Members Discussion Forum: AHA Constitution Changes
In the September issue of Perspectives we introduced a number of proposed changes in the constitution that Council approved at its June, 2007, meeting. An identical version of the proposed changes appeared here from October 1 through 15, with an invitation for comments from members.
The comments received from members pointed out a few editing and formatting errors, and others reflected a need for further information about the changes. Perhaps most significantly, a number of members expressed concerns about the petition required to place items before the business meeting. We should have noted that this requirement currently appears in the Association's by-laws, so this was not a new requirement. This was intended to enshrine the opportunity for petition in the constitution, while raising the threshold for petitions. Given the ease with which petitions can be circulated on the Internet, we initially thought it made sense to raise the bar a bit, from 25 members to one percent of the membership. In light of the concerns expressed about this provision and with Council's approval, the 1 percent requirement has now been deleted. So the requirement reverts back to 25 members described in the bylaws.
Article III Membership
Existing Text With Mark Up
Membership in the Association shall be open to any person interested in history on the payment of one year's dues. Any member whose dues are in arrears shall be dropped from the roll. Members who have been so dropped may be reinstated at any time by the payment in advance of one year's dues. Only members in good standing shall have the right to vote or hold office in the Association.
Proposed Revised Text
Membership in the Association shall be open to any person interested in history on the payment of one year's dues. Any member whose dues are in arrears shall be dropped from the roll. Members who have been so dropped may be reinstated at any time by the payment in advance of one year's dues. Only members in good standing shall have the right to vote or hold office in the Association. The Council may elect honorary members of the Association, and such honorary members shall be exempt from payment of dues.
AHA Member's Comments on Article III Membership
Response to Ms. Keener & Dr. Wachendorfer
I agree with Ms. Keener that the membership of undergraduates should be recognized more. I am an undergraduate and have recently renewed my membership for a second year. I did so because like Ms. Keener, I am serious about history and I am eyeing graduate school. I was disappointed in the fact that student membership dues went up from last year. Most students have a hard time making ends meet. On another note, I agree with Dr. Wachendorfer. I can endorse honorary members being exempt from dues.
—Mr. James Risk , Posted: November 02, 2007 2:59 PM
Just as with the Medieval Academy, there should be the possibility for retired members who have belonged for at least 30 years to pay greatly reduced fees or no fees at all.
—Dr. Anne K.R. Gilmour-Bryson , Posted: November 02, 2007 12:22 PM
i think the dues are reasonable, compared to other organizations that exist. and i like knowing how it's simple to find people if need be when looking for experts on certain subjects. really, a true member should be interested in more than just the annual meeting, as the membership is good for the entire year.
—Mr. L.e. Larue , Posted: October 15, 2007 9:18 PM
As I am post Ph.D., but still seeking employment, the non-student dues are high and wish they were lower; even if it meant relinquishing a publication or two, I'd rather pay a lower amount.
—Dr. Arthur Alan Torpy , Posted: October 15, 2007 2:13 PM
Perhaps a multi-year discount?
Other professional history organizations such as the NCSS offer multi-year membership renewals at a discount (10% for two years, 15% for three, etc.). I would think the membership paperwork processing savings alone would make this an attractive option...
—Mr. Joseph J. Ferreira Jr., Posted: October 15, 2007 7:43 AM
Response to Ms. Keener and Mr. Samuelson
I do aggree with you both. I am an high school educator who is starting my Masters program and wish to continue my education and recieve a PhD. The dues should be tiered better and economically affordable for those who are serious in the field of historical research and education.
—Mr. Adrian K. Winham , Posted: October 14, 2007 12:29 PM
I would recommend a reasonable reduction in the membership dues.
—Mr. Narasingha Prosad Sil , Posted: October 13, 2007 6:04 PM
Conference only member
I agree with Keith Roland Dawson, below, under Article X, Amendments. "I cannot agree with the member about being a member just for the conferences. It sounds as if he should join something else."
—Prof. Raymond J. Jirran , Posted: October 13, 2007 3:36 AM
I don't know how many undergrads belong to AHA but I do. And it cost a lot of money. I do try to keep up with the publications, but I think that students should have a discount, or there should be tiered dues. Students who join AHA are really serious - and they probably are eyeing graduate school. AHA should recognize this. People like me are trying to learn through AHA publications so that we can contribute to acadamia in the near future.
—Ms. Joy Ann Ruscha Keener , Posted: October 13, 2007 12:49 AM
Response to Mr. Samuelson
I agree with you. There could be a level of membership with a nominal fee, but with limited access to the web site and publications.
—Mr. Michael Patrick Procter Sr., Posted: October 12, 2007 9:52 PM
How about changing the dues structure. Many of my fellow historians think that the dues are excesssive, seldom read AHA publications, and only enroll so that they may interview or give papers at the annual convention. Many of us feel that we are being asked to pay a great deal of money to fund aspects of the organizations operations that history has passed by.
—Mr. Richard A. Samuelson , Posted: October 12, 2007 2:23 PM
I really can endorse that.
—Dr. Dieter H.H. Wachendorfer Jr., Posted: October 12, 2007 2:13 PM
The period for discussion is now past. However, additional revisions are being prepared, and will be posted for further commentary on or about October 19th.
Article I: Name
Article II: Purpose
Article III Membership 12 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 2:59 PM Nov 02, 2007
Article IV: Officers 4 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 2:18 PM Nov 12, 2007
Article V: Council 3 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 2:13 PM Nov 01, 2007
Article VI: Divisions 4 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 4:17 PM Nov 08, 2007
Article VII: Business Meeting 4 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 1:24 PM Oct 15, 2007
Article VIII: Committees 2 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 12:43 PM Oct 14, 2007
Article IX: Elections 7 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 9:40 PM Nov 06, 2007
Article X: Amendments 3 Comments | Last Comment Posted: 7:06 PM Nov 01, 2007
Article XI: Bylaws
Article XII: Interim Procedures