Minutes of the Council Meeting, January 11, 1998
The Council met in Room 203 of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle, Washington, on Sunday, January 11, 1998. President Joseph C. Miller called the meeting to order at 8:50 a.m. Present were: Mr. Miller; Robert Darnton, president-elect; Joyce Appleby, immediate past president; vice presidents Carla Rahn Phillips (Professional Division), Stanley N. Katz (Research Division), and Leon Fink (Teaching Division); Council members Douglas Greenberg, Nadine Hata, Emily Hill, Cheryl Martin, Colin Palmer, and Marilyn Young; Sandria B. Freitag, executive director; Michael Grossberg, editor, AHR; Sharon K. Tune, assistant director, administration; Noralee Frankel, assistant director on women, minorities, and teaching; Randy Norell, controller; and Robert Townsend, manager, information systems and communications.
Mr. Miller welcomed Mr. Darnton, Mr. Fink, Ms. Hata, and Ms. Young, noting that continuing members of Council and the AHA staff looked forward to working with them. Council then resumed discussion of policy issues and reports from division and committees begun during the Thursday, January 8 session.
J. Ongoing Policy Issues continued: 2. Evaluating scholarship: At its January and spring 1997 meetings, Council asked each of the divisions and committees to discuss (1) downsizing of departments, (2) the decline in publishing of monographs, and (3) the need to create appropriate methods of evaluating scholarship, and to appoint a representative to serve on a workgroup should Council determine that a subcommittee was needed to continue the dialogue. Council members were provided with excerpts from the fall minutes of the Professional, Research, and Teaching Divisions and the Committees on Minority and Women Historians. Representatives suggested to serve on a workgroup were: Professional Division: Leila Fawaz, Tufts University; Research Division: Cheryl Martin, University of Texas at El Paso; Teaching Division: Teofilo Ruiz, Princeton University; Committee on Minority Historians: Clara Sue Kidwell, University of Oklahoma; and Committee on Women Historians: Carla Hesse, University of California at Berkeley.
3. Part-time/Adjunct project: Members were provided with a copy of the report from the September 26-28, 1997 “Conference on the Growing Use of Part-time/Adjunct Faculty” sponsored by the Professional Division. Ms. Freitag reported that Council had approved a $3,000 contribution to the general fund which underwrote conference costs. She noted that ten other organizations also contributed funds, and that approximately $4,000 remained to print the report and cover AHA staff costs. Ms. Freitag stated that sponsoring organizations had agreed to recommend that each organization contribute $1,000 toward follow-up dissemination of the report. Funds would provide administrative support (part-time work-study student), postage, and other costs related to disseminating the report to local governance officials and others on targeted lists. Ms. Freitag noted that the report would also be sent to all American Council of Learned Society (ACLS) organizations prior to the ACLS annual meeting in April 1998 so each would have time to consult with its governing board. A press conference will then be scheduled at ACLS to announce sponsors and avJuly 6, 2007 2:17 PM efforts enabled the AHA to continue as the “point” organization without incurring additional costs. She also called to members’ attention an e-mail from Milton Blood, a specialized accreditor who is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors. He has offered to assist in distributing the report to ASPA members.
Mr. Miller stated that he interpreted Ms. Freitag’s request as a designation, rather than an allocation, of funds. Ms. Freitag concurred, and noted that she did not foresee requests for additional contributions. She also asked Council to reaffirm its support of the project. Upon motion by Mr. Katz and second by Ms. Appleby, Council unanimously agreed to designate $1,000 for follow-up dissemination of the conference report as a matching amount contributed by other sponsoring organizations. Ms. Freitag asked members if they had additional suggestions for dissemination of the report. Council agreed that it should be included in a future AHA Institutional Services Program (ISP) mailing, and that Ms. Freitag should use her judgment on further distribution. Ms. Phillips noted that the Professional Division would use the report as the basis for a “good practices” statement.
4. Update: revisions proposed for Nominating Committee re: election materials: At its February 1997 meeting, the AHA Nominating Committee proposed revising the biographic materials which accompany the annual ballot to elect AHA officers. After an initial discussion at the spring 1997 Council meeting, staff was asked to refer the Nominating Committee’s recommendation as modified by Council to the divisions and committees. Council members were provided with excerpts from the fall minutes of the Professional, Research, and Teaching Divisions and the Committees on Minority and Women Historians.
