Minutes of the 26th Meeting of The Board of Directors

Thursday, June 6, and Saturday, June 8, 1996
The Doubletree Hotel, Philadelphia, PA



    1. Michael Chandler welcomed our new board members, who will assume office in October, and made note of our good fortune and the good work of the Nominations Committee in bringing in Thomas R. Bidell, Dante Cicchetti, Patricia Greenfield, Geoffrey B. Saxe, and Jacques Voneche.

    2. Ditto for our new and continuing Ex-Officio members of the Board who will serve on our various Standing Committees: Eric Amsel (Membership) Harry Beilin (Publications) David Bearison (Nominations) Trevor Bond (Outreach) Theo Dawson (Publications) Rheta DeVries (Outreach) Wolfgang Edelstein (Nominations) Susan Gelman (Symposium) Chris Lalonde (Publications) Jonas Langer (Nominations) John Meacham (Membership) Connie Milbrath (Symposium) Robert Selman (Outreach)

    3. Ulrich Meuller, whose generous contributions to our Local Arrangements Committee helped to ensure a successful and well-run Symposium, was welcomed as our new Student Member.

    4. Finally, we are fortunate to have Judy Newman's continuing service to the Society, now as Co-Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.


    1. The Minutes of the October 7, 1995 meetings were approved


    1. Resignations: Due to new and changing obligations, Lynn Liben and Peter Pufall are resigning their positions with the Society.

    2. Absent Colleagues: We miss the presence of Harry Beilin and Hugh Rosen, and look forward to having them in attendance at the Fall meeting.

    3. Decisions Taken Electronically: Michael Chandler noted that our Bylaws permit decisions to be made by mail with a two- thirds majority. We were reminded that as we move into the electronic age and rely increasingly on e-mail to accomplish Society business, it is important that each of us be attentive and responsive to communications transmitted electronically, especially those that involve the making of concrete decisions.

    4. Decisions Taken on Suspect Authority:

      1. ACT: There was an agreement with Paul Ammon to split the travel costs of their invited speaker.

      2. Book Sale: LEA is handling our book sale this year. We may wish to consider how to handle future sales.

      3. Waivers of Registration Fees: As a small gesture of our regard and appreciation for their efforts on behalf of the Society, registration fees have been waived for students serving on the Board. At this time, the list includes Dawson, Mueller, and Lalonde.

    5. Various Gift Horses

      1. During this time of growth and reorganization, we are particularly appreciative of those retiring Officers and Board Members, including David Bearison, Harry Beilin, Susan Gelman, Pete Pufall, and Bob Selman, who help to provide continuity by generously agreeing to lend their continuing support and service.

      2. Theo Dawson was thanked for her very helpful work as our new Production Manager.

      3. In the wake of Gerald Weinstein's resignation, Chris Lalonde has agreed to assume responsibility for managing the Piaget List Server.

    6. Sundry Initiatives

      1. By-laws revision: Chandler distributed a final draft of our By-laws, last amended in October, 1989. The version distributed reflects Board decisions and changing Society needs which have accrued during the past eight years and which seriously outdate the 1989 document. We are called upon to review the draft, and call to attention any errors or oversights.

      2. Policy and Procedures Manual: Chandler distributed a draft of what is to become our Policies and Procedures Manual. We are asked to examine the draft, to bring to attention errors or omissions, and to bring forward any other documentation which might pertain to the construction of the manual.

      3. Directory of the Board: Chandler distributed our current Directory. We are asked to check for errors.

      4. Membership Directory: Efforts are ongoing to locate a Membership Directory on the Web site.

      5. Membership Applications and Renewals: These are currently available on the Web site.

    7. VICE PRESIDENT'S REPORT (Pete Pufall)

      Pete Pufall reported that Ann Gregory was especially helpful in the preparation and publication of the Program. Terry Brown commended efforts to develop a higher level of professionalism with respect to the Society's publications (e.g., advance printing and promotion). Theo Dawson's expertise in publishing was very much in evidence in the appearance of the Program, the printing of which was delayed because of the hotel's confusion in scheduling rooms.

    8. PROGRAM ORGANIZER'S REPORT (Elin Scholnick)

      Elin Scholnick reported that the Symposium was proceeding well, thus far. In an effort to encourage more interaction among presenters and participants, a block of time at the end of each day has been held for sharing wine, cheese, and ideas. A President's party has been organized.


      1. Finance Committee Report (William Gray/David Moshman)

        David Moshman reported on our membership totals to date. There was a good number of pre-registrations (about 160) for the Symposium.

      2. Membership Committee (Marvin Berkowitz)

        Marvin Berkowitz reported that the Committee took up the task of reducing some of the excessive work load that has historically, although inappropriately, fallen to the Treasurer. Recruitment and retention remain the principal tasks of the Committee, and efforts are ongoing to increase both the size and the disciplinary scope of the Membership. The reconstruction of our Members Brochure is underway.

      3. Outreach Committee (Gil Noam/Bob Selman)

        Bob Selman reported on efforts to expand outreach activities in the three areas of clinical application, education, and international relations. Coordinators for each area have been identified and include Hugh Rosen, Rheta DeVries, and Trevor Bond, respectively. Some of the avenues towards Outreach goals include: "talent scouting"; including in the annual Symposium program at least one invited symposium on theory and practice; establishing connections with other societies with related interests; raising funds for colleagues from resource-poor areas of the world to enable them to attend the Symposium; considering and nominating prospective Board members in the light of Outreach goals; putting into place a proactive form of student recruitment.

