Minutes of the Council Meeting, January 2, 1997
The Council met in Room 540 of the New York Hilton and Towers in New York City, on Thursday, January 2, 1997. Present were: Caroline Walker Bynum, president; Joyce Appleby, president-elect; John H. Coatsworth, immediate past president; vice presidents William G. Rosenberg (Research Division), Peter N. Stearns (Teaching Division), and Carla Rahn Phillips (Professional Division); Council members Leslie Brown, Douglas Greenberg, Walter LaFeber, Cheryl Martin, Barbara Ramusack, and David Trask; 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; Robert Townsend, manager, information systems and communications; and Albert J. Beveridge III, legal counsel of the Association. Attending as observers were incoming president-elect Joseph C. Miller; vice president-elect for research Stanley N. Katz; and Council member-elect Emily Hill.
Ms. Bynum called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. She welcomed the four new members of Council, and noted modifications to the day’s agenda. She stated that the expanded Executive Committee, composed of the three presidents and three vice presidents, had consulted via conference call in late fall to draft an agenda structured around intellectual issues.
1. Approval of the minutes of the June 1-2, 1996 meeting: Upon motion by Mr. Greenberg and second by Mr. Coatsworth, the minutes were unanimously approved as submitted.
2. Consent calendar: Upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth and second by Mr. Trask, the following items were unanimously approved under the consent calendar: A. J-STOR contract: Confirming Executive Committee approval of the contract between the AHA and the Mellon Foundation’s J-STOR project to create a digitized archive of the American Historical Review published five years prior to the most recent date of publication. B. AHA Statement of Priorities: Endorsing the priority statement developed following the June 1996 Council meeting and published in the December 1996 newsletter. See Attachment 1. C. Request to waive registration fee: Confirming Executive Committee’s decision to decline to waive the Annual Meeting registration fee for an emeritus historian. D. NEH proposal: Assenting to AHA participation in a joint project with regional clusters of four- and two-year colleges in California, North Carolina, and Wisconsin entitled “Students as Historians” to reconceptualize the nature and purposes of the introductory history survey course. In the first year faculty members will rework the way the survey courses are taught, and in the second year they will teach these courses and evaluate their own efforts and student learning. The AHA will disseminate project results to faculty and students in a variety of humanities disciplines. E. Approval of Committee on Committee appointments. Affirming the Committee on Committees' recommendations for filling vacancies on appointive committees for 1997.
Upon motion by Ms. Appleby, the AHR by-law amendment was moved for discussion elsewhere in the agenda. Pending additional feedback from the donor’s family, Council tabled consideration of a proposed John B. Wolf bequest to endow a prize for the best AHR article by a graduate student.
3. Report of the Finance Committee:
A. General report on Finance Committee decisions at December 6, 1996 meeting with Board of Trustees: Ms. Bynum provided a brief oral account to supplement the written report regarding the annual meeting of the Finance Committee with the Board of Trustees. Members noted that quarterly financial reports will be introduced in the 1997-98 fiscal year to augment the semi-annual reports currently provided at Council’s biannual meetings. Members discussed the Finance Committee’s recommendation to solicit member feedback through the newsletter of the committee’s proposal to publish the auditor’s annual report in Perspectives rather than in the Annual Meeting Program. Mr. Stearns expressed concern that publication of “housekeeping” reports in the newsletter would reduce its readability. Upon motion by Mr. Coastworth and second by Ms. Ramusack, Council agreed to publish the auditors’ report in Perspectives by a vote of eleven ayes and one nay. Staff was asked to include a call for members to indicate their preference on the location of this annual report. Council will evaluate responses to determine whether the report should continue to be printed in the newsletter.
In the 1997-98 fiscal year, the auditor’s report will take the form of FASB 117, which does not detail cost centers or other measures of fiscal health of the operating budget in ways comparable to reports currently provided by staff. This information will still be provided, however, in reports staff will design. Staff has also been asked to develop a plan to incorporate a budget line into the annual operating budget that provides a set-aside each year for maintenance for headquarters and the AHR. In addition, a subcommittee of Mr. Greenberg, Mr. Miller, and Ms. Freitag will draft new guidelines and approval process to authorize large expenses and travel budgets not now approved by others in supervisory positions; for example, travel expenses for the executive director and the AHR editor. This subcommittee may also consider the separate issue of special expense funds for presidents and presidents-elect which do not currently exist.
