January 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013 - 8:00am
Council Meeting

Minutes SHAFR Council Friday, January 4, 2013 8:00 am-12:00 noon Sheraton New Orleans Borgne Room Members present: Laura Belmonte, Mark Bradley (Presiding), Carol Chin, Christopher Dietrich, Mary Dudziak, Rebecca Herman, Fred Logevall, Andrew Rotter, Marc Selverstone, Michael Sherry, Sarah Snyder, Tom Zeiler Other present: Matthew Ambrose, Frank Costigliola, Peter L. Hahn, Andrew Johns, Martin Sherwin Business Items (1) Welcome, Introductions, and Announcements Bradley called the meeting to order at 8:08 AM, welcoming new members of Council and expressing thanks to recently-retired members Frank Costigliola, Mitch Lerner, Andrew Preston, and Annessa Stagner. (2) Recap of motions passed by e-mail vote Hahn reviewed motions passed by e-mail vote since the last Council meeting. In July, Council passed a motion authorizing the naming of Peter L. Hahn and Thomas Zeiler as “authorized officers” of the SHAFR endowment. In August, Council passed a resolution approving the minutes of the June 2012 meeting. In August, Council passed the following motion: “The SHAFR Council acknowledges the leadership, vision, and oversight of Robert Schulzinger during his service as Editor in Chief of Diplomatic History. Bob was instrumental in raising and maintaining the excellence of the journal. SHAFR thanks him for his years of service.” In September, Council passed a motion authorizing a “society partnership” with Oxford University Press. In October, Council passed the following motion: “The Council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations expresses sincere condolences upon the passing of Professor Anna K. Nelson on September 27, 2012. A scholar, advisor, and friend to many, Anna was a pivotal figure in our field. We will dearly miss her.” (3) 2012 financial report Hahn presented oral and written reports on the finances in 2012 and the budget for 2013. SHAFR enjoyed positive revenues and net incomes, though Hahn cautioned that much of this margin resulted from sources that are not guaranteed to continue in 2013. Dudziak asked if there were ways by which Council could be brought into a more advisory role in acceptance of the year-end report, perhaps by previewing some portions of the projected budget by email before the meeting. Bradley and Hahn noted that this step had not been done previously because changes to the budget year-to-year were relatively small, because the Ways & Means Committee was fulfilling its duty to oversee budgetary matters, and because there were concerns with electronic distribution of records containing confidential and/or proprietary information, although they were happy to share repots more widely with Council. A consensus developed that steps will be taken to circulate portions of the financial reports to Council by email before future meetings. Dietrich moved to accept the 2012 reports; Belmonte seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Hahn then reviewed the budget for 2013. Hahn reported that SHAFR’s endowments and combined assets were at record high values, and had increased by 40% since 2008. The projected gap between guaranteed minimum revenues and planned expenditures in 2013 remains considerable. Actual shortfalls would be covered by unrestricted endowment resources. The 2013 operating budget will enable continuity of programming. Bradley recalled that in June, Council had considered reducing planned expenditures but decided to avoid that difficult step pending clarification of actual revenues moving forward. Belmonte noted that the consensus also included avoiding new expenses. Rotter also noted that programs for graduate students were among Council’s top priorities at the June meeting. Sherry asked if there was an earlier point in 2013 at which Council would know how the finances were developing, as this would help to better inform spending decisions. Bradley and Hahn agreed that a mid-year update in time for the June meeting would be helpful. (4) Motions from Ways & Means Committee For the Ways & Means Committee, Bradley reported that the Ohio Academy of History requested a $300 grant for its 2013 conference; that the Transatlantic Studies Association sought a $2,000 annual grant for its conference; that Council should consider whether to renew indefinitely funding for the National Coalition for History (presently funded at $6,000 per year); and that Council should discuss a request from the National History Center to increase its annual allocation from $5,000 to $7,500. Council members supported the Ohio Academy proposal, clarifying that a process should be set up whereby any such professional association could apply for a small grant. Council also expressed support for the TSA program for 2013 on the condition that the grant would support a keynote address by a SHAFR member. Members noted that the TSA conference featured high quality papers and that it advantaged graduate students. Others noted that the TSA reflected European interests only and often conflicted with the summer SHAFR conference. Bradley endorsed the work of the NCH and noted that Kristin Hoganson had agreed to serve a three-year term as SHAFR’s representative to the NCH (in place of the late Anna Nelson). Council agreed to affirm the pledge to fund the TSA in 2013 but to postpone any funding of future