January 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010 - 8:00am
Council Meeting

SHAFR Council 8:00 am -12:00 noon Manchester Grand Hyatt, Gibbons Room San Diego, California Present: Frank Costigliola, Jeffrey Engel, Catherine Forslund, Peter Hahn, Richard Immerman, Mitch Lerner, Erin Mahan, James Matray, Ken Osgood, Andrew Preston, Andrew Rotter (presiding), Chapin Rydingsward, Thomas Schwartz, Annessa Stagner, Salim Yaqub, Marilyn Young, Thomas Zeiler Business Items (1) Announcements Rotter called the meeting to order at 8:00 A.M. and thanked everyone for attending. Rotter drew Council’s attention to a new initiative to encourage scholars to seek SHAFR co-sponsorship of sessions at the annual conferences of the AHA, the OAH, and other professional societies. An application for co-sponsorship is now posted on shafr.org and publicized in Passport. Rotter reported that representatives from SHAFR’s teaching committee are scheduled to address Council at the June meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. (2) Resolution of thanks to retiring Council members Forslund introduced a resolution thanking retiring Council members Jeremi Suri, Tom Zeiler, Meredith Oyen, and Randall Woods for their valuable service. The resolution passed unanimously. (3) Recap of motions passed by e-mail Rotter reported on the two motions approved by Council via e-mail since the Council meeting in June. Council approved the minutes taken during the June 2009 meeting and increased the annual stipend of SHAFR’s web editor from $3,000 to $7,000 ($4,000 of which will be used for a course buy-out). (4) Motion to accept 2009 financial report Hahn presented a written and oral report on SHAFR’s finances. He encouraged Council members to examine closely the written report and indicated that he would answer questions at any time. Hahn reported that despite the recent economic downturn, SHAFR’s financial status remains sound. It was also noted that SHAFR’s checking and savings accounts have been consolidated into a single interest-bearing checking account. Council unanimously passed a motion to accept the 2009 financial report. (5) Report of the Ad Hoc Task Force on the SHAFR Election Immerman presented a written and oral report on the recommendations of SHAFR’s Election Committee. It was noted that the goal of these recommendations was to standardize and render explicit all election guidelines, to make the election process transparent, and to establish procedures to encourage voter participation. Immerman informed Council that all members of the Election Committee (Catherine Forslund, Richard Immerman, Arnold Offner, Meredith Oyen, Tom Schwartz, Kathryn Statler) contributed conscientiously, professionally, and collegially. The committee met to begin its work at the annual meeting in June 2009 and it communicated electronically on a regular basis over the succeeding months. The Committee also solicited input from the 2009 Nominating Committee (NC) as well NC chairs from previous years. In order to reach informed decisions regarding an online voting method, Immerman corresponded with SHAFR webmaster Brian Etheridge as well as Peter Hahn and acquired information from the Election Services Corporation, which manages elections for the AHA and other organizations. Immerman encouraged Council to evaluate the recommendations both rigorously and systematically. Council engaged in extensive discussion over the nominating procedures of past years and the propriety of Presidential and Vice Presidential involvement in the nominating process. In discussion, Council agreed that the NC has the authority to construct the ballot. Recommendations were also made about clarifying the election process. Vigorous debate then ensued on whether the NC should have candidates run in opposing pairs or as a single group. In discussing the historic reasons for splitting nominees into pairs, it was noted that Council had adopted this practice to ensure diversity of rank and gender. A debate ensued concerning the merits of increasing Council membership by adding an additional seat designated as international. In support, it was noted that enlarging Council in this manner would be consistent with SHAFR’s effort to internationalize. It was also noted that an international Council seat would serve to integrate non-US members and make them feel more welcomed within the SHAFR body. In opposition, it was noted that SHAFR’s non-U.S. members constitute approximately 20% of the Society and, therefore, an additional seat designated as international would grant this group a level of representation (33%) disproportionate to its actual size. It was also expressed that the creation of an international seat might stigmatize prospective international candidates, while reducing the rate of access currently allotted to other groups. After further discussion, it was suggested that as an alternative to designing new rules, the NC should be encouraged to nominate slates to promote geographical diversity as well as diversity of rank, ethnicity, gender and methodological approach. After further discussion, a consensus emerged in support of the proposed transition to electronic voting, in support of compensation to the SHAFR Webmaster for additional duties related to launching the online voting process, and in support of the proposed election calendar. Council also agreed that non-elected appointees are a Presidential prerogative