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Executive Board Minutes - April 2004

April 24-25, 2004
College Park, Maryland

Board Members Present: Jim Nelson, President; Dick Peterson, President Elect; Ken Heller, Vice President; Charlie Holbrow, Past President; Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary; Chuck Robertson, Treasurer; Steve Iona, Chair of Section Representatives; Randy Peterson, Vice Chair of Section Representatives; Deborah Rice, At-Large Member, Chuck Stone, At-Large Member; Ruth Chabay, At-Large Member; Jan Tobochnik, Editor of the American Journal of Physics (AJP); Karl Mamola, Editor of The Physics Teacher (TPT); Bernard V. Khoury, Executive Officer.

Guests: Carol Heimpel, Maria Elena Khoury, Valerie Evans, Warren Hein, Fran Smith, Roxanne Muller, Judy Franz, Marc Brodsky, John Layman

1. Call to Order.
J. Nelson called the meeting to order and welcomed Board members and guests.

2. Additions to the Agenda.
One item was added, the appointment by the Board of an AAPT representative to the APS Forum on Education.

3. Approval of the Minutes.
Following a report of changes to be made, Holbrow moved that the January 2004 Minutes be approved as corrected. Robertson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

4. President's Report.
Nelson had no report at this time.

5. President Elect's Report.
D. Peterson highlighted the events planned for the AAPT Summer meeting in Sacramento. He reported that the Sacramento planning committee was doing a good job. AAPT had received 524 paper submissions to date (including 161 invited papers and 96 posters). In addition, 105 sessions and 52 workshops and tutorials were scheduled. This meeting will be the largest in AAPT's history with respect to the number of sessions. It will be common to have twelve parallel sessions.

The American Physical Society (APS) would be sponsoring a session on beams and accelerators that produce them. Also, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) was organizing a session on radiotherapy and diagnostic radiology. PASCO will host an offsite picnic at its scientific plant in Roseville. In an effort to attract local teachers, AAPT will give area teachers reduced registration fees.

D. Peterson reported that Ken Heller had assumed some responsibility in the planning of the Sacramento program, which is earlier in his term of office than previous AAPT vice presidents. Upon a suggestion from Holbrow, Nelson asked Monroe, as Secretary, to draft a letter to Joe Redish expressing the Board’s appreciation for his help in the paper sort of PER submissions and his service to the organization as editor of the PER supplement and later the PER section.

6. Vice President's Report.
Heller had no report at this time.

7. Past President's Report.
Prior to this meeting of the Executive Board, Holbrow distributed to members two reports: (1) a summary of the AIP Public Policy meeting and (2) NSF focus group. 

8. Secretary's Report.
Monroe reported action taken by the Board on three electronic ballots.

  • The AAPT Executive Board approves the submission of the proposal “ComPADRE: Communities for Physics and Astronomy Digital Resources for Education Pathway” to NSF. The final NSF proposal will not differ substantially from the draft documents attached to this email. (April 5, 2004) The motion passed with 11 yes votes.


  • The AAPT Executive Board approves the change in name of the Committee on Astronomy Education to the Committee on Space Science and Astronomy. The Board also approves the modification of the Committee’s mission statement as given below.

Proposed Modified Mission Statement

  1. To strengthen and maintain contacts with national organizations concerned with space science and astronomy and the teaching thereof.
  2. To provide AAPT members with a perspective on current space science and astronomy research through “Frontiers in Space Science and Astronomy” sessions.
  3. To promote excellence in teaching astronomy by:
  1. Sponsoring hands-on workshops that introduce the latest in computer software and observational techniques taught in labs.
  2. Holding sessions that provide information on resources for teaching materials; on successful and unsuccessful curricula developments; on research in teaching; and on the interrelationships between astronomy and other disciplines.
  3. c. Working with sister committees to promote areas of joint interest.
  1. In general, to provide AAPT a focus for astronomical matters.
(March 8, 2004). The motion passed with 10 yes votes and one member not voting.
  • The AAPT Executive Board approves sending a letter, in substantially the form as the attached draft in MS Word format, to various education officials and media in California. During the Winter 2004 AAPT Meeting, Dewey Dykstra reported to the Board on behalf of the area committee for pre-high school teaching. He cited an effort in California to require that publishers include adequate materials in their textbooks and associated resources so that no teacher would need to use more than 25% of instructional time in hands-on activities. This would be required of any instructional materials to be purchased by state funds.