The Finance Committee has also asked staff to consult with other nonprofits on their financial practices, and to draft a proposal for the spring meeting that would return to the operating budget a percentage (probably between 4.5% and 5%) of the total value of certain parts of the portfolio. The amount will be determined each year by averaging the three previous years. Until exact details are proposed and approved by the Finance Committee and Council, staff was directed to use 4.5% (averaged over three years) to build the 1997-98 budget proposal. Staff was also directed to prepare both an operating budget and capital expenditure budget for consideration at the spring meeting. Staff had developed a plan to distribute prize monies that included an assessment of administrative (indirect costs) fee, and will prepare a second plan containing inflationary protection for consideration at the spring Finance Committee meeting. The Finance Committee will review both proposals and select one to govern future prize awards.
B. New processes for Finance Committee deliberations: Members also noted that as part of the auditor’s report review, the Finance Committee will meet briefly with the auditor during its annual meeting with the Board of Trustees, without the executive director or the controller being present. The purpose will be generally to review the financial performance of the Association, and to seek from the auditor any advice s/he may have on improving procedures and practices within the AHA.
C. First two quarters 1996-97 report on actual operating costs and revenues: Staff distributed a financial report on actual operating costs and revenues for the first two quarters of fiscal year 1996-97. Ms. Freitag stated that staff anticipated a slightly higher deficit than projected, with an increase from $26,000 to $37,000. Higher costs were attributed to the purchase of additional licenses to use iMIS, the Association’s membership and accounting software. Mr. Greenberg asked that the financial reports also compare anticipated revenue and expenses with actual to-date revenue and expenses, with the same information provided for each cost centers. He stated that this kind of report would provide a “snapshot” of the AHA’s current financial status.
D. Plan for paying for $210,000 building renovation costs already approved by Council: At its May 1995 meeting, Council approved the renovation of the AHA headquarters office. At the December 6, 1996 Finance Committee meeting with the Board of Trustees, staff was asked to submit a plan to Council at the January 5 meeting to pay for projected renovation costs of $210,850. Ms. Freitag stated that Council had two options to pay for these costs. It could established a $200,000 line of credit with portfolio manager Fiduciary Trust International, or it could draw directly from the portfolio itself. She reported that John Trainer of Fiduciary had noted that the Association currently has $200,000 in cash reserves in a taxable money market fund earning 5% interest, and that interest for use of the line of credit would be 8.5%. Given the AHA’s tax status, he had stated that the AHA would gain no benefits from borrowing, that there was no reason the AHA could not to take the money directly from the portfolio, and that it would cost less and would not harm the investment strategy of maximizing total return.
Upon motion by Ms. Ramusack and second by Mr. Coatsworth, Council unanimously approved the staff’s plan to withdraw $200,000-$210,000 from Fiduciary early in January and to make payments as follows: Contractor deposit of $15,000 on December 23, 1996; electrical, plumbing, etc. costs of $55,000 on January 20, 1997; cabinetry, patch and repair costs of $75,000 on February 15, 1997; contractor’s final bill of $50,000 on March 1, 1997; and architect’s final bill of $10,000 on March 3, 1997. (This latter amount does not include earlier fees to the architect of $14,000.) Council expressed its thanks to Ms. Freitag and the AHA staff for the speed with which the information and the plan had been prepared.
4. Priorities and Issues: A. Intellectual issues that cross divisions: Members discussed the following topics within the context of three questions: (i) is a new guideline or policy needed? if so, to which group should it be directed? (ii) is there an existing guideline or policy that should be publicized? (iii) does desired AHA action call for advocacy/lobbying activity? if so, with which of our consortia and lobbyists should we work?
