Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
March 24, 1958
The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the Institute building, 335 East 45th Street, New York 17, New York.
Present: Frederick Seitz, Chairman; A.V. Astin; W.S. Baird; R.T. Birge; R.H. Bolt; J.W. Buchta; J.H. Dillon; V.E. Eaton; H.A. Erf; I.C. Gardner; S.A. Goudsmit; W.E. Kock; R.B. Lindsay; W.C. Michels; R.R. Palmer; R.A. Sawyer; H.D. Smyth
Absent: J.W. beams; Charles Kittel; J.B. Platt; John Strong; G.E. Uhlenbeck
Guest: G.E. Pake
AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson; H.A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; Mary M. Johnson
Chairman Seitz convened the meeting at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed the new members present: J.W. Butchta, J.H. Dillon, V.E. Eaton and H.A. Erf.
On motion made, seconded and carried, the minutes of the meeting of October 21, 1957, were approved as circulated.
3. Report of Annual Meeting
The Secretary reported that the Annual Meeting had been held on February 26 and had been attended by proxies representing all of the Member Societies. The meeting had been held in compliance with New York State law and had included a report by the Director and a brief statement of the financial condition of the Institute. There was no other business transacted as the new Bylaws provide that directors shall be elected by the Member Societies.
4. Annual Report of AIP for 1957
The Director called attention to copies of his proposed draft of the Annual Report which had been Included In the papers distributed to the Board members. He indicated that his draft had been presented to the Executive Committee in detail on the previous day and that a number of changes had been suggested which he had made. He asked that the copies of the report be returned after the meeting so that a final draft, as approved by the Board, could be prepared and distributed.
The Director then proceeded to review the contents of the Report end commented on various sections. In discussing public relations, he directed attention to a bulletin board display prepared by the Public Relations Department and containing newspaper clippings and various items representing the work of that Department. Copies of the revised "Physics as a Career" were also distributed and it was explained that these were being distributed at the rate of 10,000 a year. The Director also mentioned the growing interest in Student Sections and displayed a new emblem pin which is being furnished to members of Student Sections.
In the discussion by Board members which followed, there was a question about the inclusion of high schools in the Visiting Lecturer Program and the Director replied that a proposal for such a program had recently been submitted to the National Science Foundation by the AAFT and AIP but had not yet been acted upon. Following the discussion the Director said that the Annual Report, as presented to Member Societies and recorded In "Physics Today", always contained a financial report for the year and he requested the Secretary to present that report.
a. Financial Report
The Secretary called attention to the financial report for 1957 which had been distributed to all Board members (copy attached). He displayed copies of the full auditors’ report for the year and said that these would be distributed to Secretaries and Treasurers of Member Societies as had been done in the past and as required by contract. The Secretary then proceeded to comment on the report.
The Statement had been prepared in the usual manner including income and expense statements for each of the Institute's journals, for the Advertising Department, and for over-all Institute operations. Each of these Statements included columns giving the budget for 1957, the actual performance for 1957, and the budget for 1958 as established by the Executive Committee. All of these statements are for Institute operations only but the last sheet of the financial report is a summary statement which includes Institute operations and the activities carried on by the Institute for the account of Member Societies. This last statement is the best index of the workload of the Institute’s staff. By adding the expanse figures on this Statement which have to do with publishing it can be seen that the publishing business which the Institute now carries on for itself and the Member Societies amounts to over $1,000,000 per year.
In commenting on the over-all statement of Institute operations alone, the Secretary pointed out that the net income for 1957 was a little over $36,000 whereas the income which had been budgeted for the year was only $1,000.00. The staff tries to be conservative in budgeting but did not expect as large a net income as was experienced. It should be remembered that there were many changes during 1957 and many uncertainties. The $26,000 income budgeted for 1958 may be too high because of new expenses added since the budget was adopted and because of uncertain business conditions.
In commenting on the statement for “Physics Today”, the Secretary said that the real cost to the Institute of operating that journal is the $54,000 shown on that statement less the net income of over $46,000 realized from advertising in the journal. This leaves a net cost of the Institute for 1957 of only $7,247 which amounts to about 35c per person receiving “Physics Today”.
