Publication Date

September 1, 1994

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities, From the Professional Division

Council Meeting, May 8–9

The Council convened for its spring meeting in Washington on May 8–9. A top priority was review of developments subsequent to the Association's decision in January to move the 1995 annual meeting from Cincinnati to Chicago. The Association's legal counsel brought the Council up to date on the status of negotiations with Cincinnati hotels regarding cancellation of contracts, and staff reported on fundraising efforts and plans for the meeting in Chicago. The Council also reviewed and affirmed its decision to hold the 1996 annual meeting in Atlanta (see page 5 for further details). Of particular concern was the development of guidelines for the implementation of the annual meeting site selection policy adopted by the Council in January. The adopted guidelines are published on page 17 for comment from members.

Other Council business included:

  • Appointment of the search committee for a new executive director and approval of committee procedures.
  • Status report on the review of the editor of the AHR and discussions with Indiana University regarding the upcoming search for a successor to David Ransel (see page 1 for position announcement).
  • Report of the Finance Committee and approval of the FY 1995 budget.
  • Reports of the vice presidents for the Profession, Research, and Teaching.
  • Reports from the 1995 Annual Meeting Program Committee, the 1994 Nominating Committee, the Committee on Minority Historians, and the Committee on Women Historians.
  • Appointment of the 1996 Annual Meeting Program Committee and of Margaret Strobel (University of Illinois at Chicago) as Program Committee chair for 1997.
  • Appointment of Prasenjit Duara (University of Chicago), Gabrielle Speigel (Johns Hopkins University), Daniel Scott Smith (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Reba Soffer (California State University at Northridge) to the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review.
  • Approval of nominees to fill vacancies on the Association's Board of Trustees.
  • Selection of the 1994 honorary foreign member and of recipients of the Award for Scholarly Distinction.
  • Status reports from the Task Force on Family Leave and the Task Force on Part-Time and Non-Tenure-Track Appointments.
  • Recommendations from the Parliamentarian regarding revision of the Constitution and Bylaws and other matters.
  • Report and recommendations from Page Putnam Miller of the National Coordinating Committee regarding federal issues of interest to historians.

The Council's next scheduled meeting is January 5, 1995, just prior to the beginning of the Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Professional Division Meeting, April 24

The AHA's Professional Division convened for its spring meeting on April 24, 1994, in Washington. The division discussed a variety of matters but focused particular attention on ongoing efforts to review and revise the "Addendum on Policies and Procedures" under which the division reviews complaints of violation of the Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct. The division had agreed in the spring of 1993 that such a review was necessary, and Vice President Drew Gilpin Faust had solicited comments from the larger membership in an article she wrote for Perspectives in the fall. Subsequently, the division proposed several revisions to the Council in January 1994, but that body returned them to the division for further study in consultation with the Association’s legal counsel. At the spring meeting the members of the division decided to focus their study on how different procedures would make it possible to operate in a more effective manner. They developed a list of questions to use in evaluating current and former cases and selected sixteen cases for review, for which staff provided full case files. They plan to discuss the results of that review this fall and begin drafting revisions to the “Policies and Procedures” for submission to the Council in May 1995.

Other Professional Division business included:

  • Follow-up correspondence regarding earlier cases reviewed by the division.
  • Formal and informal complaints—see "From the Professional Division: Case Studies in Professional Ethics" (Perspectives, May/June, page 1) for a report on the division’s review of cases.
  • Draft revision of the "Employment" section of the Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct.
  • Reports of continuing problems with inappropriate questions in job interviews and of job announcements that violate AHA policy.
  • Plans to improve the Job Register and to reevaluate its operation in 1996.
  • Annual meeting matters, including the division's co-sponsorship of an interviewing workshop for job candidates and a session on part-time and non-tenure-track employment.
  • Complaints from independent scholars about library access and other matters.
  • Review of the Association's policy regarding the rights of foreign scholars.
  • Proposed development of a CD-ROM replacement for the Directory of American Scholars.
  • Nominations for the 1994 Troyer Steele Anderson Prize and review of the prize terms.
  • Future agenda items, including age discrimination and ways that the Association can become more involved in electronic communication and publishing.

The Professional Division meets twice each year, and its next meeting is scheduled for early October.

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