Election of the Teaching Division's Vice President
Michael Les Benedict, March 2001
From the AHA Activities column in the March 2001 Perspectives
Editor's note: As required by the AHA Constitution (Art. VIII, Sec. 4), the results of the annual election of officers are to be announced at the business meeting and in the publications of the Association. The report of the 2001 Nominating Committee was printed in the January 2001 Perspectives (see pages 3–4, 15) and announced at the Business Meeting on January 5, 2001, by committee chair Michael Les Benedict (Ohio State Univ.). The following is an amendment to these reports.
The Association and the Nominating Committee faced an unusual situation in the election of officers this year. Kathryn Kish Sklar, who had received the highest number of votes for the position of vice president of the Teaching Division, resigned her candidacy for health reasons after the result had been announced in Perspectives but before it was reported to the Business Meeting and before she assumed office. (Newly elected officers assume their positions at the conclusion of the Business Meeting.) The bylaws of the Association do not provide for this circumstance. However, Bylaw 11(5) does explicitly state that that "[t]he Nominating Committee . . . shall . . . count and record the election results in such manner as the Nominating Committee may prescribe."
Advising me as chair of the Nominating Committee, President Eric Foner, President-Elect Wm. Roger Louis, and Executive Director Arnita Jones all expressed deep concern about the potential disruption of the important work of the Teaching Division. Considering how hard the committee works to ensure that all candidates are fully qualified to serve, confident that votes for one candidate do not constitute votes against another, and mindful of the possible disruption, the Nominating Committee decided to act on the principle that when a candidate withdraws his or her candidacy at a point too late to nominate another candidate, the committee will disregard the votes cast for the candidate and recognize the election of the recipient of the next largest number of votes.
On that basis, the committee reported William A. Weber of California State University at Long Beach as elected. The committee hopes the membership will agree that this was the best solution to a difficult problem. The committee is grateful to Professor Weber for agreeing to serve under the circumstances.
—Michael Les Benedict, chair of the Nominating Committee