January 2007

Friday, January 5, 2007 - 12:00pm
Council Meeting

Friday @ 12:00 pm

Vinings Room, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta, GA

Present: Craig Daigle, Peter Hahn, Richard Immerman (presiding), Mark Lawrence, James Matray, Anna Nelson, Meredith Oyen, Stephen Rabe, Robert Robinson, Robert Schulzinger, Thomas Schwartz, Randall Woods, Thomas Zeiler.

Business Items


Other Business

  1. Recap of motion passed by e-mail vote Immerman reported for the record that since its last meeting Council had approved via e-mail a proposal to purchase ads in the OAH and AHA newsletters to publicize SHAFR programs.
  2. Motion to accept 2006 financial report Hahn presented the 2006 financial report in writing and orally. Both endowments had a healthy gain and the Society marked a net worth of $1.3 million. Hahn noted that Robert Divine completed his gift to endow the Divine Graduate Student Travel Fund, and an additional $550 was donated in response to direct mail and published solicitations. All donations were transferred to the endowment. Hahn explained various highlights of the 2006 budget. Passport royalties became substantial in 2006. Actual royalties from ABC-Clio in 2006 were $2,500 less to offset an overpayment in 2005. Other items highlighted included: costs approved by Council in mid-year for advertising in the OAH and AHA newsletters, stipends for editors of the electronic Guide that Council authorized in June, and ten $1,000 Bemis grants that were awarded in June. Hahn talked briefly about the highlights of the 2007 budget and indicated he would field questions from Council members at any time. Council unanimously passed a motion to accept the report.
  3. Motion to set disbursement amount for Bemis Research Grants in 2007 Matray reported that the Bemis grants were set up with a recommendation of earmarking 20 percent of the increase in the endowment over the previous year for those awards. In early 2006, Matray recommended 10 grants of $1,000, or about 10 percent of the endowment increase of 2005. As the endowment grew by more than 20 percent in 2006, Matray suggested that Council approve expenditure of 20 percent of the increase or about $35,000.00. In discussion, Hahn clarified that in 2006 Council authorized the Holt/Hogan committee to decide the number of awards and specific amounts. Immerman pointed out that the endowment will likely not do as well every year and asked whether expectations for the awards should be raised now if they would almost certainly diminish in later years. Schwartz asked if there is a minimum amount set for award disbursements, and Matray indicated that the guidelines permit awards in amounts up to $2,000. Lawrence suggested that this cap should be raised. Hahn pointed out that almost all applicants last year received awards, and that awarding too many might result in a drop in the overall quality of successful applications. Immerman suggested giving the committee guidelines and trusting its judgment. Matray suggested an announcement through h-diplo that 2007 will be a particularly rich year for Bemis grants. The motion to authorize the committee to disburse up to $35,000 passed unanimously.
  4. Motions regarding the 2007 SHAFR conference Immerman introduced motions to increase registration fees for the summer conference for regular members and to reduce those fees for student members. He indicated that subsidies of student fees would offset the relatively high room rates at the 2007 conference venue and that raising the regular fee to $85 (up $10 from 2006) would offset expected losses while bringing the conference fee in line with those charged by similar societies. In discussion, it was clarified that about 400 persons might be expected to attend the 2007 meeting, including some 150 graduate students. It was noted that SHAFR could also subsidize student meals, which would also serve the purpose of meeting the catering minimum to be charged by the hotel. It was also noted that reducing the student fee to a mere $10 might cheapen the conference and that a $25 rate would be more appropriate. It was further stressed that any reductions approved for 2007 should be announced as special offers for that meeting only and not as precedents for all future meetings.A motion was made to cut the graduate student rate to $25, to authorize Hahn and Sara Wilson to determine an appropriate price cut for student lunches, and to raise the regular conference fee to $85. The motion passed unanimously.
  5. Sharing royalties with Passport (and newsletter) authors Hahn reported that SHAFR received more than $4,000 in 2006 as fees collected by the Copyright Clearance Center for reprinting articles previously published in the SHAFR newsletter. Hahn asked Council to decide whether the money should be shared with the author(s) of the reprinted articles. After discussion clarifying that Diplomatic Historydid not share such proceeds with authors and that SHAFR owned copyright of the newsletter, a consensus emerged that SHAFR should retain the proceeds and devote them to its programs. A motion so directing passed unanimously.
  6. Discussion of change of month/season of SHAFR annual meetings Immerman explained that past Program Committee chair Frank Costigliola had reported that holding SHAFR meetings in June as usual excludes a number of international historians. Immerman suggested forming a committee of past presidents and program chairs to examine the issue of scheduling annual meetings in some other month. This committee might also study whether SHAFR should still meet in Washington, D.C. every other year. In discussion, Oyen indicated that she too had missed annual meetings because of overseas research trips. Woods suggested May or August as alternatives to June. Rabe said that the availability of dorms was one of the original reasons justifying June. Rabe pointed out that 20 percent of the proposals for this year’s conference were of international origin and noted that scheduling in May might cause conflicts with graduations. Schwartz suggested a survey of international scholars. It was clarified that the committee should also examine the issue of holding conferences at hotels vs. university campuses. Hahn agreed to compose a list of past presidents, program committee chairs and local arrangements chairs. Immerman indicated that based on enthusiasm for a committee he would appoint one using his presidential authority.
