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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 13, 1954

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the Institute Building, 57 East 55 Street, New York City.
Present: Chairman George R. Harrison

R.F. Bacher, J.W. Buchta, K.K. Darrow, S.A. Goudsmit, D.B. Judd, H.S. Knowles, W. H. Markwood, Jr., W.F. Meggers, P.M. Morse, B. O’Brien, H.F. Olson, E. Rodgers, F. Seitz, R.M. Sutton, J.H. Van Vleck, W.M. Zemansky

Absent: G.B. Pegram, C.C. Lauritsen, R. A. Sawyer, W. Shockley

AIP Staff Present: H. A. Barton, W. Waterfall, R.R. Davis, Kathryn Setze, Mary Ann Lee

Chairman Harrison called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. He explained that he was still presiding in the Chair, even though not a members of the Board, because the by-laws state that the Chairman maintains his office until his successor has been elected. He then introduced and welcomed the new members of the Board who were present: Messrs. R.F. Bacher, W.H. Markwood, Jr., H.F. Olson, E. Rodgers, and F. Seitz.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded and carried the minutes of the meeting of the March 14, 1953 were approved as circulated.

3. Report of the Annual Meeting of the Corporation

The Secretary reported on the Annual Meeting of the Corporation on February 20, 1054. Proxies from all Member Societies were present and voted to elect the following members to the Governing Board:

On nomination of the American Physical Society

Frederick Seitz – term to 1957

On nomination of the Optical Society of America

Ralph A. Sawyer – term to 1957

On nomination of the Acoustical Society of America

Harry F. Olson – term to 1957

On nomination of the American Association of Physics Teachers

Eric Rodgers – term to 1957

On election by all individual members of the Institute

Robert F. Bacher – term to 1957
The following was announced as the full membership of the Board until the 1955 Annual Meeting of the Corporation:

On nomination of Term to end at the Annual Meeting
American Physical Society
C.C. Lauritsen
1955
G.B. Pegram
1955
S.A. Goudsmit
1956
J.H. Van Vleck
1956
F. Seitz
1957
Optical Society of America
W.F. Meggers
1955
Brian O'Brien
1956
Deane B. Judd
1956
Ralph A. Sawyer
1957
Acoustical Society of America
Hugh S. Knowles
1955
Philip M. Morse
1956
Harry F. Olson
1957
Society of Rheology
W.H. Markwood, Jr.
1955
American Associate of Physics Teachers
R.M. Sutton
1955
M.W. Zemansky
1955
J.W. Buchta
1956
Eric Rodgers
1957
Members-at-Large
Karl K. Darrow
1955
William Shockley
1956
Robert F. Bacher
1957

3. Annual Report for 1953

The Director discussed the main features of his preliminary report which had already been circulated to the members of the Board. (Copy attached to official minutes.) The year saw new highs in number of pages, subscribers, and costs of personnel and production. There was an increase of 23% in pages which caught the staff without warning since the 1952 pages were about the same as 1951 and it was thought the post-war jump had leveled off. Chairman Harrison said he thought the Institute could expect the number of pages printed to double within the next ten years, just as he thought the number of physicists in the country would double within eight years.

The Director said that at the current rate of increase in personnel, the housing situation at the Institute will become acute in a few years. The staff is continuing to explore all possibilities, bearing in mind that the sentiment of the Board and of many members is to keep the administrative offices of the Institute in their present quarters.

After further discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Director’s report, with such changes as are recommended by the Chairman of the Board, be made the report of the Board to the membership and published in PHYSICS TODAY.

4. Summary of Executive Committee Activities

Chairman Harrison reported that the Executive Committee met five times during 1953 and that minutes had been sent to all members of the Board. He reviewed the more important problems which had faced the Executive Committee and the decisions which had been made on them. He said that many of the problems discussed had been on a financial nature and, in these as well as all other problems, Dean Pegram’s experience and wisdom had been in inestimable value. He expressed regret that Dean Pegram was unable to be present at the meeting because of ill health.

