House Vote Overwhelming
Graduated Dues Structure Passed
The much-debated AAPG graduated dues structure was overwhelmingly approved by a standing vote of the House of Delegates meeting at the 2007 AAPG Annual Convention in Long Beach, Calif.
The new dues structure, which allows for a tiered dues cost ranging from $20 to $80 depending on the declared income of the member, has been discussed over the past six months in EXPLORER columns, on the AAPG Web site and the HoD Newsletter, as well as in local society and delegate meetings.
Chairman Larry Jones presided over the House debate that lasted 88 minutes. Five delegates spoke against the proposal and 25 spoke in favor, including President Lee Billingsley and four past AAPG presidents.
Delegates also debated and decidedly defeated a proposal for an automatic sunset provision on the dues proposal.
The dues measure stemmed from desires to make membership financially available to geologists who cannot afford the annual $80 membership fee. That group is mainly those in the international arena where pay scales are prohibitive. After membership growth committees struggled with the problem for years, an ad hoc Graduated Dues Committee was formed in early 2006.
Their study of AAPG expenses, the “structured dues” experiences of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and other items led to the proposal that the Long Beach delegates approved.
Tabbed as the “Ability to Pay” model, the tiered structure allows for both hard and electronic copies of the EXPLORER and BULLETIN for the full-dues paying member, with the option to pay for hard copies in the lower tiers (Table 1).
The new dues structure will be effective in stages to allow for reprogramming and accounting changes. New members will be eligible to join under the new dues structure effective July 1. Present members will be eligible to participate in the new structure following the present renewing of membership, which will be at the start of the new dues cycle in 2008.
In other House activity, delegates approved some housekeeping measures that included wording changes to previous House votes that dealt with:
- Limitations on candidacy.
- Adding International Regions to Advisory Council review relationships.
- Other miscellaneous wording updates.
Of the total 227 AAPG delegates, 174 -- or 77 percent -- were present in Long Beach.
Delegates also voted Affiliated Society status for the Geological Society of South Africa (Johannesburg) and the Qatar Geological Society (Doha). Associated Society status was approved for the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists (Arlington, Texas).
In new officer balloting, Houston consultant George R. Bole was voted chair-elect and Robert E. Webster, of Hunt Oil in Dallas, was elected House secretary/editor.
Both will take office on July 1, when present chair-elect Marty Hewitt, of Nexen Petroleum in Calgary, will take the gavel as House chairman for the coming year. As chair he also will sit on the AAPG Executive Committee.