Admittedly, the budget for “The Physics of Fluids” for 1958 is a very rough estimate. The contract with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for a subsidy for that journal is being negotiated and it is expected that approximately $35,700 will be available under that contract but specific times for which the money can be used are limited.
The first two sheets of the financial statement contain the Institute’s balance sheet, presented in a new form. As previously decided, the Institute’s new land and building as well as furniture and fixtures purchased since the move are now capitalized and depreciated by charges against current operations. The building structure itself it to be depreciated over a 25-year period, the mechanical equipment over 15 years, and the furniture and fixtures over 10 years. The sum of these depreciation items amounts to approximately $30,000 per year and this amount is placed on the “building replacement reserve” item on the liabilities side of the balance sheet (about $15,000 for half of 1957). The Institute’s net worth at the end of 1957 was its new land, building and equipment plus approximately $110,000.00.
At the conclusion of the financial report there was brief discussion by Board members and apparent agreement with the form of the new balance sheet as prepared by the auditors.
b. Authorization for Distribution
The Director indicated that the suggested changes would be made in the Annual Report and that he would also like permission to make editorial changes as necessary. He requested that the report, with the changes indicated, be adopted by the Board as its report to members for 1957 and that the Board also approve publication of a summary of the report, including a summary financial statement, in “Physics Today”. Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the Board approve the report for distribution and publication as suggested by the Director.
A copy of the report, as edited for distribution and publication, is attached to these minutes.
5. Report of Chairman and Review of Executive Committee Activities
The Chairman reiterated that all Board members are welcome to attend Executive Committee meetings if they are in the area and added that any reasonable expenses incurred in such attendance would be paid by the Institute. He announced the dates of Executive Committee meetings for the balance of the year as listed in the minutes of the March 23 meeting.
The Chairman review some of the more important activities of the Executive Committee during the past year, mentioning the move to new quarters and the recent purchase of the vacant lot next door. He emphasized the importance of providing for inevitable growth and said that the land which the feet of floor space and this should fill our needs for at least twenty years. He mentioned the revision of the Institute’s Bylaws which, he said, carries us back to a framework similar to the one adopted when the Institute was formed. The new Constitution provides for a new type of membership, Associate Member Societies, and policies should be formulated for such membership. Fresh, new viewpoints are desirable in the Institute’s councils and the Chairman expressed hope that, over the years, directors-at-large would be chosen to include some of the younger physicists. The Institute is entering a new era of complexity which appears unavoidable but the Chairman expressed the hope that the Institute would not diversify its operations to the point that they could not be covered reasonably well in one 8-hour Board meeting. The Chairman mentioned the printing problems which the Institute is facing and asked the Director to discuss these more fully.
a. Publishing Problems in Physics
The Director recalled the reports made in previous meetings about the inability of Lancaster Press to keep up with the growth of Institute publications. Although Lancaster has served us well, we are now forced to look for additional printing facilities and the staff has been exploring all possibilities suggested. Prices have been obtained from other monotype houses both in the United States and England. Quotations have been received on typewriter composition and offset printing and also on composition by the new machines involving photographic methods. Although there are many printers and printing methods, the number which can handle the type of material contained in our journals at a price we can afford to pay is very limited.
Although ways will undoubtedly be found to solve our immediate problems, the Director suggested that the Institute should take a long-range view of these problems. Most business organizations consider it essential to conduct continuing research to improve their products and ways of doing business. Publishing is the principal business of the Institute and it would seem justifiable for the Institute to have a continuing research program on better ways of printing and distributing the products of physics research. The establishment of a department for this purpose would probably involve an annual expenditure of around $25,000 and such a program is being considered.
b. Public Relations Program
The Director indicated that this subject had been covered rather fully in the Annual Report in a general way. More specific plans for future public relations activities are now being developed and the Director said he hoped to present these at a future meeting.
c. AIP Education Projects – Department of Education
In order to continue the Institute’s activities in the education field, the Director reported that they had acted up on the authorization given by the Executive Committee at its February 1 meeting and had arranged to establish a permanent Department of Education within the Institute to be headed by W.C. Kelly, the Department will officially come into existence the middle of this year when Mr. Kelly will have completed the special assignment on which he is now working for the Institute.
d. Russian Translation Program
In addition to the four Russian translation journals which the Institute is now publishing, we will soon start two new Russian translation journals, one on astronomy and the other on crystallography. Both of these journals are being started at the request of American societies and with subsidies from the National Science Foundation. In addition, the Institute will probably undertake the publication of translations of several Russian physics books of particular interest. This whole Russian Translation Program is under the guidance of our Advisory Board on Russian Translations of which Robert T. Beyer is Chairman and Mr. Beyer is also assisting the Institute in the administration of this Program as a consultant.
