Welcome ASPB Members!

These pages were created with the express intent of making ASPB and how it functions more transparent to all members.

From the President’s Letter by Judy Callis
November/December 2019 ASPB News

“The word transparent has multiple meanings. For us scientists, we might first think of a solution in a tube or vial being transparent, defined by Merriam-Webster as “having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly.” As in, did your chemical dissolve? But the transparency to which I refer is the second set of definitions in the dictionary: “free from pretense or deceit,” “readily understood,” and most relevant for this letter, “characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices.”

ASPB is an active and multifaceted organization with diverse activities including outreach, professional development, publishing, and advocacy, among others. Because of these various endeavors, understanding how ASPB works toward achieving its missions can seem challenging, and you may find it difficult to see how you can contribute to and benefit from ASPB’s missions. Recent reorganization changes may complicate this as well. In the fall of 2015, the main leadership committee, previously called the Executive Committee, was reorganized into two different committees—the Council and the Board of Directors (the latter affectionately abbreviated “BoD”).

In fact, let me start with our missions. In 2018, the Council articulated the following working statement on our missions:

ASPB Mission Statement

  • To nurture plant scientists through leadership and learning opportunities
  • To provide venues and platforms for communicating plant science research
  • To promote scientific quality, innovation, and integrity
  • To increase awareness of the importance of plant science
  • To inform, communicate, and positively influence policy related to plant biology in the United States and internationally.

In this letter I highlight the nature and activities of the Board of Directors, which is chaired by the president-elect (last year, that was me!). The seven-member BoD is the main decision-making body of the Society for all matters not specified for other bodies by our constitution. The BoD consists of the president-elect, president, secretary, treasurer, and three elected members (one elected from among eligible Council members and two from the membership at large). For the list of recently elected BoD members, see page 5 of this issue.

The BoD takes action on issues brought to it directly by staff, committees, and the Council. The BoD’s smaller size facilitates the frequent communication with ASPB staff and decision making that need to occur during the course of the year. The BoD balances furthering our missions with enforcing fiscal responsibility so that ASPB may be alive and well through the next 100 years.

In 2018–2019, under President Rob Last’s leadership, ASPB established regular standing meetings for both the Council and the BoD; however, both committees—but the BoD especially—have additional email and phone conversations throughout the year. This additional communication is needed to discuss and craft new policies and initiatives and to respond to membership and to national and international events in a timely manner. The evolution of high-quality conference call services has greatly facilitated these conversations (remember when there were all kinds of technical problems with conference calls? I admit they haven’t gone away completely, but . . .).

Also, in the spirit of being transparent and informing our membership, summaries of Council and BoD meetings will [soon] be posted on our website. We will include as much content as legally and ethically appropriate in these summaries, but please remember that some conversations (regarding personnel, for example) will have to be redacted. We appreciate feedback on how we can do better to inform you, our membership, and we ask that you remember that this is an ongoing effort.”

Membership Center

Nominations/Election Pages:

  • General Nominations Process
  • Voting

Leadership Pages:

Committee Pages:

  • Board of Directors
  • Board of Trustees
  • Council
  • Constitution and Bylaws
  • Education Committee
  • International Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Minority Affairs Committee
  • Nominating Committee
  • Program Committee
  • Publications Committee
  • Science Policy Committee
  • Women in Plant Biology Committee

Policies:

  • Annual Meeting Code of Conduct
  • Phenome Code of Conduct
  • Honors revocation policy
  • Society-wide Code of Conduct