Vol. 67, No. 2 | Fall 2022

ABS 2022 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

ABS Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
September 30

Meeting Called to Order (Dr. Susan Alberts)

Paula Branter of PB Work Solutions. Paula has been our accountability consultant for the past year and has helped us draft important policy about safe conduct, as well as providing crucial support during and after our meeting concerning our policy about member conduct.

  • The EC recognizes that the cost of the contract renewal ($25,000/yr) will be difficult to sustain on a long-term basis, but the EC agrees that her expertise and contributions are required for the following year.
  • The EC voted unanimously (11 approved) to renew the contract for the next year. The President and the Treasurer will arrange the first installment of payments.

Proposal for the Early Career Researchers (ECR) Committee. Members of the “Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior” initiative have been leading diversity-enhancing workshops for early career researchers that have been funded by the NSF. Their NSF grant has finished, and some members of this group have developed a proposal to institutionalize their work through the Early Career Researchers Committee, an existing committee that has not been active since it was created. They provided a proposal for consideration.

  • The EC sees value in having the ECR Committee assembled with people that are committed to doing good work.
  • As proposed, some of the objectives of the WFAB group are in line with the charge of the ECR Committee, and in theory the WFAB group should perform their work as part of the ECR Committee (rather than to create yet another standing committee.
  • However, concerns were raised that not all WFAB stakeholders' input were incorporated in the proposal. The EC encourages the WFAB group, and all of its offshoots (Assistant Profs, Postdocs, Graduate Students) to meet for a broader discussion to determine roles and objectives.
  • The EC also encourages WFAB stakeholders to meet with other Committee Chairs to identify unique and redundant efforts with a goal to streamline and collaborate between groups.
  • One idea that was brought up is to have a separate meeting among Committee Chairs so that different committees can learn of unique and overlapping efforts, and to determine synergistic collaborations.
  • Finally, the WFAB group is encouraged to revise their proposal with all stakeholders’ input, along with clearly identified roles and responsibilities of the WFAB group as they supersede the ECR.

ABS Annual Budget discussion led by Treasurer, Scott MacDougall-Shackleton.

The EC voted on the the following motions:

  1. The EC authorizes Scott MacDougall-Shackleton Treasurer, and Adam Kohm, Executive Director, to replace Molly Cummings and Daniel Rubenstein as the authorized signers for the ABS bank accounts held at the Bank of America. Voting results - unanimous approval (11 approve).
  2. The EC authorizes Scott MacDougall-Shackleton, Treasurer, to serve as authorized signatory for all ABS investment accounts held at Vanguard Group, and to act on ABS accounts. Voting results - unanimous approval (11 approve).

ABS currently in good financial standing

  • Vanguard Investment Accounts: $2.345 M (21% bonds; 89% Socially responsible equity funds).
  • Bank of America Checking: $502,745
  • Other Assets: ~$10,000

Main source of ABS revenue is from journal subscription profit share. This brings some uncertainty in the future financial stability. Revenue to ASAB/ABS is in British Pounds and current GBP-USD exchange rate is not ideal. Also, in the US, there is an expectation for federally funded research to be published in open-access journals in the near future. This may negatively impact journal subscription revenue.

Best way for financial security is to raise enough funds for an endowment (6-7M) that will be able to float the operating costs.

Budget shortfall in recent years (2021-22 = ~$60K, 2022-23 projected ~$40K shortfall).
Some ideas for dealing with recently budget deficits include:

  • Increasing member dues.
  • Reducing funding support to all standing committees.

Motion to ask the Treasurer to reconsider proposed budget and present projected budget gains from raising membership dues and reducing funding support for standing committee requests. Vote: unanimous (11 approve).

  • An EC meeting will be held mid to late January to look at revised budget projections.
  • SPLtrak will help schedule meeting.

Dissolution of inactive committees. We have several committees that we propose to dissolve either because they have not been active for some time, their purpose is unclear, or they have been deemed unnecessary by their representatives. These include the SICB Committee, the Career award committee, and the Finance and advancement committee. We will ask the EC to consider and vote on the proposal to dissolve these committees.

Three separate motions to dissolve inactive committees:

  • Motion 1: to dissolve SICB Committee. Vote: unanimous (11 approve).
  • Motion 2: to dissolve Career Award Committee.Vote: 10 approve, 1 Abstain.
  • Motion 3: to dissolve Finance and Advancement Committee. Vote: unanimous (11 approve).

New policy on meeting locations. Based on our recent survey of member views, a brief policy on where ABS meeting locations should be held in the future was presented.

  • This policy recognizes the main priorities (safety, civil rights, and accessibility) and avoids specifying places that are ok, or not, for hosting conferences.
  • The last part of this brief policy was appended to include the EC (and not just solely up to the PO) in deciding where to host future conferences.
  • Motion to approve the amended policy:Vote: 10 approve, 1 abstain.

2024 Meeting proposed to be held at the University of Western Ontario, in London Ontario, Canada.

  • 2 hrs east of Detroit, 2 hrs west of Buffalo. Conference center with good meeting rooms, affordable air-conditioned dorms. All dorms have a cafeteria in the building for breakfast. Buildings are close together.
  • Some negatives - small airport in London, Ontario - likely to make connections from YYZ. Only one hotel option (50 rooms) next to campus. Other hotels are downtown (40 min walk away from campus). Limited food options near campus.


ABS Newsletter

Send general correspondence concerning the Society to Norman Lee, Secretary, at: [email protected]. Deadlines for materials to be included in the Newsletter are the 15th of the month preceding each issue. Articles submitted by members of the Society and judged by the Secretary to be appropriate are occasionally published in the ABS newsletter. The publication of such material does not imply ABS endorsement of the opinions expressed by contributors.

Animal Behavior Society Website: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org

Animal Behaviour

Animal Behavior, manuscripts and editorial matters: Authors should submit manuscripts online to Elsevier’s Editorial System (http://ees.elsevier.com/anbeh/). For enquiries relating to submissions prior to acceptance, contact the Journal Manager ([email protected]). For enquiries relating to submissions after acceptance, visit Elsevier at http://www.elsevier.com/journals. For other general correspondence, contact Kris Bruner, Managing Editor, Animal Behaviour, Indiana University, 409 N. Park Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA. E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: 812-345-0497.

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