June 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 8:00am
Council Meeting

FINAL SHAFR Council Agenda June 23, 2011 Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Maple Room Alexandria, Virginia Present: Laura Belmonte, Jeffrey Engel, Petra Goedde, Peter Hahn, Mitch Lerner, Erin Mahan, Jim Matray, Luke Nichter, Jaideep Prabhu, Chester Pach, Andrew Rotter, Chapin Rydingsward, Marc Selverstone, Brad Simpson, Annessa Stagner, Mark Stoler, Jennifer Walton, Marilyn Young (presiding), and Thomas Zeiler. Business Items 1)  Announcements Young called the meeting to order at 8:00 A.M. and thanked everyone for attending. Young reported that Richard Herrmann had recently stepped down as the Director of the Mershon Center at Ohio State University.  In response, Council unanimously passed a resolution thanking Herrmann for his longstanding support of SHAFR and Passport.  Council also expressed appreciation to Chapin Rydingsward, who will resign as assistant executive director of SHAFR on June 30 after three and a half years of service. Matray addressed Council in his capacity as SHAFR’s Endowment Liaison, a position established in 2002.  He explained that he would be stepping down from this position in 2012 at the conclusion of his second five-year term. Young stipulated that Council would continue to discuss the status of the position in the coming months.  Council thanked Matray for his 10 years of service as Endowment Liaison. 2) Recap of motions passed by e-mail since January meeting Hahn reported that Council, since its last meeting in January, approved two motions by e-mail ballots.  It authorized the Director to contract with a vendor to administer SHAFR’s elections beginning in 2011 and it approved the succession of the editorship of Passport from Mitch Lerner to Andrew Johns, effective January 1, 2012.  Hahn reported that he had signed a contract with Vote Now to administer SHAFR’s 2011 election, and that Lerner would stay on at Passport as Executive Editor in 2012. 3) Diplomatic History Contract Committee report   Young declared that Council would sit in Executive Session to discuss the Diplomatic History contract.  After a long and thorough discussion, Council unanimously passed a motion directing Woods, as chair of the Contract Committee, to move forward the ongoing negotiations. 4) Motions from the Ways & Means Committee             Renewal of stipend to National History Center Rotter reported that SHAFR had recently received a request by the National History Center (NHC) to increase its sponsorship of the Wilson Center seminar series from $5,000 to $10,000.  The Ways & Means Committee requested Council’s guidance on this issue. During discussion, it was noted that several SHAFR members have participated in the seminar series.  Council also expressed interest in receiving a budget for the seminar series. After further discussion, Council unanimously passed a resolution renewing SHAFR’s $5,000 sponsorship of the Wilson Center seminar series for one year with the stipulation that it would consider increasing this amount at the January meeting.             Compensation of Web Editor In support of the recommendations of the Ways & Means Committee, Council approved unanimously a motion to provide a $3,000 annual stipend to SHAFR’s Web Editor and a $2,000 budget for the Web Editor to hire a student assistant.  Council also recommended that the Web Editor submit a status report annually, detailing the overall direction and accomplishments of shafr.org.             Travel policies  Rotter directed Council’s attention to SHAFR’s travel reimbursement policies, which extend varying levels of support to Council Members, Program Committee chairs, and members of the Membership Committee.  The Ways & Means Committee encouraged Council to devise a more uniform travel policy and to remind travellers of the expectation that they will first seek university funds for travel.  During discussion a consensus emerged in support of eliminating the per diem reimbursements to members of Council (except for graduate student members); affirming non-eligibility of travel expenses except coach airfare (or its equivalent in mileage); and including reimbursement of hotel expenses for up to 4 nights at SHAFR meetings in June and 2-3 nights at AHA meeting (3 in cases where the member is also presenting a paper scheduled to necessitate the third night stay).  Council unanimously passed a motion to approve these terms, directing that the new terms will take effect immediately.             Investment management Rotter reported on the changing corporate status of the firm that currently manages SHAFR’s investment portfolio.  He reported that the Ways & Means Committee recommends authorizing the Executive Director to explore the possibility of shifting the management of SHAFR’s portfolio.  Hahn noted that SHAFR’s CPA indicated that fee expenses might be reduced by adopting a different management structure. After discussion, a consensus emerged in support of the Committee’s recommendation to have the Executive Director investigate the possibilities of reform. 5) Editorial succession of Diplomatic History Young directed attention to a motion, approved by Council at the January 2009 meeting, to have the SHAFR President in 2012 appoint a committee to consider applications for the editorship of Diplomatic History, for a term beginning in August 2013.  