June 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010 - 8:30am
Council Meeting

SHAFR Council                           FINAL APPROVED BY COUNCIL 8:30 am -12:45 pm The Pyle Center Room 313 University of Wisconsin Madison, WI Present: Frank Costigliola, Jeffrey Engel, Catherine Forslund, Peter Hahn, Richard Immerman, Mitch Lerner, Erin Mahan, Bill McAlister, Ken Osgood, Andrew Preston, Jaideep Prabhu, Andrew Rotter (presiding), Chapin Rydingsward, Bob Schulzinger, Thomas Schwartz, Naoko Shibusawa, Annessa Stagner, John Tully, Jennifer Walton, and Marilyn Young Business Items  (1)  Announcements Rotter called the meeting to order at 8:30 am and thanked everyone for attending. Rotter informed Council that, along with Elaine Tyler May, president of the OAH, he had recently contacted David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, about SHAFR’s concern with the increasingly slow rate of declassification at NARA. Ferriero informed Rotter that a committee had been formed and a special forum organized with the aim of addressing such concerns. It was noted that Anna Nelson was in attendance at the forum, held on June 24 in Washington DC, and plans to submit a report to Rotter. Discussion ensued on the current status of SHAFR’s Committee on Historical Documentation (Chester Pach, David Herschler, and Fred Logevall).   Immerman suggested that Council consider appointing Susan Weetman, recently appointed general editor of FRUS, to the Committee with the aim of encouraging a cooperative relationship between SHAFR and the Office of the Historian.  It was noted that Weetman is not a historian and that the HAC was not consulted in her appointment. Mahan noted that Edward Keefer would be an excellent addition to the Committee. After further discussion, Council approved a motion to expand the Committee and to clarify and update its mandate in light of recent events.  Lerner recommended, and Council supported, asking the Committee to prepare a progress report for discussion at the next Council meeting. Young informed Council that mild concern had arisen regarding the large number of announcements scheduled for the Saturday luncheon. After a brief discussion, Council advised issuing expressions of gratitude and the memorial moment at the Friday luncheon.  The presentation of awards and prizes will remain at the Saturday luncheon.    (2) Report on motions passed by e-mail since last meeting Hahn reported that since its last meeting, Council had passed by e-mail a motion tentatively to approve the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform. (3) Election reforms Rotter asked Council to discuss the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform revised and tentatively approved at the January Council meeting and, subsequently, by e-mail. During discussion, Stagner suggested that for the sake of clarity, Council revise the language in recommendation #5 stating that “the desiderata  . . . include requirements such as requiring that a graduate student member of the Council hold ABD status for at least one year prior to his/her expected graduation.” It was noted that this suggestion was intended to prevent instances in which a member of Council (elected on the graduate student slate) earns her/his PhD either prior to or during the term in question.  Young and Osgood expressed the opinion that recently minted PhD’s would retain the ability to represent the interests of the graduate student wing of the SHAFR body. After further discussion, Council approved a friendly amendment to the recommendations on electoral reform, stating: “a graduate student member of the Council must have one year remaining in his/her graduate program.”  Recommendation # 5 will need to be revised accordingly. The discussion shifted to the issue of reconsidering the decision made in January to expand Council membership by one with the additional slot reserved for an international candidate.  Lerner restated his opposition to this policy. It was noted that SHAFR’s non-U.S. members constitute approximately 20% of the Society and thus 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 would reduce the rate of access currently allotted to non-international groupings and would restrict the formulation of election pairings by the NC, while possibly stigmatizing prospective international candidates and/or the SHAFR electorate. Schwartz was persuaded by these concerns and suggested that Council – as an alternative to creating an international seat – devise a mandate to encourage the NC to consider international candidates as well as candidates from teaching institutions. Young expressed support for the suggested alternative and advised Council against assigning the NC with an overly restrictive mandate.  