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Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

October 9, 1976

The Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics met at the offices of the Institute, 335 East 45 Street, New York, N. Y., on Saturday, 9 October 1976:

Members Present: Philip M. Morse – Chairman, Reuben E. Alley, Jr., Herbert L. Anderson, Robert T. Beyer, John V. Bouyoucos, Kenneth E. Davis, Charles B. Duke, Frank K. Edmondson, Milan D. Fiske, James L. Flanagan, William A. Fowler, Peter Franken, Laurence W. Fredrick, F. N. Frenkiel, J. E. Goldman, Janet B. Guernsey, W. W. Havens, Jr., Sherwood K. Haynes, H. William Koch, J. R. Knox, J. Ross Macdonald, A. I. Mahan, Sidney Millman, Jacques Ovadia, Melba Phillips, E. R. Piore, Jarus W. Quinn, Arthur H. Rosenfeld, J. H. Singleton, Boris P. Stoicheff, R. A. Young

Absent: E. L. Brady, Martin Greenspan, J. A. Krumhansl

Guests: J. A. Burton, Treasurer – American Physical Society; H. Richard Crane, Chairman of Ad Hoc Committee on Building Plans of AIP; H. M. Gurin, Executive Officer – American Astronomical Society; Alex Harvey, Professor of Physics – Queens College; A. L. Schawlow – Chairman of Assembly of Society Officers

AIP Staff: H. William Koch, Director; Sidney Millman, Secretary; G. F. Gilbert, Treasurer; Lewis Slack, Assoc. Director for General Activities; Robert H. Marks, Assoc. Director for Publishing; Dorothy M. Lasky, Assistant to the Director; Mary M. Johnson, Assistant to the Secretary

Chairman Morse called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and welcomed Mr. Ovadia who has replaced John S. Laughlin as the representative of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine on the AIP Governing Board, Mr. Laughlin having resigned on 17 September 1976.

1. Minutes

Upon motion made and passed without dissent, the minutes of the 26-27 March 1976 Governing Board meeting were approved as distributed.

2. Highlights of Executive Committee Actions

Morse reviewed briefly some of the actions taken by the Executive Committee since the previous meeting of the Governing Board in March, mentioning the following items:

  1. Approved a study by Professor Alex Harvey of the Center for Physics, the written report of which had already been distributed, and the presentation by Harvey to follow later in the program
  2. Authorized the purchase of a phototypesetter for computer-based composition and the related leasing agreement for the use of Bell Laboratories software
  3. Approved the purchase of typewriters ($39,000) previously owned by the American Physical Society and used for the composition of the Physical Review
  4. Approved reversal of a previous decision to call page charges "contributions for dissemination of information" in order to remove confusion in understanding AIP financial reports
  5. Approved recommendation of the Fiscal Policy Committee to divide Institute funds into "Restricted Funds" and "Non-Restricted Funds," the former requiring Governing Board action for any change and the latter to be handled on a day-to-day basis by the Treasurer
  6. Discussed the actions of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the Optical Society of America to handle their own journal advertising for The Physics Teacher and Applied Optics, respectively
  7. Recommended a Constitutional amendment to remove the specific dollar value ($1.00) of the member assessment charge
  8. Accepted, with thanks, the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Building Plans of AIP, chaired by H. R. Crane, and took appropriate actions consistent with that report which are to be discussed later in the meeting.
  9. Approved the acquisition of a liability insurance policy covering AIP staff and Governing Board members
  10. Reviewed the programs of the Public Relations Division and encouraged that Division to proceed with activities on short radio spots on various physics subjects.

3. Appointments

  1. American Association for the Advancement of Science Section Representatives

    Morse announced the following appointments, for three-year terms, of AIP representatives to the following AAAS sections:

    • Physics (B) – Lewis Slack
    • Astronomy (D) – Owen J. Gingerich
    • History & Philosophy of Science – Spencer Weart
    • Industrial Science (P) – Herbert I. Fusfeld
    • Information (T) – H. William Koch

  2. Administrative Review Committee

    Morse also announced the appointment of an AIP Administrative Review Committee consisting of:

    • J. E. Goldman, Chairman
    • W. W. Havens, Jr.
    • J. W. Quinn

4. Recommendations from Assembly of Society Officers

Schawlow, who was this year's Chairman of the Assembly, reported that the Assembly, at its meeting on the afternoon of 8 October, heard reports from each of the division heads on the AIP General Activities. There were also talks on managing Society meetings, poster sessions at Society meetings, and meeting exhibits and advertising. The only recommendation that came out of the meeting was the consensus that it would be nice if AIP would take the lead in pooling information about how to handle meeting arrangements.

