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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 26, 1960

1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45th Street, New York 17, New York.

Present: R.A. Sawyer, Chairman; J.G. Baker; R.H. Bolt; W.R. Brode;
Dirk Brouwer; J.W. Buchta; V.E. Eaton; J.H. Elliott; H.A. Erf: S.A. Goudsmit; W.W. Havens, Jr.; W.E. Kock; R.B. Lindsay; H.V. Neher; C.J. Overbreck; G.E. Pake; Ray Pepinsky; J.B. Platt; F.W. Sears; John Strong; G.E. Uhlenbeck; M.E. Warga; W.R. Willets

Absent: Harvey Brooks; Frederick Seitz; V.F. Weisskopf

AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson; H.A. Barton; Wallace Waterfall; Mary M. Johnson. W.C. Kelly joined the meeting for luncheon and the afternoon session.

Chairman Sawyer convened the meeting at 9:50 a.m. and welcomed the new members present. He announced that Walter S. Baird had resigned from the Board and his place was being taken by Mary E. Warga.

2. Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting of October 2, 1959, were approved as circulated.

3. Report of Annual Meeting

The Secretary reported that the annual corporation meeting was held on February 24 with proxies representing the requisite number of Societies present. This meeting is required by New York State law even though there was no business of importance to transact.

4. Report of Chairman

The Chairman gave a brie f resume of activities during the past year. He commented particularly on the success of the Corporate Associate program, the generally good financial position of the Institute, and the Institute's good fortune in securing Hugh C. Wolfe as Director of Publications.

5. Report of Nominating Committee

Mr. Platt, Chairman of the Nominating Committee which consisted of Messrs. Platt, Kock and Uhlenbeck, report d that this Committee had agreed unanimously to nominate R. A. Sawyer for a three-year term as director-at-large of the Board with the hope that he will continue as Chairman. Mr. Platt pointed out that under our Bylaws Mr. Sawyer could continue as Chairman without being a voting member of the Board, but the Committee felt he should be elected to the Board. The second recommendation of the Nominating Committee was that R. A. Sawyer be elected Chairman for another year.

There were no other nominations so Mr. Platt then moved that R. A. Sawyer be reelected as Chairman for another year and also elected a director-at-large for a three-year term. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

For the Executive Committee, the Nominating Committee felt that continuity is desirable because of the length of time it takes to become familiar with the operations of AIP. They also felt the Executive Committee should be broadly representative of the Member Societies and the members should be able to attend at least a majority of the meetings. By application of these criteria, the Nominating Committee recommended Messrs. Sawyer, Goudsmit, Buchta and Lindsay as continuing members and Messrs. Havens, Brode and Uhlenbeck as the new members.

There were no other nominations so Mr. Platt moved that the following constitute the Executive Committee for the coming year. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously:

R.A. Sawyer, Chairman
W.R. Brode
J.W. Buchta
S.A. Goudsmit
W.W. Havens, Jr.
R.B. Lindsay
G.E. Uhlenbeck

6. Report of Board to Members for 1959

The Director distributed a set of corrections to the draft of his annual report which had been distributed prior to the meeting. He briefly reviewed the report calling attention to the fact that it was intended as the annual report of the Governing Board to the members for 1959. He particularly called attention to the following statement of policy in the report which he hoped the Board would adopt:

"As we go into the new decade, it is the considered policy of the Governing Board and administrative staff of the Institute to attempt in every way possible to meet new responsibilities as they see them, with the firm conviction that the necessary funds can be raised, rather than to place an arbitrary limit on the Institute's activities because of a preconceived notion that only certain funds will be available.”

Following the Director's presentation there was discussion of the Visiting Scientists Programs in which it as mentioned that some of the Member Societies are interestd in similar programs and the Director offered the aid of AIP. The Director also told about the addition of a new staff person to establish and maintain a central file on international meetings and visits of foreign physicists. Advance information about visits of distinguished foreign scientists may be useful to Member Societies.

  1. Financial Report
  2. The Treasurer called attention to and commented briefly on the financial statement for 1959 (copy attached to March 25 Executive Committee minutes) and to the summary statement attached to the Annual Report just presented by the Director. Since details of the Institute's financial operations are handled by the Executive Committee, the Treasurer suggested referring to the minutes of that Committee but offered to answer any questions. The volume of business handled by the Institute has continued its rapid growth and exceeded $2,600,000 in 1959. Our financial position is good but expanding activities continually demand additional funds and a watchful attitude must be maintained by the Treasurer. Figures for the first quarter of 1960 are not yet available but operations are believed to be about as budgeted.

    The Institute staff has grown much more rapidly than anticipated and now numbers over 100. At the present rate of growth we will exceed the capacity of our building (about 125) before the end of 1962 and the Property Committee is studying means of acquiring more space. Some decisions, probably involving large expenditures, may be necessary before the end of the current year.

  3. Authorization for Publication in “Physics Today”
  4. The Chairman stated that, as usual, the Director's report, as presented, and a summary of the financial statement will be published in PT as the report of the Board to members for 1959. There were no objections.

