MINUTES OF MEETING OF 4S COUNCIL
7th/8th April 2022
Agenda April 7th 2022, 12:00-14:05 UTC
Emma Kowal called the meeting to order at 12:04 PM UTC.
ITEM 1 Greetings and Apologies
In attendance: Emma Kowal (President), Amanda Windle (Managing Director), Barkha Kagliwal (6S), Bryn Seabrook, Duygu Kaşdoğan, Chihyung Jeon, Canay Özden-Schilling, Tim Neale, Maka Suarez, Natasha Vally, Vivian Choi (Secretary), Lucy van de Wiel, Aneesh Aneesh (Treasurer), Pablo Kreimer, Vivette García-Deister. Special attendance for: Item 10: Luciano Levin and Leandro Rodriguez Medina (Cholula’22 conference organisers). Item 11: Stephen Schaefer (Whiteford Taylor Preston). Apologies from Misria Shaik Ali (6S) and Angela Okune (6S).
ITEM 2 Approval of February 2022 Council Meeting Minutes
Emma Kowal asked council for any amendments. None were received ahead of a vote.
VOTE: The motion to approve the February minutes was moved by Canay Özden-Schilling, seconded by Vivian Choi, and approved by (9) votes, with zero (0) against, and (1) abstention (Kaşdoğan, as she was not present at the February meeting). The motion was approved.
ITEM 3 Executive Committee Update (retiring ad hoc Reorganization committee)
Kowal explained that the ad hoc reorganization committee had now been superseded by the ad hoc executive committee and was no longer required. President can dissolve ad hoc committees without voting according to the Charter but Kowal asked council members to vote. VOTE: The motion to approve the retire the reorganisation committee of the vote was moved by Tim Neale seconded by Canay Özden-Schilling and approved by (11) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.
ITEM 4 Harassment Policy Discussion
Vivian Choi presented a comprehensive draft harassment policy, and the need for an ad hoc Professional Ethics Committee which had technically been established in the 2019 Event Ethics Policy but had not operated. Barkha Kagliwal expressed interest in joining the committee. Bryn Seabrook asked what the difference was between an Event Ethics policy and a harassment policy and Kowal replied that the second was intended to encompass the first. Lucy van de Wiel asked if there were any guidelines? Choi noted that the draft policy had drawn on the ACLS, and other associations affiliated to ACLS for policy and processes. Tim Neale asked if the policy was a broader Professional Ethics policy whether the policy might cover research practice and publication ethics? Amanda Windle noted that ESTS followed COPE guidelines for writing the journal’s publication ethics. Kowal noted that the policy doesn’t need to be complete at this point and could be added to in the future, but the purpose for having a professional ethics policy is to include harassment and within that, conduct on events. Choi noted the policy should be reviewed annually. Aneesh Aneesh thought it would be timely to get this ready for approval at the next Council Meeting. VOTE: The motion to approve a professional ethics committee (ad hoc) charged with writing the harassment policy (chaired by Vivian Choi, and involving Barkha Kagliwal and Angela Okune) was moved by Duygu Kaşdoğan seconded by Bryn Seabrook and approved by (12) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.
ITEM 5 ACLS Update
Revising 4S’s 2021 application to become a member of American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) had progressed after Kowal and Windle spoke with ACLS in late 2021. Re-application will be considered by ALCS in August 2022, with results later in the year. No comments followed from 4S Council.
ITEM 9* Finance Update *This Item was brought forward.
Windle presented the April budget and finance update. Kowal summarised the current budgetary aim to cover all of 4S costs through the year—but in the future, profit from conferences should aim to cover future costs rather than the past year’s costs. The budgetary tool from Toronto’21 is being used again for modelling registration costs for Cholula’22 (hybrid conference). ESOCITE is looking to cover 30k of costs upfront. Seabrook asked how budgeting for hybrid Cholula’22 affects 4S’s steady state budget? Kowal noted that there was a survey for open panel organisers and about three-quarters intend to come in-person. Kreimer asked if the planned travel grants were exclusively for 4S members or for any participant, also noting that the 10k budget was low. In answer, Kowal replied that budget decisions would be made after abstracts close and hopefully the NSF grant we have applied for will allow additional travel funds. Aneesh reminded Council that decisions on the NSF grant application for travel funds will be June, 2022.
ITEM 6* Membership/Web/Conference Systems *Vivette García-Deister joined at this point.
Kowal summarised the digital infrastructure proposal for council, to be implemented in 2022 (Hawaii’23). Windle also noted a recent 1k (USD) of costs with YourMembership tool for a deprecated API. Executive committee (assisted by webmaster Steve Coffee and IT intern Shiv Issar) reviewed 8 different providers and agreed that the proposal from MemberLeap was the best proposal, offering integrated membership systems, web hosting, abstract submission, and online conference hosting. This would significantly reduce costs and risks into the future. Suarez asked if 4S could keep the look and feel of the current website, and Neale asked if MemberLeap is interoperable? Kowal and Windle explained that ML provides interoperability and could have better search and archive functionality to reduce the 100+ webpages, keeping the same look and feel. There was discussion from Suarez in concerns to phasing out the printed conference booklets for a mobile app, with Kowal noting that there would be a transitional phase. Van de Wiel asked if there would be mobile access outside of WIFI areas at Cholula’22 leading to—Action: Levin and Windle to provide a place to buy internet/SIM card at the airport onto the website. VOTE: The motion to approve the MemberLeap proposal was moved by Chihyung Jeon seconded by Vivette Garcia-Deister and approved by (12) votes, with zero (0) against, and (0) abstention. The motion was carried.