Kenneth E. Davis, President of AAPT, was elected Chairman and Robert T. Beyer, Treasurer of the Acoustical Society, was elected Secretary for next year's Assembly.

5. General Considerations on a Center for Physics

Professor Alex Harvey appeared in person to make a few comments and answer questions about his report on the Center for Physics which had previously been distributed to Governing Board members and Member Society councillors. He noted that the report represents a personal view. It was generated directly as a response to Fowler's suggestion of a Center for Physics. It broadly covers an extensive exploration of all the factors that would be involved in the light of the present structure of AIP, and what the factors are that should be taken into account as AIP might evolve in the next few decades. He thought there was a need for a critical examination of the way AIP could promote an increasing public understanding of science. AIP could be considered as a physics information operation on a wholesale, as well as on a retail, scale.

After Harvey answered a few questions, the following motion was passed unanimously:

MOVED that the Governing Board accept with thanks the report of Professor Alex Harvey entitled "General Considerations on a Center for Physics."

Havens then raised the question as to what should be done with this report. He thought an article in Physics Today might be considered, but wondered whether the presentation at this time of fairly specific and elaborate plans might be taken adversely by some members. Some reference to the report will certainly show up in the AIP Annual Report for 1976, and thus in PT, but not in a featured way. Guernsey agreed that a full description of the various proposals contained in the report might not be appropriate at this time in view of the Executive Committee recommendation to amend the Constitution and ask for an increase in the member assessment charge. Koch thought that there is an intermediate possibility of including it in a feature story on present building plans. We could point to the timeliness of this examination so that we can understand more about the immediate and longer-range building requirements in New York City and on Long Island. Morse suggested that he, himself, might write to every Member Society asking for comments on the Harvey report.

6. Recommendations of Ad Hoc Committee on Building Plans of AIP

Crane referred to the report of his committee which had been distributed to Board members prior to the meeting. He read the five recommendations in the report and commented briefly on each along the lines similar to those already reported in the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting of 8-11 September 1976. These recommendations are reproduced below for the convenience of the reader of these minutes and because of their relevancy to the discussions which followed. The full report of this committee had already been widely distributed and a copy is attached to the official minutes of the 8-11 September Executive Committee meeting.

  1. A headquarters should be maintained in Manhattan, to accommodate AIP executive offices, public-related activities and services, meetings of Institute and member society committees, offices of some member societies and other functions requiring a high degree of visibility or communication within the city.
  2. The activities under the broad heading of "production" should be located, or re-located, in such a way as to insure that the AIP can continue to render those services to the societies in a quality and at a cost that are better than competitive with any sources outside the AIP. This is crucial for the future existence of AIP.
  3. The economic factors that came out in the committee’s investigations indicate that (1) the direction of the movement of the production activities must be outward from the city and (2) there must be as much consolidation at just two locations (the headquarters and one production facility) as feasible. Consolidation at two locations should be accomplished in as small a number of years as possible, while giving due respect to keeping the key staff, not interrupting society services etc.
  4. The committee believes that AIP should now purchase a building, with adequate land for possible expansion, at a reasonable commuting distance from the Manhattan headquarters, and in a favorable labor market. The committee was very favorably impressed with the Chemical Bank Building at Melville, on Long Island, and recommends that negotiations for its purchase be undertaken immediately.
  5. The committee suggests that the AIP management remain alert to opportunities that may arise for buying a more desirable HQ building and selling the present one. The advantage could be economic, utilitarian, esthetic, or a combination. (The committee notes that the present building has a premium value for a reason not important to AIP: proximity to the UN.) A building substantially larger than the present HQ should be considered only if the intended use of the extra space is such that it will not defeat the policy of recommendation (c)(l). The committee does not see any urgency in moving the HQ.

Crane emphasized that the direct services of AIP, mainly publications, are the glue that holds the whole Institute together. If we were to replace our present 45th Street headquarters, it should not be done in such a way that it puts a burden on the direct services to the Societies. He noted further that no recommendation with respect to a bid for the IBM building was included in the report since the committee had no firm figures at that time. Morse observed that the Crane report provides us with guidelines for action for the next few years.

The following motion was introduced by Knox, seconded by Havens, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the Governing Board accept the report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Building Plans of AIP with thanks, taking due note that the Chemical Bank Building in Melville, Long Island, is no longer available for purchase.

