2017 CAP Congress DNP Annual Business Meeting Minutes
The meeting was called to order at Queen’s University by DNP Chair Reiner Kruecken (RK) at 12:41 on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Eighteen DNP members and one observer from the Particle Physics Division (PPD) were present.
RK moved that we approve the agenda, the motion was seconded by Secretary-Treasurer Barry Davids (BD), and in the absence of objections or additions the agenda was adopted. The Chair pointed out that the minutes of the 2016 business meeting could be found on the DNP website at http://dnp.phys.uregina.ca/content/2016-annual-business-meeting-minutes . BD moved that the minutes of the 2016 meeting be approved; DNP Past-Chair Zisis Papandreou (ZP) seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously. RK then introduced the 2015-2017 CAP DNP Executive Committee:
Reiner Kruecken TRIUMF & UBC Chair
Gerald Gwinner Manitoba Vice-Chair
Zisis Papandreou Regina Past-Chair
Barry Davids TRIUMF Secretary-Treasurer
BD presented a financial and membership report which is summarized below.
In the year from Jan 1 2016 – Dec 31 2016, we began with a bank balance of $2890 and ran an operating deficit of $1030, leaving a year-end balance of $1860. Our operating expenses during 2016 were $1000 for the 2014-2015 DNP thesis prize, $1000 to support the DREB 2016 Conference, $250 for student prizes at the 2017 Winter Nuclear and Particle Physics Conference (WNPPC), $300 for student prizes at the 2016 CAP Congress, and $70 for the (DNP-member) 1st and 2nd place winners of the student prizes to attend the banquet at the 2016 CAP Congress. Partially offsetting these expenditures of $2620 were revenues of $1590, which included $1340 in membership fees and $250 from the CAP to compensate the Division for a contribution mistakenly taken from us for the 2015 Division of Theoretical Physics (DTP) thesis prize. This appears to be the second time we were credited with this $250, so we should expect that the CAP will eventually realize its mistake and take the money back. Although we were promised monthly accounting statements starting in July 2016, they have not been forthcoming.
As of June 31st, 2017 we had 121 full members and 213 student members, for a total of 334 members. This represents a 25% increase from 2016’s 121 full members and 147 student members. There are currently 66 graduate student members and 147 undergraduate members. Total membership has increased by 54% over 6 years due to a huge increase in student members. The number of full members has been rather constant, varying between 120 and 130 over the same period. The current number of full members is the smallest in recent years, but it is still 98% of the average number over the last 6 years and remained constant since last year. With respect to last year, there was a 29% increase in graduate student members and a 53% increase in undergraduate members.
A brief discussion of what the Division can do to recruit and maintain members as they transition from undergraduate to graduate students and beyond was held. The possibility of contacting members by email was suggested by BD. It was pointed out that CAP is about to embark upon a membership drive which will require the efforts of members from all divisions. There was general agreement that we ought to take advantage of the upcoming CAP effort and utilize the materials that will be provided as a part of it.
Annual membership dues increased from $10 to $15 last year but the change was only implemented for new memberships and renewals starting in November. If our paid membership numbers remain roughly constant as they have recently and dues remain at the current level, we can expect revenues of ~$1800 per year. With the usual annual expenditures of $1000 for the DNP thesis prize, $300 for CAP Congress student prizes, $250 for WNPPC student prizes, and an average of $400 to support Congress registration fees and travel for DNP-invited speakers, we can anticipate deficit spending of circa $150 per annum. Since the thesis prize is not awarded every year and we don’t always support invited speakers, this was deemed acceptable. We have now reached the ~$2k bank balance we agreed last year it would be appropriate to maintain.
As this is an odd-numbered year, an election of a Vice-Chair and Secretary-Treasurer for 2 year terms from 2017-2019 was required. The new Vice-Chair will succeed the Chair in 2019. Nominations were solicited by BD via email on February 23, 2017. Two nominations for Vice-Chair and one for Secretary-Treasurer were received, but one Vice-Chair nomination had not been cleared with the nominee, who declined once informed. Corina Andreoiu (SFU) and Barry Davids (TRIUMF) were therefore elected Vice Chair and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, by acclamation. This marks the first time a female was ever elected to the CAP DNP Executive Committee. The service of RK and BD was kindly acknowledged by the assembled members with applause.
The 2017-2019 CAP DNP Executive Committee will be as follows.
