February 13, 1975

Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics

Minutes of Meeting

Members Present: H. Richard Crane – Chairman, Robert T. Beyer, Laurence W. Fredrick, W. W. Havens, Jr., E. Leonard Jossem, H. William Koch, Jarus W. Quinn

Absent: J. A. Burton

Nonvoting Participants: John S. Laughlin (AAPM), R. D. Burbank (ACA)

AIP Staff Present: 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; Mary M. Johnson, Assistant to the Secretary

The meeting was called to order at 9:40 a.m. by Jarus W. Quinn, Chairman pro tem, in the absence of Chairman Crane who had previously stated that he would be arriving late, because of the snow storm the day before.

1. Minutes

Upon motion made and passed without dissent, the minutes of the December 10, 1974, Executive Committee meeting were approved.

2. Publishing Matters

  1. Consultant on Purchase and Allocation of Printing-Paper Stock

    Marks informed the Executive Committee of his intention to hire a consultant, Thomas R. Marvel Consultants, Inc., to advise the Institute on the usage, inventory, projections of requirements, and record-keeping of AIP-purchased paper at the Mack Printing Company, which prints three of our journals. The anticipated savings in the handling of paper stock, costing about $200,000 annually, should be much more than the consulting fee–$1,500.

  2. Consultant on Computerization of Text Composition

    Marks reported that AIP is not proceeding with the NSF proposal that was authorized at the last meeting but instead has hired John W. Seybold, who is very knowledgeable about the computer type-setting field, especially scientific text which contains quite a bit of mathematical symbols. Seybold will also look at optical scanning and the feasibility of having authors prepare manuscripts directly for optical scanning and on tape. His study will cost only $3,000 plus travel expenses, and will be completed by the end of April. This is just a feasibility study and is not as extensive as was contemplated in the NSF proposal for $50,000. The latter would have covered a lot more work, including recommendations for the kind of equipment we should consider. Marks is convinced that in Seybold we have a highly qualified man who understands the internal operations of the Institute, and is eager to make a contribution in this field. He is enthusiastic about taking this on. A copy of the proposal, including a description of Seybold’s qualifications, is attached as Exhibit A.

  3. Acquisition of 3 Additional Typewriters for In-House Composition

    Marks stated that our present typewriters have been giving us increasing maintenance problems. The original cost has been depreciated. These machines are used for composing such journals as SOVIET JOURNAL OF OPTICS & TECHNOLOGY and JETP LETTERS. The JOURNAL OF MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS is also composed in-house and our capacity is rather strained. He felt that the purchase of 3 additional typewriters for $7,500 is justified. The following motion was passed:

    MOVED that the AIP staff be authorized to purchase 3 additional typewriters for in-house composition at a cost of about $7,500.

  4. PHYSICS TODAY: Returns from Panel Survey

    Marks reported on the results of the first survey which concerned itself with the October issue of PHYSICS TODAY. These had been distributed to members of the Executive Committee prior to the meeting. One interesting conclusion is that a large majority of the respondents said they would be willing to pay $5-10 for an annual subscription to PT. These results will be presented to the PT Advisory Committee and should serve as valuable guide to AIP editors and as an effective tool in selling advertising space. A copy of the memo from Marks to Koch, dated February 6, 1975, which summarizes the results of this survey is attached as Exhibit B. The data referred to in that memo are available to anyone who wishes to have it. There did not seem to be any variation from one society to another among the 500 respondents picked at random from a panel of 3,000.

  5. SOVIET PHYSICS-USPEKHI: Change in Frequency and Price Beginning July 1, 1975

    Marks proposed that the publication of SOVIET PHYSICS-USPEKHI be changed from a bi-monthly to a monthly journal, the same as the Russian version. The issues would be a little smaller and the costs would be increased somewhat. A small increase in the subscription price would compensate for this. Therefore, it is proposed that effective July 1975, we change this publication to a monthly journal and increase the subscription price by $10 from $100 to $110. This was approved by passing the following motion:

    MOVED that, effective July 1, 1975, SOVIET PHYSICS-USPEKHI be changed from a bi-monthly to a monthly publication, and the subscription price be increased from $100 to $110.