In reporting the Professional Division’s discussion, Ms. Phillips noted that the division’s primary concern was that lesser known specialties and fields would not be penalized. She suggested that information not become so truncated that only the well known were well represented. In addition, she remarked that she wasn’t sure that the changes would increase voter-turnout. Mr. Katz concurred and stated that career information was useful, but that the statement in its current limited format was not, and suggested asking candidates to comment on their careers as it related to the job for which they were nominated. Ms. Appleby disagreed that the statements were useless, remarking that without controversies to address, people tend to make innocuous statements. Mr. Darnton agreed with Ms. Appleby, and suggested providing candidates with an open-ended questionnaire that they could elect to address. He noted this followed a Professional Division recommendation that an equivalent to a “League of Women Voters’” set of questions be provided. Ms. Freitag stated that another recommendation was that AHA materials make clear that the questionnaire sent by an affiliate, the Coordinating Council for Women in History, was from the affiliate and not the AHA. Ms. Martin questioned why candidates were allowed such brief statements. Ms. Tune described the differing word counts allowed for the various offices, and noted the primary reason for the limitations was to control the booklet’s length, thereby controlling printing and postage costs. Mr. Fink suggested changing the format rather than increasing the number of words allowed in the statements. Candidates would be given more leeway within standardized parameters, and statement would be retained with additional guidelines.
After further discussion, and upon motion by Ms. Hata and second by Mr. Katz, Council agreed that the Nominating Committee should develop the format and draft guidelines for the revised biographies. Staff was asked to circulate the committee’s recommendations for Council revision and approval so the revised guidelines could be mailed to candidates on the 1998 ballot.
L. Standing Reports: 2. Report of the AHR Editor: Mr. Grossberg added remarks to his written report, which included a summary on production costs and a technology update, noting AHR printing costs from 1993 through 1997; a report on the distribution of unsolicited manuscript submissions for the final six months of 1997; and a copy of the final report of the “History Journals and the Electronic Future” conference. He briefed members on the unexpected loss of the February lead review, pointing out it was a good example of the working relationship between the Review and its printer, Cadmus. He reported that the staff had been able to make last-minute changes without incurring additional costs. Mr. Grossberg also briefed members on the staff’s efforts to reach out to historians who believe the AHR is primarily a journal for historians of Western Europe and North America. He noted that submissions in Asian history have increased significantly; however, submissions in other areas such as Latin America and the Middle East continue to lag. Mr. Grossberg reported that the Review staff was also working on a number of forums in these fields.
Mr. Grossberg reported that the AHR is operating within its budget and had saved $35,000 in 1997, primarily by taking advantage of declining paper costs and by maintaining stability in total number of pages. He reported that the staff had decided to devote only one issue to the millennium, and had published an open call for submissions rather than commission articles. In noting that Council had approved the revised copyright forms under the consent calendar, Mr. Grossberg asked, and members agreed, that he could work with the AHA attorney to simplify the forms for use by the AHR. Mr. Grossberg also reported that he had begun preliminary work to identify replacements on the Board of Editors for Jane Caplan and Richard Wortman, whose terms expire in May 1998. In addition, individuals will be suggested for two new slots that will round Board membership to twelve people, each serving staggered, three-year terms. Mr. Palmer queried whether Mr. Grossberg might reconsider current guidelines on selection of board members. Mr. Grossberg responded that he hoped to address a number of concerns by the types of historians named to the two new board positions, and that his initial inclination was to suggest a world historian and a historian who specializes in historical methodology. Ms. Appleby inquired about the average time from submission to acceptance for an article. Mr. Grossberg replied that the usual timeframe was six months, but that it would vary a good deal depending on the revision process. Ms. Appleby noted this length of time could factor in the number and fields of submissions. Mr. Grossberg concurred, noting that he had rewritten submission guidelines specifically to address this and other issues, and that the Review did not “backlog” articles.