The Board, at the suggestion of R. M. Sutton, expressed commendation to the Executive Committee for a job well done. The Chairman read the names of the Committee for the past year: Messrs. Harrison, Pegram, Darrow, Hunt, O’Brien, Seitz, Zemansky.

5. Financial Report

A statement of income and expense for the Institute for 1953 was distributed by the Secretary and discussed (copy attached). He pointed out that the budget for 1953 and the actual figures for that year differ by less than 1%. This represents unexpectedly close budgeting. The budget for each year must always be prepared before the final figures for the preceding year are available. The 1954 budget was the best estimate that could be made at the time it was prepared and the staff now believes it to be rather conservative.

The $35,000 reserve set aside in 1952 for anticipated loss on PHYSICS TODAY has not been needed for the purpose because the revenue from advertising in other AIP journals and from other sources has been adequate to carry the loss on PHYSICS TODAY. Therefore, this $35,000 reserve has been returned to the general surplus fund. This accounts for the increase in this amount it is still less than one-half year’s operation of the Institute that cannot be considered a satisfactory financial cushion.

The net advertising revenue from all AIP journals has continued to increase but the staff is not yet satisfied with it and will continue efforts to increase advertising revenue, especially from PHYSICS TODAY. The following figures were given to show the increase in the net revenue from advertising:

1949       $30,527.63
1950       39,218.93
1951       53,904.14
1952       56,098.77
1953       58,727.75

After presentation of the above information by the Secretary there was discussion of various items in which it was suggested that the $2.00 Student Section subscriptions be shown separately on the statement rather than included in the single figure for domestic subscriptions in the PHYSICS TODAY account. It was also suggested that the staff consider changing procedures so as to credit PHYSICS TODAY with some of the contribution made by Member Societies to the support of the Institute since all members of Member Societies receive PHYSICS TODAY.

6. Report of Committee on Student Organization

The Director distributed copies of the report of the Committee (copy attached), which had been mailed to the Board members prior to the meeting. He commented on various sections of the report and this was followed by considerable discussion. A question was raised about the possible conflict between the Student Sections of AIP and student groups or local chapters of some of the Member Societies. The Director said that the Committee had indicated no evidence of such conflict.

The Director emphasized that the Committee had considered its problem very thoroughly and that the recommendations made had been made with conviction and enthusiasm and deserved careful consideration. Accordingly, the Governing Board decided to take actions separately on the various specific recommendations made by the Committee. After consideration of recommendation III-a, and the estimated cost of $5000 to $10,000 per year which would be required to carry out this recommendation, the following motion was made, seconded and carried with 11 affirmative and 5 negative votes:

MOVED that the Executive Committee be empowered, if it is so wishes, to implement during the 1954 the proposal of Section III-a of the Committee’s report, but at an expense no greater than the probable surplus for 1954, if it should appear there will be any surplus.

After considering the recommendation contained in III-b, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting voice:

MOVED that the recommendation in III-b be left to the discretion of the editor of PHYSICS TODAY.

In discussing the recommendation of III-c it was pointed out that addressing PHYSICS TODAY individually to members of Student Sections would add considerably to the cost of distribution. It was impossible to estimate the exact amount but it would probably be between $500 and $1,000. The following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that PHYSICS TODAY should not be mailed individually to members of the Student Sections.

It was the consensus that no action need be taken at the present time on III-d and III-e since the implementation of these suggestions would be a part of the expanded program contemplated under III-a.

In consideration of the work done by the Committee, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the report of the Committee on Student Organizations be accepted with thanks.

7. Basis of Institute Support by Member Societies

The Secretary reviewed the actions to date on this subject. At the Governing Board meeting of March 15, 1952, on recommendation of the Executive Committee, the Board took action suggesting to the Member Societies that the basis of Institute support be changed so that each Society’s payment would be not more than 12% of dues collected in the preceding year, with a floor of $1.00 and a ceiling of $2.00 per member. It was left to the Executive Committee to work this out with the Societies. The Executive Committee appointed a committee with one representative from each Society to prepare a resolution which could be adopted by all societies to effect the change. This committee never met because discussion with various officers of the Societies indicated Society action on the Governing Board’s proposal would not be favorable. The situation was discussed in detail at the Board meeting of March 14, 1953. No action was taken, so the Chairman ruled that the problem remained in the hands of the Executive Committee. No further action has been taken and there appears to be no great current interest in changing the basis of support. The staff recommended that the subject be at least temporarily laid to rest and the following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the first three motions recorded in Item 9 of the Governing Board minutes of March 15, 1952 be rescinded.

