Council Meeting Minutes July 29-30, 2004

Minutes/In-Coming Council Meeting
Trondheim, Norway
July 29-30, 2004

Alessandro Bonanno (President)
David Hansen (Secretary-Treasurer)
Heather Aslin, AON
Hilary Tovey, ESRS
Hans Bakker, RSS
Bettina Bock, ESRS
Paul Milbourne, ESRS
Hugh Campbell, AON
Philip McMichael, RSS
Raymond Jussaume, RSS
Haruo Kuroyanagi, ARSA
Surichai Wun’Gaeo, ARSA
Lynda Cheshire, AON
Ki-Whan Chung, (Local Arrangements Chair)
Mark Shucksmith, (Past Program Chair)

Gabriela Martinez Dougnac, ALASRU
Luciano Martinez Valle, ALASRU
Henrique de Barros, ALASRU
Yoshio Kawamura, (Programme Chair)

Others present
Aurora Cristina Martinez, ALASRU
Regina Karega, OSSREA
Blanca Rubio, ALASRU
Frank Vanclay, AON (Past President)
Ana Maria Aragones , ALASRU

First Meeting, July 29, 2004 (18:15 ­ 19:30)

Alessandro Bonanno called the meeting to order. He welcomed all those in attendance and mentioned that it was his hope to accomplish important activities during his administration. He noted that we need to strive to work in harmony with one another.

He indicated that the In-Coming Council would actually have two meetings. The second meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 30 after the General Assembly. He urged all members to attend this meeting as well.

He then asked members of the new Council to introduce themselves and to briefly discuss any major issues they may have. Oakla Cho, following up on comments made in the General Assembly, raised a concern about the language factor for the next World Congress, suggesting that if translation is to be provided, it would need to be into the Asian languages rather than into French or Spanish. Blanca Rubio raised the cost of attending the World Congresses, noting that most Latin Americans are unable to cover these costs.

Alessandro Bonanno moved and Heather Aslin seconded that Regina Karega be admitted to Council as the area representative for Africa (to replace Adboulaye Sene) until such time as the Organisation for Social Science Research for Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) formally joins IRSA. (Passed Unanimously)

Regina Karega indicated that it was OSSREA’s intent to pay the dues for the coming four year period and that OSSREA will nominate its three representatives shortly.

Alessandro Bonanno then moved to a discussion of priority activities for the coming four year period. He indicated that he will attempt to hold more dialogue (perhaps actual meetings and meetings by teleconference and web conferencing) to ensure that this occur.

Alessandro indicated that he intended to alter the procedure for election of the two Vice Presidents. He proposed that the Secretary send an e-mail to all Council members asking them to indicate within a specified period of time if they are interested in standing for a Vice President position. Council members from all regions other than the RSS will then be requested to vote on those standing for the position of First Vice President. Once the First Vice President is elected, the remaining names for regions other than RSS and the region of the elected First Vice President will be sent to Council members for election of the Second Vice President.

Phil McMichael raised a question of procedure, asking if Council member not present could be elected following the standard procedure. Considerable discussion took place regarding the election process. Frank Vanclay recommended that the procedure in By-law 6 which covers the election of the Vice Presidents be followed.

Alessandro Bonnano then moved and Hugh Campbell seconded that the IRSA Council recommend the election of Vice Presidents be conducted via e-mail following the preferential voting system in a manner that is consistent with the limitations governing the election of the two Vice Presidents at this Council meeting. (Passed)

Attention was then turned to amending By-law 8 to add an additional duty for the Secretary-Treasurer. It was proposed that prior to each In-Coming Council meeting, the Secretary-Treasurer should e-mail all eligible Council members asking them if they were interested in standing for the Vice President positions.

Alessandro Bonanno then asked for inputs on how to improve World Congresses, focusing on experiences of this Congress and perceived obstacles that will be faced by the 2008 World Congress in Korea. He mentioned that the language problem will persist and will need to be addressed. Blanca Rubio indicated that for non-native English language speakers, presentations are much easier to understand if they use power point or overhead presentations. Comprehension of spoken English is less imperative if these visual aids are used. Ray Jussaume mentioned that the current World Congress produced abstracts for all of the papers. Perhaps they should be translated into major languages to facilitate access to their content by non-native English language speakers. Oakla Cho also indicated that she found the distribution of handouts to be extremely useful. Mention was made of the need to enlarge media coverage of the World Congresses. Others indicated that this World Congress was receiving substantial coverage and that it should be continued at all Congresses.

The meeting was adjourned at 19:30.

