Minutes of the Council Meeting, May 31-June 1, 1998, Part 2
C. Future years -- 2005 and out: Ms. Tune reported she has received several inquiries from convention bureaus regarding “outyear” rotation and asked Council to discuss briefly the rotational pattern after 2004. However, given time limitations, discussion was postponed until the January meetings.
8. Discussion about development with Development Advisory Committee: Evan Stewart, executive vice president/general counsel of Nikko Securities Co., International Inc. and chair of the Development Advisory Committee (DAC), joined the meeting by telephone to discuss DAC activities. Linn Shapiro, manager, new project development, also joined the meeting. A. Progress report: Ms. Shapiro provided members with a written update on development activities. At the January 1998 meeting, Council had agreed to “acquiesce” to the continuation of fund-raising efforts, which included a plan to hold five receptions during the coming year, and postpone creation of a “Friends of the AHA” group. Ms. Shapiro’s report noted that the two receptions held thus far had met with limited success. The first, in Cambridge, was attended by too few people to make it a financial success, and the second, scheduled for Los Angeles, was canceled by host John Cooke. While the AHA had yet to offer an evening that combined all the elements of a model as originally conceived by the DAC, receptions planned for Washington, D.C. and New York City during the fall more closely approximated the model. Eleven of seventeen DAC members have made the initial payment of $1,000 per year for three years, for a total of $10,500. Although an important organizational step was taken with the election of Mr. Stewart as chair, the DAC had not yet functioned as a group with a sense of purpose and a set of activities to carry out that purpose. To frame discussion for her oral report, Ms. Shapiro posed a set of decisions to be made: Evaluate Washington and New York receptions and reconsider approach to reception strategy at January 1999 Council meeting? Begin a limited effort to find donors among members? Begin a limited effort to find major donors? Adopt a development plan?
Ms. Shapiro stated that staff and the DAC had been learning how to organize the receptions. She noted that people would not necessarily attend just because an event was hosted by the AHA, even when they held the AHA in some esteem. Critical to the success of the receptions was to prove that the Association has financial needs and to describe where funds would be spent. Ms. Shapiro stated that the Washington reception, scheduled for early October, would be a “test” of sorts: if the AHA does everything right, can the AHA do it right. Mr. Stewart concurred, noting that they had also learned that an important component had been missing: a base of supporters for the group had not yet been developed. He stated that moving forward without identifying the people to be brought in under the umbrella left the Association open to failure. He reminded members that he had stated on more than one occasion that the Council itself had a wealth of potential supporters and lovers of history in their former students. He argued that DAC needed from the twelve leading historians sitting around the table lists of the ten or fifteeJuly 6, 2007 2:19 PMrk with the DAC or with the AHA. Ms. Appleby, in noting Mr. Stewart’s model with his former professor Walt LaFeber was an unusual one, stated that most members did not have ten or fifteen wealthy former students. Other members agreed, noting that response from this avenue had not been successful. Mr. Stewart suggested there might be other ways to develop the base of support. Ms. Hata noted that she had served previously on the Roelker Mentorship Committee and that letters of support for the faculty members oftentimes were on prestigious letterhead, such as lawyers and bankers. She queried if there was some way the AHA could tap into this kind of support from individuals who are still committed to their former instructors and to history and have written for this award and others. Upon query, Mr. Beveridge stated he did not see any legal problems using contact information from letters.
Mr. Beveridge noted that he agreed with Mr. Stewart that the AHA needed to identify its group of supporters. He reported that the Washington reception would be planned by recruiting a host committee and then relying on the committee to call upon personal relationships for the invitation list. He noted that this was not as effective as calling upon someone who was dedicated to the AHA itself. Mr. Stewart agreed, stating that he had originally thought there would be a wealth of names, for example, from former students of C. Vann Woodward or former students at Yale University, who could be called upon. He agreed that calling on personal relationships would only take DAC so far, and that the AHA must identify and then call upon a base of supporters. Mr. Miller thanked Mr. Beveridge and Mr. Stewart for making this point, and agreed on its importance.
Ms. Shapiro remarked that if the AHA was to move forward with fund-raising efforts, that it needed a plan of action. If hosting a series of receptions would not be the strategic way the AHA would continue development, then how else would the AHA proceed and how could the AHA encourage DAC members to become more involved? Ms. Shapiro noted that most of the DAC members, with the exception of Mr. Beveridge and Mr. Stewart, had not yet learned very much about the AHA. She also noted that Mr. Beveridge and Mr. Stewart had somewhat different views on how development plans should continue, and asked Council to consider how these differences should be resolved. She pointed out that it was not the DAC’s responsibility to make this reconciliation, rather it was the Council’s. For these and other reasons, she urged Council members to consider a development plan since it would impact all other issues.
Mr. Stewart concurred, stating that the AHA did not yet have a good grasp on what it wanted the DAC to do. If the AHA wanted the group solely to raise money, it should make that decision. He argued that Council must tell the group what it should do and how ambitious the goals. He noted that Mr. LaFeber had described to him other kinds of development activities, including reaching out to people who supported history, noting the request had come at a time of increasing misperceptions about the historical profession such as the Enola Gay controversy at the Smithsonian Institution. Ms. Freitag agreed that this had indeed been part of the frame for setting up the DAC and was the view of the Council at the time, led by then-president John Coatsworth. She noted that the invitation to the people who came to the first DAC meeting quite explicitly stated that the AHA sought their help in reaching the public on the importance of history and on controversial issues.
B. Proposal to DAC for funding project and general discussion about future activities: In presenting the draft proposal on fund-raising focuses for DAC, Ms. Freitag stated that she and Ms. Shapiro had worked with Mr. Beveridge and Mr. Stewart and had labored to capture what each had said. However, she worried that the more she worked on the plan, the more complicated, longer, and elaborate it had became. She decided that the best way to continue was to present it to Council, not as something that needed to be polished rather as something with a variety of pieces which Council must resolve and then decide if the pieces make sense on their own. If members agree that they do, then staff and Council could find ways to connect them in a coherent plan that served the institutional interests of the AHA as well as the specific, expressed interests of members of the DAC.
Mr. Stewart stated that he thought the draft was terrific and had a good phase-in concept. He remarked that as the AHA expanded the DAC concept and drew more people under its umbrella, media attention would follow providing additional contacts for the AHA. He stated that his experience on the DAC had taught him that the AHA could not raise a ground swell of affection from ground zero. The AHA would need to demonstrate that it is a presence on the internet, television, and other venues. He stated that the more the AHA’s name is put before a larger audience, the more access it would have and the better opportunity to reach those most receptive.