Following the above remarks by the Director there was some discussion by Board members in which the Director was asked what indication he had received about the value of these translations. He replied that he had questioned twenty prominent physicists in some detail on this point and they were unanimous in their feeling that there was much good information in the translated journals and that the Institute should continue its efforts to increase the circulation of the translation journals. The encouragement of the Institute by NSF to expand the Program and the willingness of NSF to continue the subsidy may also be taken as recognition of the usefulness of the translated material.
The Director pointed out that all of the Institute projects which had been mentioned under this agenda item would involve much expense and he said he would welcome comments and suggestions from Board members at any time.
6. Report of Nominating Committee
Mr. Birge read the report (copy attached to official minutes) of the Nominating Committee of which he as Chairman and proposed the following slate for the terms as indicated:
Chairman of the Board
(1 year to March 1959) – Frederick Seitz
Secretary and Treasurer
(to continue at the pleasure of the Board) – Wallace Waterfall
Charles Kittel (1 year) Term to expire 1959
Joseph B. Platt (2 years) " " " 1960
George E. Pake (3 years) " " " 1961
The above terms to expire at the close of the March Governing Board meeting the year indicated.
Executive Committee: (1 year each to March 1959)
At the conclusion of the report Messrs. Seitz, Pake and Waterfall left the room. On request, Mr. Astin assumed the chair and, hearing no further nominations, he called for a show of hands on the slate presented. The vote was 16 to 0 in favor of the slate presented by the Nominating Committee.
The three candidates who left the room were recalled, the result of the vote announced, and the Chairman thanked the Nominating Committee which consisted of Messrs. Birge, Gardner and Palmer. The suggestions made by Mr. Birge for the guidance of future nominating committees were recorded with the promise that they would be passed on as a requested.
7. Percentage of Dues to be Paid by Member Societies in 1959
The Secretary explained that these dues payments are included in the service contracts which exist between the Institute and Member Societies and that the percentage set by the Board has varied between 15% and 10%. He reported that the Executive Committee, at its meeting on the preceding day, had voted to recommend that the percentage to set at 10% for 1959. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that ten percent (10%) of the dues collected in 1958 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Member Society for the support of the Institute in 1959.
The Chairman commented that, if Institute activities continue to increase, it may be necessary to consider raising the percentage in future years.
8. Fund Raising Campaign
Although the Annual Report for 1957 indicated that the Development Fund campaign had officially and successfully ended on December 31 of that year, the Director reported that some money is still coming in and will be credited to the total. He suggested that some permanent record should be made of the contributors and he exhibited a book containing the names of all those who had contributed to the fund-raising drive when the building on 55th Street was purchased. He suggested that a similar, but perhaps simpler, book cold be prepared to record the names of contributors to the Development Fund. Discussion by Board members indicated their preference for a very simple and inexpensive record and the following motion was made and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that the staff be authorized to prepare an inexpensive commemorative record of contributors to the recent Development Fund drive.
Mention was made that a list of contributors to the previous campaign had been published in RSI in 1944 but it appeared to be the consensus that such publication was neither necessary nor desirable. The Director also mentioned and it was suggested that such contributions be listed in the proposed record under some such heading as “Memorial Gifts”.
9. AIP Headquarters Building – Purchase of Adjacent Lot
The Secretary stated that the Institute’s real estate and remodeling activities had been pretty well covered by progress reports appearing in minutes of meetings during the past year but that he would like to make a brief final statement for the record. The total cost of the new property, including the purchase price of land and building, remodeling costs, architects’ and engineers’ fees, and legal fees involved in the transactions, amounted to $708,217.02.
On authorization of the Executive Committee as reported in previous minutes, the Institute entered into a contract on January 30 to purchase the vacant lot next door at a price of $165,000.00 $10,000 was paid on signing the contract and the balance is to be paid on July 1, 1958, when title to the property is received. The Institute will receive $200,000 on June 10 from its mortgage on the 55th Street property and a part of that will be used to complete the purchase of the lot. The lot is now being rented for parking and the revenue is greater than the taxes. It is understood that tax exemption can be obtained for the lot if and when we wish to discontinue the parking concession.
