had an active conference team with Conference Partner: PA Consulting; Conference Host: System Dynamics Group; MIT, Sloan School of Management; Program Chairs: John Sterman and Nelson Repenning; Workshop Chair: Jack Homer and hundreds of other volunteers. Sixty-one percent of our participants were members and twenty-two percent were students. Sixty-five percent of the registrants were authors.
THE PROGRAM WAS NICELY BALANCED. The Business thread had the highest percentage of papers in Boston at 13%. It was followed closely by the threads of Environment and Ecology, Methodology, Economics and Public Policy, about 8% to 10% each. The threads of Education, Organizational Dynamics, Health and Strategy accounted for approximately 6% to 7% each of the total program. Operations Management/Supply Chain, Security, Energy, and Alternative Methodology represented between 3% to 5% of the papers submitted. Rounding out the program were papers in the threads of Information Science, Complexity/Agent-Based Modeling/Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, Military and Qualitative System Dynamics. The paper rejection rate was over 11%, the highest to date, up from 2.5% to 7.3% over the past four years. There were a total of 417 submissions.
IMPROVEMENTS ARE PLANNED FOR THE NIJMEGEN CONFERENCE BASED ON THE BOSTON EXPERIENCE. Feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the Boston Research Sessions has been incorporated into how the Research Sessions will be managed in Nijmegen. Comments and opinions from the Diversity Roundtable discussion have also been considered and some new items will be included for this year’s conference; please see the 2006 conference progress report.
THE BOSTON CONFERENCE MADE ABOUT $13,000 MORE THAN THE “OPTIMISTIC” BUDGET. The overall profit for the 2005 conference was just over $55,500. Our optimistic registration count was 506 and we had fifteen more. Our optimistic income was budgeted at $220,000 and in actuality it was $216,800. Since more conference attendees are signing up to be members, we received less registration income as the registration fee for members is less than for non-members. Our sponsorship income estimate was very close. We had seven new sponsors and an impressive five repeat sponsors that have been loyal conference sponsors for four to six years. Additionally, five more sponsors have sponsored for two to three years. Our optimistic expense was budgeted at $180,000 and in actuality it was $164,500. Working closely with the hotel we were able to save about $13,000 on all food items. Additionally our labor was less than the optimistic budget by $4,200 mostly due to the conference paper submission system being more automated and more routine. A million thanks to Bob Eberlein. We saved some money in some line items, and spent more in others. We had a very generous local host and conference partner who both contributed on-site social events as well as many program items. Sincere thanks to John Sterman, Nelson Repenning and the System Dynamics Group at MIT, Sloan School of Management; and PA Consulting.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-30 at 05:22 PM
Threads Over Time
We track the papers in each thread topic presented at our conferences over time. If you're interested, please see the attached graph. Thanks, Roberta
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 02:54 PM
Thanks for a good update.
VP Meetings: 2009 Call for Pre-proposals - Jim Lyneis
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-1-24 at 05:46 PM
Depending on the location of the 2008 conference, the 2009 conference would normally rotate back to North America. Please see the accompanying discussion regarding Conference Rotation for a more detailed assessment of rotation options.
At this time, we have received expressions of interest for the 2009 conference from:
• New Mexico (Len Malczynski)
• Mexico (Luis Luna and Jorge Duran)
• Portland, Maine (John Voyer)
Other expressions of interest are encouraged. Under the current Conference Site Selection Guidelines, formal pre-proposals are due for discussion at the Summer PC Meeting. However, I propose that this schedule be changed as discussed under Conference Site Selection Guideline Revisions.
Executive Director: Executive Director's Summary A full report will be given in July.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-30 at 04:04 PM
Executive Director's Summary by Roberta Spencer
Winter Policy Council Meeting February 2006
• A full Annual Report on Home Office Operations will be presented at the Summer Policy Council meeting at the Nijmegen conference. Below, please find eight bulleted items on 2006 Conference and some 2006 Nijmegen information, Membership Services and Recruitment, Sales, Society Sponsorship, Website, Home Office Physical Space, Allocation of Effort, and Finances. The following report is also attached.
2005 Boston Conference (and some 2006 Nijmegen information)
• Second highest income conference to date
o Net Gain approximately $52,500 (Oxford income was the highest at $89,000)
• Highest attendance to date: 521 participants, up from Oxford at 388
• Nijmegen conference planning is proceeding well, please see “2006 Nijmegen Conference Progress Report” under the forum “VP Meetings
Membership Services and Recruitment – membership continues to grow
• 2005 membership: 1052 in 59 countries, up from 977 in 2004, an increase of 7.7% (19% students)
o New countries include Cambodia and Ghana.
o Percentage of student members has decreased slightly each year from a high of 24% in 2002
• 5,887 records in database at the end of 2005, up from 5,301 in 2004
• Membership ownership and membership retention report is attached
o 27.5% increase in “new” memberships, compared to 22% in 2004 and 24% in previous years
o Overall membership retention from the previous year is 80%, down slightly from pervious years
• Outlook for 2006 membership looks good as we already have 643 members signed up in January 2005, that is the highest number to date for that time of year (Compared to last year’s membership at the same time: 541)
• Library Campaign: Started by Jim Hines in 2002 to encourage institutional subscriptions. In its fourth year, 205 letters were sent to members whose universities did not subscribe and to non-subscribing course-listers on the “Courses in SD” webpage.
• Beer Game sales $96,188, down 15% from 2004
o New: The Beer Game video is now available on DVD in addition to video tape
• Proceedings and back issues sales $2,680, down 60% from 2004
o Most proceedings and back issues of the Review are now available online
• Forrester Seminar Series sales $4,980, down 46% from 2004
o New: The Seminar series is now available on DVD in addition to video tape
• MIT SDG Literature Collection DVD sales $7,845, down 6% from 2004
• Bibliography updated through Fall 2005 and Boston Proceedings, available online
• Work continues on the reprinting of the Electronic Oracle
• 2005 Society Sponsorship: $37,000, down 3% from 2004
o 6 new sponsors in 2005, 5 in-kind sponsors
• Pledges to date for 2006 $32,000
o 3 new sponsors in 2006, 3 in-kind sponsors
• Hits for 2005 average 2,057 per month, peaking at 2757 in January 2005
o Site is being continuously updated, staff doing more web work
o Conference submission/review system continues to be upgraded, more automated
Home Office Physical Space
• We have moved into our new office space, but renovations have been postponed until Summer 2006
• Some supplemental pieces of furniture have been ordered to maximize space usage in the new space
• Four new computers and one laptop were purchased
Allocation of Effort
• Cost centers are Core, Sales, Conference, Web, and Publications
• Due to a new University requirement the Society must become listed in the NYS Attorney General’s Charity Bureau Registry
• Refer to VP - Finance Reports (Unaudited) Net Gain: ($111,241)
Does anyone have any questions or comments? Thanks, Roberta
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-30 at 05:10 PM
Membership Ownership and Rentention Report
Please find attached a report of renewal and retention numbers. Some highlights include:
-- We already have 643 members signed up in January 2005, that is the highest number to date for that time of year.
-- Using PayPal online as a payment method rose substantially from 10% last year to 38% this year.
-- Our "new" membership grew but retention of current members was down slightly in 2005.
-- Our percentage of student members dropped slightly for the third year in a row. Please see the attached for the full report.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:10 PM
Thank you to Roberta and our home office staff for this report. Our ability to function well as a society depends in so many ways on the hard work of our core professional staff. Thank you very much.
