BRS 2013 Annual Meeting Minutes

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BRS Board and Society Meeting Minutes – 2013



Saturday, June 1, 2013
The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa



I. CALL TO ORDER. Chad Trainer, chair, BRS board of directors, called
the 2013 annual meeting of the BRS board of directors to order at 12:30
pm Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

BRS DIRECTORS PRESENT. Board members in attendance were Chad Trainer,
Michael Berumen, Kenneth Blackwell, David Blitz, William Bruneau,
Rosalind Carey, Dennis Darland, Jolen Galaugher, Gregory Landini,
Bernard Linsky, John Ongley, Thomas Riggins, Alan Schwerin, and Russell

BRS MEMBERS PRESENT. Other BRS members in attendance were Landon Elkind,
Jo Grant, Mandeep Kaur, John Lenz, Billy Joe Lucas, Gülberk Koc
Maclean, Steve Maragides, and Charles McCarty.

OTHERS PRESENT. Richard Fumerton, Karl Maris.


1. TREASURER’S REPORT. BRS Treasurer Michael Berumen distributed a
handout with a detailed breakdown of the Society’s current finances and
membership data and explained the details of it to the board. A motion
to accept the treasurer’s report was made by Ken Blackwell, seconded,
and passed unanimously.

2. APPROVAL OF 2012 MINUTES. BRS Secretary John Ongley noted that the
2012 annual BRS board meeting minutes had been posted online several
months earlier, and read two addenda to them. The addenda were:
a. the report of an executive committee decision in February 2013 to
hold the BRS 2013 annual meeting in Iowa City rather than Windsor,
b. the report of a special, online BRS board meeting held March 2013 at
which the executive committee was instructed to find a new editor for
the Society’s publication.
A motion to approve the BRS 2012 board meeting minutes was made, seconded, and passed.


1. The following BRS members were nominated and re-elected as executive officers of the BRS for the coming year:

Chad Trainer, Chair, BRS Board of Directors
Alan Schwerin, BRS President
Ray Perkins, Jr., BRS Vice President
Michael Berumen, BRS Treasurer
John Ongley, BRS Board and Society Secretary

2. The following members were also re-elected as officers of the BRS for the coming year:

Peter Stone, Vice Chair, BRS Board of Directors
Dennis Darland, Vice President / Electronic Projects
Kris Notaro, Vice President / Web Site Technology

3. David Blitz proposed that BRS officers regularly rotate, with past
presidents continuing on the executive committee for a term as is done
in the American Philosophical Association.

4. Chad Trainer asked what the site of next year’s annual meeting should
be. Should it be Windsor, Ontario with Michael Potter as host, as was
planned for 2013 before complications arose?

Ken Blackwell moved that we try to meet in Windsor in 2014 and that
Michael Berumen contact Michael Potter about this possibility. John
Ongley seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Michael Berumen moved that the BRS commit to holding the annual meeting
at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland in 2015. The motion was seconded
and passed.

5. There was a discussion about making the BRS Award Committee, which at
present has no chair, a part of the BRS Book Award committee, which
functions well. It was argued by several people that this could well
cause the book award committee to function less well and the idea was

6. The subject of the new editor of the Society’s publication was
raised. David Blitz, the past editor, has resigned and at a special
online meeting of the board in March 2013 the executive committee was
assigned the task of finding a candidate to replace him.

Alan Schwerin moved that Michael Berumen be the new editor, Berumen
agreed to serve if elected, John Ongley seconded the motion, and the
motion passed.

7. BRS Treasurer Michael Berumen proposed to invest some of the funds in
the BRS treasury to earn healthy returns on our money. Right now we
only earn interest in a savings account and interest rates are so low
that we lose money to inflation that way.

His proposal was to invest a few thousand dollars of the Society’s
money. He further proposed to start an investment committee of up to
four board members to supervise the investment of funds. There was no
vote on Michael’s proposal.

8. Bill Bruneau proposed to increase BRS membership with several
outreach programs. He volunteered to do outreach to other societies.
Charles McCarty suggested outreach at the American Philosophical
Association. It was pointed out that Jolen Galaugher already organizes
sessions of talks on Russell for the BRS at the APA. John Ongley
proposed doing outreach to students, beginning in the fall, informing
them of the BRS Student Essay Prize, in order to increase the number of
student submissions of papers for the annual meeting. There was no vote
on these ideas.

IV. ADJOURNMENT. The meeting adjourned at 2 pm. It was reconvened the
next day, Sunday, June 2, 2013, at 12:30, in order to finish board

Sunday, June 2, 2013



I. CALL TO ORDER. Sunday, June 2, 1013, at 12:00-12:22 pm at the
University of Iowa, the board reconvened. Alan Schwerin, chairing the
meeting for Chad Trainer, who had left for his flight home, called the
meeting to order.

BRS BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT. Alan Schwerin, Michael Berumen, Kenneth
Blackwell, David Blitz, William Bruneau, Rosalind Carey, Dennis Darland,
Jolen Galaugher, Gregory Landini, Bernard Linsky, John Ongley (late),
Thomas Riggins, and Russell Wahl.

BRS MEMBERS PRESENT. Landon Elkind, Jo Grant, Mandeep Kaur, John Lenz, Billy Joe Lucas, Steve Maragides.

OTHERS PRESENT. Richard Fumerton, Karl Maris.