ITEM 7 ST&HV Language Editors
Tim Neale (ST&HV Editor) presented the editors’ proposal on realising the goal of transnationalising ST&HV with the aim to trial for a year language editors working with authors on their revise & resubmit papers (roughly for 3 days per manuscript). Jeon asked if the language editing service is for manuscripts already accepted for publication, as it may be more helpful for authors, earlier in the process (between 1st and 2nd rounds of review). Neale confirmed they will start with revise & resubmit, for papers that had significant issues of expression, with the managing editor and Sage covering the later stages of copyediting. Suarez, Kaşdoğan, Kowal and Windle offered their collective experience on language editing. Vally asked how the language editors would be credited, with Kowal and Neale respectively suggesting a (a) CV credit and (b) a writing credit rather than a by-line. Action: Council to contact Kowal and Windle if they want to join the publications committee. VOTE: The motion to approve the proposal for $10K for ST&HV language support was moved by Vally seconded by Özden-Schilling and approved by (11) votes, with zero (0) against, and (1) abstention (Neale). The motion was carried.
ITEM 8 Sage Contract
Negotiating new terms for the 2nd half of the Sage contract for ST&HV had progressed, with a request to Sage made by Kowal for more money to cover current costs, plus the language editing and social media support. In retrospect it wasn’t a good decision for Sage to have owned the title ST&HV (a decision made in the 1980s), limiting options for future negotiation. Part of the contract renewal is to investigate the end of print and postage for hard copies (9,000 per year) for environmental reasons.
ITEM 10 Cholula Conference Update
Cholula organisers Luciano Levin and Leandro Rodriguez Medina were present to answer questions on ESOCITE’s request (written with Ronald Cancino, President of ESOCITE) for a fixed amount of 30k (USD) from the Cholula’22 conference income. Levin noted that ESOCITE does not have a membership nor a strong financial system like 4S. Rodriguez Medina’s conference update noted that a few submissions were in already, but expected abstracts to arrive just before deadline. In the recent survey among panel members, Levin was happy to report that over 70 per cent are planning to come in-person. Panel organisers aren’t the perfect sample, so an additional question regarding intention to attend in-person or virtually was added to the abstract submission process. VOTE: The motion to approve the ESOCITE request for $30K (USD) in 2022-3 was moved by Neale and seconded by Suarez and approved by (11) votes, with zero () against, and (1) abstention (Kreimer). The motion was carried.
ITEM 11* Incorporation *Stephen Schaefer attended for this item only.
Introduced to 4S via ACLS, the Lawyer Stephen Schaefer (WTP), introduced his twenty years of legal experience with associations and organisations, primarily focusing on various types of non-profits, typically dealing with trade associations that have memberships and professional societies with memberships. Within those associations are academic organisations similar to 4S that have a membership primarily made of individuals from various academic fields. Schaefer noted that he’d seen a lot of harassment issues recently and stressed that it was a reason to incorporate. Action: Kowal/Windle to get Schaefer’s input into 4S’s harassment policy.
Kowal and Schaefer summarised the elements of incorporation including timings, quoracy for membership voting (of 5%), a two rather than three-stage membership voting process, which includes changes to charter with bylaws. From experience, Schaefer noted that elections tend to be about 7–10 per cent of participation, and cautioned against going higher than one tenth of membership. Suarez agreed with five per cent, but also thought that it seemed shockingly low, and Council should encourage people to participate in governance. Schaefer, Kowal and Aneesh concurred that presently 4S’s voting at Business meetings is seeking to impose a higher threshold because currently there’s no lower limit to attendance and voting. Kaşdoğan and Kreimer had to leave the meeting with Kaşdoğan asking for an extended discussion including a framing of the minimal threshold. Action: Kowal to frame the minimal threshold for membership.
Discussion continued with Garcia, van de Wiel, and Suarez asking Schaefer about: (1) specific charter-bylaw changes, (2) legal liability on current ethics policy, and (3) how insurance and incorporation work together. To proceed on a council voting, Aneesh asked Schaefer for next steps? Schaefer suggested seeking council approval by unanimous written email, and Kowal suggested informing members of progress in the Technoscience, and pushing the timeline on incorporation back a month. Action: Written approval by Council for incorporation proposal (including the timeline for a Special Business Meeting and online voting of members after more discourse).
Next meeting: The next meeting will be in June or July, date TBC.
Kowal brought the meeting to a close at 15:08 UTC.