that should be preserved within the new election system. In debating the relative merits of term limits, a consensus emerged in support of the Committee’s recommendation for imposing a fixed interval between terms, but to strike the proposal for a two-term limit. Immerman moved (Schwartz seconded) that the convention of opposing pairs of candidates running for each of the two Council slots be replaced by a slate of four candidates running for the two Council slots, with election going to the two who receive the highest number of votes. By a vote of 6 to 6, the motion failed to pass. Rotter stated that the split vote would be interpreted as an affirmation of the current practice of paired elections. Immerman moved (Costigliola seconded) to expand Council membership by one with the additional slot reserved for an international candidate. The motion passed by a vote of 7-5. Discussion ensured on the question of how to best define “international candidate” with regard to the above motion. Some advocated in favor of a very broad definition of international while others urged that it refer to individuals who have lived or taught outside of the United States for a specific period of time. After further discussion, Osgood moved (Mahan seconded) to define international as someone who has taught or resided outside the United States for the previous three years. The motion passed by a vote of 6 to 5. Schwartz moved (Preston seconded) to hire Election Service Corporation to conduct SHAFR’s elections. The motion failed by a vote of 6-6. Rotter asked for affirmation that it was indeed Council’s desire to transition to electronic ballots administered on the SHAFR website by SHAFR staff. Council responded in the affirmative, with the understanding that the NC would exhibit sensitivity to members uncomfortable with electronic media. It was also stipulated that SHAFR staff be compensated for the extra burden of administering the online election process. After further discussion, a consensus emerged that the task force would clarify formal motions to be considered at the June meeting in order to clarify the specific changes to electoral process and serve the legal purpose of taking the first step toward revising SHAFR’s by-laws. (6) Motions from Ways and Means Committee Schwartz reported that the Ways & Means Committee recommended Council approval of two measures and was seeking Council’s guidance regarding a third measure. The Committee recommended a proposal to recognize Alan Spetter’s significant contribution to SHAFR by granting him a lifetime service award, lifetime SHAFR membership, and funds to travel to the 2010 meeting to accept the award. The Committee also recommended a proposal to contribute $250 to support the Woman’s Luncheon at the OAH annual meeting in Washington D.C.. Council unanimously approved these two recommendations. Schwartz reported that the Ways & Means Committee sought Council’s guidance on the issue of funding travel by overseas SHAFR members to professional meetings in the United States. A member based overseas requested funds for travel to the AHA meeting where the member was participating in a session officially cosponsored by SHAFR. The Ways & Means Committee was reluctant to approve this proposal but wanted Council to discuss it further. During discussion, it was clarified that SHAFR now has in place a three-year program to fund overseas travel of persons attending the SHAFR meetings. It was also noted that funding such travel would advance SHAFR’s ongoing effort to internationalize and it would promote the inclusion of SHAFR sponsored panels at national meetings, and that travel funds at European institutions are often considerably lower in comparison to the amount offered at U.S. institutions. After extensive discussion, a consensus emerged that SHAFR should provide transportation funds for international SHAFR members to attend their SHAFR committee meetings held during the annual SHAFR conference, in cases where financial support is not available from the home institution. A motion so directing passed unanimously. After further discussion, Council unanimously approved a motion to provide transportation funds on a “sliding scale” model for international SHAFR members to conduct SHAFR-related work at non-SHAFR conferences, in cases where financial support is not available from the home institution. (7) Resolution of appreciation to the University of Wisconsin Library for digitizing FRUS Rotter introduced the following resolution: SHAFR acknowledges with gratitude the diligent service of the University of Wisconsin Libraries in digitizing and posting on the Web the content of the U.S. State Department's Foreign Relations of the United States series, covering the century between 1861 and 1960. That accomplishment has greatly facilitated teaching and researching the history of U.S. foreign relations, to the benefit of the American people and the larger world community alike. The resolution passed unanimously. (8) Discussion of memorials at annual meetings Schwartz moved to establish a memorial moment during the Presidential luncheon to recognize the passing of those who have made a significant contribution to SHAFR. After discussion, the motion carried. (9) OAH outreach event Hahn reported that Rotter has approved discontinuation of SHAFR’s recent sponsorship of a graduate student breakfast at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, in