Minutes of OCNS 2005 Board Meetings

Madison, Wisconsion


July 18, 2005. Board meeting

Meeting called to order: ~12:30


Fernanda Saraga
Michael Hasselmo
Sharon Crook
Frances Skinner
Yuan Liu
Dennis Glanzman
Bill Holmes
Udo Ernst
Linda Larson-Prior
Phillip Ulinski
Erik De Schutter
Mark Nelson
Ranu Jung
Mark VanRosssum
Todd Troyer
Christiane Linster

C. Linster: State of affairs

Progress made toward making meeting independent of individuals.

  1. Confmaster (submission server) has been very responsive.
  2. Handbook of administrative details is underway. Important work to be done this fall.
  3. First year for separate meeting and full paper submissions, so we’re a bit behind, but not too bad. Signed 2 yr. contract with Elsevier. Erik and Todd will be co-editors.
  4. Fundraising campaign has gotten $6500 for travel grants. May want to designate a fundraising position for the organizing committee. We raised money from industry in the amounts of $500, $1000, and $2000 depending on what recognition they were given.

Discussion of status of NIH grant:

NIH grant has 2 more years.
Yuan: R13 money is very tight now, and are now reviewed by internal panels rather than study section. Discouraged from multi-year submissions.
Dennis: More focus on institute mission, so will need to justify. Contact program officer. While things are tighter still encourage submission of grant. Reminder, must send letter 2 mo. In advance of deadline.
Yuan: Be particularly careful about language related to student/minority support and travel. Matching funds are useful to demonstrate.

Vote on adding position of fundraiser: Yes – unanimous.
Vote on Fred Prior for position of fundraiser: Yes – unanimous.

Financial Report - Linda Larson-Prior (Hand Out)

We are incorporated in CA. Two problems. First, we get state tax exemption in CA. Solution so far is to pay expenses through local tax-exempt organization and for the local organization to bill CNS. Second, we must have a member of the organization that as a resident of the state. Francis Chance has volunteered to be designated CA resident and will receive official notifications, etc. The state must be notified about any change in the executive committee.

I went with local bank first. Big mistake, so changing bank to Bank of America.
Reg. Online is very easy to work with.
Need budgetary information ASAP to get things done.
We’re having difficulties here with onsite registration. Helpful to have things online, but will need treasurer or representative to be present at meeting to deal with problem and enter in receipts etc.

Discussion of Grant Funding

Dennis: Better not to carry over any NIH money, try to use it up each year.
Phil: Historically, this was done to bridge from one meeting to next since our initial budget was $0. Could we use these funds for student travel?
Dennis: Yes.
Phil: Surplus is now gone.
Yuan: Is the grant administration cost listed paid to an institution?
Phil: All money goes to person actually doing the work.
Linda: Look at figures. We do not have enough money to continue meeting as is without grant.
Ranu: Can we try to break up costs and target fund raising opportunities to specific costs for the meeting?
Dennis: NIH can help coordinate funding opportunities from multiple sources.
Ranu: Math workshops may be one source of funding opportunity. Also NSF’s ADVANCE program for women may be a source.
Yuan: One could also consider U13 (Conference Cooperative Agreement) funding. NINDS has money for international collaborations.
Phil: Banquet is very expensive.
Linda: Currently industrial support is targeted. However, we may be able to use it to build up funds.
Christiane: There will be individual solutions to funding issues for individual meetings, but we need to identify a base of options that work. Should identify a group to look into this.
Udo: What about increasing attendence?
Phil: Currently, faculty subsidize students, so increased student participation will not help financial situation.
Ranu: I volunteer to look into funding.
General discussion of banquet: Getting people together at a single event is important, especially for students. Traditional sit-down banquet may not be so great because you sit next to the same two people. We have other options here. One decision is plated dinner vs. “heavy appetizers.” In general, we should delineate options and choose related to local factors and current finances.
Identify group of volunteers to work on funding: Udo, Ranu, Linda, Fred, and Christiane.

Travel Grant Report: Phil

We decided that support should be significant. No need to support everyone and only give them a small amount. Last year, travel committee evaluated applicants separately from program committee. Little additional information to go on and lots of time spent. This year program committee rankings were used. Ended up having enough funds to support everyone.

Recommend for future: use program committee rankings to decide on funding. Also, third world travel can only be supported to certain level.

Yuan: There are some funds for third world travel, IBRO, human frontier, etc. Need to work with these organizations. (Phil and Yuan volunteer to do so.)

Adjourn: 1:50 p.m.

July 19, 2005. Board meeting


Fernanda Saraga
Michael Hasselmo
Sharon Crook
Frances Skinner
Yuan Liu
Dennis Glanzman
Bill Holmes
Udo Ernst
Linda Larson-Prior
Phillip Ulinski
Erik De Schutter
Mark Nelson
Ranu Jung
Mark VanRosssum
Todd Troyer
Christiane Linster

Meeting called to order:~5:05

Report on Confmaster: Francis

Worked well overall. Two main points: Need to be able to handle multiple submission, i.e. 3 pg+6pg. Need to clarify process and streamline, with clear instructions. Interaction with reviewers need clearer instructions. Program committee members need confirmation that reviewers actually received e-mail. Will have to talk to confmaster to work out these issues.

