Letter from the Chair
In my role as Chair of the AAPG House of Delegates, I would like to summarize key issues affecting the House and all members of AAPG.
On December 2, AAPG had the Mid-year House of Delegates meeting in Houston. The HoD Executive Committee was present and each Committee of the HoD was represented. We were joined by the Chairman-Elect candidates, AAPG President, President-Elect and a representative of the Advisory Council.
The AAPG EC had made recommendations to the HoD involving a name change from Associate Member to Affiliate Member, and several changes to the format for Petition Candidates. After careful study and recommendations by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee, it was determined that neither of these changes would be brought to the Annual Meeting of HoD in Long Beach. The results of the “Every Member Survey” provided important guidance in these matters.
The Honors and Awards Committee made the proposal that extended service to the HoD be recognized. Therefore, the HoD Executive Committee initiated an administrative procedure with the assistance of the AAPG Staff, formalizing a plan that each Delegate, who has completed three terms or 9 years of service in the House, will receive a certificate recognizing their tenure. Delegates who complete five terms or 15 years of service, will also receive a certificate of recognition. The terms need not be served consecutively. The program will be retroactive to include all living qualified Delegates.
There will be an important motion brought to the floor (bylaws changes) for you to consider at the Annual meeting in Long Beach, affecting our AAPG membership dues structure. Based on present demographics for members of AAPG, imagine what AAPG would look like in 15 years. The Domestic (Section) population would have shrunk dramatically due to an aging membership and failure to attract younger members in order to reverse this spiral. International (Region) membership would have grown, but not enough to overcome this vision of the future. The primary cause would be the inability of some Domestic and International geoscientists to pay AAPG dues in the present form ($80 US). As a result, AAPG may no longer be the superior geoscience association in the world, and might strain for survival at all levels. Therefore, AAPG needs an influx of worldwide, very active members, who can ultimately make a financial impact on the Association.
The motion we will consider seeks to establish a graduated dues structure based on an “Ability to Pay” model. This proposal has been studied completely by the AAPG Graduated Dues Committee, the Staff, the Advisory Council, the AAPG Executive Committee, the HoD Constitution & Bylaws Committee, and finally, the HoD Executive Committee. Each reached a conclusion to bring this proposal before the full House of Delegates. The motion of the HoD EC to move to the full House passed 3-1.
Let’s look at what this motion consists of.
First, based on the results of a Graduated Dues Program that was initiated by SPE, the AAPG proposal should provide a significant increase in applications for membership world wide. The “Ability to Pay” Model is not geographically restricted and could benefit all of the membership, both Section and Region members and potential members. It could benefit a junior college teacher, a mudlogger, a jobless geoscientist who wants to maintain their membership, or a person working internationally for a national oil company at a salary less than many of his or her peers
Three “personal income” brackets will be established. On the annual dues invoice, members may elect to place themselves in one of those brackets, or they can elect to pay full dues even if they do not fall within the full dues bracket. Other than the upper bracket, members will not receive full services relating to the Bulletin and Explorer.
Can we trust our members to make an honest category selection? I believe so, and based on SPE’s experience, this has proven to be true
Many geoscientists want to join AAPG or maintain their involvement, but they cannot afford the full dues. Again, based on the experience of SPE, this should result in an orderly growth for AAPG.
The House of Delegates will retain complete oversight of the AAPG dues structure. Staff studies of projected multiple-year income and expense, indicate that with expected growth the proposal shall approach being revenue neutral. The HoD EC has received a legal opinion that nothing in the proposal should violate IRS guidelines for maintaining 501(c)6 status.
We are breaking new ground, but we need to pass the motion to establish a graduated dues structure. The plan has been evaluated in great detail, and the House EC requests your support.