BRS Board and Society Meeting Minutes – 2011
BERTRAND RUSSELL SOCIETY
2011 ANNUAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING MINUTES
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Drew University, Madison, NJ
I. CALL TO ORDER. The 2011 annual meeting of the BRS board of directors
was called to order at 12:55 pm May 21, 2011 at Drew University,
Madison, New Jersey, by Chad Trainer, chair, BRS board of directors.
BRS DIRECTORS PRESENT. Board members in attendance were Kenneth
Blackwell, Howard Blair, David Blitz, Rosalind Carey, Kevin Klement,
Gregory Landini, Tim Madigan, John Ongley, Ray Perkins, Jr., Alan
Schwerin, Peter Stone, Chad Trainer, Russell Wahl, Thom Weidlich, and
BRS MEMBERS PRESENT. Other BRS members in attendance were William
Bruneau, Philip Ebersole, Petar Forcan, David Henehan, John Lenz, Kris
Notaro, Stephen Reinhardt, Tom Riggins, Donovan Wishon, and Robert Zack.
GUESTS PRESENT: Raymond Stock and Laurie Thomas.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES. The motion to approve the BRS 2010 board meeting
minutes, with addenda reporting on BRS board and executive committee
actions between the 2010 and 2011 BRS annual meetings, was made by Peter
Stone, seconded and unanimously passed.
II. ANNOUNCEMENTS. none.
III. TREASURER’S REPORT. BRS treasurer Ken Blackwell reported that the
BRS treasury balance was $2,794.77 in the US dollars account and
$1,576.52 in the Canadian dollars account and a term deposit of
US$10,000 for a total of $14,371.29 after the $2041.67 pledge to the
Bertrand Russell Archives had been paid. Annual meeting income was also
included in that figure, though substantial annual meeting expenses not
yet been received and paid. A motion to approve the report was made by
Alan Schwerin, seconded, and passed unanimously.
Ken expressed concern that, perhaps due to the membership fee increase
(from $35 to $45 for individual members) that went into effect January
1, 2011, and also to the absence of a BRS Quarterly for 14 months, the
income to date from membership renewals was low. The number of
membership renewals as of that day was just 141 members, whereas we had
finished the year 2010 with 205 members.
On behalf of the Bertrand Russell Archives, Ken thanked the BRS for its
contribution of $2041.67 – and three BRS members for their personal
contributions – towards the purchase of 8 letters from Bertrand Russell
to Gretchen Warren.
The 2010 BRS annual treasurer’s report and first quarter 2011
treasurer’s report are online at
http://russell.mcmaster.ca/brstreasury_reports. Copies of the April BRS
bank statements and term deposit were circulated to board members before
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
Alan Schwerin, president
Ray Perkins, Jr., vice-president
Kenneth Blackwell, treasurer
Peter Stone, vice-chair of the board
John Ongley, secretary of the board and society
2. Discussion on Attracting Students. After BRS secretary John Ongley’s
account of the addenda to the 2010 board meeting minutes and, after BRS
board chair asked if people wanted to accept the minutes, but before
they could be approved, BRS president Alan Schwerin asked for a
discussion of how to attract more students to the BRS and especially to
the BRS annual meetings.
Alan’s own answer to this question was: teach Russell in every class and
tell the students about the Russell Society. Rosalind Carey said: put a
link to the Society on the Department web page.
John Ongley suggested having a table at the APA and asked David White,
who used to do it for the Society, how it is done. David said that a
reception table is affordable, but a table among the bookseller’s tables
probably is not. David volunteered to help man such a table at next
year’s eastern APA and show others basically how the procedure works.
John Ongley said that he would help man the table too and arrange for
the BRS to have a table.
David Blitz suggested having a Facebook page. Peter Stone reported that
he already had one. John Ongley, who now maintains the Society’s
website, needs to link to it. John Ongley pointed out that it was a
closed group. Peter Stone said that he would make it an open group.