light of per person costs. Council authorized Hahn to explore alternative graduate student outreach initiatives at OAH meetings. Reports (10) Endowment Matray reported on SHAFR’s investment package. He noted that the endowment reached the low point of the year in March 2009, when it stood 34% below its peak of November 2007, but that the endowment had recovered during the remainder of 2009, recovering more than half of the value lost in the tumble. The endowment finished 2009 with a small gain over the balance at the end of 2008. It was noted that SHAFR’s financial status remains healthy despite devastating losses incurred during the recent crisis. (11) Teaching Committee Memo of Understanding Rotter asked Council to discuss the following Memo of Understanding recently submitted by Mark Stoler clarifying the relationship and collaborative responsibilities between SHAFR’s director of Secondary Education and the Teaching Committee. The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) has hired a Director of Secondary Education, who will oversee the production and dissemination of lesson plans on major topics in the history of American foreign policy. It is understood that SHAFR’s Director of Secondary Education will work closely with the SHAFR Teaching Committee in carrying out these and related responsibilities, principally through a subcommittee that will serve as an advisory board to the Director and as a communication channel to the full Committee. As of August 2009, the subcommittee on secondary education consists of five Teaching Committee members: John Tully, Director of Secondary Education, ex officio; Nicole Phelps; Matthew Masur; Robert Shaffer; and Brian Clancy. During discussion, Lerner reported that the Teaching Committee and the Director of Secondary Education have collaborated well in the past and that the MOU would strengthen this relationship by clearly delineating the relationship. The motion approving the MOU passed unanimously. Council also indicated that the Director of Secondary Education should submit a report on his work in a timely manner. (12) Diplomatic History Zeiler submitted his biannual report on Diplomatic History both in writing and orally. Since July 2009, the journal has received 35 articles and the acceptance rate has remained largely unchanged. In contrast to previous years when submissions ran low, the journal currently has a backlog of 22 articles and 31 book reviews. Zeiler noted that SHAFR might want to consider expanding the journal’s page allotment during subsequent contract negotiations and that the DH editors have been considering the merits of publishing a portion of the journal’s book reviews online. It was noted that the forthcoming issue will feature a special forum on George H. W. Bush edited by Jeff Engel. Other special issues will focus on the politics of troop withdrawal and on the intersection between labor and U.S. foreign relations. While the latest circulation numbers will not come out until March, Zeiler emphasized that more people are downloading DH articles than ever before. It was noted that the dramatic increase in article downloads should give SHAFR increased leverage during future contract negotiations. (13) SHAFR Guide to the Literature Zeiler informed Council both orally and in writing on the 2009 updates to the electronic version (3rd edition) of the SHAFR Guide to the Literature. In 2009, the significant changes concerned the online format. ABC-CLIO overhauled its website, and the new page for the Guide is more user-friendly. As well, ABC-CLIO made several changes in line with its previously announced intention to retire the SHAFR Guide V1 code base in favor of sole hosting via the History Reference Online eBook hosting platform. This year, 15 chapters were updated significantly, adding 359 entries to the Guide. One editor made changes to existing entries, but no new updates. In consultation with Zeiler, editors on the other 17 chapters decided to accumulate more sources in 2010. It was noted that some editors require more encouragement to produce entries in a timely fashion. Zeiler also noted that the $100 or book certificate “gift” to editors who have completed their chapters was well received. Zeiler thanked SHAFR for its generosity and expressed thanks to the editors for expending time and thought to maintain the high scholarly standards of the Guide. (14) Passport Lerner reported that Passport is in good financial standing, costing SHAFR $7,000 annually. For comparative purposes, it was noted that the production of the former SHAFR Newsletter cost SHAFR $10,000 per year. Lerner also briefed Council thoroughly on a legal matter pertaining to the January 2010 Passport issue. (15) 2010 Summer Institute Engel reported that the 2010 Summer Institute on the topic “Policymaking and Lessons of History” would be held in Madison, Wisconsin immediately preceding SHAFR’s annual meeting. The 2010 Institute will be co-sponsored by the University of Texas and Texas A & M and will seek to target newly-minted or nearly-finished PhDs. The Institute will also give focused attention to the professional transition process that recent PhDs and junior faculty confront. Susan Ferber will give a talk on the process and procedure of publishing the first monograph and participants will have the opportunity to participate in mock job talks. Guest lecturers will address the Institute on the interaction between