7. Percentage of Dues to be Paid by Member Societies in 1961

The Secretary said that, according to the contract between the Institute and Member Societies, the Governing Board is required each year to set the percentage of dues which the Member Societies pay toward AIP operations. This figure has been 10% for the past several years and yesterday the Executive
Committee took action recommending that the amount be set at 10% again for 1961. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that ten per cent (10%) of the dues collected in 1960 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Member Society for the support of the Institute in 1961.

8. Fall Meetings of Society Officers, Governing Board and Corporate Associates

The Chairman asked whether the Institute should arrange another meeting similar to the one held last year at Arden House in Harriman, New York, and whether it should be held there or at some similar place such as a hotel in New York City. He also questioned whether it should include a session of the Corporate Associates. The Director commented that part of our campaign to interest industry in AIP depends upon this type of annual meeting. He said the Corporate Associates liked the idea of getting together with the members of the Governing Board and Society officers and the meeting last year evoked commendation. After further brief discussion, a show of hands was requested on several questions. A combined meeting of the Governing Board with Member Society officers was favored by 13 with none opposed. There were 14 votes in favor of a meeting of the Board with Corporate Associates with none opposed. Ten of the Board members favored holding these meetings at Arden House with 4 members indicating they would prefer a New York City hotel. There was a discussion of possible date with September 29, 30 and October 1 being mentioned as well as October 2 through 4. It was finally left that Board members would furnish the staff with a list of preferred dates and dates to be avoided so that meeting arrangements which will be convenient for the greatest number can be made.

9. AIP-AAPT Relations on Recruitment and Education Projects

Chairman Sawyer said that, in the conduct of such projects, some differences had arisen between AIP staff and officers and representatives of AAPT and Mr. Overbeck had requested permission to state the position of AAPT.

Mr. Overbeck then reviewed the history of AIP-AAPT cooperation on education projects. He mentioned that many of the projects had been conceived or initiated by AAPT committees and had been turned over to AIP for handling because of the availability of AIP staff and the ability of AIP to provide or help secure the needed financial support. Mr. Overbeck spoke highly of the work done by AIP and indicated general satisfaction with the cooperation. Recently there have arisen some controversies which should be settled so as not to impede the progress of this most important work. Some officers of AAPT have been unhappy about credit given to AAPT in AIP-prepared reports and published statements on these projects. In particular, Mr. Overbeck mentioned AAPT's concern over the appointment of AIP state or local counselors to assist on educational projects. He recommends strongly that these counselors be appointed to represent AAPT and AIP jointly. He believes that there will be no difficulty in jointly naming them or in having them report to two organizations. Hr. Overbeck expressed the opinion that the prestige and future growth and prominence of AAPT was at stake in the manner in which these projects are organized, administered and publicized.

Much discussion followed in which many Board members participated. Mr. Hutchisson indicated his desire for continued cooperation with AAPT and expressed regret for any omission of adequate credit to AAPT. However, he said he felt that recruitment and education projects were of interest to all physicists and all Member Societies and he did not believe AIP should support projects in this field to enhance their reputation of AAPT alone, as bad been contended by one officer of AAPT. Also questions have come up about who shall direct the activities of AIP staff members working on these projects and Mr. Hutchisson stated that, while of necessity he should seek advice and suggestions from Society officers and committees, he understands that the Board expects him to take responsibility and make decisions with respect to AIP administered projects. He added that no action would be taken on state counselors until after a thorough discussion in the Advisory Committee on AIP Education Program.

Following the discussion the following motion was made by Mr. Lindsay on behalf of the Executive Committee, seconded by Mr. Sears, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the Advisory Committee on AIP Education Program be increased from 3 to 7 members with representation from all interested Member Societies but with no more than 2 from any one Society.

It was understood that the Chairman would consult the Member Societies in making the appointments and that the matter of regional representation would be left until the recommendation of the Committee on this subject had been heard.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:20 p.m. and reconvened at 2:25 p.m.

10. Review of Projects on Recruitment and Education

The Director called attention to the "Outline of a Sampling of Projects Related to the Recruitment of Physicists and the Strengthening of Physics Education" which had been distributed with the meeting agenda. He said he had asked various Board members to speak on the different subjects given in the outline (copy attached) and also to express any other relevant views they might have. Following is a list of the speakers and their assigned subjects. Copious notes were taken for reference and for the information of the staff but are not included in these minutes:

W.E. Kock – AIP Public Information Services (Adult Education)
R.H. Bolt – Elementary Education
J.W. Buchta – Secondary Schools
R.B. Lindsay – The Museum as a Teaching Tool
V.E. Eaton – Undergraduate Education – General
W.W. Havens, Jr. – Undergraduate Education – Specifically Related to Professional Physics Education
H.V. Neher – Undergraduate Education – Specifically Related to Engineering Education
R.A. Sawyer – Recruitment of Physicists
G.E. Pake- Graduate Instruction
J.B. Platt – Activities Related to Professional Development
W.R. Brode – International Activities Related to Education

The presentations listed above were informal and each was followed by questions and comments. No actions were taken. It appeared to be the consensus that the afternoon session had been informative and helpful to both Board members and staff and that similar discussions in depth on other areas of Institute activities would be appropriate for future meetings.

The meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m.