Noting that he was speaking from a local fund-raising point of view, Mr. Beveridge stated that he did not think the AHA should go beyond Phase I under any circumstance. He remarked that everyone he had discussed this with had wanted to see something tangible and local with which they could interact, such as a local teacher or local student. He stated that he was very skeptical about raising money for technology and that a project for K-12 teachers made more sense to him. Mr. Stewart concurred, stating that he did not disagree with Mr. Beveridge, and that something tangible and local would be a good start. Following the suggestions in the plan, Mr. Fink noted that some of the Teaching Division projects would fit quite well to this call for more tangible examples. He noted that the division had been discussing the creation of AHA outreach centers or partnerships to connect university departments with K-12 teachers on the model of thematic, document-based seminars that would run throughout the academic year.
Ms. Shapiro remarked that the proposal had seemed to become more and more vague. She noted that the main problem she saw at this point was that everyone had more ideas on how to spend money than to raise it. In addition, she thought there was not enough specifics describing how the funds would be spent after they were raised nor enough description on what the DAC would do. Mr. Katz agreed, and stated that he thought the AHA’s strategy would not work unless there was a full-time development person. He cited as example a similar program at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) during his tenure as president. He noted that he had raised $6 million for a program that he thought had been a success but that he couldn’t continue raising money and the program was now ending because the ACLS was no longer interested in doing it. Observing that one of the projects in the proposal earmarked $10,000 of the Disney gift to begin building groundwork, Mr. Katz stated that this amount was not sufficient to begin the project and was the wrong approach if the AHA was looking for a quick way to begin.
Mr. Darnton commented that he agreed with Mr. Katz, and noted that what had particular resonance with him was a point in Mr. Beveridge’s letter that stated it was incumbent upon the Council to make up its own mind on what it wanted DAC to support and then to sell that decision to the DAC. He stated that he could imagine a much more concrete “wish list” that might inspire a campaign to take to corporations which might adopt one. He stated that the AHA could enlist Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and former president of Brown University, as a collaborator, noting that he was very keen on the AHA and very good at raising money, but was also someone who dealt with the concrete. Mr. Darnton suggested a more precise, very clipped and clear wish list that the DAC could use in its fund-raising efforts. Upon query by Ms. Freitag about how his suggestion would connect with DAC, Mr. Darnton responded that he thought DAC was asking the Council to come up with such a wish list. Mr. Greenberg stated that the point was that the AHA needed to have concrete proposals for specific projects for which people or corporations would give money and that the AHA had not yet attained this goal.
In closing out the discussion, Mr. Miller thanked Mr. Stewart and Mr. Beveridge for taking part in a useful session that began to identify some of the challenges for Council and the DAC. Mr. Beveridge stated that he would second an earlier statement of Mr. Katz that the AHA could not effectively raise money with a part-time development person. Mr. Stewart also offered to speak with Council members individually.
9. Publication issues: A. President-elect Darnton's initiative on electronic monograph prize: During the spring, Mr. Darnton had forwarded for discussion at division and committee meetings a proposal to create an electronic book prize to honor the best unpublished monographs. He recommended that a prize focus on four or five fields in which it its difficult for authors to locate a traditional print publisher, e.g. colonial Latin America, medieval Europe, East and South Asia, pre-twentieth century diplomatic, and labor history. The prize would rotate each year among these fields. He stated that the goal was to establish the legitimacy of electronic publication by creating a prestigious honor for manuscripts that have not received a contract for traditional publication. Members were provided with excerpts from the minutes of the Professional, Research, and Teaching Divisions; the Committees on Minority and Women Historians; and the Task Force on the Role of Graduate Students in the AHA.
The Professional Division had sought additional information since it was not clear if the prize was intended for unpublished dissertations or for electronically published books. Division members also asked for clarification if the primary goal was to help the winners or to legitimate electronic publication. The various committees and divisions supported the principle behind the proposal, that scholarship in small-audience fields continue to be disseminated by academic presses in electronic media if print media are not economically feasible, but had questions or suggestions for Mr. Darnton to include in a revised proposal.
Rather than rewrite the proposal at this point, Mr. Darnton reported that he had instead prepared a written response to the questions and criticisms from the AHA divisions and committees. In answering the query if the main purpose of the proposal was to promote electronic publishing or to help young scholars at the beginning of their career, he noted that the problems were interlinked and could not be reduced to an either/or proposition. He also argued that even if a dissertation wins a prize, it did not necessarily follow that a press would therefore find it attractive and publish it in conventional form. He cited as an example a recent book on nineteenth-century Brazil that had won two prizes but failed to sell 500 copies. Describing the prize as one that will help authors turn dissertations into books, Mr. Darnton disagreed that the new prize would lead to a two-tier system of conventional books and of electronic publications. Noting that this danger already existed and would no doubt grow as more dissertations become available on the internet, Mr. Darnton argued that the proposal should reduce the danger by opening up a new way of transforming dissertations into books. He stated that if the prize had its intended effect, it should promote electronic publishing in general.
In reviewing the answers posed by the committees and divisions, Mr. Darnton stated that he had purposely drafted a sketchy proposal originally in order to gauge reaction and to elicit suggestions for improvement. In addition to consulting with AHA divisions and committees, the proposal was also reviewed by a number of outside groups. Mr. Darnton noted he had received several useful suggestions, all of which had been incorporated into the answers raised by the questions in the memo. Rather than go over these individually with the Council, Mr. Darnton suggested that he could respond to Council members’ questions. He also proposed that rather than rewriting the proposal in another form, he would recommend that Council offer suggestions and then authorize the president to appoint a committee of people involved in libraries and universities to develop a final proposal to circulate in advance of the January meeting. If Council approved, the prize could be announced in early 1999 and the first prize could be awarded in January 2000.
Mr. Katz remarked that Mr. Darnton had provided additional information that made the proposal more compelling. While he believed some refinement was still needed, he stated that he was excited about its prospects and that it could make a difference to the profession. Mr. Miller said that he had the same reaction, and was encouraged that the AHA could play a role in exploiting newer technology and in setting standards for its review. Mr. Darnton remarked that the prize itself was actually for the transformation of a dissertation into a book. He agreed that doing so would cost money, noting there would always be a vast difference in the cost of a dissertation and the cost of a book. He argued that the AHA could do take the next step beyond a regular print publication. The AHA could create an electronic book that could be enormously useful in many ways to the profession. He agreed that the question of financing was a serious one, but that there was a definite possibility of developing a consortium that wouldn’t bankrupt the Association. Although he had originally thought the electronic publications should be provided free of charge, he now thought there should be fees. He noted, however, that this was the kind of issue the committee should address.
Ms. Phillips stated that she also agreed with the potential for the prize and thought it was a wonderful idea in several different ways. However, she saw a problem in that the proposal could be viewed in several different ways, and some seemed mutually exclusive. She stated that she was particularly interested in the notion of legitimizing the whole idea of an electronic book for historians coming up for tenure, which was different from the goal of providing a new way to publish. She cited as an example a historian working in quantitative research. While it might be impossible for the historian to publish his work in traditional form since it could fill several volumes, the product of this research could be made available electronically. Legitimizing what is already available particularly appealed to her, and she remarked that the committee might want to discuss first whether the prize should apply only to dissertations, or to previously published electronic books, or to any text of a first book that any author submits for publication.