history and the policymaking process. Some concern was expressed about the low number of applicants thus far, and Engel was encouraged to solicit applications through some graduate departments. (16) Summer Institute Oversight Committee report on 2010-2011 Costigliola reported on a recent proposal from Carol Anderson and Thomas Zeiler to host the 2011 Summer Institute at Emory University on the topic “Freedom and Free Markets: Globalization, Human Rights, and Empire.” (17) 2010 annual meeting Yaqub reported on the 2010 annual meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. He was pleased to note that despite challenging economic conditions and the usual lower application rate for SHAFR meetings outside of Washington, D.C., a high number of quality proposals were received, indicating that the effort to increase the numbers and types of panels at the 2010 annual meeting have succeeded. The CFP had been widely publicized in print journals as well as on dozens of H-Net listservs. In response to its outreach, the committee received 80 full panel proposals. The committee formed 4 additional panel proposals based on the 33 individual papers submitted. In keeping with the conference’s theme, a large percentage of panels made an effort to “cross boundaries” whether chronologically, geographically, or in relation to disciplines. The Committee was also pleased with the high number of applicants from outside the diplomatic history subfield and the historical profession. There was also a strong showing from scholars based internationally, especially in Europe. Given the high quality of the applicant pool combined with SHAFR’s desire to reach out to a broader and more diverse audience, the 2010 conference committee plans to accept between 71 and 74 panels. Costigliola commended the committee, noting that its success in maintaining a large number of high quality panels with a rate of acceptance similar to 2009 was a great achievement since conference participation has historically been much smaller when outside of Washington D.C. Rotter updated Council on efforts to organize a plenary session. It was also reported that Jeremi Suri, chair of the local arrangements committee, is currently working to have the Wisconsin Veterans Museum host the conference reception. Hahn reported that the subcommittee formed in response to Sara Wilson’s recent retirement selected Dr. Jennifer Walton as SHAFR’s new conference organizer. Walton, who holds a PhD in diplomatic history, has been in communication with Wilson throughout the fall and Hahn was confident that the transition would be a smooth one. Council expressed its gratitude to Wilson for her excellent work over the years. (18) 2011 annual meeting Rotter reported that the 2011 annual meeting will be held in the Washington D.C. metro area. Hahn explained that he was in negotiation with a hotel and with a broker who had offered to survey the Washington market and provide SHAFR with a list of venue options. If SHAFR were to sign a contract with a hotel identified by the broker, the hotel would pay the broker’s fees. After discussion on the tactics of negotiating, Council authorized Hahn to proceed with the negotiations. President Rotter is empowered to sign a contract with the hotel selected. (19) Hogan Fellowship Hahn reported that the Hogan Fellowship would be awarded to Victor Nemchenok with honorable mention going to Patrick Kelly. (20) Bernath Dissertation Grant, Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship, and Holt Fellowship Hahn reported that the 2010 Bernath Dissertation Grant would be awarded to Kevin Arlyck, the 2010 Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship would be awarded to Stefanie Bator, and the 2010 Holt Fellowship would be awarded to Lauren Beth Hirshberg. (21) Williams Grants and Bemis Fellowships Rotter reported that Williams Appleman Williams Grants for 2010 would be awarded to Heather Dichter and Heather Stur; and that Bemis Fellowships for 2010 will be awarded to Caitlin Casey, Philip Dow, Maurice LaBelle, Hajimu Masuda, Brian McNeil, Sarah Miller Davenport, Louie Milojevic, Michael Neagle, Victor Nemchenok, Amy Offner, Joy Schulz, Annessa Stagner, Tom Westerman, and Tal Zalmanovich (22) Announcements and other business Immerman informed Council of recent developments at the State Department’s Office of the Historian. Ambassador James Campbell was named Acting Director of the Office of the Historian and then was succeeded by Ambassador Edward Brynn, a former ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ghana and a Ph.D. in history from Stanford. A decision has been reached stipulating that the Historian must hold ambassadorial rank with a background in history. Immerman noted that the effort to solicit a General Editor for the FRUS series has been reopened. He encouraged Council members to recommend qualified candidates for this position and to monitor carefully the recent Executive Order on Declassification. Council was reminded that the HAC currently includes four SHAFR members and that Bob McMahon is now chair of the HAC. Rotter urged Council to think of new and creative ways to improve and strengthen SHAFR. He told Council members not to hesitate in contacting him to discuss these or any other issues. Rotter concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for attending. The meeting adjourned at 12:00 pm. Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/cr