Gerald Gwinner Manitoba Chair
Corina Andreoiu SFU Vice-Chair
Reiner Kruecken TRIUMF & UBC Past-Chair
Barry Davids TRIUMF Secretary-Treasurer
DNP Vice-Chair Gerald Gwinner (GG) reported on the 2015-2016 DNP Thesis Prize competition. Last time the nomination due date was extended from October 1st, 2015 to January 15th, 2016 and the January 15th deadline was maintained in this year’s competition. The application procedures are explained on the webpage http://dnp.phys.uregina.ca/content/how-apply-next-dnp-thesis-competition . On account of the late deadline, the prize cannot be awarded at the WNPPC as before, but must rather be bestowed at the CAP Congress. There were only two entries this year, one of which was ineligible due to a failure to meet the DNP membership requirement. As there were fewer than the minimum required 3 entries, a competition was not held this year. GG mentioned that he thought similar situations might be avoided in the future if we were to require that nomination letters include a statement that both the nominee and supervisor be DNP members. ZP proposed that a form with a checklist might be quite helpful, an idea that won wide acceptance. GG raised the point that the 24-month-post-PhD deadline for nominations was ill defined as it was unclear whether the thesis defence or the degree bestowal ought to be the reference. ZP pointed out that when he was Vice-Chair, the defence date was chosen most often. BD suggested that the more inclusive of the two would be appropriate given the small number of submissions this year. GG exhorted us to nominate our students. PPD Chair Steve Roberts mentioned that his division is considering eliminating the requirement that nominees for the PPD thesis prize be division members so as to garner more valid nominations. RK was not in favour of the DNP following this example. As an alternative, Svetlana Barkanova moved that we eliminate the requirement that at least 3 theses be nominated in order for a prize to be awarded. Kris Starosta seconded the motion. It was also suggested by Jean Barrette that we could change the membership requirement so as to permit entries from those who were members at the time of the award rather than upon nomination. A general discussion ensued, in which it was pointed out that such a change would require that judges evaluate theses from candidates who might not meet the membership requirement at the time of the prize being awarded, thereby needlessly burdening the judges. RK called for a vote on the first proposal. The proposal to eliminate the requirement that there be at least three entries for a valid competition was carried unanimously apart from one abstention. RK then asked for a straw vote on the second proposal, which failed by a two to one margin and was therefore not even put forward as a formal motion.
RK briefly reviewed some other activities of the division, reiterating the sponsorship of student prizes at the 2017 WNPPC at Banff and the 2017 CAP Congress, as well as support of the DREB 2016 conference held in Halifax. He also pointed out that he did not request any fee waivers or provide any travel support for DNP-invited speakers. It is noteworthy that this was the second year in a row RK had managed to save the Division money this way.
Next RK apprised members of some of the topics considered by the CAP Council. A membership drive is imminent. A new logo has been developed and is already being used. A revamped website is to be launched soon (within two weeks according to the President’s report at the AGM) and CAP’s social media presence is being ramped up. As a result of a recent communications specialist hire the CAP is overspending in the hope that the specialist will recoup the extra expenses by recruiting the 50 or so members needed to reach the President’s goal of having 2020 members by 2020. Advocacy for physics and on behalf of professional physicists is the primary reason the CAP deserves our support and how we should appeal to potential new members.
At the Congress Program Committee meeting in Ottawa, RK collaborated with other divisions in organizing joint sessions. In particular, he organized 4 solo DNP sessions and 8 joint sessions with 3 other divisions, PPD (S. Roberts), DTP (S. Barkanova), and DIMP (K. Michaelian). All sessions were filled apart from a few contributions withdrawn at late dates. RK thanked the judges for the student competition, GG, B. Franke, and Alan Chen, who evaluated the 9 eligible oral contributions that were submitted. No posters were submitted to the competition. RK noted that there were no DNP sessions in parallel and that attendance was down because of the competing Advances in Radioactive Isotope Science meeting in Colorado. There were three joint sessions on fundamental symmetries.
The 2018 Congress will be held at Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS from June 11-15. The Chair solicited input from the division members on session topics, plenary, and other invited speakers. As usual, the Program Committee meeting will be in October.
The Chair mentioned that the 2019 Congress will likely be held at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC.
RK then reiterated the division’s desire to receive PiC stories, thesis award nominations, Congress session and invited speaker suggestions, and photos, especially of HQP.
All business having been discussed, RK moved to adjourn the meeting circa 13:25.