VP Finance: Financial Narrative and Reports
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-27 at 03:42 PM
For David Andersen
Financial Narrative and Reports
Note: I reproduce below a narrative summary of the VP Finance Report. For the full report including all the financial tables, please download the attached report. David Andersen
System Dynamics Society
January 2006 Electronic Meeting
Submitted by David F. Andersen
Summary: this report is based on four financial reports developed each year by the Society's home office staff: (1) Budget Comparison, Last Fiscal Year, (2) Profit & Loss Previous Year Comparison, (3) Profit & Loss, Fiscal Year, by Cost Centers, (4) Balance Sheet Previous Year Comparison. The narrative below gives the highlights that I find in these four reports. Overall the Society has a very strong year financially, posting the second largest ever surplus of $111,241. We ended the year with total assets of $562,068. A number of one-time events combined with strong performance of our core activities to create this strong performance as detailed in my report.
Narrative on Budget Comparison, Last Fiscal Year. The Society had a very strong financial performance last year. We posted our second largest ever surplus--$111,241. This was considerably better than the $54,878 one time budgeted surplus that I had projected in Oxford<. As detailed in Table 1 below, the main reasons that the budget missed actual performance are:
1. We budgeted a $54,878 surplus in the first case.
2. The Dana Meadows Endowment was not in the 2005 budget presented in Oxford. ($34,125)
3. Larger than expected (even larger than the “optimistic” budget), the Boston conference yielded an extra $67,945 in income over budget for the Society and only $783 over budget in expenses.
4. Our investments performed almost $14,437 better than budgeted.
5. We paid out $25,000 un-budgeted dollars to support office space renovations at U-Albany.
6. We paid out an extra $33,118 in professional services for compensation to staff working in the home office (salary adjustments were about $10,000 and the rest new effort due to increased workload).
Narrative on Profit & Loss Previous Year Comparison. The story told by our profit and loss statement is much the same as the story emerging from the budget comparison above. A close reading of the profit and loss comparison also highlights that:
1. Product sales have fallen off in addition to being less than budgeted.
2. The contract with the University at Albany has increase by 25%. This was a planned shift to hire a graduate assistant.
3. Conference expenses were up considerably reflecting the fact that the Boston conference did not bundle expenses into the participant’s single fee for rooms, as was the case at Keeble College in Oxford. This was an anticipated and budgeted for change.
Narrative Summary of Profit and Loss, Fiscal Year, by Cost Centers. The pattern that I see in the profit and loss by cost center is much the same as we have seen in the past—the Conferences and Sales cost centers subsidize activities related to Publications and to our Web presence. I should note that for the first time ever this year, Core Operations appeared to be close to self-sustaining. I think that this is not actually the case because we had a one-time income from Wiley under Membership Dues. But we are certainly doing much better in this area. The IFR transfer column is used to track minor resource exchanges between the Society and U-Albany (IFR is an on-campus account type).
Narrative Summary of Balance Sheet Previous Year Comparison. I find little remarkable in the Balance Sheet previous Year Comparison. Our Total Change in Liabilities & Equity of $120,771 is in the same ballpark as the $111,241 Net Income reported on the profit and loss statement. We end the year with the Society's total liabilities and equity at $562,068 (unaudited). We have some flexibility and ability to make strategic investments with these funds.
A. Budget Comparison, Last Fiscal Year (unaudited)
B. Profit & Loss Previous Year Comparison (unaudited)
C. Profit & Loss, Fiscal Year, by Cost Centers (unaudited)
D. Balance Sheet Previous Year Comparison (unaudited)
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-1-27 at 09:49 PM
Just a note that the Dana Meadows Endowment is being treated as an endowment and conceptually should not be included with the budget at all. The net effect of that is that the surplus is overstated by the contributions to the fund.
For practical reasons we are keeping everything in one single budget. After this year it won't matter very much as the payments from the endowment will be balanced against its income. So it is only for 2005 that it creates the relatively large distortion. (Actually what it did was compound the distortion that the Wiley changeover caused which also goes away in 2006). The long and short is that we should be moving back to having actual and budgeted numbers that are more or less in line with one another.
David Andersen, >posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:12 PM
I agree with Bob that conceptually the Dana Meadows fund is separate from "normal" society operations. The Society runs on a modified cash basis, so income to Dana Meadows fund does appear on our income and expenditure reports. These funds are securely and separately accounted for by Society home staff.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:27 PM
As always, an excellent job David!
Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
VP Chapters (Chapter and SIG Reports)
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-14 at 04:03 PM
1) Overview of active Chapters and Special Interest Groups
2) Chapter reports including total membership
(a) Economics Chapter amended name
3) Special Interest Group reports
(a) Suggestion that someone looking after corporate interest could be helpful (Business SIG?).
4) (Minutes 7/05) Potential SIGs appear to be Strategy, Urban and Rural Development, and Military, all yet to be proposed
5) (Minutes 1/05) Create a template proposal similar to the chapter proposal in the Policies.
6) (Minutes 1/05) Chapters to produce an annual report including a list of member in good standing as required by our policies include in summary report recommendation on how this should be done on a formal basis. Is there a need for changes to Policy 8?
7) (Minutes 7/05) Ginny is working with chapters to be sure that they have at lease 10 members. She also noted that it may be desirable to have a “probationary period” for potential chapters that have less than 10 members
8) (Minutes 7/05) David Andersen asked how we can better support chapters and SIGs, with dollars, articles, and the like. Ginny will explore.
9) (Minutes 7/05) K-12 Memberships: Ginny Wiley agreed to handle this issue with the Education SIG.
OlegPavlov, posted on 2006-2-1 at 12:46 AM
Economics Chapter report
Dear Colleagues, Here is a report from Economics Chapter.
Regards, Oleg Pavlov
Assistant Professor of Economics and System Dynamics
Department of Social Science and Policy Studies
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609
(508) 831 5234 (Tel.)
(508) 831 5896 (Fax)
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-1 at 07:20 AM
REPORT OF THE SDS EDUCATION SIG TO THE E- MEETING - Feb 2006
BY CAROL FRANCES & PROF. MICHAEL KENNEDY
The SDS Education SIG continues to pursue its twin interests in the contribution of SD to Education Management and the evolution of the contribution of SD to the curriculum - in both cases the interest spans the whole span of education from K-12 to Higher Education.
Current Initiatives include:
1. Planning the second international workshop on the utilisation of systems based approaches to Higher Education management - later in 2006. We are currently evolving the programme in consultation with interested institutions and academics. Your ideas are most welcome!
2. Encouraging education, systems and other graduate students to consider using system dynamics approaches for education policy dissertations. We will be seeking sponsorship to award an annual prize for the best student work in this area.
3. Encouraging graduate students to consider examining enhanced techniques for improving the contribution of SD to the curriculum in their dissertations. Again, we will be seeking sponsorship to award an annual prize for the best student work in this area.
4. We plan to make concerted efforts to introduce members of other education associations to system dynamics approaches to their work. As an example, Carol Frances is travelling to Hiroshima this Saturday to an international conference on faculty. She plans to present System Dynamics approaches to them as a way to strengthen their work.
5. We plan to conduct a survey of all those interested in SD & education so as to form an active network with a data base of current and planned system dynamics topics / projects.
6. We intend to improve our interaction and collaboration with other groups conducting K-12 based activities. In particular we will consider ideas for encouraging membership from that community. Your ideas are most welcome!
