June 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 8:00am
Council Meeting

SHAFR Council Meeting June 20, 2013 Renaissance Arlington Capital View Arlington, VA Council members present: Laura Belmonte, Mark Philip Bradley (Presiding), Carol Chin, Christopher Dietrich, Mary Dudziak, Peter Hahn, Rebecca Herman, Kristin Hoganson, Fredrik Logevall, Andrew Rotter, Michael Sherry, Sarah Snyder Also in attendance: Matthew Ambrose, Paul Chamberlin, Frank Costigliola, Jim Grossman, Lien-Hang T. Nguyen, Leopoldo Nuti, Chester Pach, Emily Rosenberg, Martin Sherwin, Jennifer Walton Business Items 1) Welcome Bradley called meeting to order at 8:20, after a delay caused by a fire alarm that sounded as Council members gathered. 2) Recap of motion passed by e-mail since January meeting Bradley reported that since the January meeting, Council had passed by e-mail correspondence a motion to raise the annual compensation for the Executive Director from $16,500 to $18,500. 3) Mid-year budget update Hahn summarized the detailed mid-year budget update that was circulated to Council members prior to the meeting. Hahn noted that the publisher would pay annual royalties in April and October and that the first 2013 payment was still pending given the transition in publishers. Hahn alluded to pending obligations and noted that the endowment could be tapped if needed before year’s end.  Hahn clarified that the publisher had prepared and Bradley had signed a contract addendum specifying the payment schedule. Hahn encouraged Council members to ask questions about any aspect of the written report. 4) Endowment Management For the Ways & Means Committee, Rosenberg presented a report relating to the Council’s directive to investigate endowment management options. The Ways & Means Committee investigated three potential endowment managers and recommended that SHAFR transfer the management of the endowment to TIAA-CREF.  The Ways & Means Committee interviewed Mr. Ero Johnson of TIAA-CREF and became highly satisfied with the potential of the firm to manage the endowment.  TIAA-CREF has a niche among non-profits of SHAFR’s size and profile.  TIAA-CREF would recommend a strategy for asset allocation and adopt whatever risk level SHAFR decided upon; and also would provide a “socially responsible investment” (SRI) option that would meet a basic threshold for social responsibility without risking a substantial decrease in returns. Council members discussed the options with respect to asset allocations and SRI and the need for clarity in the conflict of interest provisions on the TIAA-CREF Investment Policy Statement. It was recommended that Bradley consult with the AHA and OAH on their conflict of interest provisions and that the TIAA-CREF contract be reviewed by SHAFR’s legal counsel. Council discussed with approval the idea that the initial investment portfolio follow the 70-30 (stock/bond) allocation, and that the portfolio be based on SRI principles for a three-year trial period. Belmonte moved (Chin seconded) that SHAFR transfer the endowment management to TIAA-CREF; and that Bradley clarify conflict of interest language and secure legal review before signing the final contract with TIAA-CREF.  The motion carried unanimously by voice vote. Council members also discussed the need to consider best practices and governance regarding other SHAFR functions, and the possibility that it would be helpful to review the bylaws. Bradley thanked Rosenberg for her hard work in writing the report and Council recognized her with a round of applause. 5) Diplomatic History editorial succession Costigliola (committee chair) and Rosenberg (committee member) presented the recommendation of the Diplomatic History editorial search committee. The committee widely circulated a call for applications for an editorial term to start in August 2014. Two applications were received, one from Colorado and another from Indiana. The committee interviewed the applicants during the OAH conference in San Francisco in April and deliberated at length about the editorial visions, work plans, and financial resources of each application as well as the overall best interests of SHAFR.  While acknowledging that both applications demonstrated considerable merit, the committee unanimously recommended the appointment of the Indiana team (comprised of Nick Cullather and Anne Foster) as co-editors.  The committee cited the substance of their proposed plans, financial support offered by their universities, the chance to promote geographic diversity among DH’s locations, thereby sharing its benefits, and the potential synergy associated with locating DH at the same institution as the American Historical Review and the Journal of American History.  Having made their report and answered questions, Costigliola and Rosenberg departed the meeting so that Council could discuss the recommendation in executive session. Council thoroughly deliberated the committee’s report. Frank discussion ensued on each of the potential benefits and potential drawbacks of the committee’s recommendation, and on how best to weigh specific factors, including geographic synergy, the value of continuity in location over relatively more frequent turnover, and the need to establish precedents and procedures for a regular review of editor appointments.  