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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

May 6, 1957

Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; A. V. Astin; J. W. Beams; S. A. Goudsmit; H. S. Knowles; W. C. Michels; M. W. Zemansky; R. A. Sawyer

Guest: Elmer Hutchisson

AIP Staff Present: H. A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; M. M. Johnson

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of March 15, 1957, were approved as circulated.

2. Financial Statement for First Quarter 1957

The Secretary distributed copies of the financial statement of the Institute for the first quarter (copy attached). He pointed out that, although 1957 had been budgeted to just about break even, the net income of approximately $18,000 for the first quarter could be largely explained by a few items. Increased building maintenance costs included in the 1957 budget will not be effective until after the offices are moved. None of the $20,000 budgeted for physics education projects has been spent. Net income from advertising is approximately $8,000 higher than anticipated, and fewer pages than anticipated were published in Institute-owned journals during the first quarter. It is gratifying to see such a net income figure for the first quarter but, with substantial expenses facing us later in the year, over-optimism is unjustified at this time.

3. Change in Accounting Procedure for Second Half of 1957

In line with comments made by the Chairman at the last meeting of the Governing Board, the Secretary said that the staff was preparing to set up some new accounting procedures for the second half of 1957. The Institute’s new building, furniture and fixtures, would be set up at some appropriate value in the capital account of the Institute and depreciated by charges against current operations over a period of years. This would mean increased charges for the services we perform for Member Societies and also for Institute-owned journals and projects. The exact amount cannot yet be determined but it might amount to anywhere from ten per cent to thirty per cent depending on decisions which the Executive Committee would be asked to make later.

The Chairman pointed out that the reason for this change in accounting procedure was to help the Institute prepare for further expansion of its facilities in another fifteen or twenty years from now. He pointed out that the Institute does not wish to have to go to its members for donations for every necessary expansion and that we are just doing what any good business organization would do in preparing for the future.

Then followed a number of suggestions and questions in which Mr. Michels asked if increased efficiency in our operations could not be expected in the Institute’s new quarters. The Secretary pointed out that increases in efficiency during the last few years have kept charges relatively stable in spite of increased costs for salaries and maintenance. At the present time the Institute is rather dangerously understaffed in some departments and, although it is hoped the new building will provide a more efficient setup, lower costs are not very probable. It was noted that the Institute fortunately has a good cash position and expects to be able to handle the large expenditures now being made without borrowing funds.

4. Progress on New Building

The Secretary reported that remodeling is going along well and that June 8 has been set as the moving date although some workmen will probably still be in the building for a month after that. The sale of the Institute’s present building will be completed on June 10 and at that time we will receive an additional $60,000 in cash and will take a purchase money mortgage for $200,000.00.

The total expenditure now contemplated for remodeling, moving expenses, some new furniture, architects and engineers fees, and legal fees is approximately $377,000.00. The Chairman mentioned that he hoped to obtain some money to appoint the new Board room from the Sloan Foundation.

The Secretary said that an immediate decision should be made about the name for the new building. He said that, as one enters the vestibule of the building, the names of the Member Societies will appear in a large panel on the left wall and “American Institute of Physics” will appear on the right wall over the doors leading into the reception room. We should now select the name which is to appear on the outside of the building where the architect showed “American Institute of Physics” in his rendering. Then followed considerable discussion during which it was recalled that Dean Pegram had suggested some name such as “Physics Building” which would not tie the building to any corporate body and might encourage Member Societies to establish their offices there in the future. After further discussion of names, the following motion was made, seconded and passed with one dissenting vote:

MOVED that “American Physics Center” be proposed as the name for the Institute’s new building and that this proposal be submitted to members of the Governing Board for a mail ballot.