Mr. Grossberg noted that his contribution had been on this point about legitimization, and that it seemed that part of the goal was not just to pick a particular work of scholarship but also to legitimate the idea that scholarship can be disseminated in a variety of ways. This would provide a role for journals, with the AHR not only subjecting these kinds of books to normal review standards, but also initiating discussions with other journals about this issue. This reinforced his original thought that publications must be books since part of the challenge is dissemination: how would the AHR get a copy of the work to review? Particularly for this reason, Mr. Grossberg felt it was critical to work with journals. Mr. Greenberg agreed, and remarked that the best dissertation identified by the selection committee might not necessarily become the best electronic book. He pointed out that what was under discussion was a new mode, and that it is extremely important for the AHA to take leadership. Mr. Katz, while noting there would not be a huge number of entries for the committee to review initially, also pointed out that those willing to develop such a process would be taking a big gamble. He remarked that it should be relatively easy to raise money to support the prize and ultimately, funds would be needed for a fellowship. Finally, Mr. Katz noted that he did not think it was so obvious which fields are now difficult to publish. He suggested asking the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) to survey fields, since it hasn’t been done in ten or twelve years. Ms. Freitag reported that she had recently spoken with the director of the AAUP, and that he had expressed interest in cosponsoring the award and so could probably be persuaded to poll its members.
Mr. Darnton thanked Council members for their excellent suggestions, and noted that part of the charge for the committee would be to define the modalities for the competition. He stated that he had come to realize that to have a prize competition such as what was developing would be extremely difficult to administer and that he had changed his mind about the nominations process. Individual departments might instead be asked to nominate one thesis or one thesis per field, and the selection committee could then work on ways to adapt the dissertations to this new format. Again, he suggested that this and other issues raised by Council members were areas for discussion by the committee. Ms. Young encouraged Mr. Darnton to define what the prize would encourage. Mr. Fink also recognized the long-term potential of the new format to take the pressure off dissertations and young scholars, but expressed worry about development of a two-tier valuation. Rather than put the burden of the new technology and the uncertainly of it on young scholars, he asked if it wouldn’t make more sense to place on more established scholars. This would take the burden from someone trying to enter the profession and faced with a difficult choice: do I take my dissertation and transform it into something which is quite different from what my department requires, or do I do what I can to try get it published in book form? Mr. Darnton replied that this was something the committee would need to review, but that what he had designed was not to help established scholars publish, but to redefine and legitimate this new format. He remarked that he saw no problem with simultaneous electronic and print publication.
Following additional discussion and upon motion by Ms. Hata and second by Mr. Katz, Council unanimously approved appointment of an ad hoc committee to consider the issues discussed by Council and to report with a concrete proposal by the January meeting. Mr. Miller will appoint the members, and probably appoint Mr. Darnton as chair.
B. Progress report from Ad Hoc Publications Advisory Committee (PAC): On behalf of the committee on which he serves, Mr. Katz provided members with a brief oral report to supplement the summary notes of the PAC’s April conference call. The PAC approved the following principles to guide decisions relating to AHA revenues from publications and forwarded them for Council consideration: (1) The mission of the AHA’s publication program is to serve its members and the field at large. (2) Additional investment to increase the return on the publications program is desirable. (3) Over the long-run, the AHA’s publishing program should be self-sufficient overall, which assumes that one part of the program may subsidize another. (4) However, in the short-run, it is also clear that additional resources will be needed and that the AHA should seek those resources.
To implement these principles, the PAC recommended: (1) The introduction of modest-scaled and imaginative experiments in marketing AHA pamphlets, targeted at both members and nonmembers. (2) An experiment should be introduced on the membership renewal form that allows members to pay ahead for publications to be received. This is the Member Services Program (MSP), seen as the equivalent to the Institutional Services Program (ISP). Ms. Freitag reported that both of these proposals had been incorporated into the budget approved earlier by Council. [See agenda item 5.B.(3]. (3) AHA staff should continue to explore experiments that offer advertisers options for placing advertisements with the AHA in print and through the web site(s). (4) As part of their responsibility when advancing proposals for publishing projects, the divisions and committees should include information on the likely size of audience (respectively for print and electronic dissemination) and whether a publication should have different content for print and electronic formats, and how this might affect the audience/market size and appeal of the proposed publication.
The PAC approved the following principles to guide decisions relating to technological issues, and forwarded to Council: (1) Planning and implementation rest on the assumption that most publications will be done both in print and electronic format. (2) Planning and implementation also rest on the assumption that dissemination of e-pamphlets (like print pamphlets) will be for fee and mounted in the fee space of the AHA’s web site. (3) Implementation will be shaped especially by the fact that the staff must work at a pace justified by available research/development funds, members’ interests and needs, and the potential of particular work assignments to add value to electronic formats.
C. Progress report on Creating Consensus on Digital Standards and Endangered Monograph project(s): Ms. Freitag remarked that both projects have received strong support from the Council previously. Although there had not been much activity since last fall, both projects were suddenly poised for movement. The Creating Consensus project was initially sent to the Mellon Foundation at the same time as the journal editors’ conference proposal. She reported on a series of recent conversations with the ACLS and National Academy of Sciences (NAS). A proposal had been developed and was now in final form which Ms. Freitag would forward to Council members. The follow-up activity has been a joint initiative with ACLS and NAS with the support of NINCH. Ms. Freitag noted that the AHA has been the only scholarly society invited to participate in discussions up to this point. She reported that the project will begin with a conversation about what matters to the discipline, and would then pose a set of questions about what needs to be protected and perpetuated. The project is now being treated as a model for five “building block” projects that will be adopted by the ALCS/NAS, which should also improve chances for funding during the next several months.
Following the conference on the endangered monographs in September 1997, there was a session for interested participants in the AHA/ARL monograph project. Ms. Freitag reported that additional groups had participated, including OAH, area studies organizations, six major presses, and seven or eight major libraries. The group will be working with individual libraries but also with the Association of Research Libraries, the Research Libraries Group, and a new group called Digital Libraries Federation composed of the major libraries. It is the only project focused on a single discipline, and the libraries in particular are very interested.
10. Advocacy Issues: A. “In Washington” activities: Following up on an invitation to William Ferris, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Ms. Freitag reminded members that Mr. Ferris had been unable to meet with Council at the spring meeting, and asked if Council would like her to contact him about the Thursday, January 7, Council session. Members agreed that Ms. Freitag should contact Mr. Ferris about joining members for a luncheon meeting. 1. Intellectual property: legislative update from ARL for NHA: Members were provided with a copy of the Association of Research Libraries briefing on 1998 copyright legislation prepared for the annual meeting of the National Humanities Alliance, April 30, 1998.