    While the proposed criteria did not restrict or limit the amount of time a teacher could spend on hands-on activities, they did limit the kinds of instructional materials that would be considered for adoption by the state and that would consequently be available for purchase by districts using state funds.

    On behalf of the AAPT committee, Dykstra requested that AAPT send a letter to California officials objecting to this requirement. (February 23, 2004) The motion passed unanimously.

    The Nominating Committee in 2004 reported to Monroe the following slate of candidates for the AAPT 2004 elections:
    Vice President:
    Alexander K. Dickison, Seminole Community College
    Harvey S. Leff, California State Polytechnic Univ.
    Member-At-Large High School:
    Patrick t. Callahan, Delaware Valley Regional High School
    John L. Roeder, The Calhoun School
    Mary Beth Monroe, Southwest Texas Junior College

9. Treasurer’s Report:
Robertson distributed a report showing AAPT investment activities in the short-term and long-term accounts. $445 K was moved from the Bauder, Klopsteg and Fuller Funds to the long-term reserves. He noted that the annualized interest rate for short-term reserves was 3.99% and 15.47% for long-term reserves. Holbrow suggested that Robertson should compare fees between TIAA-Cref and Vanguard. Nelson directed this matter to the Investment Committee.

As a side note, Robertson stated his intention to recommend to the Board during its Summer Meeting that the Chair or Vice Chair of the Section Representatives be made the chair of the Membership and Benefits Committee. Currently the Treasurer serves in that position.

10. Section Representatives.
Chair’s Report.
Iona had no report at this time.
Vice Chair’s Report.
R. Peterson reported that one inactive section had been reenergized. The Alabama section will have a meeting in the Fall at the University of Alabama.

11. Executive Officer’s Report.
Khoury highlighted the following topics from his Report to the Board and the AAPT Updates.

  • Dodge Building. The Campus Outfitters, current tenants in the Dodge Building, decided not to purchase the building. However, they had asked for an extended lease. The current lease ends in December 2004. Khoury asked the Board for input regarding this request. Discussion then followed concerning the practicality of selling a building while tenants have a long-term (three-year) lease.

    Nelson stated that the Board had expressed that real estate was not its business and therefore the AAPT needed to sell the building. Hein asked Khoury his opinion concerning the market for this kind of building. Khoury replied that the Dodge Building is in a residential section and therefore not what people were looking for. Tobochnik suggested that the AAPT renew the lease but put in a kick out clause. He explained that this would make it clear that the AAPT wanted to sell the building and maybe the tenants could make a deal with future buyers. Robertson suggested increasing rental fees. Khoury clarified that the current lease has an escalator fee of 3% per year. Holbrow suggested trading the fee for a kick out clause.

    In conclusion, the Board affirmed its intention to sell the building by the end of the year and directed B. Khoury to get a new realtor within two weeks. The members instructed Khoury to take appropriate efforts that would result in maximum gains for the association.

  • It’s About Time. Holbrow stated that the Executive Office needs to push lawyers to complete the paperwork for the sale of AAPT’s copyrights to Active Physics to It’s About Time, publishers of the curriculum. Khoury agreed to talk to the lawyers during the next week.

  • NSF/CCLI Program. Khoury reported attending a NSF conference convened to define the direction that the CCLI program should take. The physics program officers indicated that the CCLI would focus less on inventing new programs of study and more on the implementation and evaluation of these programs. In a side conversation Ted Hodapp and Duncan McBride, NSF program officers, suggested that the AAPT might want to write a letter to the CCLI program, describing the impact of this NSF program on the physics community.

    Heller advised that the new CCLI criteria will address how academic change is implemented. Currently the academic community does not have a model of how change actually occurs. Tobochnik commented that the problem at the undergraduate level is that there is not enough lab experience for students. The reason is that such activities cost money and require time to incorporate these into courses. The NSF should provide help in this area.

    Khoury explained that NSF officers wanted the letter by the first of May. Hein advised that the NSF officers were under a lot of pressure and therefore the AAPT should provide input. Nelson asked Holbrow to prepare a letter to the NSF/CCLI program stating that innovations in colleges and universities need to be supported and strengthened. Holbrow accepted on the contingency that the letter carry the full weight of the Board. Therefore, he explained that he would prepare a resolution to this effect and would present it to the Board for formal action on the following day. (See these Minutes Item 44.)

