Minutes of Annual General Meetings

Atlantic Region Philosophers Association

Minutes of Annual General Meetings
in reverse chronological order
2009  2007 2005  1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994


13 OCTOBER 2012

link here

17 OCTOBER 2009

Minutes of the 2009 ARPA AGM
Compiled by Andrew Reynolds, Cape Breton University

 1. Meeting called to order by A. Reynolds

 2. The minutes from the 2008 St FX meeting were not available, though John Cook of St FX provided a verbal description of what they contained.
3. A. Reynolds of CBU gave a brief and preliminary financial report. CBU received a cheque from St Mary's for $4129.78. St FX had not used any of this money for the previous year so the cheque was forwarded from St Mary's, who hosted the 2007 meeting. The Dean of the School of Arts and Community Studies at CBU (Rod Nicholls of the dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies) had kicked in $1000 plus was picking up the tab for the drinks from the banquet (another $201). The VP Academic and Research (Bob Bailey) had also pledged $250 for the party/reception at Richard Keshen's home. Without all final details being yet available it was indicated that the organizers may have to dip into the $4129.78 passed on by St Mary's, [perhaps by an amount of $700 or $800]. There was discussion about whether the meeting should be self-supporting each year, and for what purpose the existing surplus [of $4129.78] should be used. A complete financial report will be made available when all incoming revenues and expenses have been finalized. [Ultimately $744.61 of the $4129.78 was spent of which $100 went toward student travel reimbursement- please see2010 budget spreadsheet.]
4. There was a discussion about where the 2010 meeting would occur. According to the ten year cycle that seems to have materialized the University of King's College would be up next in the rotation for 2010; however it was noted that Acadia had not hosted the event for at least 13 years. In the absence of representatives from either institution Steven Burns volunteered to contact Acadia about their willingness to take on next year's meeting, and Kings should that prove unsuccessful.
5. A motion was made by Nathan Brett and seconded by Scott Stewart that a maximum of $1000 of the ARPA funds be made available to students attending the conference to help defray the costs of travel in the event that support from their home institution or department was insufficient, upon application and that the amount of reimbursement be calculated on the basis of driving expenses using Fredericton New Brunswick as a base. There were six students counted as being eligible for such application.  

6. Thanks were extended to the local organizing committee (Sylvia Burrow, Jim Gerrie, Richard Keshen, and Andrew Reynolds) for a successful conference.

7. Meeting was adjourned.

OCTOBER 26, 2007

Minutes of the 2007 ARPA AGM
Compiled by John Cook, St. Francis Xavier University  

1. Meeting called to order by Will Sweet (STU).  

2. Minutes of the 2006 meeting at UNB, Fredericton, were not available.  

3. Mark Mercer, Saint Mary’s University, gave a brief financial report.  The exact details were not available, but it was indicated that SMU received approximately $2500 from last year’s organizers, and with the registration fees and charge for the banquet, it appears that Saint Mary’s will be able to cover off its costs and pass on the same amount (or more) to next year’s organizers.  The official financial report will be made available when compiled.

4. ARPA members were informed that Neil MacGill (UNB) had recently passed away.  A minute of silence was observed in his remembrance.

5. There was some discussion as to where the ARPA meetings would be held in 2008, and it was agreed that they would be in Antigonish, NS, at St. Francis Xavier University.  

6. The issue of covering costs for student travel was discussed.  It was agreed that ARPA help out when they can, but that it was not too much of an issue this year as the conference was held in Halifax.  

7. There was discussion about transferring the money raised by the conference to an ARPA bank account, so that the organizers of the conference in a particular year would be able to spend the money as they see fit without having to go through the red tape of financial managers at their home institutions.

8. On behalf of the ARPA membership S. Burns (Dal) thanked M. Mercer and C. MacDonald and all the organizers at SMU for a well run conference.

9. The meeting was adjourned.

OCTOBER 29, 2005

Minutes of the 2005 ARPA AGM
Compiled by Arthur Sullivan, Memorial U
(**Important Addendum added below February 8, 2006)

[1] The question of membership dues was raised by N. MacGill (UNB). The original convention of charging less to those who pay several months in advance, and slightly penalizing those who pay upon arrival, has petered out. It was not enforced at all at this conference, as we the organizing committee had no idea that this was the convention. 
     There are some good reasons in support of the original convention (e.g., it creates some cash flow for the organizers), and so it was moved and assented to that the convention be made policy. 

[2] Some questions as to exactly what ARPA’s policy is with respect to funding graduate student travel were discussed. We the organizing committee had the following two questions:
     [a] In general, what is the policy?
     [b] Is there a longstanding convention of Memorial U’s organizers’ dipping into the balance that accrues over the years to provide significant subsidies for grad students traveling to Nfld?

