Publication Date

February 1, 1990

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

The elected governing Council of the Association met on December 27 and on December 30 in the San Francisco Hilton Hotel to address a number of important issues relating to the AHA’s activities and concerns.

Taking account of the November vote of the membership, 51 percent in favor of a move to early January as an annual meeting time, the Council voted to change our habit of 104 years and move the time of the annual meeting. Beginning in 1994, the first Thursday through Sunday of January after New Year’s Day will be the fixed days of the meeting. In 1994, that will be January 6–9. The AHA is contracted to hotels for the traditional December 27–30 dates through 1992. January 1994 is therefore the earliest available date for a change. In the years thereafter, dates could fluctuate from January 2–5 at the earliest (e.g. 1997) to as late as the 8–11th of January. After over a century of fixed dates, we will be shifting to a regime of fixed days of the week and floating dates.

The Council accepted the report of the Finance Committee which assessed the mid-year state of the budget. Finding that the gap between revenue and expenses seemed to be widening, the Committee recommended the development of a package of revenue enhancement measures. The Council also adopted a written statement of objectives for the trustees’ guidance in their management of the Association’s modest portfolio of investments. The Council directed that a feasibility study be made of how an enlarged staff might be organized to increase AHA efforts in membership recruitment, endowment development, and advocacy in support of history education.

The Committee on Committees report to the Council was approved, with the names of dozens of replacements to fill the many standing and special committee positions which turn over annually. The list will be published in the next Perspectives when all of the players have accepted.

The Committee on Affiliated Societies recommended and the Council approved an affiliated relationship of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the Medieval Academy of America, the Organization of History Teachers, and the Society for Romanian Studies. One other affiliate application was carried over until the next Council meeting.

On the advice of the Professional Division, the Council approved the executive director’s proposal for the initiation of an allowance for part of the day care expenses of Association employees with children twelve years of age and under. The Association believes that this is the first such allowance to be established among social science and humanities sister societies and is gratified to be able in a small way to take the lead in supporting this sound, necessary, and increasingly widespread principle.

The Council approved amendments suggested by the Division for the Addendum on Policies and Procedures to the AHA Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct these amendments will facilitate the publication for educational purposes of information about cases of failure to measure up to the standards, when identified by the Professional Division. The Council believes that, particularly in plagiarism cases, the profession needs to be more informed about what constitutes grave breeches of ethics. Future issues of Perspectives will from time to time also carry such reports.

The Council, acting on recommendations from the Research Division and the Ad Hoc Committee on Publications, voted to establish a task force to review on an urgent basis the coverage of the bibliographic tools available to the profession. That decision preceded the Council’s decision to cease publication by the end of 1990 of both Recently Published Articles and the annual volume of Writings on American History, which it found to be both somewhat outmoded and uneconomic to restructure adequately. It also agreed to modernize the format of Doctoral Dissertations in History and make its coverage more extensive.

In its second meeting in San Francisco on the morning of December 30, the AHA’s Council decided to suggest to the Organization of American Historians that the two associations set up a joint committee on minority recruitment into the profession, which President Herlihy and the Council agreed was the most pressing organizational task for history.