(1) Multi-level contacts: Teaching Outreach to K-12 and Community Colleges: Mr. Stearns discussed the need for increased contact between history teachers at all educational levels. He noted that during NEH’s “heyday,” the profession had an overly confident belief that a wide variety of collaborations could be developed between K-12 and postsecondary institutions. Although these collaborations were never formally evaluated, historians had a sense that a satisfactory framework existed. In recent years, however, both NEH and foundation funding has declined enormously. Mr. Stearns noted that as a result, there were relatively few ongoing collaborations at present. He urged Council to identify new means for the profession to communicate among all levels of teaching, noting that two-year college teachers had too often been excluded from previous efforts. Mr. Stearns asked Council to keep history vigorous and active, and to confront these issues now. Ms. Appleby noted that outreach to all teachers is linked with the AHA’s concern about the overuse and misuse of part-time and adjunct faculty.
Given the “local” nature of K-12 policies, Mr. Greenberg pointed out that the AHA is not as well situated to initiate outreach efforts, but that it is able to work with and assist in development of collaborations and their efforts to locate funding. As an example, Ms. Appleby reported that the Organization of American Historians had been successful in sponsoring weekend conferences. Council members agreed that the AHA could offer this support and that the National History Education Network (NHEN) was the logical focus for the AHA’s efforts. Ms. Frankel agreed, and stated that NHEN could utilize its existing networks to follow up on Council’s discussion.
Following additional discussion, and upon motion by Mr. Greenberg and second by Ms. Martin, Council unanimously confirmed its commitment to collaborations among teachers at all educational levels and its importance in the AHA’s development plans.
(2) Standards for evaluating faculty in an age of downsizing, demands of new assessments, and changing forms of publishing: Members discussed downsizing and elimination of departments confronting many colleges and universities, and the increasing difficulty that historians face in publishing monographs. Upon query by Mr. Coatsworth of evidence that was more than anecdotal, Ms. Ramusack stated that area studies departments had been disproportionately affected. Although some specializations, such as U.S. history and women’s studies, have not been affected to any great degree, others, such as area studies, have seen significant decreases. Mr. Rosenberg agreed that historians in area studies also have problems in publishing, particularly the monograph. He argued, however, that the remedy was not self-evident, and expressed concern about assumptions that carry the profession forward. He queried, for example, whether it might be better for the AHA to encourage acceptance of tighter, more focused books than are currently being published, rather than to endorse the notion that electronic media as the “solution.”
Ms. Appleby also agreed with Ms. Ramusack’s assessment, noting that it was apparent from her work with the University of California Press that there is a declining commitment on the part of publishers. She also pointed out that historians should be aware that not only were smaller or area studies fields affected, but also what is often identified as traditional, building-block scholarship. Ms. Appleby argued that historians, not presses, should define “good” scholarship, and urged response on a number of fronts. Mr. Katz stated that the bottom line should be what the profession requires by way of evaluations, and that departments must make clear that there are standards that exist and must be met.
Mr. Stearns argued against a formal resolution, stating other avenues would be more useful to departments. For example, the AHA could sponsor an Annual Meeting session that would allow successful departments to describe how they have “held the line.” In addition, he suggested that the Research Division be asked to review how peer review is affected in the new publication formats.
Mr. Trask pointed out that Council’s entire discussion was predicated on historians’ ability to obtain tenure. Mr. Rosenberg agreed, but pointed out that college and universities often do not trust the peer review process of individual departments. He recommended that each division designate one member to think through the issues relevant to his/her division and to prepare a report. They could address, for example, the problem of the monograph, mentoring of students, dissemination of new scholarship, and evaluation of faculty scholarly performances. Upon motion by Mr. Stearns and second by Ms. Ramusack, members unanimously agreed that the three divisions, the Committee on Minority Historians, and the Committee on Women Historians should discuss the following issues in light of downsizing and changes in university presses: (1) exploration of new methods to review faculty scholarly performance related to and independent of tenure, and (2) implications for journals and identify issues relevant to their concerns. After reviewing responses, Council will determine whether a subcommittee should be appointed to continue the dialogue.