years until a future meeting. Chin moved to approve the Ohio Academy and the NCH allocations; Belmonte seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Bradley stated that Council previously had discussed the appropriation to the National History Center and its return on investment. It was observed that the program itself is undergoing a transition. After a wide-ranging discussion, a consensus developed that, considering the significant fiscal uncertainties in 2013, Council should deny the request for increased funding and table consideration of extending any funding. This step would suspend support without terminating the appropriation or undermining the relationship. Dudziak moved to table consideration of National History Center funding; Selverstone seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Bradley shared a report from Emily Rosenberg, Endowment Liaison, regarding management of the endowment. Rosenberg investigated SHAFR’s endowment management firm and principles, and recommended that Council consider appointing a new management firm and clarifying its preferred investment strategies. Ways & Means, which had met with Rosenberg the previous day, recommended that the committee be directed to approach TIAA-CREF for a discussion about managing the endowments. After a discussion of several of the issues involved, including asset allocations, current performance of the endowment under its current management, and a possible move to incorporate socially responsible investing, a consensus emerged that Rosenberg should inquire at TIAA CREF and present a report at the SHAFR conference in June, at which point Council will deliberate and take any appropriate action. (5) 2013 Summer Institute Sherwin reported that the SHAFR Summer Institute for 2013 will focus on building and reinforcing a community of scholars in nuclear history. Applications are due on February 1. Sherwin reported that the organizers hoped to choose approximately 15 participants from a broader range of career stage than in previous years. In keeping with this broader range, the structure of the program will be more interactive, closer to a workshop than a seminar. Discussion about the balance between graduate students and junior faculty or senior faculty ensued. As originally conceived, the institute would alternate between grad students and faculty. Because most years have been graduate-student focused, this year’s organizers were willing to take a different approach. (6) Summer Institute Oversight Committee Bradley reported that the call for applications to host the 2014 institute has been published. The SIOC will keep Council posted as the program develops. (7) Passport Johns reported that production of Passport is going well, and the first issue with Oxford was currently in production without problems. Johns also reported his excitement for the quality of content accepted for publication. Johns will transition much of the material in the announcements section of Passport to the website. Bradley noted that Johns was added to the standing committee on SHAFR and the Internet to better enable coordination. (8) Report from Diplomatic History Editor Search Committee Costigliola reported the Diplomatic History editor’s current term expires in 2014. SHAFR convened a search committee to advise on succession. The committee placed an ad in OAH’s newsletter, H-Diplo, and Perspectives. The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2013. Costigliola stated that the committee had received indications of interest from at least two applicants, and that it planned to meet with finalists at the OAH. SHAFR will provide funding for finalists to come to the OAH. (9) Report from the Webmaster Search Committee Dudziak reported that a task force had proposed hiring a new webmaster, allocating funds to redesign the website, and proposed a standing committee to provide oversight. Zeiler had appointed a webmaster search committee which put out a call for applicants. The committee received two applications, and recommended George Fujii, a graduate student at UC-Santa Barbara. Dietrich moved to approve the recommendation; Selverstone seconded; and the motion passed unanimously. Bradley specifically thanked Dudziak and the committee for its hard work and dedication in this effort. (10) Report on transition of publisher to Oxford University Press Hahn reported that the transition to Oxford University Press has been generally smooth. The editors of Diplomatic History and Passport have reported smooth transitions. A few small glitches and delays occurred in the transfer of e-files form the old publisher to the new, but none was insurmountable. The database of research interests remains a small area of concern. Some renewal letters were mailed late, but steps have been taken to ensure timely distribution in future years. Two Council members indicated that they found the on-line renewal process somewhat confusing; one recommended a Paypal option for foreign currency transactions. Zeiler reported that it appeared that DH would be available on JSTOR after the transition. (11) Rescheduling SHAFR events at the OAH annual meeting Bradley reported that it was decided last June that starting in 2014, the Bernath Lecture would transition from the OAH conference to the AHA conference and the president would seek to build a marquee academic panel at the OAH