Governing Board of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
October 29, 1977
Members Present: Philip M. Morse – Chairman, Reuben B. Alley Jr., Herbert L. Anderson, Edward L. Brady, Lewis Branscomb, J. A. Burton, Kenneth B. Davis, Charles B. Duke, Frank K. Edmondson, Peter Franken, F. N. Frenkiel, James B. Gerhart, Martin Greenspan, W. W. Havens Jr., Ira J. Hirsh, Robert Karplus, J. R. Knox, H. William Koch, J. Ross Macdonald, A. I. Mahan, Sidney Millman, Jarus W. Quinn, Norman F. Ramsey, J. H. Singleton, Murray Strasberg, A. A. Strassenburg, Emil Wolf, R. A. Young
Absent: Robert T. Beyer, A. M. Bueche, W. A. Fowler, Laurence W. Fredrick, James A. Krumhansl, Jacques Ovadia
Nonvoting Participants: Albert A. Bartlett (AAPT), Roderick M. Grant Jr. (AAPT), Elmer Hutchisson (Director Emeritus), Mary L. Shoaf (APS), Peter Wootton (AAPM)
Guest: Frank E. Jamerson, Chairman Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates (Item 2 only)
AIP Staff: H. William Koch, Director; Sidney Millman, Secretary; G. P. Gilbert, Treasurer; R. H. Marks, Associate Director for Publishing; Lewis Slack, Associate Director for General Activities; Dorothy M. Lasky, Assistant to the Director; Mary M. Johnson, Assistant to the Secretary
Chairman Morse called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m., and noted that two new members had joined the Board since the spring meeting: Messrs. Strassenburg and Bueche.
Upon motion made and passed without dissent, the minutes of the 1-2 April 1977 Governing Board meeting were approved as distributed.
2. Report from Chairman of Advisory Committee on Corporate Associates
Jamerson reported that the committee appointed to select the winner of the first Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics had nominated Robert D. Maurer of Corning Glass Works as recipient of the first award. The prize is $5,000. The citation reads:
"For contributions to the practical application of optical communications through the understanding and discovery of materials and techniques for the fabrication of glass fiber waveguides."
The committee recommended that the presentation be made at the March 1978 meeting of the American Physical Society which will be held in Washington, D.C. He also noted that the Optical Society of America was asked to consider giving this award some attention at its May 1978 meeting and invite Dr. Maurer to give a talk.
A motion to award the first Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics to Robert D. Maurer, as recommended, was passed unanimously.
Jamerson noted also that his committee had discussed the original requirement that “the work must have been done within ten years prior to the award," and the following change was proposed: "The application of the contribution must have resulted in a significant industrial development within ten years prior to the award." This would permit awarding the prize for an invention that was made earlier, so long as its technological application had been made within the previous ten years. A motion made by Havens and passed without dissent approved the change in wording recommended by the committee.
3. Report on the 1977 Assembly of Society Officers
Davis, the Chairman of the 1977 Assembly, reported the election of Robert T. Beyer as Chairman of next year’s Assembly and A. A. Strassenburg as next year’s Secretary. In the absence of Beyer, Strassenburg also served as the 1977 Secretary.
Greenspan commented that the attendance of Society officers other than Board members appeared to be low. He wondered whether there was any need to hold such a meeting. Millman noted that about two years ago the question of discontinuing the Assembly was raised but it was decided to continue the tradition of having an Assembly in connection with the fall meeting of the Governing Board. It was considered desirable to provide an additional opportunity for officers of Member Societies to meet and discuss mutual problems and to exchange experiences.
4. Report of the Chairman – Highlights of Executive Committee Actions Since April Meeting
Morse noted that the Executive Committee spent a lot of time on the problem of allocation of interest income from short-term investments and the related topic of computerization of AIP's accounting system. Society member dues collected by AIP as well as journal subscription money eventually get turned over to the Societies. Gilbert has been asked, through short-term investments, to make some money on these funds during the short periods the money is held by AIP. On the other hand, AIP provides services for the Societies, at times using funds before they are reimbursed by the Societies. How is this to be balanced? We hope next year, when our accounting system is fully computerized, to square accounts as quickly as possible, within a month, perhaps in the long run, every two weeks. Thera was considerable discussion of retroactive payments that turned out to be very difficult to calculate. A compromise has been reached for APS by Gilbert and Burton, for which Morse expressed his appreciation to both Gilbert and Burton.