BriceDattee, posted on 2006-2-2 at 10:32 AM
STUDENT CHAPTER REPORT
> Winter Policy Council eMeeting
Period covered: July 2005 – January 2006
“The System Dynamics Student Chapter has the primary objective of bringing together PhD students who are involved in System Dynamics research and to give them the opportunity to raise key questions and/or concerns related to their research and discuss these in depth in a constructive and enjoyable atmosphere”
President: Burak Güneralp, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Representative: Brice Dattée, University College Dublin / Ecole Centrale Paris
Secretary: Mamadou Chetima, Cornell University
Committee Members: Ines Winz, University of Auckland, and Jorge A. Villalobos, The University of Texas at El Paso
There are currently 76 Society members who have expressed an interest in the Student Chapter. This was last updated in October 2005.
SD PHD COLLOQUIUM 2006:
The SD Student Chapter continues to pursue its objective of bringing together PhD Students. This year, our chapter will organize the 7th PhD Colloquium during the Nijmegen Conference on the 23rd of July. The organizers for this year SD PhD Colloquium are:
Ozge Pala, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Brice Dattée, University College Dublin / Ecole Centrale Paris
For the preparation of this traditional event, we have developed a completely new website and we have bought a user-friendly URL: www.sdphdcolloquium.org
This address can be redirected each year to the new organizing team’s server. Moreover, inspired by the ISDC system, we have developed a basic on-line submission system which allows us to centralize applicants’ details and their submission on a database.
During the Boston conference, the above committee had agreed to develop a new website for our chapter. This project is still undergoing.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-6 at 11:19 AM
Proposal for SIG in Information Science
Please find below our petition for recognition of the SIG in Information Science and Information Systems. Thank you for your help. Best, Vedat Diker
We, the undersigned, would like to petition the System Dynamics Society to recognize the formation of the Information Science and Information Systems Special Interest Group (iSIG). The objective of the group will be the advancement of the application of system dynamics to the information science and information systems related problems. iSIG will encourage research, networking and advocacy within the system dynamics community and in other select academic and professional communities that focus on information science and information systems research and practice. Vedat Diker, Luis Luna, and Oleg Pavlov will act as the liaisons for the proposed SIG. Thank you for your consideration.
Geoff_McDonnell, posted on 2006-2-6 at 04:13 PM
Health Policy SIG Report
The HPSIG has 116 members who receive a regular (1-2 week) HPSIG snippets Newsletter. The main focus has been to improve the Health Stream at the ISDC, and after a successful session on US Health reform at the Boston2005 conference another more international Health Reform Session is planned for Nijmegen2006.
The HPSIG wiki was launched at http://www.hpsig.com in January 2006, with its key focus as writing the Health System Dynamics Wikipedia. We also plan to foster more ongoing research collaboration online, including shared development of models, health system archetypes and classic case studies.Geoff McDonnell is the President and Gary Hirsch the Vice-President for 2006.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:14 PM
Chapters and SIGs represent the critical growth edge of the Society. It is critical that the whole policy council continue to pay attention to the nurturing and growth of these areas.
ThomasBeck, posted on 2006-2-10 at 04:38 PM
For the activities of the Swiss Chapter please have a look at www.systemdynamics-swisschapter.ch
OlegPavlov, posted on 2006-2-12 at 01:10 PM
Dear Geoff, I was very impressed with the wiki set up for your chapter. If I would like to do something similar for the Econ Chapter, how do I do that? Are there any drawbacks of having such a site? Is the maintenance of it very labor intensive?
Many thanks, Oleg Pavlov, WPI, Worcester, MA
Geoff_McDonnell, posted on 2006-2-16 at 04:31 AM
Oleg, you need to find someone to host the wiki and load and configure Mediawiki. We tried other wikis but this seemed the most popular mainstream choice, mostly because THE Wikipedia uses it. Many University and corporate IT departments take a lot of convincing to do this (they feel they lose control) The HPSIG site is maintained technically and backed up daily, via Mark Heffernan's company. Maintaining and moderating the site has been much easier than I expected. The software handles page locking and rolling back and blocking malicious postings (graffiti) -- non existent in the past few months, but probably inevitable. You may want to register a URL domain name like hpsig.comI expect it will take a year or so to get a large volume of traffic and interaction. I'm sure you could get started by just starting a page on the HPSIG wiki to develop some bulk, but of course you may want to brand it separately. I suggest you approach Mark Heffernan email [email protected]if you want to pursue this experimental startup option.
hope this helps, geoff
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-3-2 at 12:55 AM
The Information Science SIG
I have just taken on the new role of VP Member Services responsible for SIGs (among other things) and there will be a transition period. Therefore, I will not be acting on this SIG proposal during the current Winter PC Meeting. I will be working closely with Ginny to make the transition, and once I am up to speed on the review process -- and have been in contact with the SIG liaisons personally -- I will bring the proposal to the PC with a recommendation. This will be done via the PC Listserv.
To save me the time of tracking down individual email addresses, if any of the liaisons read this, would you please contact me directly via email so that we can discuss any questions regarding the proposal? Thanks!
>Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-7 at 04:49 PM
So that it can be recorded in the minutes, there has been a formal proposal submission for a Psychology Chapter. More information on this proposal will follow.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-8 at 01:54 PM
We have also had inquiries by interested members about starting a chapter in South Africa and another one in the Gulf Region.
VP at Large: Report
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:33 PM
1) Status of new program for complimentary subscriptions/membership partnering with Wiley
2) (New item) Diversification: each geographic based Chapter of the System Dynamics Society be given one full vote each on the Policy Council
3) (1/05) Opening relationships with other Societies: Bob Cavana
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:16 PM
I hope that the issue of Wiley sponsored members that we have discussed in the past stays connected with the development of Chapters around the world. There is a natural linkage between these two areas.
Bob_Cavana, posted on 2006-2-11 at 06:06 PM
Wiley sponsored memberships to SDS
The Wiley SDS sponsored membership committee is pleased to announce that the first two new members have qualified for the scheme [awarded for 2years]. They are both from Malaysia, undertaking research for a PhD in SD, and both connected to different work environments in the public sector in Malaysia.
We would like to remind SDS chapter representatives to keep a look out for potential new members that would qualify under the scheme.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:38 PM
On issue 3): (1/05) Opening relationships with other Societies: Bob Cavana...
Speaking from experience (i.e., the economics chapter) I can tell you that the chapters and SIGs might be the best entities for reaching out to other societies. The econ chapter, for example, has begun showing-up at heterodox economics conferences and the results have been (with a couple of exceptions) very favorable. We have gotten some real, live, economics Ph.D. students in real, live, economics departments interested in SD and have even lured some faculty members into our web as well. Of course, I can envision (say) the health care policy SIG showing-up at health care policy conferences, the higher education SIG (say) showing-up at higher education policy conferences, etc.
Perhaps Bob should work with the chapters and SIGs on this initiative.
Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
BriceDattee, posted on 2006-3-8 at 02:47 AM
I'm the Student Chapter representative. Can I get more info on the Wiley sponsored memberships? Could we ask these fellow PhD students from Malaysia to become members of our Chapter? Thanks.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-8 at 01:52 PM
Information on Wiley Sponsored Membership is located on the Society webpage, click on "How to Join or Renew" and the last paragraph is all about this.
>Names of Wiley Sponsored Members will not be listed any differently from other members, but I would be happy to forward this invitation to them. Thanks for thinking of this.