meeting. Council now needs to decide whether to delay the spring publication awards to the SHAFR meeting or to issue them at the academic panel at the OAH. Sherry made a motion to move the prizes to the SHAFR conference. Dudziak seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. (12) SHAFR conference reforms Hahn reported several suggestions and recommendations from the SHAFR Conference Coordinator. Because AV costs remained high (in excess of $10,000 in 2012) and because past efforts to keep costs in check have been of limited success, it was suggested that Council consider a token ($20) fee on AV users. In discussion, reservations were expressed that a fee would discourage digital media in a digital era and that it would impose a burden on graduate students. Consensus developed that conference organizers should try other means to keep AV costs in check, including requests to confirm AV needs when acceptances are sent. A suggestion that SHAFR develop its conference Twitter account into a general Twitter presence was referred to the new Web committee. Council declined to accept the suggestion of creating a one-day registration option. Council approved a suggestion of distributing a post-conference survey for attendees. (13) Motion to clarify timing of publication of articles nominated for the Bernath Scholarly Article Prize Hahn reported that the Bernath Article Prize Committee asked for clarity regarding an article’s “year of publication,” not as clear in the digital era as it once was. Discussion ensued on whether a single standard could be applied based on paper or e-publication date. It was noted that some journals post different versions of an article over time. A consensus developed to allow prize committees to determine the date of publication of any work submitted for consideration, provided that no one work was considered for a prize in more than one year. (14) Resolution of thanks to the editor of the dissertation list Rotter moved to affirm a resolution of thanks to Professor Edward A. Goedeken of Iowa State University for his many years of service (1988-2012) in publishing the annual U.S. foreign relations dissertation list. Dudziak seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. (15) Discussion and possible motion on SHAFR Guide Zeiler reported on the SHAFR Guide to the Literature, published on paper and in e-form by ABC-Clio. A survey of SHAFR members in mid-2012 elicited 51 responses, 98 percent of which indicated that the Guide was important and should continue. Hahn noted that the annual update process had cost $4,000-$5,000 per year. Hahn stated that there may be legal complications regarding copyright. Zeiler stated that SHAFR should explore ways for SHAFR to take over responsibility for the Guide as much as possible, suggesting reviewing the content of the contract and returning to the issue in June. (16) Diplomatic History Zeiler summarized a written report, previously circulated, on DH article and book review publication. (17) Discussion of possible new prizes or fellowships Bradley reported that the late Nancy Tucker would be memorialized with a lectureship at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a book series at the Columbia University Press. (18) Motion to re-establish life membership option Hahn reported that Oxford University Press had asked if SHAFR wished to restore a life membership option. Bradley noted that life memberships provide a means to identify donor and leadership prospects. Rotter moved to reinstitute the life membership option at $1,000. Logevall seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Council also recommended that life membership status ought to appear on badges at the SHAFR Conference. (19) 2013 annual meeting On behalf of the program committee, Bradley noted the acceptance rate for proposals was a bit lower than in recent years given a high number of proposals. Bradley also expressed enthusiasm about the planned plenary session that would bridge 18th, 19th, and 20th century history, about a keynote speaker, and about a dinner-dance on the Saturday evening. (20) 2014 annual meeting Hahn reported that the 2014 meeting would be held on June 18-22 at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, KY. Hang Nguyen, Paul Chamberlin, and George Herring would serve as local hosts. (21) Prizes and Fellowships Hahn reported on behalf of various grants and fellowships committees that $54,600 in awards would be distributed at the SHAFR luncheon on Saturday. Recipients would include: Simon Toner (Michael J. Hogan Foreign Language Fellowship); Teishan Latner (Stuart L. Bernath Dissertation Research Grant); Wen-Qing Ngoei (W. Stull Holt Dissertation Fellowship); R. Joseph Parrot (Gelfand-Rappaport Dissertation Fellowship); Talya Zemach-Bersin (Myrna Bernath Research Fellowship); Simon Stevens, Aaron Rietkerk, Amanda Boczar Chapman, Mauricio Castro, Aaron Moulton, David Olson, Stuart Schrader, Koji Ito, Asher Orkaby, Zach Fredman, Joshua Goodman, Kate Geoghegan, Micah Wright, Aaron Bell, Denise Jenison, and Talya Zemach-Bersin (Honorable Mention) (Samuel Flagg Bemis Research Grants); and Marc-William Palen and Jennifer Miller (William Appleman Williams Junior Faculty Grants). (22) Adjournment Bradley thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting at 11:50 AM. Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/ma