The Woodbury building has been bought and the necessary modifications are going on. It was decided to continue the existing mortgage on the Woodbury building and pay for renovations from the Building Reserve.
Further developments on the copyright problem will be discussed later in this meeting. The Executive Committee heard a fairly complete report from Beverly Porter on the activities of her Manpower Statistics Division. She has suggested it is time for another survey to be undertaken. APS included a request for contributions to the AIP Center for History of Physics in its dues billing and this was successful. It has been suggested that other Societies do something similar.
5. AIP Fiscal Activities
Allocation of Retroactive Interest on short-term Investments
Gilbert reported that a compromise figure for the amount AIP should pay to APS retroactively for 1975, 1976, and 1977 ($25,000 for 1975, $30,000 for 1976, and a similar amount for 1977), as suggested in a memorandum by Gilbert and Burton, was approved by the AIP Executive Committee on 26 October and reported in the minutes of that meeting. Burton expressed his thanks to the AIP people involved in the calculations leading to the proposed compromise and recommended that the Governing Board endorse the Executive Committee action. He added that the APS Executive Committee has approved it and agreed to recommend that the APS Council also approve it. The APS Executive Committee also recommended to Council that half of this amount be donated to the endowment fund of the AIP Center for History of Physics. The following motion was made by Fredrick and passed unanimously:
MOVED that the Governing Board approve the payment to APS of interest on short-term investments for 1975, 1976, and 1977, as recommended by Gilbert and Burton.
Morse noted that the arrangement approved by the Executive Committee on 8-9 September is that any other Society which wished to may enter into similar negotiations with AIP.
Report on Computerization of Accounting
Gilbert referred to a brief report which was submitted as an attachment to the Governing Board agenda and noted that a formal detailed report was given by our consultant, Robert J. Moynihan, to the Executive Committee at its September meeting, and an additional progress report was made at the 26 October Executive Committee meeting. The report initially called for two sets of periodic financial statements to be rendered to the Societies starting in 1978: (1) dues and subscription collections, and (2) other Societies’ revenues and expenses. After some discussion, the Executive Committee expressed a strong preference for a periodic single report covering all transactions. Our consultant agreed this could be accomplished by mid-1978. This is the course we intend to follow.
Updating Memorandum of Agreement with Member Societies
Gilbert reported that the Institute consulted its legal counsel to determine whether any changes are required in the Memorandum of Agreement in view of the impending changes in the accounting system. Counsel's advice was that changes are not needed and perhaps are undesirable at a time when accounting procedures are evolving. Morse added that the feeling of the Executive Committee was that we should let it settle down for a year or so and see how it works out before we determine whether modification of the Agreement is really necessary.
Guidelines for Contributions by AIP
Koch stated that he had prepared some guidelines for financial contributions by AIP and these are attached to the minutes of this meeting as Exhibit A. He proposed the guidelines in response to a request made by the Executive Committee at the Woods Hole meeting when it appropriated $1,000 in support of the Columbia University celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the Pupin Physics Building and $5,000 for the Copyright Clearance Center.
6. AIP Building Facilities
New York Building Alternatives
Morse noted that there was a long discussion of this item at the 26 October Executive Committee meeting which resulted in three recommendations: (1) that it be the objective of AIP to consolidate all activities in New York City, at present housed in the headquarters building and two rented places, in one location; (2) that AIP put the headquarters building up for sale at a minimum price of $2.5 million, and (3) that $10,000 be appropriated for the evaluation of the General Electric building on Madison Avenue at 32nd Street, which is under consideration for possible purchase by AIP. It appears impossible to fit all of the AIP staff that are not scheduled to move to Woodbury in 1978 into the headquarters building, which has a great number of serious disadvantages.
