The AAPT Secretary is elected for a two-year term and is eligible for re-election twice and so may hold office for a maximum of six years. Because of the nature of Secretary's duties, it generally has been desirable for the Secretary to hold that office for the maximum term. The Secretary assumes office at the end of the winter meeting (20XX+1) following election in 20XX.
The Secretary has two fundamental functions. The first is to serve as the authority on past actions, on policy and custom on Association law, and to keep records on such things as time progresses. The second is to provide the Executive Board and the Council with services independent of the AAPT Executive Office whenever desirable.
The Executive Board regularly meets at the times of the Association's winter and summer meetings, usually on the day preceding these meetings and later during the meetings. The Board also frequently meets in the spring, usually in April, and in the fall, usually in October. The Council ordinarily meets only during the winter meeting. On rare occasions the Executive Board has held special meetings at other times. Including only the regular meetings, the Secretary normally must attend 14-16 days of meetings each year for the Association.
The Secretary is a member and Secretary of the Awards Committee which meets at the times of the winter and summer meetings.
The Secretary is Chair of the Publications Committee. This Committee normally meets just before Association meetings. It supervises the various AAPT publishing activities, including the American Journal of Physics, The Physics Teacher, the Announcer, AAPT Tests, the AAPT Resource Letters, and the AAPT Executive Office Publications. In addition to being responsible for basic policy in this area, the Committee also reviews candidates for editorial positions and serves as an appeals board for editorial decisions. The Chair, between committee meetings, consults frequently with editors and also has a steady but not large correspondence concerning appeals. The Chair also customarily serves on committees which screen candidates for major editorial offices or which review performance of major editors prior to reappointment.
Duties and Responsibilities: The Secretary also has a substantial number of specific duties. The following list is fairly complete.
1. The Secretary provides the Council and Executive Board with notices of meeting times and places and requests contributions of items for the agenda.
2. The Secretary, in consultation with the President, prepares agendas for the Executive Board and Council meetings. These agendas, along with any supporting documentation, are distributed by the Secretary to members in advance of the meetings.
3. Immediately after Executive Board and Council meetings the Secretary prepares a summary of their actions that is distributed to all Council members and to the Editor of the Announcer. There is nearly always a very short press deadline for the material to reach the Announcer editor.
4. The Secretary prepares full minutes of the Council, Executive Board, and the Awards Committee, and distributes these to the Council, Executive Board, or Awards Committee respectively. The Secretary also maintains the official minutes of the Association, though copies are also provided to the Executive Office.
5. All formal communication between the Association and the American Institute of Physics is carried out through the Secretary. This typically includes notification of the election of Governing Board members, official reports of membership, notice of proxies, reports of actions on AIP membership applications or votes on AIP constitutional amendments, and similar items.
6. The Secretary maintains copies of most formal contractual agreements to which AAPT is a party and generally is required to be a signatory to such agreements.
7. The Secretary frequently must issue certification of Council or Executive Board actions or of election of officers. On occasion the Secretary must witness or testify to the signatures of AAPT officers or employees. These functions occur most frequently in connection with financial matters.
8. The Secretary annually instructs the Nominating Committee as to its duties. In this connection the Secretary maintains "JOB DESCRIPTIONS" for elective office. This is a sample. The instructions to the Nominating Committee have typically taken the form of a rather long "Memorandum". This document carries a wealth of detail as well as very important reminders regarding the activities and procedures of the Nominating Committee.
9. The Secretary assists the Executive Office staff in maintaining a current Organizational Directory. This is published in the Spring Announcer and on the Association’s web site.
10. The Secretary certifies the results of AAPT Elections and notifies candidates of the results. In the case of candidates elected to Executive Board positions, the Secretary customarily provides them with the Organizational Directory and the AAPT Officer Handbook. It is also customary to invite newly elected Board members to attend Executive Board meetings and other appropriate meetings as guests prior to the time they assume office.
11. When necessary, the Secretary certifies Executive Board and Council appointments.
12. AAPT policy is that professional employees with appointments for more than one year have written employment contracts. The Secretary is responsible for preparing these contracts according to the directions of the Executive Board.
13. From time to time it is necessary for the Executive Board to conduct e-mail ballots on important matters that cannot be delayed until a meeting. In such cases, the issuing of the e-mail ballot and its recording are done by the Secretary. Issuing a e-mail ballot requires the assent of the Secretary and one of the following: the President, the Treasurer, or the Executive Officer.
14. It is the responsibility of the Secretary to keep the President well informed of what appointive offices are approaching end of term so that appropriate search or review committees are appointed. Similarly, the Secretary keeps the major editors apprised of which Associate Editorships or Editorial Board memberships are approaching end of term.
15. It is the policy of AAPT to provide the costs of travel and subsistence for its elected officers in those cases where the individual is unable to obtain full or partial support from other sources. In the case of the Secretary, the Association will provide reasonable expenses for carrying out the duties of this office if the Secretary's home institution cannot do this.
16. It is AAPT Policy that the Secretary and the President perform a formal review of the work of the Executive Officer each fall. At the Fall meeting of the Executive Board, the Secretary reminds the Board of the up-coming Review and requests its comments. The Secretary reports on the results in the Review to the Executive Board at its Winter Meeting, as deemed appropriate.