 The answer to [b] was ‘Yes’; the answer to [a] was to invite grad students to let us know if their expenses outrun their funding, and then the organizers will look at our resources vs. their needs and do the best we can to distribute the resources fairly. 
     The consensus seems to be that this question is regularly discussed at ARPA AGMs, but no solid policy exists. Every institution interprets and administers the policy slightly differently.

[3] The question of whether ARPA should become incorporated was raised, in order to cut down on the red tape that has to be re-cut-through anew every year by the conveners. For example, it is a pain to transfer one cheque from institution to institution every year, and it is an even greater pain to claim legitimate ARPA expenses from this account, once it is set up. We have to satisfy the arcane and capricious whims of Memorial U’s Finance Admin people, for every penny we spend. (Hopefully, this will just turn out to be a pain, and not a debilitating problem; but it is too early to say yet, as we have not managed to get all of the relevant pennies out of them yet.) It would be desirable to have one bank account set up in Halifax, administered by the Lord Regent Steven Burns, and with signing authority assigned to conveners as appropriate.
     In any case, S. Burns (Dal) was appointed Regent, for an indeterminate period of time. All further questions about anything are to be directed to him. Long live the Regent!

[4] The question of where the upcoming ARPAs are to be held came up. The 2006 conference is scheduled for UNB, but unfortunately the only delegate from UNB is retired, so we are not at this point certain as to whom we will throw the torch.
     No one was certain as to where the 2007 meeting should be held, but a quick check of the ARPA homepage indicates that Acadia is up after UNB (or at least that was the order followed last time).

[5] Financial report:
 From previous conveners we received:             $3, 469.66
 From intra-university sources we raised:            $1400

 It is our intention to cover all expenses with this $1400 + membership and banquet dues; and to then dip into the ARPA balance to subsidize grad student travel costs. The figure of $900 was mentioned and not shouted down.  It is our intention, then, to pass on a balance of about $2500.

[6] Any Other Business
 Moved by N. McGill (UNB), seconded by S. Burns (Dal): that the convenors of the St. John’s conference, their departmental helpers, and MUN, be congratulated and thanked for a very successful weekend. [Unanimous and thunderous approval was expressed.]

[7] Adjournment.

 Addendum added February 8, 2006
•    Pursuant to item [3] above, ARPA Regent Steven Burns has set up an ARPA bank account in Halifax, with Kathryn Morris (King’s) as co-signator. By Mar 1/06 a cheque for about $2500 will be mailed from Memorial U. to the Regent, to be deposited into that account.
•    For the record, here is a statement of the rationale for setting up this account (cut-and-paste from an email to the Regent from 2005 co-organizer Arthur Sullivan):

     The exercise of transferring a cheque from institution to institution is a small pain but not debilitating. The large pain is claiming legitimate ARPA expenses from an account that is overseen by the host institution's bean-counters.
     In the past few months I've spent hours negotiating with MUN bureaucrats to get things exactly satisfactory to them in order to cover basic catering expenses, cheques for grad student travel, etc. It has been frustrating to have to research and conform-- and then be corrected and have to re-conform-- to MUN's policies, when this is not even MUN's money. (Who are THEY to tell ME what is and is not a legitimate ARPA expense?!?)
     It occurred to me more than once that, rather than every host having to go through this annoying and time-consuming process, simply sending credits and debits into one central, flexible, knowledgeable Regent would save much time and energy, over the long run. (E.g., here's $500 in membership dues, which should bring the account up to $3000; please issue cheque for the enclosed $200 worth of catering receipts, which should bring the account down to $2800; etc.) 

•    At the very least, should this prove to be a bad idea, over the long run, it should be quite easy to revert back to the previous system.


1. Meeting called to order by Scott Stewart 

2. Minutes of the 1998 meeting at St. F.X. were not available: it was agreed by consensus that when available, these minutes would be posted on the ARPA website and approved at next year’s meetings. 

3. Organizer’s report

(a) Papers submitted. (33 submissions -- 4 cancellations; 9 from outside the region; 4 undergraduate presentations) 
(b) Putting out a call for papers on philosop attracted more people from outside the region. The organizer suggested that this practice should continue. Using email and web sites also seems a positive change in the conference since it reduces greatly mailing costs. Andrew Latus at St.F.X. agreed to be the ‘webmaster’ for the ARPA webpage. There was some discussion of the number of people presenting and/or attending the conference who were from ‘outside of the region. The worry was that this would affect negatively the regional flavour of the conference. The organizer pointed out that no one from the region was disadvantaged by non-regional presenters: the conference continues to non-refereed and hence anyone who wishes to present their work may do so. It was agreed that nothing need to be done on this issue now but it would be monitored.

4. Financial statement

The financial report was approved. In general, the conference did well this year and in fact ran a small surplus (around $300.00). A balance of $2978.87 has been sent on to Stephen Boos, the organizer of next year’s conference, at King’s University. It should be noted that, given a lack of success in recent years in attracting external grant monies, no such applications were made this year.

