Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
October 7, 1970
1. The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met in the East Ballroom of the Commodore Hotel, New York City.
Members Present: Ralph A. Sawyer – Chairman, Arnold B. Arons, Stanley S. Ballard, Bruce H. Billings, Joseph A. Burton, H. Richard Crane, Harold A. Daw, Bailey Donnally, Laurence W. Fredrick, J. E. Goldman, W. W. Havens, Jr., Gerald Holton, W. Lewis Hyde, G. A. Jeffrey, H. William Koch, R. Bruce Lindsay, Robert N. Little, A. I. Mahan, Robert G. Sachs, Mary E. Warga, Wallace Waterfall
Guest: Elmer Hutchisson – Director Emeritus
Absent: Luis W. Alvarez, Robert T. Beyer, Ronald Geballe, S.A. Goudsmit, H. Markovitz, A.L. Schawlow, Frederick Seitz, W.P. Slichter, A.E. Whitford
AIP Staff Present: H. William Koch, Wallace Waterfall, G.F. Gilbert, Lewis Slack, Robert H. Marks, Mary M. Johnson
Chairman Sawyer called the meeting to order at 2:05 p.m. and introduced the two new Board members, Messrs. Laurence W. Frederick and Harold A. Daw.
Upon motion made, seconded, and passed without dissent, the minutes of the Governing Board meeting of March 21, 1970, were approved as distributed.
3. Recommendation from Assembly
At the Assembly of Society Officers and Governing Board members which had been held on the morning of October,7, a representative of each Member Society had made a brief statement about the present status and future trends of Member Society-AIP relations. Following those statements the AIP Director had made a statement on AIP’s Financial Structure", a copy of the outline of which is attached. Particularly emphasized was Item 4b on the outline of the Director's talk in which he indicated four alternatives in connection with financing the AIP Society-member programs.
Hr. Burton had acted as chairman of the Assembly and Irving E. Dayton as secretary. (Mr. Dayton's minutes of the meeting are attached.) Mr. Burton reported to the Governing Board that the Assembly had passed the following motion in connection with the subject mentioned above:
MOVED that this Assembly request the Governing Board to appoint a committee to study the present scope of AIP Society-member programs and make recommendations on (a) how they should be modified, if modification appears desirable, (b ) how they should be financed. and (c) to what extent and by what mechanism they should be supported by Member Societies if such support appears to be necessary.
The following motion was then made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the request of the Assembly be honored and the recommended committee formed.
The composition of the proposed committee was then discussed at some length and many suggestions were made. Discussion centered on whether the proposed study should be made by the AIP Executive Committee or by some newly appointed committee. Whatever committee undertakes the assignment will have to be well informed on many phases of AIP activities and the Executive Committee is so in formed. However, Sachs and others argued for a commit Lee which would bring in new blood and have representation from younger members. The consensus appeared to be that the Member Societies should have a voice in the selection of committee members and the following motion was made by Havens, seconded, and passed with two opposing votes from Fredrick and Goldman:
MOVED that each Member Society be invited to appoint a representative to the proposed committee within a period of two weeks, that the Chairman of the Governing Board name a chairman for the committee within a period of two weeks, that the Chairman of the Governing Board name a chairman for the committee be requested to report its findings to the Governing Board at its spring 1971 meeting.
Mr. Burton also reported that the Assembly agreed that the format of next year's Assembly should be similar to the one this year and recommended that J0hn C. Johnson and Laurence W. Fredrick should serve as chairman and secretary respectively. The Governing Board voiced no objections.
4. Appointment of Committee to Nominate Chairman, Secretary, and Executive Committee for the Coming Year, and Member-at-Large of the Governing Board
Chairman Sawyer said it was customary and necessary at this time of year to appoint such a Nominating Committee which is to report to the Governing Board at its meeting next March. He recommended the following as members of the Nominating Committee:
Arnold B. Arons, Chairman
W.W. Havens, Jr.
Robert T. Beyer
On motion made, seconded, and passed without dissent, the recommended Nominating Committee was approved.
5. Report of Compton Award Committee
Chairman Sawyer said that early this year he had been requested to appoint another committee to consider more frequent awarding of the Compton Medal. The committee appointed consisted of R. T. Beyer — chairman, W. W. Havens, Jr., and W. Lewis Hyde. The committee had been asked to report at the present Governing Board meeting and the Chairman asked the Secretary whether he had received a report from the committee.
