Minutes of the Council Meeting, June 7-8, 1997
The Council met in the Presidential and Caucus Boardrooms of One Washington Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8, 1997. Present were: Joyce Appleby, president; Joseph C. Miller, president-elect; Caroline Walker Bynum, immediate past president; vice presidents Peter N. Stearns (Teaching Division), Carla Rahn Phillips (Professional Division); and Stanley N. Katz, (Research Division); Council members Douglas Greenberg, Emily Hill, Cheryl Martin, Colin Palmer, Barbara Ramusack, and David Trask; Sandria B. Freitag, executive director; Michael Grossberg, editor, AHR; Randy Norell, controller; Sharon K. Tune, Assistant Director, Administration; Noralee Frankel, assistant director on women, minorities, and teaching; and Robert Townsend, manager, information systems and communications. AHA Counsel Albert J. Beveridge also attended a portion of the meeting.
Ms. Appleby called the meeting to order at 2 p.m. on June 7, welcoming members and staff.
1. Approval of the Minutes of January 2 and 5, 1997: Upon motion by Mr. Trask and second by Ms. Ramusack, the minutes were unanimously approved as submitted.
2. Consent calendar: Prior to consideration of the consent calendar, members discussed consent calendar procedures and agreed that staff should e-mail members reminding them to contact staff if they wanted to remove items for separate discussion and vote.
Upon motion by Mr. Greenberg and second by Mr. Katz, the following items were unanimously approved under the consent calendar: A. Honorary Foreign Members, 1997 and 1998: Confirming the Research Division’s selection of David Ayalon of Israel as the 1997 honorary foreign member and Manuel R. Moreno Fraginals of Cuba as the 1998 honorary foreign member. Staff was asked to inform the 1999 Program Committee about Dr. Fraginals’ selection in the event it can include him on the 1999 program.
B. 1999 Program Committee: Confirming the Research Division’s recommendation for appointments to the 1999 committee: Jeffry M. Diefendorf, University of New Hampshire (modern Germany, urban); Prasenjit Duara, University of Chicago (East, Southeast, and South Asia); Linda M. Heywood, Howard University (Africa); Michael F. Jiménez, University of Pittsburgh (Latin America, economic); David R. Kobrin, Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, Rockville, MD (modern U.S., teaching); Martha G. Newman, University of Texas, Austin (medieval intellectual, economic); and Jacqueline A. Rouse, Georgia State University (U.S. African-American, women’s). John Voll, Georgetown University (Middle East and world) will serve as chair, and Gary Kulik, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library (early U.S. and public) will serve as co-chair. The 2000 chair, Claire Moses, University of Maryland at College Park (modern France, women’s) and the 2000 co-chair (to be appointed, U.S.) also serve on the 1999 committee.
Members were also provided with an exchange between 1998 Program Committee member Joan Cadden, University of California, Davis, writing on behalf of the committee, and Mr. Katz regarding the resignation of 1999 committee co-chair Roslyn Terborg-Penn, Morgan State University.
C. American Historical Review Board of Editors: Confirming the Research Division’s recommendations for appointments to the AHR Board of Editors: Mary Elizabeth Berry, University of California, Berkeley (premodern Japan); John R. Gillis, Rutgers University (modern European social and political); William Chester Jordan, Princeton University (medieval, English constitutional); and Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University (early America).
D. Letter written on behalf of Peter Boag, Idaho State University: Assenting to Ms. Appleby’s letter to the Idaho State Board of Education calling for reconsideration of the Board’s refusal to fund a project by Peter Boag, Idaho State University. Mr. Boag’s grant application was reviewed by the Higher Education Research Council in accordance with the Board’s guidelines, and had received one of the Council’s highest ratings. The Board subsequently declined to fund Mr. Boag’s grant request, basing its decision upon its disapproval of the subject matter. Members were also provided with a copy of an AHA press release issued on May 28.
E. Guidelines for the Preparation, Evaluation, and Selection of History Textbooks: Confirming the Teaching Division’s recommendations to approve the guidelines as an AHA policy statement and to forward copies to publishers, state superintendents of social studies, and textbook adoption committees.
F. Application for affiliation from the Society for Austrian and Hapsburg History: Confirming the Committee on Affiliated Society’s recommendation to approve an application for affiliation from the Society for Austrian and Hapsburg History.
G. Correction of a typographical error in Bylaw 1: Approving a recommendation from AHA Parliamentarian Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University, to amend Bylaw 1 by striking the phrase “Bylaw (3), Article VIII, Section 2,” and substituting in its place “Bylaw 10(3), pursuant to Article VIII, Section 2.” The corrected bylaw reads:
1. Bylaws pursuant to Article IV, Section 3: Whenever the president-elect shall have succeeded to the office of president in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, Section 3, the ensuing term as president shall expire at the close of the next annual meeting of the Association. But when a succession to the office of president in accordance with the provision shall have occurred after the Nominating Committee completes its regular annual session, the president shall be eligible to succeed to the following term, in accordance with Bylaw 10(3), pursuant to Article VIII, Section 2.
H. Revisions of governance document to reflect previous Council actions: Approving revision of “The Organization, Jurisdiction, and Operation of Association Divisions and Committees” document to bring into conformance with previous action by Council or by other sponsoring organizations. The modifications are: (1) increasing AHR Board of Editors membership to twelve members (approved January 2, 1997); (2) abolishing the Membership Committee (approved January 5, 1997) and the Joint AHA-OAH-SAA Committee on Historians and Archivists (OAH and SAA withdrew); and (3) modifying the reporting status of the Committees on Minority and Women Historians (approved January 5, 1995).
Consideration of the Award(s) for Scholarly Distinction was removed from the Consent Calendar since the nominating board had not yet completed its work. Staff will forward materials to Council for mail vote during the summer months and will prepare letters of notification for Ms. Appleby’s signature.
3. Executive Director’s Report: A. Headquarters: Ms. Freitag provided a written report on headquarters activities since the January Council meetings. B. Establishing an infrastructure of history department clusters: Ms. Freitag followed up previous discussions with Council and the divisions regarding development of an infrastructure of cooperating “clusters” of departments working on emerging professional issues such as graduate preparation, assessment, and departmental evaluations. As projects are developed and funded, they could be “layered” in different configurations of cooperating faculty and departments. Ms. Freitag cited two projects fostered through this approach, the NEH survey course project and a FIPSE proposal to broaden graduate education. Taken together, the two projects provide the AHA with seven clusters distributed around the country. Ms. Freitag noted that these projects could serve as the foundation of a broader infrastructure to enable the AHA to work directly with forty to fifty departments.
C. Connecting programmatic initiatives: Ms. Freitag also reported on other initiatives, including: (1) globalizing regional histories project--to encourage scholarly communication across the institutional boundaries created by participation in particular associations, particularly area studies; (2) electronic world history project--to assemble new research and primary source materials from which faculty could select combinations to serve their teaching purposes; (3) pamphlet series--to expand the AHA’s publishing program over the next three years to include series on teaching diversity, women and gender history in global perspective; and (4) modes of dissemination--to address the challenges and implications for scholarship emerging from mixed modes of communication. She noted that all of the projects had been or were being developed with Council approval under AHA committee and division aegis. Ms. Freitag recommended linking these separate projects and initiatives into a larger plan organized around the rubric of global and comparative history which could then serve as the basis for grant proposals and development work.
Ms. Freitag’s report prompted a general discussion of the presentation of status reports on AHA projects and initiatives. Commenting on the usefulness of her report, Mr. Greenberg suggested adding a chart that lists projects underway and funded; projects developed but not yet funded, and projects still in planning stages. He remarked that members could then ascertain each project’s status and this, in turn, would assist Council in management, with both staffing and financial resources. Mr. Katz also suggested integrating staffing requirements in the chart, noting the number and identity of staff involved, and incorporating a work timeline. Ms. Appleby recommended including the individual, committee, or division originating the project. Several members agreed that a chart would assist Council in “mapping the universe,” and also expressed concern that projects under development exceeded the AHA’s limited human resources.
Bringing up a broader issue, Mr. Greenberg queried how projects and initiatives are proposed, how they are adopted, and how the whole is brought to Council for approval. Ms. Freitag explained that the divisions and committees develop and recommend specific initiatives for Council approval. Ms. Ramusack remarked that the one-third rotation of Council membership each year contributed to the perception of discontinuity. Mr. Miller agreed, noting that one year Council could be quite concerned about a specific issue, but by the time a plan has been implemented to address that concern, two thirds or all of the Council membership could have changed.