In-Coming Council Meeting, July 30, 2004, 16:15 ­ 19:00

Alessandro Bonanno opened the meeting requesting Dave Hansen to review important matters arising from the Out-Going Council Meeting (an item that had been deferred from the previous day). Hansen reported that Ki-Whan Chung had made an excellent presentation to the Council in relation to the Korean proposal to host the XII World Congress in 2008. Council formally endorsed Korea as the site for the 2008 World Congress and thanked the Korean delegation for its excellent proposal by giving them an enthusiastic round of applause. Changes to the Constitution, By-laws, and Procedural Manual were approved by Council. Frank Vanclay, as IRSA’s nominee to the Editorial Board of the book series, Research in Rural Soicology and Development, published by Elsevier Press, needs nominations for the position of Editor to replace Fred Buttel. OSSREA was discussed as a potential sponsor for the 2012 World Congress.

Alessandro Bonanno then turned to the 2008 World Congress, indicating that he and Ray Jussaume (Deputy Programme Chair) had met with the Korean delegation the evening before. The format is still tentative. They have agreed to discuss further the specifics of the program for the World Congress. Inputs from Council representatives are needed to achieve this. Evaluations of the current World Congress will also be used in the process. Hilary Tovey argued that we will need to consider greater diversity in the leadership makeup of the next World Congress. She observed that it appears that the higher up one goes in the administrative hierarchy of the Congress, the less present women and minorities are. Phil McMichael asked how one can promote greater diversity in the programme. Ray Jussaume noted that this will be an issue for the coming World Congress because of the diversity of culture and societies in Asia. He noted that scholarship funding could be used to attract minorities. Chung then mentioned that there are at least two ways to attract a diverse audience, namely (1) scholarships targeted at specific regions of Asia; and (2) symposia that highlight certain sensitive topics related to ethnicity. Mark Shucksmith indicated that the Programme Committee might want to consider developing an advisory group composed of individuals from the region that could recommend participation by specific social scientists from the different regions.

Dave Hansen mentioned that a draft MOU between the Koreans and IRSA had been developed during the week. Since the KREI President is not present at these meetings, the signing of the document will be postponed until he has seen it.

It was agreed that IRSA Executive Committee would appoint a Task Force to seek funding in support of the 2008 World Congress. It would solicit funding from various international donors to help support travel and maintenance costs of participants from poorer regions of the world. Alessandro Bonanno agreed to give this some thought and to propose Task Force members to Council. Several Council members tentatively volunteered or were suggested to participate on this committee, including Frank Vanclay, Ki-Whan Chung, and Hans Bakker.

In following up a discussion from the Outgoing Council meeting, Frank Vanclay again raised the issue of the urban nature of Seoul as was depicted in the video presentation in the closing session of the Congress. He wanted to be sure that the Council was completely committed to the hosting of the Congress in Seoul and ensuring that no one would be concerned that holding the next World Congress in Seoul represented a conflict because of IRSA’s values. Hilary Tovey indicated that she does have reservations about Seoul and would much prefer a smaller place with greater informal interaction opportunities. Hans Bakker mentioned that if we opt for Seoul, we should extend our stays to enjoy the exotic environment. Ray Jussaume indicated that possibilities for doing different things in Korea are enormous; Regina Karega noted that in Africa, there would be many logistical problems if a Congress were not to be held in a larger city. Ki-Whan Chung said that Seoul was proposed as the venue for many reasons including ease of accessibility and potential for increased interest by government, NGOs, sponsors, etc. Bettina Bock stated that we should accept the reality of going to Seoul, if this is necessary in order to hold the Congress in Korea.

Frank Vanclay then moved and Hans Bakker seconded that the Council accept that the Congress held in Seoul, but with the proviso that a rural flavor be provided through the Congress field trip and optional extra pre-, and post-Congress tours to rural areas. (Passed with one abstention)

Alessandro Bonanno then presented the suggestion that the preferred site for the 2012 World Congress possibly be in Africa. Regina Karega needs to explore this idea further with OSSREA and other regional associations in Africa. A two year time frame exists for deciding whether or not to encourage a bid from Africa. A final decision whether to continue to pursue this idea or not will be discussed at the Mid Term Council meeting in 2006 in Durban, South Africa.

Phil McMichael then moved and Heather Aslin seconded that the IRSA Council accept Africa as the preferred venue for 2012 (Passed)

Alternative venues for 2012 were then further discussed. The need to avoid being seen to be following in the footsteps of ISA World Congresses was mentioned ­ ISA will hold its next World Congress in Durban, South Africa in 2006. Australia and/or New Zealand were mentioned as possibilities. Phil McMichael indicated that enticing previously non involved regions and their sociology networks to join IRSA should be an important reason for going to different regions. Alessandro Bonanno encouraged us all to continue to think about an alternative place for the 2012 World Congress.