3. Progress Report on Acquisition of Improved Computer Facilities

Koch referred to a 2-page "Progress Report on Acquisition of Improved Computer Facilities" submitted by a task force consisting of Koch, Martino, and Auliano. He noted that the present equipment is valued at about $150,000 and that this could be purchased in the spring of 1976 for about $15,000 from Leasco. Moreover, our investment in producing the present programs is about $300,000. There are therefore some advantages in continuing with UNIVAC. By using the present equipment as part of a new configuration we would get a substantial cost advantage and would save about $100,000. Because UNIVAC is “Number Two” in the computer industry, it is very competitive. Their proposal includes the one-for-one program conversion; they will provide a 5-year leasing arrangement; and UNIVAC’s prices are lower than IBM’s.

We would plan to redesign completely the accounting programs which have not been completed under our present system. We have also been told that, by a more extensive redesign (which we are not contemplating at present), our 100 programs in subscription fulfillment can be reduced to 25. Our present costs are $6,400 per month for the rental of the UNIVAC 9300, plus $2,000 per month for microfilm, and rental by the Publishing Branch of the computer at NYU for $1,500-2,000 per month, for a total of about $10,000. For about the same money we think we can accomplish a new, much improved configuration. We have asked Ernest von Simson, our subscription fulfillment consultant, to give us an independent evaluation of the specifications submitted to IBM and to UNIVAC, and of our conclusions when we have evaluated the proposals of the two companies. We will attempt to get their proposals and respective prices to members of the Executive Committee in time for study before the March meeting in order to arrive at a final decision on March 21.

4. Fiscal Matters

  1. Acceptance by NSF of AIP Indirect Cost Rate Proposal

    Gilbert reported that AIP has received approval from the NSF for the new indirect cost rate proposal for calendar year 1973 of 17.18%. This rate will also apply to all new grants until a new rate is established.

  2. Publication Charge Report

    Gilbert called attention to a document on this subject which had been distributed to members of the Executive Committee prior to the meeting. This report was prepared by the AIP staff on the request of the Executive Committee at its meeting of December 10, 1974, in order to assist Member Societies in administering nonhonored publication charges. This resulted in considerable discussion of the subject. Fredrick reported that the State of Arizona is going to refuse to pay page charges in the future and asked whether this is a trend. Havens felt that it is. He added that both he and Burton feel that the system of having a judicious mix of honored and nonhonored published pages seems to be working, and we should not interfere with it at this time, but should keep tabs on it. Gilbert noted that there has been an increasing number of institutions who do not fully pay page charges but give "contributions toward payment.” We will continue to accept them but will not give them reprints. These manuscripts will, of course, be subject to publishing delays as are the nonhonored pages. Havens wondered whether this subject would not be a good item for the agenda of the Governing Board meeting, in order to generate some ideas. Marks suggested that, when we give talks in the publications area, we can explain the purpose of the page charge in that it pays for certain things and that the societies do not make a profit on it. Gilbert reminded the Committee that some time ago Henry A. Barton wrote an excellent article on this and that we should consider updating and publishing it in PHYSICS TODAY. Havens added that APS has prepared a letter on this subject over the signature of President Wu that will be sent to institutions who do not honor page charges.

  3. Report on Investment Advisory Account as of December 31, 1974

    Gilbert explained that the purpose of this account is to back up the AIP Reserve for Building Depreciation, and that a report prepared at the end of each year is usually presented to the Executive Committee. He called attention to a letter from the custodian, Bankers Trust Company, and to a description of the portfolio which had been distributed just prior to the meeting. He noted that the bank makes recommendations to us with their reasons, but we make the final decisions on any changes. Performance comparisons for the value of this portfolio for the year are shown below:

      12/31/73 to 12/31/74
    American Institute of Physics (18.8)%
    Standard & Poor’s 500 (26.3)%
    Dow Jones Industrial Average (23.6)%

    A copy of the Bankers Trust Company full report is available to anyone who wants it.