Ms. Bynum remarked that the oversight Council practiced at its last January meetings had been effective, noting that projects had not been approved by members until budget implications had been addressed. She urged members to continue to envision the AHA’s programs as an aggregate and to develop an awareness of how each fit into the whole. Ms. Freitag noted a potential awkwardness with the example of the part-time/adjunct conference developed by the Professional Division. She pointed out that with each status report to Council, members stated explicitly that the conference was a top priority, but that at Council’s January meeting, support had lessened. Such changes in Council’s priorities could, she noted, prove embarrassing to the AHA with organizations that serve as the AHA’s partners on these projects.
Mr. Stearns suggested that each division and committee should prepare an annual evaluation to determine priorities. Mr. Katz concurred, noting that an essential element is the continuity between vice presidents as one ends and another begins a three-year term. He proposed that the “retiring” vice president draft a document summing up division activity and describing priorities. Ms. Ramusack agreed, characterizing the summary as a “handing over” document rather than an “exit” report. Upon query by Mr. Miller whether Council should plan the year’s agenda at its Sunday session during the Annual Meeting, Mr. Stearns pointed out that the most recently elected vice president would not yet be familiar enough to comment. Following additional discussion, members agreed that the vice presidents should implement this process beginning with Mr. Stearns as the senior vice president rotating off in January 1998. Ms. Tune was asked to remind staff and the vice presidents to place on the appropriate division agenda each year.
In reviewing the projects under development, Ms. Freitag noted more were in progress than would receive funding, and that the goal is to work on interconnected ideas. Mr. Katz queried whether the AHA could approach a foundation for funding to support its infrastructure. He remarked that the Carnegie or Spencer Foundations, for example, are interested in the infrastructure of education and might be approached for support of a staff person to attend to cluster formation and functioning. Mr. Miller stated that a proposal should outline how the individual would interconnect the executive director, staff, divisions, Council, and projects in development. Mr. Stearns commented that this new capacity at the AHA would also enable it to create clusters where they do not now exist, an important advance over current reliance on pre-existing connections among institutions. Following additional discussion, members agreed that Ms. Freitag should work with Mr. Katz to define further, and then to consult with the Executive Committee as needed.
Discussion continued on the AHA’s role as an association. Mr. Miller remarked that as the AHA works toward synthesis, it should also discuss whether it should serve as a facilitator, rather than originator, of projects and initiatives. Mr. Palmer concurred, noting that he, like others in the first year of Council service, was still in the process of learning about the Association. He suggested appointing a working group to define where the AHA should be positioned in ten years. Ms. Ramusack reported on the Council/staff retreat during the spring 1996 meeting and the mission statement that was developed. Ms. Bynum remarked that members were discussing two separate and distinct issues: how new members are brought “up to speed” and how the AHA determines program initiatives. Members pointed out a third issue in Mr. Miller’s query on the AHA’s role in developing or facilitating projects. Ms. Phillips noted that Council’s discussion also intersects with membership issues, observing that members may have a perception that the AHA does what the Council, not the membership, wants.
Mr. Greenberg queried whether the Council should develop a more comprehensive set of strategic objectives not only for the divisions but also for the Council. Members agreed, noting the tendency to try to find a way to take on new projects, and not to sort through all the issues. Some members expressed concern that the divisions don’t perceive the organization as a whole. Mr. Katz remarked that members should keep two points in mind when assessing an organization like the AHA: (1) being responsive to members and achieving a defined set of tasks for their benefit, and (2) doing more and having the capacity to respond to opportunities. He stated that the latter goal was the most important to the Association, and that the AHA should define a national agenda. Ms. Appleby concurred, noting there were aspects about the profession that are misunderstood, citing as an example copyright issues. Following additional discussion, members supported Ms. Appleby’s recommendation to appoint a subcommittee of Ms. Bynum, Mr. Katz, and Mr. Palmer, who will chair, to examine the constantly moving “wall” of priorities and to address the degree that the AHA should originate and/or facilitate projects and initiatives. The subcommittee should also assess how the AHA should set priorities and how these priorities would relate to the membership. Ms. Appleby will draft a letter outlining the committee’s task. Members commented about the benefits of the committee’s work in briefing newly elected members.
Members also briefly discussed orientation materials for elected officers, particularly Council members. They suggested assembling useful documents in a “briefing book” to include, for example, a brief description of each division and summary of the AHA’s recent history. Mr. Grossberg also suggested an oral briefing by sitting Council members for new ones following the model of another board on which he sits. This briefing could precede the first meeting attended by new Council members.
C. Pursuing private funding support: Ms. Appleby summarized fundraising efforts, beginning with the establishment of the Development Advisory Committee (DAC) during John Coatsworth’s presidency. The first event was held in Washington, D.C. during the fall of 1995, and included a dinner at the Capitol and follow up discussions at the AHA headquarters office. Ms. Appleby discussed subsequent efforts, including the DAC/Council luncheon during the 1997 Annual Meeting in New York. She reported that prospective members had been contacted, and that one goal was to raise “seed” money for future development. She also noted that several individuals had made commitments to donate $1,000 a year for three years. A second Washington dinner is planned for the fall, with tentative dates of September 18-19. Ms. Appleby asked Council members for program initiatives appealing to donors.
Mr. Beveridge urged Council to identify projects with broad appeal to donors. He stated that the Council should (1) define the organization and structure of the group, deciding, for example, type of organization and method of operation (an independent body? advisory? a separate mission statement?); (2) develop a comprehensive statement that would address purpose and goals but also why outside funds are sought to support these activities; (3) establish priorities; (4) explain and distinguish benefits not only for the AHA but also for donors; and (5) ensure continuity. Mr. Beveridge noted that he realized the latter point ran counter to the organizational structure of the Association, but emphasized the importance of retaining a group of supporters who would be committed to the effort. He urged Council to have in place some of these elements before it proceeded with further discussions, and to appoint a smaller group so that some elements were in place by the September dinner and meeting.
In discussing Mr. Beveridge’s remarks, Mr. Palmer expressed concern that the profession did not serve the public as it should. Mr. Beveridge pointed out that many of the AHA’s teaching projects have appeal to outside audiences. Members agreed that the September event could be utilized to identify projects to further broaden the AHA’s appeal. Ms. Hill stated that it might be useful to point out that the Association is a custodian of historical culture. Mr. Greenberg suggested, however, that the AHA should emphasize the importance and significance of its projects, not the Association. He also remarked that the current most compelling topic to the public is history education, and that the AHA should stress an educational mission for the DAC. Ms. Bynum agreed, pointing out that the AHA could relate teaching “success stories” and highlight its efforts to improve teaching at every level. Ms. Ramusack noted that the AHA could also make the point that research advances education.
4. Finance Committee’s Report: Ms. Appleby presented the report of the Finance Committee, which met 9 a.m. to 12 noon on June 7, and made the following recommendations: (A) That Council would be asked to approve by mail a balanced budget for 1997-98. Although staff presented a balanced operating budget, the Finance Committee had asked staff to add a new line for capital expenditures, which would create a $33,000 shortfall. Mr. Greenberg noted that the AHA had operated with three successive years of deficits and that, regardless of the difficulty, the Association must operate within a balanced budget in the future. Ms. Appleby stated that staff had been asked to revise the budget and forward to Finance Committee members by June 16. Following committee approval, the budget will then be referred to the full Council by/on June 23. Ms. Appleby asked Council members to respond by June 30. Both Ms. Appleby and Mr. Miller noted that the committee had been encouraged with the staff efforts and commended them for producing excellent information.
Ms. Appleby also reported on a decline in membership beginning with the third quarter that the committee had attributed to disruption caused by the renovation of the AHA’s headquarters building during the winter and early spring. She indicated that staff should know by the end of July if membership numbers would return to the level of late December.
In the future, staff was asked to include summary budget material in the Council agenda book for all members, rather than to include it only in the separate agenda book for Finance Committee members. Mr. Beveridge noted that it would aid Council to frame discussions by including budget information immediately following the minutes.
B. At the December 1996 meeting of the Board of Trustees and the January 2, 1997 Council meeting, staff had been asked to consult with other nonprofits regarding financial practices and to draft a proposal to return to the operating budget a percentage of the total value of specific parts of the portfolio. Until the exact percentage was approved, staff had been directed to utilize 4.5% (averaged over three years) to build the 1997-98 budget proposal.
Following discussion, Council unanimously approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation to return 5% of the total value of specific portions of the portfolio to the operating budget each year. The percentages of total return are to be calculated based on a rolling three-year average of the change in market value, plus the distribution of interest and dividends for the endowment and the Beveridge, Matteson, Schmitt, and Littleton-Griswold funds.