      4. Publications (Elin Scholnick)

        Elin Scholnick reported that royalties this year will be high, due in part to the concurrent publication of two volumes. The function of the GE was described, and there was a motion to approve the following GE Mission Statement: The GE is designed to be the "house organ" of the Society. It is the way the board communicates to the membership upcoming events and ongoing policy issues and decisions confronting the board. The GE may also be used to communicate information about related scientific societies, and the activities of JPS members. Where appropriate the Editor may elicit articles and book reviews. Ordinarily the GE is published quarterly with one issue devoted to the Symposium program.

        The motion carried by unanimous vote, and evidence to that effect will be logged into the new Policies and Procedure Manual.

        Larry Nucci noted that the GE is available electronically on the Web site, and asked about phasing out the paper version. David Bearison suggested the possibility of publishing it on a less than quarterly basis. Ed Reed suggested that access to the GE be made contingent on paying one's dues. The Committee promised to deal more extensively with how to most effectively move forward our electronic communications.

        Chris Lalonde reported that the Web site has been fairly heavily trafficked and now contains an on-line application form and membership directory. Ways of increasing the volume of the Web site in order to better serve the membership and arouse the interest of potential members include providing more information on the Symposium Series (e.g., reviews, sample chapters), and providing reading lists whose contents describe and reference Piaget's work (this in response to Web site visitor queries).

      5. Symposium (deferred until Saturday)

      6. Nominations (David Bearison/Terry Brown)

        1. Approval of a new Vice President: The following motion was proposed and subsequently and unanimously approved: It is moved that the Board of Directors approve the appointment of James Byrnes as the new Vice President of the Jean Piaget Society.

        2. Approval of the composition of the Standing Committees: The following motion was proposed and unanimously approved: It is moved that those 5 individuals joining the Board of Directors in October be invited to serve as members of the Society's various Standing Committees as follows:
          Nominations Committee: Geoffrey Saxe
          Publications Committee: Dante Cichetti
          Symposium Committee: Patricia Greenfield and Geoffrey Saxe
          Finance Committee: Tom Bidell
          Membership Committee: Jacques Voneche
          Outreach Committee: Jacques Voneche and Dante Cichetti

        3. A proposal for the Presidency: For the sake of the structure of the Society, all officers serve three years, with the exception of the President, who serves two. Brown and Bearison argued that this discrepancy undermines continuity. Amsel noted that additional stability at the Executive level is a necessary counterweight to the increasing diversification at the level of the Board (i.e., introduction of multiple standing committees). The following motion was put forward (Bearison/Gelman), and approved unanimously:

          It is proposed that page 8, paragraph 2 of the Society's Bylaws be amended to include this addition: "By two-thirds vote of the Board, the term of office of any officer of the Society can be extended for one year only".

          Bearison put forward the following motion, which was also approved unanimously:

          We extend the office of Michael Chandler as President of the Society for one year.

          Chandler accepted the invitation to extend his term of office for one year, and requested that Terry Brown's term as Past President be similarly extended to fill the hiatus. The Board approved, and Brown accepted. There was some discussion regarding the provision for a Presidential Address. Selman put foward the following motion which was subsequently approved:

          For the purpose of providing more tangible recognition of the leadership efforts of the Society President, he or she will be invited to give a Presidential Address at an Annual Symposium which may be published in the Symposium Volume.

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    10. PROPOSALS FOR 1997, 1998, AND BEYOND

      1. Symposium Committee Report (Elliot Turiel)

        Elliot Turiel provided a description of the role of committee with regard to developing programs and themes, and encouraging membership involvement in the process. Committee activities to date include developing with Connie Milbrath a manual of procedures for future Local Arrangements committees. A draft of the manual will be circulated soon, along with a request for feedback and input.

      2. 1997 - A Proposal (Larry Nucci, Geoffrey Saxe, Elliot Turiel)

        Larry Nucci distributed a proposal for the 1997 symposium, "Culture, Development, and Cognition". The aim is to fashion an interdisciplinary forum from which to draw out contemporary controversies regarding the "nature and processes of individual- environment interactions which bear on how to construe cultures and their influences on development". There was some discussion over how to structure the Symposium. The topic was endorsed enthusiastically, and the Committee urged to proceed. Byrnes encouraged some haste for the purpose of sending out the Flyer.

      3. 1998 - A Proposal (David Bearison/Robert Selman)

        David Bearison and Robert Selman circulated a position paper on the theme of "how practice challenges theory", with which they mean to stimulate comments and suggestions for the 1998 Symposium. The overarching aim, heartily approved, is to explore how the boundary of a theoretical discourse can lose its integrity and be reformed in the context of application and practice. The paper identified a number of practice domains from which to regard the relevance of cognitive developmental science, including cognition in the workplace, pediatric psychology, education, clinical interventions, parenting, developmental disabilities, and ethics. We were strongly encouraged to use the listserver to further the discussion and to develop lists of potential speakers, topics, and so forth.


      1. ACT requests a keynote speaker: Rheta DeVries has volunteered to give a keynote address for the ACT conference, which convenes this November in St. Louis.

      2. The fall Board Meetings: The Board will meet October 12, in Chicago.

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