  • PER Community. Khoury explained that in his role at the NSF/CCLI conference he had convened a small group to talk about the creation of a small PER electronic journal. Chabay advised caution as this effort involves only a fraction of the members of the PER community. Khoury explained that this discussion was merely an ad hoc conversation. During this conversation, Paula Heron had shared that some PER members were considering a free standing PER meeting in 2005.  It was possible then that the Board might be asked to consider a pre proposal to this purpose from the PER community in the near future.

  • NSF Community College Day. Khoury and John Layman attended Community College Day activities at the NSF

    Khoury reported that William Wulf, President of the National Academy of Engineering, gave a really good presentation saying that engineering education was too theoretical and did not provide the training required of practicing engineers. Wulf suggested that two-year colleges could effectively implement a change in engineering education to address this need.

    Some concern was expressed during the meeting regarding the qualifications of astronomy teachers at two-year colleges. It was reported that an astronomy teacher at Austin Community College in Texas was not qualified to teach introductory physics according to the judgment of the institution’s accrediting agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. This issue is directly related to a recent position taken by AAPT leaders to argue that physics teachers are qualified to teach introductory astronomy. Stone advised that Mike Zeilik, AAPT Astronomy Committee, during the Winter Meeting in Austin, Texas said he would write a letter to the agency explaining that physics teachers are qualified to teach astronomy. Stone recommended that the letter be posted on the community college listserv.

  • Cooperative Activities with APS. The APS Executive Committee is organizing a long-term effort, under the leadership of Helen Quinn, to identify ways to enhance cooperative efforts with other science organizations. During the meeting of the APS Committee on Education members discussed the cooperative activities between the AAPT and APS. Hein commented that Joe Redish was not aware of such activities and had asked Khoury for a list of these. He found this interesting since Redish has an active role in both organizations.

12. Structure of National Meetings.
D. Peterson prepared recommendations for Board discussion addressing scheduling problems associated with recent AAPT meetings. These recommendations, viewed favorably by himself, Carol Heimpel (Director of Meetings) and K. Heller (incoming Program Chair) were broader than the list of eight suggestions prepared by Heimpel. Carl Wieman, in a letter to the AAPT, identified some points bearing on the pressure experienced by the organizing committee. (See Board Packet IIE)

Wieman, upon attending the AAPT Winter Meeting in Miami Beach, commented that the sessions were too long and that poster sessions should play a more prominent role. It was not clear to D. Peterson how to address these, although the joint meeting with the American Astronomical Society in San Diego had revealed the importance of poster sessions to other societies. The Report of Meetings from 1999 to the present reveals that the number of posters at AAPT meetings had decreased slightly since the San Diego meeting. However, there has been a very large increase in the number of invited/contributed papers and the number of sessions had grown from 43 in the Winter 1999 to 107 scheduled for the Summer 2004.

Chabay asked about the meeting attendance for this same time period. D. Peterson answered that while the attendance was about the same, members were giving more papers. He expressed that possibly poorly attended paper presentations would be better served as poster presentations.

Heller contributed that the Board should first define the purpose of the AAPT meetings. He offered as an example that if the Board wanted a larger attendance by young people, the meetings should provide a practice platform. The AAPT could also have an invited rapporteur presentation of contributed papers. But, Heller added, the AAPT is also trying to sell people on how to teach. D. Peterson replied that this point should be conveyed to the task force on national meetings scheduled for endorsement during this meeting of the Board.

Tobochnik inquired if the PER community were responsible for the increase in paper sessions. D. Peterson explained that the increase was due to both PER papers and papers reporting the implementation of PER based curriculum.

Hein suggested that a poster session, rather than a paper session, might be a better way to serve attendees who need to give papers in order to receive financial support from their home institutions. Stone added that efforts should be made to raise the prestige of poster sessions. D. Peterson concurred with this.

One suggestion from Heimpel proposed that the Programs Committee could be convened in College Park to help with the paper sort, thus giving the committee a stronger role in the preparation of the program. D. Peterson was reluctant to accept this idea, saying that the committee was very diverse and it would cost about $ 1K per member. He also was hesitant to invite a subset of the committee as this would put more responsibility on the their shoulders. Holbrow advised that more thought on increasing the involvement of area chairs was warranted.

