Executive Committee of the American Institute of Physics
Minutes of Meeting
Members Present: H. Richard Crane – Chairman, J. A. Burton, W. W. Havens, Jr., G. A. Jeffrey, E. Leonard Jossem, H. William Koch, and Gerald Holton who arrived at about 11:00 a.m.
Absent: A. I. Mahan
AIP Staff Present: H. William Koch, Director; Wallace Waterfall, 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 Crane called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.
Waterfall explained why the minutes of the November 15, 1973, meeting were not ready for distribution and asked for authorization to circulate a mail ballot. Havens moved that a mail ballot be authorized, Jossem seconded the motion, and it was passed without dissent.
2. Presentation of Proposed AIP Budget for 1974
A 75-page loose-leaf book on the 1974 budget was distributed to each of the members present and this served as a basis for the ensuing discussions. An abbreviated version of the budget for 1974, as adopted, is attached as Exhibit D.
Gilbert noted that the “Summary” (copy attached as Exhibit A) included the changes made since the first rough draft budget which was sent to the Executive Committee on December 7, 1973. Originally it was planned to add a Director of Public Information but this was dropped and Lewis Slack is Acting Director. In Manpower, two people (of the secretarial-clerk variety) will be kept for six months instead of a year (one for Susanne Ellis and the other for Sylvia Barisch). We also dropped plans for an additional secretary in the Director’s office and an additional person in Personnel.
In the “Comparative Statement of Income and Expense” (copy attached as Exhibit B), the change in “Grant Overhead” income (Page 1, line 7) reflects the termination of the large Information grant. The increase in “IOP Journals” (line 12) is due to a substantial increase in the subscription prices on which our commission is based. “Conference Proceedings” (line 13) has had a negative balance but we expect next year to make $25,000.
The reduction in expense noted under “Meeting Rooms” (4th line from bottom) reflects a reduction in unassigned space due to the addition of people or relocation of units of AIP.
Gilbert next turned to the “Summary Statement of Income and Expense” (copy attached as Exhibit C) which showed that AIP is spending about $141,000 more than its income. Attention was called to the expense item of $477,900 covering the AIP Divisions of Education, Manpower, Physics History, and Public Information. The Physics History item ($105,700) resulted in considerable discussion and was divided into two phases. First there was discussion resulting in action before Holton joined the group (due to the uncertainty arising from a snow storm as to whether Holton would attend). The discussion of the “Friends of the Center for History of Physics” resumed after lunch with Gerald Holton (who had arrived at about 11:00 a.m.) taking a leading role. The two parts will be recorded her consecutively.
Gilbert pointed out that the total support for the Physics History is $173,000, of which AIP is paying $105,700 and outsiders $68,000, which includes $44,300 from the Friends of the Center for History of Physics fund (Page 37 in the Budget). There is no reserve fund. The discussion then turned to the question whether the available funds were intended to reduce the cost to the Institute or to undertake new projects, leaving the ongoing activities more or less intact. Looking at previous minutes, including the solicitation letter from Elmer Hutchisson, did not clear up the matter to everyone’ satisfaction. Keeping in mind that the over-all Institute budget is, if not for the “adjustment”, a deficit budget, it was decided at this stage of the discussion to defer action on the use of “Friends” funds until the March meeting of the Governing Board by passing the following motion:
MOVED that, without prejudice as to final action on the 1974 budget, we defer any action on the “Friends of the Center for History of Physics” until the March 1974 meeting of the Governing Board.
The new phase of the discussion started with a brief introductory statement by Crane. Whereupon Holton reminded the members of some of the relevant history of this subject, as follows:
A previous Executive Committee meeting decided that a danger existed that a minimum program for Physics History with only two people might be below critical to do a good enough job, and on this basis the subject was brought up to the Governing Board for action. The Board voted its commitment to keep a minimum program and to challenge the "Friends of the Center for History of Physics" to bring it above that threshold. The Council of Friends was formed and has been working for some time. In addition there is also an Advisory Board. (Holton distributed copies of the December 1973 "Newsletter of the Center for History of Physics", copy attached as Exhibit E.) The membership of that Board is listed on Page 2. The budget presented on Page 37 of the attached over-all AIP budget is for the programs recommended by these two groups.