Mr. Grossberg stated that following the successful conference of journal editors in Bloomington, he believed it was time to begin discussing the AHR and electronic publication. While the issue had not even been discussed during his interview for the editorship, Mr. Grossberg noted it had come to dominate his tenure as editor. Remarking that he knew little about electronic publication when he began planning the conference, Mr. Grossberg stated he was now convinced that there were a number of interlocking issues that must be addressed. In addition, he stated he believed that it was his responsibility to maintain: (1) the AHR’s basic mission, (2) traditional high craft standards, (3) the journal’s position as the principle scholarly publication of the Association, and (4) the Review’s autonomy within the organization. He stated he had learned there would be time for deliberation and reasoned entry into electronic publication. Mr. Katz stated that the appointment of ad hoc committee to work with Mr. Grossberg and the Review staff would be crucial, and that he would make a proposal on behalf of the Research Division during his report. Ms. Appleby thanked Mr. Grossberg, commenting on his leadership role not only in the AHA but also in the profession. Citing inadequate time for discussion at the moment, Mr. Greenberg encouraged Council to have an expanded discussion about the Review and electronic publication. Members agreed, and asked that sufficient time be allotted on the spring meeting agenda, and that Mr. Grossberg and Ms. Freitag compile appropriate agenda materials.
3. Report of the Professional Division: Ms. Phillips reported on the division’s November 8 meeting and a joint dinner meeting with the Teaching Division. She brought the following items for discussion and information: (a) “Electioneering”: During the fall election period AHA staff received information that three affiliates had “endorsed” specific candidates for AHA offices who were members of the affiliated societies. Although the AHA does not have written rules regarding “campaigning” for elective office, in a scholarly association such activity is generally considered inappropriate. The staff provided copies of the material and asked the division if it wished to think about developing a general statement with regard to the nature of AHA elections and forward to Council for its consideration. Ms. Phillips summarized Professional Division discussion, noting division members had agreed that if a statement was developed it should indicate that the AHA was neutral on “electioneering,” and that when it did occur, it should conform to AHA professional standards. A member of the division had been asked to draft a statement for discussion via e-mail prior to the Council meeting. Ms. Phillips noted that the member had not followed up and, accordingly, asked Council for its advice on this issue. She reported that she had asked the Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH) for a copy of the questionnaire it mailed to AHA candidates. She stated that the literature clearly stated that the CCWH was an affiliated society, and that she had followed up with the group after it expressed apprehension about the inquiry.
After Mr. Miller expressed some concern about the effect of electioneering, Ms. Phillips noted that the AHA itself has an “agenda” as evidenced by the Nominating Committee’s pairing of specific candidates to ensure that certain fields are represented, and that she believed it would be hypocritical for the Association to forbid affiliates from recommending candidates to their own memberships. Stating that he did not think the AHA should encourage electioneering, Mr. Darnton commented that the CCWH mailing had made him feel “called on the carpet” and that not responding would make a difference in the outcome of the election. He noted that one way to mitigate this effect was to explain in AHA materials to candidates that the CCHW is an affiliated society, and that it does not speak for the AHA.
Mr. Miller asked if it would be useful to distinguish between public statements and written guidance to nominees in order to alleviate some of the confusion. Ms. Phillips stated that she would be happy to draft a one- or two-paragraph statement. After Ms. Young suggested that the statement should be sent to candidates only, Ms. Freitag pointed out that these affiliates and others would have no way of knowing the AHA’s position. She suggested inserting the brief statement in the candidate biographical materials as well as providing to candidates. Ms. Appleby agreed with Ms. Phillips that she also did not find anything objectionable about the affiliates’ activities, and suggested that the AHA make no statement, while Ms. Hata remarked that focusing on affiliates might be alienating. Following additional discussion, and upon motion by Mr. Greenberg and second by Mr. Katz, Council agreed that the Professional Division should handle specific queries on a case-by-case, ad hoc basis; that Ms. Phillips should draft a brief response to the three affiliates; and that Ms. Tune should inform candidates that the CCWH is an affiliated society and that its mailings do not go to the AHA membership.
(b) EIB policy guidelines: Ms. Phillips reported that the division would revise the employment information guidelines for clarity and consistency, and that the revision would not make any changes to the policy. Division members will revise and bring to Council at its spring meeting.