2. NEH long-term strategy for raising allocation: Ms. Freitag reported that one of the strategies adopted by the NHA board was that member organizations contribute to an NHA-organized, long term, grass-roots efforts to build up local demand for increasing the NEH budget. With the timing of the initiative, it would not make any difference for the current fiscal year, but if approved, the organizations in NHA would have almost a year’s lead time to effect change for the following year. Ms. Freitag stated that if work was apportioned over a year, it could be incorporated into the staff’s workload with minimal additional effort. She stated that the AHA had never tried this kind of effort. Upon query by Mr. Greenberg, Ms. Freitag further described the work required: the staff would identify key members of the Association for the NHA in a limited number of districts. Working with NHA and other board member societies, staff would keep these local supporters informed, and they would stay in touch with the congressperson’s district office. Ms. Appleby remarked that she had written a column about this which had elicited some response and offered to forward the information to headquarters. Mr. Darnton agreed that it was a good suggestion, but expressed concern about the amount of staff time required. Ms. Freitag expressed optimism that work would be dispersed over the course of the year, but that she would consult with Council if it required more time than currently anticipated. Upon motion by Mr. Katz and second by Ms. Appleby, Council unanimously authorized the AHA staff to build up the kind of network Ms. Freitag described but asked that if it a greater staff/time commitment was required than had been discussed, that staff consult with Council about continuation.
3. Reinstatement of funding support for data collection: Severe cuts in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) budget in recent years has called into question funding for two studies which the Endowment has supported since the 1970s: the annual Survey of Earned Doctorates (providing data on students completing requirements for doctoral degrees, by field, and, in many cases, subfields) and the biennial Survey of Doctorate Recipients (a longitudinal survey of the nation’s doctoral publication). The biennial Survey of Doctorate Recipients is the only study that can provide data, by field, on employment status of humanities doctorates, as well as such other issues as faculty rank, or salary. Due to the cutback in NEH funds, the 1995 survey is the last for which the profession has data on humanities doctorates. The membership of the National Humanities Alliance was urged to go on record in favor of restoration of these funds. Ms. Freitag reported that it was crucial that the database be reinstated within the next year. Mr. Townsend concurred, noting that the survey provides vitally important information on the profession dating back to 1979. Ms. Freitag asked Council for authorization to send letters of support to NEH. Upon motion by Mr. Katz and second by Mr. Fink, members unanimously approved drafting a letter for Mr. Miller’s signature. The letter should be copied to OAH, NHA, and other organizations.
B. National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC)report: Page Putnam Miller, director of NCC, joined the meeting to brief Council members on several issues. She reported that while the NEH’s existence no longer seems to be threatened, the appropriations process for the 1998-99 fiscal year would probably be difficult and prolonged. Congress is behind schedule on reaching a budget resolution, which is necessary before the thirteen appropriations subcommittees receive their allocations which will then be divided among the federal programs within their jurisdiction. Ms. Miller reported that the NEH budget allocation was very tight but that some slight increase seemed possible. Mr. Katz also added that the NEH chairman’s emphasis on regional centers had shaped his treatment of other projects and noted that some projects had been turned down in spite of recommendations from the NEH Council.
Ms. Miller stated that the National Archives continued to be a troubled agency, with ongoing problems in several areas. She voiced concerns about preservation of electronic records, reporting that many records are being lost. She noted that federal agencies were also quite concerned since they do not yet have the capacity to deal with a number of challenges including staffing and software. Ms. Miller reported that the Department of Defense seemed to be most prepared and capable of the agencies in solving problems, and has been developing criteria for software. She also reported that the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) was still searching for its next Director and that the process seemed to be stalemated.
Another opening is at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. The Center is slightly more than twenty years old, and a bill was recently introduced in the Senate to authorize it permanently. The legislation calls for operation and direction under an independent Board of Trustees. Parallel legislation has not been introduced in the House. Ms. Miller also updated members on the protracted court battle surrounding the Nixon White House tapes. Since winning a 1992 appeals court decision giving Nixon the right to be compensated for the fair value of the collection, the estate has been trying to reach an out-of-court settlement with the Archives. She also reported that George Lardner of the Washington Post had been of major help publicizing the historians’ position. Expert witnesses in the case aren’t being asked to put a dollar amount on the records, but to indicate their value for research purposes. While a settlement is still possible, prospects are dim and issues will probably be played out in court.
Reporting on declassification matters, Ms. Miller stated that the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee had held hearings this spring on the Government Secrecy Act, which would provide a statutory basis for national security information policy in place of the current system which is established by the President via executive order. Government witnesses have raised concerns about some of the central issues of the bill, particularly a “front end” balancing test which would allow judicial review of agency balancing decisions under the Freedom of Information Act. Ms. Miller reported on maneuvering on this issue, and noted there had been several setbacks. She stated that neither the CIA nor the Energy Department had file series policy records at the Archives, and that no CIA files were at the Archives. While both agencies tell researchers they have deposited the files, what they have actually done is forward selected documents.
Ms. Miller noted that both the House and the Senate appear to have placed their digital copyright legislation on a “fast track.” On April 1, the House Judiciary Committee passed the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) treaty implementation legislation. Amendments recommended by Rep. Rich Boucher, who had introduced a copyright bill advocated by the library and scholarly communities, were strongly rejected. On April 30, the Senate Judiciary Committee marked-up another bill not yet introduced in the Senate. The central portion of this Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 provides for the implementation of the WIPO treaties. She noted that the issue is being driven by the marketplace, and that it seemed to be winning the battle. Ms. Miller stated that she thought the whole area of digital copyright practice would move ahead of legislation. For example, the recent issue of Academe raised the issue of distance learning. In the area of fair use, Ms. Miller reported on increased talk about the use of licensing. Mr. Katz concurred, noting that he was afraid that a rich/poor dilemma would develop, dividing the AHA’s membership and creating a problem for future Councils. Mr. Greenberg stated that one hope for the internet was that it would erase these “class” lines, though they seem to be reinforcing them.
In other matters, Ms. Miller provided Council with an update on court cases: Public Citizen v. John Carlin (case challenging policies that allow destruction of electronic records, currently under appeal), Tax Analysts, the AHA et al v. IRS and the National Archives (IRS records management case, court has just decreed case is not “ripe”); Seiko Green v. National Archives (Archives appraisal of Okinawa films, plaintiff won and Archives required to keep records), and Bruce Craig v. United States (unsealing Grand Jury records, amici brief filed). Ms. Miller also noted that the National Archives had made public a copy of its report on the inquiry into the destruction of Naval Research Laboratory records. The report noted that the Navy staff and the Archives staff had interpreted the appraisal schedules differently and that archival records of value had been destroyed. It also made a number of recommendations to prevent future occurrences. She also noted that the failure of the CIA to declassify key documents has been holding up publication of a number of volumes in the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the U.S. series. In March, the House passed a bill to extend the length of copyright protection by twenty years for both new and currently published and copyrighted works. Within a week, the five major library organizations wrote to all members of the House opposing the legislation. Ms. Miller reported there have been no indications that the legislation is moving forward.