Young urged Council to revisit this amendment in light of the fact that the Diplomatic History Editor is expected to assume the presidency in 2012. Council passed a resolution by a vote of 5 yes, 3 no, and 2 abstentions, to set aside the 2009 motion. After extensive discussion, Council passed a resolution, by a vote of 7 yes, 1 no, and 2 abstentions to extend the appointment of the current DH editors to August 2014 and to direct the SHAFR President in 2013 to appoint a committee to consider applications for the editorship, for a term beginning in August 2014. 6)  Historical Documentation Committee Pach addressed Council on behalf of SHAFR’s Historical Documentation Committee (HDC) and reaffirmed the Committee’s recommendation to have the SHAFR representative on the Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) serve as chair of the HDC.  Pach also directed attention to the bi-annual Reports on Operations of the National Declassification Center.  The last such report was issued in September and is available at www.archives.gov/declassification/.  He also noted that the next report would be available in July and recommended that Council withhold its judgment until then.  During discussion, several Council members emphasized that the HDC ought to be reformed so as to function more effectively as SHAFR’s public voice on matters of declassification and a channel of relevant information to the membership.  It was also suggested that the Committee include representatives from NARA, potentially including an historian employed in the Presidential Archives system. After further discussion, Young explained that she would devise a set of proposals in the coming weeks concerning the future status of the HDC and would solicit Council’s suggestions via email. 7) Renaming CGISS as the SHAFR Global Scholars Grant (SGSG) Zeiler recalled the motion passed by Council at the previous meeting to allocate, beginning in 2012, $10,000 annually for 3 years on a trial basis to the Membership Committee to initiate the proposed CGISS.  After a brief discussion, Zeiler moved (Belmonte seconded) to rename the CGISS as the SHAFR Global Scholars Grant (SGSG).   The resolution passed unanimously. 8 ) Selection of hosts for Summer Institute in 2013 and after Rotter reported that the current funding cycle supporting the SHAFR’s Summer Institute program would end in 2012.  He suggested that Council define its position on the future status of the Institute.   During discussion, it was noted that each Summer Institute costs SHAFR approximately $45,000. After further discussion, Rotter moved (Mahan seconded) to extend funding for the SHAFR Summer Institute through 2013.   The motion passed unanimously.  Young indicated that she charge the SI Oversight Committee to solicit bids to host the 2013 Summer Institute. 9) Possible initiatives with C-Span Lerner introduced Luke Nichter, executive producer of C-SPAN’s American History TV series. Nichter thanked Council for the invitation. He explained that American History is a new program, broadcasting 48 hours weekly on CSPAN III.  Each episode is archived and streams online at http://www.c-span.org/History/. Nichter detailed American History TV’s planned coverage of the 2011 SHAFR meeting and highlighted proposals for future collaboration, each proposal involving the participation of SHAFR members in interview-style TV programming. Nichter indicated that he would like to improve C-SPAN’s coverage of future SHAFR conferences by maintaining dialogue between SHAFR and C-SPAN throughout the year and welcomed the Council’s advice with regard to future programming and other areas of potential collaboration.  On behalf of SHAFR’s recently appointed C-SPAN task force (Mitch Lerner, Erin Mahan, Laura Belmonte, Marc Selverstone, and Brad Simpson), Lerner offered the following suggestions for strengthening C-SPAN’s SHAFR-related programming: 1) Increase television coverage of SHAFR conference panels, with potential focus on teaching-related panels. 2) Increase programs that place contemporary events in their historical context. 3)  Work with filmmakers to get documentaries and feature films germane to foreign relations screened and have an accompanying scholarly discussion following them. 4) Televise coverage of significant SHAFR events, such as the presidential address and the plenaries at the annual conference. During discussion, Council expressed general support for seeking further collaboration with C-SPAN.  Young thanked Nichter for coming and requested that Lerner continue to act as a conduit between SHAFR and C-SPAN. 10) Call for proposals to host the 2014 SHAFR Conference Zeiler reported that SHAFR will issue in Passport a call for proposals to host the 2014 SHAFR Conference.  It was noted that the call would specifically target SHAFR members interested in hosting the conference at their home institutions and encourage proposals for all locations, including those west of the Mississippi and abroad.  Zeiler noted for the record that the University of South Carolina has expressed interest in hosting.   11) Potential sponsorship of an encyclopedia on U.S. foreign relations (Peter Hahn) Hahn reported on a recent offer from the Encyclopedia Society to have SHAFR sponsor an encyclopedia on U.S. foreign relations.   After examining the terms of the proposal, Council directed Hahn to decline the offer.  Reports 12) Passport   Lerner reported that Passport was in good financial standing.  He estimated that in 2011 the publication would cost SHAFR approximately $5,300.  