The following motion was introduced by Young, seconded by Frenkiel, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the Governing Board adopt the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Building Plans of AIP as guidelines for further action by the Institute.

Morse then turned to the related actions taken by the Executive Committee at the evening session held on 7 October. He asked the Secretary to read the two motions that were passed, as follows:

Moved that the Executive Committee recommend to the Governing Board to authorize the AIP management to put in a bid for the Waldemar Building in Woodbury, Long Island, for the purchase price of $800,000 conditional on the favorable transfer of the original zoning variance for AIP operations and the transfer of the existing mortgage arrangements of $650,000 at 8% interest.

Moved that the AIP management be authorized to put in a bid of $2,000,000 on the IBM building on 8 October. This action involves a risk of only $10,000 should IBM accept and should AIP subsequently decide not to buy the building.

Koch made some comments related to the proposal to buy the Waldemar Building, presented some relevant data, and pointed to the Board action that would be required. As to the purchase of a building in Woodbury, he observed that the Institute now has more people in rented space than in the property it owns. We have about 100 people in 15,000 square feet at 800 Second Avenue, with a lease now extended to April 1977. We occupy 7,500 square feet across the street from our headquarters building with a lease which will expire 30 June 1978. The Woodbury building has a total area of about 36,000 square feet, which is about the same as the area in our headquarters building. The owners of the Woodbury building have offered it to us for $800,000.

Marks added that this building was a medical research laboratory. It is a very sound building and our consulting engineer feels that it is one of the best constructed commercial buildings on Long Island. The architect has estimated that $150,000 would be required to do the necessary repairs and renovations to put about one-third of the building in shape for the use of the Metaxas operation now at Stony Brook and related activities that we will want to add soon after the building becomes suitable for occupancy. We are doing less than half of our composition in-house. It would be our intention to do a lot more of it in time – maybe all – with the extra space that is available in the Waldemar Building. Beyer noted that we also have the possibility of multiple shifts with a Long Island building.

The following motion was made by Quinn, seconded by Havens, and passed without dissent:

MOVED that the Governing Board authorize purchase of the Waldemar Building for a price of $800,000, and expenditure of up to $150,000 for repairs and renovation of that building.

The above motion was passed with the understanding that the zoning variance which had been obtained by the Waldemar Medical Research Foundation, Inc., the present owner, would be transferred to AIP.

Turning to the IBM building, Koch noted that in line with the second motion passed by the Executive Committee on 7 October, did put in a bid of $2,000,000 for the IBM building. If AIP should prove to be the successful bidder, and if the Governing Board approves purchase of the building, we plan to ask APS for a loan of $1,500,000 and use $500,000 from the AIP Building Reserve. We will immediately try to sell our present headquarters building and apply the proceeds of that sale toward paying off the loan from APS. He also noted that taxes on the IBM building are about $150,000 a year which we hope and expect to have waived. Without taxes, it is estimated that the operating costs would be of the order of $8.60 per square foot, which is in line with the average rental in New York City. The question we ought to consider is whether the Governing Board would want to meet again if we get a favorable response. The Board could delegate the responsibility to the Executive Committee to decide after having a recommendation from the Ad Hoc Committee on Building Plans of AIP.

Burton stated that he would recommend to the APS Council that APS agree to make a loan of $1,500,000 to AIP, with the expectation that part of it would be short term and another part long term. He would propose that the interest rate on the short term part be the same as that on U.S. Treasury Bills, and on the long term part 1-year Treasury Notes. The present yield on these securities is in the range of 5% to 5.6%. Furthermore, he would recommend that the APS Council delegate responsibility to the APS Executive Committee to proceed along these lines if the AIP bid on the IBM Building is accepted.

A motion requiring the Board to reconvene if the IBM bid is accepted was introduced by Stoicheff and seconded by Alley. It was defeated with 7 votes in favor of the motion and 17 opposed. Piore did not participate in the discussion of the motion and did not vote.

The discussion then turned to an examination of the circumstances which might require additional Board action. The following motion was made by Macdonald, seconded by Fiske, and passed with 24 ayes, I nay, and 1 abstention:

MOVED that, if IBM accepts the AIP bid, any additional information that comes as a result of that acceptance be sent by letter to the members of the Governing Board and a telephone ballot of each Board member be taken by the Secretary to arrive at a decision. If, in the judgment of the Executive Committee, any additional considerations which might be made by IBM are considered to be substantial, the Governing Board will be reconvened.