5. Fund Raising Drive

The Director reported that, as of May 2, $38,823 had been received from members and $139,125 from industry and others. Including future pledges of $2,611 from members and $14,500 from industry, the total to date is $195,060.00. This total does not include two grants from the Ford Foundation nor any of the funds we expect to receive from Government agencies for specific publishing and educational projects, nor does it include the contributions we expect to receive from Member Societies. Four Societies have already authorized contributions equal to ten per cent of dues and a similar contribution is expected from the fifth. The total from the Member Societies is expected to be $24,600 and this will be considered as contributions from members of the Institute.

The Director mentioned the $52,750 which had been pledged previously by the Fund for the Advancement of Education (Ford Foundation) for certain educational projects and added that he recently received a letter from the Ford Foundation itself indicating that a grant of $15,000 would be made to the Institute in support of its “Future Physicists Fund” with the understanding “that the Institute plans to raise a total of $50,000 from its own members, as well as from outside sources, for this aspect of its development program.” He said that funds in hand and in sight for such purposes appear to make it possible for the Institute to accept the grant under the conditions stipulated and he had so written the Ford Foundation, also agreeing that a report would be made on completion of the project, as requested. The Executive Committee agreed with the action taken.

The Director then reported on other plans for continuing the fund raising drive. Response has been quite good to an editorial in the April issue of “Physics Today” which was accompanied by an envelope for contributions. The Chairman has prepared a letter which is to be mailed out to all members of the Institute soon and permission has been requested from the Treasurers of the Member Societies to distribute requests for contributions with next year’s dues bills. In response to a question the Director said that 2,046 members of the Institute had made contributions to date.

Mr. Astin suggested that Presidents of the Member Societies might wish to address letters to the members of their Societies urging support of the fund drive, the cost of such mailing to be financed by the Institute. There was some discussion of the propriety and effectiveness of such an appeal. On the suggestion of Mr. Sawyer, it was agreed that the Institute should send out a letter over his signature to members of the Optical Society as soon as possible and, if this proves effective, Presidents of other Member Societies would be asked to do likewise in the fall.

6. Progress on Proposed Karl T. Compton Medal

The Chairman reported he had written a letter to Mr. Alfred P. Sloan suggesting that he contribute $30,000 to the Institute for two items: the proposed Karl T. Compton Medal, and appropriate furnishings for the new Board room which would be named the Karl T. Compton Board Room. There was a brief discussion and the Chairman was commended for his action.

7. Appointment of Editor and Editorial Board for “The Physics of Fluids”

The Secretary reported that he, Mr. Frenkiel, and Mr. Barton had had several conferences with Air Force personnel and had found them receptive to the idea of financing the proposed journal. A written proposal finally had been prepared suggesting three contracts totaling $72,500 and covering three periods of time running from July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1960. A letter had been received from the Air Force indicating that our proposal has been received and is being processed and it appears probable that the requested funds will be received.

The Secretary then told about recent conversations with Mr. Frenkiel and presented a letter just received from him outlining his proposed policies for the new journal and recommending the establishment of an editorial board of eighteen, candidates for which were listed. One of Mr. Frenkiel’s proposals was that six members of the editorial board be selected by the American Physical Society and that the other tweleve be appointed by the Institute. It was understood from Mr. Frenkiel’s letter that he would be willing to accept the editorship if his proposed editorial policy met with favor and funds became available.

During the discussion which followed it was pointed out that the Institute cannot commit APS to the suggested role of appointing part of the editorial board of the journal without reference to the Society and that, in the interests of getting the project started, it would be better for the Institute to make all appointments at first. It was agreed that APS should later be invited to join in the management of the journal and possibly later take over full responsibility for its management. The following motions were then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote, with Mr. Beams abstaining from voting on the second motion:

MOVED that F. N. Frenkiel be appointed editor of “The Physics of Fluids”, contingent upon receipt of the requested funds.

MOVED that the staff be authorized to constitute an eighteen-man editorial board for “The Physics of Fluids” in line with recommendations advanced by Mr. Frenkiel.