In discussing building possibilities on the site of the Institute’s present building plus the adjacent lot, the Secretary displayed preliminary sketches illustrating various structures which could be erected. These would provide for the future space requirements mentioned earlier by the Chairman.
10. Appointment of Committees
It was explained that all committees expire at the end of March Governing Board meetings, unless otherwise specified at the time of appointment, and the Director called attention to a proposed list of committees and representatives which had been included in the material distributed at the beginning of the meeting. The Director said that this list had been approved by the Executive Committee on the preceding day with the recommendation that it be approved by the Governing Board. The Director discussed the list briefly, calling particular attention to the proposed Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates. He indicated that the names of persons included as possible members of this Committee were intended to be indicative of the type of members wanted but suggested that the membership be left open with the understanding that the Executive Committee would fill in the names later. After brief discussion, the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:
MOVED that committees and representatives for the coming year as proposed by the Executive Committee (list attached) be appointed.
At 12:15 p.m. the meeting adjourned for luncheon and reconvened at 1:45 p.m.
11. Policy on Associate Members Societies
The Chairman reported the attitude of the Executive Committee as expressed at its meeting on February 1 and also the discussion which had taken place at the meeting on the preceding day. The Executive Committee recommended that all members of an Associate Member Society should receive “Physics Today” and that the Society should pay “dues” of 50c per member or $400 per year, whichever is greater, to help pay for the cost of “Physics Today”. In case an Associate Member Society requests other services which the Institute is willing and able to perform, these should be performed at cost plus 15% overhead. Increasing the circulation of “Physics Today” in this manner would make it possible to increase advertising rates and possibly increase the potential number of advertisers. Additional revenue from this advertising should help over the cost of the higher circulation.
The Secretary read a list of eight societies representing the type of organization which might apply for this new kind of Institute membership. He indicated that there had been correspondence on the subject with most of these societies but, before proceeding with further negotiations, the staff needed to know what would be the requirements of such membership and also whether societies such as those presented would be considered by the Board as suitable candidates for such membership. From the discussion which followed it appeared to be the consensus of Board members that all of the societies mentioned would be suitable candidates and that it was proper for the staff to approach such societies, in candidates and that it was proper for the staff to approach such societies, in a dignified manner, and encourage them to submit applications. The Secretary mentioned that the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, previously mentioned in this new class of membership in the Institute and the Secretary indicated wanted to be sure of his grounds before another contact.
In the discussion which followed, the Board expressed its agreement with the Executive Committee action requiring that “Physics Today” be sent to all members of Associate Member Societies and also with the action that services be offered at cost plus 15% but the Board questioned the Executive Committee’s recommendation on the “dues” to be paid by an Associate member Society. After a rather confusing series of motions and amendments involving “dues” payments of $1.00, 75¢, and 50¢ per member with minimums of $400 and $500, action was taken by the Board which the Secretary chooses to record by indicating that the following motion was passed:
MOVED that Associate Member Societies shall contribute to the support of the Institute either $400 per year or 75¢ per member per year, whichever is larger.
12. Funds for the Future
The Director called attention to a document entitled “A Five-Year Forecast” which had been distributed to all Board members at the meeting. He said that this was a preliminary report on a study being made to try to predict the future financial needs of the Institute. He indicated that much more work would need to be done before the report could be released and he requested that all copies be returned to him after the meeting.
The Director then proceeded to review the contents of the document as he had done to the Executive Committee meeting on the preceding day. He indicated that he had taken income and expense figures for the Institute’s activities for the last five years or more and had attempted to project these five years into the future. From the projections made it appears obvious that new and greater sources of income must be found if the Institute is to be able to expand its activities in the service of physics and the profession in the manner in which physicists indicate is desirable. The Director indicated that he believe some of this additional income needed could be obtained from industry and one of his reasons for making this study was so that he could have convincing data to present at the forthcoming proposed meeting of the Institute’s Corporate Associates.
Board members expressed interest in the results of the study to date and encouraged the Director to continue with it.
The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.