4. Report of the Research Division: Mr. Katz reported on the October 25-26 division meeting and brought the following items for action: (a) Recommendation re: subvention for publications in revised prize guidelines: The division recommended that the AHA’s Policy on Prizes be revised as follows:
(1) Add a new item 5, which would read: “People proposing new awards should be encouraged to fund subventions. Presses would recommend manuscripts that they consider of high quality but would be unlikely to publish without subvention.
(2) Current item 5 would become item 6, and all subsequent numbers would be changed according.
Mr. Miller queried if this would create two types of awards, book prizes and publication awards. Mr. Katz responded that it would, and that the fund would need to accumulate over several years and it would be some time before funds could be utilized. He noted that the addition would give Ms. Freitag and the division vice president a “charge” to negotiate with donors of prize funds. Members voted unanimously to accept the division’s proposal. (See the revised Policy on Prizes.) (b) Formation of ad hoc subcommittee on future of AHR: The division recommended the formation of an ad hoc committee to make policy recommendations on the future of the AHR. The subcommittee would be appointed by the president, report to the Research Division, and include Mr. Grossberg; Gail Ross, the AHA’s lawyer for copyright matters; a division representative; and one or more individuals with expertise in publishing business plans. Members voted unanimously to accept the division’s recommendation.
In discussing the division’s oversight of the Annual Meeting, Mr. Darnton asked staff to explore ways to shorten the award presentation section of the General Meeting.
5. Report of TFROGS: Members noted Ms. Hill’s written report and task force composition for 1998: Ms. Hill, chair; Teresa Mah, University of Chicago (CMH graduate student member); Jennifer Brier, Rutgers University (CWH graduate student member); Gail Savage, St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Professional Division member); Fred Schnabel, Harvard University (at-large member); and Michael Ross, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (at-large member).
6. Report of the Committee on Minority Historians: Members were provided with a written report on the CMH’s 1997 meetings, and noted that Temple University Press has agreed to publish the diversity series as a two-volume set, with the first volume devoted to teaching of women and people of color, and the second to the history of women of color.
7. Report of the Committee on Women Historians: Members were provided with a written report on the CWH’s October 29 teleconference, and on the Women and Gender in a Global Context pamphlet series. A “working paper” on spousal hiring will be published in a spring issue of Perspectives to generate further discussion of these issues within the profession.
8. Report of the 1997 Nominating Committee: Members were provided with a copy of the published report of the Nominating Committee listing the successful candidates for elective office and the written report of chair Arthur Zilversmit, Lake Forest College.
9. Report of the Pacific Coast Branch: Members were provided with a copy of the written report of the 1997 activities of the Pacific Coast Branch of the AHA. W. David Baird, PCB secretary-treasurer, provided copies of the minutes of the PCB council and the financial statement of the organization. The PCB receives an annual subvention of $2,000 from the AHA, and mails a copy of its annual program to every member of the AHA that resides in the eleven western states, Mexico, and Canada. Mr. Baird reported that the 1997 president, John Nevin of Claremont College, had died in mid-August, and that vice president Albert Hurtado, Arizona State University, assumed the presidency. The next annual meeting of the Branch is scheduled in San Diego, August 6-9, 1998.
N. Discussion of Recent Changes in Council/AHA practices: 1. Report from the subcommittee on planning processes: Members were provided with the subcommittee’s written report prepared by Mr. Palmer. Noting the lack of time to discuss the report, Council asked staff to schedule consideration of the report on the first day of the spring meeting and to allow sufficient time for discussion. Members also asked Mr. Palmer to provide a list of specific proposals that the subcommittee would like Council to consider.
2. Evaluation of Expanded Executive Committee and its activities: Mr. Miller noted that the AHA constitution provided for a five-person Executive Committee, and that Council had expanded to six members on an ad hoc basis during former president Caroline Bynum’s term. The three presidents and three vice presidents serve on the committee, with the most recently elected vice president serving ex officio. Upon Mr. Miller’s recommendation, Council agreed to continue with the expanded composition for 1998.
O. Annual Meeting site review: Mr. Miller introduced Ms. Tune, noting her role as Convention Director and offering appreciation for her work and efforts. Ms. Tune provided a written report and furnished materials to newly elected Council members which had been provided to continuing members previously, including the AHA’s Annual Meeting Policy and Guidelines for Implementation, Annual Meeting Site Selection Procedures, sample letters to convention bureaus and hotels, Contract Addendum, Annual Meeting Specifications, and a list of previous locations of AHA Annual Meetings.
