Publication Date

June 12, 2015

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities, Perspectives Daily

Through e-mail conversation, from January 16 to June 5, 2015, the Council of the made the following decisions:

  • Endorsed a letter from the National Coalition for History to members of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) encouraging Congress to include funding for professional development for high school civics and history teachers in the new version of the Elementary and Secondary School Education Act.
  • Approved a letter from the AHA executive director Jim Grossman to members of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) encouraging Congress to include funding for professional development for high school civics and history teachers in the new version of the Elementary and Secondary School Education Act.
  • Approved changes to the John E. O’Connor Prize description including clarification of the rules for submitting films that are part of a series, stating that film critics and members of the public may suggest films for consideration, and changing assessment criteria from “Stimulation of Thought” to “Stimulation of Interest in History.”
  • Approved signing onto an amicus brief in the case of Obergefell et al. v. Beshear, Gov. of Kentucky regarding whether states can prohibit same-sex marriage and are obliged to recognize marriages performed in other states.
  • In response to the announced closing in August 2015 of Sweet Briar College (Virginia), an AHA institutional member, Council voted to offer two years of free AHA membership and complimentary registration to the 2016 annual meeting to the Sweet Briar College history department faculty.
  • Council approved AHA support for the National Coalition for History to sign onto a letter from to Secretary of State John Kerry and National Archivist of the United States David Ferriero expressing concerns over the manner in which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mails were handled.
  • Approved a letter to the directors of the National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine to express appreciation for the National Library of Medicine as a vital national resource that supports scholarship, education, and public knowledge of medicine and historical and current public health issues.
  • Approved joining with five other scholarly societies to send a letter to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau opposing Georgia’s proposed “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” which would establish a vendor’s right to refuse goods or services to individuals based on their sexual orientation. If the legislation is passed, the AHA will not consider holding future annual meetings in any location in the state of Georgia. Co-signers of the letter include the American Academy of Religion, History of Science Society, Philosophy of Science Association, Society for Biblical Literature, and the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

At the midyear meeting of the Council of the , held June 6 and 7, 2015, in Washington, DC, the Council made the following decisions:

  • Approved the January 2015 meeting minutes.
  • Approved the January–May 2015 interim meeting minutes and ratified electronic votes.
  • Appointed the following American Historical Review Editorial Board members: Ruth Mazo Karras, University of Minnesota; Sarah Maza, Northwestern University; and William Rowe, Johns Hopkins University.
  • Approved changes to the Kelly Prize committee, formalizing participation of members of the Coordinating Council for Women in History.
  • Selected the 2015 Awards for Scholarly Distinction (names will be publicized in fall 2015).
  • Extended the term of AHA parliamentarian Les Benedict through January 2016.
  • Approved AHA sponsorship of the “Historians on the Loose: Careers Beyond the Professoriate” roundtable at the Western Historical Association October 2015 meeting.
  • Approved an ad hoc committee to consider the implementation of the 2012 report of the Two-Year College Faculty Task Force.
  • Approved changes to the Policy on Exhibits, Advertisements, Mailing List Rentals, and Sales to include “The AHA will accept items for exhibition, advertising or sale that, at its sole discretion, it deems to fall within its mission and scope.”
  • Approved the publication of the Guidelines on the Evaluation of Digital History submitted by the Committee on Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians.
  • Established the Digital History Working Group to keep informed of developments in the field of digital history and maintain a directory of historians qualified to assist departments looking for expert outside reviewers for candidates at times of tenure and promotion.
  • Approved changes to the AHA Bylaws regarding the AHR Board of Editors, AHA Council obligations and vacancies, format of dissemination of information, business meeting resolutions and guidelines, and the timing of nominations and elections.
  • Approved changes to the AHA Constitution and Bylaws to put forward for a vote of the AHA membership at the 2016 annual election. The proposed changes will be disseminated in appropriate AHA publications for membership review in spring 2016 prior to the annual election and voting period.
  • Approved the following changes to the FY2016 membership dues structure, including the addition of a top-tier category for those with incomes over $170,000, renaming categories to reflect an income range, lowering the “Over $150,000” category base to $130,000, and increasing dues by 2% in the $45,000-$70,000 and $70,000-$100,000 categories.
  • Approved the AHA’s operating and capital budgets for the 2015–16 fiscal year.
  • Established a permanent Committee on LGBTQ Historians.
  • Authorized President Vicki Ruiz to write a letter to the Wisconsin legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance regarding proposals pending in the legislature that threaten to undermine several long-standing features of the state’s current higher education system: shared governance, tenure, and academic freedom.
  • Approved a shift in oversight of the annual meeting from the Research Division to the Council Subcommittee on the Annual Meeting, which will be chaired by the immediate past president and consist of a representative from each division.
  • Approved a letter to the members of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia protesting a policy that denies undocumented immigrants the opportunity to attend Georgia’s top five public universities.
  • Established an ad hoc Committee on State Standards to respond to requests to review K–12 state standards, textbooks, and history exams, and to maintain a list of willing individuals to review these items. When appropriate, this committee will also commission reviews of these items in AHA publications.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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