Millman called attention to the attachment to the agenda describing the reasons for reconsidering the General Electric building which was looked at early in 1976 and rejected. He noted that it was turned down for two reasons: (1) it was thought to be too big, after it was decided to have two locations, with the production facilities on Long Island, and (2) that the 32nd Street location is not prestigious enough for the image of physics. Why then should AIP want to consider it again? When the Woodbury property was purchased it was thought that we might possibly locate everybody else in our Manhattan headquarters building. Now that we take a closer look, it does not appear feasible. Moreover, the American Physical Society wants more space and we would also like to provide for expansion of the Center for History of Physics. Even if we are satisfied with some squeezing, we would need a considerable amount of renovation at a minimum cost of about $400,000 which many people feel would be a waste of money to pour into our building, since the older half of the building is 120 years old. When we bought the Woodbury building there was some pie-in-the-sky thinking about our ability to get a better building in Manhattan, the IBM building for example. We put in a modest bid for it and, of course, did not get it. The housing market at that time was at a low ebb and there was considerable optimism that we would find some building somewhere. Since then we have instructed our real estate agent and others to look, but we have not been able to find anything. The market is rising again and it appears there is nothing available that the physics community can afford.
If it is the feeling of the Board that we should not be at 32nd Street and Madison Avenue, there is no point in refining some of the calculations that Marks has prepared for the various alternatives that we might consider or in spending $10,000 for an evaluation of the General Electric building. From the point of view of accessibility to public transportation, the General Electric building is by far more preferable than the present location on 45th Street and First Avenue.
Marks called attention to the description given in the attachment to the agenda of the four alternatives, with the estimated costs for operation tabulated up to 1980:
- Plan A involved the use of our headquarters building (with some renovations) plus rented space
- Plan B would make use of our headquarters only in Manhattan and add a 15,000 square foot building in Woodbury
- Plan C would have the same activities in Manhattan as in Plan A, but all in one rented location and sell the headquarters building
- Plan D would put all of these operations in the General Electric building and sell the headquarters
The rough estimates show that, whereas in the years 1977 and 1978 the annual total AIP building operating costs would be about the same for all four plans (~$600,000 in 1977 and $700,000 in 1978). Plan D would be about $200,000 to $250,000 less expensive than any of the other plans. The operating costs would be only about $450,000 in 1979 and $475,000 in 1980.
Our architect, who has designed the Woodbury renovation, estimated that seven floors out of the twelve floors in the General Electric building would give us ample space for the present. The renovation would cost $700,000. We would expect to rent five floors, to other non-profit organizations at $5 per square foot. The tenants would modify their own space. We feel we could get a tax abatement. The purchase price of the building is $1.5 million. There is an outstanding mortgage on the building of $1 million. There was a second mortgage of $1 million taken out when improvements were made on the building, but that was foreclosed. The landlord plans to convert the building into condominium apartments, with expected tax abatement.
Our present headquarters building is essentially two buildings with a wall running down the middle. The architect found considerable settling in the old part. The wood beams are considerably further apart than the plans on file with the Building Department indicate. There is a dirt floor. He does not recommend putting any money into this building.
In the General Electric building there are three automatic elevators and two freight elevators, and each floor is air-conditioned separately.
Hirsh asked whether the staff’s estimate of space required was based only on the present activities and wondered whether consideration was given to the future size of the Societies. Koch replied that the space we need is primarily determined by AIP requirements for staff space. Member Society requirements is not an important consideration since it is not a large fraction of the total. Concerning the General Electric building area, he noted that the area that our present building is located in is not free from problems. We have occasional bomb scares. When the Idi Amin building across the street is completed, it may get worse.
