This past year was a real learning experience for me. I took over as President last October with just two years service as a board member, so I did not have much experience in the organizational issues involved in CIE/USA. In addition the lack of a quorum at last year annual meeting in Montreal left some questions on what had to be done to make the organizational jobs official. I took over an organization that has serious financial issues that need to be resolved during my four years if CIE/USA is to be viable. While I did not come up with any solutions for our funding crisis I do have some recommendations that will help solve the problem. Together, we need to add new Contributing Organizations and Constituent Members and find new ways to raise money for the organization.
I found it takes more time than I expected to effectively manage this organization. We bungled the balloting form and the mailing of it quite badly; my apologies for that. My own assessment of my job for the first year is that I performed poorly. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, my boss can’t fire me or cut my pay. Hopefully in the coming year I know more of what is expect and can give the organization the focused effort needed.
I wish to thank J. Rennilson for his guidance, especially at the beginning of the term. He promptly sent me the relevant materials and answered all the questions I had very willingly. My hat is off to him for the remarkable job he did in leading the CIE/USA and chairing a successful Quadrennial session in San Diego.
I also want to thank Herb Odle, our outgoing Treasurer. He has given me sound advice on a number of items based on his long experience with CIE/USA. He was the only ‘old hand’ of the officers that took over and I am grateful that we had at his experience. I had to talk Herb into remaining as Treasurer until this meeting and glad he agreed to do so. Herb works as hard for this organization as anyone mostly behind the scenes. He deserves our thanks for a job well done.
The following is a summary of the action items taken during the past year.
1. The Executive Committee, along with the Technical Council, met in Tucson, AZ on March 9, 2004 in conjunction with the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) annual meeting. The results of that meeting are posted on the web site at www.cie-usnc.org. The day after the Executive Committee meeting, CIE/USA and IDA jointly hosted a half-day symposium on Obtrusive Light, based on CIE Report 150. This seminar was later presented in early June in Denver, CO, during the American Astronomical Society meeting. Dave Crawford and Tom Lemons were the co-leaders of the symposium. While not all we had hoped for, especially financially, the symposium was valuable for what it accomplished locally and we should find other ways to give such symposia.
2. I have spent considerable time updating the CIE/USA website. Working with Rex Bechham, our webmaster, I removed much dated material, rearranged the content of the home page and created some new sub-pages for holding relevant CIE/USA material. There is still much work to be done on the website. I would like to bring some images in on the home page and organize the information better. Also the ‘Want to Know More?’ segment needs to be updated. If anyone would like to work with me or can suggest someone to work with me on upgrading the website please let me know.
3. I created a letter to send to the contributing organizations (CO) and constituent societies (CS) when they pay their annual dues. I also created one for those who are a year behind in their dues, but Herb Odle counseled that we should be careful in sending such. His experience says that we get little response from either CO’s or CS’s that are behind. I started to send these letters out but have stopped for the time being to reappraise the letter content based on the September 2004 decision by the CIE Board of Administration to give NCs a portion of the International membership dues for organizations that join CIE International. I hope to get some definitive ideas accepted at this annual meeting that we can use for future mailings that will benefit the CO’s and CS’s.
4. Terry McGowan and I, working with Penca Publishing, finished the mailing of the CD’s containing the San Diego Quadrennial Proceedings and meeting minutes, including J. Rennilson’s pictures of the event. You should have all received the CD recently.San Diego Quadrennial Proceedings and meeting minutes, including J. Rennilson’s pictures of the event. You should have all received the CD recently.
Since we have a significant financial issue in funding CIE/USA I have the following recommendations for action:
1. Raise the annual individual membership dues from $50 to $75 (CIE/USA dues are the smallest of any technical society dues I know of and it has not been changed for at least 8 years.)
2. Similarly, raise the Constituent Society fee from $750 to $950.
3. Urge the Contributing Organizations to join CIE International at one of the three levels they have created, Gold – €8,000, Silver – €3000 and Supportive – €500. The CIE Board of Administration has agreed in its September, 2004 meeting to rebate the NCs of the companies €800, €400 and €250, respectively, for joining CIE International. In addition I recommend that CO dues be increased from $300 to $450. I do not expect many of our current CO’s to join CIE International.
4. Sell software packages (Excel calculators, etc.) on the website for $30-100, depending on content. I have talked to Yoshi Ohno at NIST and he supports providing such software programs. I have a number of these that I have created already that could be tailored for sale as well. It will take some time to make this work. In addition to preparing more user-friendly versions of the software, we need to find a way to do this over the web using credit card purchases.
Rolf S. Bergman, President