VP Members (NEW): Report
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:34 PM
1) Enhancement of Member services:
(a) Promotion of career opportunities for younger members
(b) Member services: discounts, special events, outreach
(c) Related issue of membership retention
Conference Scholarship Committee - Bob Eberlein
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:38 PM
New: Proposal to subsidize accommodations in conference scholarship on a yearly basis. Longer term some kind of formal budgeting for scholarships, possibly not tied to a conference budget needs to be investigation. We may serve everyone better striving for lower conference fees for everyone or possibly a tiered conference fee structure.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-1-23 at 09:55 AM
In 2005 for the first time we offered 10 conference scholarships. Those receiving scholarships did not have to pay the conference registration fee and received 4 nights of hotel accomodation (shared rooms). The hotel accomodation was made possible by the generosity of the Seaport. They are going to do this again in 2007. For 2006 no such arrangement is possible.
Longer term I think it is important that the Society budget some amount for support of people with limited means. Offering conference scholarships and sponsored memberships are the two things that we are doing though there may be others. Determining this in the long term needs to be part of the overall budgeting process.
For 2006 I would propose that we provide a budget of $2000 ($200/person) for scholarship recipients to help cover hotel accomodation during the conference. I am no longer a member of the policy council, and can't make this as a formal motion so I would appreciate it if someone who is a PC member would do that. Discussion, of course, is always welcome.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-1 at 08:51 PM
Bob, Is $200 per person enough? Etienne and Roberta have presumably looked into hotel costs, so perhaps this number reflects their info. Jim
PS I move we make you a permanent member of the PC!
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 09:15 PM
Yes...we should budget for scholarships and I'd be happy to entertain a motion on the subject.
However, before a motion is made, do we need further study/opinions as to the "correct" size of a scholarship? $200 does seem a bit small. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-7 at 10:36 AM
The $200 figure is roughly enough assuming that people are sharing rooms - which is what happened at the Seaport. I definitely don't want the central office getting into the process of reserving and paying for rooms so a simple cash stipend seems the most sensible.
The purpose of scholarships is to help defray some of the cost of attending. People still need to travel, eat and manage other things. I think it is appropriate that the scholarships be modest. We are simply trying to help people get over the hurdle of being able to attend the conference by decreasing somewhat the financial burden.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:23 PM
(1) From which budget do the conference shcolarships come--conference budget or overall society budget? I ask that it stays within the conference budget so that those running the conference also work with the level of conference shcolarhsip awards.
(2) How do we make sure that this good idea does not generate a ton of new work for the home officd staff? I like the idea that it be a simple cash payment. I am opposed to more complicated schemes that can and will take up a lot of staff time to make happen.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-9 at 07:42 PM
The registration waivers are currently built into the conference budget. The $2000 for this year is not budgeted.
In principle I think I disagree with you. I think that scholarships and all other activities that are intended to make things easier for people with limited means should be in the Society budget. The burden that we place on a conference should be an aggregate burden. If a conference returns money to the Society that money should be spent in the manner that most strongly benefits the Society. The only exception I would take to this is where a local organizer has an idea for a locally sponsored activity that would otherwise simply not happen.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-10 at 05:19 PM
I agree with Bob that scholarships should come out of the Society budget, and again that we should take a multi-year view of this. Jim
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:50 PM
I'll entertain a motion on the topic if someone wishes to make one. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
GeorgeRichardson, posted on 2006-2-16 at 04:52 PM
Who would be eligible for such support, and how would decisions be made? Do these issues need to be part of the motion?
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-16 at 05:37 PM
There is a conference scholarship committee which I chair that would make the decision - in practice it was me who did this last year and would probably be so again this year unless I manage some enhancements to the web submission system. In any case the committee exists so this does not need to be part of the motion.
The awarding is based on a personal statement of the applicant explaining their need and why they have something special and on the reviewers’ comments on the applications paper(s).
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-18 at 02:08 PM
From Yaman Barlas: Although I am not a voting member, I just want to say that I FULLY support the motion. BOTH student/low income scholarship idea and in general having a tiered fee structure such that there is a fee for education community somewhere between student fee and full (business) fee. I think we should do this ASAP. It is not that complicated. Best to all, Yaman Barlas
Scott Johnson, posted on 2006-2-18 at 06:03 PM
For the benefit of current and future Policy Councils, recommend the motion be modified to address the following:
What goal or behavior is the Society attempting to achieve with this budget allocation? What are the options and expectations for involving recipients in conference activities and then obtaining feedback? What does success look like and how will it be measured / reported? Scott
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-18 at 06:03 PM
A motion is just a call to action - the purpose of the discussion is to address such issues. The goal has, I think been outlined pretty clearly above. To date success is measured by the happiness of the people receiving the scholarship. The expectation is that some of them would not have been able to come without it, though there is not a good way to really determine how many. We could ask, though I have my doubts about how valid the responses would be. Certainly anecdotally it makes a difference.
Jay_Forrester, posted on 2006-2-19 at 09:32 PM
I feel that the Society should not take this action on scholarships for the conference. We can support only an extremely small fraction of potential participants. It is not clear that the expenditure does much to support the future of the Society. The idea sounds appealing by itself, but it should be weighed against other higher priority uses of Society funds. For attendance at the conference, we should instead promote the idea that companies, individuals, and institutions provide help for those they feel would benefit by coming.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-23 at 12:15 PM
Subject: Conference Scholarships
Proposed by: Andersen, David
Seconded by: Radzicki, Michael
Voting open date: 2006.02.22 Voting close date: 2006.03.04
Motion #103: The Society provides a budget of $2000 ($200/person) for ten scholarship recipients to help cover hotel accommodations during the Nijmegen conference, to come out of the Society budget, and the VP Finance, VP Meetings, Chair of the Scholarship Committee and Executive Director investigate subsidizing accommodations with future conference scholarships on a yearly basis, and/or alternatives such as a tiered conference fee structure or lower conference fees for everyone.
To vote please go to the website http://cgi.albany.edu/~sdsweb/sds2006.cgi, log in and click on the button "Policy Council Menu."
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-4-4 at 03:13 PM
The vote on Motion #103 regarding conference scholarships has passed unanimously without any abstentions or no votes.
Diversity Committee - Deborah Campbell
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-1 at 12:37 AM
Report of the Diversity Committee
Winter 2006 Policy Council Meeting
> submitted by Deborah Campbell
This fall the Diversity Committee accomplished three things:
• Updated the SDS membership application to include diversity demographics.
• Distributed and discussed the minutes of the 2005 Diversity Roundtable with the Policy Council.
• Produced an article about the work of the committee for the October newsletter.
To update the membership application, we looked at what several other professional organizations were including on their applications and used that information as a guide. This new demographic information is now part of the membership database, and will be reported to the PC along with the traditional membership information (when the new information is available).
The minutes of the 2005 Diversity Roundtable (held at the ISDC) raised several questions about how some members (and perhaps groups of members?) of the Society are experiencing conferences. The Diversity Committee plans to follow up on this feedback by gathering additional information from a broad spectrum (and large number) of Society members.
The committee has not been active the last few months as Deborah has been focused on her thesis. This hiatus will continue for the next couple of months. The committee has many valuable and interesting activities awaiting it, and would value the addition of new members. If you know someone who would be a good addition to our team (or have some good ideas how we could find them), we would appreciate hearing from you!
