4S Council Meeting, 16 October 2020

4S Council Meeting

In attendance: Stephen Zehr, Ana Viseu, María Belén Albornoz, Emma Kowal, Paige Miller, Hsin-Hsing Chen, Vivette García Deister, Duygu Kaşdoğan, Angela Okune, Katie Ulrich, Alondra Nelson, Pablo Kreimer, Noortje Marres, Misria Shaik Ali, Maka Suarez, Bryn Seabrook, Joan Fujimura, Wes Shrum

Meeting was called to order by Joan Fujimura at 8:00 AM US Eastern Time.

Minutes from July 2020 meeting were unanimously approved.

Welcome new members to 4S Council: Joan Fujimura welcomed new members to Council and asked them to say something about themselves.  New members included President-elect Alondra Nelson; new Council members Vivette García Deister, Emma Kowal, Maka Suarez, Chihyung Jeon; and student member Misria Shaik Ali.  Stephen Zehr reminded Council of who has voting privileges (President, President-Elect, Council Members, two senior 6S Representatives) and Council’s past practice of seeking a dominant majority in all votes.

Budget Report: Treasurer Paige Miller summarized budget details distributed in a prior document to Council.  The expenses were disaggregated by individual items for the past three years.  Miller indicated that the virtual meeting resulted in revenue that will likely bring 4S nearer to its steady state balance minimum of $400,000.  The budget looks better for the year than originally projected.  Miller cautioned, however, that we still face Covid-related uncertainty for the Toronto meeting. Discussion:  Alondra Nelson suggested the development of several models comparing financial decisions about the two society journals.

Publications Committee Recommendations: Joan Fujimura indicated that the Finance Committee and Publications Committee have met to review budget requests from the ESTS Editors.  A key expense is hiring a new managing editor for ESTS which will add annual outlay to the society budget.  The Editors asked for funding for several other items distributed to Council in a separate document.  Fujimura described some of the new anticipated directions of the journal.  Miller estimated that this request if fully funded will result in about $30,000 additional annual expense.  Stephen Zehr asked about the $5000 budget item for conducting virtual workshops for new authors.  Duygu Kaşdoğan indicated the money was requested for labor to conduct the workshops.  The following items were voted on by these two committees: 1) Publications Committee approved a two-year consulting agreement for Katie Vann as managing editor of ST&HV.  The Finance Committee changed it to a three-year consulting agreement to cover overlap in transition from the current editor to a new editor.  Alondra Nelson asked about the possibility of maintaining one managing editor for both journals to maintain coordination across the journals.  Fujimura indicated that it was Vann’s decision to step down from the ESTS Managing Editor position.  Fujimura added that there are new technical challenges for ESTS that will require new training and expertise.  Ana Viseu noted that the Finance Committee sought information about Managing Editor salaries, noting that the proposed compensation is comparable.  The proposed consulting agreement for a 3-year term with annual cost of living increases recognized managing editor location, financial viability of 4S, and Covid-related financial issues that might arise within the society.  4S Council unanimously passed the proposed Consulting Agreement for a Managing Editor for ST&HV.  2) Fujimura brought to the floor the ESTS budget proposal that requests U.S. $55,000, with $40,000 for the new managing editor.  Discussion: Noortje Marres asked about one budget item.  Miller asked whether a cost of living increase for the ESTS managing editor is included.  It has not been included.  The proposed budget was passed 13-0 with two abstentions from individuals serving on the editorial team.  3) Fujimura indicated that the Finance Committee is looking at the money coming into the organization.  Most revenue comes from annual meeting registrations.  Fujimura indicated that standing annual expenses keep increasing resulting in a need to increase revenue.  Fujimura proposed establishing an ad hoc committee that will find ways of making ESTS a financially sustainable journal and to ask Sage for more money for ST&HV.  Fujimura asked for approval to form this ad hoc committee.  Council voted to approve the request to form this ad hoc committee.  Marres raised a question about lines of communication between ad hoc committees, standing committees, the President, and Council.  There was some discussion about charges for ad hoc and standing committees.  Angela Okune asked about the population of committees and how those decisions are made.  Fujimura clarified how choices are made for committee assignments.  Further discussion involved requests for information on committee responsibilities, including clear charges for committee assignments.  Stephen Zehr reminded Council members to review committee objectives, past minutes, and past committee reports on the web.  In addition, the chair of each committee should coordinate and communicate information to committee members.

6S Engagement Liaison Proposal: Angela Okune described a proposal sent to Council about the creation of a 6S Engagement Liaison position to develop new initiatives for students.  This position would be volunteer.  The goal is to make it sufficiently broad to allow flexibility in the types of work that might occur.  The occupant would be reviewed on an annual basis and work closely with 6S leadership.  The proposal passed on a 10-0 vote.

Program Committee for Toronto: Joan Fujimura reported that this committee is still being formed.  Local organizers include Michele Murphy, Kim Tallbear, and Kean Birch.  Further efforts are underway to increase membership on the program committee.  Wes Shrum asked whether the schedule would be similar to the New Orleans meeting and whether open panel proposal submissions would be open soon.  Fujimura indicated that scheduling would move forward at the standard dates for the society.

Web Redesign Committee: Fujimura reminded Council that Noortje Marres (Chair of the Web Committee) is requesting visual materials for the new website.

Survey of the Prague Conference: Due to limited time, Fujimura tabled this item to the next Council meeting.  Duygu Kaşdoğan indicated that she had talked to Turkish colleagues who expressed support for a hybrid model for future 4S meetings but expressed concern about inequalities that might result from the different networking opportunities afforded live versus virtual participation.  Belén Albornoz asked whether a hybrid model will be more expensive.  Wes Shrum discussed the idea of a hybrid meeting, indicating that the anticipation for Prague (before moving to full virtual) was about 20%-25% virtual presentations, but decisions would be on a session by session basis.  Only one remote virtual presentation would be allowed per session and the session chair would be responsible for organizing it.  Shrum pointed out that there are multiple versions of a hybrid model.  Some versions are very expensive while others could be done at a cheaper cost.  Fujimura recommended that we continue working on virtual/hybrid arrangements that work effectively from cost, participation, and intellectual quality criteria.  Duygu Kaşdoğan, Angela Okune, Emma Kowal, and Maka Suarez agreed to collaborate on the hybrid/accessibility/inequality issue.

Joan Fujimura adjourned the meeting at 10:00 AM US Eastern Time.