Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
March 21, 1970
1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met in the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45 Street, New York, N.Y. 10017.
Members Present: Ralph A. Sawyer – Chairman, Arnold B. Arons, Stanley S.Ballard, Robert T. Beyer, Bruce H. Billings, Joseph A. Burton, H. Richard Crane, Bailey Donnally, Herbert I. Fusfeld, Ronald Geballe, S.A. Goudsmit, W.W. Havens, Jr., Gerald Holton, W. Lewis Hyde, R.B. Lindsay, A.I. Mahan, G.C. McVittie, A.L. Schawlow, Frederick Seitz, Mary E. Warga, Wallace Waterfall, H.W. Koch
Absent: Luis W. Alvarez, J.E. Goldman, G.A. Jeffrey, Robert N. Little, H. Markovitz, Robert G. Sachs, W.P. Slichter, A.E. Whitford
AIP Staff: H.W. Koch, Wallace Waterfall, G.F. Gilbert, Lewis Slack, Mary M. Johnson
Upon motion made, seconded, and passed without dissent, the minutes of the Governing Board meeting of October 1, 1969, were approved as distributed.
3. Confirmation of Mail Ballot re: Compton Awards
The Secretary explained the legal necessity to confirm mail ballots and also explained that this particular ballot was rather unusual. It was authorized by the executive Committee on January 28, the ballot had been sent to all members of the old Governing Board except Mr. Seitz and the new Governing Board was being asked to confirm it. The Secretary then read the letter which had been sent to Board members along with the ballot asking them to vote on the recommendation of Dr. Ballard's committee that Frederick Seitz be presented the Karl Taylor Compton Award during the Assembly to be held in October of this year. (Copy of letter and of citation attached to official minutes.) Approving ballots were received from all but two members of the Governing Board. The negative ballots were received. The following motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously:
MOVED that the mail ballot selecting Frederick Seitz as the next recipient of the Karl Taylor Compton Award be confirmed.
4. Report of Annual Meeting
The Secretary reported that the legally required Annual Meeting had been held just preceding this meeting of the Governing Board. A quorum was present and the usual reports were made. Copies of the minutes of the meeting will be sent to the Secretaries of all Member Societies.
5. Report of Chairman
Chairman Sawyer said that three meetings of the Executive Committee had been held since the last meeting of the Governing Board. Minutes of the meetings in December and January had been distributed and needed no further comment. He then reviewed the actions taken by the Executive Committee on the preceding day (reported in the minutes of that meeting).
The Chairman then read a telegram from Handler, President of NAS, asking permission of the AIP Governing Board to name the Director of the Institute an ex officio member of the Physics Survey Committee. The Executive Committee recommended that the Governing Board grant such permission. The following motion was made, seconded , and passed without dissent :
MOVED that, in response to Mr. Handler’s request, the Institute grant permission to NAS to name the Director of AIP an ex officio member of the Physics Survey Committee.
Mr. Koch said he realized that many physicists were apprehensive about the manner in which the Physics Survey Committee seemed to be undertaking its task. He hoped he would be able to help the committee produce an acceptable report but he a l so hoped he and AIP would not be held responsible if the report is not pleasing to all physicists.
6. Report of Nominating Committee and Election
At the request of Mr. Seitz, chairman of the Nominating Committee, the Secretary read the committee’s report which contained the following nominations:
For Chairman: Ralph A. Sawyer (term 1 year)
For Secretary: Wallace Waterfall (term 1 year)
For Director-at-Large: Harold A. Daw (term 3 years)
For Members of Executive Committee: Joseph A. Burton, H. Richard Crane, Ronald Geballe, W.W. Havens, Jr., R. Bruce Lindsay, Mary E. Warga (term 1 year)
The report indicated that Mr. Sawyer had agreed to serve as Chairman for another year with the understanding that the year might be used to search for a suitable successor. There being no further nominations, the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the report of the Nominating Committee be accepted and the proposed candidates declared elected.
7. Financial Report for 1969
The Treasurer called attention to his memorandum dated March 21, 1970, which had been distributed to all Governing Board member at the meeting (copy attached). He pointed out that the figures given in his memorandum were estimated figures, subject to the audit which is still in progress. The memorandum shows an estimated net expense for 1969 of $53,810. Copies of the official auditors' report will be sent to Secretaries and Treasurers of all Member Societies as soon as it is ready, probably about the middle of April.