C. Council unanimously approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation regarding the funds to be made available for research grant awards from the Beveridge, Kraus, Littleton-Griswold, and Schmitt endowments. Two and one-half percent of each fund’s total return will be made available for the annual awards of each grant. The percentages of total return are to be calculated based on a rolling three-year average of the change in market value, plus the distribution of interest and dividends for the respective funds among the Beveridge, Kraus, Littleton-Griswold, and Schmitt funds. Up to an additional .5% can be used to cover direct and indirect administrative costs. Calculations will be made by the auditor before each grant committee meets, and the executive director will communicate amounts available for each grant competition.
D. Ms. Appleby also reported that the Finance Committee had carefully considered but declined a request from the American Society for Church History (ASCH) to pay a single lump sum for badges for ASCH members to enter the exhibit hall. Ms. Appleby will inform ASCH.
E. Results of polling of Council on the 1997-98 budget: Council approved by mail ballot both the 1997-98 operating and capital budgets.
5. Policy Issues: A. Advocacy Issues: Ms. Freitag reported that the Association can maintain an active advocacy presence because the AHA is a member of various coalitions. While there is some degree of important overlap, she noted that the coalitions had been effective in different contexts. (1) National Humanities Alliance “Basic Principles for Managing Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment” document: Ms. Freitag reported on the work of an NHA committee of creators, copyright holders, and users to prepare a “Basic Principles” document to build consensus within the educational community on the uses of copyrighted works in the digital environment. She noted that the committee had proceeded on the assumption that each groups’ interests were complementary, and that each should be taken into account. Following discussion, and upon motion by Mr. Katz and second by Ms. Ramusack, Council unanimously endorsed the “Basic Principles” document and approved it as AHA policy guidelines.
Members also noted a letter from Mr. Katz on behalf of the Research Division indicating that the AHA would not to endorse the proposed guidelines developed by the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU). Mr. Katz wrote that the detailed nature of the guidelines made them more restrictive than necessary, and that the speed with which technology is changing in the area of scholarly use of electronic environment made the situation too fluid to try to write guidelines. Council also received a copy of an American Council of Learned Societies’ (ACLS) press release/statement on CONFU. Although ACLS participated in the work of CONFU and, in general, had supported the development of guidelines, it also chose not to endorse two of the three guidelines and indicated it was troubled that no guidelines were developed for interlibrary loan or document delivery.
2. Higher Education Act reauthorization: Members were provided a written report from the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) on reauthorization of Title VI of the Higher Education Act regarding international education programs.
3. National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) : At its January 5, 1997 meeting, Council unanimously approved a resolution asking the NHPRC to reconsider a strategic plan approved November 1996 that placed no historical documentary edition projects or nationally significant records projects in its first level of funding priorities. Ms. Appleby noted that NHPRC sought to address the needs of three groups: documentary editions, records/archives management, and state regrants. She and Mr. Katz briefed members on activity since the January meeting.
Responding to a request from the NHPRC executive director for comments, Mr. Katz wrote to urge the Commission to observe its mandate of supporting projects of national, rather than of state and local, importance. He noted that the new strategic plan removed the documentary editions from their historic priority for the first time, and that the AHA believed this removal was a violation of congressional intent. He also noted that the AHA believed all four areas identified by the plan were appropriate areas of concern for NHPRC, and that the real problem was not to identify priorities among the categories, but within them. Ms. Appleby reported on the “open letter” to the President and members of Congress which appeared as a half page ad in the May 8 Washington Times. More than 100 historians added their names to the letter calling on Congress and the President to act. She reported that, in response, the U.S. Archivist had issued a press release stating that “Historians protested, and we listened.” The release also noted that the Commission had agreed to concentrate its efforts and resources on three strategic goals: completing the Founding Fathers’ projects, solving electronic records problems, and collaborating with state historical records advisory boards. The NHPRC has agreed to commit up to 60 percent of its appropriated funds each year to projects of value in reaching these goals, with the remaining 40 percent for other projects eligible for support within the Commission’s statutory mission. Ms. Appleby stated that the full Commission would consider the Executive Committee’s substitute strategic plan at its next meeting on June 19 and 20.
Members were also provided with a report on the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) budget proposal to implement an “American Legacy Editions” programming effort to ensure the continuation of the papers and works of approximately fifty important historical and literary figures. With this program, projects could receive a combination of matching and outright grants to support operating costs and to speed the projects to completion, and endowment-building Challenge Grants to generate future operating income. This special program will be funded if Congress increases NEH’s appropriation by at least $5 million above its current appropriation of $110 million.
4. National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC) report: Page Putnam Miller, NCC director, joined the meeting to summarize NCC activities. Although the President has requested an increased appropriation for NEH, Ms. Miller reported that the agency had yet to receive a “protective rule” in the House of Representatives which would allow it to be funded even though it lacks authorizing legislation. Although the Senate is more agreeably inclined, Ms. Miller noted a favorable reauthorization bill was not expected from the House. She stated that one proposal called for merger of the NEH and the National Endowment for the Art (NEA), retention of current funding levels through the year 2000, and establishment of an endowment fund to eliminate federal support. Mr. Katz noted that the humanities community had also been urged to support the NEA. Ms. Freitag was asked to circulate a letter written by NHA director John Hammer regarding this matter. Members also discussed NEH director Sheldon Hackney’s resignation and the need to identify qualified candidates.
Ms. Miller also reported that the President had proposed a 5 percent increase in operating expenses for the National Archives and the NHPRC, but that the Administration had recommended a 20 percent funding cut for the NHPRC grants program. She noted that NCC member organizations are supporting an NHPRC appropriation of $6 million, with at least 50 percent set aside for documentary history projects. Ms. Miller was asked to draft a letter for Ms. Appleby’s signature to the House and Senate Appropriations committees supporting this legislation. Ms. Miller also noted that the President had requested $197.7 million for the U.S. Information Agency (USIA)’s Educational and Exchange Programs that included a significant reduction for its Fulbright Scholarly Exchange Program. The Department of Education’s Fulbright-Hays Program has been designated to receive $5.77 million, a $500,000 increase. Mr. Katz reported that entire Fulbright program is under review, and that the faculty grant program has been the focus of particular animosity.
Ms. Miller also reported on the introduction in March of the “Government Secrecy Act of 1997.” The proposed legislation includes a balancing test weighting the benefit of public disclosure of information against the need for initial or continued protection of information. Ms. Miller also noted that enactment of a law, rather than continuation of Executive Orders, should provide the oversight needed for a comprehensive national security information policy. Mr. Katz agreed to write letters to the four sponsors of the legislation thanking them for introducing the bill and bringing visibility to the problems of overclassification, and commenting on areas that need additional specificity.
Ms. Miller also noted the considerable concern among members of the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation about declassification problems in the Foreign Relations of the U.S. volumes slated for publication in 1998. The most troubling, unresolved problems confronting publication of accurate and comprehensive accounts of U.S. foreign policy continues to be lack of access by State Department historians to CIA files and declassification of CIA operational records. Council discussed the importance of resolving the distortions, and noted that if the CIA does not provide access, the Advisory Committee may need to recommend that the volumes should not be published.
Ms. Miller also provided a written update on the lawsuits in which the Association is participating or is interested: deciding whether the National Security Council Records are agency or presidential records; challenging policies that allow destruction of electronic records; unsealing Grand Jury records; and challenging the IRS’s compliance with the Federal Records Act and the National Archives’ oversight and enforcement of those laws. Ms. Miller also noted that Public Citizen had asked for letters in support of a lawsuit filed against the National Archives. She agreed to draft a letter for Mr. Katz’s signature expressing concern about the records disposition policy issues raised in the case.
Ms. Miller also reported on the status of the draft proposals for fair use guidelines for digital images, distance learning, and educational multimedia drafted by the participants in the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU). An interim report had been issued in December, with request for comments. She noted that it was clear from the responses that the guidelines failed to achieve wide-spread support and that the drafting process was at a standstill. Ms. Miller also noted that the Center for Military History was again threatened with relocation in the chain of command and with loss of up to 30 percent of its funding. She shared a newly developed briefing sheet with Ms. Appleby who planned to meet with a Congressman who has taken an interest in the CMH during previous difficulties.
Upon motion by Mr. Katz and second by Ms. Phillips, members unanimously agreed that Ms. Miller would work with Ms. Appleby and Mr. Katz to draft letters as indicated. In closing, Ms. Miller expressed appreciation to the AHA for in-kind and financial support, noting that the NCC faced a $10,000 deficit during its current fiscal year. Ms. Phillips urged members to encourage other associations in which they participate to support the NCC. Ms. Appleby expressed Council’s appreciation for Ms. Miller’s advocacy work and for the electronic version of “Washington Updates.”