Some members of the Governing Board expressed interest in hearing more about the cost of AIP operations in New York and its relevancy to possible purchase of the IBM Building if our bid should be accepted. Koch reminded the Board that AIP has a total of 360 employees – 100 at Stony Brook. As soon as possible after the Waldemar Building becomes ready for occupancy, we would plan to move the employees from Stony Brook. Some time thereafter, at a time when it will be least disruptive to the Subscription Fulfillment operations, we will move the computer and about 40 people connected with it from our Manhattan locations.

Duke asked whether this implies that AIP would initially occupy the IBM Building at full capacity and then subsequently move people out to Long Island. This will require that we move the computer twice. Marks agreed, and then presented some figures on the difference between operating costs of the IBM Building versus our present building and the rental space we use at 800 Second Avenue and at 304 East 45 Street.

Koch noted that the expenses of the AIP General Activities, which it has already been decided we are going to keep in New York, are about $600,000 annually. These are covered by the AIP general income which comes mainly from the net income of the AIP journals and the Soviet translation journals, and do not have any direct impact on the costs to the Societies. We are trying to move out to Long Island the production activities which do affect Society costs.

Gilbert added that AIP now has two rental costs that affect the Societies. We pool all of the costs in New York City – the $190,000 for the rental space in New York, averaging about $8.50 per square foot, and the cost of operating the headquarters, averaging about $5.50 per square foot, since we pay no taxes and do not include interest on the investment in this building. In the case of Long Island, we have one major cost, typewriter composition, and that is regarded as a separate cost center. The IBM building, at the present time, is subject to a $150,000 real estate tax.

Franken observed that the difference in cost of operation amounts to only about a few per cent per employee. He believed that the increased efficiency would more than compensate for that. He felt that the crowded condition in the present headquarters building is appalling. Guernsey added that, if we were not discussing purchase of the IBM Building, we would probably be discussing needed renovation of the headquarters building at an estimated cost of about $400,000.

The following motion was made by Goldman, seconded by Young, and passed with 21 ayes, 4 nays, and 2 abstentions:

MOVED that, if in the judgment of the Executive Committee there are no material changes in the bid submitted by AIP, this Board authorize the AIP staff to proceed with the purchase of the IBM Building.

7. Professional Liability Insurance

Gilbert informed the Board that, at the Woods Hole meeting, the Executive Committee approved purchase of a Professional Liability Insurance policy for the Institute. This policy covers Board members, committee members, officers, and employees to the extent of $1,000,000 against liability claims. The cost is $5,000 a year and there are no deductibles.

8. Status of AIP Placement Service – Report on Activities of Search Committee to Replace R. W. Sears

Koch reported that the committee to find a replacement for Sears consists of John Johnson, J. F. Ebersole, and A. M. Clogston. There is a highly qualified candidate with whom we are negotiating but have not received a final answer from him. Slack added that AIP will advertise the opening in the November issue of Physics Today if the candidate turns down the AIP offer.

The meeting was adjourned for luncheon at 12:00 noon and reconvened at 12:45 p.m.

9. Proposed Amendment to Constitution re Member Assessment Charge

Morse noted that, at the Woods Hole meeting, the Executive Committee discussed the member assessment charge that each Society pays to AIP and which is specified in the AIP Constitution to be $1.00 per individual member, and came up with the proposal that the Board recommend an amendment to the Constitution removing the specific dollar value from the reference in the Constitution to this member assessment charge. The Executive Committee instructed the Secretary to prepare a draft for such an amendment, which is given below, and copies of which had been distributed prior to the Governing Board meeting. Morse added that approval of the amendment by the action of the Member Societies following a recommendation of the Board would, in itself, not change the member dues but it would make the procedure for change somewhat easier as it would no longer take an amendment to the Constitution to effect a change.

The following motion was made by Alley, seconded by Havens, and passed with no dissent and with one abstention:

MOVED that the AIP Constitution be amended as proposed in the Secretary's draft by revising Article XI to read as follows:

In consideration of the general services rendered to physics and to the Member Societies by the Institute, each Member Society shall pay to the Institute annual dues calculated on the basis of a fixed sum of dollars per member in its Society as defined in Article V, Section 6. This fixed sum shall be determined by a two-thirds majority of the Governing Board and subsequent validation by the governing bodies of two-thirds of the Member Societies, and shall remain in effect until changed by a similar action of the Governing Board and Member Societies. The number of members in a Member Society is that number which is certified to the Secretary of the Institute by the Society in the preceding year and which is required to determine the number of directors to which the Society is entitled, as stated in Article VII, Section 2.