(3) To begin to address some of the areas in which guidelines are needed for new types of publication, Ms. Freitag recommended three proposals for AHA involvement: (a.) ARL/AHA Monograph Project Proposal on “The Endangered Monograph”--a team of institutions representing historians, publishers, and librarians will define, operate, and evaluate electronic publishing of monographic literature in historical studies. The goal is to create an electronic repository (database) that supports the dissemination and use of scholarly publications. Mr. Grossberg stated that it was critical to bring journal editors into these discussions. Ms. Freitag agreed, noting the document had not yet been revised to reflect their participation. Mr. Rosenberg agreed, noting that Ms. Freitag would work with the Research Division on the project. Mr. Greenberg concurred, stating that it was important for AHA to be involved in these conversations. Upon motion by Ms. Bynum and second by Mr. Coatsworth, Council voted unanimously to participate in the project.
(b.) AAUP/ARL/ACLS Conference on the “Future of the Scholarly Monograph”: Ms. Freitag reported on the planned two-day conference to invite 250-300 participants, with a mix of directed invitations and open registration. The conference is scheduled for mid-September 1997, and organizers hope to attract faculty and administrators. Topics include an overview of the current system, what scholars need to use for their own teaching and research, and information on current experiments now underway in scholarly publishing. Panels include economics of the short-run monograph, pipeline issues, case studies from different disciplines, and alternative models for communicating content. Following additional discussion, and upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth and second by Mr. Greenberg, Council unanimously approved Association participation in the conference.
(c.) Proposal to Mellon on “Electronic Amendments to Text: Creating Intellectual and Technological Consensus”: Ms. Freitag reported on a proposal to fund a one-year project to create consensus among historians, librarians, publishers, and technological consultants on how to prepare historical materials for use in electronic formats. She noted that one of the goals was to ensure that the intellectual needs of historians shape the technological solutions that are developed. Ms. Freitag also noted that the project was designed to coordinate with the “Endangered Monograph” project.
Mr. Grossberg reported on a separate proposal to the Mellon Foundation to fund a conference on “History Journals and the Electronic Future.” Sponsored by the AHA and the OAH, the goal is to begin a dialogue among history editors about the possibilities and problems posed for history journals by electronic publication. He queried whether the Association should submit both proposals during the same funding cycle since they might be perceived to be in direct competition. Following discussion and upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth, Council approved tabling further discussion.
4. Conditions of research and teaching in a world of downsizing, the adjunct/part-time issue: Ms. Ramusack provided an oral report on planning for the part-time/adjunct conference scheduled for late September 1997. She noted that participating organizations had met four times, and that five umbrella organizations and five disciplinary organizations were involved. At the group’s most recent planning meeting in November, participants had agreed to a smaller conference of 60 to 75 invited participants. She stated that each professional association would be asked to fund costs for five representatives and to contribute to a pool for common expenses, such as stipends and meals. Ms. Ramusack asked Council to approve an expenditure up to $3,000 for the general expenses, and up to $4,000 for participant costs.
Mr. Greenberg queried budget implications of the request, and stated he would not feel comfortable voting on the request until this was addressed. Members agreed, noting the request served as a reminder to Council and staff to anticipate appropriations and to include information in the budget review held at the start of each Council meeting. Upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth and second by Ms. Brown, Council voted unanimously to approve the appropriation in principle and to consider the request with other appropriation requests at the Sunday session.
5. Graduate student concerns--recruitment, especially of underrepresented minorities and environment (e.g. conditions of graduate student employment, including unionization, preparation as professional historians): As chair of the Task Force on the Role of Graduate Students in the AHA (TFROGS), Ms. Brown reported on the task force’s discussions. She stated that members had been divided about whether to recommend continuation as a permanent, standing committee of the Association. She noted that many issues before the task force were long-term, and could become cyclical.
Ms. Phillips remarked that she had been concerned that graduate students have a “voice” before the Professional Division. She noted that the individuals who get involved are interested and motivated, but are also the most overcommitted. She invited Ms. Hill to participate in that part of Professional Division’s meeting that did not deal with cases. She noted that this might serve as a model for all the divisions. Ms. Frankel stated that Council could establish a separate committee, or that the graduate student representatives to the divisions, the CMH, and the CWH could “meet” by conference call. Ms. Martin asked if there was a mechanism for the graduate student representatives on the Council, divisions, and committees to tap into the larger pool of graduate students. Ms. Brown reported that H-NET had a list serve called H-GRAD, but that issues of particular interest to the AHA were not addressed. Ms. Brown concluded by noting that addressing graduate student issues would require sustained commitment for the long term.