In support of Council’s original decision, Immerman noted that the proposed international seat was not intended to empower an underrepresented interest group but to advance SHAFR’s desire to internationalize its organizational structure as well as the scholarly output and consciousness of the SHAFR body. While there was wide support for SHAFR’s commitment to internationalize, opposition was expressed concerning the formalization of this commitment via the creation of an international Council seat.  After further discussion concerning potential alternatives to the proposed international seat as well as the proper relationship between SHAFR officers and the SHAFR Nominating Committee, Council passed three amendments altering the electoral reform recommendations.  As a result, recommendations #4, #10, and #16 will now read: 4)  In each case the calls for nominations/self-nominations and solicitations shall be juxtaposed with desiderata developed by the NC. These desiderata can include record of publication and teaching, history of active service to SHAFR, commitment to SHAFR’s mission, etc.  In particular, Council draws the NC’s attention to the importance of ensuring representation from international members, members at teaching institutions, etc.  10) The number of elected members of the Council shall expand by one with the goal of ensuring wide representation of the SHAFR membership. 16) SHAFR officers should not sit in on NC meetings.  They may nominate but should make no further contact with Nominating Committee. Hahn directed Council’s attention to Section 5(i) of the proposed bylaw revisions. He asked Council to address whether the paragraph in question was redundant.  A consensus emerged in favor or retaining Section 5(i) as currently drafted. Council discussed briefly the merits of outsourcing future administration of SHAFR elections and Young indicated her desire to revisit this issue at the next Council meeting in January.  Costigliola introduced a motion authorizing Hahn to prepare a draft of the revised bylaws and to eliminate language therein inconsistent with the above amendments. The motion passed unanimously. Hahn explained that the bylaws revisions will be submitted to the SHAFR electorate in 2010.  If ratified, the revisions will take effect during the 2011 election cycle. (4)  Publication contract issues             a) 2009 report from publisher Hahn distributed copies of Wiley-Blackwell’s publisher’s report for 2009 and provided Council a thorough briefing on the report.             b) Wiley Society Discount Partner Program Hahn informed Council that SHAFR has the opportunity to participate in the Wiley-Blackwell Society Partner Discount Program – a free service that would provide SHAFR Members with a 25% discount on Wiley-Blackwell books.  Hahn stated that the only apparent drawback of the Discount Program was that members availing themselves to it would be subject to future email solicitation from Wiley-Blackwell.  During discussion, a consensus emerged favoring SHAFR’s participation in the Discount Program. Council authorized Hahn to take the necessary steps toward this end.             c) Appointment of new Contract Committee Rotter reported that Randall Woods had agreed to chair the new Contract Committee. Rotter also appointed to the committee Richard Immerman, Marilyn Young, Mitch Lerner, Frank Costigliola, Tom Zeiler, Jeff Engel, and Bob Schulzinger. (5)  AHA Prize Stipulations Rotter asked Council to discuss an issue recently brought to his attention concerning the current award stipulations of the AHA-administered Louis Beer Prize as well as two additional AHA prizes pertaining to European history.  All three of these awards are reserved for U.S. citizens/permanent residents and concern was voiced that such terms were out of step with the current state of the field and contrary to the interests of the global community of scholarship and scholarly organizations striving to internationalize.  When asked by a SHAFR member about the prospect of altering the terms in question with the aim of accommodating international applicants, the AHA expressed sympathy with the concerned party but indicated that due to legal barriers it was unlikely that the terms of the prizes would be altered. Council agreed that the exclusive terms of the award(s) were less than ideal and that legal categories rooted in immigration law do not reflect upon the quality of one’s scholarship.  It was noted that the distinction between permanent residency and H1-visa status was very thin.  During discussion, Council reaffirmed SHAFR’s desire to facilitate scholarship and scholarly dialogue and community across national boundaries, but was divided as to whether these sentiments ought to be expressed through formal opposition to the AHA prize stipulations.  