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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

August 5, 1931

The Executive Committee met at the call of the Chairman at 10 a.m. August 5, 1931, at the Columbia University Club, New York City.

Present: Chairman K. T. Compton, L. A. Jones, Harvey Fletcher, E. C. Bingham (representing W. P. Davey), G. B. Pegram, and by invitation P. D. Foote, member of the Governing Board.

The Chairman stated that the purpose of the meeting was primarily to make the selection of an Executive Secretary of the Institute of Physics, which duty had been placed upon the Executive Committee by the Governing Board at its meeting in Washington.

The Secretary laid before the committee the names of the several men who had been suggested by members of the Governing Board for consideration, and the pertinent information as to their qualifications that had been obtained. After full discussion it was clearly the sense of the committee that either H. A. Barton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics, Cornell University or A. R. Olpin, Ph.D., Bell Telephone Laboratories, would be the first choice of the committee.

The committee took an intermission for luncheon, at which Mr. Olpin was present by invitation.

The committee resumed its session after luncheon. Since each member of the committee was so favorably impressed with the qualifications of both Mr. Barton and Mr. Olpin as to make decision difficult it was voted that the Secretary should call for a letter ballot in a few days, within which time Mr. Jones would be able to make the acquaintance of Mr. Barton, and other members of the committee might feel more ready to vote.

It was voted that the services for approximately six months of Professor J. T. Tate as adviser on publications to the Institute of Physics should be sought and that the Chairman should take this up with Professor Tate, and, if it should seem desirable, with the president of the University of Minnesota.

The following tentative schedule was adopted as a basis for discussion on the budget of the Institute with Mr. Buffum manager of the Chemical Foundation:

Budget – October 1, 1931-September 30, 1932
Salary of Executive Secretary$7000.00
Salary of Professor Tate, half year$5000.00
Travelling expenses, Ex. Sect., Prof. Tate, members of Board$5000.00
Office Expenses$2000.00
Office help (from Chemical Foundation)-------
Office rent (from Chemical Foundation)-------

In arriving at the above approximate budget figures it was the sense of the committee (1) that the Executive Secretary should be able to go to many meetings of societies, and to make other trips for the purposes of the Institute, (2) that the Executive Committee should have frequent meetings, perhaps monthly, (3) that the whole Governing Board should be enabled to meet several times a year.

The committee, except Mr. Jones, went at 3:30 p.m. to the offices of the Chemical Foundation to confer with Mr. Buffum, particularly as to the budget proposals. Mr. Buffum expressed general approval, from the standpoint of the Chemical Foundation as contributing the financial support, of the scope of the budget, but said that he considered it better for the Chemical Foundation not now to commit itself to the support of the Institute of Physics on the basis of a definite budget, but rather to undertake through the first year to meet adequately the needs of the Institute as they may develop.

Mr. Buffum expressed himself as preferring not to take a part in the selection of an executive secretary of the Institute.

After further general discussion of the work of the Institute with Mr. Buffum, the committee adjourned.