Presidents Annual Report to Members
Actions of the Board of Directors
- Structural Changes
In order to promote the vigor and long-term
viability of the Society, the Board made some changes in the organizational
structure of its operation. These changes reflect the transformation
of the Society in terms of the increased diversity of its membership,
and the fact that the annual meeting now takes place in different
geographic locations. These evolutions in the nature of JPS have necessitated
an updating of some of the structures and procedures that allow us
to remain in operation, and to continue to serve our membership.
- Changes in the Office of Vice President
In its June Board meeting in Mexico City,
the Board unanimously approved the restructuring of the office
of the Vice President in order to distribute the excessively heavy
workload between two individuals rather than one. The Boards
decision followed the recommendations made by a committee chaired
by David Moshman ( a former vice president) and followed an experimental
period with a co-vice president during the year leading up to
the Mexico City meeting. The newly adopted structure divides the
office between two vice presidents as follows:
Vice President for Program Planning
responsibilities focus upon organization of the annual meeting
(formerly known as the annual symposium) including such things
as constructing the call for papers, recruiting program reviewers,
and formulating the program in conjunction with the program committee.
The Vice President also serves as co-chair of the meeting planning
committee charged with generating plans for new programs for subsequent
Vice President for Program Publicity
and Outreach responsibilities focus on overseeing the production
and distribution of published materials concerning the annual
meeting, including the call for papers, and the registration flyer.
The Vice President also serves as co-chair of the publicity and
outreach committee responsible for getting JPS publications to
members, and engaging in outreach with groups or constituencies
that may have interest in the Society.
- Changes in Committee Structure
The changes in the Office of Vice President
led to a subsequent adjustment in the assignment of duties to
standing committees of the JPS Board. The Board now has six standing
committees: a Finance Committee; a Membership Committee;
a Nominating Committee; a Publicity and Outreach Committee;
a Publications Committee; and a Meeting Planning Committee.
The duties of each committee are detailed in the Bylaws.
- Changes in the term of Office of the President
In order to bring the term of Office
of the President into line with that of the other Officers of
the Society, to insure stability of the organization, and to allow
for the recruitment and preparation of successors to the Office,
the Board unanimously changed the term of office of the President
from a two-year to a three-year term.
- Election of Board Members
Beginning in June 1999, a committee chaired
by Christopher Lalonde explored the process by which new members
are elected to the JPS Board. This committee distributed a summary
of the issues at hand, and sought suggestions through electronic
mail and listservers from 700 current and former members of JPS.
The primary issue was whether to continue with a process in which
the Board presents a slate of prospective new Board members that
is then ratified by a vote at the annual members meeting. While
this process also allows for an alternative slate to be brought
forward, this has never occurred in the thirty year history of
the Society. The central question is how better to involve the
general Society membership in the selection of the new Board members
while also maintaining a Board that serves the needs of the Society.
Five replies were received in response
to this request for suggestions for improvements in the board
election process. Three of the five respondents indicated comfort
with the existing status quo. Two respondents suggested alterations.
The Board reviewed these suggestions
and also examined the impact of a procedure initiated with vigor
by the nominations committee to solicit nominees for the Board
to consider for selection. In contrast with the request for suggestions
for improvements, the process of contacting the same 700 members
and former members resulted in 51 replies and a total of 91 nominations
distributed among 31 individuals (some persons received multiple
nominations). This process allowed the Board to review a number
of candidates and to get a sense of which individuals appeared
to have a constituency from among those who responded.
With the results of these two efforts
in mind, the Board then deliberated the issue of Board elections.
Two concerns were paramount. The first was to maintain a process
that insured a Board with the following characteristics:
- Prepared to manage and direct the
JPS in line with its charter and history
- Diverse in terms of gender, race,
nationality, and field of inquiry
- A mixture of new persons to bring
vitality and new ideas with experienced Board members to maintain
continuity and a sense of shared purpose.
Based on the information at hand, and
the set of concerns listed above, the Board considered various
options. It was judged that the most responsive and representative
process that also insured a Board with features listed above is
to vigorously continue the solicitation of Board nominations each
year in the Fall as was done this year through the contact of
700 persons. The resulting nominees are then vetted by the Board
at its annual Fall meeting and a final vote taken to elect the
new Board members.
These changes were unanimously approved
by the Board at its Fall meeting. The newly elected Board members
are to be announced at the annual members meeting each subsequent
Spring. The language governing these changes is included in the
- Election of New Board Members (2001-2003)
The Board elected the following new members
- Michael Chandler
- Susan Goldin-Meadow
- Robert Jager
- Ulrich Mueller
- Geoffrey Saxe
In order to fill a vacancy on the Board,
Colette Daiute was appointed by the President to a one year term with
the Boards unanimous approval.
- Annual Dues Payments
In order to regularize the annual payment
of membership dues, dues statements for membership renewal will go
out in October of each year. Renewal statements for 2001 will be sent
out in October, 2000.
- Plans for 2001
The Board unanimously accepted the proposal
for the annual meeting for 2001 presented by Jonas Langer, Constance
Milbrath, and Sue Taylor Parker. The meeting will be held in Berkeley,
California around the theme: Biology and Knowledge Revisited: from
embryogenesis to psychogenesis.
Status of the Society
Following the annual meeting in Mexico City
the paid membership of the Society was down by 62 members from the
previous year. In large part this was due to the fact that the majority
of persons attending the 1999 annual meeting were attending for the
first time, and that many of them did not opt to join the Society
at the time of registration, but simply came to attend the meeting.
While the meeting in Mexico City was judged to be an intellectual
success, and while it did internationalize the Society, and introduce
the JPS to new people, the policy of permitting registrants to attend
without also paying the annual membership dues created a shortfall
in membership numbers. As a result, the fees for the annual meeting
in Montreal will also include membership dues.
The treasurers annual report to members appears below.
Treasurers Report to the Membership (June 2000)
| Total Members
| Total Income
Note that this report does NOT include the symposium information
Total Income: $26,660