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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

March 21, 1964

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met in the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45th Street, New York, New York 10017.

Present: Ralph A. Sawyer – Chairman, S.S. Ballard, Laurence Batchelder, James T. Bergen, E. U. Condon, Malcolm Correll, H. Richard Crane, S.Q. Duntley, Herbert A. Erf, S.A. Goudsmit, W.W. Havens, Jr., A.C. Helmhols, R.B. Lindsay, Richard C. Lord, A.I. Mahan, John C. Miller, Vincent E. Parker, S.L. Quimby, Paul M. Routly, Frederick Seitz, C. Guy Suits, Horace M. Trent, Frank Verbrugge, Mary E. Warga, Elizabeth A. Wood

Absent: James Hillier

AIP Staff Present: Elmer Hutchisson, Wallace Waterfall, W.C. Kelly, E.H. Kona, H.C. Wolfe, G.F. Gilbert, Mary M. Johnson

Chairman Sawyer opened the meeting at 9:30 a.m. and introduced the new members: Messrs. Bergen, Condon, Crane, Duntley, Helmhols and Mahan.

2. Minutes

On motion made, seconded and carried, the minutes of the meeting of 4 October 1963 were approved as distributed.

3. Report of Annual Meeting

The Secretary reported that the annual meeting of the Corporation was held on 21 February 1964. He explained that it was a routine meeting required by New York State law and proxies heard reports by the Director and Secretary, after which they were guests of the Institute for luncheon.

4. Report of the Chairman (Review of Executive Committee Actions)

The Chairman reported that the Executive Committee had met four times during the past year and had spent much time on AIP financial matters which now amount to over two million dollars a year. The problems we encountered in converting dues and subscription handling to a mechanized operation appear to have been solved and costs have become pretty well established. Subscriptions amounting to over one-half million dollars per year are received through agencies and during the past year we increased their discount from 5% with a maximum of 50c per subscription to 5% and $1.00. Subscription rates are raised about every three years and last RSI was increased from $11 to $13, effective 1 January 1964.

Some other highlights of last year’s activities were the election of four new Corporate Associates, and the appointment of a Committee to Survey AIP Activities and Select Candidates for Director as the result of Mr. Hutchisson’s decision to retire this fall. (A report of this Committee is contained further on in these minutes.)

5. Report of Nominating Committee

The Secretary read a letter from Mr. Houston containing the report of the Nominating Committee which consisted of Messrs. W.V. Houston – Chairman, Laurence Batchelder and C. Guy Suits. The Committee nominated Ralph A. Sawyer to continue as Chairman of the Board. It also recommended that the present Executive Committee be re-elected for another year. There were no additional nominations from the floor and, upon motion made,  seconded and passed without dissenting vote, the Chairman and the following members of the Executive Committee were re-elected for the coming year:

Ralph A. Sawyer, Chairman
S.A. Goudsmit
W.W. Havens, Jr.
R.B. Lindsay
Vincent E. Parker
S.L. Quimby
Mary E. Warga

6. Annual Report for 1963 (Including Financial Statement)

Copies of a draft of the Director’s Annual Report had been distributed to all Board members prior to the meeting. The Director explained that some changes had been made since and he distributed revised copies and proceeded to review the contents (copy attached to official minutes). The Director also called attention to the summary financial statement contained din the report in which all AIP activities are divided into three categories: (1) journal and dues collection operations, (2) operations supported by grants, and (3) general AIP operations.

Copies of an unaudited financial statement for 1963 had been distributed to all directors by the Treasurer prior to the meeting along with a covering letter. The auditors had made some changes since and copies of the corrected necessary in his letter to make it agree with the audited statement. (Corrected copies of covering letter and financial statement are attached.)

There followed some discussion of the reports in which Board members recommended it should be made clear that net revenue from PT advertising exceeds the cost of PT even though this revenue may not be credited to the magazine. Thus PT is not now a liability to AIP. It was also recommended that the cost of PT per member should be deleted from the PT statement.

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

MOVED that the Director’s Annual Report, for 1963, including the summary financial statement, be accepted and published in PHYSICS TODAY as the report of the Board to members.

The Treasurer said that copies of the full auditors report would be sent to all Member and Associate Member Societies.