Branscomb asked what AIP had in mind at the time of the Woodbury Purchase. Are we changing our minds as to what operations we are moving to Long Island? What boundary condition determines the population to be consolidated in Manhattan? Morse replied that it was left to the staff to decide the division of staff between Long Island and Manhattan. Marks added that the market at Woodbury is excellent for the kind of people needed for activities such as subscription fulfillment and typewriter composition. Woodbury will be used for these activities and we also plan to expand our in-house composition capacity there. In our experience, these operations will be less costly at Woodbury. The one area in question is Editorial Mechanics. Our experience is that the cost of this activity, which includes copy editing, production control, indexing, and programming, is very competitive in New York City. There would be no substantial cost saving in disrupting this activity and moving it to Woodbury. If all Editorial Mechanics eventually moves to Woodbury, it will be necessary to build an extension to the present building.
Returning to the General Electric building, Franken stated his recollection that the Committee on Building Plans of AIP that looked at the Madison Avenue building was unanimous about its negative assessment of it, although Strasberg, who also was a member of that Committee, was not so sure that he would turn the building down cold. Singleton asked whether the General Electric building was rejected because the Lake Success building looked so good or because we thought we ought to have a better looking building.
The Governing Board then took up consideration of the three motions passed by the Executive Committee on 26 October. After some discussion, it was decided to consider them one at a time. The following motion was passed without dissent but with one abstention:
MOVED that it should be the goal of the Institute to have, eventually, one location for all of its operations in Manhattan.
The Governing Board then took up consideration of the second motion which asked the staff to offer the AIP headquarters building for sale at a price to be determined by our real estate agent but not less than $2.5 million. Franken observed that no sensible corporate body is going to prepare a bid unless it knows that the building is definitely for sale. He recommended that a professional assessment of the property be obtained. Ramsey and Branscomb agreed with Franken.
Young stated that if it is agreed that the one AIP location in Manhattan will not be the present headquarters, then we should establish conditions under which we would get rid of it. Koch thought that we should set a professional evaluation of our present building and of the General Electric building. Havens wondered about the advisability of spending $10,000 on evaluating the General Electric building, to be brought to the next meeting of the Board, if it is no longer available at that time. He agreed that we should determine a realistic value of the present headquarters building. Moreover, Woodbury is not digested yet and he would rather spend a little more money for another year until we see what the effect of the Woodbury move is. He noted that some of the things which have occurred were apparently not anticipated. As to the General Electric building, he thought we needed a lot more information about the surrounding area. If it would be available on the time scale on which we can act, then we should get the information. If it is gone by 1 January 1978, we can forget it.
The following motion was then made by Branscomb, seconded by Duke, and passed without dissent:
Whereas the Executive Committee on 26 October 1977 recommended to the Board both a consolidation of AIP Manhattan operations and the sale of the present headquarters, the Governing Board
- authorizes the staff to obtain a professional appraisal of the building at 335 East 45 Street, New York City, together with a recommended sales price and plan to dispose of the building,
- requests the staff to prepare, in the context of a 10-year projection of space needs, a set of alternative plans for consolidating its Manhattan operations that is compatible with a decision to offer the 45th Street building for sale. Staff is authorized to engage professional services for evaluation of alternative properties and plans,
- requests the Executive Committee to review the plans called for above and prepare appropriate recommendations for the Governing Board.
Duke suggested that, if a specific plan is presented for consideration by the Governing Board, it should be before the first of the year. Branscomb added that the Executive Committee could consider such a plan, which could include evaluation of alternative properties and call a special meeting of the Board if necessary. Karplus thought that a visit to the General Electric building by some members of the Governing Board prior to the special meeting, if called, would be appropriate. Duke noted that the American Vacuum Society Board of Directors was scheduled to meet in New York City on 15 December and this could be an occasion for some of its members to look at the building.
Status of Woodbury Move
Koch reported that the renovation work on Woodbury is proceeding well and not much behind schedule. He was looking forward to holding the spring 1978 meeting of the Governing Board at Woodbury.
7. AIP General Activities
Slack called attention to an attachment to the agenda reporting on some activities in the Society of Physics Students, the Public Relations Division, and in Manpower Statistics. He selected for discussion two items that required action by the Board.