The Diversity Committee
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 09:19 PM
If the Diversity Committee can provide the PC with some concrete recommendations as to how the Society can improve in this area, it would be great. Thanks for your efforts so far. Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:27 PM
The important work of this ad hoc committee is moving forward because of the persistence and dedication of a few persons (such as Deborah Campbell and Peter Hovmand) who are putting in all the time. I suggest that this function is so important that it may need to be housed within a more permanent standing committee such as the Awards Committee or the Administrative committee. In addition, the title "diversity" does not do justice to the full scope of what we are talking about. There is an important dimension of retention of new members and growth of the society and the field wrapped into this area that may be masked by the name of the committee. I hope that we can discuss this important topic more.
Bob_Cavana, posted on 2006-2-11 at 06:46 PM
more 'voting diversity' on PC?
one way of bringing more 'diversity' into the SDS without creating too much additional work for the SDS home office or special subcommittees, is to give each geographic based chapter a formal vote on Policy Council.
that way the chapter rep would have to go back to their respective chapters and discuss the issues with them. the chapter rep will be at PC meetings to vote on behalf of the chapters they represent.
other voting PC members have been elected to PC by PC itself (not by the chapters). although there is diversificion of membership on PC, the lines of responsibilty are quite different!
could we please have a discussion on whether 'chapter reps should have voting power on PC' thanks, Bob Cavana
mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 05:48 PM
1. Should the diversity committee be under the jurisdiction of the VP Members?
2. Bob's idea of giving a vote to each geographically-based chapter seems interesting. Of course, having started the econ chapter, I'm now wondering if it should have been formed as a SIG. In other words, perhaps we not only need to give each geographicaly-based chapter a vote on the PC, but we also need to redefine chapters as being ONLY geographically-based and designate SIGs to be the entities that bind SDers together in all other circumstances. Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-12 at 07:45 PM
The idea of giving a vote to chapter representatives is a pretty major departure from the constitution of the Society. We are member based and the election of officers is currently done by publishing nominations based on the recommendation of the Policy Council. Nevertheless, anyone who wants to run for any office can do so by collecting a modest number of member signatures and calling for a vote of the membership.
Allowing a Chapter to elect someone is not consistent with that. While conceptually I can see some merit in the notion, it would be a pretty major reworking. I think if we want to pursue this some thought also needs to be given to changing the composition - for example decreasing the number of PC members taking office each year. Making a body bigger does not make it more effective.
ScottJohnson, posted on 2006-2-13 at 01:00 PM
About a week ago I posted a question about the charter of the PC. Is there one or is there just a constitution that describes PC roles and responsibilities?
I find myself in a position of not being able to contribute to the discussion because I am unaware of guiding documents.
What are the key documents that PC members should be aware of?
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-13 at 07:23 PM
>This is a good question that I myself do not know the answer to. Perhaps we (Bob or Roberta) should list the key Society documents that all PC members should read upon taking office. This presumably would include the bylaws and roles. Anything else? I assume that these documents are posted on the web site. Jim
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-14 at 07:00 AM
The main documents are all on http://www.systemdynamics.org/Governance.htm - Articles, Bylaws and Policies. There are bits and pieces of more detailed descriptions of the VP roles around but I am not sure where. Roberta may know or they may not be collected in one place.
Graham Winch, posted on 2006-2-15 at 06:05 AM
Hello all, I understand Bob C's point about geographic diversity, but query if anyone else feels that the diversity on PC is inappropriately narrow and/or damaging to PC's role. My glance at the current PC membership suggests that geographical representation is broad, and the slate of new nominees will maintain that breadth (incidentally, I did deliberately invite people who are/have been chapter chairs or similarly active to be on 'my' nominating committee). I agree that a larger committee does not, per se, make it more effective, and it certainly risks making it administratively more difficult. I think as well that designating some groups like geographic chapters to have voting rights might simply lead to other groups saying 'us too' - there is arguably a stronger case for the student chapter to have an ex officio seat. I am happy that the PC be comprised of officers plus representatives of our individual members. Best to all, Graham
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-3-2 at 01:14 AM
In response to David's post about the Diversity Committee, those who attended the Diversity Roundtable had similar things to say (from the Roundtable 2005 report):
"The attendees at the roundtable felt strongly that membership diversity is not an adjunct issue for the Society, but a mainstream membership issue. The point was made that if we are going to be successful expanding the usage of system dynamics in the way that we as a Society have always envisioned, across the globe and across a variety of complex problems, then it will depend heavily on our ability to create partnerships within other fields and increase the diversity of our membership. It was suggested that the Diversity Committee change their name to the Membership Committee, because the issues identified were felt to be core issues of attracting, developing and retaining all members of the Society."
I am assuming that while I am acting (and if I am elected) VP Member Services that this committee will be an ad-hoc committee under me. (Unless, of course, at some point it makes sense to make it a standing committee -- which clearly would require a change to the Bylaws.)
I'd be interested in your reactions to the idea of changing the name of the committee to the Membership Committee, with the emphasis of our work continuing to be "attracting, developing, and retaining members of the Society."
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-3-2 at 07:52 AM
Hi Deborah, I think that you have just described the function of the Development Committee which is supposed to be a standing committee.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-3-3 at 12:54 AM
It appears that the Development Committee has an even broader charter than my Diverisity/Membership Committee. From the Policies document:
"The Development Committee shall assist the Vice President-at-Large in supervising liaisons with other organizations; examining factors affecting the long-term growth and development of the Society, and recommending steps to further the objectives of the Society; and fostering and encouraging research and educational activities in system dynamics. The Committee on Development shall concern itself with factors affecting the long-term growth and development of the Society. It shall assess all activities of the Society and of its subdivisions and their respective contributions to the attainment of the objectives of the Society. It shall recommend to the Council new activities; subject matter; programs; and relationships with other professional organizations, universities, businesses or governments which might further the attainment of the objectives of the Society. It shall recommend to the Council the deletion or reduction of activities, subdivisions, policies or practices which no longer appear consistent with the objectives of the Society."
The VP-at-Large has a pretty clearly defined role relating to promoting cross-fertilization of the SDS with other organizations, and research or other programs promoting the long-term growth of the SDS. It appears that the Development Committee is intended to support this strategic work.
Our focus on membership attraction and retention is more narrow, though still strategically important. It could be a subset of what the Development Committee would be doing, and we would need to be clear about the distinctions, since the Development Committee is not under the VP Member Services -- at least by my reading of the Bylaws and Policies.
Nominating Committee - Graham Winch
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 03:10 PM
For Graham Winch
The nominating committee for the 2007 slate is comprised of: Graham Winch (ex officio, Chair), Qifan Wang (ex officio, as newly elected President Elect), Walid Badr (Egypt), Nicholas Georgantzas (USA/Greece), Alan McLucas (Australia), Silvia Ulli-Beer (Switzerland)
I, as the Past President and the Chair of the Nominating Committee, am pleased to present the following nominations:
All candidates have been asked if they were interested in the positions and all have said yes. The slate of nominations we are presenting is:
• President Elect: _Jim Lyneis__ (2007)
• Secretary: _Dave Packer__ (2007 - 2008)
• VP At Large: _Joel Rahn__ (2007-2009)
• VP Meetings: _Andreas Größler__ (2007-2009)
• New VP Membership _Deborah Campbell__ (2007-2008 shortened term, with Ginny Wiley remaining as VP Chapters until the normal end of appointed term – end 2007)
• New VP Electronic Presence _Bob Eberlein__ (2007-2008 shortened term)
• Policy Council members:
___ RenAn Jia ______ (2007 – 2009)
___ Özge Pala _______ (2007 – 2009)
___ Warren Tignor ______ (2007 – 2009)
___ Khaled Wahba ______ (2007 – 2009)
In a separate motion, I suggest that the two new office holders (Eberlein and Campbell) be appointed by the Policy Council to undertake the role on an acting basis for this year.