B. Membership and Development:
1. Membership: Staff provided members with a written report that included a description of member interactions with headquarters, and the implications of that relationship for revenues and costs, as well as the grounds for determining recruitment strategies; a follow-up report to the marketing plan presented at presidential request in 1996; and the annual Membership Report, giving current numbers under a range of identifiers, and analyzing changes in trend patterns. Mr. Townsend reported that projections were on target with regard to membership. He noted that the Membership Department will begin sending more attractive membership cards in February with new renewal forms. Although the mailing to nonmembers in the Directory of History Departments generated revenue that more than covered costs of the mailing, the percentage of responses (1.5%) was down from the previous mailing (3.%). Pamphlets and other publications have been selling well, and the “sale” on life memberships before a rate increase had netted several new life members.
Council members considered the following policy issues:
(1) Staff reported that the long-term trends in membership levels related to dues changes suggested a sudden change of some magnitude that almost always resulted in dips that took some years to recover, particularly when joined with a change in the membership categories. Should the AHA experiment instead with regular dues increases every two years? Mr. Coatsworth remarked that the data indicated that Council had made a mistake in the highest dues-paying category, and that it should not be increased. Members agreed that a small increase every two years, such as $5 per category, might be preferable. Although staff presented no specific recommendation to raise dues at this time, Council asked that the next proposal include such incremental increases.
(2) Council approved a campaign to urge members to report accurately their salary level when paying dues. An appeal will be included in renewal mailings, and will urge members to double-check dues category to ensure changes in income are reflected.(3) Given the rapidly expanding cohort of graduate student members (and the relating higher costs of serving such members), staff also suggested that Council might review its policy of subsidizing membership for this cohort ($30 dues category).
(4) Staff also noted that the part-time/adjunct category ($35 for salaries under $20,000) is subsidized, and made the same query regarding Council preference to continue this subsidy.
(5) Since new members recruited at discounted rates through the Directory nonmember mailing have joined at higher, less discounted rates, staff queried whether Council wanted to prioritize subsidies in points 3 and 4 and the fee reductions in the Directory mailing. Mr. Coatsworth disagreed with staff’s analysis, arguing that the Association did not lose money on the graduate student and part-time/adjunct categories. Upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth and second by Ms. Appleby, Council unanimously agreed to direct staff to discontinue discounted rates in the 1997 nonmember Directory mailing, to compare the results with previous Directory mailings, and to report to Council at the January 1998 meeting. At that time, Council will determine whether it should prioritize subsidies and fee reductions. Mr. Greenberg asked staff to track data carefully, and to prepare a new handout updating the costs-per-member calculations presented in this analysis.
(6) Staff also noted that it will work more aggressively to make known pamphlets and other publications given the high response rate in the Directory mailing.
(7) Staff asked if Council wished to establish a timeline and list of priorities for targeting cohorts among constituencies, so that the work falls within the staff and resource limitations available, perhaps by planning efforts over a three- or four-year period. No instructions emerged from the discussion.
(8) Council left to staff to determine staffing levels of the Membership Department.
(9) Council also gave staff leeway to develop assumptions about the best time and type of members to count for reporting purposes.
(10) Upon motion of Ms. Ramusack and second by Mr. Greenberg, Council unanimously approved staff’s recommendation to move submission of the Membership Report to the spring rather than the January meeting.
(11) Upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth and second by Mr. Rosenberg, Council confirmed that a survey of members should be conducted in 1997. With Mr. LaFeber absent for the later portion of the meeting due to illness, the vote was five ayes, four nays, and two abstentions. Staff was asked to prepare a draft survey instrument for review at the spring Council meeting. Staff should keep in mind that the goal is to gauge what members want from the AHA, and not just to measure interest in a membership directory.
Members tabled discussion of the status of the Membership Committee until the Sunday Council session.
