Pete Reser: open letter to the SVP Executive Committee

Executive Committee
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
11 Deer Lake Road, Suite 100
Deerfield IL 60015

Committee Members,

I've followed the New Mexico Museum of Natural History publishing controversy and have decided to comment to you in this open letter.

The authority you employ as officers is validated by virtue of The Society's election. If I had to name only one fault with all that's transpired, it would be that the process used by SVP in this matter cannot be validated. It's not valid because we can't know how evidence was evaluated, considered, or challenged because the proceeding was closed. This was a fact finding procedure and should have been open for that reason. If it was a procedure to determine fitness for membership, it should have been open in that case because the fitness criteria are the concern of every member. The only situation requiring a closed procedure would have been personnel issues involving the very small staff employed by SVP. This could not be construed as a personnel hearing to employ a closed format.

Arduous as the exercise was for The Society, I believe it has only inflamed speculation rather than informing or quelling it.


Peter K. Reser
Member, and retired preparator