Minutes of the 2015 SOLE Executive Board Meeting
June 27, 2015 8:00am – 10:00am, Fairmont Hotel, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Attending: John Abowd (President, presiding), Henry Farber (Vice-President), David Autor (term expires June 30, 2016), Kevin Lang (term expires June 30, 2016) Marianne Page (term expires June 30, 2015), Kathryn Shaw (term expires June 30, 2015), Dan Black (ex officio, NORC), Paul Oyer (ex officio, JOLE, by remote connection), Maggie Newman (Secretary-Treasurer), Marjorie McElroy (newly elected Vice President, by courtesy), Joseph Altonji (new elected Board member, by courtesy), Adam Gannaway (University of Chicago Press, by courtesy).

Not attending: Janet Currie (President-elect, called away on urgent personal business)

The Board adopted the attached agenda.

Board discussion and actions

Item 1: John Abowd thanked outgoing Board members Marianne Page and Kathryn Shaw for their service to the Society. Henry Farber added a thanks to John for his service.

Item 2: Paul Oyer made a presentation on the state of JOLE. Submissions were down slightly in 2014 but are above the 2013 levels for the first half of 2015. The quality of accepted papers in very good. He asked Board members for guidance regarding some of the Journal’s editorial policies. Adam Gannaway discussed the University of Chicago annual report on JOLE, which was supplied to the Board in advance and is posted with these minutes. He discussed continuing efforts to improve the online accessibility of JOLE content. JOLE will begin using AdUpon to control presentation and content of its web offerings. There will be a phase-in period. Seamless access through the UofC Press online services and JSTOR is expected. AdUpon gives JOLE better control over the presentation of the web content. Adam noted, and Dan Black confirmed, that UofC Press would begin indexing SOLE’s portion of individual subscriptions (currently $10/subscription).

Item 3: Dan Black briefly discussed the financial statements (tax returns) for 2013 and 2014, which are already online on the SOLE website. For both years, SOLE’s primary revenue were meeting registration fees (about 90%) and its share of subscription fees (about 10%). 2013 and 2014 meetings both ran small surpluses. The Society’s net assets were $50,036 at the end of 2014. Dan also said that the job description for the position of Managing Editor of JOLE, which is currently held by Maggie, is being modified to formally include the duties of the SOLE Secretary-Treasurer.

Item 4: There was an extended discussion of the 2019 venue and future venue options. It was agreed that the Society would conduct a survey to get member views and continue with plans to hold the 2019 SOLE meetings in the northeast with Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC being the main choices. Motion to “conduct a survey on member preferences regarding the timing and venue for future SOLE meetings” passed 6-0. Motion to “solicit bids from hotels in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC to host the 2019 SOLE meetings on the first weekend in May, 2019” passed 6-0.

Item 5: The Board discussed the archiving and curation of the material on the SOLE web site, including all historical activity, in a university library-based digital commons. Motion to “charge the current President with presenting the Board with a plan for this curation” passed 6-0. This duty falls to John.

Item 6: The Board discussed a proposal to be affiliated with IZA World of Labor. The Board felt that the association between SOLE and EALE was appropriate and based on common interests in labor economics by two closely-tied professional associations. An affiliation with IZA World of Labor does not have those characteristics. Motion to “send a message to IZA World of Labor that social media exchanges via SOLE’s Facebook page were welcome but no affiliation would be formed” passed 6-0.

Item 7: The Board discussed the frequency of the Jacob Mincer prize. Representatives from this award committee, and communications from past members of the prize committee strongly suggested that the award should be given more often. Motion to “ask the Society’s members to amend the Bylaws to permit awarding the Jacob Mincer Prize for lifetime contributions every year” passed by a vote of 6-0.

Item 8: The Board discussed the role of Fellows in the Society, alternatives for changing the voting procedures, and possible modifications of the Bylaws. A subcommittee of Board members (Janet Currie, Henry Farber and Kevin Lang) was formed to further study this issue.

Item 9: The Board discussed affiliation with the Western Economic Association International. The discussion was similar to the one regarding IZA World of Labor. Motion to “send a message to WEAI that social media exchanges via SOLE’s Facebook page were welcome but no affiliation would be formed” passed 6-0.

Item 10: Maggie Newman announced that she would be retiring in 2021. The Board discussed the succession plan. Formalizing the duties of the SOLE Secretary-Treasurer in the job description is one important component. A second component is determining how long Maggie’s successor can serve in parallel during 2021.

The meeting adjourned at 10:05.