7. Dues Percentage to be Paid by Member Societies in 1965

The Secretary stated that the Executive Committee, at its meeting the previous day, had recommended that 10% be set as the amount of dues to be contributed by Member Societies for the support of the Institute in 1965. The following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that ten percent (10%) of the dues collected in 1964 be set as the amount to be contributed by each Member Society for the support of the Institute in 1965.

8. Application for Affiliation – Physics Club of Richmond

The Secretary reported that the Executive Committee, at its meeting on 20 March, had recommended the election of the Physics Club of Richmond as an Affiliated Society of the Institute. In the brief discussion which followed, the Secretary read a list of our Affiliated Societies and explained their relationship to the Institute. The following motion was then made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the Physics club of Richmond be elected an Affiliated Society of the Institute, effective immediately.

9. Report of Committee to Survey AIP Activates & Select Candidates for Director

For this report all AIP staff members were excused and the Board met in camera. The following report of the executive session was supplied by R.B. Lindsay.

“Mr. Lindsay was asked to present the document approved by the Executive Committee on 20 March concerning the nature of the directorship and other offices of the Institute. He distributed copies of the statement entitled ‘Responsibilities of the Directory, Secretary and Treasurer,’ which is appended to these minutes. He also described the background leading to the preparation of the statement. After considerable discussion the statement was approved in principle on motion made, seconded and passed without dissent. It was part of the motion that the Committee be instructed to examine the Rules of the Institute approved administrative procedures. There was approval of the strong recommendation of the Executive Committee that the present Secretary-Treasurer of the Institute to be asked to remain in office during the transition period while the new Director is becoming oriented, in accordance with the new administrative procedures.

“Mr. Lindsay described the activities of the ad hoc Committee in the search for a new director. He expressed the regret of the Committee (shared by the members of the Board) that the present Director has felt it necessary to terminate his appointment by 1 October 1964. The Committee has been seeking a candidate for the directorship who could expect to hold the position for at least ten years. Failing this, in the relatively short time available for the search, the Committee recommended that a Director could be found. Further suggestions of possible candidates were solicited from members of the Board.”

10. Appointment of Committees and Representatives for Coming Year

The Director reported that all those on the list of proposed committees and representatives, which was distributed to Board members, had been recommended for appointment by the Executive Committee at its meeting the preceding day. He explained the functions and responsibilities of some of the committees, and the following motion was made, seconded and passed without dissenting vote:

MOVED that the proposed committees and representatives be appointed with the understanding that some changes may be made; and that the Director, in consultation with the Chairman, be authorized to make such other appointments as are needed during the coming year.

A list of the AIP committees and representatives which were appointed for the coming year is attached.

The meeting adjourned for luncheon at 12:35 p.m. and reconvened at 2:20 p.m.

12 [11]. Consideration of Physics Enrollment in High Schools

Mr. Kelly, AIP Director of Education, distributed material listing organizations and programs concerned with high school physics and explained that the data about physics enrollments contained in the Annual Report were obtained from the U.S. Office of Education. In 1958, 26% of twelfth grade students studied a physics course but in the 1962 the comparable figure was 22%. By contrast, chemistry enrollments have been enjoyed a fairly steady growth. Is it appropriate for the Institute to take an active role in efforts to increase high school physics enrollments and, if so, what should be our course of action?

Many options were expressed and the following appear to be the pertinent points gleaned from the discussion which followed:

Fear of mathematics may inhibit enrollment in physics courses.

Many high school courses in physics are too difficult for students and students are often advised by counselors not to take physics if they want grades acceptable for college entrance.

Most high school administrators have had little or no contact with physics and they readily delete it from curricula.

At the high school level emphasis is being placed on biology, earth sciences, etc., rather than on physics.

Better prepared physics teachers are needed to make high school physics courses worthwhile.

The consensus appeared to be that AIP should be concerned about the situation and that it was worthwhile to spend some time and money on a corrective program if a promising one can be developed. The AIP Education and Manpower Department was asked to study the matter and make recommendations to the Board.

13 [12]. Report on Plans for Fall Meeting

The Director outlined plans for the fall meeting as a discussed by the Executive Committee on 20 March and described in the minutes of that meeting. He mentioned some of the topics which had been submitted for consideration and said that additional suggestions would be welcome. The dates that were agreed upon are Wednesday through Friday, 30 September through 2 October 1964 in New York City.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.