FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY
Memorandum of Understanding Between the System Dynamics Society, Conference Chair and Program Chair
July 16, 1999
The annual conference of the System Dynamics Society envisions a close working relationship between the Conference Chair, the Program Chair, the Society's Home Office and the Administrative committee of the Society. All four of these parties share an interest in a successful conference.
1. Conference Chair.
The Conference Chair has overall responsibility for the conference.
Subject to budget constraints, final decision making on all aspects of the conference will rest with the Conference Chair.
2. Program Chair.
The President Elect of the Society is the ex-officio Program Chair. The Program Chair has overall responsibility for the scientific content of the conference.
3. Society's Home Office
The executive director of the Society will be the primary administrator for the conference and will oversee the logistical support of the conference working through the Home Office.
In this capacity, the Society's Home Office will provide a bundle of logistical and support services to the Conference Chair much the same as a conference organizing firm might. These services will be delimited in advance by the full conference budget. Because a number of the functions associated with the conference including mailing, managing registration and soliciting sponsorship, are repeated from year to year, having the Society's Home Office involved in these functions will lead to more consistency and hopefully more successful conferences.
4. Administrative Committee
The administrative committee is responsible for managing any changes related to the conference budget.
This budget developed by the Administrative Committee must be approved by the Policy Council. The Administrative Committee may authorize changes relative to the approved budget when they believe these changes further the interests of the Society. Any changes made will be noted in reports made to the Policy Council.
NOTE The VP Meetings (me) is not on the Administrative Committee, but we should probably make the VP - meetings an ex-officio member. I am not tempted to lay this responsibility directly on VP - Meetings, since it involves spending).
5. The Conference Budget.
All parties associated with the conference will agree on a conference budget as part of the conference proposal process. This budget gives spending authority to the Conference Chair, and to the Society's Home Office. Each party is free to spend within the limits of the pre-approved conference budget, but only the Administrative committee can approve any change in the budget.
The final approved budget will be based on a lower bound estimate of conference attendance and include a variable cost per attendee at higher attendance. The budget will also include a best estimate of conference attendance and an upper bound estimate of conference attendance. It should include a budget surplus of at least US$25/attendee (and no less than US$5000) at the lower bound, US$70/attendee (and no less than US$20,000) at the best estimate and at least US$100/attendee at the upper bound. The budget will delineate costs for the Conference Chair, the Home Office and the Program Chair. The System Dynamics Society guarantees to transfer to the Conference Chair the amount budgeted at the lower bound attendance and to reimburse the Program Chair up to the amount budgeted based on actual expenses. If attendance exceeds the lower bound estimate Society will pay the additional amount per attendee specified in the budget to the Conference Chair. No other payments will be made to the Conference Chair. If the Conference Chair manages expenses below budget the Conference Chair may allocate that excess to any non-commercial activity they choose or remit it the Society.
6. Local Sponsorship
The Conference Chair has responsibility for seeking local conference sponsorship and it is recognized that this can take many forms, including payment in kind. In general, any local sponsor that receives a benefit for their sponsorship would be expected to pay into the conference an amount equal to the standard charge for that level of sponsorship. For example, a local sponsor acting as an exhibitor would be expected to pay the exhibition fee into conference receipts either directly to the Home Office, or through the Conference Chair.
The budget should include a statement outlining what will be done with additional payments beyond the standard charge. While there is no prescribed formula for this, it is reasonable that some fraction of such sponsorship be paid into conference receipts with the remainder used to enhance the quality of the conference without an increase in the conference budget as administered by the Home Office. Any changes made to the procedure for dealing with local sponsorship must be approved by the Administrative Committee, just as for any budget change.
7. Reaching a Written Agreement in Advance.
This memorandum of understanding or an approved modification will be signed on the official acceptance of the conference site and again one year prior to the conference. If, in addition to the named Conference Chair, there is a legal entity (University, Corporation or Society) that will be acting on behalf of the Conference Chair, that legal entity must also sign the memorandum of agreement. The Vice President - Finance will sign on behalf of the Administrative Committee and the Secretary will sign on behalf of the Society. The Executive Director will sign for the Home Office.
The conference budget is herein incorporated by reference.
VP Finance ____________________________ : signed, this ________________ day of ___________________ in the year _______________.
Conference Chair ____________________________ : signed, this ________________ day of ___________________ in the year _______________.
Conference Chair's Organization ____________________________ : signed, this ________________ day of ___________________ in the year _______________.
Program Chair ____________________________ : signed, this ________________ day of ___________________ in the year _______________.
Secretary ____________________________ : signed, this ________________ day of ___________________ in the year ______________.
Executive Director ____________________________ : signed, this ________________ day of ___________________ in the year ______________.
Last modified: February 17, 2001