1. Status report for 2001, 2004: Ms. Tune reported on completed negotiations for the 2001 and 2004 annual meetings: (a) Jan. 4-7, 2001 meeting: At its spring meeting, Council approved the continuation of negotiations with four cities for the 2001/East Coast meeting, and indicated a rank-ordered preference of Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City. Since costs, especially for food/beverage at AHA and affiliate events, were of particular concern at the 1997 New York meeting, Ms. Tune conducted a cost comparison. She discovered that, as expected, New York was the most expensive overall, with Boston, Toronto, and Philadelphia much less costly. In addition, room rates proposed by New York hotels were substantially higher than other cities. Ms. Tune noted that two of the four hotels essential to a Philadelphia “package” were still under construction. Although slated for completion by 2000, she expressed concern that if construction were delayed at either property, the AHA would need to add an expensive shuttle service to accommodate hotels at greater distance from the Convention Center. Although these anticipated costs could be built into a rebate program, it would add to the bottom line for hotel rates.
In making a selection between the Toronto and Boston packages, Ms. Tune reported that her primary concern with Toronto arrangements was that the largest available hotel space could not accommodate the AHA’s current space requirement for 140 exhibits. Some booths would need to be placed in an open area which would add to security costs. Other costs would also be higher, including food/beverage (in spite of a favorable exchange rate), and items not covered by contract, such as telephone line-connection charges and AHA receptions. In addition, Ms. Tune noted that the hotels were some distance from one another, and that the Boston package presented a more compact configuration.
Ms. Tune reported the following favorable concessions in the successful Boston package: guaranteed rates of $99 single and $110 double; twenty-six rooms at 50 percent off convention rates for staff, honorees, and others on the AHA’s housing list; upgrades to club or concierge level for Council and other VIPs; complimentary suites; hotel-sponsored receptions for the president and executive director (representing a savings to the AHA of $7,000-$10,000); parlors at the convention single rate for Job Register usage; hotel assumption of costs for Job Register equipment (as a comparison, the AHA paid $13,000 for tables/chairs in New York); gratis telephone installation/set rental and rekeying of offices; and gratis meeting space and exhibit hall rental.
(b) Jan. 8-11, 2004 meeting: As discussed and approved at the spring Council meeting, Ms. Tune reported that she had concluded negotiations with the Sheraton Washington and Omni Shoreham hotels in Washington, D.C. for the 2004 annual meeting. She briefly reported the concessions negotiated for this meeting: guaranteed rates of $99 single and $119 double; staff rooms at 50 percent off convention rates for staff, honorees, and others on the AHA’s housing list; upgrades for Council and other VIPs; additional suites; hotel-sponsored receptions for the president and the executive director; and complimentary parking spaces and microphones. The Sheraton property also offered to host Council’s spring 2003 meeting and to honor meeting rates.
2. Next steps for 2002, 2003: Ms. Tune asked members for input on the 2002 and 2003 meeting sites and negotiations: (a) Jan. 3-6, 2002/West Coast: According to the rotational pattern established by Council, staff was to explore West Coast cities for the 2002 meeting. At its spring 1997 meeting, Council agreed that staff could explore San Francisco as a meeting site, and had asked staff to postpone if possible a final decision on the 2002 site until the January Council meetings. Ms. Tune reported that Seattle had expressed interest in hosting the meeting for more than a year, but that staff delayed a decision until Council and staff could evaluate the success of the 1998 meeting. Ms. Tune asked for Council feedback about Seattle as a meeting site; about California sites, especially San Francisco and Anaheim; and about other cities that staff should explore. She reported that the Seattle hotels and the convention center had indicated their high level of interest by quoting confirmed single rates under $100 (with rates including a rebate to cover rental costs of the Convention Center). Ms. Tune noted that San Francisco hotels had also indicated interest, and that she had just been advised that the city was available after another group which had a “first option” on the dates decided to book elsewhere. Ms. Tune also noted that Anaheim hotels had expressed interest.
