Professional Memberships

Q

It is difficult or impossible to get UCAR/NCAR to sponsor membership in
professional organizations or societies.

According to the "Guidelines for Sponsored Memberships," found here,
approval for individual memberships will be considered on a case-by-case
basis by the appropriate member of the President's Council. This is a
process most people will choose not to undergo. Thus, one has to pay for
these professional memberships out-of-pocket. When I attend a conference
sponsored by the professional society to which I have purchased a
membership, a discount is typically given on the registration fee. Since I
purchased the membership out-of-pocket, it would seem that I should be
reimbursed for the registration discount. This apparently is not the case.
UCAR/NCAR is the beneficiary of the discount. For example, last year I
attended both the AMS Radar Meteorology Conference and the AMS Annual
Meeting for a total registration discount of about $150. Membership to AMS
costs only $80.

I do not wish to make money on my professional membership, but I do think
that I should be reimbursed discounted registration fees up to the cost of
the membership when I attend these conferences.

Answered on February 01, 2006

A

Employees are expected to pay for membership in professional societies and
organizations. This is the policy and practice at most, if not all,
institutions such as UCAR. There are many benefits that accrue to employees
as a result of their memberships in professional societies.

The fact that an employee's membership may save his or her program a small
amount in registration fees in no way hurts the employee. The savings of
program funds, which can then be used to support the program, including
travel to professional meetings by the employee, should be viewed as a plus.

Finally, rebating all or part of the savings on registration fees would be
a costly administrative process and increase overhead costs to the
organization.

—Rick Anthes, UCAR president