Several Council members expressed support for a mild resolution urging the AHA to “make a good faith effort” to contact the heirs of the original donors for the purpose of altering the terms of the awards. An amendment urging the AHA to “review the issue in interest of internationalizing the field” was also suggested.  Immerman cautioned that the proposed resolutions would in essence be asking the AHA to incur potentially significant legal fees to change the terms of AHA-administered prizes.  Preston noted that the practice of restricting awards based on the nationality of the applicant was not uncommon. The Pulitzer Prize and Booker Prize were cited as examples. After further discussion, Council passed a motion directing Rotter to draft a resolution on the above subject for discussion and amendment by Council. (6)  Motion on membership dues Schwartz asked Council to consider reducing membership rates to $25 for retired members. Current SHAFR membership rates are $50 for regular members and $20 for student members. Schulzinger informed Council that memberships dues have remained flat for nearly five years and that SHAFR’s current dues are well below the industry standard.  It was also noted that membership dues would become an important component of future contract negotiations.  Immerman expressed the belief that retaining the current student discount should take precedent over discounts for retired members. Council was reminded that SHAFR currently offers a reduced rate ($20) for unwaged members.  The unwaged rate is available to members for two consecutive years. After further discussion a motion offering reduced membership rates for retired members failed to pass.  (7)  SHAFR presence at OAH meetings Hahn reported that Rotter asked him to pose to Council the fundamental question of whether SHAFR should continue to seek a presence at the OAH annual meetings and, if so, what steps it might take to bolster its presence.  Hahn reminded Council that SHAFR’s recent sponsorship of graduate student breakfasts and foreign attendees receptions at the recent OAH meetings had been discontinued in light of per person costs and that SHAFR’s 2010 OAH graduate student outreach initiative, which involved offering free drinks to graduate students at SHAFR’s OAH reception, failed to generate significant interest. Hahn reported that 70 people typically attend SHAFR’s AHA luncheon while approximately 35 attend the OAH luncheon.  It was also noted that several SHAFR members at the 2010 OAH conference did not attend the Bernath Lecture. Discussion ensued. Council considered increasing publicity for SHAFR’s OAH reception and the possibility of sponsoring an off-site luncheon similar to its annual AHA luncheon.  Immerman noted that the Bernath Lecture was a significant event and that SHAFR members present at the OAH should make an effort to attend. Costigliola stressed the importance of securing an appropriate venue for the Bernath Lecture.  He noted that while restaurants offer certain benefits relative to on-site venues (specifically in terms of meal pricing) they are often not the most ideal space for an academic lecture.  After further discussion, Council approved a motion to discontinue SHAFR’s OAH reception and to subsidize an on-site Bernath Lecture luncheon. Council also agreed to move the presentation of the Link-Kuehl Prize to the OAH luncheon. (8)  Motion to approve SHAFR.ORG Mission Statement Council passed a motion unanimously approving the proposed SHAFR.ORG Mission Statement: “SHAFR.org is the website of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR).  As such it provides SHAFR members with information that supports their teaching, research, and other professional endeavors, including their participation in the work of the organization.  SHAFR.org also seeks to extend the Society’s mission of promoting the `study, advancement, and dissemination of a knowledge of American foreign relations’ to a wider community.  To that end, it offers informed commentary and analysis on contemporary foreign relations issues from a historical perspective and provides an online forum for scholars, practitioners, teachers, and the general public to discuss issues related to foreign relations.” (9) Motion to pay travel to SHAFR conference of program committee chairs. At Rotter’s request, Council discussed providing program committee chairs with travel funds to attend the annual SHAFR conference. It was noted that the work of the program chairs is considerable and that their presence at the meeting should be made a priority.  After further discussion, a consensus emerged that SHAFR should provide transportation funds for program committee chairs to attend the SHAFR meetings, in cases where financial support is not available from the home institution, on the same terms as travel for Council members. A motion so directing passed unanimously. Rotter asked Council to address the issue of providing travel funds for additional committee chairs and/or committee members to attend their SHAFR committee meeting held during the annual SHAFR Conference.  