Science Iowa agenda

June 5, 2021

1 p.m.

Present: President Dan Chibnall, Treasurer Ruth Henderson, Secretary Tom O’Donnell, member Kaitlin Higgins


Approve minutes of the April 25, 2021 meeting 


Ruth moved for approval; Tom seconded. Approved unanimously.


Old business:


Bylaws alterations – Tom O’Donnell


The main changes were to establish staggered terms for officers. 


Ruth moved to accept the revisions; Tom seconded. Approved.


Ruth will substitute the existing bylaws on the website with the revised ones.


Articles of incorporation: Wording, details and filing – Tom O’Donnell


Tom will create an addendum to the March minutes to include any missing aspects of the organizational meeting that is required under guidelines, including setting the tax year based on the calendar year and authorizing the application for nonprofit status.

Tom will submit the articles of incorporation to the Iowa Secretary of State.


Nonprofit status and filing – Tom O’Donnell


Once the articles of incorporation are approved, we can apply for nonprofit status. Tom will start the IRS application once the articles of incorporation are approved.


Bank account status – Ruth Henderson


We must have an employer identification number to get a bank account. The credit union also will need the articles of incorporation.


Ruth asked if we should post the articles of incorporation on the website. It was generally agreed this is unnecessary. 


We also must attach meeting minutes in which we decide who our authorized signers are for the account. Dan asked if we need to have the nonprofit status approved before getting the EIN. Ruth said she thought so.


We also will need to submit driver’s licenses for account signers.


Dan noted that in other organizations in which he’s served, the president or presiding officer and the secretary/treasurer were the signers. Larger organizations also may give signing privileges to a managing organization or agency.


Ruth noted that once we are set up all banking can be done electronically, there are no fees and there are mobile apps and transfers. We will have to transfer our account from Trees Forever.


Iowa Science Foundation grant status – Tom O’Donnell and Kaitlin Higgins


Kaitlin reported that we received an email from Craig Johnson apologizing for how long it has taken to consider the grants. No one has been rejected.


Gmail contact changes – Kaitlin Higgins


This related to Kaitlin’s status as the registered agent and whether to have someone else as a contact on the Gmail account. Tom has been unable to access the email because of two-factor authentication. Kaitlin’s phone is a “trusted mobile device” with no option to change that. She added Dan’s number to the Google account to get into email. 


Kaitlin also changed the MailChimp notification number to Tom’s email. He will now receive two-factor authentication codes on his phone.


Science Iowa priorities and SWOT analysis – Dan Chibnall


Dan emphasized that these are not vital, but he wanted to start something where we can 

drop ideas for a priority list. We’re not a corporation so it takes on a different vibe. This is a rough draft and an evolving document where we can list ideas to be brainstormed and worked on by an individual or team.


We discussed how we define members or followers. Kaitlin suggested distinguishing between active members and subscribed members for the purpose of setting goals.


We discussed the membership strategy and how we can get more people interested and engaged. Tom reminded us that we must give it members something to do and interact with them consistently so they can be a part of something.


Ruth suggested a student membership. She will run the idea by Jordan Wilmes. She said students may hear about Science Iowa and want to know if there are subgroups and activities.


Tom noted that students may already have too many clubs to choose from and suggested that rather than establishing a new club or Science Iowa chapters, we get them involved via email appeals and CTAs. It’s his impression that students would rather get involved and do things.


Ruth said she found organizing things like the 2018 march and the Science Festival Trail was an opportunity to reach students and not have them come to meetings but rather get involved.


Tom suggested segmenting and tailoring emails to students in our mailing list.


Kaitlin suggested that we could get more interest from students if we have high school and undergraduate get-togethers to discuss fields and mentorship programs, helping high school students figure out what to take in college and how to succeed in a science major. Dan noted that he has done something similar with Drake science students going to high schools to talk about what it’s like to study science. Kaitlin suggested such a program have students from multiple institutions to demonstrate the array of choices. This is on our list of possible projects.


Tom suggested having a retreat to hammer out ideas. We will schedule something soon.


Social media dos and don’ts – Tom O’Donnell


Tom wanted to be sure people saw it.


Social media planning – Dan Chibnall


Dan will get Twitter into his Tweetdeck and do more with Facebook now that the semester is over. He would like to start posting more often but doesn’t want to step on others’ toes. 


Tom offered tips for posting to Facebook, including using publishing tools to schedule posts.


Dan will set up a Google news alert for Iowa science stories. Tom already has one and will cooperate with Dan.


New business:


Board resignation – Dan Chibnall


Ruth and Dan think Jordan Wilmes would be the natural person to have replace Bryan Bacehowski. Tom moved to invite him to join the board, Ruth second. Motion approved. Dan will contact him.


Website – Ruth Henderson


Ruth asked if we needed to change the Science Iowa leaders to reflect the board members. Agreed that it was a good idea. Ruth will update with bios, etc. 


Ruth also will update the bylaws and add April minutes. 


We need a new scientist spotlight. Tom wants to do another one and will move it up his to do list to write one. He will take it from the list a U of I postdoc compiled some time ago.


Next meeting date


Dan will disseminate a when2meet invitation for around the end of the month, maybe a weeknight.


Adjourned at 2:10 p.m.