David White suggested sending press releases to the APA’s journal
(Proceedings and Addresses) notes sections, and to the notes sections of
Peter Stone then moved that the 2010 BRS annual board meeting minutes be
approved, the motion was seconded and passed, and officers were then
elected, as described above.
3. The next Annual Meeting. Chad Trainer then asked about the site of
next year’s 2012 BRS annual meeting. BRS vice president Ray Perkins, Jr.
offered to host the annual meeting for 2013, and said he may be able to
host the 2012 annual meeting, but that he cannot commit to that now.
Tim Madigan said that he cannot host the annual meeting at St John
Fisher next year.
4. The Status of the BRS Quarterly. David Blitz apologized for not
getting the Quarterly done the past year and suggested a newsletter and
“online presence.” Ken Blackwell said that we should aim for getting a
newsletter out “at the end of this month.” It was informally agreed by
all there that material for a newsletter should be submitted to the
editor by June 15, with publication of it by the end of June.
David White described how he did several other newsletters at his
school, and David Blitz said that he had a list of regular sections of
“departments” for a newsletter that he would email to everyone. David
White was asked to take charge of producing one newsletter.
Rosalind Carey, past editor of the BRS Quarterly, summarized the discussion to that point, saying:
1. It has been decided that the newsletter must be physical,
2. that there should be at least one a year,
3. that is must be gotten out soon.
She then asked: Will someone commit to doing a newsletter, and who will physically produce it, and who will send it out?
David White then offered to send out a call for material and do the
layout. Ken offered the Bertrand Russell Research Centre (BRRC) as
printer and mailer.
BRS member Kris Notaro then offered to put the publication (newsletter
or quarterly) online and do an online layout that can be printed out.
Rosalind Carey moved that Kris be BRS Newsletter
“online-editor-in-chief,” that David White be “fact-checker” (David
clarified this as including copyediting, actual fact-checking, and
proofreading; he also said that he would collect submissions and forward
them to Kris Notaro, who will be responsible for production), and that
the BRRC print and mail the newsletter.
David Blitz and Russell Wahl seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
5. Honorary members. Ray Perkins proposed that John Allen Paulos be
offered an honorary membership in the BRS. The motion was seconded by
Howard Blair and Ken Blackwell and passed unanimously.
BRS member William Bruneau asked about the status of the offer of
honorary membership for Nicholas and John Russell, the sons of Conrad
Russell, who had been approved for honorary membership two years ago.
Ken Blackwell said that he cannot contact them as he does not have their
addresses. Bruneau said that he had their addresses and will send the
addresses to Ken, who will then contact the two brothers.
6. The Treasurer Again. After his election Ken Blackwell declared that
this was the last year that he would run as BRS treasurer. He emphasized
that this is definite. He then suggested that all BRS officers have
term limits so that the organization gets new blood. There was no
response from the other officers.
Ken then made a motion that the BRS commit to paying the Bertrand
Russell Research Centre $900 for 2011-12 bookkeeping services. Ken
explained that though Arlene Duncan has been doing bookkeeping for the
Society since 2007, it is the BRRC (Bertrand Russell Research Centre at
McMaster University), Arlene’s employer, that receives the money the
Society pays for the service. The motion was seconded and approved.
Ken asked whether the 2-messages-a-day limit to the BRS email list
brs-list should be raised. David Blitz emphatically moved to keep the
limit where it is, at 2 messages a day. John Ongley seconded the motion,
which was unanimously approved.
ADJOURNMENT. The meeting was adjourned at 2 pm.
John Ongley, Secretary
Bertrand Russell Society
REPORT OF EXECUTIVE ACTION, 6-7-11. At the 2011 BRS annual board of
directors meeting, the need to re-appoint Dennis Darland as VP of
electronic projects was overlooked. As permitted by art. 7, sec. 7 of
the BRS bylaws, BRS president Alan Schwerin re-appointed Dennis to that
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