In further discussion of the new journal, it was suggested that the first issue should be dated January 1958 with the hope of distributing it in December of this year. It was pointed out that some arrangement should be made with Dr. Frenkiel to compensate him for his services as editor and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Secretary be authorized to proceed with negotiations with Mr. Frenkiel for his services as editor and that such expense money as he will need in preliminary activities on behalf of the journal be advanced to him.

8. Report of Committee on Publishing Problems in Physics

The Chairman reported that the Committee had shown a great deal of interest in a journal of mathematical physics, proposed about eighteen months ago by Leonard Schiff. Mr. Schiff is now out of the country but is expected to return and be in New York City on July 10, 11 and 12 and has been asked to visit the Institute and talk with the staff. Attempts are to be made to arrange for a meeting of the Committee with Mr. Schiff present sometime in August or September. It is hoped that the Committee will then be able to formulate plans for the proposed journal and recommend an editor. The Secretary was instructed to convey the above information to Mr. Condon.

The Director said that he and the Secretary had visited Thomas H. Johnson of the Atomic Energy Commission to discuss obtaining funds from AEC for the proposed journal of mathematical physics and for the operation of the Publishing Problems Committee. Mr. Johnson appeared to be favorably disposed toward both projects. In view of the probable delay in formulating definite plans for the new journal, the Director said he had subsequently written to Mr. Johnson advising him that we would be unable to submit a proposal for the journal until later in the year. At about the same time another letter was sent to Mr. Johnson applying for $18,300 for the work of the Committee. The Chairman added that he had received word from several physicists urging us to get started on the journal of mathematical physics as soon as possible and he hoped the delay would not be for too long.

The Director reported that no word had been received yet on our request for a grant of $35,000 from the National Science Foundation to finance the publishing of the JCP backlog but a favorable response is anticipated and the present rate of publication in JCP is being stepped up in anticipation of it.

9. Resignation of Elmer Hutchisson as Board Member and Appointment of Joseph B. Platt

As indicated at the last Board meeting, the Secretary said he had received a letter from Mr. Hutchisson containing his resignation from the Board effective June 30, 1957. He also said he had received a letter from Joseph B. Platt accepting the appointment to replace Mr. Hutchisson. The Secretary then explained that he and the Director had made a careful study of the bylaws to determine the term of Mr. Platt’s appointment. Article VIII of the Constitution makes no provision for nominating a successor to a member-at-large except in the case of expiration of the member’s three-year term. The same article states that the Board may fill a directorship vacated before the expiration of term until the next annual meeting of the Corporation. Since there would be no director nominated to replace Mr. Platt at the time of the next annual meeting, it is assumed that he is to continue in office until the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was elected as the Constitution specifically states that a director shall continue in office until his successor is elected. Members of the Executive Committee agreed with this interpretation.

  1. TIAA Retirement Plan for Mr. Hutchisson

    The Secretary said he had explored with Mr. Hutcisson the continuation of his TIAA plan. It currently requires an annual payment of $2,310.00. If Mr. Hutchisson should go under the proposed new Institute pension plan, the amount the Institute would have to pay would be almost the same amount and, in addition, Mr. Hutchisson would pay approximately $850 per year. Mr. Hutchisson said that he would like to study the details of both plans more fully and it was agreed that he should be given the option of selecting either plan he prefers with the understanding that the Institute would be willing to pay an amount equal to what it would pay if Mr. Hutchisson were on the proposed new Institute plan. It was left to the staff to work out the details with Mr. Hutchisson.

  2. Attendance of Director at Member Society Council Meetings

    The Director said that when the Institute was organized he was instructed to attend Member Society Council meetings. No formal arrangement for this had ever been made with the Member Societies and, although he had attended most Council meetings, he felt embarrassment in doing so. In view of the recommendation of the Committee to study AIP Organization and Policies that better communications be established between the Institute and Member Societies, the Director recommended that some formal arrangement be made for the Director’s attendance at Council meetings. It would be helpful if an item could be placed on the agenda of each Council meeting under which the Director could report on Institute activities and answer any questions which might be raised. It would be understood, of course, that the Director would be excluded from any executive sessions.