Slack noted that, at the September meeting of the Executive Committee, Fowler had urged that Dion Shea’s newly-developed booklet entitled "Physics: A Career for You?" be distributed to guidance counselors and/or high school teachers throughout the country. Such a wide distribution and the accompanying expense were not included in the original plans. In order to proceed with such a distribution, an additional $20,000 will be needed. He asked for approval of this expenditure, which he intended to include as part of the 1978 budget. The following motion was made by Hirsh and passed:
MOVED that up to $20,000 be expended for the mailing of the booklet "Physics: A Career for You?" to teachers and guidance counselors, the AIP staff to decide how best to do it.
Proposed New Physics Manpower Survey
Slack noted that Beverly Porter, the Director of the Manpower Statistics Division, had previously recommended that a survey be undertaken early in 1978. In response to a request from the Executive Committee, she had prepared specifications for the proposed survey as included in an attachment to the agenda. Earlier rough estimates of the total direct cost were in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $50,000. The current more precise estimate of this is about $48,000. The incremental cost to the Division will be $35,000 - 40,000. AIP intends to work out details of the survey analysis with an optical character recognition (OCR) company which would do the machine reading of the returns as they come back. The Executive Committee at its meeting on 26 October, has directed that more detailed plans and a budget for the survey be drawn up and presented at the next Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 19 December. The AIP Manpower Committee is scheduled to meet on 2 November and will take up this item for discussion and will undoubtedly make recommendations.
Branscomb wondered whether Question #14 in the proposed questionnaire, dealing with attitudes toward training, current employment, and state of the discipline, would take too much time to answer. Ramsey added that we want to make very sure that each questionnaire is really needed. If we consider the time it takes to answer all questions, a questionnaire may turn out to be much more expensive than the direct cost of preparation, mailing, and analysis. A great effort to help the respondent should be made in any questionnaire that is sent out.
8. AIP Publishing Activities
Status of Copyright for Journals and Abstracts
Koch distributed copies of a revised copyright transfer form noting that the list of rights that are reserved to the authors includes two new reservations: #4, for an author in the case of a work for hire, and #5 for an author who is an employee of the U.S. Government. He noted that, in the case of a work for hire, it is the employer who is officially the author and the employer reserves the right to make copies of his employee's article for the employer's use, but not for resale. Morse suggested that, to avoid any misunderstanding, we might add a footnote on #4 as follows: "In the case of a work for hire the employer is the author."
Referring to #5, recognizing "the right of the U.S. Government to retain a non-exclusive royalty-free license to use the author's copyrighted article for U.S. Government purposes, but not for resale," Brady commented that this wording comes from ERDA, but that is the only Government agency that agrees to this. He stated that, at a recent meeting, every lawyer present took the position that Government employees should not sign the copyright transfer form proposed by AIP. Because the author has no rights to transfer, signing a statement such as this is meaningless. There is disagreement about "derivative work." There remains a strong difference of opinion among Government agencies about what position should be taken. The resolution of these differences may have to be settled by the Attorney General.
Branscomb thought that we should do everything we can to have Government people publish in the main line scientific journals. The outcome should be one that make scientists happy. We have got to get people in Government to do something about this. We should perhaps approach Frank Press, Science Advisor to the President, to have a discussion of this issue.
Strasberg and Duke suggested that we leave out all mention of the U.S. Government in the copyright transfer form and provide an explanation for accepting, for the time being, articles by U.S. Government employees for publication in AIP journals without any signed transfer of copyright. Members of the Governing Board agreed with this suggestion.
Wolf distributed copies of an Optical Society letter to the AIP Governing Board which suggested the addition of a sentence in the copyright transfer form which was circulated as part of the mail ballot to Governing Board members. The additional sentence, to be included in the second of the three rights reserved by the authors, is as follows: "However, such permission will not be refused by AIP except at the direction of the author." Koch agreed that there would be no problem with the inclusion of the sentence suggested by Wolf. He noted also that his understanding is that #4 will remain unchanged except for the explanatory footnote, and that #5 is to be eliminated with the inclusion of a statement about authors who are U.S. Government employees. A motion to approve Koch's suggestions on the new transfer of copyright agreement form, which includes the sentence proposed by Wolfe, was made by Branscomb and passed with only one nay vote. A copy of the revised form is attached to these minutes as Exhibit B.