The 1969 loss was greater than expected. Although the 1970 budget which was adopted last December showed a comfortable net income, we now know that some of the anticipated income items were too high, notably income from sales of advertising and reprints. We are working on a complete revision of the 1 970 budget to be presented to the Executive Committee at its July 10 meeting and hop it will be a balanced budget.
8. Financial Handling Charge for 1971
The new AIP By-Laws adopted in January 1 969 provide that Member Societies pay dues of $ 1.00 per member plus a financial handling charge not to exceed one per cent, the handling charge to be fixed annually by the Governing Board. The Secretary reported that the handling charge for 1 969 and for 1970 had been one-half of one per cent (0.5%) and that the Executive Committee, on the preceding day, had voted to recommend to the Board that the handling charge again be set at one-half of one per cent for 1971 . Accordingly, the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that one half of one percent (0.5%) be set as the financial handling charge for 1971.
9. Annual Report for 1969
The Director said that a draft of what e proposed as the Annual Report for 1969 had been sent to all Board members prior to the meeting. If approved by the Board it is the intention that 5, 000 or 6,000 copies of the full report would be printed for distribution to Society officers, Government officials, and others who may be interested in the details of our programs. An abbreviated version would be published in PHYSICS TODAY which is our way of sending it to all members.
The Director then commented briefly on a few aspects of the report. The payment of publication charges, which concerned us so much last year, seems to have returned to normal. The AIP editorial staff has been substantially increased in size and definite progress has been made in getting the journals back on schedule. Major steps have been taken in the development of a national Information System for Physics and NSF has assured us funds to continue that development. We have been able to continue effective programs in education, public relations, manpower studies, and the history and philosophy of physics.
The Director then invited comments from Board members and Mr. Goudsmit said he felt the report painted somewhat too "rosy" a picture. Mr. Holt n said he agreed that there were some clouds on the horizon for physics, funds for research had been cut back, fewer high school students were entering physics, and some cognizance should be taken in the report of these ominous signs. Mr. Arons pointed out that there had been criticism from Society officers about the lateness of financial reports and he felt some comment should be made about this.
Mr. Koch and Mr. Fusfeld pointed out that this report was intended to be Annual Report for the calendar year 1969 rather than a state of the union message. Nevertheless, the consensus appeared to be that somewhere in the report, either in the introduction or at the end, it would be appropriate to make some comments about the problems facing physics and AIP in the future. The following two motions were then made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the Director’s Annual Report, changed as suggested in the discussions reported above, be approved as the Annual Report of the Board to Members.
MOVED that publication in PHYSICS TODAY of an abbreviated version of the Annual Report be authorized.
10. Journal Schedules and Publication Charge Honoring
The Director reviewed the journal publication problems with which AIP had contended during 1969. The delay in publishing papers on which the publication charge was not to be honored had resulted in bringing publication charge honoring back to normal. The size of the Editorial Mechanics staff had been increased, new employees trained, and we are confident that the staff will be able to keep up with the input of manuscripts in the future. Changes have been made in assignment of journals to various printers. More realistic schedules based n work days have been worked out with both editors and printers. By June we believe that all of the journals, except Section D of PHYSICAL REVIEW, should be pretty close to schedule. Almost all editors have agreed on putting footnotes and references at the ends of articles and this should save approximately $50,000 a year as well as time.
Comments were made by Mr. Goudsmit and others about difficulties some subscribers were having in getting proper service on subscriptions through various subscription agencies. Mr. Gilbert pointed out that generally this was because the subscription agencies delayed sending in subscriptions until very late. At the request of the Societies we no longer grace beyond the end of the calendar year and if a subscription is not received before the first of December it frequently cannot be processed in time to assure mailing of the January issue to the subscriber on time. Further discussion indicated that it might be desirable to make some changes in our procedures and Hr. Gilbert said he would investigate the matter and make recommendations.