Council was reminded that SHAFR has in place a three-year program to fund overseas travel of persons attending the SHAFR meetings, including international committee members with committee obligations at the annual SHAFR conference. Lerner noted that the overall functionality of SHAFR’s Teaching Committee is not contingent upon its members’ presence at the June committee meeting.  After further discussion, a consensus emerged against approving additional travel support for SHAFR committee members and in favor of allowing a president to make ad hoc allocations as in recent years. Reports (10)  Berks Conference exchange idea Rotter informed Council of a recent effort to secure a SHAFR-sponsored panel at the Berks Conference of Women Historians. Kelly Shannon recently submitted a Berks panel proposal on the topic of “Women’s Rights, the Nation State, and Foreign Relations in the 20th century.”  SHAFR has agreed to sponsor the panel in the interest of cultivating a cooperative relationship with the Berks Conference. Rotter reported that the Berks program chairs have expressed interest in the initiative and was encouraged by the prospect of future collaboration.   (11)  Teaching Committee Lerner summarized the work of the Teaching Committee. Every year the Committee organizes one or more SHAFR panel(s) on teaching and foreign relations, solicits teaching articles for publication in Passport, and maintains the ever-expanding syllabi page on shafr.org. The Committee is also currently developing an historical documents page on shafr.org, which is scheduled to go live in the coming months. (12)  Director of Secondary Education John Tully circulated a report on his work as Director of Secondary Education.  Tully informed Council that his mandate is to solicit, edit, and post 15-20 secondary lesson plans on shafr.org.  Tully is currently working with five teachers on ten of the lesson plans in the first stage. Some of the initial drafts are in good shape with revisions scheduled to be completed over the summer. He noted that some contributors have been late in submitting drafts but expressed confidence that when the lesson plans are completed they will be top rate and will attract additional interest in SHAFR and web traffic to the SHAFR website.  Tully expressed his desire to manage the project through its completion even if the final set of lesson plans extend beyond his three-year term. Tully welcomed questions and comments.  Forslund suggested that Tully target college and university professors as well as AP teachers as potential collaborators.  Along these lines, Osgood noted the potential benefits in pairing professors and secondary educators on a shared lesson plan with the former providing guidance and oversight to the latter.  The prospect of Tully obtaining a TAH grant was also discussed. Tully indicated that TAH grants are administered through local school districts and that he would look into the possibility of collaborating with interested parties at that level. Lerner urged Tully to utilize the resources of the Teaching Committee and to submit a quarterly report on his progress.  Tully agreed and thanked Council for its helpful suggestions.   (13)  2011 SHAFR Summer Institute Rotter reported that Carol Anderson and Thomas Zeiler will be hosting the 2011 Summer Institute at Emory University and that Ambassador Princeton Lyman has agreed to participate. Engel reported that the 2010 Summer Institute had been successful and thanked Richard Immerman, Susan Ferber, and William Inboden for their valuable participation. Engel spoke of the logistical and financial benefits of holding the Summer Institute either at the same locale as the annual conference or at the home-institution of one of its organizers.  He also suggested that when the locale of the Annual Meeting and the Summer Institute overlap those responsible for securing lodging for the former also do so for the latter. (14)  Diplomatic History Schulzinger submitted the DH semi-annual report both in writing and orally. The journal is in excellent shape. While article submissions have risen considerably, the journal’s acceptance rate has continued to decline. Due to the significant backlog of book reviews, DH has convinced Wiley-Blackwell to publish a number of book reviews online prior to their appearance in the physical journal. Schulzinger also noted that the staff at Wiley-Blackwell have been exceptionally cooperative and pleasant to work with. (15)  FRUS Rotter introduced Bill McAlister of the State Department Historian’s Office. McAlister was in attendance to voice his concerns regarding the future status of FRUS, specifically as it relates to the increasing number and types of documents coming under review.  