D. Peterson then reviewed his three recommendations to help alleviate the scheduling problems:

  1. The AAPT should make every effort to increase the number of poster papers and if possible, to increase their visibility and prestige at AAPT meetings.
  2. The AAPT should place major constraints on the number of invited sessions that could be sponsored/initiated by each area committee.
  3. The AAPT should allow only one first-author presentation at each national meeting, including both invited and contributed presentations.

In discussion of these, John Layman opined that the programs committee should remain responsible for poster sessions. Heimpel, in response to a question from the Board, explained that when Ruth Howes was Program Chair, the rule was implemented that the first author could only give one invited presentation per year. However, the rule had evolved to one invited paper per AAPT meeting.

Khoury asked the Board to explain why the AAPT meetings are so different from other society meetings that are larger. Tobochnik opined that the AAPT meetings, unlike those of APS meetings, provide participants with too many options. The specialty of the paper sessions at APS or other professional meetings limits the number of sessions that members can attend and understand. Heller agreed with this, adding that the problem was also due to the vitality of the AAPT members.

Holbrow, in response to Khoury’s question, said that in preparation for the last several AAPT meetings, the program organizers were constrained due to the restrictions of the physical facilities. Heimpel explained that when contracts are signed with site hosts four years in advance of the meeting dates, the facilities do fit the requirements. Holbrow commented that larger facilities would accommodate more parallel sessions and shorter sessions.

Further discussion and action by the Board regarding these recommendations from D. Peterson and Heimpel were postponed until later in the weekend meeting. (See these Minutes, Item 34.)

13. Task Force on National Meetings.
Iona proposed the creation of a task force on national meetings for the purpose of collecting specific data that would facilitate the planning for future AAPT meetings and the communications between the AAPT Executive Board and Council and other professional organizations concerning meetings. Specifically the task force would be charged with

  • collecting data concerning recent meeting attendees and presentations, 
  • surveying AAPT membership, AAPT meeting attendees, and area chairs (past and present) regarding their concerns and desires about the meetings, and
  • interviewing members of the Executive Board (past and present) and AAPT Directors regarding their concerns and desires about AAPT meetings. 

The Task Force would prepare a report to the Executive Board outlining its findings and making recommendations concerning site selection of future meetings, joint meetings with other professional organizations, ways to increase meeting attendance and ways to improve the functioning of the area committees, workshops, and sessions during the meetings. Iona suggested a task force of 3-5 members. 

Iona moved that the Board create a national task force on national meetings as outlined. Holbrow seconded the motion. Robertson commented that an operating budget would need to be developed, giving him cause for concern in light of the association’s projected deficit. In response to a question from Heller, Iona expressed that the timeline should include a couple of interim reports to the Board with the final report presented in January 2005. Nelson tabled the motion until after discussion concerning the dates for the Board retreat. (See these Minutes, Items 15 and 29.)

14. Board Retreat.
During the January 2004 meeting of the Executive Board, members expressed an interest in holding a retreat to examine its planning initiatives. During that discussion, the Board suggested a tentative retreat date to coincide with the AAPT summer meeting in Sacramento, California. In a subsequent report to the Board Khoury advised that this date would overlap the meeting of the PTRAs and would therefore make it virtually impossible for AAPT staff directors to attend the retreat.

Following a discussion of convenient dates, the retreat was tentatively scheduled for October 8-10, 2004 followed by an Executive Board meeting October 11. It was also tentatively agreed that Khoury and Nelson would determine the site for the retreat and identify the facilitator. (This decision was later rescinded. See these Minutes, Item 46.)

15. Task Force on National Meetings continued.
Nelson called for a vote of the motion concerning the creation of a task force on national meetings. (See these Minutes Item 13.) The motion passed unanimously. D. Peterson advised that the task force should deal with issues additional to the scheduling crisis surrounding the Sacramento meeting. Nelson appointed S. Iona as Chair of this task force and empowered him to appoint 3-5 additional members. Nelson agreed to prepare a charge for Board consideration on the following day. (See these Minutes, Item 29.)

