Business Meeting 2015

2015 CAP Congress DNP Annual Business Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at the University of Alberta in Edmonton by DNP Chairperson Zisis Papandreou (ZP) at 12:33 on Tuesday, 16 June 2015. Nineteen DNP members were present.

The chairperson mentioned that the minutes of the 2014 business meeting could be found on the DNP website at ZP then introduced the executive committee and presented an agenda for approval; Secretary-Treasurer Barry Davids (BD) moved to adopt the agenda, the motion was seconded by Chairperson-Elect Reiner Kruecken (RK), and in the absence of objections or additions the agenda was adopted. The 2013-2015 CAP DNP Executive Committee is as follows.

Zisis Papandreou, Regina, Chairperson
Barry Davids, TRIUMF, Secretary-Treasurer
Reiner Kruecken, TRIUMF & UBC, Chairperson-Elect
Jens Dilling, TRIUMF, Past Chairperson

BD presented a brief financial and membership report which is summarized below.

As this is an odd-numbered year, elections were held for Chairperson-Elect and Secretary Treasurer, both of whom will serve 2 year terms. BD solicited nominations for the two positions via email on April 13th, 2015. As precisely one candidate was nominated for each of the open positions, Gerald Gwinner of the University of Manitoba and BD of TRIUMF were elected Chairperson-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, by acclamation. Hence the 2015-2017 DNP Executive Committee will be as follows.

Reiner Kruecken, TRIUMF & UBC, Chairperson
Barry Davids, TRIUMF, Secretary-Treasurer
Gerald Gwinner, Manitoba, Chairperson-Elect
Zisis Papandreou, Regina, Past Chairperson

In the year from Jan 1 2014 – Dec 31 2014, we began with a bank balance of $8082 and (intentionally) ran an operating deficit of $4355, leaving a year end balance of $3727. Our operating expenses during 2014 comprised $4000 for student travel awards to the Nuclear Structure 2014 conference, a $22 charge for a CAP-NSERC liaison committee meeting, $250 for student prizes at the 2014 WNPPC, $300 for student prizes at the 2014 CAP Congress, and $1083 for registration fees of foreign speakers invited by the DNP to the 2014 CAP Congress. Partially offsetting these expenditures of $5655 was $1300 in revenue, presumably from 130 full memberships at $10 each. This is a presumption because the new accounting statements issued by the CAP office in Ottawa do not give any details on the member renewals, only the amounts processed. We have been promised monthly statements after the Congress.

As of June 10th, 2015 we had 126 full members and 110 student members, for a total of 236 members. This represents a small increase from 2014’s 122 full members and 82 student members. Total membership has increased by 9% over 4 years, mainly due to a 21% increase in student members.

If membership remains roughly constant as it has recently and dues remain at the current level, we can expect to be able to spend ~$1250 per year without diminishing our cash reserves. With the usual annual expenditures of $1000 for the DNP thesis prize, $300 for CAP Congress student prizes, and $250 for WNPPC student prizes, we can anticipate deficit spending of circa $300 per annum. However, the thesis prize is not awarded every year as there must be at least 3 entries for a competition to be held. BD urged those present to encourage their students to join the DNP, as there is no membership fee.

The outstanding expenses known to the Secretary-Treasurer are $250 for student prizes at the 2015 Symposium on Symmetries in Subatomic Physics and $1500 to support the travel of DNP-sponsored 2015 CAP Congress plenary speaker Wick Haxton. Given that we have now diminished 2012’s $11 000 surplus to around $2000, the question of how large a surplus we should retain was raised.

It was suggested by CINP Executive Director Garth Huber (GH) that $400 should be allocated each year for supporting DNP-sponsored or co-sponsored plenary speakers. RK agreed with this idea and there was no disagreement. BD proposed that a membership fee increase may be warranted next year from $10 to $12 per annum.

BD briefly mentioned the DNP bylaws. To quote last year’s business meeting minutes, “In February 2013 the new DNP Bylaws approved by the DNP executive committee were presented to the CAP executive in the hope that the CAP council would vote to approve them in the spring or Congress meetings. Though the bylaws were received positively by Gabor Kunstatter and Ken Ragan, the DNP never heard back regarding a vote. They are in effect as far as the division is concerned . . . Adam Sarty updated us on the changes to the CAP bylaws required to conform to the new Canadian Not-for-profit Corporations Act. The most salient points were that the CAP executive will be renamed the Board of Directors and that individual divisions will no longer have separate bylaws. Rather, a standard set for all divisions will be adopted. This is especially convenient since no divisions other than the DNP have adopted bylaws. The DNP bylaws will be modified appropriately for consistency with the new CAP Bylaws and will serve as the template for the general divisional bylaws. Where necessary, divisions will be able to adopt special provisions such as thesis prizes.” The CAP Board of Directors has not yet adopted these standard divisional bylaws so BD reminded the members present that as far as the Executive Committee is concerned, the existing DNP bylaws are in effect.