8. Dues Percentage to be Paid to the Institute in 1955

On recommendation of staff the following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that 10% of the dues collected in 1954 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Member Society to the support of the Institute for 1955.

9. Future Housing for the Institute

The Secretary reviewed the changes made in the building during the past year, the rearrangements of departmental personnel making better use of the available space, installation of air conditioning on the south side of the building and changes in electrical wiring and plumbing. An architect has been employed and plans have been prepared to cover recent building changes and future space expansion possibilities. The purpose of all this is to remove certain violations, regularize the record with the City, obtain desirable changes in our occupancy permit, and prepare for desirable immediate remodeling of areas as the rear of the third and fifth floors. All of these changes should take care of the Institute’s housing needs for another two years if there are no unexpected additions of services or personnel. The plan for an addition at the rear of the building had been dropped between the final bid greatly exceeded the estimate and made the cost too great for the footage gained.

At the March 1953 meeting of the Board, $20,000 was made available and the Executive Committee subsequently transferred $10,000 of this from Surplus to the Building Fund. The Secretary reported that approximately $12,000 had  been spent or committed and enough remained in the Building Fund to cover the cost of third and fifth floor alterations, estimated at $13,500, which it was planned to start as soon as possible.

10. Financial Policy on Journal of Chemical Physics

The Director reported that discussions had apparently led to the conclusion that it was not appropriate for the Institute to retain responsibility for publishing such a specialized journal as JCP. Conversations with the American Physical Society during the past few years directed toward transfer of the journal to that Society had been dropped because the Society’s finances would now allow additional burdens. During 1953 conversations had been held with the American Chemical Society with a view toward joint sponsorship by ACS and APS. A study has been made which showed that, of 3000 JCP subscribers, 909 were APS members, 476 were ACS members, and of these 347 were members of both societies. The majority of subscribers were members of neither society, being mostly libraries.

The Director said that JCP is a valuable property because of the prestige of the journal and the revenue-producing inventory of back numbers. The Institute proposes to maintain this value by operating on a break-even basis, as budgeted for 1954, and must recognize this value in any negotiations for transfer or sale of the journal. The Director asked for suggestions or guidance form the Board. There being none, it was the sense of the meeting that the operation of the journal should be continued as a present but that attention should be given to any new possibilities encountered.

11. Foreign Subscription Rates on AIP Journals

The Secretary reported that the differential between domestic and foreign subscription rates of Institute owned journals is now $1.00. The difference in annual average postage costs for domestic and foreign subscriptions is just about $1.00. The additional cost of handling plus the loss on exchange amounts to about 40 or 50 cents. For the journals in question, these costs represent an Institute subsidy to non-member foreign subscribers alone which totals over $2000 per year.  The staff indicated that a $2.00 differential in rates would be appropriate and would compensate for cost differences and asked the Board for a policy decision.

After some discussion of policy with respect to both member and non-member rates, the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the differential between non-member domestic and foreign annual subscription rates be set at $2.00 for JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, and JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS

12. Report on AIP Self-Investigation Program

The Secretary reported on a plan of self-investigation which the staff had inaugurated to study the efficiency of various departmental operations and the procedures for allocating costs. An expert in editorial mechanics had been employed on a part-time consulting basis to work with Miss Bryans and some changes had already been suggested and put into effect. A similar study is planned for the Circulation Department. The staff is urged always to be alert to ways of improving efficiency but may be able to gain perspective and profit by suggestions from experienced outsiders. This outside point of view is also desirable in AIP systems of cost accounting and will be possible improvements are obvious and any major changes will, of course, be discussed with the Executive Committee.