Lerner was also happy to report that Passport received a $4,600 grant from the Mershon Center at Ohio State University, doubling the amount granted the previous year.  He cautioned, however, that this source of funding is not guaranteed in future years. Lerner concluded by announcing that he would be stepping down as the Editor of Passport and that Andrew Johns would replace him.  Council enthusiastically passed the resolution thanking Lerner for his years of service as Passport editor. 13) Diplomatic History Zeiler reported that Diplomatic History is flourishing.  He highlighted the rising quality of article submissions along side the journal’s declining acceptance rate, which now stands at approximately 15%.  It was additionally noted that the journal will institute an internal review to determine the degree of gender disparity in article and book review publications. 14) Teaching Committee Stoler addressed Council on behalf of the SHAFR Teaching Committee (Brian Clancy, Humberto Loayza, Nicole Phelps, Marc J. Selverstone, Phyllis L. Soybel, Matthew Masur, Molly Wood, Terry Hamblin, John Tully [ex officio], Mitch Lerner).  After highlighting the 2011 Roundtable panel, organized by the Committee, on “Using Anniversaries to Teach Broader Ideas in U.S.  Diplomatic History,” Stoler detailed the status of the Teaching Committee’s syllabi and online documents project.   Stoler also reported that John Tully, SHAFR’s Director of Secondary Education and ex-officio member of the Teaching Committee, had submitted a proposal to the Teaching American History Grant Program, but that unfortunately the Department of Education had instituted a freeze on new grants this year.  Stoler concluded by announcing that he would be stepping down at the conclusion of his current term.   Council passed a resolution thanking Stoler for his work.   15) 2011 SHAFR Conference Goedde reported that in response to its broad outreach, the 2011 Program Committee received an impressive number of proposals including 96 for full panels and 48 for single papers. The Committee rejected 27 full panel and 39 single paper proposals.  She noted that several of the rejected single paper proposals were excellent, but that they simply could not be configured within a panel. She suggested that next year, the “Panelists seeking panelists” page on shafr.org  should be advertised more prominently.   It was also reported that the committee had introduced new metrics to the online registration survey. The preliminary analysis of this data indicates that tenured professors constitute the largest group in terms of career status, followed by graduate students and non-tenured professors, and that the proportion of first time participants increased this year.  It was additionally noted that female applicants constituted 30% of the total applicant pool, but only 21% of the participant pool.  Simpson indicated that the Committee intended to study the source of this disparity and report back. Walton reported that 397 individuals had pre-registered for the conference, including 44 international registrants.  She noted a decline in room rates and overall Conference expenses relative to previous SHAFR meetings held in the Washington, D.C. area and credited this decline in part to contractual details negotiated by SHAFR’s venue broker. It was noted that SHAFR was subsidizing the Saturday evening clambake and that tickets were still available. Council unanimously passed a resolution thanking Walton and the 2011 Program Committee (Dirk Bonker, Jason Colby, Petra Goedde [Co-chair], Amy Greenberg, Sheyda Jahanbani, Mark Lawrence, Nicole Phelps, Brad Simpson [Co-chair], Salim Yaqub) for their work in organizing the 2011 conference. 16) 2012 SHAFR Conference Zeiler report that the 2012 SHAFR Conference would meet in June at the Hartford Marriott in Hartford, Connecticut. He noted that the Local Arrangements Committee was up and running and that David Engerman and Kristin Hoganson would co-chair the 2012 Program Committee.  Zeiler was happy to say that both Thomas Paterson and Michael Hogan will participate in a roundtable panel on the 20th anniversary of Examining the History of American Foreign Relations and that John Gaddis will lecture at the conference. 17) 2013 SHAFR Conference Young indicated that she would explore the various venue options available in the Washington, D.C. area for the SHAFR Conference in 2013.  Decisions on the 2013 meeting were postponed until after the present conference so that assessments could be made of the present venue and  the new system of negotiating via a broker. Young asked to discuss the tradition of holding the annual meeting in the DC metro area every other year.  During discussion, Belmonte noted that the research conducted by the SHAFR body was becoming less and less bound to Washington-based archives and suggested broadening the venue rotation by returning to Washington every third year.  Hahn noted that venues near DC-area Metro lines were prohibitively costly and that University venues in the metropolitan area had also become more costly than in the past. It was suggested that Council make an effort to determine where the majority of SHAFR members stand on this issue.  After further discussion, Young urged Council continue to evaluate the issue with the aim of either accepting or rejecting the biannual DC-area venue in principle for future years. 18) 2011 Summer Institute Zeiler reported that the 2011 Summer Institute, “Freedom and Free Markets: The Histories of Globalization and Human Rights,” was a great success and that virtually all participants reported developing greater intellectual insight during their time there.  