    In addition, we also have short-term investments consisting of excess working capital which Gilbert handles.

  4. Policy on Sale of Mailing Lists

    Gilbert referred to a document entitled "Sale of Mailing Labels" which had been distributed just prior to the meeting and pointed out that in 1964 it was decided that the revenue from the sale of mailing lists would be credited to the Data Processing Division and thus decrease the costs which are prorated among the Societies and the Institute. This policy covering the sale of mailing lists has been adhered to consistently from 1964 to the present. He noted that, of the $55,000 credit to Data Processing Division budgeted for 1975, $45,000 to $50,000 represents expected income from the sale of mailing lists.

    Quinn explained that OSA has been receiving requests for their mailing lists from the same people who used to advertise in their journals. Not knowing of the background for the establishment of the policy in 1964, he wondered whether OSA could use this vehicle to raise some money and help defray administrative expenses. He now completely subscribes to the policy of having AIP be the sole distributor of these lists. Slack noted that, some years ago we had a triple price structure for educational institutions, other 50l(c)(3) institutions, and commercial organizations. We were getting complaints at the time that our prices were so low that we were competing with the commercial mailing houses. Since then, we have had just two prices, for educational institutions and for others. Quinn thought he could see the advantage in having a triple rate, but he would make it "non-profit" rather than "50l(c)(3)."

  5. Anaheim Meeting Incremental Charges

    Slack reminded the Committee that, at the December meeting it was agreed that, in sending AIP Public Relations and Placement staff members to society meetings, charges would be made on the basis of incremental costs, at least to begin with. Subsequently he received a communication from A. A. Strassenburg informing him that AAPT would probably not authorize such expenditure because it was not budgeted for in 1975 and because of their current financial state. This position was confirmed by the action of their Personnel and Finance Committee with respect to the Anaheim meeting. Slack noted that arrangements for that meeting had already been made. It was his recommendation that implementation of this policy become effective for meetings following the Anaheim meeting. This led to the passing of the following motion:

    MOVED that the policy of charging societies for incremental costs incurred by the Public Relations and Placement staff of AIP at society meetings become effective February 13, 1975.

5. Negotiations

  1. Status of Soviet Negotiations

    Koch went over a document on this subject which had been distributed just prior to the meeting, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit C. This gives a summary of the latest correspondence.

  2. Proposal for Bulk Shipments to Soviets

    Koch called attention to his letter on this subject sent to Yuri K. Melnik, Assistant Commercial Counselor of the Embassy of the U.S.S.R., dated January 16, 1975, a copy of which had been distributed prior to the meeting. This letter gives special bulk prices for quantities above 50 subscriptions per journal. After AIP has a response from the Soviets he will come back to the Executive Committee for approval. Koch also reported that Burton said that we must be able to make the same agreement with anyone else who wants it, and our prices are based on that.

  3. Exchange of Letters Between Merriman, President of IEE, and Crane

    Crane reported that he wrote to J. H. H. Merriman, President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, asking whether he felt it would be a suitable time to revive their talks. After receiving an affirmative answer, Crane wrote again indicating that our involvement in secondary information had changed and suggested it might be suitable to have an exchange of background information before setting a date for a negotiating meeting. One cannot tell at present whether there will be a meeting before summer.

    Koch added that he had recently received a letter from Derek Barlow of IEE in answer to one Koch sent him a year and a half ago having to do with their making full text copies of our articles for use by their patent office. AIP has not given them permission and Koch has responded that this seems an appropriate subject to be included in forthcoming discussions along with the subject of their copying abstracts. One would surmise that their position is going to be that they want everything free because they are providing such a good service to physicists.