Phil: If student travel award, useful if paper went to separate file. This year had to sort through e-mails regarding travel grants. Difficult to attach to papers. Perhaps we can have a check box in ConfMaster.
Bill: Cost an issue?
Christiane: $500 for changes for the entire year, so not bad.
Linda: Confmaster costs were around $750 total.
Christiane: This should be doable. Some things may need a work around.
Francis: Are the reviews from this year’s 3 page abstracts available?
Christiane: Not any more.
Bill: Was program book created from confaster? Lot’s of errors, not useful.
Christiane: Confmaster makes excel file. Amir created book. Typos due to authors. Other issues due to local organizer.
General: We should make template to make program. Need an editor.
Erik: Neuroinf uploaded from excel. Numbering/time done in excel.
Phil: This year’s program was poorly edited.
Christiane: Amir did send to everyone before printing.
Erik: In past years have had dedicated admin support. Don’t have it this year. Problem at level of registration, program book. Do we want more admin duties back to organization?
Linda: Some of this is due to funds. But may need an administrative office.
Phil: Don’t need office for much of this. Maybe hire someone to take care of little tasks. This is small expense.
Udo: We can pay students to attend registration desk.
Christiane: We can create a template for the program. We definitely can’t just leave it to the local organizer without instruction.
Linda: Perhaps we should have a subcommittee for creating relevant parts of hand book?
Sharon: Will do program template for handbook.
Christiane: Please volunteer for any of these tasks.
Todd: I will work on organizing handbook, identify chunks that need work and delegate.
Erik: Remember that one problem is that people don’t read instructions. What about the question of assigning ultimate administrative responsibility.
Linda: $5000 for local admin. So there is money.
Erik: Even if there are instructions. Have to re-invent the wheel. Useful to have people with experience.
Todd: Do we want someone from the org at the meeting?
Erik: E.g. did anyone ask if invited speaker showed up?
Phil: Individual local organizers will always be more or less organized.
Christiane: We should consider hiring admin help for routine tasks. If we can identify person that would be good idea. This does add some cost since local organizer still needs support.
Linda: Amir is only using $1000, Asaf used all of it to run meeting.
Christiane: I don’t use 1/3 of a secretary’s time so I may be able to use mine for admin help.
Phil and Erik: Need appropriate person.
Linda: If we can identify a good person, then CNS can afford to put some money in.
Udo: We have a good person.
Phil: Need to organize a meeting and edit – two separate skills.
Linda: What tasks would such a person need to do?
Erik: Need someone at registration and front desk that knows what is going on. Also, making the program.
Christiane: Also need someone to checking up on review process, to make sure all submissions are handled properly.
Phil, Linda and Erik: Discussion of whether person needs to be at meeting. Would be nice, but unclear whether really is necessary.
Erik: One task is to check whether speakers have actually registered, so that don’t have gaps in program.
Francis: Also could use admin help for editing web page.
Linda: One thing is to ask about travel. Will have to check about costs later.
Christiane: Estimate might need average of 2-3 hours a week.

Report on CNS2006, Edinburgh: Mark Van Rossum

Budget handed out. Drinks reception on evening before conference.
Slightly higher cost venue, but very nice. Centrally located up-to-date. Banquet - have reduced cost, but still about ¼ of cost of entire meeting. Can think about doing something else.
Linda: I noticed that costs for admin included. This is a good thing.
Mark: Lodging is a bit far away, but public transport pretty good and it’s not too far. Also close to park.
Other events. Will have mini conference for David Willshaw. Potential as a satellite. Also have grant for microcircuitry. Maybe can use some of these funds for satellite or workshop.
Francis: What about the room for posters.
Mark: The space is not ideal - have a series of long hallways.
Erik: Make sure we have enough lighting.

Suggestion for new board members. Usually collect suggestions and then vote over e-mail. 5 members rotating off. Talk to people before nominating.
Christiane: I am making a clean mailing list. Will send an announcement and will announce at business meeting.

Program committee report – Erik

Biggest issue, please don’t change format of submissions! Things have been changing every year. Focus on what we did this year and make it smoother. Next year will be my last year. Propose to have program chair elect position that serves together with current chair. Bill Holmes has volunteered. Bill will do much of management since he is familiar with confmaster. Bill has agreed to only a three year term.
Christiane: I think bylaws have terms of only two years.
Erik and others: Should have all executive committee positions have person elect for one year.
Erik: On submission, recommend that applicants just identify poster or oral. Do not have ability to request featured oral. On submission form, identify professional status. Best way to find out about quality of talk, ask PI.
Mark and Erik will put together ideas for workshop.
Christiane: Everyone should be involved in thinking about workshops.
Erik: Also recommend making workshop organizer a member of the program committee.
Yuan: 2 years ago at IBRO had grantsmanship workshop. I will volunteer to have workshop at Edinburgh.
General discussion: Who should we invite to discuss funding opportunities?
Erik: European level funding is unclear. Possible further things going on at this level. Will probably be in contract stage at this time.
Yuan: Eventual goal is to get joint funding programs. Problem is how to do review.
Fred: Before leave topic of money and workshops. Some industrial organizations have wanted to make presentations/workshops.
Todd: What about scheduling and conflict with scientific workshops?
Linda: Perhaps we can work with program committee.
Todd/Christiane: All should be proactive and explore possibilities. Feed ideas to program committee.
Erik: We should find sponsor for drinks reception.
Erik: Selected three new members for program committee: Sharon Crook, and Hiroshi Okamoto have agreed. Tay Netoff will be asked.

Strategies for renewing EC

Linda: Have elect member available next year. Ex-officio member will stay on for a year to give two-year overlap. Do we want to have a nominating committee?
Christiane: I think as written, person is elected out of board.
Linda: We have a limited number of people that have served on the board.
Erik: I don’t think there is a limit of how long person must have been on board.
Todd: Can send out announcement that we need members for the board and executive committee.
General discussion: Bylaws related to executive committee.
Christiane: Willing to stay on, but better for perception of meeting if I got replaced. Important for perception as democratic organization.
Linda: Past members of executive committee will be there to help.
Yuan: Synaptic Gordon conference, vice chair becomes chair for continuity.
Phil: I will finish out current grant.
Christiane: Will send out announcement.

Adjourned: 6:26 p.m.