  7. Sponsorship of events at the 100th OAH Meeting Hahn reported that the OAH has asked societies to consider sponsoring events or programs at the 100th OAH meeting in spring 2007. Possibilities included a graduate student breakfast, a special panel, a reception, and an advertisement, with costs ranging from $500 to $10,000. Woods expressed great reluctance based on the treatment of foreign relations scholars by the OAH. Rabe said that any assistance must be accompanied be a letter to OAH leaders regarding the under-representation of our field in OAH activities and publications. Matray suggested that this might be a key moment to build a bridge back to the OAH. Immerman suggested that this might be a good way to advertise SHAFR’s name and programs and that Council should find a way to air the organization’s grievances at the same time. There was much discussion of whether such a contribution would be useful to the field or to SHAFR as an organization. It was clarified that SHAFR would gain exclusive sponsorship of the event it paid for. A motion authorizing $2,500 for an event like a graduate student breakfast gained majority approval in a voice vote.
  8. Steering Committee Immerman reported that this committee would examine options available to use SHAFR’s new financial resources to further its organizational mission. Immerman will chair the committee. In consultation, Immerman and Woods also appointed members Thomas Zeiler, Mark Lawrence, Frank Costigliola, Kristin Ahlberg, David Herschler, and Brian Etheridge. The committee will begin work soon.
  9. Diplomatic History Contract Committee Woods reported that the new contract with Blackwell, effective January 1, 2008, was completed and signed. SHAFR should receive some $1.2 million over the five-year contract. The new contract is also satisfactory from an editorial standpoint. Lawrence asked if the format would change. Woods explained that the cover would likely change. Proofs of possible cover designs were distributed.
  10. Diplomatic History Schulzinger said that the journal had 60 submissions five years ago and 91 last year. The current acceptance rate is approximately 20 percent. There are about two issues worth of material and several special issues in the pipeline. The June 2007 issue will be a 40th anniversary celebration including brief articles by a number of past presidents. A special issue on the environment edited by Kurt Dorsey is one of several topical issues anticipated for the near future. The new cover design will start in June with the 40th anniversary issue.
  11. Electronic version of the Guide Zeiler reported that revisions of 31 (of 34) chapters are completed. Updates should be posted on-line by the end of March. New entries will appear at the beginning of every subheading. The cash honoraria and gift certificates were appreciated by the chapter editors. Immerman suggested an announcement in Passportto help launch the electronic guide.
  12. 2007 annual meeting Rabe reported that 61 complete panels and 25 individual papers were submitted. Past meeting schedules have been limited to 48 regular sessions, but program committee co-chairs Rabe and Little would like to run 56 sessions if space permits (a point that Sara Wilson is checking on) and if cost for such space is not too high. If the program must be limited to 48 sessions, then most panels to be rejected would be ones featuring graduate students. Immerman asked if quality could be maintained if 56 panels were accepted. Rabe said it is hard to judge quality on the basis of synopses. Immerman asked Council for permission to decide together with Hahn, once Sara Wilson reported on space and cost issues, whether such an increase would be feasible. This suggestion was approved without a formal motion.
  13. 2008 annual meeting Hahn reported that the 2008 SHAFR conference will be held at Ohio State University in late June. The Blackwell Inn will host the conference. Dorm space will be available.
  14. Endowment Matray reported that the endowment did particularly well during the last six months, growing by 10.6 percent. Matray reminded Council that his five-year term as Endowment Liaison will expire in June 2007.
  15. Bernath Dissertation Grant Hahn reported that the Bernath Dissertation Grant will be awarded to Blair Woodard.
  16. Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship Hahn reported that the he Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship will be awarded to Sara Manekin. Hahn said that the Link-Kuehl committee declined to award a prize this year, and asked that the scope of the award be expanded to include other works, including websites. Hahn will work with the committee to formulate recommendations, to be circulated by e-mail in time for Council consideration before the next prize cycle.
  17. Resolutions of thanks to retiring Council members Immerman expressed the thanks of Council and the entire Society to retiring Council members Michael Hogan, Frank Costigliola, Katherine Sibley, and Josip Mocnik. He also expressed appreciation to Robert Robinson, who will resign as assistant executive director of SHAFR later this month after three and a half years in the post.

Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/rr