After a long discussion, Sherry moved (Chin seconded) to appoint Cullather and Foster as co-editors starting in August 2014, consistent with the committee’s recommendation.  The motion passed unanimously by show of hands. Bradley then proposed that Council agree that the appointment of Cullather and Foster would be for five years (August 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019), with a review to be concluded by the end of year four (June 30, 2018) so that Council could decide on a potential renewal of the appointment. Belmonte so moved (Chin seconded), and the motion passed unanimously. 6) Report from Summer Institute Oversight Committee Bradley stated that the SIOC received two applications to host the 2014 Summer Institute, one (on Wilsonianism) centered at Williams College and the other (on domestic politics) centered at Ohio State.  The SIOC found both proposals to be meritorious and thus recommended approval of the 2014 Institute at Williams (owing to the anniversary of World War I) and of the 2015 Institute at Ohio State.  Rotter moved (Logevall seconded) to accept this recommendation. The motion passed unanimously. 7) Compensation for Executive Director Bradley stated that during the e-vote process regarding the Executive Director’s compensation, the question was raised regarding the process for future adjustments.  Bradley recommended that the Ways & Means Committee be tasked with monitoring the rate, and Council indicated a consensus on this proposal. 8)  Venues for future SHAFR annual meetings Hahn reported that the 2014 annual meeting was scheduled for Lexington, Kentucky and that the 2015 meeting would be sited at a metropolitan Washington hotel (unless Council indicated that it wished to alter the usual cycle). Bradley reported that a bid received previously from the University of San Diego remained viable for 2016, and asked if Council wished to pursue that option or open up the process to new bids. Rotter stated that the San Diego proposal was strong and could be resubmitted with revisions. It was noted that officers should provide feedback to the San Diego proposers to help with a reapplication and that a conference venue in the western U.S. would be desirable for geographic diversity reasons.  After discussion of the benefits of competition and how best to achieve geographic diversity in even-year SHAFR conference locations, Belmonte moved (Dudziak seconded) to open the process to a competitive bid. The motion passed unanimously. 9) Report from Committee on Women in SHAFR Belmonte summarized a written report (previously circulated to Council) from the Committee on Women in SHAFR.  The report found that women’s membership in SHAFR had not shifted much against the historical baseline (last examined in 2008), although publication in DH and leadership in SHAFR by women have increased. The committee recommended that SHAFR regularly collect data via the membership process. Dudziak observed that almost all of the publications by women were labeled “non-traditional” in the report and this potentially signaled a broader problem in the field’s self-concept. Discussion ensued on the best means of data collection and the need to rely on self-reporting, and on the desire to improve the proportion of women in the membership. It was noted that SHAFR needs to work for more ethnic and racial diversity. Bradley expressed, and Council agreed, that the report’s recommendations should be implemented as soon as possible. 10)  Bernath Lecture Prize schedule Hahn recommended that the Bernath Lecture Prize should be awarded annually during the American Historical Association conference so that lecturers would have 12 months to prepare the following year’s Bernath Lecture.  He noted that this is a small adjustment of the grand scheme Council approved to shift all prizes from the OAH annual meeting to the AHA conference.  Logevall moved (Belmonte seconded) approval of this proposal. The motion passed unanimously. 11) Language of submissions to prize and fellowship committees Hahn reported that prize and fellowship committees had asked for guidance regarding submission of application and nomination materials in languages other than English. In light of the inconsistency in the foreign language skills of members of various committees over time and the expense of paying to translate non-English submissions, a rule requiring that all submissions must be in English would create consistency across the various competitions.  Dudziak moved (Hoganson seconded) the adoption of a rule that applications and nominations for all SHAFR prizes and fellowships must be submitted in English. The motion passed unanimously. 12) Renaming the Gelfand-Rappaport Prize Bradley indicated that the Lawrence Gelfand-Armin Rappaport Prize had been named to honor the dissertation advisers of Michael Hogan and Thomas Paterson, given that Hogan and Paterson designated royalties from their book Explaining the History of American Foreign Relations to the SHAFR endowment. Now that Frank Costigliola had become a co-editor of that work for its revised edition, Costigliola proposed (and Hogan recommended) that the name of Costigliola’s doctoral adviser (Walter LaFeber) be added to the prize. Hoganson moved (Dudziak seconded) that the prize be renamed the Lawrence Gelfand-Armin Rappaport-Walter LaFeber Prize. The motion passed unanimously. 