Publication Date

December 1, 1996

Dear AHA Members:

Before I was elected to the Nominating Committee two years ago, I assumed that the AHA, like other large organizations we belong to, was run by an efficient but anonymous "them," After attending my first meeting of the committee, however, I found (much to my surprise and delight) that it really is run by us, the members. The nominating process is open, and all of the names of candidates who are submitted by friends, colleagues, or by themselves are carefully assessed by the committee; no one has an inside track.

What does the Nominating Committee look for? We look for candidates who are willing to devote time, effort, and creative ideas to an important professional organization at a time when our profession faces many challenges. We are concerned that the governance of the AHA to represent the many different constituencies of this organization. We want the officers, the Council, the divisions, and the committees of the AHA to represent the different academic interests of our members. We also want to have representatives of the many different kinds of institutions we work for as well as having representation of nonaffiliated historians. We want to be sure that the AHA is governed by people who are as diverse as our profession in gender, race, age, religion, and political orientation. Finally, we avoid having more than one person serve the organization from any single institution.

When the committee meets in February, we will be nominating two candidates for each of the following important posts:

1. President-elect (Under the rotation system that the AHA has adopted, we will be looking for a European historian for this position.).

2. Vice President of the Teaching Division.

3. Two members of the AHA Council (the governing body of the AHA).

4. A member of the Professional Division (the rights and responsibilities of historians, professional conduct, the job market, the status of women and minorities, data collection and analysis, membership, and professional service prizes).

5. A member of the Research Division (priorities in support of research and new research tools; relationships with archivists, librarians, and other organizations; research grants and fellowships; book prizes; AHR; and annual meeting).

6. A member of the Teaching Division (teaching in AHA activities and publications, history curriculum, new methods of instruction and cooperation, and history education).

7. A member of the Committee on Committees (nominations for a large number of AHA appointive committees, including book awards and prizes, and delegates).

8. Three members of the Nominating Committee.

If you or any of the people you know could serve the AHA in any of these capacities, we would appreciate hearing from you. The only restriction is that only current members of the AHA can be nominated. If you know of a good citizen in the profession who is not currently a member, please urge him or her to join.

In this period when the historical profession is facing a multitude of complex issues such as a job market crisis, political criticism of exhibitions and curriculums, attacks on tenure, and a movement for national standards for the teaching of history, it is important that we remain a strong, responsive organization. You can help. Please forward your nominations for consideration by the Nominating Committee, along with a short vitae (1-5 pages) to AHA Nominating Committee, c/o Sharon K. Tune, 400 A St., SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889. Nominations can also be submitted by fax: (202) 544-8307.


(Lake Forest Coll.)

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