Porto Alegre: Minutes of the International Council Meeting

Porto Alegre, 30 July, 2004


Opening of the meeting and apologies

The president opened the meeting by welcoming the newly elected International Council, stating that that the new organisational structure in the Executive Board and the International Council demanded that all members should adhere to the association´s expectations by taking on specific responsibilities.
As the meeting took place after the closing of the conference, several members had already left and had conveyed their apology: John Sinclair, Thomas Tufte, Georgette Wang, Todd Holden.




The agenda was approved.



Minutes from the International Council meeting and matters arising

As there were yet no minutes from the International Council meeting on 24 July, any matters arising from that meeting would be taken on board along the subsequent agenda of this and coming meetings.



Appointment of new standing committees

The following committees were appointed with the added tasks:

Conference Committee

Ole Prehn (chair), Claudia Padovani, Hillel Nossek, Virginia Nightingale.
Mission: with point of departure in the approved guidelines to make a detailed plan or handbook for institutions considering hosting an IAMCR conference, implying the signing of a detailed contract between the two parties.
Immediate action: prepare information and contract criteria regarding applications for holding the 2006 conference within two months.
General observations regarding the Porto Alegre conference were mainly concerning the high number of no-shows, financial arrangements, and registration. It was suggested that the conference committee consider undertaking systematic evaluation of conferences, possibly using a questionnaire and asking sections to submit short reports on conference and section experiences. It was further agreed that the committee considers the payment balance between members and non-members.
Action: the committee will work out a questionnaire regarding the 2005 conference based on reports from sections experiences with the 2004 conference.

Election committee

Janet Wasko (chair) and Cees Hamelink.
It was agreed to continue the present committee. During the meetings of the former International Council and the General Assembly, several proposals to change and clarify the election procedures were put forward, among them the question on the eligibility to vote. Action: The committee will submit a report on the 2004 elections, on the basis of which the Executive Board will present its proposal for changes at the next International Council meeting in Taipei 2005.

Membership & Participation Committee

Ullamaija Kivikuru (chair)
The committee is obliged to analyse the membership structure and based on this to come up with proposals to attract more members – especially from underrepresented areas. Based on the observation that section heads are proactively attracting new members, the committee shall include such experiences in their work, as well as it shall consider proposals on enhancing the benefits of being a member of IAMCR.
Action: The committee is foreseen to submit a report to the Executive Board in due time before the next meeting in the International Council in Taipei 2005.

Publications Committee

Annabelle Sreberny (chair)
The work of the committee will be organised around the following sub-themes:


The format of the newsletter was discussed, and it was agreed to obtain the existing format, although the size may vary. It was stated that the mission of the newsletter would be both to facilitate organisational purposes and to function as a platform for debate. It was also agreed that information on conferences, call for papers etc. should be more widely distributed that to members only.
Action: The October newsletter will be produced in London, and at the same time the committee is to consider a permanent procedure for producing the newsletter in relation to production, content and size.


Members of the sub-committee are Thomas Tufte, John Downing, Virginia Nightingale, and Cess Hamelink.


The need for offering free subscriptions to members from low-income countries as well as establishing criteria for journals related to IAMCR sections was emphasised.
Action : The Publications Committee and the Executive Board will jointly work on these issues.

Web site

There is an urgent need to develop the IAMCR web site with more content, on-line publications etc. As the site is under development, further actions will await the result of this. The question of English dominance on the site was raised, and it was agreed to search for Spanish speaking members of the Publications Committee.

Membership directory

The need for an updated membership directory had by several members been raised to the Secretary General, and the previous Executive Board had at its last meeting discussed the issue and suggested that a new printed edition should be produced. Neither an on-line nor a printed version is without legal problems.
Action : It was left to the Executive Board to clarify the economic and legal problems and to solve the issue in order to produce a new version of the directory.

Legal Committee

No changes to the mandate of the Legal Committee were proposed. The committee comprises Philippe Maarek (chair), Cees Hamelink, and Georgette Wang.

Scholarly Review Committee

Robin Mansell (co-chair), Kaarle Nordenstreng (co-chair), Audrey Gadzepko, Oscar Gandy, Tom Jacobson, Slavko Splichal, Annabelle Sreberny, Yuezhi Zhao, and members from Tunesia and Latin America if possible.
The committee, replacing the Section Review Committee, was mandated to continue its review work; to complete the survey of sections, and to review performance and domains of IAMCR work. Consideration should also be given to the definition of ‘members' of sections, etc., and to the relationship between working groups and sections.  The mandate also includes that the committee considers how to foster scientific excellence, cross-fertilisation between sections and between IAMCR and other organisations. The committee may also play a role in the academic evaluation of conferences.

Budget Committee

The president thanked César Bolano for accepting the election by the General Assembly to becoming the new treasurer. Every efforts should be made to make the transition from Canada to Brasil smooth and without risks to the assets of the association.
The president proposed that Bolano should be chair of the Budget Committee comprising all members of the Executive Board.
Action: The Executive Board in the function as Budget Committee shall within the shortest possible time clarify the transferral technicalities and propose a budget breakdown.

Fundraising Committee

Divina Frau-Meigs that the Fundraising Committee be reconstituted and chaired by Annie Méar, who would co-opt members. Among the duties of the committee would be exploring the feasibility of establishing a foundation as a fundraising tool. This was approved.

Task Force on WSIS

The task force had been very active during previous years, but now needed a more focussed mandate as well as an enhanced liaison with sections should be considered. It was agreed that the task force will be co-chaired by Divina Frau-Meigs and Marc Raboy, and that members of the committee and its working plans would later be forwarded. The president informed that she would be included in the membership. It was suggested that pre- or post-conference in Taipei should be organised by the task force..



IAMCR vision, business plan and charter

As there was not sufficient time to discuss these issues, they were deferred to the next IC meeting.


The president then closed the meeting at 4 pm.