Minutes of the 115th Business Meeting
President Eric Foner (Columbia Univ.), called the annual business meeting to order at 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, January 6, 2001, at the Boston Marriott Hotel Copley Place in Boston. Michael Les Benedict of Ohio State University served as parliamentarian for the meeting.
Report of the Executive Director: Arnita A. Jones supplemented her written report, stating that individual membership in the Association continued to grow although there had been a modest decline in institutional membership. She reported that repairs on the Washington, D.C., headquarters building-a 19th-century rowhouse that has been home to the Association since 1962-had continued throughout the year. Ms. Jones briefed members on the developments with the History Cooperative and publication of new editions of AHA directories and pamphlets. She observed that the 26th edition of the Directory of History Departments and Organizations in the United States and Canada for the first time included information from the AHA membership roster thereby expanding the number of historians listed to over 22,000. Ms. Jones stated that two book prizes had been added to the 21 currently offered, the J. Russell Major Prize for the best work in English on any aspect of French history, and the George L. Mosse Prize for an outstanding work in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since the Renaissance. She reported that six Gutenberg-e awards were announced at the General Meeting, the second round for the electronic publication prize. Ms. Jones outlined the goals of the Committee on Graduate Education, and announced the appointment of Phil Katz as research director of the CGE's project.
In concluding her report, Ms. Jones thanked staff members for their diligent work throughout the year and Convention Director Sharon K. Tune in particular for a successful annual meeting under trying circumstances. Although attendance was 5,207 for the Association's first return to Boston in 30 years, Ms. Jones stated that the AHA had not been informed that the Sheraton Boston would begin renovations to the hotel's meeting space just days before the meeting began. She apologized to members for disruption of events scheduled at that hotel, particularly to the Job Register facility. Responding to a question from the audience regarding insufficient space for exhibitors, Ms. Jones replied that the staff was taking special care to provide adequate facilities at future meetings.
Report of the Editor: Michael Grossberg, Indiana University, made additional comments to his published report. He stated that he was on sabbatical for the academic year and thanked the Review staff, especially Acting Editor Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Associate Editor Dror Wahrman. Mr. Grossberg briefed members on the History Cooperative, launched by the AHA, the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the University of Illinois Press, and the National Academy Press on March 30, 2000. Mr. Grossberg remarked that for the first time, the full text of current issues of the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History were available electronically to members of the AHA and OAH and to institutions that subscribe to the print versions of the journals. He reported that four new journals would be added in 2001-The History Teacher, the Law and History Review, the Western Historical Quarterly, and the William and Mary Quarterly-and that five to seven new journals were expected to be added in each subsequent year. He observed that the Cooperative will include both U.S. and international history journals; and that the goal is to provide a safe place for smaller history journals to make the transition to electronic dissemination. Mr. Grossberg encouraged members to explore the site and welcomed their comments as the online AHR added new features such as new material to the journals’ print versions. As an example, he stated that Robert Darnton's presidential address was the first AHR article to be published with enhanced online content.
Mr. Grossberg thanked members of the Board of Editors rotating off in May 2001: Margaret C. Jacob (University of California at Los Angeles); Robert G. Moeller (Univ. of California at Irvine); and Maria N. Todorova (Univ. of Florida). He also thanked Ms. Jones; Robert Townsend, assistant director, publications, information systems, and research; and departing members of the Council.
Report of the Nominating Committee: Mr. Benedict, committee chair, announced the results of the fall election. Wm. Roger Louis of the University of Texas at Austin and Lynn Hunt of the University of California at Los Angeles were elected president and president-elect, respectively. Elected Council members were Maureen Murphy Nutting of North Seattle Community College and David Harris Sacks of Reed College. Divisional members elected were Susan Mosher Stuard of Haverford College (Profession), Louis A. Pérez Jr. of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Research), and Marguerite (Peggy) Renner of Glendale (Calif.) Community College (Teaching). Jerry H. Bentley of the University of Hawaii at Manoa was elected to the Committee on Committees. Elected to the Nominating Committee were Joyce E. Chaplin, Harvard University; Peter A. Fritzsche, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Peter Kolchin, University of Delaware. With regard to the position of Vice President for Teaching, Mr. Benedict reported that Kathryn Kish Sklar, State University of New York at Binghamton, had received the most votes but withdrew for health reasons before results were to be announced officially at the Business Meeting. Upon the recommendation of the Nominating Committee and in absence in the AHA constitution and bylaws on how to proceed when a candidate withdraws at this juncture, members present at the Business Meeting voted unanimously to disregard the votes cast for Ms. Sklar and to declare the candidate who received the largest number of the remaining votes elected as Vice President for Teaching, William A. Weber, California State University at Long Beach. The committee's full report appears on page 00.
Reports of the Vice Presidents: Vice presidents Leon Fink (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Teaching, Barbara D. Metcalf (Univ. of California at Davis), Professional, and Gabrielle Spiegel (Johns Hopkins Univ.), Research, each reported briefly on the activities of their respective divisions over the course of the past year.
(a) Expressions of Appreciation: Mr. Foner thanked the two groups of volunteers that had worked so diligently to make the annual meeting a success: the Program Committee, chaired by Michael Bernstein (Univ. of California at San Diego), and his co-chair Barbara Hanawalt (Ohio State Univ.), and the Local Arrangements Committee, chaired by Kevin Kenny (Boston Coll.) and co-chaired by Nina Silber (Boston Univ.).
(b) Approval of Resolution: Association members present unanimously approved the following resolution brought to the Business Meeting by the Committee on Part-Time and Adjunct Employment. As required by the AHA constitution, the resolution will come before the AHA Council for acceptance, nonconcurrence, or veto. If accepted by the Council, it is binding on the Association.
(1) Resolved that history departments should not continue the growing tendency to replace permanent lines with part-time, adjunct, and graduate student lines, which limits academic advising and other services for students and seriously undermines the level of scholarship at institutions of higher education.
(2) Resolved that history departments should adhere to the employment standards for part-time faculty approved by the AHA, which include a reasonable salary, health and retirement benefits, library privileges, office space, and computer access.
(3) Resolved that the AHA encourages grant agencies and institutions of higher education to offer funds for research and travel to conventions to part-time faculty.
(4) Resolved that history departments should assure fair consideration of the candidacy of part-time employees when recruiting and hiring for full-time jobs.
(5) Resolved that the AHA should distribute this resolution to academic accrediting agencies.
(c) Election of members to Board of Trustees: Members present unanimously approved Council's nominations to reappoint Barbara H. Chacour (Brean Murray & Co., Inc.), and Fay Gambee (United States Trust Company of New York), to five-year terms on the Board of Trustees.
In concluding his term as president, Mr. Foner observed that the Association is financially sound and that it is well served by the headquarters and Review staff. Accepting the gavel from Mr. Foner, Mr. Louis expressed appreciation to Mr. Foner for his leadership. There being no further business, Mr. Louis declared the meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.
Recorded by Sharon K. Tune, Assistant Director, Administration, and Convention Director.