He explained that given the proliferation of new countries and government agencies during recent past decades and the general broadening of historical topics, the documentary record would continue to grow at an unprecedented rate.  As a result, McAlister anticipated that it would become increasingly difficult for the HO to fulfill its congressional mandate. The unique problems posed by “digitally born” records and digital finding aids designed by technicians unaware of the needs and concerns of researchers were discussed at length. McAlister was convinced of the need for an institutional response aimed at establishing a dialogue with those responsible for designing the digital findings aids.  He urged Council to bring these concerns to the attention of the AHA, the SAA and the OAH and to consider passing a resolution calling for a commission to address the above issues.  During discussion, it was suggested that SHAFR utilize the expanded Committee on Historical Documents to look into these issues. Mahan noted that if Council were to pursue these matters further, Tom Powers as well as the National Security Archive would be potential collaborators. It was also noted that McAllister has written an article on the above issues, which will appear in Passport’s August issue. (16)  2010 annual meeting Walton reported on the 2010 annual meeting both orally and in writing.  She noted that 2010 meeting was on track to break previous SHAFR attendance records for a non-DC conference year.  She also noted that a significant number of attendees were arriving from outside the United States. Walton drew attention to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, which will be hosting the Saturday reception.  As reception co-sponsors, both the Museum and the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy have provided generous financial support.  Council passed a resolution thanking Walton and the 2010 Program Committee (Naoka Shibusawa [co-chair], Anne Foster [co-chair], Kristen Hoganson, Dirk Bonker, Jason Colby, Carol Anderson, Salim Yaqub, and Amy Greenberg) for their hard and dedicated work in organizing the 2010 conference. (17)  2011 annual meeting The 2011 annual meeting will be held at the Hilton Marks Center in Alexandria, VA. Hahn reported on the conclusion of negotiations with a hotel broker which Council had approved in January.  The hotel broker had surveyed the Washington market and provided SHAFR with a list of eight venue options. After narrowing the list of potential venues to three, Hahn, with Rotter’s authorization, hired Sarah Wilson to survey each of the sites and to report on her findings. Wilson indicated that all three sites were adequate but that one, the Hilton Marks Center, had certain advantages, including its location.  Hahn explained that the by using the broker, SHAFR gained significant financial savings. The broker’s fees will be paid entirely by the hotel.  SHAFR will also gain Hilton HHonors points that will be used to offset costs otherwise paid by SHAFR. (18)  2012 annual meeting The 2012 annual meeting will be held in Hartford and Storrs, Connecticut. Costigliola noted that Michael Hogan has offered $15,000 on behalf of the 2012 venue. (19)  Dissertation Completion Fellowships On behalf of the selection committee, Hahn reported that the dissertation completion fellowships would be awarded to Hajimu Masuda and Sudina Paungpetch. (20)  Oxford University Press USA Dissertation Prize Laderman reported that the Oxford University Press USA Dissertation Prize would be awarded to Paul Chamberlain with an honorable mention going to Mairi S. MacDonald. (21)  Norman and Laura Graebner Prize On behalf of the selection committee, Hahn reported that the Norman and Laura Graebner Prize for Lifetime Achievement would be awarded to Michael Hogan. Other Business (22)  National History Center Young reported that the National History Center has requested that SHAFR become a $5,000 co-sponsor of a series of seminars at Wilson Center in Washington, DC.  It was noted that in June 2008, the NHC had requested that SHAFR support financially the Congressional Briefings Project – a now dormant project intended to provide historical context and perspective on current issues for policy makers and members of their staff. After a brief discussion, Council directed Young to request further information on the proposed seminars.  Interest was expressed in the proposed budget and the potential for SHAFR to nominate speakers and to post seminar-generated webcasts on shafr.org . (23) Resolution Council unanimously passed a resolution thanking the Executive Director for his valuable service. (23) Adjournment Rotter concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for attending. The meeting adjourned at 12:30 pm. Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/cr