5. The organizer noted that Mt. Allison had informed him that, due to drastic changes in their department over the past year, they would be unable to host the 2000 annual meeting. Stephen Boos at King’s University has agreed that they shall host the 2000 meetings. Mt. Allison (contact person: Paul Bogaard) will then host 2001, Dalhousie (Richmond Campbell) in 2002, and UPEI (Neb Kujundzic) in 2003. This schedule was moved and approved. 

6. Announcements 

7. New Business 

8. Meeting adjourned 

Respectfully submitted, Robert Scott Stewart 



Will Sweet, Conference organiser, opened the meeting at 12.30 p.m., over lunch, in the Faculty Lounge, 6th Floor, Nicholson Hall, St Francis Xavier University 

1. Approval of the Minutes of the 1997 Meeting:  Motion carried 

2. Business Arising:  There was no business arising. 

3. Organiser’s report:  There were 25 papers originally submitted; 4 speakers were unable to attend. 7 papers were from outside the region, and there were 4 papers by graduate students. 

4. Financial statement: 

Carry-over from 1996-97: $3,000.35 
Memberships: Over the year 15 memberships were sold, for a total of $300 
The conference received grants of $500 (St Francis Xavier Academic Vice President) and of $500 (St FX Dean of Arts) 
Inquiries into SSHRCC grants and Heritage Canada grants were made, with disappointing results. 
Registration: 44 registered (15 students) Approximately 10 have, to this point, registered for the Banquet; All those wishing to attend the Banquet should speak to Will Sweet by 5 p.m. today. Total registration fees received is approximately $700. 
Expenses: We should break even on conference costs, but the Organising Committee will also provide some reimbursement of expenses for the students attending, subject to the submission of receipts. 
Anticipated financial status: Will Sweet reminded the meeting of Republic 330 
Students who will have travel expenses which will not otherwise be reimbursed should submit receipts to Organisers; some effort will be made to cover part of these expenses. Idem for those from outside the region. 

5. Location of next year's meeting: The meeting next year will take place at the University College of Cape Breton; in 2000 it will be at Mt Allison. 

6. Announcements: 

The organiser noted that some people travelling to Halifax on Sunday could use a ride. Members were asked to let him know if they could provide such. 
The organiser noted the new web page address of the Association: http://www.dal.ca/~philwww/hmpage/arpa/about.htm 

7. New Business:  There was no new business 

8. Adjournment

Submitted by William Sweet 


The meeting was called to order by Jennifer McRobert at 6.00 p.m. 

1. The Agenda was approved 
2. Moved That the minutes for the 1996 meeting be approved as circulated. (Sheldon Wein/Rick DeVidi) Carried. 

3. Under ‘Business arising’, it was noted that there is now a $20 annual membership fee. 

4. Announcements: 

Tom Vinci noted that the Northern New England Philosophical Association meets annually in the fall around the time of the ARPA meeting. It was agreed that dates for the ARPA be set so as not to conflict with NNEPA meetings. It was suggested that information on ARPA meetings be sent to the NNEPA and that it be contacted to see if it would be interested in holding a joint meeting with the ARPA in 1999 or thereafter. (Possible sites for a joint meeting would be Fredericton or Bangor.) It was suggested that the ARPA membership fee for that year could be directed towards the costs of a joint meeting. 

5. Moved That, as there was no annual conference this year, the annual ARPA membership fee not be collected for the 1997-98 year (Bernard Davis/Sheldon Wein). Carried. 

6. Possible themes for the 1998 meeting (to be held at St Francis Xavier University) were discussed. A tentative date (October 16-17) was suggested. Other suggestions and requests for information should be directed to Will Sweet (Dept of Philosophy, St Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5) at wsweet@stfx.ca; office fax 902 867 2448; office telephone 902 867 2341. 

7. Jennifer McRobert reminded members of the Association’s Web Page: http://ace.acadiau.ca/arts/phil/arpa/home.htm 

8. Adjournment at 6.45 p.m.

Will Sweet, 
Secretary, pro-tem 


The meeting was called to order at 13:00 by the conference convener, Jennifer McRobert (Acadia).

1. The absence of minutes from the previous meeting at UNB/St. Thos. was explained by Neil MacGill (UNB) as an anomaly in the concept of time. 

2. Neil MacGill presented the financial statement from the 1995 Annual Meeting and conference. The meeting expenses were just under $6,000. Some $500 was dispensed to graduate students for their expenses. The accumulated surplus of $2048 was passed on to the Acadia convener. 