The Secretary suggested that the Chairman withdraw to avoid embarrassment. The Chairman did so and the Secretary then read a letter from Mr. Beyer (copy attached to official minutes) from which the following paragraph is quoted:
"It is our unanimous recommendation that Ralph Sawyer be awarded the Compton Medal during the coming year for his many contributions to the leadership and guidance of the American Institute of Physics, capping an already long and distinguished career in teaching, research, administration and counseling at the University of Michigan."
It was then moved, seconded, and passed without dissent that Ralph Sawyer be awarded the Compton Medal during the Assembly in the fall of 1971.
Chairman Sawyer was then recalled to the meeting and apprised of the action just taken by the Governing Board. He said he appreciated the action very much and would have more to say on the subject at the appropriate time.
6. Financial Handling Charge for 1971
The Treasurer reported that for both 1969 and 1970 the financial handling charge was set at one-half of one percent. Beginning January 1, 1971, we will be operating an in-house computerized accounting system. Next year we will be able to recommend a financial handling charge for 1972 based on actual experience. At this time the staff recommends we continue at the rate of one-half of one per cent for calendar year 1971. The following motion was then made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the financial handling charge for 1971 be set at one-half of one percent. (0.5%)
7. Change in Bylaws of Society of Physics Students
Mr. Slack reported that the bylaws of SPS provide that they may be changed upon ratification by the chapters and approval by the Governing Board of the Institute. Experience during the last couple of years has indicated that some ruinous changes need to be made in the bylaws to improve operations. The proposed changes are n0t substantive in nature. Some have already been sent out to the chapters and others are still being prepared. We need a new brochure on SPS as soon as possible and would like to be able to prepare such a brochure as soon as the chapters have approved the proposed bylaw changes and without waiting for the next meeting of the AIP Governing Board. Mr. Slack asked that the Governing Board approve the bylaw changes contingent upon their approval by the chapters and the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the proposed SPS bylaw changes be approved contingent upon their approval by the chapters and with the understanding that the revised bylaws will be submitted to the Governing Board at its next meeting as a record of the action taken.
8. Plans for Celebration of 40th Anniversary of AIP
The Director summarized recommendations on this subject contained in a memorandum dated September 15, 1970, copy of which is attached. In commenting on the recommendations Mr. Ballard noted that 1971 will also be the 50th anniversary of the founding of Sigma Pi Sigma and suggested that some recognition of this might be included in the AIP program. Mr. Holton also suggested that the 40th anniversary celebration would be a good time to bring together all of those people who were associated with AIP in the early days and give them a chance to be recognized by the group.
After further discussion the following motion was made, seconded, and passed without dissent:
MOVED that the suggested plan for celebrating the 40th anniversary of AIP in 1971 be approved as presented by the Director
9. Future Meetings
The following dates of future meetings were suggested and accepted:
- Executive Committee – Friday, December 11, 1970
- Executive Committee – Wednesday, February 3, 1971 (Breakfast-New York Hilton)
- Executive Committee – Friday, March 19, 1971
- Annual Meeting – Saturday, March 20, 1971 (9:30-10:00 a.m.)
- Governing Board – Saturday, March 20, 1971 (beginning at 10:00 a.m.)
10. Other Business
Mr. Arons expressed concern about the tone that was evident in the "Physics and Society" session held on the evening of October 5. To him it appeared to be chauvinistic and he felt it would be taken by people on the outside as self-seeking and empire-building. When physicists are talking together privately such an attitude would be understood but workers in other disciplines and the public might have a very negative reaction which would be damaging to physics.
Mr. Goldman said that his reaction to the Monday evening session was just the opposite to that of Mr. Arons and he was about to commend the AIP administration for arranging what he thought was an excellent session. He said he thought it was appropriate and proper for physicists to call attention to their accomplishments and their needs.
Mr. Holton expressed the opinion that "Physics and Society" is a vast problem and AIP should try to give a balanced view of the subject. He said his reaction to the Monday evening session was similar to that of Mr. Arons.
Mr. Sachs said he questioned whether the Monday evening session satisfied the audience we had. He was distressed that the Corporate Associates did not have a chance to say some of the things which they had said privately around the tables.
The Director agreed that we should probably give Corporate Associates more opportunity to participate in the discussion of physics and society subjects.
There being no further business to be transacted, the meeting was adjourned at 3:20