Alessandro raised the issue of OSSREA’s impending membership in IRSA and asked Frank Vanclay to provide some background about IRSA’s relations with African organizations. Vanclay mentioned that IRSA had had several representatives from Africa over the last 10 years or so, including Lawrence Ega (Nigeria) [1996-2000] and Abdoulaye Sene (Senegal) [2000-2004]. Abdoulaye Sene had been present at the 2000 World Congress and had encouraged the development of a relationship with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), a pan-African organisation based in Senegal. Discussions with Regina Karega have clarified relationships between CODESRIA and OSSREA, which is a regional organisation covering eastern and southern Africa only. Similarities between CODESRIA and OSSREA were discussed. Considerable discussion of the organisation of social science and the geographical and culture organisation of Africa ensued. Alessandro Bonanno suggested that IRSA had had overlapping memberships before when RUM (the Mediterranean Rural Sociology Association) was a member of IRSA because it overlapped considerably with ESRS. The general consensus was that there would be no problem in having more than one association represent Africa in IRSA and IRSA was encouraged to accept OSSREA’s application for membership when it would eventuate. Vanclay had had discussions with Regina Karega about this and they had agreed that OSSREA would pay a membership fee of $400 for a four year period when it joined.

Alessandro Bonanno then opened discussion about the IRSA website. It needs to be used more. One idea is to publish papers of the Conference on the website. It can become an archive for all papers of the World Congresses. Issues for and against this option were discussed. Individuals might be prevented from publishing papers in peer reviewed format if they are previously posted to a website. Others indicated that this is not normally the case, noting that conferences normally have Proceedings with the expectation that papers will be posted on websites. Others indicated that authors would have the option of not posting their papers on the website. Phil McMichael argued that this option should be checked further before making a final decision.

Frank Vanclay suggested that the Programme Chair consult with several journals regarding legality issues and report back to the Executive Committee. Council will be consulted by the Executive Committee prior to making final decision. The Secretary- Treasurer will be the point person with Mark Jarvis about use of the website for the 2008 World Congress by the Programme Committee.

Alessandro Bonanno then spoke to the need to identify someone to handle the history of IRSA as well as the posting of materials to the website.

It was moved and seconded that the IRSA President bring a name forward for this position during the following six months for approval by Council (Passed)

The process of appointing future Program Chairs was an agenda item. Alessandro Bonanno indicated that it was really not an issue and that he intended to pass on to the next item. Lynda Cheshire, however, wanted it noted that the role of Deputy Programme Chair should be considered as an opportunity for young members to learn through the process. Frank Vanclay noted that Council needs to consider all risk options for future Congresses, including the possible need to replace a Programme Chair. Mark Shucksmith noted that developmental opportunities are important and that we should cover risk management while still providing opportunities for professional development.

Alessandro Bonanno then opened discussion about the Role of Past Presidents. He indicated his preference that past president should retire once they complete their terms of office, but that they need to have a continuing contributing role in IRSA. Frank Vanclay noted that there also needed to be a transition process. He also noted that there was some ambiguity in the current procedures about whether the Past President should attend the In-Coming Council meeting. In practice over the last three Congresses (1992, 1996, 2000) Past Presidents had attended the In-Coming Council meeting. Considerable discussion followed. Ray Jussaume indicated that there needed to be a clear statement to indicate whether the Past President should attend. Council was of the view that at this meeting, the contributions of the Past President (Vanclay) had been beneficial and important.

Ray Jussaume moved and Lynda Cheshire seconded that By-law 5 should be modified by adding that “The Out-Going President shall invited to attend the meeting of the In-Coming Council in an observer status.” (Passed)

Alessandro Bonanno then turned to other priorities for the IRSA Council.

Hans Bakker moved and David Hansen seconded indicated that the Executive Committee should seriously consider the goals and objectives of the organisation and bring them forward to Council for discussion (Passed)

Alessandro Bonanno then discussed the possibility of the Council meeting for a full day before the next World Congress since the two hour blocks provided at the current Congress are not sufficient for full discussion of the issues confronting us. This option was discussed at length with several Council members arguing that we already meet too long at the World Congresses. In response to questioning from Paul Milbourne, Alessandro Bonanno indicated that it would be a meeting of the Out-Gong Council but with participation by the In-Coming Council as well. Paul Milbourne then asked when the In-Coming Council would meet? Bonanno requested that members consider this further. It was agreed that this idea would be discussed at further length at the Mid-Term Council meeting in 2006.

Under Other Business, Vanclay requested that there be a letter from IRSA to acknowledge Fred Buttel at the upcoming recognition event to be held in conjunction with the RSS Annual Meeting in Sacramento, California. It was agreed that Phil McMichael will attend the RSS Fred Buttel recognition event as an official IRSA representative and that he will convey in an appropriate manner IRSA’s appreciation of Buttel’s contributions to Rural Sociology. It was also agreed that President Alessandro Bonanno would send Fred Buttel a card on behalf of IRSA, thanking him for his contributions, wishing him well and continued success in his current battle with cancer.

Alessandro Bonanno then noted that the next meeting of the IRSA Council will take place in Durban, South Africa in coordination with the next ISA World Congress, July 23-29, 2006.

The meet was adjourned at 17:10.

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