3. Jennifer McRobert gave a preliminary report on the financing of the 1996 meeting. SSHRC again rejected our application (by a narrow margin, but on the usual grounds of regionality and annuality). The Canadian Heritage Foundation, however, agreed to fund travel expenses of our guest speaker (Douglas Rabb, Lakehead). The meeting expenses would be about $4,000. 

4. MOVED: that a membership fee of $20 for faculty members be exacted, and that the conference fee bee adjusted accordingly (the members' fee being $20 less than the regular fee). 
(Moved: Bernard Davis. Seconded: Richmond Campbell) 

There was discussion of the advantages of such membership (e.g., the creation of an e-mailing list which could include interested parties not in Philosophy departments, not in the Maritimes, etc.; administrations may offer more support to an organization which displays its own self-support). It was to be understood that the student conference fee should remain considerably lower; consideration should be given to a special fee for spouses. 

5. Schedule for future meetings:  On the current, informal 10-year cycle, Dalhousie will be ready to host in 2000. Steven Burns noted that this cycle might be unfair to smaller departments, but that Mt. A, St. F.X. and U.C.C.B. hosted in '87. '88, and '89 respectively. Richard Keshen offered U.C.C.B as host for 1999, but perhaps for 1998 if no other departments were forthcoming. It was agreed to contact Mt.A and St. F.X., who were not present at the meeting. 

6. Thanks were extended to Jennifer McRobert and to the Philosophy Department at Acadia University. (Hearty applause from all present.) 

7. The meeting adjourned at 14:00.

Respectfully submitted, 
Steven Burns 
Recording Secretary, pro tem. 


(The following unofficial record of the 1995 meeting is based on a report prepared in October 1995 by Jennifer McRobert for the Department of Philosophy at Acadia University.) 

1. The Minutes of the 1994 annual general meeting were approved. 

2. There was no business arising from the minutes of the 1994 meeting . 

3. The SSHRCC refusal was discussed, and doubts about whether we should bother applying in the future -- considering the time commitment involved and the reluctance on the part of SSHRCC to fund regional conferences -- were raised by Nathan Brett and others. Thomas Hurka mentioned during the conference that the Western Canadian Philosophical Association no longer applies for SSHRCC funding. 

4. Neil MacGill reported that the total funding for the conference was $7,200, from the following sources: UNB (St. John) $ 1,000; UNB (Vice-President Academic) $ 1,000;UNB (Philosophy) $ 500; City of Fredericton $ 200; APA carry over from MUN $ 2, 600 50 faculty ($30 ea.) and 20 students ($5 ea.) $1,900. 

Neil MacGill gave some indication of the expenses involved for the 1995 APA: Travel/ accommodation/ meals for 3 keynote speakers; Facilities $ 100; Printing $ 100; Lunch on Saturday $ 500; Coffee Breaks $ 500; Postage $ 100; Fax "a lot"; Graduate student reimbursement $ 500 (The Banquet was self-sustaining ). 

The problem of funding future meetings of the APA was a focus of the meeting this year. A number of constructive suggestions for controlling the cost of future conferences were raised and assented to by the membership. The suggestions stemmed from a variety of sources, including James Bradley and Dave Thompson (MUN); Nathan Brett and Steve Burns (Dalhousie); Neil MacGill (UNB); Peter March (St. Mary's). It was agreed that the conference was of considerable value to philosophers working in the region, and that the tradition should be continued. But it was also felt that a number of features of the conference should be altered in order to cut costs and make it possible for universities to host the conference in the future. These were the proposals to which those present assented during the 1995 annual meeting of the APA: 

(a) At minimum, registration for the conference should yield at least $ 1,000. In the event that no other sources of funding become available, this sum should be used to pay for the single keynote speaker's travel expenses, meals, and accommodations. 
(b) Keynote speakers should no longer be offered an honorarium. According to MacGill and others, this has been an APA "tradition" since the 1994 APA. 
(c) Conference participants will expect to pay for their own coffee breaks and lunches. 
(d) The banquet should continue as a self-sustaining event. 
(e) In the future, APA members will not expect to have their expenses covered, although some effort will be put toward covering part of the expenses of graduate students. Given these altered expectations, it was remarked, any additional funding received for the conference would be considered to be "gravy".


1. The Minutes of the 1993 Meeting were unanimously approved. 
 Moved: F. Cronin. Seconded: R. Campbell. 

2. There followed a discussion of the SSHRC refusal to support the 1994 Meeting of the APA at Memorial. It was emphasized that: the SSHRC funded conferences on specific topics and issues, not annual meetings; that attendants must be urged to tick the Confirmation of Attendance box on the initial forms; that a size of attendance count should be kept. (72 Faculty, Graduates & Undergraduates registered for the Conference at Memorial). 

3. A motion that half of the 1993 surplus be devoted to pay for the student plane fares to Newfoundland was passed (10 to 8). 

4. It was resolved to hold the next Meeting either at Acadia University or as a joint venture of The University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University.