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Minutes 17Feb2011

This page contains the minutes of a meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) on February 17, 2011.

Minutes, Strategic Planning Committee

February 17, 2011

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Attending: Ian Anderson (Chair), Tom Kelly, Dan Kremser, Jim McGee, Stuart McKernan

Absent: Inga Musselman

Guests: None

The Committee discussed three issues arising from the MAS Winter Council Meeting of February 5, 2011 ("Part II"). The background for each issue from that meeting can be reviewed by clicking on the relevant item.

  1. New Society Logo: The Committee recommends that the drafting of a new society logo should occur in the broader context of the "global branding" of the Society. The process should solicit input from Council, the general membership and other stakeholder communities.  This input would serve as raw material for the devising of Mission and Vision Statements for the Society, in advance of the drafting of a logo. Such input could include proposed logo concepts, but more importantly what constitutes the best of the Society - past, present, and future - in the form of data, stories, and future hopes. This process would be more likely to capture the spirit (e.g., "we create new knowledge and new technologies") rather than the mechanics (e.g., "we look at really small stuff") of the Society and its membership. M&M 2011 would provide an appropriate opportunity for the membership to give such input as a community.  There was consensus that candidate logos should be devised by a professional designer, and that proposed logo concepts from the membership could be solicited as long as it was understood that Council would be unlikely to adopt for the Society a logo devised by a member.  In addition, this process of branding should be an open-ended process, and recent experience within other societies suggests that it might take some time to arrive at a replacement logo.
  2. Proposed MAS Awards Committee: The Committee unanimously recommends the formation of an MAS Awards Committee.  It would make the awards judging process more structured and would provide an element of institutional memory.  Such a committee would also distribute the burden of vetting the many candidates for MAS Distinguished Scholar Awards (currently performed by the MAS President in early March / at the Program Production Meeting) and MAS Outstanding Paper Awards (currently performed by the second-year Directors at the M&M meeting), both time-consuming tasks that must be performed during a limited time window.  The existing tradition of the Presidential prerogative of the Service, Science, Heinrich, and Distinguished Scholar Awards could be continued, with the role of the Award Committee being the devising of a short list of worthy candidates and a draft of their Award citation that appears on the web site.  The President could explicitly ask the committee to prepare a profile for a candidate not on the running short list.  The Awards Committee could also maintain a list of prospective new Honorary Members of the Society, and make recommendations for the circulation of a petition at the Annual Meeting.
  3. Proposed MAS-MSA Coordination: The Committee welcomes moves toward greater Society coordination with MSA, with the following caveats: consistent with the Society's past experience, the details and logistics of implementation will have to be carefully worked out; and given the range of opinions among the Society membership about closer ties with MSA, these issues should be discussed in an open forum of the members, such as at the annual MAS Business Meeting, before implementation.  The Committee would welcome a vigorous exchange of views at such a forum.  The Committee believes that the coordination of Sustaining Member (SM) dues collection could be implemented with minimal controversy.  Currently the dues and benefits differ slightly between the societies: $375 and 2 regular memberships (MAS) vs $400 and 3 regular memberships (MSA).  The Committee recommends that the current MAS dues and benefits be revised to mirror those of MSA, and that any discount for joint SM be split equally between the two societies (e.g., $50 each for a $100 discount).  Correspondingly, the Committee recommends that the web interface for application for joint SM be equally representative of each society, e.g., equally accessible from the two society web sites, feature the name and logos of both societies, and featuring a url that does not appear to be hosted by one society and not the other.  [Note from Chair: the increase in designated Regular Members with Sustaining Membership from 2 to 3 will require a minor revision of the Bylaws, Article III, Sections 1e and 3.]  The Committee also believes that the once-every-four-year designation of the M&M Program Chair as representing "Microanalysis" could also be implemented with minimal controversy.  The proposed adoption of this designation can be discussed at the 2011 MAS Business Meeting, in anticipation that a first "Microanalysis" Program Chair for M&M 2016 would subsequently be appointed by the MSA President-Elect taking office in 2012.  The Committee imagines that the proposed joint collection of Regular Member (RM) dues and the proposed integration of the MAS Affiliated Regional Societies (AReS) / MSA Local Affiliated Societies (LAS) might be more controversial.  Some of the AReS (e.g., MAMAS, NMMBUG) have strong MAS character and affiliation, and the members of these AReS should be given the chance to air concerns or objections.  The success of the joint collection of SM dues might provide a clear path forward for the joint collection of RM dues in future.


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