C. National History Education Network (NHEN) report: Members were provided with information from Loretta Lobes, executive director of NHEN, including the most recent copy of the NHEN newsletter, an article by Ms. Lobes on state standards appearing in the History Teacher, and description of NHEN’s grant proposal to NEH on “Exploration in Technology and Society: The History of Technology.”
11. Standing Reports: Council moved to the reports of the three vice presidents. A. Report of the Professional Division: Ms. Phillips reported on the division’s March 7 teleconference and brought three items for action: (1) Guidelines for the Employment of Part-time and Temporary Faculty in History: Ms. Phillips noted that the guidelines were adapted from the September 1997 part-time/adjunct conference. She reported that the division tried to define the guidelines in terms of the best professional conditions for the teaching of history, and not in labor or advocacy terms. Mr. Katz applauded the division for developing such an admirable statement, and posed two questions: how can the AHA bring the guidelines to the attention of chairs, institutions, the people most affected by the issue, and what would be the division’s position if the AHA received complaints. He also noted that he feared it would be viewed as a labor/advocacy statement. Ms. Phillips stated that for the short-term the guidelines would be disseminated through the newsletter, chairs listserv, and the AHA web site. She reported that division member Gail Savage would write a separate article for the newsletter. If complaints are lodged with the AHA, they would be resolved under the Statement on Standards since this statement was not a part of that document. Ms. Phillips also noted that the division knew that department chairs were looking for something to take to their deans, and thus viewed the statement as professional advocacy rather than labor advocacy. Ms. Young agreed, and pointed out language in the preamble stating that the guidelines are to help departments balance the issues involved. Following additional discussion, members voted unanimously to accept the division’s recommendation to approve the guidelines.
(2) Revised EIB policy statement wording: Ms. Phillips reported that the division had edited the guidelines for acceptance of advertisements for Perspectives but had not adjusted the content. Members voted unanimously to accept the division’s recommendation to approve the edited policy statement.
(3) Addition to “Directory of History Departments” survey: Ms. Phillips reported that members had discussed adding some type of accountability measure to the guidelines, and added a point encouraging departments to keep careful statistics of the percentage of courses taught by non-full-time hires and to make the information available. To ensure that information is made available to the profession, the division also recommended that departments be asked to provide this information in the annual Department Survey. Following discussion, members voted unanimously to accept the division’s recommendation that questions should be included in the survey asking departments about part-time/adjunct hires.
B. Report of the Research Division: Mr. Katz reported on the division’s March 21-22 meeting and brought the following items for action: (1) Honorary Foreign Member for 1999: Council unanimously approved the division’s election of Hans-Ulrich Wehler of Germany as the 1999 honorary foreign member. Staff will inform the 2000 Program Committee about Dr. Wehler’s selection in the event it can include him on the 2000 program.
(2) Proposal for a committee to craft a member survey re annual meeting: Following up on a Council initiative, the Research Division had discussed surveying the membership about the annual meeting and other member services. The division recommended formation of a survey planning group with representatives from each division, and expressed hope that a survey could address a range of issues beyond the annual meeting. In presenting the division’s proposal, Mr. Katz reported that division members had felt strongly that there was a need for a survey. Given the time constraints of the Council meeting, Mr. Katz proposed that Council approve the notion of a survey and ask the expanded Executive Committee to discuss the parameters and nature of the survey. In response to a question from Mr. Fink, Mr. Katz stated that the survey should deal with a whole range of issues, not just the annual meeting. Mr. Fink responded that there might be other ways to address the issue, and that Council hadn’t really discussed the nature of its response. While noting he was not against a survey, he suggested as an alternate that departments might be asked to raise the issue at department meetings. Mr. Miller remarked that he did not view a survey as a substitute for any other measure Council might decide to take. Ms. Freitag noted that two other groups should be included in the effort: the membership subcommittee of the Finance Committee, which will be examining similar issues, and the Committee on Minority Historians, which has been considering its own survey but has held back to see if its questions could fit into a broader survey instrument.
Following additional discussion, and upon recommendation of Mr. Katz, Council members unanimously authorized the expanded Executive Committee to develop a proposal that would then be sent to divisions and committees for review.
(3) Budget for AHR Subcommittee: The division submitted a budget to follow up its Council-approved request to examine the implications of electronic dissemination of the journal. The budget of $2,800 in direct costs would cover one face-to-face meeting of the subcommittee in Chicago and two follow-up conference call meetings. Indirect costs, such as staff time, were covered through annual workload planning. Mr. Katz noted that the Council-approved budget included an allocation for the e-AHR subcommittee within it.
(4) Program Committee (continuation of discussion of Agenda items 2A. Composition of the 2000 Program Committee and 2C. Appointment of the 2001 Program Committee chair): Mr. Katz began his comments by describing the process the division had followed, noting that Council had met with chair Claire Moses at its January 11 meeting and that the division had met with co-chair James Henretta at its March meeting. The chairs were provided with Program Committee guidelines and the Custom and Lore document, and that Council and the division had discussed the concerns of Council about the construction of the program and therefore the Program Committee. He added that he hoped Council members would keep in mind that the construction of the Annual Meeting program and the composition of the Program Committee were two different subjects, and that it was possible to have a committee that is not as nearly balanced as Council would like but to have that committee come up with a balanced program by following Program Committee guidelines. He noted that it was very difficult for the co-chairs to balance all the concerns in a limited number of session slots and, in addition, they are hampered because they don’t know until the last minute who the subsequent chair and co-chair will be. Having prefaced his remarks, Mr. Katz reported that the chair and co-chair for 2000 for whatever reason had found it more difficult to reach closure on members and that he and Ms. Shapiro had found themselves prodding them in order to get to Council in time for the meeting. He said that the co-chairs’ goal was to provide a list without contacting people individually because they knew that Council might want to make suggestions. Mr. Katz stated that Council now had a list to discuss, but that he did not realize until the day previous that six of the proposed members were associated with gender studies. Mr. Katz remarked that he didn’t think the current process worked, and that there was a larger problem than the proposed list for 2000. He stated that as far as he could tell, the co-chairs were trying to do exactly what had been asked of them and yet Council still received an unbalanced list. Mr. Katz also stated that he thought Council was faced with two problems: what to do with the proposed 2000 list and what to do about the larger issue in the long term.