2. Development: Ms. Freitag gave a brief report on the development dinner hosted in fall 1995 at the Capitol, noting that Robert Remini had given a lecture and attendees had toured the Capitol the first evening. The following morning several members heard about AHA plans and concerns, and advised on several approaches the AHA might take. At that second meeting, the AHA had been advised to plan before proceeding with fundraising activities. Although no one staff member had been designated to work on development, Linn Shapiro has now been hired as manager of new project development and grantwriter, with assistance from administrative assistant Laura Graves to support work in fundraising. At its spring 1996 meeting, Council developed a statement of priorities. Thus, several pieces of the work to be done by the AHA have now fallen into place.
a. Structural and prioritizing issues: Mr. Coatsworth stated that the notion of creating an Advisory Committee had arisen from the fact that the AHA has spent over one-half million dollars to prepare for the future, and it now needs to replenish funds. He also remarked that individuals could advise the Association when history or historians were under attack, citing an earlier example of the controversy over the Enola Gay display at the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Grossberg commented on the journal’s relationship to the development activities. He noted that it is written for the professional historian, and not as an outreach activity, and stated that it should not be changed to appeal to the general public. Ms. Bynum agreed, but noted that if the proposed article prize is funded by the Wolf bequest, then the AHA would need to raise funds for a similar prize for articles in non-European fields.
Ms. Appleby noted that it is difficult for historians to convey to the general public what it is that they do, noting the cumulative negative effect of the succession of controversies which have called into question what historians do. She suggested producing a 20-minute video to illustrate the “knowledge chain” of historians’ work, and estimated its cost at $50,000. Mr. Beveridge urged members to proceed cautiously, noting they should identify the audience they wanted to reach. He pointed out that influencing legislators and identifying potential donors were two separate and competing audiences. Mr. Katz stated that producing a video would cost several times the $50,000 estimate, and noted that Council should not conflate the separate goals of reaching donors and educating the public.
Mr. Stearns urged members to think in terms of building an operational base for fundraising, and to discuss how Council and staff could develop the necessary expertise. He noted that if Council decided this was to be a significant AHA activity, then meaningful time should be devoted by the president and staff. Mr. Greenberg agreed, noting the AHA would have to identify specific issues or projects to raise money, and could not base its appeals on the betterment of profession. Mr. Beveridge noted it was important to stress that the AHA is a financially viable organization to address the issues it proposed, and urged members not to proceed beyond “idea” stage without developing a budget. Mr. Coatsworth stated that Council should think beyond funding for specific projects to annual giving and major gift programs. Mr. Stearns concurred, stating an additional category were gifts given by those who wished to participate.
b. New publications or forms of dissemination: recombinations of backlist materials: Mr. Grossberg pointed out that articles in the journal had been analyzed for scholarship, not marketability, and questioned whether the Association needed advice in making decisions. Ms. Bynum agreed, noting it prompted her to think about the AHA’s publications policy. She stated that in the not too distant future the Association would need a publications advisory policy and board. Ms. Ramusack agreed, noting issues were broader than journal and should include newsletter. Mr. Rosenberg pointed out that recombinations of articles should be a scholarly and intellectual effort, not a marketing decision. He stated that the quality of the reader would determine its marketablility. Mr. Grossberg concurred, noting that the goal was to increase revenue but that the selection process would be critical. Upon motion by Mr. Stearns, Council unanimously agreed to proceed as follows: (1) The three divisions, the CMH, and the CWH should be asked to discuss what it thinks would work, and (2) A group composed of Ms. Appleby, Ms. Bynum, Mr. Miller, and Ms. Freitag should develop a proposal for a Publications Advisory Board for Council review. Upon query by Ms. Freitag, members agreed this was a transitional strategy, as ultimately all materials produced by the Association would be available in digital form, and then individual members could re-combine them to fit their own needs and preferences.
5. Lunch with the Development Advisory Committee: Council and staff lunched with several members of the Development Advisory Committee: Mr. Beveridge; Mary Maples Dunn, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College; Roger Liddell, Ingalls and Snyder, New York; Robert Remini, Wilmette, IL; Dorothy Rosenberg, Washington, D.C.; Walter L. Sparks, Dean Witter, Decatur, IL; and C. Evan Stewart, The Nikko Securities Company, New York.
