Minutes of the Board of Representatives General Meeting, South Africa, 2008

IFORS Board of Representatives Meeting
Tuesday, July 15 2008, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Committee Room 4 – Sandton Convention Centre
South Africa

President’s Report
Elise del Rosario, IFORS President, reported on the agenda and composition of the IFORS Administrative Committee.  The committee was organized with responsibilities being reallocated resulting in the Vice Presidents being responsible for development of new societies and scholars for their region. The VPs also act as liaison with all national societies in their region. Elise also reviewed the other major committee responsibilities and the affiliated chair of each committee.

The IFORS Newsletter and website are listed under the President’s responsibilities.
The newsletter has a new style and format and all newsletters are now available on the IFORS website.  The member societies were asked to forward news and announcements from their society to Hans Ittmann, Newsletter Editor.  In addition, the members were asked to consider writing feature articles for the newsletter.

It was announced that the IFORS Website was moved to the INFORMS server.  At their recent AC meeting the President was charged with forming a committee to investigate the strategic uses and communication purposes of the website, TutORial project, and Educational Resources.

Mike Trick, NORAM VP, reported on the status of the meeting in Sandton.  There were approximately 600 abstracts in final program which is the smallest conference in quite awhile as compared to Hawaii with 1268 abstracts. IFORS makes less money on a smaller conference and also there are fewer papers available to support ITOR. Hans Ittmann has done an outstanding job with this conference and we thank him for his efforts and dedication.  IFORS knew this meeting was going to be smaller due to the distance to South Africa and the US dollar being very low.  John Bartholdi worked very carefully to cull the 900 abstracts were sent in but 300 of the abstracts were deleted because the author did not register for the meeting. John did a great job with the program.

50th Anniversary Celebration
The power point presentation created for the anniversary will lead to a history Wiki and will include information from the sessions on Thursday on the past, present, and future of IFORS.

Mike reviewed the instructions for the Gala dinner on Thursday evening and the presentation of the 50th anniversary plaques.  It is important that each country representative adhere to the time limits.

2011 Triennial Conference
Mike reported that the board of representatives voted to have the 2011 triennial conference in Melbourne Australia.  Patrick Tobin will be the Organizing Chair and Janny Leung has been appointed the Program Chair.  Melbourne is a beautiful city but it is a long way from almost anywhere, which may cause attendance problems.

2014 Triennial Conference
Mike reported that IFORS has sent out a call for bids for the 2014 conference.  The bids are submitted by member societies to the Secretary and then Treasurer and AC evaluate the proposals and send executive summaries and ballots to the board of representatives for a vote. It is important that any member society interested in submitting a proposal discuss their thoughts with Elise, Mike, and/or Peter Bell, Treasurer first.

Question: Isn’t there a rule about the regional distribution for the triennial conference.
Answer: There is no formal rule that we have to have triennial conferences in certain regions

Distinguished Lectures
Mike reported that a committee recommends distinguished lecturers to be plenary speakers for several national meetings. They are usually selected from a different region as the meeting and the lecture carries with it an honorarium.

Mike also gave a brief report on activities of NORAM.

Michel Gendreau, VP At-Large, reported on the status of the IFORS publications.  Publications have been the bloodline of the revenue for IFORS with ITOR,  IAOR and other initiatives since 2005. The AC created a committee to review the future strategy for ITOR. Celso Ribeiro was appointed editor of ITOR.  There have been recent changes to regional editors and five special issues have been added. The acceptance ratio is now at 31% with papers in queue and the first open issue is May 2009.  The annual page budget is increasing and Manuscript Central is being adopted for electronic submission.  IAOR is the largest financial contributor for IFORS but this revenue stream is being threatened by Google Scholar.  Two years ago an initiative was set into motion to create a new and enhanced version of IAOR online.  Michel went on to review the number of abstracts and issues for IAOR.  He discussed a problem concerning the national contributing editors not submitting abstracts in a timely and complete manner.

Michel reported on another initiative on a possible book series from IFORS that will include plenary talks, keynote addresses and tutorials from regional meetings.

Question: Will ITOR be publishing papers from the conference? The bylaws state ITOR must publish the conference papers.
Answer: ITOR will not be publishing papers from the conferences; the IFORS book series could cover this.

Discussion: It is the duty of the national contributing editors to create material for IAOR.
It was mentioned that having special issues on topics will overlap with other national society journals.  ITOR should also be somewhat devoted to papers from developing countries.

ITOR should have an area editor with a special focus on developing countries, global issues and economic issues, such as opportunities in Asia which is growing quickly.  ITOR can be the journal of choice.  It was suggested to change the name and eliminate the word “Transactions” from the title.

Developing Countries
Theo Stewart, DC Committee Chair, reported on the activities of the Developing Countries Committee and the future focus of the committee.  He defined the committee’s charge as being “OR being applied to problems in the developing world.”  Theo reported on the ICORD meeting every 3 years, and the Summer/Winter Scholarships. He also mentioned the DC Prize and that the jury just reached a decision about who the winner and runner up. Theo also reviewed a list of the new thrusts the DC committee will be focusing on in the upcoming year.

Regional Reports
ALIO – Horacio Yanasse reported on the members and activities of ALIO.  He mentioned that Portugal and Spain are also active in ALIO.   CLAIO, ELAVIO
APORS –  Tatsuo Oyama reported on the activities of the APORS region. He reported that APORJ is published by APORS and handled by Singapore OR Society.
EURO – Grazia Speranza reported on the activities of EURO. She discussed how EURO is organized and the various responsibilities. Grazia introduced Lidija Zadnik representing Slovenia as a new member of EURO and IFORS. The next Summer Institute is scheduled to be in Spain and the deadline for submission is the end of Jan 2009.

Treasurer’s Report
Peter Bell, Treasurer,  presented several graphs containing trends relating to the revenues and expenses for IFORS. The revenues generated by IAOR are being reinvested into creating a more focused and easily searchable online index. At this time IFORS is in a position to review new initiatives which include strategies for five to ten years.

Nominating Committee
Tom Magnanti, Past President, reviewed the AC membership and also reviewed the president’s responsibilities. He explained the nomination process for selecting the candidates for President and Vice President-at-Large.  Tom introduced Dominique de Werra as the candidate for President for 2010, 2011, 2012.  He also announced Hugo Scolnik as the candidate for Vice President-at-Large 2010, 2011, 2012..

Open Forum
Yaxiang Yuan suggested that IFORS provide banners for display at regional and national meetings.  It was also suggested that all ballots for triennial conferences should be handled at the triennial conference so discussions can occur and votes can be performed in person.   Hugh Bradley and Peter Bell both reviewed the reasons for having a mail ballot.

Candi Yano asked for an electronic discussion group to help with communication between the national societies and to allow for discussions online.  Mike Trick will organize a discussion group to handle the discussion for the ballot of next triennial conference.
Action:  The AC will review the issue of changing the schedule for bids for the triennial conference to allow discussion between the Board of Reps either in person or online.

The meeting adjourned at 5:55 p.m.