Holton recalled that the fund-raising effort dwelt on the proposition that money raised through the Friends and the Council is not to be money that supplants the AIP support of the History base program. The whole assumption was that, the AIP Board having made a commitment for a minimum program, physicists should also make one for additional support. The urgency of checking oral history transcriptions while the subjects are still alive has been cited as an example of effort for which the additional support would be used. Holton felt that impounding the money would produce a strong and unfavorable reaction among those who had helped raise it.
Further discussion revolved around the question as to whether AIP is committed indefinitely to a level of $100,000 per year support from its own resources and on the wisdom of expanding this program at a time when AIP is experiencing a deficit. It was pointed out that the expansion is not a long-term commitment.
The following two motions were then made, seconded, and passed:
MOVED to rescind the previous motion. One negative vote was cast by Havens.
MOVED to empower the spending of the appropriation as set forth on Page 37 of the AIP Budget. Havens voted “No” and Jeffrey abstained.
On December 21, 1973, Koch sent a memorandum to members of the Executive Committee attaching the review of minutes, letters, and discussion held with the AIP Management Committee regarding the initial intentions that motivated the raising of the funds for the Physics History Program. His memorandum includes the following statement: “Based on that review, I have authorized the staff to proceed with their Physics History Program plans for 1974 that were approved in principle on 17 December 1973 and that were subject to my review.”
Gilbert resumed discussion of the budget by pointing to the proposed net income of $38,000 for 1974 if we proceed with the transfer of funds from the Publishing Reserve (about $33,000) and Physics Abstract Fund (about $147,000). This net income will serve to reduce the accumulated deficit we are starting with in 1974. The budget for the Manpower Division (Pages 34 and 35 of the Budget) includes now (Page 34) the outside support, $40,000 from APS for the Placement Project and $40,000 for the Doctoral Employment Information Service which will come from participants. It does not include the $15,000 being sought for support of Register activities.
3. Publishing Procedures on Which 1974 Budget is Based
Marks began the discussion on publishing procedures by pointing to the “Summary Statement of Income and Expense” for AIP archive journals (Page 3 of the Budget). The budget represents the third major effort to integrate the previously NSF-supported Information projects into our Publications Division. Composition Section B computer produces heads for AIP journals, Society journals and “Nuclear Science Abstracts” (NSA). WE are no longer doing tails by computer. How do you prorate the expense incurred? At a previous meeting of the Executive Committee it was agreed that the computer-produced product cost should be of the order of what it would cost to do the heads by typewriter composition, or perhaps 25% higher. In order to achieve that and come out about right for Society journals we are assigning the following weight factors: “1” for AIP journals, “1/2” for Society journals. This will result in the Societies’ paying about 20% more for heads than they had been paying for heads by typewriter composition. These same abstracts are going to be used for NSA, and these we assigned a weight of “1/3.” CURRENT PHYSICS TITLES does not have the full abstract but should bear a portion of the expense of this Section and was weighted at a little over 10%. This method of proration, based on the figures in the proposed budget, results in the following prorated approximate charges per article:
- $21.00 for AIP articles
- 13.00 for Society journal articles
- 1.70 for CPT articles
- 11.00 for NSA articles
The actual charges will, as usual be based on actual costs, following this method of proration.
We also assigned relative weights for the expenses involved in Indexing and Programming. For Indexing we have assigned “1” for AIP, “1/2” for Societies, and “1 ½” for NSA. This results in a cost of $3.31 per article for AIP and one-half that cost for a Society article. On the Programming, we weighted the first tow the same as above (“1” and “1/2”) and for NSA at “1/2”, CPT at “0.1” and SPIN at “1.” For AIP it is $4.14 and for NSA $2.07. About half of the increase is due to these new sections. As before, actual charges will be based on actual costs using this method of proration.