• New VP Membership _Deborah Campbell__ (2006)
• New VP Electronic Presence _Bob Eberlein__ (2006)
It is proposed that the three-year terms for the two new VPs run initially 2006 – 2008, this will stagger the number of appointments to be made each year.
The membership will be notified of who is being nominated before March 31 in the Newsletter, by post, or e-mail.
Sincerely, Graham Winch
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-23 at 12:06 PM
Subject: Nominations for Society Officers and PC Members
Motion #100: I propose that the posted slate of nominees for officer and PC member posts, as recommended by the Nomination Committee, be adopted by PC and put to the Society membership for election.
Proposed by: Winch, Graham
Seconded by: Andersen, David
The vote on the slate of nominations has passed unanimously without any abstentions or no votes. We welcome our continuing and new Policy Council Members.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-23 at 12:11 PM
Subject: Nominations for New VP Posts
Motion #102: I propose that PC confirms that the present VP Members and Chapters should continue in the revised role of VP Chapters until normal retirement date, and that PC appoints the nominees for the new posts of VP Members and VP E-Presence to undertake these roles on an acting basis during 2006.
Proposed by: Winch, Graham
Seconded by: Andersen, David
The vote on the nominations for acting VPs has passed unanimously without any abstentions or no votes. We welcome our new Policy Council Members.
Awards Committee - John MorecroftRoberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:39 PM
Report - John Morecroft
(a) Forrester Award status
(b) Dana Meadows Award status
(c) The Business Applications Award (Minutes 1/05) Policy Council endorse the idea of an applications award and that the awards committee find the appropriate members to judge the award and announce it in 2006 with the intention of awarding it in 2007 and thereafter as is deemed
(d) (7/05) Information on the full gamut of awards, including special awards and criteria. It was also noted that there was consensus that new awards should be endowed (as with the Student Award) for clear reasons of sustainability. All award info should be placed on the web.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-30 at 05:46 PM
Awards Committee - John Morecroft
Report to the Policy Council from the Chair of the Awards Committee - please open attached file.
Attachment: JM Report on Awards to PC 2006.pdf
VP E-Presence (NEW) » Report from VP E-Presences - NEW
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:34 PM<
Report from VP E-Presences - NEW
1) Web restructuring / Web presence advancement
2) (7/05) Open source access to system dynamics material (relates to web presence and publications)
3) (New) Webcasts featuring members on interesting topics
Geoff_McDonnell, posted on 2006-2-6 at 04:45 PM
HPSIGWiki online since Jan2006
For those interested in wikis in general, and the Health System Dynamics Wikipedia in particular, the Health Policy SIG has recently launched a wiki at http://www.hpsig.com
This is powered by Mediawiki. The RSS Feeds are a very useful feature (see the Help page on the wiki). So far, so good ......
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 09:12 PM
Three cheers to the health policy SIG for their innovative work. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:20 PM
Here we have the open source issue coming up once again. It also came up under the VP Publications and some other of the Web-related committees and reports. It also came up under the VP Meetings report around the issue that we drop publication of the CD with the conference proceedings (presumably because they will become available on-line). As I said in several of these places, hooking up wiht an established and archivally competent partner (such as a research library is a very, very good idea here). I think that we may regret going it alone on this one. For example, what happens if the format of WWW material were to change? Do we want to take on all of these format changes forever? Or do we want to work with a partner who does this professionally? I am clear that we want a strong partner.
JamesThompson, posted on 2006-3-6 at 09:44 AM
"For example, what happens if the format of WWW material were to change? Do we want to take on all of these format changes forever?"
It concerns me that we would feel obligated as a Society to make all works available in perpetuity or have to decide today what will be important to future researchers. It would seem that consultation with an established research library/librarian would surface more such questions and give us a more systemic perspective.
DISCUSSION ITEMS:Overview, Welcome and Thanks » Overview and a few helpful hints Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 03:17 PM
Indicate items that need to be added to the agenda by clicking on the Call for Additions to the Agenda and Announcements link. Pressing and important issues, as well as discussion and development items are grouped with the appropriate officer or committee.
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To view today's activity, please click on "Today's Posts" in the header line above.
Overview, Welcome and Thanks » New, Continuing and Outgoing Members
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 02:30 PM
To respond to the report and/or issue under discussion and/or to any reply within each topic, use the "Quick Reply" box below or the "Post Reply" button. The "Post Reply" button is a little gray button farthest right on any current post. Please never use the “New Poll” button or the “New Topic” button.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 03:15 PM
Welcome and Thanks to PC Officers and Members - Michael J. Radzicki
We warmly welcome President Elect: Qifan Wang, and PC Members: Gloria Perez, Santanu Roy, Ali Kerem Saysel, and Krys Stave.
Many thanks for continued service to Jay Forrester, David Packer, David Andersen, Deborah Lines Andersen, Ginny Wiley, Bob Cavana, Jim Lyneis, Allen Boorstein, David Exelby, Tim Haslett, Gianliborio Marrone, Henk Akkermans, Brad Morrison, Jim Thompson, and Scott Johnson.
A hearty thanks to our outgoing officers and members: President: Graham Winch (now Past President), Past President: Bob Eberlein, PC Members: Deborah Campbell, David Lane, Scott Rockart, and Etienne Rouwette.
Overview, Welcome and Thanks » Some PC Officers and Members have not yet renewed for 2006.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 02:33 PM<
If you are not sure that you are a current member for 2006, please ask Roberta.
Approvals and Interim Votes » Recap any e-decisions for the record - Michael J. Radzicki
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 03:18 PM
The Nominating Committee (Graham Winch (ex officio, Chair), Qifan Wang (ex officio, as newly elected President Elect), Walid Badr (Egypt), Nicholas Georgantzas (USA/Greece), Alan McLucas (Australia), Silvia Ulli-Beer (Switzerland) was approved electronically after the Summer PC Meeting on September 9, 2005.
Approvals and Interim Votes » July 2005 PC Minutes - Post Corrections and Voting Instructions - Michael J. Radzicki
July 2005 Meeting Minutes can be found at http://www.systemdynamics.org/PolicyCouncil/PCmin050717.htm
To vote for approval of summer meeting minutes go to: http://cgi.albany.edu/~sdsweb/sds2006.cgi
Issues from the President » Amendment to Contract with Wiley
Please find attached the amendment to the contract with Wiley.
Issues from the President » Organization and By-Laws Committee<>Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:57 PM
(Jul 05) This committee which is in our by-laws needs to become active and assure the by-laws and policies are up to date and incorporate changes on a timely basis.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-1 at 06:37 PM
Below please find pasted from the POLICIES below some info on the Organization and Bylaws Committee as well as standing committees in general.
POLICY 9. COMMITTEES
Section 1. Standing Committees. The Standing Committees of the Society shall be: Nominating, Finance, Organization and Bylaws, Publications, Development, and Awards.
Standing Committees shall have at least three members, each of whom serves a three-year term, and the terms of the members shall be staggered to provide continuity.