Mr. Miller agreed that there was a major problem, and asked how this Program Committee would be viewed by members who are disaffected. Noting that Council did not have time to review the proposed members one-by-one, Mr. Katz suggested that Council instruct him to go back to the co-chairs and say to them that the committee could not have such a large concentration in any single field. Ms. Young remarked that she agreed, but also profoundly disagreed, noting that if members examined the list, there were many historians who have more than one specialty. She pointed out that some had started out in gender studies, but others did not, since gender is not a single field but an approach as is race and class. She encouraged members not to lump fields together too broadly. Mr. Miller noted Ms. Young made a good point, as such a view selected out gender as an issue. Ms. Phillips agreed, but added that perception was another matter, however, and that the method by which committees are formed suggested two things to her: membership of the committee should never be on the consent calendar and when asking the chair and co-chair to draw up a list of members, by definition it would be a list of “who you know” or a circle of acquaintances. She suggested that it might be time for Council to rethink the way the committee is appointed.
Mr. Katz remarked that he disagreed in one respect since he recalled his first Council meeting when the then co-chair was eviscerated by the Council in a way that he thought was unfair. He stated that the division had tried to remedy that situation by making clear that this was a Research Division responsibility and would encourage Council members not to alter the appointment process at this stage since it would not be a good idea to open up the entire question and give every member of Council a veto on every member of the Program Committee. Ms. Phillips said that she did not disagree, but would urge the committee’s appointment not be placed on the consent calendar.
Ms. Appleby remarked that Council needed to build sufficient time into the appointment process for Council to review. Mr. Grossberg remarked that he operated in a similar fashion in submitting recommendations for membership on the AHR board to the Research Division, but noted he had seldom been turned down and asked how the Program Committee could achieve that level of success with the Council. Ms. Appleby suggested asking potential committee members if they would be willing to be a nominee for consideration.
Ms. Young suggested adding one or two members to the committee. Ms. Freitag pointed out that the committee was already the most expensive AHA committee with thirteen members; that staff had required the committee to lower its costs; and that adding members would send exactly the opposite message. Ms. Hill expressed concern that Council was rushing through the discussion, and that she also thought the proposed committee was unbalanced. She suggested that even if Council did decide that it was too late to affect this committee, members needed to make changes for the long term. Mr. Greenberg suggested that members were confusing two things: the hostility toward the program in 1998 and hostility toward this particular committee. He argued the issue was not who was on the committee but what is on the program. He stated that what needed management was clear direction from the Council about what kinds of things have been missing from the program and the instruction to the committee that it would like to see those things addressed. Mr. Miller concurred that Council should identify policy concerns and then advise the committee. Ms. Appleby said Council should not underestimate the difficulty in advising, managing, even micromanaging, the content of the program, that if Council wanted certain things from the program, then it was going to have to demand them.
Ms. Freitag asked Council about the process they were proposing. If Council did believe that it wanted to make adjustments to committee’s composition, then Program Committee guidelines would need to be revised to say that the locus of oversight responsibility is with the Council. This would collapse the distinction Mr. Katz and Mr. Greenberg had made between content of the program and constitution of the committee, between policy responsibility of the Council and oversight of the Research Division. Following additional discussion, members agreed that Ms. Freitag and Ms. Tune should develop a draft for consideration at the January meetings reflecting clarifications in oversight and adjusting the timeline.
Upon query about going back to the 2000 co-chairs to make adjustments, Mr. Katz stated that he thought there might be a good chance either or both would resign. He remarked that both had been under a good deal of pressure and that the Research Division had given them a hard time up to this point. He did not think it would be wise to go back to them at this point to say there are serious problems and you have to reconfigure the whole list.
Members also discussed the pros and cons of adding two people to the committee, and noted that it would cost approximately $1,000 for each additional member to attend the 3-day meeting. Mr. Palmer argued that the caliber of the committee was more important, and that Council should take a longer view. Mr. Greenberg stated that adding members meant Council had decided to have a deficit. He remarked that he was still not persuaded that changing this committee solved the real underlying the problem, and that it seemed a very expensive solution from which very little benefit would derive. He suggested that it would be much better to go back to the committee and say to them: The AHA has a serious problem with perceptions about the annual meeting. We know that people were angry about the Seattle program and this is what they were angry about and we are asking you to take that into account. Mr. Greenberg stated it was his perception of the finances of the organization that it was in a period of severely straitened finances, that it had just come through three years of deficit, and that it is finally at a point that it’s running back to budget. He added that Council members would always find good reasons to spend more money, but that they also had to find good reasons not to spend more money and find as many good reasons not to go into deficit. For these reasons, he stated that he would oppose any budget increase.
Mr. Fink stated that he was impressed by Mr. Greenberg’s logic and proposed that Mr. Katz serve as an informal mentor to the committee, a “point” person from Council, as it deliberates and engage in a continuing informal discussion. Mr. Miller stated that he could write to the committee as president, advising it about Council’s discussion and that Council had asked Mr. Katz to work with them. Ms. Hata said she was also persuaded by Mr. Greenberg’s arguments and suggested that Council members work with the committee as well and help it generate sessions. Ms. Appleby agreed, but noted that one of the issues was that the committee rejecting proposal, including Council’s. Mr. Miller agreed, but said the committee has felt a lack in certain areas, and Council could utilize its networks to help them prepare a better program.
Ms. Young remarked that this is connected to the nature of the meeting. She stated that as more and more presenters are graduate students and chairs are thesis advisers the association becomes a showcase for job seekers. Although this is not a terrible development, the change may be a part of problem. Ms. Young stated it again raised the question of participation of senior scholars in the association and the annual meeting. Mr. Katz remarked that he had also been persuaded by Mr. Greenberg’s remarks, and noted that the committees work very hard and that he would like to honor their efforts while trying to avoid problems in the future. Mr. Miller asked if members wanted to consider raising fees to offset costs of additional committee members. Council members agreed they did not. Mr. Greenberg asked members why they should assume when looking at the list of proposed committee members that they wouldn’t produce a good program or that adding two members would make a difference? He added that the number with gender studies backgrounds was not by itself an indication of prejudice, noting that simple descriptions of intellectual interests did not predict the quality of the program. Ms. Phillips noted that on this issue she could not agree with Mr. Greenberg. She stated that every committee with which she had worked developed its own agenda and suggested the Program Committee would as well. She remarked that it was important to have distinguished scholars and balance in the composition of the committee or there wouldn’t be a balanced program. She stated that she suspected that if the committee was approved as it stood, or even if two people were added, that the Council would have the same problems that led to alienation of members.
Ms. Hata raised the point Ms. Appleby had mentioned about rejection of session proposals, and queried the appeal process. Ms. Tune stated that the guidelines give ultimate authority to the committee, and that there was no AHA body that reviewed their decisions.