The Director reminded the Board that, beginning in January, the staff had been authorized to discontinue delaying the processing of manuscripts on which the publication charge was not honored. Current experience with honoring seems to justify the decision but there is always a possibility that, with budgets as tight as they are, we may again experience a decrease in honoring. The Director said he would like to have the authority, if it appeared necessary, to reestablish a delay of as much as three months for any journal where the financial situation seemed critical. By motion, made and passed without dissent, the Director was granted such authority.
11. Appointment of Committees and Representatives
A proposed list of AIP committees and appointed representatives for 1970 had been distributed to all Board members prior to the meeting. The Director pointed out that the Advisory Committee on the AIP Information Program had been left blank because he was still corresponding with the Societies about their representation on the committee. He indicated that no major change was anticipated in the organization of the committee and he requested authorization to complete the committee roster as soon as he had heard from the Societies.
The Director said that a major change was contemplated in the organization of the Committee on Physics and Society and he asked that action on that committee be postponed until after the report of that committee is heard.
Mr. Ballard raised a question about Society representation on the Education and PHYSICS TODAY committees. The Director replied that the new PT editor had not yet met the members of the PT Advisory Committee and he would like to wait until after a meeting of that committee in order to complete the committee roster.
After some further discussion, the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the proposed list of committees and representatives be appointed with the understanding that the Chairman and the Director may make such additions and subtractions as are necessary during the year.
12. NSF Briefing on Science Communication Activities
The Director introduced Nr. Henry Dubester of the National Science Foundation to present a slide talk which had been prepared by NSF to explain NSF's science communication activities to members of Congress, the Bureau of the Budget, and other Governmental groups which control financing.
After the presentation, Mr. Dubester invited comments. Several comments were made by Board members which Mr. Dubester said would be considered in revising the talk. The Director thanked Mr. Dubester for his presentation.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m. for photographs and luncheon and reconvened at 1:50 p.m.
13. Tax Problems
Messrs. Gilbert and Waterfall had attended a tax conference in Washington on February 26 and 27 and had prepared a report which had been circulated to all Board members prior to the meeting. A copy is attached to these minutes. The Secretary also reported that a special memorandum had been sent to the Secretaries and Treasurers of all AIP member organizations for whom we perform services calling their attention to the importance of properly filling out and returning a questionnaire which is planned to send to all 501 (c)(3) organizations some time this year (copy attached).
Mr. Waterfall then proceeded to comment on some parts of the report which had been prepared by him and Mr. Gilbert. Since the Tax Reform Act of 1969 seems to the particularly severe on 501(c)(3) organizations, it might be asked whether our type organizations would fare better under some other of the 17 categories listed under 501(c) if it were possible to shift out of 501(c)(3) . For example, the 501(c)(6) category covering "professional " organizations seems attractive. IRS maintains that there is no precedent for shifting from 501(c)(3) to some other category and no one seems to know whether such a shift is possible or how it might be accomplished. Mr. Waterfall said that the AIP attorney have been asked to make a thorough study of all possibilities in the tax-exempt field and also to consider the implications of abandoning tax-exempt status altogether. The Societies will be kept fully informed of all information we are able to get on this subject. They will also be informed about pertinent regulations issued by IRS in connection with the Tax Reform Act of 1969.
14. Report of COMPAS
- Funding of Physics Research and Employment of Physicists
- Organization of Committee
Mr. Crane, chairman of the committee, opened the discussion by giving his analysis of the present situation. During the past decade we have had an increase in physics funding of 10 % to 15% a year . The output of Ph.D. physicists increased from approximately 700 per year to 1,400 per year. There are now something like 15,000 to 16,000 practicing Ph.D. physicists in this country. During the last few years we have been adding approximately 10% per year to the physics manpower pool. These figures indicate that the expansion of physics research has been just about enough to take up the entire crop of newly-produced physicists. It is obvious that a small change in financial support of physics research would make an acute situation with respect to jobs for physicists coming out of the educational pipeline. There is no telling how long this acute situation will continue but there are many reasons to think that we may eventually expect a return to some modest annual increase in the support available to physics research. A second factor to consider is that the job market for physicists will undoubtedly broaden. Already physicists are going into environmental problems. These and other problems involving applied physics will receive support from Government and will provide jobs for physicists in areas other than those where they have been employed in the past. Also, there will certainly be a reduction in the number of students enrolled in physics. Under graduate curricula in physics are mostly designed to prepare students for graduate school. Some change in these curricula may be desirable to properly prepare bachelor graduates for something other than graduate school. Eventually some equilibrium will be reached between the supply of and demand for physicists and this will come about by adjustment of the three factors mentioned. AIP's role should be to monitor the situation and continue to furnish current information so that the quantity and quality of physicists produced will match the demand as the equilibrium situation is approached. Although the current situation may seem like a crisis to some, percentagewise there are very few physicists who are actually unemployed at the present time. There seem to be jobs available but not of exactly the type or in the places where emerging young physicists have expected to find them.
