Minutes of the 124th Business Meeting
Recorded by Sharon K. Tune
President Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (Harvard Univ.) called the annual business meeting to order at 4:40 p.m. on January 9, 2010, in Elizabeth Ballroom H of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. Michael Les Benedict (Ohio State Univ.) served as parliamentarian for the meeting.
Report of the Executive Director: Arnita A. Jones stated that 2009 had been a difficult year, not only because of the downturn of the economy but also because of the particular challenges of the 2010 annual meeting. She noted that meeting registration was slightly fewer than 4,200, considerably less than the 2009 New York City meeting, which had the highest attendance in several decades. She stated that membership in the Association had reached a high of 15,055, observing that a large number were in the lower income bracket of student members. Ms. Jones reported on a number of outreach efforts, such as expanding the mission of the graduate student committee to include early career and establishing a task force on two-year faculty. To reach out to other constituencies, the AHA has also established a Task Force on Disability and a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Historians Task Force. Ms. Jones stated that the Association is also looking at challenges of new technology, reporting on the establishment of a Technology Advisory Committee. She stated that the online Directory of History Departments and Organizations is now available, and provided information about the twice monthly e-newsletter Fortnightly News and the AHA’s blog.
Ms. Jones also discussed advocacy efforts with a number of the Association’s partners, including the National Coalition for History, the National Humanities Alliance, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Coalition on the Academic Workforce, and the National History Center.
Ms. Jones concluded her remarks by noting that this was her final report as Executive Director since she would retire at the end of August after 11 years with the Association. She extended thanks to the AHA staff and volunteer members who serve the AHA in a variety of capacities, thanking 2010 Program Committee chair and co-chair Jane Kamensky (Brandeis Univ.) and Matt Matsuda (Rutgers Univ.-New Brunswick) and 2010 Local Arrangements Committee chair and co-chair Robert Edelman (Univ. of California, San Diego) and Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman (San Diego State Univ.) and their committees.
Report of the Editor: Robert Schneider (Indiana Univ.) reported that the American Historical Review is in good shape, and that the staff is looking forward to a full inventory of issues that are complete. He observed that one of the most enjoyable of his tasks as editor is the annual meeting with the Board of Editors, and that the board’s members encourage and motivate the staff throughout the year. He stated that the 2010 annual meeting marked the third year of the “Meet the Editors” Friday midday session with the membership and that he appreciated feedback from members and readers of the journal.
Mr. Schneider stated that the staff receives about 300 submissions a year, accepting about nine percent, but provides all authors with an extensive in-house review. He stated that he continues to encourage different types of submissions, introducing roundtables, histories and biographies, and “AHR Conversations” (with “Historians and the Study of Material Culture” in the December 2009 issue). Mr. Schneider remarked that the staff continues to be pleased with the partnership with the University of Chicago Press, publisher of the Review, stating that the press brings its knowledge of working with 40 other journals. He thanked the 12 members of the Board of Editors for their excellent advice and hard work throughout the year. He concluding by reporting that with the completion of his first five-year term, that he would be on leave the coming academic year, and that management of the Review would be in the capable hands of current Associate Editor Konstantin Dierks and former Associate Editor Sarah Knott.
Report of the Nominating Committee: On behalf ofchair Laura Ackerman Smoller (Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock), committee member Steven Mintz (Univ. of Houston) presented the annual report of the Nominating Committee, described the nominations process, and summarized the considerations in selecting nominees for elective office. He announced that 3,467 AHA members cast ballots, slightly less than in the previous year’s election. He then announced the results of the fall election: President: Barbara Metcalf (Univ. of California, Davis emerita); President-elect: Anthony Grafton (Princeton Univ.); Vice President, Teaching Division: Patricia Nelson Limerick (Univ. of Colorado at Boulder); Councilor Profession: Laura Isabel Serna (Florida State Univ.); Councilor Research: Thomas J. Sugrue (Univ. of Pennsylvania); Councilor Teaching: Cheryll Ann Cody (Houston Community Coll.); Committee on Committees: Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra (Univ. of Texas at Austin); Nominating Committee: Jan Ellen Lewis (Rutgers Univ.-Newark), Page Herrlinger (Bowdoin Coll.), and Julia Adeney Thomas (Univ. of Notre Dame). Mr. Mintz concluded the chair’s remarks by expressing gratitude to all AHA members who agreed to run for office, colleagues on the committee, and Sharon K. Tune, long-time assistant to the committee.
Reports of the Vice-Presidents: Vice-presidents Karen Haltunnen (Univ. of Southern California; Teaching), David J. Weber (Southern Methodist Univ.; Profession), and Iris Berger (Univ. at Albany-SUNY; Research) reported on their respective divisions’ activities and projects. Their reports appear elsewhere in this publication.
Adjournment. Hearing no further requests for discussion, Ms. Ulrich concluded the meeting by thanking the program and local arrangements committees and the AHA staff for their good work. She then introduced the incoming president, Barbara Metcalf (Univ. of California, Davis emeriti), who accepted the gavel and, upon motion and approval, declared the meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.
Recorded by Sharon K. Tune, Assistant Director, Administration and Convention Director.