Council Minutes
June 1996 (Telephone Conference Call)

Council participants in the conference call: Kenneth Bollen, Ann Gray, Charles Hirschman, Ross Matsueda, Carole Shammas (Chair), Elizabeth Stephenson, Wendy Watkins, Halliman Winsborough, Associate Director Kent Jennings, (ex-officio), former Council Chair Samuel Patterson (ex-officio)

Council unable to participate in the call: John Garcia, Margaret Levi, Edward Nelson

ICPSR Staff participants: Erik Austin, Cindy Folsom, John Gray, Michelle Humphres, Peter Joftis, Richard Rockwell(Executive Director), Pamela Schwarzmann, Mary Vardigan, Janet Vavra

Staff unable to participate in the call: Chris Dunn, Nancy Fultz, Peter Granda, Hank Heitowit, Mary Morris

Center for Political Studies participants: William Zimmerman, Center Director; E. Karen Clark, Center Administrative Manager


The conference call began on June 27th at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time with a roll call of all present. Participants were asked to identify themselves when speaking. Participants were informed that the open session portion of the call would be recorded and transcribed by the conference call company that arranged the call.

Approval of the April 1996 minutes

There was one amendment made to page 15, point B. The fourth sentence, indicating that subsidies to participants for the biennial OR meeting were not essential, was amended to read: subsidies may not be essential.

Samuel Patterson moved that the April 1996 minutes be approved. Wendy Watkins seconded the motion. The minutes passed as amended unanimously.

Approval of the Budget

In October of 1995, Council requested that in the projected 1996-97 budget there be no draw on reserves. The projected budget presented in April 96 had a $138,000 deficit. It was then requested that the Executive Director and his staff return with a balanced budget at the June meeting.

Council turned to a review of the balanced budget sheet in their materials. The following points were noted:

Rockwell to teach one course (savings from salary/fringe benefits)

$37,498 expense down

Miscellaneous reductions (1)

$23,500 expense down

ISR to fund space rental

$25,000 expense down

Salary increase for Summer Program

($3,450) expense up

Transfer from membership to Summer Program decreased (reserve remains at FY96 level)

$46,728 expense down

Publications - reduce print runs

$28,250 expense down

Member dues

($19,207) revenue down

Income from interest-bearing funds

$14,411 revenue up

Establish contingency fund

($45,821) expense up

Service fee to CPS on membership expenses

$32,070 expense down

The contingency fund was a function that was required to reach zero. The contingency fund was set up to provide for expenses such as:

  • Replacement of printers
  • MTS expenses

Halliman Winsborough moved that the budget be approved. Charles Hirschman seconded the motion. The budget passed unanimously.

Richard Rockwell reviewed computer/equipment purchases over the last five years. Rockwell noted that Pam Schwarzmann had done a tremendous job in reviewing the capital purchases since 1991. A more complete form will be presented at the October 96 meeting. Since 1991 ICPSR has spent $973,000 on capital equipment purchases of which $317,000 is expendable equipment, i.e. PCs and laptops, and $656,000 is non-expendable equipment such as file servers, printers, etc. Of that $973,000, we raised external support from grants or contracts for $445,000. Member dues paid $517,000 of it, and we billed $11,000 of it to overhead accounts. It was also noted that the University of Michigan has created depreciation schedules for equipment.

Cost of Living Dues Increase

A dues increase of 3.1 percent was discussed by the Council. This percentage increase would take effect on July 1, 1997.

The increase last year for Category B and Category F institutions was slightly higher in percentage than it was for other categories. It was proposed that in 1997 the B and F institutions have a slightly smaller increase so they are not hit with a higher percentage increase in successive years. A note that Category A dues will raise above $10,000 was stated. This may cause contract issues in some states by going over the $10,000 mark. ICPSR will work with institutions that have this barrier.

Ann Gray made a motion to adopt the proposed increase in dues for 1997. Samuel Patterson seconded the motion. The 3.1 percent dues increase passed unanimously.

Other Business

Michael McPherson has resigned due to taking over presidency at Macalester College. David Card also resigned, with Ross Matsueda replacing him. It was noted that both were written and thanked for their service to the Consortium. Both McPherson and Card were economists, so Council may wish to think in that direction for a replacement.

Wendy Watkins requested a discussion on the formation of an adhoc committee for federations. This item was deferred at the April meeting until after the federations met at IASSIST.

