ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT - 2008

During the past year, we have continued to promote a “greener future,” as laid out by Past President Chris Haufler in August, 2006.  We have continued to interact with other plant societies to pursue programs of mutual concern and interest (for example, PlantingScience with the ASPB and other societies).  The theme of this year’s meeting is Botany without Borders, and we will again convene a meeting of the Presidents, or other representatives, of all the societies meeting together in Vancouver (plus representatives of other societies that are not meeting with BSA this year).  We have also continued our emphasis on career development for our student members, and the Society has benefited from the contributions of student members to both the Bylaws Revision Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee.  I have also worked with the International Committee, set in place following the 2006 meeting, to expand our contacts and programs worldwide.  Finally, a revision to the Merit Award selection criteria and process has been drafted (discussion begun in summer, 2007).

New themes initiated during the past year emphasize science literacy and expanding participation in science in general and the BSA in particular to include members of underrepresented groups.  Highlights follow:

Additional key goals for the past year were revision of the BSA bylaws and initial discussions toward the development of a new strategic plan for the BSA.

In recent years, the Past President, President, President Elect, and Executive Director have attended the Council of Scientific Society Presidents meeting in early December in Washington, DC.  This meeting provides an opportunity for the Presidents and ED to make plans for the rest of the year and for them to meet with the leadership of many other societies.  I was unable to attend the meeting in December, 2007, but was elected to the Board of CSSP for the next year.  This position has allowed me to participate with a subset of the CSSP membership in other discussions, some of which are relevant to the BSA.  Following the December meeting, the three Presidents and Bill Dahl discussed whether or not the BSA should continue its membership in CSSP and whether or not all of us should continue to attend the December meeting.  We decided that both meetings—with the CSSP and with each other—were valuable and worth the expenditures. 

In March, I chaired the Spring meeting of the Executive Committee.  The following were among the topics discussed, some of which will be explored further at the Council and various committee meetings in Vancouver.

I look forward to further discussion of these and other issues at the Council and Committee meetings in Vancouver.

Respectfully submitted, Pamela S. Soltis BSA President