    Crane expressed the hope that we will have amicable talks and that a suitable arrangement will be arrived at. Havens observed that IEE is copying for profit something that we have copyrighted, and he thought that AIP should maintain the position that we are entitled to take whatever legal steps that may be necessary. The following motion was then passed:

    MOVED that the policy on full page copying for sale be, that AIP exercise its copyright ownership and that AIP recommends that the same policy be followed by the member societies.

  4. Marketing Proposal to the Physical Society of Japan

    Koch informed the Committee that the Physical Society of Japan had requested a proposal for distribution by us of their English-language journals in North America and Mexico. We have not yet developed the details but will go ahead with negotiations if there are no objections here. No objections were voiced.

The meeting was adjourned for luncheon at 12:05 p.m. and reconvened at 1:00 p.m.

6. Report on Society Services

  1. Membership Directories for AAPM, AAS, APS, ASA, OSA, SOR

    Marks reported that his Branch is preparing membership directories for several other societies along the same lines as they prepared for AAPM. In the case of OSA, we are converting the subscription fulfillment system and using the information as data for the directory. A check with OSA records can then be used to help clean up the subscription fulfillment record file.

  2. Proposed AIP Handbook for Society Officers

    Millman stated that AIP is preparing a Handbook for society officers. It is intended particularly for the new officers to tell them what services are available to them, making a clear distinction between services that are available as part of the official contract with AIP, services performed without specific request by society officers (e.g. general placement referrals, press relations, physics history), and those services that are available if a specific request is made and paid for (e.g. the preparation of a directory for a society). It will probably be a loose-leaf book of about 100 pages. It would contain, among other things, a 1-page description of each Member Society summarizing its by-laws and listing names and addresses of current officers. The Executive Committee particularly liked the loose-leaf feature and the fact that it will be relatively thin.

  3. Manpower Services

    Slack reminded the Committee that action on two parts of the Manpower budget for 1975 was deferred at the December meeting until a written report had been received from the Manpower Advisory Committee. The $35,000 item in the budget was for activities which dealt with the Register, This covered two parts, (1) the maintenance of the files for about one-third of the total cost, and (2) a proposed employment and salary survey in 1975. The report of the Manpower Advisory Committee recommended a shift in emphasis from data gathering to analysis, with maintenance capability to be continued. The Advisory Committee was less enthusiastic about an employment and salary survey. Slack asked for approval to include in the 1975 budget for the Manpower Division funds in the amount of $12,000 for continued maintenance of the non-society-member files which represent about 25% of the total names in the Register. This would maintain AIP’s capability of conducting a larger survey in the future. In the light of the lack of enthusiasm of the Advisory Committee and of the strong reservations of the APS Advisory Council on Manpower, he recommended that we not continue the employment and salary survey at present. Slack noted that APS support goes through June but it has not made a decision beyond that. The Doctoral Employment Information Service operation is being phased out as of May 1, 1975. The following motion was passed:

    MOVED that $12,000 be appropriated to the Manpower Division in the 1975 budget for the continued maintenance of non-society-member files.

    Gilbert noted that we are increasing the Institute’s share of the Manpower Division budget over and above that which was approved at the December 10, 1974, meeting.

7. Committee Activities

  1. Meeting of Committee on Society Services

    Millman reminded the Executive Committee that the above committee was established at the October 1974 Governing Board meeting to broaden the charter of the Strassenburg Committee on Subscription Fulfillment. Strassenburg is kept as chairman. The other members are Laurence W. Fredrick, Betty H. Goodfriend, Jarus W. Quinn, and Mary L. Shoaf, with S. Millman as secretary.

    The first meeting was held on January 20. The general goals of the committee are that it be an ombudsman, or trouble-shooter for the societies. The committee reviewed the status of subscription fulfillment, was informed of the plans for the new computer facilities, and discussed accounting procedures and reporting formats. It was made acquainted with the problems in reporting where a judgment factor enters in summarizing an 80-page budget. The desirability of reporting expenses on a project basis was noted. The committee also heard a review of the various services provided by the AIP General Activities Branch. The next meeting will be held in Washington at the end of April. Crane thought that one of the first problems for the committee will be to define the scope of its activities, particularly after the new AIP committee structure gets settled.