13. Nominations to National Science Board

The Director reported that the Institute had been invited to suggest nominees for membership on the National Science Board, the governing body of the National Science Foundation, and asked the Board for suggestions. After a number of possibilities are mentioned, each Board member was asked to write four names on a piece of paper, the papers were collected and it was left to the Executive Committee to tally the returns and transmit the suggestions in an appropriate manner.

14. Report of Nominating Committee and Election of Officers

The Secretary read the report of the Nominating Committee which consisted of Paul V. Klopsteg, Chairman, F. Wheeler Loomis, Gaylord P. Harnwell, Frederick V. Hunt, George R. Harrison. The Committee presented the following slate:

For Chairman of the Governing Board – Frederick Seitz

It was moved, seconded and carried without dissenting vote that he recommendation of the Nominating Committee be accepted and that Frederick Seitz be elected Chairman of the Governing Board.

At this point the new Chairman appoint a committee to draft a suitable resolution expressing the appreciation of the Institute for the services of Dr. Harrison, and that the Secretary be instructed to have this resolution properly inscribed and presented to Dr. Harrison.

The Chairman appointed Karl K. Darrow, Henry A. Barton and Wallace Waterfall to draft the above-mentioned resolution.

The Director pointed out that the Nominating Committee had not nominated a Secretary, which office the By-laws indicated should be considered annually. It was moved, seconded and carried without dissenting vote that Wallace Waterfall should continue the Secretary.

15. Election of Executive Committee

At the suggestions of Chairman Seitz and with the approval of the Board, the following were selected as the Executive Committee for the coming year:

Karl K. Darrow Ralph A. Sawyer
Deane B. Judd Frederick Seitz
Hugh S. Knowles Mark W. Zemansky
George B. Pegram  

16. Amendment to By-Laws Regarding Elections of Board Chairman

At the last Governing Board meeting the Board took action recommending to the Member Societies that Article XI, Section 2 of the Constitution be amended to read:

“Officers need not be members of the Governing Board.”

The Secretary reported that three Member Societies had approved the suggested amendment and two had voted against it. According to the By-Laws, therefore, the amendment was rejected.

Since the rejection, conversation among Member Society officers had indicated that the amendment might have been accepted if it had provided for election of the Chairman from among current or former members of the Board. At its meeting of December 10, 1953, the Executive Committee acted to recommend to the Board that another amendment incorporated this change be submitted to the Member Societies for consideration.

After discussion, the Secretary read the suggested wording for the proposed amendment and the following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Board recommend for approval by the Member Societies that Article XI, Section 2 of the Constitution be amended to read as follows:

“The Chairman shall be elected from among the current or former directors; other officers need not be members of the Governing Board.”

17. Committees

In bringing up the subject of committee appointments, the Director pointed out that the officers and staff of the Institute are not sufficiently well acquainted with the younger men in physics and it is, therefore, difficult to bring new blood into committees and other affairs of the Institute. He recommended that the Board appoint a Committee on Appointments with membership carefully chosen to provide the Institute with suggestions for appointees for various committees and other posts. This recommendation was viewed favorably.

The Secretary read a list of the various committees which expired at the meeting of the Board and said that it had been customary for the Governing Board to authorize the Executive Committee to complete committee appointments. After brief discussion the following motion was made, seconded and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Executive Committee be authorize to appoint a Committee on Appointments and such other committees and representatives as may be necessary.

18. Authorization of Executive Committee to Appoint Temporary Deputy Director

The Director explained that there will be a short time during the coming summer when both he and the Secretary will be out of the country and, while Institute business is normally slow during this period, there may be occasions when a responsible physicist is needed for consultation by the staff, and an additional signature might be needed on checks.

The following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Governing Board authorize the Executive Committee to appoint a Temporary Deputy Director for such period as may be decided by the Committee and give him authority to sign checks.

19. Other Business

Dr. Brian O’Brien, Chairman, Division of Physical Science, National Research Council, spoke of the close cooperation between the Institute and the Council in the past and expressed the hope that this would be continued under his chairmanship of the Division.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.