6. Follow-up to Development Discussion: Members agreed that the fall 1995 dinner in Washington had been effective and that it should be replicated. At Mr. Beveridge’s urging, members discussed asking Council and Advisory Committee members to identify three individuals who would be willing to commit $1,000 (or some other amount) for each of three years. Ms. Freitag stated that this giving could provide the “upfront” money needed to conduct a professional appeal. Mr. Coatsworth noted the importance of building a relationship with donors over time. Ms. Bynum questioned whether each of Council members would participate, but pointing out that the individuals who run the organization should do so and urged some a commitment with 100 percent participation. Some members questioned their ability to identify three individuals who could sustain this level of giving over a three-year period, and Mr. Coatsworth urged them to identify at least one person. Mr. Rosenberg noted that members of the Advisory Committee should also be asked to make a similar commitment. Mr. Coatsworth suggested that Ms. Bynum, Ms. Appleby, and Ms. Freitag should select a date for a second dinner and then recruit a speaker who is recognizable to the general public, such as David McCulloch. Upon motion by Mr. Coatsworth and second by Mr. Greenberg, Council unanimously agreed that a date in fall 1997 and a speaker should be identified, and this information conveyed to Council by the end of January. Ms. Bynum stated, and members agreed, that the proposal should not proceed unless donations covered costs.
Mr. Greenberg urged members not to discount the possibility of soliciting contributions from AHA members. Ms. Bynum agreed, noting members should be urged to “top off” membership dues. Mr. Rosenberg also recommended contacting publishers, and identifying corporate sponsors for the dinner.
7. Report of the Research Division: Mr. Rosenberg reported on a possible anomaly in governance documents as they relate to the method members of the Board of Editors of the Review are nominated to Council for appointment. The bylaw pursuant to Article IV, Section 7 of the AHA constitution reads: “The Council shall, on nomination by the editor in consultation with the executive director, appoint an advisory Board of Editors of the American Historical Review to assist the editor. The advisory Board shall consist of nine members appointed for staggered terms of three years. The executive director shall, ex officio, be a member of the advisory Board without vote.” However, “The Organization, Jurisdiction, and Operation of Association Divisions and Committees” document approved by Council in 1993 states that the Board of Editors is “Established by the constitution and appointed by Council on nomination by the editor in consultation with the Research Division”. Mr. Rosenberg proposed a change to the bylaw to bring it into conformance with practice and the “Organization, Jurisdiction” document. He also recommended expanding the Board to twelve members.
Mr. Greenberg queried Research Division discussion on the recommendation. Mr. Rosenberg reported that the vote had not been unanimous and stated that two of the five members believed that the executive director should be an ex officio member. Ms. Bynum read a statement from Mr. LaFeber, who did not attend the afternoon Council session, in which he stated that he favored inclusivity over exclusivity, and argued against further compartmentalization. Following additional discussion, Council unanimously approved the division’s recommendation to expand the Board of Editors to twelve members. Upon motion by Mr. Ramusack and second by Mr. Greenberg, Council agreed to table further discussion of the bylaw modification.
8. Task Force on the Role of Graduate Students in the AHA (TFROGS): Ms. Brown presented her final report on her work with the task force. She reflected that at the first Council meeting she attended, no one had mentioned graduate education until they discussed a dues increase. She urged Council to begin a dialogue within the profession about the purpose of graduate education in history and to take the lead in the discussion. She concluded her remarks by noting that providing a graduate student voice on Council, in the divisions and committees, and addressing the pressing issues of graduate student education were two of the Association’s most important accomplishments.
9. Adjournment: On behalf of the Council, Ms. Bynum thanked Mr. Coatsworth, outgoing immediate past president; Mr. Rosenberg, outgoing vice president for research, and Council members Brown and LaFaber for exemplary service during their terms of office. She thanked Mr. Coatsworth especially for his service and presented a plaque marking his presidential year.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m. and members went into executive session.