5. Creative America: Members had previously received a copy of Creative America: A Report to the President released by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities concerning current support for cultural life in the United States. Prepared in response to a Presidential request, it reports on the value of the arts and humanities and provides a description of the “cultural sector” and its contributions to American life. Members discussed a proposal to endorse the document under the AHA’s Policy on Endorsement, Participation, and Recognition of Historical Projects. Ms. Appleby remarked that endorsement could serve as a “handle” for the AHA to become involved in a broader public debate and to reach a wider audience. Ms. Stearns noted, however, that the overall document did not address AHA policies and concerns.
Upon motion by Mr. Greenberg and second by Mr. Katz, members voted unanimously to endorse the document. Following additional discussion, and upon motion to rescind the vote to endorse the document, the motion carried by a vote of seven ayes, three nays, and one abstention. Upon motion, members voted unanimously to characterize AHA approval as “supporting the sentiments of the Creative America document.”
Following up discussion to reach a wider audience, members also discussed hosting a luncheon during the January 1998 Annual Meeting in Seattle. Ms. Appleby stated that Council should invite one of the U.S. Senators from Washington, Slade Gorton, and encourage support for NEH. Rather than a single speaker, Ms. Appleby suggested three brief presentations emphasizing the importance of NEH, and asked members for possible speakers. Members suggested contacting Richard McCormick, a historian and president of the University of Washington. Members also recommended inviting five or ten teachers who have attended NEH summer teacher institutes.
In a broader context, Ms. Appleby also encouraged members to invite Senators and Representatives for campus visits to discuss the importance of NEH. Mr. Greenberg noted that Illinois institutions have already begun to do this. Mr. Katz also noted that the AHA might want to include an appeal for the proposed “American Legacy” program and summer teacher institutes. Ms. Ramusack concurred, reporting her experience teaching at institutes at the National Humanities Center.
6. Recognition of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), Social Studies-History Standards for National Board Certification: Under the AHA’s “Policy on Endorsement, Participation, and Recognition,” the Teaching Division brought for recognition the NBPTS’s Social Studies-History Standards for National Board Certification. Mr. Stearns noted that the division had concluded that the historical substance of the standards, emphasizing broad coverage in U.S. and world history and also analytical goals, deserved support. In addition, the standards process could also promote the AHA’s role in the teaching. Following additional discussion and upon motion by Mr. Stearns and second by Mr. Trask, members agreed to recognize the document by a vote of nine ayes, one nay, and one abstention. In conveying the AHA’s support, language should indicate approval, but not participation.
B. Publishing issues: 1. Report by subcommittee to review Perspectives: As chair, Mr. Stearns presented the report of the subcommittee to review the newsletter. Separate comments from committee members Robert Brent Toplin, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and John E. Talbott, University of California at Santa Barbara, as well as data from the Perspectives readership survey, were also provided. In his remarks, Mr. Stearns noted four points: (1) that the newsletter clearly had become an important and successful publication of the AHA, and that it worked quite well. (2) that the committee and respondents to the readership survey expressed a widely shared concern regarding the current format. (3) that the committee suggested addition of a “Point of View” feature to provide a more general expression of viewpoint within the discipline. Coincidentally, Mr. Stearns noted the impression that Perspectives worked least well on a consistent basis with university historians. (4) that a consulting editorial committee should be developed through an extension of the present system of contributing editors. Mr. Stearns noted this latter point could be discussed under the broader issues raised by the possible creation of a Publications Review Board. Mr. Stearns stated that the one specific recommendation he would suggest at this time was the addition of a “POV” column.
Mr. Townsend noted that the departure of the newsletter editor in February and the committee’s report had prompted him to consider restructuring the newsletter. New staff members Pilarisetti Sudhir and Susan Gillespie will be in charge of day-to-day administration, while Mr. Townsend will resume the editorship. He also noted that he planned a meeting of the contributing editors at the Seattle Annual Meeting. Mr. Greenberg stated that he had chaired the OAH newsletter editorial advisory board and that one of its recommendations had been to switch from tabloid style to a style like Perspectives. Mr. Trask noted that during division meetings, members often recommended articles and other material for the newsletter and queried if these pieces would still be published. Upon Ms. Appleby’s query whether Council should act on the Perspectives report, Mr. Stearns stated he would recommend postponing further consideration until Council’s January meetings to ensure that efforts were not duplicated vis-à-vis the Publications Advisory Board proposal. Members concurred, and staff was asked to include the Perspectives report in the January agenda books. Upon query by Mr. Townsend, Council members agreed that the report should not be published in the newsletter.
2. Policy paper on Publications Advisory Board (PAB): Mr. Miller discussed the draft policy paper outlining a potential PAB, noting he had been asked to examine this issue during the January Council meetings. In addition to noting the important membership function served by AHA publications, Council also discussed the changing publications environment and development of outreach efforts and the role publications play in that context. Mr. Miller noted that his “charge” was to explore the possibility of a PAB, its context, and structure. He stated he prepared the report with comments from Ms. Appleby, Ms. Bynum, and Ms. Freitag. In discussing the draft, Mr. Miller noted that he would not bring any formal recommendations at this time, but would ask for initial feedback and if it was ready to be forwarded to editors, divisions, and committees for comment.
Mr. Grossberg stated that, as an editor, his initial reaction was to think there was a logic for a review board, but that he would resist reporting to yet another body. He remarked that he believed AHR editors were already held to a high degree of accountability, noting the term appointment for editors, semi-annual reports to Council and Research Division, and annual reports to the AHR Board of Editors. He noted that he would also be concerned about editorial independence and intellectual autonomy. In addition, Mr. Grossberg noted that he was a faculty member at Indiana University, and in that capacity supervised graduate students and served on several faculty committees. He stated that adding more reporting to the editorship would make it less attractive to him and future editors. Mr. Grossberg observed that through historical developments, the journal has had one range of responsibilities and the newsletter has had another, and that these don’t lend themselves to abstract accountability in the way suggested in the draft. Ms. Freitag suggested incorporating the complementarity Mr. Grossberg described. Mr. Miller noted that while he did not intend to speak specifically to the report, the points Mr. Grossberg raised had been considered. Although the draft does reflect inherent tensions, Mr. Miller emphasized that he did not want to imply that the editor’s reporting duties would increase or that the editor’s autonomy would be threatened. Ms. Bynum remarked that she also did not believe the intent was to regard the AHR as just another publication, but that if a PAB is created, to ensure that the AHR’s concerns are represented and addressed.
Ms. Ramusack raised financial considerations, noting that a final decision about TFROGS’s future had been postponed because of the financial repercussions. She questioned whether the Council should establish another board and create yet another draw on AHA resources. In noting the proposed board composition, with three of the seven members to be “retiring” members of Council, Ms. Ramusack also questioned whether the high proportion of retiring Council members on such a board might be unproductive if those Council members did not have extensive expertise with publications. She noted that e-mail rather than face-to-face meetings would also be more cost efficient. Mr. Stearns stated that he would recommend a trial or experimental period, and encouraged putting into place the elements of an advisory group without making all appointments and establishing a large budget. Mr. Katz remarked that the PAB’s purpose was less clearly defined for him, and noted a tension between purpose and mechanism, stating that the latter seemed cumbersome and expensive. He agreed with Mr. Stearns that many of the ideas were useful, but that he would also recommend phasing in elements, and with Ms. Ramusack that the board needed expertise which might not be currently available among the Council’s membership. Mr. Katz also stated that he thought it was less important for the AHA to have a “unified” publications program unless Council thought that the Association was wasteful or was missing opportunities. Mr. Trask remarked that he thought the goal was to sort out AHA publications, and that the external relations or marketing aspect was not included.
After hearing members’ general remarks, Mr. Miller queried whether the report should be forwarded to the divisions and committees in its current form or whether it should be revised. Ms. Phillips remarked that she would like a clear statement on what the divisions would be asked to comment upon. Mr. Stearns concurred, remarking that another possibility was to provide more than one option. Mr. Trask suggested inverting the process outlined in the draft and beginning with a referral to divisions of “what are the issues?” and following up with options to achieve. Ms. Bynum noted that the dual basis of Council’s discussions had been the “recombination” publication project and how best to proceed, and the related issue of “carry-through,” of who builds upon Council’s ideas between its twice yearly meetings. Ms. Bynum recommended referring these elements to the divisions and committees for comment.