16. Audit Committee.
Iona reported that the committee (Steve Iona, Chair; Debbie Rice; Chuck Stone; and Charlie Holbrow) had met and reviewed a draft of the auditors’ report. He explained that over a two-week period in February 2004, independent auditors reviewed the financial statements of the AAPT as of December 31, 2002 and 2003. According to the unqualified opinion of the auditors, the financial statements of the AAPT “presented fairly the financial position of the association and the changes in AAPT’s net assets and cash flows conformed with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States”. Iona explained that the auditors made suggestions to facilitate the internal accounting procedures at AAPT. The committee did not find any of these to be “red flags” and none of the suggestions were met with resistance from the AAPT finance department. Iona added that recommendations made by this same auditing firm last year had been or were being addressed. Iona asked the Board to review the draft audit report overnight. 

During the subsequent discussion of the audit report, Nelson credited Warren Hein and Fran Smith for the excellent report from the auditors. Robertson also acknowledged the contributions from Richard Baccante, an accountant from AIP, who joined the audit committee at the suggestion of Khoury.

D. Peterson asked if the audit committee discussed the recent NSF audit of the AAPT and if the AAPT’s previous auditors should have prepared us for the NSF audit. Khoury responded explaining that this was the second year the AAPT has had these auditors and therefore they were involved during the NSF audit. On a particular note, one of the auditors was consulted as the AAPT responded to some of the detail findings of the NSF audit. Holbrow commented that that there were circumstances leading to the NSF audit; it was not random. Khoury agreed saying that the reason was that AAPT did not have written financial procedures in place. He added that the AAPT had received more federal funding than the AIP in recent years.

17. Bauder Fund.
Robertson explained that each year the Bauder Fund Committee receives a request from PIRA for $1200 to support their resource center. The maximum request that the committee can approve is $1000, and consequently the committee has had to bring this request to the Board every year. Therefore, Robertson moved that the Board empower the Bauder Fund Committee to approve requests up to $2500 with subsequent reports of its actions to the Board. Rice seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

18. Marc Brodsky.
Brodsky, CEO for AIP, reported that the AIP was doing well except in Publishing Services. The AIP is a $70 – 75 million organization with journals bringing in $ 35 million. Publishing Services nominally operates at break even, losing about $0.5 to $1 million a year. Publishing Services publishes the AJP and in addition, the AIP collects library subscriptions for the AAPT. Brodsky reported that AIP was reengineering its publishing to make it more efficient and more automated. The AIP anticipates a 30% reduction in publishing costs to its member societies. However, the APS put the publication of one of its big journals, Physical Review D, up for bid. Consequently, another publisher underbid AIP by 30%. The APS has also moved a second, but smaller, journal to another publisher.

Brodsky explained that the AAPT would receive a letter from AIP basically outlining the reduction in publication costs over the next three years. The AIP will necessarily need to subsidize these services for a while, which will impact its other programs.

In an effort to save money, the AIP will make a change regarding distribution of the Physics Today. Thirty percent of the subscribers are not in the United States. Brodsky explained that it costs the institute $3 a year in postage to mail the journal to a U.S. member but it costs $20 a year per non-U.S. member. Each year the AIP spends $800 K to ship the journal overseas. In the future, each non-U.S. member would have the option of receiving either the print copy of the journal or the electronic copy. However, this does raise a problem regarding a loss in advertising.

Tobochnik advised Brodsky that he would like a requirement from the AIP specifying a certain format for article submissions. In response to a question from Holbrow, Brodsky explained that the reduction in publishing costs over the next three years would be $65 to $55 to $45. He added that costs are reduced by minimizing human intervention in the process of submission to publication.

D. Peterson asked which AIP physics programs would be impacted by the loss in revenue. Brodsky remarked that the AIP was trying not to remove any programs per se. However, the AIP will no longer provide a physics speaker program. In addition, about 4 or 5 staff positions out of 90 will be removed.

19. Backlog of Articles in the AJP.
Tobochnik distributed a handout to Board members describing the AJP’s page length per year. He reminded Board members that the size of the journal is a matter of Board policy. Currently he has six extra signatures and two extra signatures for the PER section which had been used for the year. A standard set is typically 37 signatures. Tobochnik projected that the AJP would publish almost 1600 pages in 2004, an increase of about 400 pages above the typical page number.