In discussing Seattle, Ms. Freitag reported that the preliminary registration figure was approximately 3,600, and that exhibit hall sales had come in on budget. Ms. Appleby asked if Ms. Tune had explored Los Angeles as a meeting site. Ms. Tune stated that she had not based upon the 1981 meeting when the AHA recorded a record low attendance of 1,800, and what she perceived as a lack of an attractive hotel package. Ms. Appleby remarked that this was an odd perception considering LA’s major city status, and asked if the AHA might inquire about other associations’ meeting experiences. Ms. Young agreed with Ms. Tune, stating that she had found LA to be a terrible meeting site, that it wasn’t a “walking” city, and that meal costs were extremely high. Mr. Katz concurred with Ms. Young, and stated that although he loved the city, it wasn’t a good place for conventions because it lacked adequate convention hotels.
In discussing Seattle, Ms. Tune reported that the 1998 Local Arrangements Committee co-chairs had asked the AHA not to return to Seattle too soon, at least not before eight to ten years. Ms. Freitag also reminded members of a previous Council directive that the AHA should limit the number of “second tier” cities to one in four, in consideration of the annual meeting location’s effect on revenues. Following additional discussion, and upon motion by Mr. Katz and second by Ms. Phillips, Council unanimously agreed that Ms. Tune should proceed with San Francisco as its preferred site for the 2002 meeting, and Seattle as its second. Since another association has expressed interest in San Francisco for the same dates, members also agreed that Ms. Tune could circulate the information required by the AHA’s site selection procedures by mail during the spring so that contracts could finalized prior to the spring Council meeting.
(b) Jan. 2-5, 2003/Midwest: Since Council’s first choice preference of New Orleans did not have the dates available, Ms. Tune asked members to suggest a list of cities to consider for the 2003 meeting. Members suggested Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and San Antonio. Ms. Tune will explore availability, collect information as required by site selection procedures, and report to the spring Council meeting.
3. Rotational pattern for out-years: Ms. Tune reported she has received several inquiries from convention bureaus regarding “outyear” rotation and asked Council to discuss briefly the rotational pattern after 2004. However, given time limitations, discussion was postponed until the June meeting.
4. Appreciation to 1998 Program and Local Arrangements Committees: Upon recommendation of Mr. Miller, and motion by Ms. Martin and second by Mr. Darnton, Council unanimously approved an expression of appreciation to the 1998 LAC. Mr. Miller will write to the committee and the seventy hourly workers who worked with the LAC. Ms. Freitag and Ms. Tune will also write to the Program and Local Arrangements Committees.
P. Annual Meeting Program Issues: 1. Issues re: coverage: Members were provided with copies of letters from Alonzo Hamby, Ohio University, and Sally Marks, Providence, Rhode Island, addressing issues of balance and coverage in the annual meeting program. Ms. Marks expressed similar concerns about the Association’s George Louis Beer Prize, an annual book award for the best book on European international history since 1895. Mr. Hamby remarked that the program “is almost monolithic in its apparent assumption that the only history worth doing consists of certain kinds of cultural studies that usually connect in some fashion to one of the currently fashionable themes of race, class, or gender.” He stated that for several years he has wondered if the Council and Program Committee could “possibly be ignorant of the anger and bitterness about this exclusionary policy” that he often heard from colleagues and acquaintances. He encouraged the AHA to study the American Political Science Association example of providing organized “sections” with a certain number of program panels in ratio to their membership. Ms. Marks stated that one of the reasons for the “emotion” over the Beer Prize is that it is a “symptom of a larger problem, namely that the American Historical Association, which is supposed to represent all forms and fields of history, is turning into the American Social and Cultural Association.” She also cited the AHA program, noting “unbalanced” Program Committees had produced “unbalanced” programs. Members also reviewed a letter from David Kaiser, Naval War College, who expressed concern along with twelve other signatories about the AHA’s “handling” of the Beer Prize, and an e-mail exchange between Sara Evans, 1998 AHA Program Committee chair, and Ms. Marks.
Council members agreed that the genuine and compelling concerns reflected in the correspondence should be addressed. Upon motion by Mr. Greenberg and second by Mr. Katz, Council asked that the Professional Division address the issues raised in the correspondence, and that Mr. Grossberg consider an AHR forum. In addition, Ms. Young agreed to take the lead in developing an Annual Meeting session on the diplomatic history field in transition.