During federations meeting at IASSIST it was suggested that part of the ad hoc committee's charge might be to augment the membership drive with information regarding value-added services that federations provide back to the membership. Dues paid by federations and the percentage decrease in dues as federations increase in size was also discussed at the meeting. It was unanimously agreed by this group that the notion of an ad hoc committee from ICPSR on federations would be supported.

It was clarified that dues equity issues had been addressed by the Executive Director. This committee would focus on looking at the dues structure itself along with bringing in new members and making recommendations in a number of areas. It was agreed that the Membership Relations Committee would establish a charge for this new committee.

The question of budget implications arose. Would this committee actually need to meet face-to-face? It was suggested that the committee could meet during the OR meeting and it was noted that there were already three federation members on Council. Email and phone conferences may be a reasonable option for this committee.

Wendy Watkins moved that ICPSR form an ad hoc committee on federations that would be referred to the Membership Relations Committee to develop a charge and work out meeting logistics. The fact that the dues structure for federations has implications for the cost to non-federation members was noted, and it was urged that the committee not be exclusively composed of federation members. The Membership Relations Committee will report their recommendations at the October Council meeting. Ann Gray secondeded the motion.

A vote was taken and the motion passed unanimously.

Council inquired about the status of the FTP conversion. Staff replied that we are almost there. Ann Gray on behalf of the Council thanked Janet Vavra, Mary Morris, and all staff involved for their hard work and dedication. Council is glad to see this a success.

Re-appointment of the Executive Director

The process of the re-appointment was reviewed.

  • According to the By-Laws and the Memorandum of Agreement, the programmatic review is the first step of the re-appointment.
  • The next step is the report of the Nominations Committee, which was issued on April 27, 1996.
  • The third step is Council's approval of the appointment.

The meeting of the Long-Range Planning Committee in Ann Arbor happened to coincide with the June conference call. This helped to simplify things.

The Administration and Governance Committee met beforehand by conference call. Chris Dunn, a member of the Nominations Committee from the ICPSR Senior Staff, and one other member of Senior Staff were spoken with concerning this procedure. Richard Rockwell was spoken with on two occasions. A conference call with Harold Jacobson, Bill Zimmerman, and the ICPSR Senior Staff then occurred. The Administration and Governance Committee had two conference calls in which the re-appointment was discussed extensively.

It was then recommended by the Nominating Committee's report that a statement affirming the desire of Council to work in cooperation with the Executive Director and the desire to seek progress in three specific areas over the next year be attached to the recommendation.

Every Council member was spoken with. In addition, Mike Baer and David Featherman were consulted. During those calls Carole Shammas tried to best describe the views of the Administration and Governance Committee in putting forward the recommendation. The views of ICPSR Senior Staff and some ORs from member institutions were communicated as well. The only person not reached was Associate Director Kent Jennings.

An Executive Session was to follow the open session of this conference call. This discussion was to include the voting members of Council, former Council Chair Samuel Patterson, and Associate Director Kent Jennings.

Questions or comments from the Executive Director and the CPS incoming director were requested. There were no comments at this time.

A question regarding whether the recording of the call had been terminated was raised. The Council then decided that the recording of the re-appointment discussion and Executive Session would be recorded but summarized without using people's names with comments.

Halliman Winsborough moved to record the remainder of the discussion and the Executive Session. Ross Matsueda seconded the motion.

Who would have access to the tape and how information would be presented to the membership was discussed. Would it be verbatim or a summary? It was decided that the open session portion could be presented to the membership via summary. The Executive Session would also be summarized. It was noted that names should not be associated with comments made by staff. The motion passed unanimously.

Richard Rockwell excused himself from the conference call.

William Zimmerman, incoming Director of CPS, spoke briefly. He indicated that he would personally welcome working with Richard Rockwell and expressed regret at any difficulties or failures in communication resulting from his having to resign as Chair of the Nominating Committee after his appointment as CPS Director. He recommended the re-appointment of Richard Rockwell.

A Senior Staff member spoke on the re-appointment. This staff member expressed the view that a five-year term would be in the best interests of the Consortium and was most appropriate for the job done by Richard Rockwell. The staff member did not want to claim to speak for all Senior Staff, but having talked with most of them, believed that this was the consensus.

Staff was thanked for taking the time to deal with the process. At this point anyone who was not a Council member or Associate Director or former Chair of the ICPSR Council was asked to leave the call.

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