Off-Cycle Council Meeting July 15, 2014

Off-Cycle Council Meeting
International Rural Sociology Association
Yokohama, Japan
July 15, 2014

The council meeting was called to order by President Lawrence at 13:05 without a quorum present. Those representatives present included:
a. Geoff Lawrence (President)
b. Koichi Ikegami (ARSA)
c. Keith Moore (RSS)
d. Kasimis Charalambos (ESRS)
e. Mark Shucksmith (ESRS)
f. Roger Wilkinson (AON)
g. Elizabeth Ransom (RSS)
h. Mustafa Koc (Toronto Local Arrangements Chair)
i. Ray Jussaume (Secretary-Treasurer)
President Lawrence reviewed the meeting process and agenda with those in attendance. He also shared apologies from various representatives who could not make the meeting.

Representatives were asked by the President if they had any additions to the agenda. There were none.

The minutes from the incoming 2012 Council Meeting were discussed. Roger Wilkinson noted that Shaunna Scott is a member of RSS and not ESRS.
Keith Moore made a motion to accept the 2012 minutes. Mustafa Koc seconded. The minutes were unanimously accepted. A formal vote to accept the minutes will be done by e-mail by President Lawrence.

Update from Representatives of Member Associations – AON, ARSA, ESRS, and RSS. No one was present from ALASRU and thus no announcement was made on behalf of ALASRU. Roger Wilkinson reported for AON. AON at the moment is not highly organized. There has been no activity over the past year, especially with departure of Frank Vanclay, founder of AON, from Australia to the Netherlands. The desire for something still exists. It might be possible to ask the Australasian Agri-food Research Network (AFRN) to take over leadership of the representation of this area to IRSA. Ray Jussaume made a suggestion that Roger Wilkinson talk with the other AON representatives and come up with a proposal regarding the future for Australasian/Oceanic representation on IRSA council. As there is no quorum, no official motion was made. There was a consensus that this should be done.

Koichi Ikegami stated that ARSA will have its fifth conference in September in Vientianne, Laos. President Lawrence will attend and give a keynote address. There have been 172 papers submitted and the organizers are expecting 150 attendees. East Timor, Samoa and Kazakhstan all will have attendees for the first time. The theme of the Congress will be “From Challenges to a Prosperous Rural Area.” Challenges include disaster management, as well as on the role of community in rural development. A conference proceedings will be produced and distributed.

Kasimis Charalambos reported that last year’s ESRS congress was in Florence. The next congress will be in Aberdeen in August 2015. Everyone is invited. ESRS is now going through a re-structuring. Sociologia Ruralis has a new editor and there will be a new editorial board. ESRS will also be organizing several standing research committees. Sally Shortall is in charge of this new effort. The next summer school will be in Avignon, France. Information on the summer school is posted on IRSA web site. ESRS is excited about expanding its activities, as well as strengthening contacts with IRSA and RSS. Mustafa Koc inquired about the theme of the Congress. Kasimis Charalambos replied that a call for convenors will go out this month. ESRS is also working to update its web site.

Elizabeth Ransom reported for RSS. RSS is doing well, but Ralph Brown is seriously ill and the Society is working on trying to keep the transition as smooth as possible. The Society has re-signed with Riley-Blackwell to publish the journal. Steve Sapp is the incoming editor of Rural Sociology. Cynthia Struthers will be the new executive director in 2015. RSS is interested in improving relations with ESRS. The coming year will be a transition year. This year’s meeting is in New Orleans. In two years, the meeting will be in Toronto. The meetings next year (2015) will be in Madison.

Possible Bids for IRSA 2020 World Congress (Stewart Lockie)

The possibility of Cairns, Australia, as a site for the IRSA 2020 Congress was discussed. The Cairns Institute has expressed interest in hosting the World Congress. And, President Lawrence has begun discussions with people at the Institute about the possibility. Cairns has good transportation access as it is a world tourist destination. The Institute is more focused on the tropical world. So, this WOULD influence what the theme of the plenaries and special events should be – i.e. the tropical world. We are looking for stronger participation from the Pacific Region. We would also need to identify a program chair. The Institute would want to focus on local arrangements. Elizabeth Ransom asked if there are any folks in the area who might be interested in serving on the scientific team. Geoff Lawrence believes there may be people in Australian Sociological Association who would be interested. He noted that this is but a preliminary discussion. Keith stated that this should afford an opportunity to also incorporate African issues into the program. Mark Shucksmith wondered if the Institute would “buy in.” The council looks forward to a formal proposal in two years’ time at its next meeting.

Budget Update – Including Dues Payable (Ray)

Ray presented the current budget. It was noted that the primary expenditure for IRSA is maintaining the web site. Roger Wilkinson made a motion to accept the budget. Mustafa Koc seconded. The motion was passed by voice.

IRSA tax status

Ray noted that after nearly a year of back and forth, IRSA tax status in the United States has now been resolved.

IRSA World Congress in Toronto 2016 (Mustafa Koc)
Geoff Lawrence noted that the official document to have Toronto host the next Congress was signed earlier this year. Clare Hinrichs now has a team working on the academic program. The call for session proposals will go out in September. Registration will begin on April 1, 2016. Mustafa Koc reported that Phil Mount will co-chair the program committee with Clare Hinrichs. Patricia Albenese is co-chair with Mustafa on local arrangements. This will help ensure continuity. The local arrangements committee is still working with Ryerson University on specific arrangements (such as access to classrooms). As much as possible, the committee is using internal resources to organize the Congress. The Congress web site is ready. Suggestions on improving the web site are welcome. RSS will hold its 2016 meetings in Toronto from the 6th to 10th. IRSA will be from the 10th to 14th. Leif Jensen of Penn State will be President of RSS during 2016 and is in the same department as Clare Hinrichs. Mustafa Koc asked about how many plenaries were a good number. Mark Shucksmith said that five or six were normal. Geoff Lawrence suggested that Mustafa Koc look at the Portugal Congress as a model from which to work.

IRSA Website (Geoff Lawrence)

Elizabeth Ransom stated that in the history of RC-40 it was the Secretary who asked council members on a routine basis to contribute something to the newsletter/web site. So, perhaps Geoff Lawrence should approach individual members from time to time to get contributions to Council’s Corner on the web site. Geoff will do this.

Possibilities for the Formation of an African Rural Sociology Branch (Keith Moore to introduce)

Keith Moore led the discussion. We need a better approach for expanding the African presence in IRSA. A survey of African Rural Sociologists would be difficult because there is no good list. How do we create an organization that could develop a network that would grow? What is the population that we think we are organizing? Who are African rural sociologists? There are certainly no rural sociology departments/programs in Africa. Many African rural sociologists may be more interested with links to the north than links with each other (for mutual support and to gain resources). Also, perhaps we should focus on individual countries or regions? Keith is exploring these questions as well as what kind of agriculturally-related scientific societies exist and operate.


Geoff Lawrence thanked everyone and stated that next Council meeting will be on 8/10/16.

Respectfully submitted by Raymond A. Jussaume Jr., Secretary-Treasurer

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