    The Executive Committee agreed with the point of view expressed by the Director and the Chairman agreed to write letters to the appropriate officers of Member Societies suggesting a formal arrangement.

10. Report of Committee to Examine AIP Organization and Policies

The Chairman recalled that a preview of the Committee’s report had been presented by Mr. Smyth at the last meeting of the Governing Board. The formal report of the Committee had since been received and had been distributed to members of the Executive Committee so that they could be prepared to discuss it at the present meeting. At its last meeting the Board had instructed the Executive Committee to analyze the report and prepare recommendations for the meeting of the Board in the fall.

The Chairman then reviewed his discussions with the Committee during its deliberations and stated his understanding of the reasons for recommendations made in the report. A general discussion followed in which the report was reviewed in detail. The consensus was that many of the recommendations are good and that some changes in the Institute’s bylaws should be made in order to implement them. Accordingly, the following committee was appointed to draft specific bylaw changes for consideration by the Executive Committee at its next meeting:

  • J. W. Beams, Chairman
  • H. K. Schilling
  • R. A. Sawyer
  • A. V. Astin

It was understood that the Institute staff will assist the committee and it was suggested that the committee should feel free to discuss any details with members of the Committee to Study AIP Organization and Policies. It was the consensus that the report of the latter Committee should be distributed to Governing Board members with the minutes of the next Executive Committee meeting when it can be accompanied by the recommended bylaw changes.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:35 p.m. and reconvened at 2:05 p.m.

11. Executive Session

Following luncheon the Committee held a short executive session during which Messrs. Barton and Waterfall and Miss Johnson were not present. When the three rejoined the meeting, the Chairman said that staff salaries had been under consideration and he asked the Secretary to explain what policy had been followed with respect to staff salaries. The Secretary said that salaries of the Director and Secretary had been fixed by action of the Governing Board or Executive Committee and changes in those salaries were made only by action of one of those bodies. Major additions to the Institute staff, especially those involving new functions, were made only on authorization of the Executive Committee or Board and initial salary arrangements were reported to the Executive Committee. All other staff changes and salary adjustments were handled as management problems by the Secretary in consultation with the Director. In general, staff salaries are reviewed annually on each employee’s anniversary date. The salaries of department heads are reviewed annually, all on the same date, and changes made when it appears to be desirable to do so. A survey was recently made to ascertain salary ranges in comparable organizations in the New York City area and Institute salaries appear to be generally in line. The budget presented by the staff each year makes allowance for anticipated salary changes during the year. The Secretary stated that he believed that the policy of allowing the Secretary and Director to make such staff and salary changes as appeared to be necessary was the only efficient way of handling the Institute’s expanding organization. Members of the Executive Committee voiced no objection.

Following the meeting, the Chairman informed the Secretary that the Executive Committee had authorized changes in the salaries of the Director and the Secretary. When Mr. Barton returns from Europe in the fall it is understood that he will assume the title of Associate Director and that he will be on an approximately half-time basis at an annual salary of $8,500 per year. The Secretary is to continue functioning as at present on an approximately two-thirds time basis and his salary is to be increased from $11,000 to $13,000 per year, effective June 1, 1957.

The sum of $500 was authorized to defray travel expenses of Mr. Barton in attending the Assembly in Rome, Italy, of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, conferring with the Commission on Symbols, Units and Nomenclature and inquiring into future plans of the journal, “Nuovo Cimento”, for translations of Russian physics literature into western languages.

12. “Journal of Applied Physics”

The Chairman reported that the Committee which had been appointed to select a new editor for JAP had proposed two possibilities. After consultation with the two candidates, the Chairman said he had found that J. A. Krumhansl was willing to serve as editor and he suggested that the Executive Committee confirm his appointment. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that James A. Krumhansl be appointed editor of JAP starting August 1, 1957, and that the staff be authorized to conclude appropriate arrangements for salary and secretarial assistance.