With the approval of the Council, the President shall appoint the chairs of the Standing Committees ... and shall also appoint members to fill vacancies in all Standing Committees.
The Organization and Bylaws Committee shall observe the management of the Society form the point of view of compliance with the Bylaws and Policies of the Society. It shall study all proposals for changes in the regulations, and shall make recommendations as appropriate. It shall make recommendations to the Council concerning the organization and objectives of the Society. It shall examine all subdivision Bylaws, and changes thereto, for conformity with the Bylaws and Policies of the Society.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-3-2 at 12:44 AM
Do we comply with this description today? I am not aware that our Nominating Committee has the three required members with 3-year tenures. It has appeared to me that this committee has been created each year with the out-going President as head ... is this correct?
And do we have a standing Organization and Bylaws Committee? A Development Committee? If so, who are the members? Thanks!
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-3-2 at 08:06 AM
In short it seems we do things the way that we do them instead of the way that the Society was constituted. Now I have to blame this on the Organization and Bylaws committee since it is the responsibility of that committee to be sure we follow the rules. Unfortunately, to the best of my recollection, that committee has never been constituted.
Some of committee constitution should be obvious - VP Pubs chairs the publications committee, VP Finance chairs the finance committee, VP Memebrs chairs the Development committee, Past President chairs the Nominating committee. Awards and Organization seem a little less clear.
If the VP is ex-officio chairing a committee it probably makes sense (as a matter of practice not policy) to have them stick on for another 3 year term on the committee.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-2 at 08:22 AM
I pasted info here that applies to the Org and Bylaws Committee. The POLICIES say something like all standing committees, except the nominating committee, shall have at least 3 members... Very sorry about this confusion.
The Nominating Committee is and has been proceeding correctly.>
Issues from the President » PC Members arriving early to the conference
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 03:23 PM
The PC Informal Gathering is scheduled for Saturday in Nijmegen. This requires PC members to arrive a day early. Perhaps there should be something to balance the extra cost for this. Maybe a discounted conference fee or something like it would be appropriate. Possibly PC members in the past have not come to the meeting on Sunday or have been quite late because of the financial burden of an extra day, so a consequence of these decisions might be discouraging good people from taking on PC responsibility or only partially participating. This would be worth discussing at a PC meeting.
Graham Winch, posted on 2006-2-2 at 07:15 AM
I agree that there may be a financial burden on some PC members in attending the extra day, though for others this might not be an issue. I would recommend that if feasible any rebate - on fee or accomodation or however - be by application rather than automatic for everyone.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-3 at 10:49 AM
Reimbursing PC members who need a bit of financial help to come a day early is okay by me IF the rebates are worked into the conference budget a priori. This will require PC members who will request a rebate to apply early in the game.
The conference chair(s) and/or the administrative committee should decide on a deadline for rebate applications. I imagine that, with some experience, we'll learn what the "normal" number of applications will be and we can plan accordingly. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-4 at 10:49 AM
Although ultimately it comes out of the same pocket, the conference organizers might argue that this is really a Society activity, and therefore should be part of the Society budget.
How did we handle travel reimbursement for the Winter PC meeting when we had a physical meeting? Jim
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-4 at 12:49 PM
Winter PC meeting travel comes out of a budgeted line item in the overall Society budget "Officer Expenses - Travel." If we do this, I agree with Jim that this should come out of the Society budget not the conference budget. Who will review and decide on the applications for rebates and the amounts?
David Andersen, posted on 2006-2-9 at 03:43 PM
I am opposed to any scheme that provides support for Policy Council members to attend the policy council meeting associated with the research meeting. I realize that the implication of my stance is that some policy council members may have to miss the meeting because of the added financial burden. But we have the same problem with policy council members who have a time burden (it takes time as well as money to attend). Recall that we moved the PC meeting out of the regular meeting time so that PC members would have more time for the research conference. I still support that decision to come to town for a meeting the Sunday before.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-23 at 02:24 AM
Do I understand correctly that the PC will meet for an informal gathering sometime on Saturday? What time will this be? Why is it being moved to (or scheduled for) Saturday instead of Sunday?
I have been and intend to continue to be a very committed PC member, yet I do think we need to be careful about the demands we place on ourselves. My personal situation as the sole caregiver to my children makes any additional time away from home extremely challenging and as a result often expensive -- much more than just the cost of the hotel room. We already work hard during the year for the Society and demand a lot of ourselves. If we demand too much, it may lose it's fun, and we may lose our enthusiasm! Let's make sure that we maintain a balance of demands and personal rewards that not only keeps us motivated but supports others like us and not like us in joining our ranks.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-23 at 07:30 AM
The idea of a Saturday afternoon meeting was to have something informal and fun where people could get together and just talk. So far, I haven't actually heard anyone say anything positive about it and that is a little disconcerting. Perhaps it is something we should rethink.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-23 at 12:32 PM
The Policy Council Meeting is scheduled to begin in Nijmegen at 11:15 AM on Sunday. This starting time coincides with the PhD Colloquium tentative schedule and the hope is that PC Members and others can attend the PhD Colloquium until 11:15 AM. Since many people will plan to arrive on Saturday so that they are in Nijmegen for the Sunday morning PC Meeting (or the PhD Colloquium), the idea was to have an informal gathering for the PC Members who are in town. As Bob said earlier, the gathering is for PC members to have an opportunity to meet one another before the actual meeting. Attendance is optional. The plan is not perfect and the schedule as usual is very tight. Please send any suggestions to help make this event easier to attend, or if folks think we should cancel. This is a new event and has not moved from Sunday. The conference "Informal Gathering" will still take place on Sunday during registration.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-27 at 01:15 PM
Thanks Roberta and Bob for the specifics. I'm not sure if I am the only one, but this is the only place I have heard about this proposal.
I am very much in support of the idea of an informal gathering for PC members prior to the meeting. It's a great idea.
Personally, I do try to make it to any conference by 5 pm Saturday before the PC meeting. Trying to get there any earlier (especially as I recall the transportation requirements within the Netherlands are significantly time consuming) I imagine will be a burden. I have not yet looked into the logistics of the travel, so cannot be sure. But based on past experience traveling from the West Coast to , it is an effort just to arrive by early evening.
My only suggestion would be to have it Saturday evening instead of afternoon. And ask for a committed RSVP. If we have it optional and only a few people work hard to get there in time, it will be quite disappointing to those who make an effort if they find very few people there.
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-3-1 at 06:45 PM
We can easily schedule this for a "dessert" event rather than a before dinner event, especially if this will be a help to those who would like to attend. So, we will go ahead with this, but plan to have it later, say 7 PM? Does this sound like a better plan? Since this does not need a vote, I'd really appreicate some replies from PC Members. The event will be very informal and may be at someone's home rather than at a restaurant or hotel.
The original question remains about balancing the extra cost for early arrival and if we did, how?
Issues from the President » Strategic planning model for the Central Office
ScottJohnson, posted on 2006-2-5 at 09:45 AM
I am not seeing any information about this topic. Is it just that nothing has been posted yet? Scott Johnson
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-6 at 09:28 PM
Yes...Nothing has been posted yet. So I'll post something!
One of my "presidential initiatives" this year is the creation of a strategic planning model for the Society's central office. As Will Fey has noted: "Shoemakers are the worst shod." Stated differently, the Society encourages everyone in the world to use SD to make better decisions, but it does not use SD itself.