Ms. Appleby summarized discussions by noting that the sense of Council was that Mr. Miller should redraft and resubmit the document, and add a list of specific issues to be addressed by the divisions and committees. Mr. Stearns observed that Council has had the recombination project under discussion for a year, and worried about additional delay. Ms. Freitag suggested connecting the recombination project to Mr. Stearn’s earlier proposal to put into place an advisory group during a trial period. Ms. Appleby queried, however, if Council should not move to a decision at the January Council meetings. Ms. Phillips supported Ms. Freitag’s proposal, and asked whether a prospective list was available. Ms. Freitag indicated staff had developed indexes that the divisions and committees could work from. The resulting suggestions could be reviewed by the trial advisory group. Ms. Bynum proposed identifying two or three Council members to serve as “point” people for the advisory group. Upon query by Ms. Appleby, Mr. Stearns suggested himself, Mr. Katz, and Mr. Grossberg. Ms. Freitag asked if these three could serve as a core group, around whom other “enthusiasts” and “doubters” could be arrayed, so that staff could seek practical advice from this larger trial advisory group. Council concurred, and asked staff to create a list serve for the group, as well as to forward the information to all Council members.
Mr. Katz also queried the status of an electronic version of Guide to Historical Literature. Ms. Freitag reported that publisher Oxford University Press has now indicated it will not publish an electronic version, and that staff is pursuing the right to place on AHA’s web space since an e-Guide would be a real moneymaker for the Association. Mr. Katz encouraged staff to continue discussions, emphasizing the importance of gaining this permission since a Guide would be a real moneymaker for the Association. Ms. Freitag concurred, and reported that the Modern Language Association generates over $11 million annually from its publishing program, $6 million of that from electronic reference works. She also noted that in the print side, the single item MLA’s Guide to Undergraduates, supports all other items published in print. Mr. Miller commented that that was a model to be emulated. Mr. Grossberg remarked that he would be interested to learn which articles and sections from the Review were most requested. Ms. Freitag agreed, noting an intern could perform this research.
C. Definitions/guidelines for aspects of an “ideal history department”: Members were provided an excerpt from the minutes of the spring meeting of the Professional Division prompted by a request for guidelines to evaluate history departments. Division members had reviewed potential roles the Association might play, working with other divisions and committees to coordinate projects now under way, and developing a questionnaire for departments to aid in characterizing a well-functioning department of history. Mr. Greenberg remarked that he would not recommend pursuing the proposal since an “ideal” department does not exist and since the AHA is not an accrediting organization. Mr. Katz agreed, but noted the AHA should keep these issues in mind. For example, he noted that post-tenure review is becoming more an issue in departments, and that the AHA should address the professional responsibility of historians.
Mr. Palmer remarked that he had served on the task force that had produced the 1991 report “Liberal Learning and the History Major,” a national review of arts and sciences initiated by the Association of American Colleges. He remarked that the AHA has an obligation to discuss these issues, especially since it provides an entrée to a debate that has enormous resonance with teachers. Mr. Trask concurred, noting that if the disciplines do not address these issues, state legislators will step in. Ms. Ramusack, noting that she did not like the term “ideal,” recommended instead identifying appropriate questions and issues. Ms. Appleby agreed, noting the AHA could deal in “component parts,” thereby taking into account the variety among departments. Mr. Stearns agreed, noting there were some statements the AHA should make; for example, urging regular access to research. Ms. Appleby noted these discussions also provide the AHA an opportunity to address the issue of overuse of part-time/adjunct teachers. Members agreed that the AHA should continue discussions, and referred to the divisions and committees for comments and recommendations.
2. Progress report on Part-time/Adjunct Conference: Ms. Ramusack provided members with an oral report on the planning for this conference scheduled for September 26-28. She noted that Jules Lapidus of the Council of Graduate Schools would give the keynote address the first evening, and that participants would meet as a group and in smaller workgroups throughout the conference. She reported that eleven organizations have agreed to contribute funds for the common expenses, and that each has been invited to send five representatives. Approximately twelve background papers will be prepared and circulated in advance, with topics ranging from the statistical framework to views of part-time faculty and graduate students. The last evening of the meeting will be devoted to developing a document for consideration during the final session that reports on shared understandings, develops action agendas for different players, and proposes guidelines for employment of adjunct faculty. Ms. Ramusack and Ms. Freitag noted that one goal of the conference is to recognize the wide range of opinion on the issue, noting participants would include administrators and others who will serve as “reality checks.” Mr. Palmer recommended adding a paper on appropriate compensation and benefits. In concluding remarks, Ms. Freitag noted that when the AHA began discussing this issue two years ago, it received a modest response from ACLS. At the most recent CAO meeting this spring, however, the overuse of part-time/adjunct faculty was chosen as a primary focus.
D. Evaluating scholarship. In light of the growing concern about downsizing of departments, the decline in publishing of monographs, and the need to create appropriate methods of evaluating departments, at its January meetings Council had asked the committees and divisions to discuss these issues at their spring meetings and to consider appointing a workgroup drawn from all divisions and committees. Members reviewed the divisions and committees responses. The Teaching Division named Teofilo Ruiz, the Research Division will appoint either Cheryl Martin or Stan Katz, and the Professional Division appointment is pending. Ms. Bynum remarked that the Association should not take action until all divisions and committees have had an opportunity to respond. She urged the divisions to provide general feedback when called upon, and noted that their views cannot be considered if they have not responded. Mr. Katz responded that his division had discussed these issues, but had assumed a separate committee would more fully address the issues. He also noted that the division felt constrained by the lack of a written request or specific “charge” of work to be done.
Mr. Grossberg queried the role of the AHR in light of discussions about the decline in publishing monographs in some areas. Noting that the publications issues were interconnected, he questioned whether one of the responsibilities of the Review should be to publish more articles in some fields and few in others. Ms. Freitag commented that this point seemed to be connected to the issue raised by the Committee on Minority Historians, that the other way article-length scholarship was disseminated was through collections of essays, which are not always rewarded by departments as they should be. Mr. Palmer also noted that one of the principle issues to be addressed was how new fields and methodologies are to be evaluated.
Ms. Phillips remarked that while she saw great value in discussing these issues in Council, she questioned what Council hoped to achieve as the “end product.” Ms. Appleby remarked that to refine the issues that would engage the membership, Council should work through the division and committee structure. Ms. Bynum stated that she thought Council’s request was to conduct a brief discussion in each division and committee of the three issues in order to assist Council in deciding whether the AHA should take an advocacy position, whether specific issues should be referred back to division(s) and/or committee(s) with a request for action. She noted that from this process of referring to the divisions and committees, Council could ensure that issues crossing divisional lines were addressed and that the AHA’s structure would not prevent Council from taking action.
In summarizing Council’s discussion, Ms. Appleby suggested referring Council’s request to the divisions and committees again, and including an excerpt from the Council minutes to provide the context for discussions. Mr. Stearns remarked that the Professional Division should help to frame the discussion on post-tenure review. Members agreed, and referred this specific issue to the Professional Division.
2. “Endangered monograph” project: ACLS/AAUP/ARL conference: Ms. Freitag gave an oral report on the September 11-12 conference which will be held in Washington, D.C. She noted that the keynote speaker on behalf of scholars is Steve Humphreys of the University of California at Santa Barbara, who chaired UCSB’s faculty committee and sat on the (financial) Board of Control for the University of California Press. The conference will address the issues characterizing monograph publishing that are important to scholars and librarians as well as the shift by university presses to “bookstore” books. Ms. Freitag invited Council members or others in their networks to attend and asked interested individuals to be in touch with her.
E. Task Force on the Role of Graduate Students in the AHA (TFROGS): Members were provided a copy of the “exit” report from outgoing chair Leslie Brown, University of Missouri-St. Louis. Ms. Hill, as incoming graduate student member on Council, became chair of the task force in January, and reported on its recent teleconference meeting. Since TFROGS was established as an ad hoc committee in May 1995 for a two-year term, members discussed whether the task force should be reauthorized and, if so, whether the committee membership should be altered. Following review of proposals from Ms. Brown and the Professional Division, Ms. Hill recommended that Council renew the Task Force for an additional two-year term and that it “meet” by conference call or e-mail. She defined TFROG’s “job” to maintain a relationship with the divisions and committees, although a representative would not have to attend semi-annual meetings, and to submit relevant panels to the Program Committee.
