AHA Activities

Action Items by the AHA Council, January–June 2015

AHA Council | Sep 1, 2015

Through e-mail conversation from January 16 to June 5, 2015, the Council of the American Historical Association 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, 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 AHA executive director James Grossman to members of the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, 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 one of the assessment criteria from “Stimulation of Thought” to “Stimulation of Interest in History.”

◆ In the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, approved signing on to an amicus brief regarding whether states can prohibit same-sex marriage and are obliged to recognize all 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.

◆ Approved AHA support for the National Coalition for History to sign on to a letter from openthegovernment.org to Secretary of State John Kerry and National Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, expressing concerns about 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 library as a vital 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 and 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. Cosigners of the letter include the American Academy of Religion, the History of Science Society, the Philosophy of Science Association, the Society for Biblical Literature, and the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

At the midyear meeting of the Council of the American Historical Association, 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, Univ. of Minnesota; Sarah Maza, Northwestern Univ.; and William Rowe, Johns Hopkins Univ.

◆ 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 Michael Les Benedict through January 2016.

◆ Approved the AHA sponsorship of a roundtable titled “Historians on the Loose: Careers Beyond the Professoriate” 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. Visit historians.org/2yr-taskforce for more details.

◆ Approved changes to the Policy on Exhibits, Advertisements, Mailing List Rentals, and Sales to include this wording: “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 abreast 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 FY 2016 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 percent 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 AHA president Vicki L. Ruiz to write a letter to the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance regarding proposals pending in the Wisconsin 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. Visit historians.org/annual-guidelines for more details. 

◆ 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 individuals willing to review these items. When appropriate, this committee will also commission reviews of these items in AHA publications.

2015 AHA Election Results

Takashi Fujitani (Univ. of Toronto), chair of the Nominating Committee, announces the following results of the 2015 AHA election. The committee wishes to thank all candidates who stood for election; their willingness to serve is much appreciated.

Patrick Manning (Univ. of Pittsburgh)

Tyler E. Stovall (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz)

Vice President, Teaching Division
Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt (Cleveland State Univ.)

Councilor, Profession
Debjani Bhattacharyya (Drexel Univ.)

Councilor, Research
James H. Sweet (Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison)

Councilor, Teaching
Jeffrey A. Bowman (Kenyon Coll.)

Committee on Committees
Antoinette M. Burton (Univ. of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)

Nominating Committee
Position 1: William Deverell (Huntington Library/Univ. of Southern California)
Position 2: Kären E. Wigen (Stanford Univ.)
Position 3: Jamil S. Zainaldin (Georgia Humanities Council)

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