Marks discussed briefly the price increases for the Soviet Translation Journals (Page l6 of the Budget). Prices for the 1973-74 year were fixed some time ago. The increases for 1974-75 were approved by the Executive Committee at its last meeting. They were not announced and we would like to propose further adjustment to those new prices as listed in Exhibit F. A motion to approve the changes was passed as follows:
MOVED the proposed increases for Soviet Translation Journals be approved.
Marks said for PHYSICS TODAY (Page 15 of the Budget), we increased sales but this is offset by an increase in fulfillment costs and an increase in the cost [of] printing and paper. We have increased ad rates 10%, and we will consider further increases in advertising rates later. Some money could be saved by using Second Class Mail but, more important, it would be delivered faster. However, we would have to allocate money toward member subscriptions and we would have to pay tax on the advertising income. Once we did that, we couldn’t go back. The postage saving would be about $20,000 a year.
On CPAA (Page 11 of the Budget), our plan is for a break-even operation in 1975. For CPT (Page 12), we have allocated one-half of the article charge income from the AIP-owned journals. We would have to develop enough subscriptions to break even in 1975. On CPM (Page 13), we now have six subscriptions and are projecting eleven which, Marks said, he thinks is conservative. We expect 25-30 over the next year and a half.
For SPIN tapes (Page 14 of the Budget), we are allocating the remaining one-half of the article charge income. We know that Engineering Index has about 26 subscriptions for their tape, of which three are already SPIN subscribers. If the NSF grant on data base exchange with Engineering Index comes through, we hope to be able to further reduce costs by exchanging information on tape.
Marks discussed the marketing activities by distributing two sheets, “Promotion Expenses 1974” and “Promotion Budget – 1974” (copies attached as Exhibit G). This is not a large expense in terms of trying to protect our $2,000,000 journal income. These figures do not include salaries and space. This is not a high-powered program, not anywhere near that of the American Chemical Society.
4. Status of Subscription Fulfillment System
Staffing and Equipment
Gilbert pointed to Page 45 of the Budget and noted that we authorized an increase of $110,000 at the August 29 meeting. There is an addition of $195,000 for 1974. Changes in Data Processing have a dramatic effect on Fulfillment.
On Page 42 of the Budget, we note the increase of 27% over 1973. As of now, Martino does not know what will be his ability to get into Accounting operations so we have not charged that proration. However it goes next year will influence the final actual charges of Accounting and Fulfillment. This budget was based upon the mandate from the Board as to what they expect in the way of performance. It includes a large staff of temporaries over a period of eight months, which is rather plush. We are still going through the first year of operating under the new system. We have just taken on a consultant, E. von Simson of McCaffery, Seligman & von Simson (as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Dues Billing and Subscription Fulfillment) and will be discussing this budget with him. We are not making any provision for equipment changes in 1974. Gilbert also called attention to, and went over figures in the latest DiCaro “Monthly Status Report”, copy attached as Exhibit H.
Appointment of Consultant
Koch reported on the status of the subscription fulfillment consultant, who started December 10. Arrangements have been made to have Von Simson meet with the Advisory Committee on Dues Billing and Subscription Fulfillment to discuss all aspects of subscription fulfillment. In discussions on the new computer, it was demonstrated that it is not going to be the answer to all our problems. We have a number of unanswered questions and the staff is not ready today to say whether we should stay with the present computer or go with a new one. Koch said he is feeling more and more that we should stay with our present computer for another year.
Questions were raised whether changing computers might result in an unanticipated debacle, or whether there is a real danger that our present computer might conk out. A general attitude expressed was that we have not yet received the report of the consultant, therefore the Executive Committee should not move for a new computer until this report has been received.
Marks remarked that in the publications area, the immediate need for an increase in computer capacity is not going to be so great. All he would like is that the configuration chosen can be easily expanded to accommodate possible computer photocomposition needs that might come up in the near future.