In addition, Ms. Hill recommended modifying appointments to the task force. Although the Council graduate student member would continue as chair and the CMH and CWH graduate student representatives would continue as task force members, Ms. Hill recommended adding two new at-large members appointed by the AHA’s Committee on Committees. This would substitute for the current representatives from each of the three divisions. Ms. Hill also recommended adding a sixth member, a faculty member from the Professional Division. Upon motion by Ms. Hill and second by Katz, Council unanimously approved an additional two-year term for the task force and modified its membership as discussed.
Ms. Hill remarked that TFROGS planned an “Open Forum” at the 1998 Annual Meeting and a follow up report in Perspectives. The Task Force will identify someone to take notes at the Forum for review at the next TFROGS meeting.
Members also discussed Ms. Brown’s comments regarding graduate education and the importance of professionalization for graduate students. Ms. Phillips noted that the urgency Ms. Brown cited was quite real, and that the “Preparing Future Faculty” project addresses this issue. She suggested that Council may wish to postpone action until after a conference scheduled at the University of Minnesota in November. Mr. Stearns remarked that the Teaching Division would also address this issue, and planned a discussion at its fall meeting.
6. Report of the AHR Editor: Mr. Grossberg gave a report on the status of the Review, noting that it continued to be produced on time and had received approximately 100 new or revised manuscripts and 1,100 books for review since the January Council meetings. He remarked that the staff believed it had some measure of success in overcoming the impression that the AHR is a journal primarily for historians of modern Western Europe and North American, citing as an example the significant increase in accepted essays in Asian history. With publication of the first formal guidelines for film reviews in the February 1997 issue, the project to revise film review and article guidelines had been completed. Mr. Grossberg reported that film reviews are now published in each issue.
Mr. Grossberg also noted personnel changes. Jeffrey Wasserstrom was named associate editor in January replacing Peter Guardino, who had served for a two and a half years. Two graduate students also departed as well as Thomas Prasch, who has served the Review in a number of capacities, most recently as part-time copy editor. Mr. Grossberg outlined a recent staff reorganization to make the most effective use of staff time, skills, and fiscal resources. He noted that one position of part-time copy editor had been eliminated for budgetary reasons. Mr. Grossberg reported that the AHR had generally managed to operate within its budgetary allocation for the 1996-97 fiscal year, and discussed the Review’s budget proposal for 1997-98. He noted that the AHA’s capital budget included an increased appropriation for computer purchases. He remarked that the biggest challenge facing the staff during the next fiscal year would be the negotiations with printers since it was the third year of a three-year contract with Cadmus.
Mr. Grossberg also discussed the results of the AHR readership survey. He noted that tabulated results were provided in Council’s agenda books, and that staff would complete analysis during the summer months and prepare a final report for the Research Division, Council, and membership. He stated that comments were generally positive and pointed out that AHR guidelines closely paralleled readers’ expectations. In particular, Mr. Grossberg noted massive opposition to putting the AHR online. He remarked that the staff would be informed, not directed, by the results of the survey.
Thanks to timely intervention by Mr. Katz, Mr. Grossberg noted that the conference on “History Journals and the Electronic Future” was funded and scheduled for August 3-8 in Bloomington. The basic goal of the conference is to begin a dialogue among history editors about the possibilities and problems posed for history journals by electronic publication. He reported that the AHR staff was finalizing speakers, selecting participants, and preparing reading material. Mr. Grossberg stated that he planned to disseminate reading material more broadly and, upon Mr. Greenberg’s request, agreed to send this material to Council members. Mr. Grossberg also reported that he had hired a graduate student for a nine-month period following the conference to write a conference report and do other follow-up.
In general remarks following his report, Mr. Grossberg stated, and members agreed, that the newsletter was the most appropriate publication to report business of the Association. Mr. Grossberg also invited Council to hold its spring 1998 meeting in Bloomington, and Ms. Tune agreed to compare meeting costs. Mr. Katz remarked that Council was impressed with Mr. Grossberg’s oversight, and Mr. Greenberg remarked that the chart comparing printing costs was helpful. He queried where savings been realized, and Mr. Grossberg responded in addition to declining paper costs, staff had taken advantage of discounts for prompt payment of bills and was also exploring prepayment to reduce costs further.
Ms. Appleby will write letters thanking Board of Editors members rotating off this spring: Prasenjit Duara, University of Chicago; Daniel Scott Smith, University of Illinois at Chicago; Reba N. Soffer, California State University at Northridge; and Gabrielle Spiegel, Johns Hopkins University.
7. Annual meeting: A. Update on Seattle arrangements: Ms. Tune provided a brief oral report on the AHA’s 113th Annual Meeting, scheduled for January 8-11, 1998 in Seattle, Washington. The meeting will be held at the Washington State Convention Center with housing in six nearby hotels. Single and double rates at the hotels will be less than $100 and will include a $4 rebate to pay convention center rental costs. To recoup these charges, the Association must sell a total of 2,000 hotel rooms each of the three nights of the meeting; as a comparison, Ms. Tune reported that the AHA had sold 2,770 rooms on peak night at the 1997 meeting. Ms. Tune also noted that June 1 was the deadline for submission of the program from the Program Committee and space requests from affiliated societies. The committee has accepted 155 sessions, and affiliates will participate in high proportion. Suzanne Wilson Barnett, University of Puget Sound, and Jere Bacharach, University of Washington, will serve as co-chairs of the Local Arrangements Committee, and plan tours and meeting materials to attract AHA members to attend. She reported that AHA staff member Vernon Horn also planned to post information on the AHA’s website.
B. Sites for future Annual Meetings: Ms. Tune noted that at its January 4, 1996 meeting, Council approved the tentative rotational pattern of an East Coast site in 2001; a West Coast site in 2002; and a Midwest site in 2003. To acquaint new Council members with the policies, procedures, and background related to the Annual Meeting, she provided copies of the following material: Annual Meeting Policy and Guidelines for Implementation; Annual Meeting Site Selection Procedures; Phase I letters to convention bureaus; Phase II letters to hotels and convention centers; sample Contract Addendum relating to the AHA’s meeting policy; Annual Meeting Specifications sent to interested hotels, bureaus, and other vendors; a list of previous locations of AHA Annual Meetings; and a calendar of dates for the 1998-2004 Annual Meetings.
After discussing Council's decision not to meet in California until the resolution of issues surrounding Proposition 187 and the generally higher rates in cities with warmer January climates, Council had asked staff to explore availability in the following cities for 2001: Boston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Juan, and Toronto. Ms. Tune discussed sites for the 2001 Annual Meeting as well as sites for 2002, 2003, and 2004. As called for in the Site Selection Procedures, Ms. Tune provided an evaluation form for each site with date availability and brought copies of documentation provided by the bureaus, hotels, and/or convention centers to support the information summarized on the forms. Ms. Tune remarked that Council had delegated to staff the authority to negotiate with hotels and that after it vetted the material, staff would conclude negotiations and sign contracts.
Ms. Tune reported that for the January 4-7, 2001 (East Coast site) meeting, four cities have indicated availability and therefore were contenders for this meeting: Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Toronto. She noted that Miami, New Orleans, and San Juan did not have these dates available, and also expressed concern that larger hotels were distanced, that shuttles would be necessary in Miami, and that San Juan lacked larger facilities needed to schedule sessions, the job register, and exhibits. Following review, Council members agreed that the information provided on these four cities met the requirements of the AHA’s site selection policies and approved continued negotiations. Members provided a ranked order preference of Toronto, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City, and directed staff to select the site with the most favorable rates and concessions.
For the January 3-6, 2002 (West Coast) meeting, Ms. Tune reported that Seattle has expressed interest and was currently preparing a proposal that would offer rates very close to those for the 1998 Annual Meeting. She also asked Council to review the policy it adopted with regard to meetings in California after voter approval of Proposition 187. Members were provided with excerpts from Council’s January 5 and 8, 1995 meetings; a letter from Leon F. Litwack, University of California at Berkeley; and information from the San Francisco convention bureau. Ms. Tune stated that a Federal Appeals Court judge had found a majority of the proposition unconstitutional, and that the bureau had reported that most of the groups deciding not to meet in California after the November 1994 vote, were now considering meeting in the state, especially San Francisco. The bureau also reported that several educational groups had recently signed contracts, including the American Economic Association, the Latin American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association, and the National Education Association.
Ms. Tune queried if staff should continue to exclude from consideration California sites for the 2002 meeting, or if staff could negotiate with cities that have indicated they would not enforce what remains of the law. In addition, she asked that if California was to be excluded, could staff proceed to negotiate with Seattle, or should they consider additional cities. Ms. Tune also asked Council to approve a timeline for concluding negotiations for the 2002 meeting site. In discussion, Council agreed that staff could explore availability of San Francisco for the meeting, and expressed its preference to postpone a final decision on the meeting site until the January Council meetings. However, if Seattle or San Francisco indicate that negotiations should proceed earlier due to interest in these meeting dates from other organizations, Council also approved staff circulating evaluation forms for an earlier decision.