10. Comments on Meeting of Corporate Associates, 8-9 November

Koch called attention to the forthcoming meeting of the AIP Corporate Associates which, for the first time, is to be held at an industrial institution, the General Motors Research Laboratories in Warren, Michigan. It will highlight the role of physics and physicists in industry. He expressed the hope that many Board members would find it convenient to attend. He asked Dorothy Lasky to report briefly on the current membership status.

Lasky noted that for 1976 there are 88 members. This represents a net gain of two members. The 1976 additions are: Academic Press, Allied Chemical Corporation, General Atomic Company, Maxwell Laboratories, Philip Morris Inc., Reynolds Metals Company, and Universal Oil Product. Those that have cancelled their membership are: Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation, Carborundum Company, Chrysler Corporation, Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, and Itek Corporation. In addition, Standard Oil of Indiana and R.C.A. were elected Corporate Associates for 1977.

11. Status of Increased Activity in Public Relations Division

Slack reported that, at the Woods Hole meeting of the Executive Committee, the AIP staff was asked to look into costs that would be added to the budget if we were to undertake a project of supplying to radio stations tape cassettes of brief programs on topics in physics. This project had previously been encouraged by the Executive Committee at its meeting in December 1975, in connection with the approval of the 1976 budget. We have prepared estimates of the added costs that would be involved. Such radio programs would cost about $9,000 a year for the first hundred stations on a continuing basis, over and above the staff member's salary.

Slack also reported that a number of requests are received at Society meetings for lay-language papers and it was suggested that, either on a subscription basis or free, as a means of advertising, we make up packages of selected papers and distribute them on a regular basis to degree-granting institutions. The cost of sending such lay-language papers would be about $7,200 a year. Gerald Present, of the Public Relations Division, sent out a survey to about 100 colleges and many of them said they would like it. Piore remarked that if they pay $10 a year they are more likely to use them.

Slack stated that he will include both items in the proposed budget for next year.

12. New Copyright Law

Koch distributed copies of excerpts from the new copyright law, which was expected to be signed by the President shortly, dealing with photocopying and the fair use of such practices, which he thought would be of interest to Board members. The new law will not become effective until 1 January 1978.

13. Reports from Advisory Committees

  1. Advisory Committee on Physics Today

    In the absence of John Howard, Chairman of this committee, Peter Franken confined himself to reading a summary paragraph supplied to him by the chairman. The committee met on 9 April 1976 and is happy to report that Physics Today, at present, is in good hands, the operation is reasonably serene, and the Physics Today audience appears to be satisfied with both content and format.

  2. Fiscal Policy Committee

    Burton, the Chairman of the AIP Fiscal Policy Committee, reported briefly on the meeting of this committee held on 28 May 1976. The committee discussed and approved a statement of purpose that will guide its activities. It recommended dividing up the AIP reserve funds into "Restricted Funds" and into "Non-Restricted Funds.” It initiated discussion on the format of AIP financial statements. These items were reported in some detail in the minutes of the AIP Executive Committee meeting held on 29 June 1976. Another meeting of the Fiscal Policy Committee is planned for January 1977 and it was suggested that notice of that meeting be sent to Secretaries and Treasurers of all Member Societies, inviting suggestions for topics to be discussed that concern their respective Societies.

  3. Publishing Policy Committee

    In the absence of James Krumhansl, the Chairman of the Publishing Policy Committee, Knox reported that this committee met on 22 July 1976. The major item was a request from several Societies expressing a desire to be included in the masthead listings of a journal published by AIP. The committee recommended that masthead listing of a Member Society be recommended by the Publishing Policy Committee when requested by a Member Society, but not a division or committee, and that an appropriate case for such journal listing has been made. Such masthead listing should run for three years and any renewal is to be subject to review by the Publishing Policy Committee and approval of the AIP Executive Committee. The committee also recommended that AIP honor the request of the Optical Society to be added to the masthead of Applied Physics Letters. This recommendation was approved by the Executive Committee at its Woods Hole meeting.

14. Recent Developments Threatening 2nd Class Mailing Privilege of Scientific Journals

Gilbert called attention to recent letters several publishers have received from the U. S. Postal Service, similar to that sent to the Production Manager of The Astrophysical Journal, notifying them of an intent to label articles for which page charges have been paid as advertising matter. Gilbert sent this information to the AIP attorney, pointing out the threat to Second Class Mailing privileges for our scientific journals with the resulting increase in mailing costs.

15. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Governing Board will be held on 1-2 April 1977.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.