19) 2012 Summer Institute Rotter reported that he and Costigliola would be co-chairing the 2012 Summer Institute in Connecticut. The Institute will be organized around the theme "Does Culture Matter?: The Emotions, the Senses, and Other New Approaches to the History of US Foreign Relations." It will be held during the week immediately preceding the 2012 annual meeting and several guest lecture candidates are currently under considered. 20) Dissertation Completion Fellowship Committee On behalf of the selection committee, Hahn reported that the dissertation completion fellowships would be awarded Victor V. Nemchenok, of the University of Virginia, with a dissertation entitled “A Dialogue of Power: Development, Global Civil Society, and the Third World Challenge to the International Order, 1970-1988” and Shanon Fitzpatrick, of the University of California at Irvine, with a dissertation entitled “Pulp Empire: Macfadden Publications’ Global Circulations.”  21) Betty Unterberger Dissertation Prize Committee Painter reported the Betty Unterberger Dissertation Prize will be awarded jointly to Thomas C. Field, Jr., who will be joining the Global Studies Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, for his dissertation, “Conflict on High: The Bolivian Revolution and the United States, 1961-1964” (London School of Economics and Political Science, 2010); and Julia F. Irwin, Department of History, University of South Florida, for her dissertation, “Humanitarian Occupations: Foreign Relief and Assistance in the Formation of American International Identities, 1898-1928” (Yale University, 2009). 22) SHAFR Dissertation Completion Fellowships Jonathan Winkler reported that SHAFR Dissertation Completion Fellowships Committee (Chris Jespersen, Megan Threkeld, and Jonathan Winkler [chair]) received 39 applications (up from 31last year). The committee selected two applicants for the 2011-12 fellowships: Victor V. Nemchenok of the University of Virginia, whose dissertation is entitled “A Dialogue of Power: Development, Global Civil Society, and the Third World Challenge to the International Order, 1970-1988;”  and Shanon Fitzpatrick of the University of California at Irvine, whose dissertation is entitled “ Pulp Empire: Macfadden Publications’ Global Circulations.”  The committee recommended that future committees confirm the membership status of all applicants before making decisions.  The committee further recommended that future committees revise the call for applications to invite “a statement of the research no more than three pages in length” and to specify if such proposals should be single- or double-spaced. The committee felt confident that the quality of the applications is high and the reputation of the award is strong.  The fellowship has helped attract bright scholars to membership in SHAFR, and is promoting innovative, outstanding scholarship in the history of U.S. foreign relations and international history. 23) Concluding matters Young introduced Anna Nelson who wanted to voice concern over the changing leadership and policies at NARA.  Nelson drew attention to the corporate language employed in a recent NARA statement unveiling its new “Executive leadership,” including a new “Chief Operating Officer” and “Chief Human Capital Officer” whose responsibilities were defined in terms of “customer-driven goals” and in pursuit of a “transformed organization.” Nelson expressed concern that such language, coupled with the new leadership’s neglect of processing records as well as the recent retirement of several experienced NARA staffers, boded ill for the future health of historical research at NARA.  It was noted that NARA recently expanded its range of activities to include organizing public exhibits of historical artifacts. After discussion, Young indicated that Council would study the implications of these developments and take action accordingly in coming months.  Noting the internet’s rising role (blogs and other online sites) as a vehicle for public education and action on issues of declassification, Belmonte suggested that SHAFR’s Web Editor, if additional assistance were made available, might be willing to enter this territory.   It was also suggested that following the current Diplomatic History contract negotiations, SHAFR could approach the publisher for help and advice in these matters.  Belmonte also introduced a preliminary proposal, developed in consultation with Tom Schwartz, to have SHAFR sponsor one or more internships in areas related to the field of diplomatic history and foreign relations, in such places as the State Department Office of the Historian, presidential libraries, the National Security Archives, and the Cold War International History Project.  It was suggested that if pursued such outreach would enable SHAFR more effectively to engage the interface between public history and education, government archives and evolving archival policies, and the academic study of the history of U.S. foreign relations.  Council directed Belmonte to follow up on her initial suggestion and continue to explore possible ways for SHAFR to support professional development within the sphere of public history and records. Young concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for attending. The meeting adjourned at 1:15 PM. Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/cr