Ms. Tune noted that Council had planned initially to consider New Orleans in 2001. Because it is not available at that time, but is available for the January 2-5, 2003 meeting dates, Ms. Tune brought it for consideration at this time. She noted that staff routinely negotiates contracts approximately five years in advance, and would not normally begin working on the 2003 meeting until next spring. Ms. Tune reported that the preferred New Orleans meeting sites, the Sheraton and the Marriott, have both indicated availability for the January 2003 dates. Following discussion, Council agreed that staff could alter the rotational pattern discussed at the January 1996 meeting, and negotiate with New Orleans for the 2003 meeting. Ms. Tune will collect the required information from the bureau and hotels and forward to Council members by mail during summer months so that negotiations could be concluded as soon as possible.
Should Ms. Tune be unable to negotiate favorable terms with the New Orleans hotels, Council will identify Midwestern cities during its January 1998 meetings, such as Chicago and Cincinnati. Between the January and spring Council 1998 meetings, staff would verify availability and collect information from bureaus and hotels. In addition, if Ms. Tune does not contract with New Orleans, Council will discuss whether the 2003 meeting should be scheduled the following weekend, January 9-12. Ms. Tune reported that the AHA had incurred substantial costs in meeting January 2-5 in New York City, noting additional expenses to set up the exhibit hall on New Year’s Day and to pay additional hotel nights for staff and Council to arrive earlier.
Ms. Tune also discussed the 2004 Annual Meeting, noting that the Association has always returned to its headquarters city every four or five years without regard to the usual East-West-Midwest rotation. She reported that when the AHA moved its meeting dates from late December to early January, she had encountered a dilemma at the usual meeting hotels, the Sheraton Washington and the Omni Shoreham. Another organization has a renewable ten-year contract with these hotels for the first weekend in January. The hotels’ sales personnel are aware of the AHA’s new meeting dates and have alerted Ms. Tune when the other group’s meeting dates do not coincide with the AHA’s. She reported that the hotels have advised her that they are available for the AHA’s January 8-11, 2004 meeting. Ms. Tune noted that except for 2009, this year would probably be the only year in the next ten that the AHA could return to Washington and meet at the preferred hotels. Following discussion, members approved adjusting the Annual Meeting rotational pattern so that staff could contract with Washington, D.C. in 2004, and vetted the information provided according to the AHA’s site selection procedures.
8. Continuing business and follow-up to January agenda items: A. Text to assist negotiations between AHA presidential nominees and their campuses: Members noted the letter prepared by Ms. Bynum for the February 1-3, 1997 Nominating Committee meeting. If possible, the candidate’s home institution should provide the president with release time from teaching one course each semester or quarter during the presidential year. In addition, the home institution should provide the president-elect during the second half of his/her term and for the president the entire presidential year about six hours per week of work study time or secretarial support, and should also provide during the presidential year $100 in phone allowance and $100 in mailing allowance above what is the normal for senior faculty allowance.
B. Report on development activities: Ms. Appleby reported that, following Mr. Beveridge’s suggestions and in preparation for the fall DAC dinner/meeting, a broad statement of AHA goals would be developed. Members were encouraged to e-mail Ms. Appleby with comments or questions and to send the letter she had drafted for potential DAC members with her or their signature. She reported on discussions with Arthur Schlesinger to serve as dinner speaker, but stated he had declined. Members suggested Ms. Appleby consider: Steven Ambrose, Alan Brinkley, Jill Conway, Natalie Zemon Davis, Doris Kearns Goodwin, James McPherson, and Simon Schama. Mr. Katz remarked that he knew Mr. Ambrose and would be pleased to speak with him if Ms. Appleby wished. Following additional discussion, members encouraged Ms. Appleby to proceed with plans as outlined.
9. Standing Reports: A. Report of the Teaching Division: Mr. Stearns presented the report of the Teaching Division, and noted the following interests: developing and encouraging teaching-related sessions at the Annual Meeting; maintaining and improving relationships with teaching-related affiliated societies; and monitoring state teaching standards efforts. He reported that the division was also continuing discussions with public television to sponsor a series on working history. Upon query by Mr. Katz if the division had considered working with the History Channel, Mr. Stearns noted that discussions with the HC had not been as productive, especially considering its current focus on military history. Responding to Ms. Appleby’s query if all states were developing history standards, Mr. Stearns stated that the division did not have accurate information since historians were often excluded and some states were developing standards in a closed process. Noting that the division had voted to join the National Council for History Education (NCHE) Partnership as a cooperating organization as long as the OAH and NHEN were also listed, Mr. Katz and Mr. Greenberg queried what the division hoped to contribute. Members expressed concerns about the conservative, exclusionist, and top-down view of history. Mr. Stearns replied he thought keeping communication open had merit, so long as it did not compromise values AHA thought important. At present, he noted, the relationship has succeeded in this respect.
B. Report of the Professional Division: Ms. Phillips presented the report of the Professional Division, noting members had restructured the meeting agenda to consider cases initially. She noted that the 1997 edition of the Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct was now available, and that members would review the document as an aggregate during the fall meeting. She also reported briefly on cases before the division and responded to questions about the division’s policies and procedures.
Ms. Phillips brought the division’s recommendation to add a paragraph to the “Statement on Interviewing for Historical Documentation.” She noted that the issue had arisen through correspondence to the division. Ms. Phillips noted the intent was to encourage historians to check with their institutions’ Institutional Review Boards. Upon motion by Mr. Stearns and second by Mr. Katz, Council unanimously approved the following addition as the next to the last paragraph of the statement:
Certain interview research may be governed by the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (codified at 45 CFR 46). Such research may require prospective review by an Institutional Review Board(IRB) as well as written informed consent of the interviewee. Additionally, institutions engaged in biomedical or behavioral research are likely to have internal policies that also pertain to interview research. Historians should be cognizant of and comply with all laws, regulations, and institutional policies applicable to their research activities. Before beginning any research that may include oral history interviewing, historians should contact their IRB for policies and regulations governing the use of human subjects in research projects. They will also find it useful to read and follow the Oral History Association Principles and Standards of the Oral History Association and Evaluation Guidelines of the Oral History Association.
Staff was asked to publish the revised statement with an explanatory headnote in Perspectives.
Ms. Phillips also reported on the division’s ongoing initiatives. She noted it had sponsored a well-attended and well-received session on downsizing at the 1997 Annual Meeting. Gail Savage, a division member and Perspectives contributing editor for professional issues, has contacted session participants and other individuals for follow-up articles and would like to establish a “chat room” for exchange of ideas. Ms. Phillips remarked that the future of tenure appears to be the next major topic of concern and discussion at research universities. The division will sponsor a session on tenure and hopes to inspire similar follow-up, including discussion at the department chairs’ luncheon. Ms. Appleby queried if the division had considered addressing alternative careers as a division issue. Ms. Phillips noted that the division will work with TFROGS since it has indicated an interest in sponsoring a second session on this topic following a very successful panel at the 1997 Annual Meeting.
Ms. Phillips also discussed the interview workshop sponsored by the division for several years, and invited Council’s suggestions to increase participation of faculty members and public historians. Members recommended appealing to local colleges and universities. For individuals who have participated before and are considering dropping out, Ms. Bynum suggested adding an appeal that individuals are especially valuable if they have experience. Ms. Phillips noted that she would meet with faculty one-half hour before the session begins to assist in smooth operation of the workshop. Ms. Tune will advise Ms. Phillips the date of the second mailing to meeting participants so that Ms. Phillips can include a request for participation. Ms. Phillips also invited Council members to participate unless they were committed to another session in the Friday morning timeslot.
Ms. Freitag requested discusson of the arrangements for the department chairs luncheon at the Seattle meeting, following on Ms. Phillips’ reference She noted that it was certainly possible to follow the successful 1997 model, which continued the division-sponsored session discussions on downsizing from the session to the luncheon. Ms. Freitag noted she had previously worked with OAH to select the luncheon topic, and that the pattern had been to invite a special speaker, but that the 1997 format had worked especially well. If Ms. Phillips’ proposal was approved, it only remained for Ms. Freitag to consult with the OAH on the topic. Ms. Tune will schedule the division’s two sessions and the department luncheon on Saturday.