  2. Status of Committee on Committees

    Crane reported that F. Dow Smith has been appointed chairman of this committee. The other members are J. A. Burton, E. Leonard Jossem and John S. Laughlin, and some of them intended to meet at the Institute later in the afternoon. Their job is to decide such things as the routes of communication between committees and the Board, Executive Committee, and back to the societies, and generally increase the flow of information. They will probably revise the lines of responsibility of some committees. The committee is not likely to come to the March meeting with something for the Board to vote on but with a proposition for discussion.

  3. Plans for 1975 Committees

    Koch stated that until such time as the new committee structure is established, the AIP management proposes to establish committees for 1975 as in the past.

8. Suggestions for Agenda Items for March 21-22 Governing Board Meeting

Koch distributed a preliminary schedule and agenda for the March 21-22 meeting, as developed by the AIP Management Committee and Chairman Crane, before requesting comments and suggestions. Havens remarked that the over-all format is excellent; it allows people to get together and talk informally. Koch commented that the Committee on Committees is going to be looking at a variety of functions of AIP and the committees. In public understanding, the societies and AIP must be involved. How does Dow Smith approach the question of developing advice, and for whom? We are planning to give each member of the Board an audiotape on "The Discovery of Nuclear Fission." Should AIP try to get money for more films, for 2-minute TV spots? These are the issues we want the Governing Board to address itself to. Ronald Geballe and Walter Sullivan have agreed to talk for 15 minutes if they are invited. We can set up exhibits for viewing by Board members if you wish. The Advisory Committee on Public Relations has not met in several years but we would like to reactivate it and have it address itself to some of the things we have just mentioned.

Jossem felt that we might dispense with the film and have a panel discussion to find out what people want to know about physics and physicists. He said he thought we might be very surprised. Crane thought that, if we are going to improve our operations in this area, we are also going to have to have people who are experts in that area. Jossem observed that he attended such a panel discussion and was surprised at how large the gap was between the scientists and the general public. Slack stated that one of the things he would hope to get out of a discussion by the Board would be to get some indication as to what directions the Board wants the Institute to take. Until very recently the "who" has been the science writers. How now do we make an incremental enlargement of this?

Havens observed that one complaint he has heard from APS members on the Board is that they come to the meetings, get a lot of information, but are not required to make any decisions. Maybe the Board should be asked to make a decision on whether more money should be spend on informing the public and, if so, from which current AIP activities should it be taken away. Crane noted that there is a tremendous amount of money spent on public understanding of science. The question is where can AIP make a dent. Jossem thought that there are questions of short-range influences and long-range influences. In the short-term it may be done with Congress, in the long term a much larger segment of the public needs to be addressed. Laughlin thought that one group might be the school boards and principals. Jossem added that materials must be provided from which they can draw their own conclusions that physics is good for them. Havens asked whether it would be worthwhile for AIP to put out a source booklet on the practical applications of physics. Crane thought that we could ask the Beard 3 questions: (1) Should we try to do our bit or is it not worthwhile? (2) If we decide to do it, where can we make the biggest dent with the smallest amount of funds? (3) Shall we put more of the Societies’ money into it? Jossem pointed out that, if there is a strong negative image of science, support will go down. The consensus seemed to be that this will be an excellent topic for discussion at the Governing Board meeting on March 21-22.

9. Future Meetings

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be held on March 21, beginning at 9:30 a.m., in the headquarters building.

Millman suggested that it would be desirable to set the time for the April meeting of the Executive Committee since some of the members may get involved in other committee meetings during the week of the APS meeting. It was agreed to have a breakfast meeting on Thursday, May 1, in Washington. Millman also stated that he would like to ask the non-voting participants to inform their respective Member Society presidents of future meeting dates as they are set so that they can make plans to attend or arrange for someone else to do so.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.