5. Request of Scientific Manpower Commission
Koch referred to a letter from William Bevan, Executive Officer of AAAS (copy attached as Exhibit I) requesting an increase in our contribution to the Scientific Manpower Commission, which is now an affiliate of AAAS. Koch said he sees no justification for increasing our allocation at this time above our usual $1,000. Crane endorsed this attitude by indicating that we already do more than our share of contributing manpower information to the world and should feel no obligation for greater effort.
6. Manpower Programs and the 1974 Budget
In response to a question by Burton about the assumptions of support from APS for the Manpower Programs in 1974, Slack referred to the material sent out prior to the meeting entitled “Manpower Programs and the 1974 Budget” (copy attached as Exhibit J). Slack stated that the draft budget for Manpower programs, as described in Exhibit J, did provide for analysis of the Register data and continuation of updating address information of respondents and members in anticipation of subsequent Register surveys. However, the final budget as distributed at this meeting does not provide for carrying on this activity beyond July 1; this cutback of two people during the last half of the year was necessary to bring the over-all Institute budget into a more acceptable state of balance. The Manpower budget itself assumes that we will get nothing from APS for the Register operation. Should APS approve the $15,000 grant, this activity will be continued beyond July to the end of the year.
7. Japan-U.S. Exchange of Physicists
Koch and Slack reported that we have prepared a proposal for submission to NSF with APS as principal investigator and with AIP as fiscal agent. NSF has a cooperative exchange program between the U.S. and Japan involving three or four scientists in a given field per year. Most of the visits to date have been closer to one month than three months. About three weeks ago they came to us with the request that the physics community participate in such a program, with the concentration on solid state physics. The role of APS would be to make arrangements for the visiting scientists and act as U.S. agent for their nomination, and determine availability of the U.S. scientists chosen to visits Japan. Burton thought that APS would be glad to participate.
8. Action on 1974 Budget
A motion to adopt the 1974 budget as proposed elicited further discussion on the highly budget-related item of Information Services. What should be done with respect to further negotiations with IEE? Are they going to publish AIP abstracts in 1974? What position do we take with respect to copyright problems? What if the British start to garble our abstracts? Perhaps we should write them a strong letter but not contemplate at present court action. Marks indicated that AIP is not counting on British support but rather on making our products self-supporting. A quarterly index journal might produce large revenue.
The general assumption in accepting the 1974 budget is that everything will go independent of subsidies in 1975. The motion that was made, seconded, and passed without dissent is as follows:
MOVED that the proposed budget for 1974 be adopted.
9. AAPT Account
Gilbert reported that he had just received a check from AAPT which completely liquidates their indebtedness to AIP.
10. Status of Copyright Negotiations with the Soviets
Koch referred to a recent letter from the Soviets (copy attached as Exhibit K) in which they say seven of our 15 translation journals are under contract with another publisher. This is the AIP contract with Plenum Press which goes through the end of 1975. Earl Coleman of Plenum has told us that those are his journals and that he intends to take them away. Koch said he told Coleman we have no intention of allowing him to take them over. We have been negotiating with the Russians in Washington and with Mezhdunarodhaja Kniga. Their representative in Washington, Melnik, has sent the complete story to Moscow. He advised us not to answer this letter because he has already written to tell them the whole story. Koch said he believes we have been remiss in not going to Moscow and he proposed that such a trip be made when we get a response from Melnik. Holton suggested that the reason for our failure to answer this letter ought to be put in writing.
11. Status of NSF Grant Proposals
Koch reported that we are revising details of our grant proposals to NSF on Interchange of Data Bases with Engineering Index and on Data Tagging, and we are optimistic that they will be approved. It was also reported that we have received the grant we requested from NSF for $23,700 to fund a project entitled “Using Historical Materials for Public Understanding of Science” of which Charles Weiner will be principal investigator.
12. Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be a breakfast meeting, starting at 7:00 a.m., on Wednesday, February 6, 1974, at the Palmer House in Chicago.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 p.m.