2. Consultation with 1999 program chair: John Voll, Georgetown University and chair of the 1999 Program Committee, joined the meeting to brief members on planning for the 1999 Washington, D.C. program. He noted that the committee’s major effort was development of the basic program of more than 130 panels reflecting the interests and expertise of the membership of the AHA. He highlighted three areas for discussion with Council. (a) Mr. Voll reported that he had placed great emphasis on distributing the “Call for Papers” widely, noting that H-NET had been helpful. Even so, he noted that the number of submissions for the committee’s first meeting had been lower than the number received the previous year.
(b) Mr. Voll stated he had also focused on outreach to affiliates. In addition to participating in the biennial affiliates-AHA meeting on the preceding Friday chaired by Mr. Miller, Mr. Voll wrote to each affiliate in September, including special notes on about half. Although only four responded to the chair directly, he reported a number of useful conversations which should have an impact on the program. Specifically, the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH) would work closely with the committee, and Mr. Voll hoped to avoid many of the problems that existed in the past. The Medieval Academy of America (MAA) had also contacted Mr. Voll, and he anticipated enhanced coverage of medieval subjects on the 1999 program. Mr. Voll remarked that the AHA needed to reconsider its relationship with affiliates. Although the AHA may not want to “dedicate” slots for affiliates, it might consider establishing a more formal process similar to the one Mr. Voll instituted with CLAH and MAA. Mr. Voll noted that during the previous year he had talked with a number of AHA members and affiliates, and that one of the most difficult and elusive tasks he faced was to understand what the AHA membership really wanted in the annual meeting program. He questioned how the Association could consult with the membership, and whether the program should highlight, as some had suggested, “stars” in each field.
(c) Mr. Voll also noted a number of special aspects of the 1999 program. The plenary session will focus on the general theme of diasporas and migrations. He noted that the committee hoped the plenary will be the keynote for a kind of “conference within a conference” and will provide new insights into the issues involved in the study of diasporas and migrations in history. Mr. Voll also noted that precollegiate teachers have long been recognized as an important part of the profession, but that their interests had not always been adequately addressed in the annual meetings. He noted that committee member David Kobrin was coordinating and planning several events for K-12 teachers. Mr. Voll also noted that the Washington, D.C. area provided special opportunities, and that the committee had contacted the Library of Congress and other institutions to see if it might work with them to plan a series of special meetings and receptions for members.
In discussing the committee’s plans, Ms. Appleby asked Mr. Voll how many sessions would be devoted to the theme. Mr. Voll reported that approximately one-third of the sessions would be about diasporas and migrations, and noted this added another constriction on the total number of sessions. Mr. Katz suggested that Mr. Voll contact Carolyn Brown who works in the Library of Congress’s area studies reading room, and stated that he thought the meeting would be the occasion for meetings with key people at the National Archives, the NEH, and other places of special interest to the AHA. Mr. Fink concurred, stating the AHA would miss a valuable opportunity if did not capitalize on the site of the meeting. Mr. Grossberg reported that the Review staff is considering the plenary as an AHR forum. Mr. Palmer questioned, in light of past criticisms of the program, what percentage of submitted panels were rejected. Mr. Voll replied that for the 1998 meeting, the committee received 350 finished proposals and had accepted 164 sessions. Ms. Phillips queried criteria for acceptance, and Mr. Voll responded that the primary objective was to achieve a balance across as many fields as possible. He stated the committee asked, “Is this a very clearly presented proposal that has some purpose?” Ms. Phillips commented that she applauded Mr. Voll’s outreach to affiliates, noting that simply opening lines of communication, without changing the committee’s criteria, was an important first step. Mr. Katz remarked that the AHA should poll AHA members on what they think about the Annual Meeting, and stated that the Research Division would discuss a possible survey at its spring meeting. Mr. Miller also noted two additional developments. He planned to ask the AHA staff for suggestions about revising the printed program format, and integrating affiliates’ sessions into the program. If concrete suggestions develop, Mr. Miller will bring recommendations to Council for consideration.
