BERTRAND RUSSELL SOCIETY
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
I. CALL TO ORDER: The 2010 annual meeting of the BRS board of directors was called to order at 12:30 pm May 22, 2010 at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, by Chad Trainer, chair, BRS board of directors.
BRS DIRECTORS PRESENT: Board members in attendance were Chad Trainer, Alan Schwerin, Ray Perkins, Jr., David Henehan, Kenneth Blackwell, Howard Blair, David Blitz, Rosalind Carey, Jolen Galaugher, Nicholas Griffin, Kevin Klement, Gregory Landini, Bernard Linsky, Tim Madigan, John Ongley, Chris Pincock, Peter Stone, and Russell Wahl.
BRS MEMBERS PRESENT: Other BRS members in attendance were Alan Bock, Giovanni de Carvalho, Philip Ebersole, Karen Perkins, Stephen Reinhardt, and Tom Riggins.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The motion to approve the BRS 2009 board meeting minutes, as amended and published in the May-November 2009 BRS Quarterly, was made by Ken Blackwell, seconded and unanimously passed.
II. ANNOUNCEMENTS: none
III. REPORTS. Ken Blackwell reported that the BRS treasury balance as of March 31, 2010 was $10, 753 USD. Contributions made up $1190 of BRS income for that quarter, which is $200 more than contributions for all of last year.
IV. OLD BUSINESS: none
V. NEW BUSINESS:
1. The following BRS members were nominated and elected as officers of the BRS for the coming year:
Chad Trainer, chair, BRS board of directors
2. BRS president Alan Schwerin raised the question of where the 2011 BRS annual meeting would be held. After some discussion, Peter Stone suggested Rochester. Alan Schwerin asked Tim Madigan if he (Tim) would be willing to host the annual meeting next year at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY (where Tim teaches and where the BRS annual meeting was held June 27-29, 2008). Tim agreed to host the 2011 annual meeting there if the SJF administration and David White (also faculty at SJF; he will be co-convener) approved. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to hold the 2011 BRS annual meeting at St John Fisher College (date to be specified later), pending agreement by the SJF administration and David White.
After a discussion, a consensus was formed that the first or second weekends in June would be the best times to have the annual meeting there.
3. Ken Blackwell urged that membership dues be raised, for the first time since 1993, because BRS expenses (approximately USD $42/member) outstrip our income from dues, and that in addition, the BRS further subsidizes student and limited income memberships. He noted that the BRS has been depending on voluntary contributions to maintain the balance roughly where it was several years ago.
Ken then made the following two motions, as amended on the floor:
a. Moved that, beginning with the 2011 membership year,
b. Moved: that the postage surcharge of $4 for those domiciled outside the U.S. be removed.
Each was seconded and passed without opposition.
4. Chad Trainer announced that after 6 1/2 years editing the BRS Quarterly, Rosalind Carey and John Ongley had stepped down as editors. Chad then asked if anyone was willing to take on the role of BRS Quarterly editor or knew of anyone who would. No one volunteered and no one knew of anyone else who would be interested in the position.
After a discussion, a motion was made to form a BRS Editor Search Committee, including Gregory Landini and Howard Blair and with David Blitz as chair, to seek a new editor for the Quarterly. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
5. John Ongley presented a report, with data and graph, showing that while BRS membership had declined steadily (except in 2000) from 1990 to 2003, it stopped falling and began to rise again when he and Rosalind Carey began sending "time-to-renew" mailings to all recent and many more distant past members in 2004 and after, with a follow-up mailing two months later. He concluded from the data that sending a "time-to-renew" letter with follow-up was a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for increasing membership.
Ongley proposed to establish a "corresponding secretary," in addition to a recording secretary, to do "time-to-renew" and follow-up mailings in January and March, a mailing for the annual meeting, and any needed mailings for the fall board election. The purpose of this would be to institutionalize the "time-to-renew" and follow-up mailings as regular functions of the Society.
Ken Blackwell suggested that rather than two secretaries, which he thought would be confusing, a membership officer be established. Peter Stone suggested that a vice-president for elections be established. Since this required a vote at a membership meeting (on the assumption that the renewal vice-president is a permanent position in the BRS and not an ad hoc one), to change the BRS bylaws, John was urged to return with a specific amendment to the BRS bylaws to present at a members meeting.
6. Rosalind Carey said that she had been organizing BRS sessions of talks at the American Philosophical Association division meetings for the past five years, but must stop doing it. She suggested finding three different people to do this – one each of the three division meetings of the APA. Jolen Galaugher will organize the next BRS session at the central APA.
