Publication Date

September 1, 1991

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

Since the early 1970s the governing Council of the Association has met twice a year to cope with lengthy agendas of AHA business. Its spring meeting May 6–7 in Washington came too late for a report of its business to appear in the May-June Perspectives. Since the Council acts for the entire membership, which elects it, the following summary of its major actions is of interest to all.

The Council’s first order of business was a meeting of its Subcommittee on Finance which recommended a budget for the 1991–92 fiscal year. The Association’s expenditure budget for the 1991–92 year was set at $1,633,850 and it is expected to be our seventh year of balanced budgeting, following three deficit years in the early eighties.

The spring Council meeting regularly deals with a number of appointments and nominations. It decided to recommend to the annual Association business meeting on December 29th the appointment of a well-qualified trustee, Mary Beers Conrad, to participate in the Board of Trustees’ care and feeding of the AHA’s endowments and investments. It approved three outstanding historians recommended by the Nominating Committee, for the AHA’s Award for Scholarly Distinction, which will be presented in Chicago at the December annual meeting. It also approved the designation of an outstanding foreign scholar to be an Honorary Member, which will also be announced in Chicago.

The Council approved several statements on policy, brought to its attention by the Teaching and Professional Divisions; on guidelines for the certification of history teachers; on the value of diversity in history teaching; on the anniversary of the Holocaust; on defining conflict of interest as it relates to historians; and on harassment of various individuals on campuses. Text of the first is available through the headquarters and the other four appear on page 9.

Turning to other Teaching Division Committee matters, the Council took note of its discarding several obsolescent AHA pamphlets; of its decision not to press for creation of a special committee on K–12 teacher members; and of its decision not to participate as a partner in the OAH’s Magazine of History because of costs involved.

Professional Division matters referred to the Council included the question of childcare at annual meetings. Council approved the Division’s recommendation that the Association rely on and publicize in the Program facilities recommended by headquarters hotels. It also endorsed the Division’s decision not to establish a special reduced dues category for retired or emeritus members, on the ground that the existing dues structure provides for lowered dues for lower incomes.

Research Division issues were numerous. New members of the American Historical Review‘s board of editors were approved. Linda Levy Peck was designated as chair of the January 1994 Annual Meeting Program Committee, and small changes in Program Committee guidelines and its “customs and lore” statement were sanctioned. Several issues relating to Association book prizes were addressed, including a change in the structure of the Breasted Prize committee, a change in the frequency of award of the Dunning Prize to conserve its endowment, and the commencement in 1993 of the new biennial Forkosch Prize in British history.

Finally, the Council approved a clarification in the Association’s bylaws relating to the process of amending those bylaws by the membership at large.