13) Petition regarding public higher education in the United States Bradley brought up a petition (previously circulated to Council) signed by several SHAFR members relating to the funding of public higher education in the United States and the request from one of the petitioners for Council endorsement. While many Council members expressed their personal support of the petition, discussion ensued on whether it was appropriate for Council to endorse it officially, given that it pertained to an issue not directly connected to the history of American foreign relations. A consensus emerged that Council should endeavor to remain apprised of this issue in the future and that a more appropriate venue for addressing the issue might be a plenary, roundtable, or open meeting of the membership at a future conference.  It was noted that some organizations, like the AHA, have an annual general meeting at the conference, which is where such petitions get discussed and voted upon by the membership. 14) SHAFR presence at OAH annual meetings Bradley reported that several SHAFR members had expressed concern with the recent Council action of discontinuing the SHAFR luncheon and reception at the OAH annual meeting. Logevall was unable to schedule a presidential panel for the 2014 meeting. Bradley indicated that SHAFR would host a cash bar reception at the 2014 OAH meeting, in honor of Logevall’s winning of the Pulitzer Prize. 15) Teaching Committee Chester Pach reported that the Teaching Committee would like to manage the teaching section of the SHAFR website.  The committee envisions transitioning the documents posted there into a more focused, topical, interactive resource page.  The committee would integrate its efforts into the lesson plans and primary documents projects.  Other proposed initiatives included better outreach to secondary school teachers and beefing up their social media presence. Dudziak strongly agreed with the idea to realign the responsibility for the website content. 16) 2013 SHAFR Conference Nguyen and Chamberlin (Program Committee co-chairs) and Walton (conference consultant) reported on the 2013 SHAFR Conference.  The conference featured 84 total panels, with four composed from individual paper submissions. The Program Committee recommended the hiring of a grad student assistant and a revision of the on-line submission system to welcome PDFs.  Hoganson noted that the declining acceptance rate might signal that the size of the conference should be increased. Walton reported that registrations in 2013 were likely to surpass 500 and might set an all-time record. AV costs continued to climb, ad revenue dropped slightly, but book exhibit revenue is up.  Hahn, George Fujii, and Walton collaborated to implement and refine a new system for accepting credit cards for conference payments.  Walton stressed the advantages of the present hotel contract. Bradley expressed Council’s gratitude for the excellent work invested in the conference. Council showed its appreciation with a round of applause. 17) 2013 Summer Institute Sherwin and Nuti reported on the recently-completed 2013 Summer Institute, which they co-hosted with Christian Ostermann.  The program (on nuclear weapons) went well. The 18 “students” (almost all doctoral candidates or assistant professors) selected to participate (chosen from 130 applications) included persons from India, Egypt, Israel, Switzerland, and Ireland as well as the United States and included two political scientists. Student evaluations were extremely positive, with the program’s interdisciplinary aspect coming in for particular praise.  Bradley expressed gratitude on behalf of Council for the hosts’ planning and conducting the institute and indicated that he would welcome the hosts’ final report. 18) National History Center Grossman reported that the National History Center of the AHA was undergoing restructuring and considering new strategic directions and he welcomed SHAFR contributions to this enterprise. Dudziak emphasized the importance of filming and posting on-line the lectures in the Washington History Seminar, recommended selecting speakers with broader geographic diversity, and recommended including a SHAFR member on the board of directors.  Grossman endorsed these suggestions.  Bradley indicated that any funding decisions must wait until January. There was brief discussion about the potential for future SHAFR collaboration with the NHC. 19) Reports on recent prizes and fellowships Hahn reported that Jacob Eder had won the Betty M. Unterberger Dissertation Prize (with an Honorable Mention going to Daniel Immerwahr); that Seth Anziska and Michelle Reeves had won the Dissertation Completion Fellowships; and that the Robert H. Ferrell Book Prize would go to Frank Costigliola. 20) Concluding remarks Hahn indicated that Matt Ambrose was attending his last meeting as SHAFR assistant director and Council members thanked Ambrose for his service with a round of applause. Bradley thanked Council members in attendance. The meeting adjourned at 12:46 pm. Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/ma