ZP reviewed the DNP Thesis Prize competition. There were insufficient entries in the fall of 2014 for a competition. At least three thesis submissions are required for an award to be given. In the course of last year’s competition, guidelines were established and a scoring template produced, which will be helpful for future competitions. The nomination due date is October 1st and the procedures are explained on the DNP webpage, . Rob Thompson inquired about how many years a thesis could be eligible and was told 2. All those present were encouraged to nominate their students.

Next ZP described some recent activities of the division apart from the CAP Congress, including the partial sponsorship of 3 student prizes at the 2015 WNPPC (for which the bill has not yet arrived) and support for student prizes at the 6th International Symposium on Symmetries in Subatomic Physics, which was held in Victoria this year. On the subject of the CAP Congress, ZP mentioned that Richard MacKenzie, VP Elect in charge of the Best Student Competitions this year, would like to standardize the number of entries (on which the number of prizes awarded depends) across Divisions; the only leeway would be that divisions would decide the maximum number of prizes. He proposes:
0-2 entries – no prize
3-5 entries — one prize
6-9 entries — two prizes
10+ entries — three prizes
Hence a division that decides to offer only one prize gives one only if there are 3 or more entries. There was a consensus that the proposal of Prof. MacKenzie is reasonable.

ZP briefly mentioned the DNP website and asked that we send photos with pictures of HQP to him for inclusion in the NSERC LRP report. Privacy issues were mentioned and RK said he would ask that TRIUMF send an example photo permission waiver. A brief discussion of social media and how the DNP might avail itself of Twitter, Flickr, etc. It seemed that there was not great interest in pursuing these opportunities as it would require steady efforts to which nobody was willing to commit.

Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics (CINP) Executive Director GH described the NSERC LRP process and the role of the CINP therein. He reminded the audience that written briefs should be submitted to him by Friday June 26th and that they were still welcome. He noted that in reviewing the oral and written submissions, he found that many people concentrated on the next 5 years to the exclusion of the 5-10 year horizon and he suggested that such missing information should be provided by the deadline.

ZP then reviewed recent CAP news. He mentioned that Physics in Canada stories are being solicited and that the recent Erich Vogt memorial issue was well received. The 2015 Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference (CUPC) will be held at Trent University and ZP encouraged supervisors to send their students. The CINP will not have a booth at this year’s CUPC due to financial constraints. ZP reminded us that the CAP Bylaws were amended in 2014 to comply with the Canada-Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, requiring the CAP Executive to become the Board of Directors. He noted that the Divisions and Chapters Policy is not yet complete. ZP mentioned the CAP Heads and Chairs survey of 2013-2014 which included 41 departments and 757 faculty members. The CAP President’s report is expected to focus on the P. Phys accreditation of departments, which has both benefits and drawbacks, science policy lobbying, and expansion of the CAP Board of Directors.

The CAP Strategic Plan discussed in recent Council meetings was mentioned by ZP. In brief, its aims are to improve the impact of physics and physicists on Canadian society and to improve the value of CAP to its members and the broader physics community. These general goals have now been flushed out with details and plans of action which are being implemented.

ZP reviewed the preparations for the CAP Congress. BD attended the October Council meeting in Ottawa where he successfully advocated Wick Haxton as a plenary speaker on neutrinos sponsored by the DNP. Many PPD and DTP joint sessions with the DNP were organized and ZP worked well with the heads of those divisions in developing templates and methods that will assist similar efforts at future Congresses. Collaborations with the DIMP, DMBP, and DIAP also came off well. Communication with CAP has improved tremendously since Danielle Legault joined the office. She is, in a word, excellent. The DNP had 15 sessions, of which 5 were solo, 10 joint, and 4 managed. The student competition at the Congress awards prizes of $200 and $100 for the best talks and $200 for the best poster. The DNP fielded 8 eligible oral presentations and 1 poster (but 5 are needed for a prize to be awarded). The DNP judges P. Ouimet, M. Gericke, and A. Semenov were thanked for their efforts.

Next year’s Congress will be held June 13-17 at the University of Ottawa. The process of selecting the Herzberg public lecturer is starting now. As always, suggestions for sessions, topics, and invited speakers are welcome. ZP thanked Past Chairperson Jens Dilling for his extensive help in arranging this year’s sessions.

ZP mentioned that Jason Donev of the University of Calgary advertised Nuclear Science Week at the CINP AGM and is looking for local event promoters. The events will take place from 19-23 October. CINP is keen to help and the CAP will circulate info in August if not sooner.

The CERN Indico system was used to organize the program of the 2015 Congress. Some users had trouble logging in with their user accounts. and many found it slow. RK explained in answer to a question about why we use CERN’s installation that TRIUMF’s installation was outdated. It has now been upgraded but not yet tested and may be offered in the future.

RK led the assembled members in a round of applause to thank ZP for his service as Chairperson over the past two years.

All business having been discussed, BD moved to adjourn the meeting circa 13:28.