Mr. Darnton said that after listening to members’ comments, he found himself persuaded by a whole set of mutually inconsistent answers. He suggested authorizing Mr. Katz to go back to the committee and say the Council has grave concerns about the balance of the program, that Council noted the committee had an unbalanced set of members, and ask them to help. This would delegate Mr. Katz to work with them and keep track of their efforts. Ms. Frankel suggested that Council have one or two mandatory sessions to address issues Council feels strongly about. Ms. Appleby stated that she wasn’t sure the committee would get Council’s message and suggested a compromise of adding one new member and asking them to change one member. Mr. Katz argued that he could deliver a strong message about Council’s concerns, that he would not be delivering a simple injunction to be “fair.” This, in addition to a strong letter from Mr. Miller, should make a difference, along with his best efforts to work with them to reinforce the message. Ms. Freitag also noted that some of Council’s concerns might be addressed with the appointment of Mr. Bernstein’s cochair in 2001, who might be Barbara Hanawalt.
Following additional discussion and upon motion by Ms. Young and second by Mr. Greenberg, Council voted by 7 ayes and 4 nays: (1) to accept the 2000 Program Committee as proposed by Ms. Moses and Mr. Henretta, (2) to authorize Mr. Katz to work with the chair and co-chairs on Council priorities, (3) to authorize Mr. Miller to write the committee summarizing Council concerns, and (4) to ask Ms. Freitag and Ms. Tune to revise Program Committee guidelines for review at the January meeting, addressing issues of timing of committee appointments and locus of responsibility.
Council unanimously approved the division’s recommendation of Michael Bernstein, University of California, San Diego, as 2001 chair. Council agreed that the co-chair could be approved by e-mail ballot prior to the January meetings.
(5) Conference Group for Central European History’s (CGCEH) statement on the use of legal means to settle academic disputes: Members discussed CGCEH’s request that the AHA add its name as a signatory to its statement condemning recourse to legal action in scholarly disputes. The statement arose from legal action threatened by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen following an unfavorable review of his book Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Ruth Bettina Birn in Historiographical Review. Ms. Phillips stated that the Professional Division could examine the issue at its fall meeting and make a recommendation to Council. Mr. Katz stated that the Research Division would advise against signing the CGCEH statement.
C. Report of the Teaching Division: Mr. Fink reported on the division’s March 14 meeting, noting that the main theme of the division’s work had been a focus on expanding the professional community of history educators with particular attention to the connection to school teachers. He noted the division had in mind a number of ways in the long term to expand the sense of community and sense of identify between historians and these history educators. One initiative would achieve a better sense of the nature of collaboration, or the nature of ongoing initiatives between university/college departments and K-12 teachers. He reported that the division had asked and was now receiving information and would summarize it in an article for Perspectives. A second area of focus had to do with the Annual Meeting itself where the division has inaugurated two workshop sessions, one on U.S. and one on world history. Mr. Fink stated that the division saw the sessions as document-centered workshops for a non-specialized audience of university faculty, graduate students, and high school teachers. In addition, the division has discussed creating partnership projects centered in departments around the country for ongoing outreach to area teachers. He stated that the division had a good instance of that in his department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which has been an invaluable experience not only for members of his department but also for the high school teachers. He noted the division was beginning to learn about other projects and hoped to share some of the information.
Mr. Fink brought the following items for action: 1. Travel funds for contributing editor to attend division meeting: The division requested travel funds for the contributing editor for teaching to participate ex officio in division meetings. Mr. Fink noted that Perspectives offered a voice for teaching-related matters and that the editor played an important functional link between teaching-related issues and the division and would therefore benefit by attending the meetings. Commenting on the proposal, Mr. Miller noted that vice presidents already have a direct voice to Perspectives, and that he saw the contributing editor as an independent, separate voice. Mr. Fink stated the division saw the editor’s participation in an ex officio capacity and that members had thought the editor better positioned to convey the division’s positions. Ms. Phillips suggested that the editor could be included in the division’s e-mail discussions. Mr. Darnton remarked that he was concerned about costs in a time of fairly stringent AHA budgets. Although the division projected costs of only $305 for the fall meeting, there was no way to predict what they would be in the future and he was hesitant to set a precedent. Following additional discussion, and upon motion of Mr. Fink and second by Mr. Darnton, members agreed by a vote of 7 ayes, 3 nays, and 1 abstention to authorize the one-time attendance of the contributing editor for teaching at the fall 1998 Teaching Division meeting.
2. Proposal for “Certificates of Distinction” for Secondary-Level Textbooks: Council unanimously approved the division’s recommendation to establish an award to recognize outstanding textbooks at the secondary level. Called “Certificates of Distinction for Secondary-Level Textbooks,” the award will be offered annually to recognize outstanding contributions of textbooks at the secondary level. Textbooks in the fields of United States history and world history will be eligible for the honorific prize, rotating between U.S. history one year and world history the next. The division will establish review criteria and forward to Council members that will serve as the committee’s selection guidelines. There will be no minimum/maximum number of certificates that can be awarded; all deserving books will receive a certificate.
A six-member committee, appointed by the Committee on Committees, will make selections: two secondary-school historians and two postsecondary historians with specialties in U.S. history, and one secondary historian and one postsecondary historian with a specialty in world history. All committee work would be completed by mail/e-mail to hold costs at a minimum, with the committee in all probability dividing into working subcommittees for preliminary sorting and elimination. The Teaching Division would retain oversight on policy and procedural matters, and assist in publicizing selections.
Ms. Frankel proposed, and Council concurred, that implementation be delayed for one year while staff develops lists of textbooks and publishers; surveys K-12 members to ensure no conflict of interest and to solicit names for the Committee on Committees (ConC); and contacts a number of affiliates to ascertain interest in cosponsoring the award. She anticipates the committee will be appointed by the ConC in the fall of 1999. Ms. Frankel will e-mail the list of criteria which had been included in the January agenda books.
D. Report of the AHR Editor: Mr. Grossberg added remarks to his written report, which included comparative data on the 1998-99 budget and an overview of the Indiana University portion of the journal’s budget for the past several years. He reported that he had also completed contract negotiations with the journal’s printer, Cadmus Journal Services. Mr. Greenberg asked if the contract was between the AHR and Cadmus or the AHA and Cadmus. Mr. Grossberg reported that he thought it was between the AHR and the publisher since he has signed it in the past. Mr. Katz noted that the AHA is the signatory, and that it seemed better for this to be signed at the headquarters..
