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Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

October 26, 1958

Members Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; W. S. Baird; J. W. Beams; J. W. Buchta; S. A. Goudsmit; W. C. Michels; R. A. Sawyer

Absent: R. H. Bolt

Board Member Present: R. T. Birge

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

The Chairman called the meeting to order at 9:55 a.m.

1. Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of September 30, 1958, were approved as circulated with the following corrections:

  1. Page 4, Item 2cm beginning line 6 should read: The Institute makes payments of $2,000 quarterly which include interest at 4.6% and some payment on principal. The principal may be prepaid without penalty any time after May 10, 1959, and the entire amount is payable May 1, 1960, at which time the unpaid principal will be about $108,000.00.
  2. Page 9, Item 61: Delete “and RMP” from lines 2 and 5.

2. Preview of Governing Board Agenda

The Executive Committee reviewed in some detail the items on the agenda for the Governing Board meeting on the following day. Statements on these items made by the staff are summarized in the Governing Board minutes. The Secretary has included in these minutes only items on which action was taken by the Executive Committee or items on which there was significant discussion not reported in Governing Board minutes.

  1. AIP Investment Policy

    The Treasurer recalled previous discussion in Executive Committee meetings and explained his reasons for recommending a very conservative policy for investment of the Institute’s temporarily unneeded funds. (See Governing Board minutes of October 27, 1958.) The Treasurer then recommended that he be authorized to contract with Bankers Trust Company for their Investment Advisory Service for which the fee is ½% on invested capital up to $500,000.00. He further recommended that Bankers Trust be instructed to invest approximately $200,000 in high grade bonds and preferred stocks for the best income possible consistent with security. Bankers Trust would act as custodian for securities purchased and the Treasurer would authorize changes in the portfolio in accordance with recommendations received from the Investment Advisory Service. Later on, when the Institute’s surplus is greater, it may be advisable to invest some funds in common stock but the Treasurer will report to the Executive Committee and obtain authorization before making such investments.

    Then followed some discussion in which Executive Committee members questioned whether the Investment Advisory Service was necessary for such conservative investments. The Treasurer replied that he might be able to do about as well without the Service but he felt that he should have professional help and believed that the Service would pay for itself. At the conclusion of the discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Treasurer be authorized to contract with Bankers Trust Company for their Investment Advisory Service and invest approximately $200,000 of Institute funds in a conservative portfolio as outlined above.

  2. Potential Associate Members

    The Secretary reported receipt of a telegram from the American Crystallographic Association requesting admission as an Associate Member Society. He described the organization briefly and Executive Committee members indicated they were familiar with ACA and felt that it had the necessary qualifications to become an Associate Member. Following discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that it accept the application of the American Crystallographic Association for Associate Membership and place ACA in nomination for action by the Member Societies.

  3. Report of Nominating Committee for Chairman

    Mr. Beams reported the conclusion reached by his Committee and Mr. Seitz indicated his willingness to be a candidate for another term. (See Governing Board minutes of October 27, 1958.) Mr. Seitz pointed out that the expanding activities of the Institute and his own heavy commitments during the next year would make a Deputy Chairman desirable. He suggested that the Board could create this office and fill it at the Board meeting next March. He indicated it would be desirable if the Deputy Chairman selected could become Chairman the following year. The consensus favored this idea of succession and it was agreed that such a recommendation would be made to the Governing Board at its meeting next spring. After further discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board that, at its meeting next spring, the office of Deputy Chairman be established and someone be elected to fill that office.

  4. Education Projects

    After stating that Vernet Eaton had been asked to report on this subject at the Board meeting on the following day, the Director commented on several projects in this field in which the Institute might take an active part if the Committee approved. He mentioned particularly a conference held recently at the Institute to discuss implementation of Title 3 of the new National Defence Education Act. A large amount of money is to be made available for the purchase of laboratory equipment for use in high schools and high school teachers and authorities need advice and assistance in making purchases. The Institute might render valuable assistance to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and to the public by cooperating in some project to furnish such advice.

    Then followed lengthy discussion in which questions were raised about the suggested project and also about the propriety of Institute involvement in it. The purposes of the Institute were reviewed and it was questioned whether we may be undertaking new activities too rapidly. It was generally agreed that publishing is the Institute’s basic and most important activity and that efforts to improve our publishing operations must be given top priority. It was also pointed out that the Institute’s newer activities have been made necessary by the current national interest in improving science education and the Institute will be criticized if it does not take an active part. The Chairman commented that the Institute must necessarily expand its activities and the real problem is to establish a proper balance so that proper administrative attention can be given to all aspects of the Institute’s program. After some further discussion the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

    MOVED that the Director be authorized to cooperate with the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and other interested agencies in the above-described project, with the hope that it will entail a minimum of additional work at the Institute.

  5. Programs in Perspective

    A list of grants received and requested as of October 22, 1958, was distributed (copy attached) and the Director proceeded to discuss the various grants. After some questions and discussion by Committee members the Chairman commented on the size of the list and expressed the opinion that we had reached a point where it would be wise to “harden up” our program rather than extend it.

  6. Future Meetings

    The Executive Committee agreed on the following tentative dates for meetings of the Committee through June 1959:

    • Friday, January 30 (breakfast at the New Yorker Hotel)
    • Friday, March 27
    • Saturday, June 6

    It was also agreed that the next meeting of the Governing Board should be held on Saturday, March 28 unless there were objections from Board members on the following day.

4. New Corporate Associates

The Secretary reported that the following organizations had requested to become Corporate Associates of the Institute and, on motion duly made and carried, they were elected effective January 1, 1959:

  • Technical Operations, Incorporated
  • Grunman Aircraft Engineering Corp.
  • Baird-Atomic, Inc.
  • The Eppley Laboratory, Inc.

The Secretary said that dues payments had not yet been received from the last two listed and it was agreed that election should be contingent on receipt of dues.

5. Copy-Handling Charge for Advertising

The Secretary recalled that the contract between Member Societies and the Institute provides that the Institute shall receive on advertising in Society journals a sales commission of 25% plus a copy-handling charge to be fixed by the Institute but not to exceed 10%. This copy-handling charge has now been 7% for two years but recent cost figures indicate that it can be reduced to 5%. The staff therefore proposes to make the copy-handling charge 5% effective January 1, 1959, unless the Executive Committee objects. There were no objections.

6. Student Sections

The Secretary reported that interest in Student Sections of the Institute had continued to grow slowly and that several suggestions had been received for encouraging interest and growth. The Director suggested that it would be appropriate to appoint an advisory committee on Student Sections to study our activities in connection with Student Sections and aid us in formulating and executing desirable plans. No action was taken and the Secretary assumes the Chairman took the matter under advisement.

The meeting adjourned at 1:00 p.m.