Status of Computer Composition of Journal Pages
Marks reported that the ATEX system, which was purchased in August in order to provide composition input for our Videocomp, will be installed in our location at 800 Second Avenue. We will start with the computer photocomposition of the Journal of Applied Physics. We are also working with and supporting APS in their UNIX experiment.
NSF Grant – Assessment of Data Base Searching and Document Delivery Via Communications Satellite
Marks reported on the $140,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project to evaluate the remote search of abstracts combined with delivery of journal papers by facsimile transmission via satellite. He thought an institution may want to avoid, in the future, spending $5,000 annually for journals and acquire instead a search typewriter and obtain the desired papers promptly, saving money in the process. If we can get SPIN into the Lockheed System, it will be possible, for example, for a NASA scientist in California to select the article he wants, order it, and obtain it the same day. The AIP project is intended to evaluate how practical such a procurement system for scientific journal articles is.
The meeting was recessed for luncheon at 12:55 and reconvened at 1:35 p.m.
9. Reports from Committees
Confirmation of Mail Ballot on Election of A. A. Strassenburg to the Executive Committee
Millman reported that soon after A. A. Strassenburg replaced Melba Phillips on the Governing Board, he sent out a mail ballot to Board members proposing the election of Strassenburg to the Executive Committee. There were 34 yeas and no nays. Upon motion made and passed without dissent, the results of the mail ballot electing Strassenburg to the Executive Committee were confirmed.
Advisory Committee on Physics Today
Franken. Chairman of the committee, reported very briefly: Physics Today is alive and well.
Advisory Committee on Professional Concerns and Manpower
Macdonald, the Chairman of the Committee, noted that he had written to Morse on 22 September suggesting the consolidation of the Committee on Professional Concerns and the Manpower Subcommittee. He said that it is proving difficult to establish a well-defined, viable, and useful role for the present Committee on Professional Concerns as now constituted. The Committee has not thus far been able to find an important mission sufficiently different from those of corresponding Society committees. He recommended that the Committee on Professional Concerns and the Manpower Subcommittee be combined into one, and that the size of the committee as reorganized be reduced. Morse suggested that we might do this by not replacing those members whose terms will expire in 1978. Within that combined committee there could be subcommittees as needed. Macdonald agreed and added that the newly reorganized committee would write up a new statement of purpose once it has had its first meeting. The following motion was passed without dissent:
MOVED that the Committee on Professional Concerns and Manpower be merged into one and reorganized as proposed by Macdonald.
10. Appointment of Special Committees
Audit Committee for 1977 Audit
Morse reported that, following the recommendation of the Fiscal Policy Committee, an Audit Committee for the 1977 Audit should be appointed and its members should be from the Fiscal Policy Committee. He has appointed Harold F. Weaver – Chairman, A. A. Strassenburg, and J. Roger Young as the 3-member Audit Committee.
Administrative Review Committee
Morse announced his appointment of George E. Pake – Chairman, Robert Karplus, and Herbert L. Anderson as the members of the 1977 Administrative Review Committee.
Tate Awards Committee
Koch referred to an attachment to the agenda which presented a list of the various AIP awards with names of individuals who have received them. He thought that the time period for another Tate Award seemed reasonable. He asked whether we should plan on another award in 1978. A motion was made and passed, with one nay vote, that a committee be appointed to make a recommendation as to whether we should make an award in 1978 and, if so, to nominate a candidate. Morse then announced the appointment of S. A. Goudsmit as Chairman, with V. F. Weisskopf and Lewis Branscomb as the additional members of the Tate Awards Committee.
11. Next Meeting at Woodbury
The next meeting of the Governing Board was scheduled for Friday, 31 March, and Saturday, 1 April 1978, at the AIP Woodbury location.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.