The Chairman mentioned that Mrs. Janine Hart had served JAP for a number of years, first with Mr. Hutchisson in Cleveland and then with Mr. Sproull in Ithaca. There would be no place for her on Mr. Krumhansl’s staff in Cleveland and it was understood that there was no place for her on the staff at Cornell. It had been suggested that she come to the Institute in New York City but she declined to do so for personal reasons. The salary currently paid her by Cornell, for which Cornell is reimbursed by the Institute, is $3,120 per year. The Chairman suggested that the Institute had some obligation to her and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that, unless Mrs. Hart is able to find satisfactory employment elsewhere immediately, the Institute staff be authorized to give her separation pay not exceeding five months’ salary.

The Secretary was instructed to advise Mr. Sproull of the above action and suggest that he handle the matter as he sees fit.

13. “The Review of Scientific Instruments”

The Secretary reported that members of the Institute staff had met with Mr. Kuper, editor of RSI, to discuss increasing the page size of the journal. The present trim size is 7 7/8” by 10 1/2” and the proposed new size is 8 1/4” by 11 1/4”. The change was originally suggested by Mr. Vorburger, Advertising Manager of the Institute, in order to provide a 7” by 10” type page which is considered as standard by advertisers. Mr. Vorburger has contended for several years that adopting a standard size for ads would make it possible for him to secure more advertising and increase the net advertising revenue from the journal. As an incentive for making the change the Institute had also proposed heavier paper of better quality and an increased spacing between lines of type so as to improve the readability of the journal. Various other details were also involved. The Secretary said the matter was being brought to the attention of the Executive Committee because Mr. Kuper had said he was “lukewarm about the whole scheme” although he was willing to go along with it if the Institute thought best. The Secretary said the Institute staff was definitely in favor of the new format for RSI and would proceed to adopt it unless the Executive Committee objected. No one objected.

14. Negotiations with Johnson Reprint Corporation

The Secretary reported that the offer made by Johnson, reported in minutes of the meeting of March 15, 1957, was still being studied and it is hoped that some transaction will be concluded before the next meeting.

15. Russian Translation Program

  1. New Editor for “Soviet Physics – JETP”

    The Secretary said that not much progress had been made in selecting a new editor for JETP. Mr. Beyer has indicated that he will be willing to carry on until some time in September and the Secretary expressed hope that the matter could be held until Mr. Hutchisson takes over as Director. In the meantime, Consultants Bureau has suggested a possibility that may make our selection of a new editor somewhat easier. They will be willing to handle all of the typewriter composition, printing and binding for $12 per Russian page if the Institute wishes to set up a separate editor and be responsible for translation. Of course, the Institute can also subcontract the entire translation and printing job to Consultants Bureau or to Pergamon Institute or possible some other organization, as we now do with the other Russian journals.

  2. New Soviet Optics Journal

    The Secretary said that Consultants Bureau had furnished him with a copy of the new Soviet “Journal of Optics and Spectroscopy” along with a translation of its table of contents. These had been turned over to Mr. Sawyer for an opinion on whether the Optical Society would like to have it furnished in English translation.

  3. Financial Situation

    The Secretary reported that a study had just been made of our financial situation on the various Russian translation journals for the purpose of telling NSF how much money would be needed for the next year. Sufficient funds seem to be left over from last year’s NSF grant for JETP to carry it for another year. For JTP, Doklady and Acoustics, it appears that we will need a total of approximately $60,000 for the next year and NSF has been advised accordingly. A definite proposal will be submitted soon.

    The Secretary reported that the circulation of “Soviet Physics – JETP” had reached 722 and, on the basis of current figures, the journal should be self-supporting with a circulation of approximately 1,000. Current circulation figures on the other three journals are as follows:

    Soviet Physics – Technical Physics125
    Soviet Physics – Doklady175
    Soviet Physics – Acoustics90

    The Secretary reported the Institute had received a letter from an organization in Moscow which claims to have exclusive translation rights on Russian journals. The letter inquired what the Institute proposed to do about contracting for rights. The Secretary said he had taken the matter up with NSF and had been advised to ignore the letter.