Mr. Grossberg remarked that this was his third year at the journal and that when he assumed the editorship he had found a variety of things which he thought needed rethinking. Over the past three years the staff has rewritten article and book review guidelines, created new film guidelines, and rewritten all letters going out to manuscript readers. He stated that it seemed that the last component was to look at the journal itself. Mr. Grossberg noted that here, he sees a tension--one AHR is a journal of articles and another AHR is a journal of book reviews. He discussed the tensions between the two and what he defined as the mission of the journal which is to speak across the specialties of the discipline to a set of common interests. Mr. Grossberg stated the staff had been able to achieve this level of consistency with the article session and now wanted to examine the book review section. He pointed out that the present construction of the book review section had been by accretion and not by any particular logic or plan. Since one of Mr. Grossberg’s goals is to define fairness at the journal by having articles and manuscripts dealt with in the same way, by the same standards, he had found this particular application difficult to defend. He reported that the staff had been working on the revision for a year and had tried to move to a set of classifications that represented the discipline as it is done in the present more effectively, that could be presented logically, and that could be presented in a clear fashion. Mr. Grossberg stated that the staff had tried to do this in two ways. First, by eliminating the general category and substituting two new categories, methods/theory and comparative/world. Second, by creating a series of geographical areas in each category with a general section at the start that dealt with books that cover more than one region or nation state and then move in a geographic way. He remarked that the AHR staff wasn’t wedded to particular scheme, but did want to move to a more logical and uniform system that could be applied across time and space. While noting there was no perfect system, the staff did want to develop a more logical one that is defensible. He also noted that that the staff expected there to be a firestorm of criticisms. He asked Council for its reaction to the general idea and to the specific categories both now and in the next few weeks The revision will then be refined and sent to Board of Editors for comment. The entire process must be finalized by September 1 in order to classify books for the February 1999 issue.
Mr. Katz said the Research Division also anticipated some criticism but also believed that the new classification responded in part to the way historians have organized themselves. He also noted that the text which accompanies it will be critical. Ms. Appleby agreed, and suggested that the staff explain the types of books that the Review receives. Ms. Phillips also expressed support, particularly the addition of subheads. Ms. Martin expressed a minor quibble from a Latin Americanist perspective, asking if Latin America would be overwhelmed by U.S. and if Mexicanists might not consider this one more stage in “lumping” Mexico with U.S. and Canada. Ms. Young said she thought Middle East classifications posed a similar problem. Mr. Grossberg reported that there would be detailed explanation in the front of the February issue. In response to Mr. Miller’s query if it should also appear in newsletter, Mr. Grossberg said that he viewed this as a journal issue. He confirmed that he was not seeking Council approval of the reclassification since editorial policy was in the hand of the Board of Editors, but did want to make members aware since the staff did expect criticism.
E. Report of the Committee on Minority Historians: Ms. Frankel provided members with an oral report of the CMH’s spring meeting and brought one item for action. She stated that the American Council on Education (ACE) had asked organizations to endorse its affirmative action statement, and provided members with a copy of the statement and the AHA’s own affirmative action statement approved in May 1996. Mr. Greenberg asked if other learned societies have been asked to endorse the statement since he did not see any on the list in the agenda book. Ms. Frankel said that the CMH was not asked, but staff had seen the appeal in the ACE newsletter and took it to the committee. Following additional discussion, members unanimously voted to accept the CMH’s recommendation to endorse the ACE statement.
F. Report of the Committee on Women Historians: Members were provided with a written report from CWH chair Carla Hesse, University of California, Berkeley, on the committee’s April 19 meeting.
G. Report of the Task Force on Relations with Graduate Students in the AHA (TFROGS): Ms. Hill provided members with a report of TFROG’s April 10 conference call and brought the following items for action: 1. Name change: The Task Force proposed changing its name to the Task Force on Graduate Education since its purpose went beyond defining graduate students’ role in the AHA. Ms. Hill reported that the Task Force is concerned with the job market, advisor/advisee relationships, and successful navigation by students through graduate programs. She also reported that the reconfigured composition had been of tremendous assistance. She expressed some concern about Council’s action to raise annual meeting registration fees for graduate students by $5. Following additional discussion, Council unanimously approved the Task Force’s recommendation to change its name.
2. Contributing editor/liaison to Perspectives: The Task Force asked Council to approve an experimental slot for a volunteer “contributing editor” to the newsletter who would focus specifically on graduate student issues. The editor would help to keep issues important to graduate students in the foreground and provide another means for assisting the current graduate student membership. Since Council does not normally approve appointments, Mr. Miller noted for the minutes members’ strong support for the proposal.
H. Reports from Other Committees: 1. Report of the 1998 Nominating Committee: Members were provided with a copy of Lillie Johnson Edward’s report of the 1998 Nominating Committee listing the candidates for elective office.
2. Report from the Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation: Members were provided with a copy of the State Department Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation for the period between October 1, 1996 and September 30, 1997.
I. Exit reports from past Council members: Members were provided copies of exit reports from Caroline Bynum, Peter Stearns, Barbara Ramusack, and David Trask.
12. Continuing and New Business: A. Terms and limitations on terms for AHA representatives -- Committee on Committee guidelines: SSRC and Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation. Due to time constraints, Council agreed to discuss these appointments on the Council listserv.
B. Council listserv protocol: Members reviewed draft protocol for use of the Council listserv for votes. Since the document has the status of procedure defined by the presiding officer it required no vote. Following discussion, Mr. Miller agreed to review with parliamentarian Michael Les Benedict to ensure procedures were on a solid constitutional basis.
Protocol for Council Action Using Listserve
This statement establishes the principles regarding use of the <98c> listserve to include the entire Council in votes and other pressing matters that have up to now -- under the limitations of communications prior to electronic technologies -- gone for action to the Executive Committee.
Article V, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the Executive Committee is “to transact necessary business in the interim between meetings of the Council”. Council agreed on June 1, 1998, that this language does not exclude Council from acting as a body during interims, via mail and e-mail votes, when possible, as has recently become the practice for ballots taken by regular mail and by FAX.
Matters that bind the organization as a whole to action or policy will be circulated to the entire Council, particularly when uncertainty or diverging perspectives make collective discussion productive. The Executive committee will routinely receive only questions requiring preliminary formulation or focusing, including preparation of agendas for Council meetings, beyond matters delegated to it by the Consitution. The president selects the method of Council communication and action on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the staffing requirements of each and other commitments at Headquarters that may influence the choice of medium.
Given the occasional urgency of matters arising in this context, if the momentary unavailability, or unresponsiveness, of members of Council fails to produce a quorum (one-half) voting within time limits stated in a request for action, the president may transfer the question to the Executive Committee for a decision by a simple majority.
As collective discussion constitues a primary reason for use of the electronic listserve, members of Council should circulate all substantive comments on points at issue to the entire membership of the listserve. They should, where software permits, avoid attaching strings of prior messages to their postings, copying and including only the text necessary to develop their points.
The <98c> list will include Association staff who participate ex officio in regular Council sessions, so as to facilitat their technical support of Council business proceeding electronically. Listserve discussions will constitute the official record of Council deliberations.
Approved July 1998
13. Executive Session: Council members met in executive session on Sunday and Monday. For the minutes, Mr. Miller reported the following:
14. Adjournment: The meeting adjourned on Monday, June 1, at 3:30 p.m.
Recorded by Sharon K. Tune