Much discuss ion followed Mr. Crane's comments. There seemed to be general agreement that the proper role for AIP was gathering and disseminating information about the job market in physics. Toward this end Mr. Slack said he would attend the APS meeting in Dallas where a number of physics department chairmen had arranged to meet to discuss their problems. He also reported on a survey of the situation in about 160 colleges which had been started by AIP but had been delayed by the mail strike. He presented copies of a questionnaire which had been sent to heads of physics departments asking about the number of positions in the department in the current fiscal year and an estimate of the number of positions in the 1970-71 academic year. To date 55 replies have been received but there has not yet been time to analyze them. Mr. McVittie said he was sure that new astronomers were having much less difficulty in finding jobs than new physicists and he hoped that AIP would also gather some information about the situation in astronomy.
There was further discussion of the suggestion that young physicists could find jobs if they looked for them elsewhere than they have in the past. It was suggested that AIP collect case histories from a number of young physicists who have found employment in unique positions which they have found satisfying and remunerative. Such information would be helpful to others seeking employment.
The Director reported that Mr. Crane had asked to be relieved of the chairmanship of the committee and that Frederick Seitz had agreed to serve as chairman. The Director suggested that the committee be reorganized to consist of one member to be named by each of the Member Societies of the Institute and approximately an equal number of members to be selected by the new chairman of the committee in consultation with the AIP Board Chairman and the Director. Some of the new committee members would have two-year terms and some one-year terms so as to provide continuity. The following motion was then made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that Mr. Seitz be appointed as chairman of COMPAS and that composition of the committee as proposed by the Director be authorized.
Thanks were expressed to Mr. Crane for the commendable job he had done in chairing the committee.
15. Accounting Changeover to Magnetic Tape
The Treasurer distributed a written statement containing a timetable for the various operations involved in converting accounting to magnetic tape and also samples of the type of monthly and quarterly statements which it is planned to produce. He said he also intended to furnish this information to Society Secretaries and Treasurers so they might know what to expect. The timetable calls for putting all accounts on magnetic tape beginning with January 1, 1971. Monthly statements should include all direct and service charges which had reached the Accounting Division by the end of the month and the statements should be available by the middle of the following month. Quarterly statements would include direct charges as on monthly statements and would also include quarterly prorations.
The quarterly statements would take a little longer but should be available within one month after the end of the quarter.
The Secretary said he assured all Board members had received a copy of the letter written by Mr. Lange, President of the American Vacuum Society, in which he had complained about the lateness of AIP financial statements. The Secretary said he had promised Mr. Lange he would bring the matter to the attention of the Board and he believed the Treasurer's Statement was a satisfactory explanation of what AIP is doing to improve the situation.
16. Amendments to SPS- Sigma Pi Sigma Contritions
Mr. Slack referred to the proposed amendments, copies of which had been distributed to Board members earlier in the meeting. The amendments were adopted by the two organizations as specified in the constitutions and now require ratification by the AIP Governing Board. Most of the changes have to do with dates of election and are minor. Annual dues of SPS members are increased from $3.00 to $5.00 to reflect the increase in the subscription price of PHYSICS TODAY. The following motion was made, seconded, and carried without dissent
MOVED that the proposed amendments to the constitutions of the Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma be approved. (Copy of approved amendments attached to official minutes.)
17. Fall Meetings
The Director reported that the staff was working with the Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates to plan for the Assembly this coming fall. The plan calls for an evening session on October 5 and a full day on October 6 for Corporate Associates, Society officers, and the AIP Board members. Meetings of Society officers and Board members would follow on October 7. By motion, made and carried, the proposed dates were approved.
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 p.m.