3. Consultation with 2000 program chair: Claire Moses, University of Maryland at College Park and 2000 Program Committee chair, joined the meeting for preliminary discussions with Council about plans for the Chicago program. She stated that she and co-chair James Henretta serve as working members of the 1999 committee to gain experience for their term as chair and co-chair. She noted they were aware that the year 2000 called for “taking stock,” and they had discussed “Doing History in the 21st Century” as possible theme. As called for by the Program Committee guidelines, Ms. Moses will present suggestions to the Research Division at its spring 1998 meeting for appointments of nine members to the 2000 committee. The 2001 chair and cochair will serve as working members of the committee as well.
4. Suggestions for 1999 Local Arrangements Committee: Upon request by Ms. Freitag for suggestions for the 1999 LAC chair, members suggested that she first speak with Jack Censer, George Mason University. Additional suggestions (not ranked) were: Patricia Aufderheide, American University’s School of Communications; Jane Turner Censer, George Mason University; Spencer Crew, Smithsonian Institution.; Daniel Ernst, Georgetown University Law School; Gay Gullickson, University. of Maryland at College Park; Alan Kraut, American University; Maeva Marcus, Supreme Court; Dwight Pithcaithley, National Park Service; and Roy Rosenzweig, George Mason University. Members also suggested she speak with Allison Blakely and Joe Harris, Howard University, for additional suggestions.
Q. Consideration of resolutions from Business Meeting: No resolutions were presented at the annual Business Meeting on Saturday, January 10.
R. Council members’ committee assignments for 1998: Mr. Miller reported that Mr. Fink would serve (ex officio) on the Executive Committee, Ms. Hata on the Teaching Division, and Ms. Young on the Professional Division. Upon recommendation by Mr. Miller, and motion by Mr. Katz and second by Ms. Martin, members unanimously agreed that the Finance Committee would continue as constituted with newly elected president-elect Mr. Darnton rotating on and immediate past president Caroline Bynum rotating off the committee.
The following represents committee appointments for 1998.
Executive Committee Finance Committee
Joseph C. Miller Joseph C. Miller
Joyce Appleby Joyce Appleby
Robert Darnton Robert Darnton
Carla Rahn Phillips Carla Rahn Phillips
Stanley Katz Douglas Greenberg
Leon Fink, ex officio Sandria Freitag, ex officio
Sandria Freitag, ex officio Michael Grossberg, ex officio
Randy Norell, ex officio
Professional Division Research Division
Marilyn Young Cheryl Martin
Committee on Affiliated Societies
Robert Darnton, chair (president-elect serves as chair)
Committee on Committees
Robert Darnton, chair (president-elect serves as chair)
Emily Hill, chair
S. New Business: Members considered the following items: (1) textbook prize: Members voted to remove this item from the table [See item L.1.(a)]. Upon motion by Mr. Fink and second by Ms. Phillips, Council unanimously rescinded its original vote approving the textbook prize as submitted by Mr. Stearns at the Thursday Council session. Following discussion and upon motion by Mr. Fink and second by Ms. Phillips, Council unanimously referred to the Teaching Division a request to formulate a proposal for a textbook prize in U.S./world history for the K-12 level. Ms. Young stated that she hoped the division would consider a prize for the college level at a later date.
2. Budget matters: Ms. Freitag and Mr. Norell provided materials prepared for the Finance Committee in the form of a copy of the 1996-97 budget indicating the difference in dollars and percentage points between actual and the budget. Members agreed they could discuss budgetary questions on a Council listserv during the months prior to the spring meeting.
3. 1998 development work: Members agreed to postpone implementation of the “Friends of the AHA” proposal approved at the Thursday session. Since Development Advisory Committee members had expressed concern about continuity of AHA leadership’s efforts, Mr. Miller reported that Ms. Appleby had agreed to remain on the DAC and work with Mr. Miller during his presidential year. Ms. Freitag called Council’s attention to Ms. Appleby’s contributions and extraordinary development work during her presidential year.
T. Date of spring meeting: Members selected May 31-June 1, 1998 as the dates of Council’s spring meeting in Washington D.C.
U. Adjournment and Executive Session: Upon motion by Mr. Darnton and second by Ms. Young, members adjourned at 11:40 a.m. to meet in executive session.
Recorded by Sharon K. Tune