Guidance for community programs

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17 March 2014

Hearing from the communities that we serve is vital to creating and maintaining relevant and responsive programs at AIP. Over 50 volunteers came together on February 27–March 1 to participate in annual face-to-face advisory committee meetings. These volunteers serve on individual committees to advise AIP programs in government relations, media relations, education, statistical research, history, the Career Network, and Physics Today. The chairs of all of these committees report to an umbrella committee, the Physics Resources Policy Committee, whose job it is to review all of the AIP programs and make recommendations to the AIP Governing Board. AIP depends upon the essential feedback from these committees to continually improve our programs and services. 

Based on a recommendation from the committees last year, AIP staff organized conference calls last November to brief members on mid-year progress. Some committees conduct additional discussions on particular issues that come up during the year. These efforts served to inform members prior to convening at ACP for a full day of meetings.

PRC Advisory Committees

Five of the committees all met on February 28. The day began with a plenary session led by Fred Dylla and me to discuss some of the changes at AIP since last year. Committees spent the remainder of the day focusing on the details of particular AIP programs. One major theme that was discussed in each of the meetings was building knowledge and awareness of AIP programs among our various audiences, as well as among the Member Society leadership. Discussion also centered on how AIP programs support the scientific community throughout their careers and how AIP supports the work of the Member Societies through a variety of collaborations. 

The Physics Today Advisory Committee met in late January, but the chair joined the other committee chairs at the Physics Resources Policy Committee (PRPC) meeting on March 1. Each chair presented their committee’s recommendations, discussing them in detail with members of the PRPC. The process gives the chairs a great opportunity to see what is happening in other program areas and to get input from many perspectives. One area of note was recognition for the increased interactions among the different AIP programs, such as the Career Toolbox produced by the Statistical Research Center and Education Division, and the creation of the Physical Sciences Education Policy Coalition from a collaboration of Government Relations and Education. Likewise, the PRPC was interested to hear about AIP resources that might be of use to Member Societies. 

The PRPC weighed all recommendations and prepared priority recommendations for the Governing Board, which will consider their report when it meets later this month, on March 28. AIP extends a sincere “thank you” to all of our committee volunteers for helping to improve AIP’s program offerings for the community.