Newsletter No. 98, June 2011

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from the Editor - Ann Hornschemeier, HEAD Secretary-Treasurer, headsec@xraydeep.org, 301-204-2653

HEAD only delivers the table-of-contents for HEADNEWS and notes from the editor into your mailbox. The newsletter itself can be found online at http://www.aas.org/head/headnews/headnews-jun11/headnews-Jun11-contents.html.
There are several "operational updates" to HEAD to which I would like to draw your attention.

Change in the HEAD newsletter: why is it segmented now?
We are in the process of gathering data on how many hits the various parts of the HEAD newsletter receive. To that end, we have had to segment the newsletter into separate pages. Please bear with us during this transition. Our ultimate goal is to have an on-line tool for submitting material to the HEAD newsletter and possibly to improve the overall formatting of the newsletter. Since we are an all-volunteer group (including our new volunteer webmaster, Peggy Wargelin), this will take some time.

Transition from 2-year to 3-year HEAD EC terms now in effect!
Approximately two years ago we approved the extension of HEAD executive committee member terms from two to three years. This means that for our next election we will elect only two new HEAD EC members to maintain steady-state membership at six members. We will experience one year with two extra members and one year with a single extra member during the transition. This means there will be four candidates for HEAD EC in the fall 2011 ballot (along with two or more candidates for HEAD vice-chair). We always charge the nominating committee to pay attention to diversity in the candidate pool (area of expertise, seniority, geography, gender, etc.). The nominating committee is being formed now (early summer 2011) so now is a good time to provide constructive input to Chryssa Kouveliotou, the HEAD chair, on the process, particularly during this transition period.

Membership, Dues and Finances:
Recall that the HEAD EC outlined a goal approximately two years ago to raise our financial reserves to $120K within approximately five to ten years. We reached $58K by the end of 2009 and are pleased to report that our first quarter financial statement for 2011 is at $89K. Part of this increase may be attributed to the higher dues now paid by our full members ($15/year; dues remain at $10/year for junior and emeritus members). Note that renewals are in and we find that HEAD has 925 members as of 6/29/11. We are pleased with the commitment that our members have made to the organization and thank you wholeheartedly for your financial support in the form of your dues. The increase in financial reserves, while not yet at our ultimate goal, permits HEAD to expand its activities slightly. For instance, we have more flexibility in offering items such as childcare grants, etc. at our meetings and we are now able to host a reception-style meeting at January AAS meetings (read on!).

HEAD reception-style meeting at January AAS deemed successful:
We were pleased to see the turnout at the Seattle meeting for our first late-afternoon "reception-style" business meeting where HEAD members mingled with each other while learning about HEAD business and learning about the winners of the Rossi prize. Owing to the success of this reception, we plan to repeat it in Austin. We will of course seek sponsorship for the reception so HEAD does not bear the full cost, but thanks to your dues and returns from our HEAD meetings, we expect to be able to maintain this reception in the future.

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