II. NEW BUSINESS (continued from previous day’s meeting)

1. Ken Blackwell moved to increase BRS membership fees for couples to:
$55 for regular membership couples, and
$35 for student couples and limited income couples.
Michael Berumen seconded the motion.
Tom Riggins asked whether this was to encourage “mating” or just to raise money.
The motion passed with 11 yes votes and 1 no vote.

2. Members may contribute to the Society over and above paying their
membership fees. A regular member, whose dues are $45, yet who pays $50,
thus makes a $5 contribution and is a “contributor,” one who makes a
$75 payment and so a $30 contribution is a “sustainer,” etc. Michael
Berumen proposed raising the level for being a contributor from a $50 to
a $60 pay¬ment. Ken Blackwell seconded the motion, which passed with 9
yes votes and 3 no votes.

3. Ken Blackwell moved to invite Bertrand Russell’s eldest grandson,
David Tait, to become an honorary member of the BRS. He is the son of
Katharine Tait and is an American. Ken pointed out that David had met
his grandfather many times and corresponded with him.

Rosalind Carey asked who Russell’s eldest granddaughter is. John Lenz
said that we can ask her to be an honorary member next year. Ken’s
motion was seconded, and passed by a vote of 11-1.

Rosalind suggested that we get in touch with all of Russell’s
grandchildren before the 2015 BRS annual meeting in Ireland and try to
get them to attend it.

III. ADJOURNMENT. This board meeting adjourned at 12:22 pm, Sunday, June 2, 2013.


From October 29 to November 12, 2013, the BRS board of directors held an online special board meeting at which the following motion by Ken Blackwell was passed:

That chapter dues be $60.00 for the first ten chapter members and $3.00 a member thereafter; that people joining in October through December be offered a choice on the Lenz website between joining for the current calendar year and joining for the following year with reduced privileges for the current calendar year; and that those joining for the following year in October through December not be eligible to vote or to nominate or be nominated for the board until the next calendar year.


Sunday, June 2, 2013
The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa



I. CALL TO ORDER. The 2013 annual BRS members meeting was called to
order Sunday, June 2, 1013, at 12:30 pm at the University of Iowa by
Alan Schwerin, president of the BRS.

MEMBERS PRESENT. Alan Schwerin, Michael Berumen, Kenneth Blackwell,
David Blitz, William Bruneau, Rosalind Carey, Dennis Darland, Landon
Elkind, Jolen Galaugher, Jo Grant, Mandeep Kaur, Gregory Landini, John
Lenz, Bernard Linsky, Billy Joe Lucas, Steve Maragides, John Ongley,
Thomas Riggins, Chad Trainer, and Russell Wahl.



1. Russell Wahl – who is on the BRS Book Award committee and standing in
for Ray Perkins, Jr., who chairs that committee but could not attend
this year’s annual meeting – announced that this year’s winner of the
Bertrand Russell Society Book Award is Sébastien Gandon for his book
Russell’s Unknown Logicism: A Study in the History and Philosophy of

2. Alan Schwerin announced that the winner of this year’s Student Essay
Prize is our Nigerian member Cyril Anene who is a seminary student in


1. John Ongley moved that the Society’s rules for foreign chapters of
the BRS, which were passed by the board in 1989 and called at that time
“the Benares plan,” be amended so that Mandeep Kaur, who is affiliated
with Punjabi University in Patiala, Punjab, India and who was attending
the BRS annual meeting, could start a BRS chapter at Punjabi University.

The original Benares plan is the following [Russell Society News, no. 63 (Aug 1989)]:
1. There will be a Benares Chapter of the Bertrand Russell Society, Inc.
in Benares, India. This will be the first of what we hope will be many
chapters in foreign countries and cities.
2. Dues will be $40 per year for the Chapter, regardless of the number
of members, plus $7.50 for airmail, which is essential. For example, if
the Benares Chapter acquires 10 members, the cost to each member will be
3. The Chapter will receive only one copy of the BRS newsletter, which can be passed around, member to member, or photocopied.
4. The Chapter will be headed by a Director: The Director of the Benares Chapter is Chandrakala Padia.
5. The members will have all rights (and responsibilities), including
the right (and responsibility) of voting. Their names will of course
appear on our Membership List.
6. The Chapter will submit a report to the BRS on its activities once a
year, in time to have it presented at the BRS Annual Meeting. During its
first year, a Chapter will also report at the end of the first 6
7. The Chapter’s goal will be the same as the BRS’s: to learn more about
Russell, and to spread his views to scholars and the general public.

The amendments to this plan in the motion by Ongley and called “the Punjabi amendments” are:

1. Article 5 of the original plan must mean that chapter members will have all rights and responsibilities of BRS members.
2. Amend article 3 above to read: one copy of the Russell journal will
also be sent, as will extra copies of the BRS publication (Quarterly,
Bulletin, etc.) when such copies are available.
3. The chapter director will be elected first by the board and later by
the chapter itself when it will also vote for other chapter officers.
4. Dues for the chapter will be $50 / yr; the chapter must have at least 3 members to be in good standing.

The motion to adopt the amendments was seconded and the motion passed unanimously (13-0).

2. Billy Joe Lucas suggested that we give young members an award if they
are looking for academic jobs. This might help them in acquiring an
academic position. Gregory Landini countered this suggestion by saying
that we should encourage young members looking for teaching positions to
submit papers to the Russell journal.

3. Billy Joe then raised the issue of the time of future annual
meetings. He urged that they be late enough so as not to conflict with
academics not yet finished with spring semester or required to attend
convocation, and the like.

IV. ADJOURNMENT. The meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.

John Ongley
Secretary, BRS
June 2, 2013