C. Report of the Research Division: Mr. Katz presented the report of the Research Division, and brought the following recommendations for approval: (1) to create a Committee on Research Grant Awards(CRGA) to administer the four grants sponsored by the AHA: the Beveridge Grants for research in any area of the Western hemisphere, Kraus Grant in American colonial history, Littleton-Griswold Grant in U.S. legal history and in the general field of law and society, and the Schmitt Grants for research in the history of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The division recommended that the CRGA review the applications, select finalists, and determine monetary awards. Six members would serve on the committee, three of whom would award the three grants in U.S/Western hemisphere history and three would award the Schmitt grant. To ensure continuity of selection practices, the division recommended that a Research Division member serve on each subcommittee for the first year, functioning as chair. Thereafter, chairs would be appointed on the basis of seniority. Four additional members would be appointed by the Committee on Committees to staggered two- and three-year terms. Following these initial appointments, all CRGA members would serve three-year terms. The 1997 Committee on Committees would make appointments during its fall 1997 meeting so that the CRGA could begin work on spring 1997 grants competitons.
Following discussion, and upon Mr. Katz’s motion, Council unanimously approved the creation of the Committee on Research Grant Awards and the “Experience, Customs, and Lore” document defining CRGA policies and procedures.
(2) to modify Program Committee guideline 6.c. and to delete guideline 7. Council discussed the recommendations separately, first considering guideline 6.c.’s limitations on the number of “appearances” on an Annual Meeting program. Current guidelines defines an “appearance” as presentation of a paper, comment on a session, or chairship of a session, and prohibits anyone from appearing in more than one of these capacities except under extraordinary circumstances. The division recommended deleting presentation of a comment and chairing a session from this definition. Following additional discussion, Council agreed to delete chairing a session from the definition. Since members did not delete presenting a comment, the phrase “and no one should appear in more than one of these capacities” should be retained; however, Council agreed that Mr. Katz could review the modified section to ensure that Council’s intent was clear.
Revised guideline 6.c. would read as follows, with deletions noted in strikethrough and additions in boldface:
6. The Program Committee has autonomy in the selection of programs and participants, subject to the following limitations:...
c. Except under extraordinary circumstances, participants in any annual meeting program should be limited to one appearance. Presentation of a paper, or comment on a session, or chairship of a session shall constitute an appearance, and no one should appear in more than one of these capacities.
Members next considered the division’s recommendation to delete guideline 7 which states that “Commentators in all sessions should address the implications of papers being given not only for research but also for teaching.” Following discussion, and upon motion by Mr. Katz, Council declined to delete guideline 7 by a vote of five ayes and six nays. Members agreed that additional steps should be taken to inform session participants about this guideline, and asked Ms. Tune to work with Mr. Katz to include a notice in materials mailed to all session participants during the summer.
(3) to notify University Microfilms International (UMI) that the AHA/UMI electronic distribution agreement due to expire July 1, 1997 will not be renewed prepatory to negotiating newer, more favorable terms. Mr. Katz reported that the division planned a lengthy discussion at its fall meeting to discuss the impact of information technology as it relates to research and to invite experts to participate. Mr. Katz noted that the contract would be renewed automatically if the AHA did not indicate that it wished to withdraw. He reported that UMI appeared willing to discuss higher royalties as well as a brief “embargo” prior to placing issues on line, although indicated that their timeline was closer to ninety days rather than the five-year “wall” negotiated with J-STOR.
Upon motion by Mr. Katz, members unanimously approved the division’s recommendation electing not to renew the electronic agreement with UMI. The Association’s attorney for electronic copyright will be directed to inform UMI. The letter will initiate a two-month negotiation period and during this time, the attorney may prepare a new version of the contract(s) that are acceptable to the AHA.
D. Report of the 1997 Nominating Committee: Members noted the report from the AHA Nominating Committee listing candidates for 1997 elective office. Council agreed that the committee’s recommendations to modify the candidate biography material should be forwarded to the divisions and committees for comment. The committee proposed modifying the booklet to make it more “reader friendly,” and suggested a narrative format, beginning each entry with the candidate’s name, affiliation, job title, and fields of interest. Additional information would include a statement of a limited number of words, lists of service and awards, and a list of major publications (with limited entries in a number of categories). Council recommended adding “and other contributions” to the list of major publications since public historians and others do other types of work that should be recognized. Although the committee recommended including photographs, Council did not agree. Members supported the committee’s recommendations that staff should consult a graphics/layout consultant and post full c.v.s on the AHA’s web site. Council also approved the committee’s recommendation not to publish vote tallies in Perspectives, but to continue reporting them in the Annual Report. Staff was asked to refer the Nominating Committee’s recommendations as modified by Council to the CMH, CWH, and three divisions for comment, and to include responses in Council’s January agenda book for discussion and resolution.
E. Report of the Committee on Minority Historians and the Report of the Committee on Women Historians: Members received and noted interim reports from the CMH and CWH.
F. Exit reports from past Council members: Council members noted exit reports from individuals rotating off Council in January 1997: Leslie Brown, University of Missouri at St. Louis; John Coatsworth, Harvard University; Walter LaFeber, Cornell University; and William Rosenberg, University of Michigan.
10. New Business: A. Association’s relationship to prominent historians who do not have Ph.D.’s in history: Mr. Katz recounted a recent conversation with a student who had stated that Barbara Tuchman and other “popular” historical writers were not “historians.” He stated their discussions prompted him to consider how the profession relates to prominent historians who do not have a Ph.D. in history. Although Mr. Katz stated, and members agreed, that anyone who writes history is a historian, he queried what the Association could do to appeal to this constituency and to “bring it into the fold.” Mr. Katz noted this subject was most often raised in the context of fundraising. Mr. Grossberg stated that he could organize a forum of these writers to explain how they were able to reach a wider audience. Mr. Katz stated that he was reluctant to propose another prize, but indicated that he did not believe the Feis Award for public historians and independent scholars addressed this type of writing. Following additional discussion, members referred the matter to the Research Division for additional discussion and recommendations for action.
B. Paper reduction for Council agenda books: Council discussed ways that staff could decrease the amount of material included in agenda books, and suggested the following: including charts to summarize information wherever possible; omitting c.v.s from agenda books and bringing copies to meetings; and numbering in a more understandable way. Council also agreed books could be mailed to reach members one week prior to the meetings, thereby decreasing the need to send by express mail service. Council also agreed that staff need not duplicate material front-to-back. Members urged staff to consider other ways to decrease the quantity of agenda materials and suggested that the Executive Committee could assist in decision-making.
C. Program Committee: Members referred to its discussion earlier in the meeting regarding the relationship of Program Committee to initiatives developed by Council, committees, divisions, and the staff. Ms. Freitag outlined problems encountered with the 1997 committee, and reported that staff planned to meet with the 1998 and 1999 chairs this summer since both are “local.” She asked Council to indicate other areas of concern that should be raised. Ms. Ramusack would urge the committee to have greater flexibility with regard to division and committee mandated sessions. Members also discussed the concern to bring the older generation of historians back to the meeting, and cited repeated complaints from these historians that they felt excluded. Following additional discussion, Council agreed upon two reports at its Sunday session during the Annual Meeting: from the committee chair or co-chair for the meeting one year out, a progress report to include the committee’s first meeting during the fall. From the committee chair or co-chair for the meeting two years out, a discussion with Council to highlight the current concerns of Council, divisions, and committees.
D. General discussion on membership: Ms. Freitag noted that membership issues and reports recurred over the last several years. Because one-third of the Council has rotated off each year, many current members seem to feel that little staff effort or reflection have gone into the subject. Rather three separate conversations have taken place, in June 1995, June 1996, and January 1997. The priorities approved by Council when considering the “marketing plan” requested by President Coatsworth (June 1995) continues to guide staff initiatives and efforts, i.e., targeting especially area studies members, community college faculty, and core members at non-elite institutions. Since the Finance Committee made it clear that it still considered membership a priority, she asked for suggestions for a mechanism to solicit and to crystallize Council comment. Following discussion, members agreed that staff should start a membership-focused list serve and place membership on the January meetings’ agenda.
11. Executive Session: Council members met in executive session on Saturday and Sunday. For the minutes, Ms. Appleby reported unanimous approval of the following resolution: The executive director reports to the Council, which has delegated to the president the responsibility to prepare a written evaluation of the executive director annually in consultation with the past immediate president and the president-elect. The president will communicate the evaluation to the executive director.
In discussion of this mechanism with the executive director, Council agreed that the letter of evaluation would be circulated to all Council members. Should the executive director feel the need to provide more information in writing, this response would also be circulated to all Council members.
12. Adjournment: The meeting adjourned on Sunday, June 8, at 2:50 p.m.
Recorded by Sharon K. Tune