7. Dennis Darland had earlier proposed to the board (before the meeting) that it either 1. remove the password protection on the pdf files of scanned old Russell Society Newsletters (RSNs) and BRS Quarterlies, though not Quarterlies from November 2003 on, that Dennis has online and that are currently password-protected at his own website, or 2. move the files to the members area of the BRS Library website (which is password-protected). Ken Blackwell noted that there is copyrighted material in some of the old RSNs, as well as personal statements made about members in the minutes that could result in lawsuits. John Ongley added that as far as he knew the copyrighted material was to be found only in RSNs from 1990 and before.
At the Sunday, May 23, 2010 continuation of the board meeting, a motion was made by Ken Blackwell that the files be made available at the members area of the BRS Library website. This could be done by providing links to the files at the Library's site, though possibly storing the files on Dennis's site. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
VI. ADJOURNMENT. The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 pm. It was reconvened the next day, Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 12:30, in order to finish board business.
I. CALL TO ORDER. Sunday, May 23, 2010, at 12:30-1:30 pm at McMaster University, the board reconvened. Chad Trainer, chairing the meeting, called it to order.
BRS BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Chad Trainer, Alan Schwerin, Ray Perkins, Jr., John Ongley, Kenneth Blackwell, Howard Blair, David Blitz, Rosalind Carey, Jolen Galaugher, David Henehan, Kevin Klement, Tim Madigan, Chris Pincock, Peter Stone,
BRS MEMBERS PRESENT: Stefan Andersson, Alan Bock, William Bruneau, Philip Ebersole, Stephen Reinhardt, Thomas Riggins, Barrie Zwicker
II. NEW BUSINESS (continued from previous day's meeting).
1. Ken Blackwell made a motion to re-elect Dennis Darland as vice-president for electronic projects. It was seconded and passed unanimously.
2. Peter Stone proposed that former U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie, who is now running for governor of Hawaii, be made an honorary member of the BRS. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
BRS bylaw 5.7 states that honorary members must meet at least one of the following criteria: 1. be a member of BR's family; 2. have worked closely with BR in an important way; 3. have made a distinctive contribution to BR scholarship; 4. have acted in support of a cause or idea that BR championed; 5. have promoted awareness of BR or of BR's work; 6. have exhibited qualities of character (such as moral courage) reminiscent of BR.
Abercrombie, a long-time member of the Society who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq, was said to embody several of these qualities.
3. Ken Blackwell proposed that Dennis Darland's files of scanned RSNs be made available at the members area of the BRS Library website, as discussed in item 7, section 4 (new business) of the Saturday board meeting minutes above.
4. David Blitz proposed that Prof. Mario Bunge likewise be made an honorary member. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
1. Ken Blackwell reported that he had contacted the two grandsons of Russell, Earl Russell and the Hon. John Russell, asking if they will accept the offer of honorary membership in the Society that was voted on and approved at the 2009 BRS board of directors meeting. So far, Blackwell said, they have not responded.
IV. ADJOURNMENT. The meeting was adjourned at 12:50.
John Ongley, secretary
On February 9, 2010, Kenneth Blackwell, as Russell editor for McMaster University, presented the annual invoice for BRS subscriptions to Russell to the BRS Executive Committee. The invoice covered the 2 issues of volume 29 (2009). The names of all 2009 members in good standing were included and multiplied by $30. The other 4 members of the executive committee besides Ken, who was BRS treasurer at that time, approved the invoice.
To be submitted for approval by the BRS board of directors, along with the minutes of the 2010 annual board meeting minutes, at the 2011 annual meeting, and added as an addendum to the minutes of the 2009 annual board meeting.
John Ongley, secretary
At the May 22, 2010 BRS annual board meeting, held at McMaster University, the board decided to hold the 2011 BRS annual meeting at St John Fisher College in Rochester NY. However, board member Tim Madigan, of St John Fisher, informed the BRS executive committee in July 2010 that there were difficulties with holding the annual meeting at St John Fisher in 2011. BRS board member John Lenz, of Drew University, then offered to host the 2011 BRS annual meeting at Drew University in Madison NJ instead, and Tim Madigan offered to host the annual meeting at SJF in 2012.
In consultation with the board of directors, the executive committee of the BRS (pres Alan Schwerin, vice pres Ray Perkins Jr, board chair Chad Trainer, tres Kenneth Blackwell, sec John Ongley) therefore decided, also in July 2010, to hold the BRS 2011 annual meeting at Drew University, with John Lenz as host, rather than meeting at St John Fisher College as previously decided at McMaster.
To be submitted for approval by the BRS board of directors, along with the minutes of the 2010 annual board meeting, at the 2011 annual meeting, and added as an addendum to the minutes of the 2010 annual board meeting.
John Ongley, secretary