I'm hoping that a small group of senior modelers will emerge who are willing to work on the model. I will participate myself and envision that the model will be used to examine the backlogs of various categories of tasks that pressure the central office staff each year and thus the time allocation of the staff, its productivity, revenue streams, etc. My feeling is that the current structure of the system is not sustainable and we need to redesign it somewhat to fix things. Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-7 at 08:16 PM
If I can make an additional suggestion -- let's start with a couple of reference modes of the key variables, and what trends might be unsustainable if our "fear" scenario materializes (rather than our "hope" scenarion). Or, how can we make the "hope" occur rather than the "fear." Jim
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 06:13 PM
Okay...So Jim and I are volunteering to work on the model (right)? Anyone else?
Jim...perhaps we chould venture over to Albany and meet with Roberta for an afternoon to reach a first-cut consensus on a reference mode? Perhaps we could rope some of the Albany folk to weigh-in at such a meeting as well?
I know you have lots of free time up there in Vermont! Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 06:15 PM
Also, if anyone who is unable to physically come to Albany wants to work on the model, that is fine. We can keep you in the loop and share info electronically. I could set-up a "Blackboard" web site for the project. It's easy to up/down-load documents to such a site, etc. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
ScottJohnson, posted on 2006-2-13 at 12:50 PM
I am willing to help but unable to travel. One suggestion: come up with a good description of the problem and then decide if a model is necessary. There could be some obvious structural changes that don't require a model.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-13 at 07:27 PM
Mike, Sorry I missed your earlier reply -- I wasn't ignoring you to avoid working on this. (In fact I have a suggestion for later on how to reorganize this discussion board that might make things easier next time around). In any case, I'm due for a trip to Albany some day, so might as well add this to the list of topics. Jim<
Issues from the President » Web repository of system dynamics success stories
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-3 at 11:03 AM
One of my "presidential initiatives" this year is going to be the creation of a repository for "system dynamics success stories" on the Society's web site. My view is that this will be a VERY helpful resource for Society members who are trying to "sell" SD to potential clients or colleagues.
My experience over the years is that managers and public officials do not want models built, they want problems solved. Moreover, they could care less, generally speaking, about the tools the expert/consultant uses to solve their problems. The bottom line to them is, are you and your techniques (whatever they are) credible and do you have a track record of success?
The sort of success stories I'm thinking about include (in no particular order):
* the Mastercard case from Pugh Roberts.
* the Litton Industries vs U.S. Navy case.
* Homer's cocaine addiction model and story.
* Albany's foster care success.
* Andy Ford's electric power industry work and environmental projects.
* McKinsey's success using SD to modify Compac's supply chain.
Of course, any proprietary information will need to be removed from the stories that are posted. I imagine that a standardized format for presenting a success story will need to be created and that a contact person will need to be identified. The latter will be someone willing to provide more information about a particular success story to an iterested party. I would predict that the media will eventually find such a resource attractive.
What do you think? Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-3 at 11:06 AM
BTW: Such a repository will also be of considerable valuable to teachers of SD. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Jim Lyneis, posted on 2006-2-4 at 10:47 AM
Seems like a good idea. Issues/concerns might include:
>* we might need to be careful not to be seen as promoting one particular consulting organization versus another
* would we need to solicit possible postings from practioners, and if so how might we screen what we ultimately put up
* do you see this as an ongoing activity? Jim
ScottJohnson, posted on 2006-2-5 at 09:16 AM
I also agree that this could be a good idea
* is there a charter for the Policy Council and how would this initiative align and be prioritized? Scott Johnson
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 06:01 PM
Yes...I see this as an on-going activity.
As with the issue of a model repository, it might make sense to encourage the chapters and SIGs to take a role in all of this. For example, the econ chapter could list econ success stories on its site and the health care policy SIG could list health care policy success stories on its site. This might be better than trying to organize and host a single "mother of all success stories" site (although it might also be worse).
It seems to me that, regardless of where the success stories reside, we should devise something of a standardized format and, if possible, designate a contact person for each story who would be willing to provide some context and additional detail to an interested party. Cheers. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Mjradz, posted on 2006-2-12 at 06:07 PM
I think we'll need to solicit success stories from the people who were involved with them (e.g., announcements at the conference, in the Review, in the President's Newsletter, on the SD listserv, etc.). The trick, I suppose, will be to make the solicitations "easy." By that I mean that the person doing the soliciting will need to stay on the successful SDer, emphasize that we only need a paragraph or two, and be willing to edit what he/she receives to reflect the repository guidelines. Michael J. Radzicki, Ph.D.
Deborah Lines Andersen, posted on 2006-2-13 at 01:51 PM
I am definitely in favor of collecting materials in a central location so that they can easily be used for research and teaching. As in discussions about the conference CD, model repository, and open source materials (see other portions of the online meeting), there should be questions about who will be the gatekeeper for materials, and how they will be created and electronically maintained.
It is worth noting that there is a common thread throughout many of our discussions that has to do with archival policy considerations.
ThomasBeck, posted on 2006-2-13 at 04:13 PM
Mike, is this the first time the SD Society tries to collect the success stories? or have there been other attempts before? If so, what has happened to them?
Within the Swiss Chapter we had the same idea and came up with the following
- Author with contact address
- Problem definition; Problem description
- Client and target audience (commercial, academic, sector, etc.)
- Method and procedure
- Duration of the project
- Information about the solution (or the model used)
- Lessons learnt (with regard to content, method, communication, etc.)
- Impact of the project
- Costs (not compulsory!)
- Additional references (publications, models, etc.)
>Setting up a structure was relatively easy. Receiving documentations of successful applications is another story. Regards, Thomas
SD Society Policy Council » Issues from the President » Pairing of PC Members with officers (AVPs)
Issues from the President » Publications Committee
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:55 PM
(2/04) Reviewing the membership of Publications Committee members: Eric Wolstenholme, George Richardson, Jay Forrester, and Graham Winch. The committee has not been very active and it might make sense to reconstitute it. No recommendation or decision came out of the discussion.
Issues from the President » The Roles of Committees
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 01:53 PM
In PC Meeting minutes 1-05
Call for Additions to the Agenda and Announcements » Announcements
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 02:21 PM
To post an announcement please use the "Post Reply" button.
Call for Additions to the Agenda and Announcements » Questions
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 02:20 PM
To ask a question please use the "Post Reply" button.
Call for Additions to the Agenda and Announcements » Additions to agenda
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-18 at 02:19 PM
To ask the President to add an item to the agenda for discussion please use the "Post Reply" button.
General Questions » General Questions
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-1-22 at 02:30 PM
To ask questions that are not related to any specific topic within any specific forum, please use the "Post Reply" button in this topic of General Questions.
DeborahCampbell, posted on 2006-2-23 at 02:29 AM
As an interested Society member, and participant in this PC meeting, but not a voting PC member, how do I find out the results of motions and votes?
Roberta L. Spencer, posted on 2006-2-23 at 07:25 AM
Voting results will be sent to the PC listserve and also posted on this discussion board.
Bob Eberlein, posted on 2006-2-23 at 07:25 AM
If you log onto the web submission system at http://cgi.albany.edu/~sdsweb/sds2006.cgi you should see a button labeled "Policy Council Menu." This works the same for voting PC members and nonvoting, but the nonvoting participants can't second or vote on anything.
If you don't have that menu item somehow your name got left off - but the results are that you are now an acting VP so you get to vote on motions going forward.