16. Appointment of Committees and Representatives

On authority granted at the last meeting of the Governing Board, the Executive Committee proceeded to study the Institute committee structure and make the necessary changes. The list of committees and representatives attached to these minutes was approved for the current year.

In discussing the committees, the Secretary explained the need for a Committee of Society Treasurer to advise the Institute staff on various accounting and fiscal matters, including a joint dues bill for all Societies. It was suggested that the formation of such a Committee would help establish better liaison between the Institute and the Member Societies on matters of finance and accounting and thus help prevent misunderstandings. The Committee was authorized and is included in the attached list.

It is understood that staff officers of the Institute are to write letters of appreciation to those who served as committee members or representatives during the past year.

17. Staff Men for Physics Educational Projects

The Director reported that the Institute had hired two staff men for educational projects, W. C. Kelly and Grant O. Gale. Starting dates have not yet been determined but it is hoped that both can join the staff by early fall. Both men will be on the Institute payroll as consultants and Mr. Kelly will have the title Consultant for Educational Projects. An Advisory Committee on Educational Activities has been appointed and is included in the attached list.

18. Oklahoma Symposium

The Secretary explained plans for the Symposium on “Science, Industry and Education” which is to be held in Oklahoma City on June 17, jointly sponsored by the Frontiers of Science Foundation of Oklahoma, Inc., the National Science Foundation, and the Institute. Mervin Kelly has arranged for eight speakers, three from overseas, and Messrs. Waterman and Seitz will act as chairmen of the morning and afternoon sessions, respectively. The Oklahoma people are preparing a printed program which will be distributed at their expense to all members of the Institute.

19. “The Astrophysical Journal”

The Chairman reported that the publishers of this journal have requested that the Institute regularly list the titles of their articles in one of our journals, such as “Physics Today”. After brief discussion it was agreed that although the Institute is sympathetic to their problem, acceding to their request would establish a dangerous precedent. The Chairman agreed to advise them accordingly. The Secretary mentioned that there is an organization on the West Coast which proposes to publish a journal consisting solely of the tables of contents of various scientific journals. This may serve their purpose.

20. Pergamon Institute

The Secretary presented a letter from Mr. Maxwell outlining the purposes of Pergamon Institute and suggesting that PI would be glad to cooperate with AIP on any matters of mutual interest. The principal purpose of PI appears to be to encourage the study of the Russian language and make scientific literature published in that language available in other languages. The Secretary was instructed to advise Mr. Maxwell that his letter had been brought to the attention of the Executive Committee and was appreciated.

21. Requests from Government Agencies for Permission to Reproduce Material from AIP Journals

The Secretary reported that, over the last few years and in increasing quantities, requests have been received from various Government agencies for permission to reproduce material from our journals. The nature of the requests varies considerably. Some are only for permission to reproduce a single article for very limited distribution within a specific establishment. Others are for blanket permission to reproduce anything published by AIP for wide distribution within the Defense Department and its contractors. The Secretary said the staff had been following the policy of granting permission to reproduce specific articles for quite limited distribution. In all cases the permission is granted with the understanding that the reproduction will carry proper credit to our journal and the authors. Members of the Executive Committee expressed approval of the policy being followed.

22. Affiliation of American Astronautical Federation

The Director presented a letter which he had received from the above organization which is understood to be a newly formed federation of nine societies. The letter inquired about the possibility of affiliation with the Institute. The Director suggested that they be told to wait a few years until their federation has become permanently established and then apply for affiliation. His suggestion was approved.

23. Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Executive Committee should be held at the new offices of the Institute on Saturday, July 6.

The meeting adjourned at 4:10 p.m.