Khoury explained that the publishing spike in the 1990’s was due to the publication of the backlog of articles when the AAPT realized an infusion of funding. He asked if Tobochnik could explain the current increase in paper submission. Tobochnik said it could be due to the change in submission from a paper format to an electronic format. The electronic submission allows more timely interaction. The editor rejects 25% of submissions off the top before they go out to reviewers and overall the AJP rejects 70%. Tobochnik explained that he could not predict if this trend were going to continue. Tobochnik said that he was also trying, in an effort to address this increase, “to raise the bar” on the paper submissions but that, this effort increased his workload.

In response to a question from Chabay, Tobochnik clarified that the number of pages in the journal had increased but the number of published articles had not. He added that he was not receiving more PER submissions.

20. Executive Session I.

21. Temporary Committee on Teacher Preparation.
Khoury reported that Len Jossem, Chair of the Temporary Committee on Teacher Preparation, had requested that the committee be made a permanent committee. The committee was nearing the end of its three-year appointed term as a temporary committee. Khoury also reported that he had had some conversations indicating that some new members should be appointed to the committee. Jossem had also recommended the appointment of a new chair.

D. Peterson said that he was unclear as to the direction the Board should take. In the past, the procedure for changing the status of committees from temporary to permanent had high standards, including organized activities and meeting attendance. In this instance, the committee had not demonstrated strength in these areas. Subsequent discussion disclosed that the committee had spent much time in conversation with friends of the committee, such as the PhysTEC group, but that the committee had not moved forward in terms of what it could accomplish nor had it produced enough formal activities to warrant a change to permanent status. Board discussion also addressed the adequacy of the committee’s charge.

Robertson moved that the Board extend the temporary status of the Teacher Preparation Committee for another three years. Three new members and a new chair would be appointed by Nelson. Holbrow seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. It was agreed that the committee would be asked to prepare a statement of purpose for the committee.

22. Non-Member Survey Assessment.
In her memo to the Board, Valerie Evans, Director of Member Services, reported that a non-member survey had been conducted in an effort to identify why members join the association. She received the report of the survey findings during the previous week and therefore, had not had time to review its content. This report will be reviewed by the staff’s internal committee and a report to the Board will be prepared in time for its meeting in Sacramento.

Evans did state that in her first review of the survey findings, she noted that some of the lapsed AAPT members were short-term members, including many high school and two-year college teachers. This would seem to suggest that the AAPT did not have the benefits to keep them. She commented that lower membership rates would attract and retain members. Kniseley pointed out that the association has a membership spanning different educational levels, which makes marketing a complex issue.

23. Proposal for Regional Workshops by NTFUP.
The National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics, a collaborative of the AIP, APS and the AAPT, prepared a draft proposal to NSF as a special project requesting funding for a series of regional workshops over the next three years. The AAPT will serve as the fiduciary institution for the NSF award.

The regional workshops proposed to invite teams of faculty members from physics departments at four-year institutions that have expressed an interest in revitalizing their undergraduate programs. The workshops will build on the analysis of thriving undergraduate programs conducted during the task force’s recently completed project, SPIN-UP (Strategic Programs for Innovation in Undergraduate Physics) funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation. The draft proposal requests funding for four initial workshops involving about 80 physics departments.  A proposed outcome is a report analyzing the effectiveness of the workshops and their impact on the activities of the participating departments. The stated goal of the project is to have at least 50% of the physics departments in the United States working on revitalizing their programs within three years. The requested budget will be approximately $240 K.

Khoury moved that the Board approve the submission of the proposal to NSF seeking funds to support the effort by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics to carry out a series of workshops to assist physics departments. The proposal was included in the Board Packet in draft form (Item IIG) and it was expected that the final budget would include a full allocation of allowed indirect costs. D. Peterson seconded the motion.

In discussion of the motion, Nelson noted that the draft proposal did not include a budget. Heller commented that it was not clear to him what the workshops would do nor how these workshops differed from Project Kaleidoscope. He was skeptical that the workshops would be successful. Heller asked if there were a market. Tobochnik responded that a trial workshop attracted 60 people. Mamola said he thought there was a market but that many people know how to affect change but the personality of their department is such that it cannot make change happen. Hein contributed that there are many departments that do not know of the innovations implemented by the thriving undergraduate programs.

Stone asked what was unique about the proposal from a NSF review panel’s point of view. Khoury said the project was building on the feedback from the SPIN-UP study and this project is the task force’s effort to help departments to make some changes. Chabay expressed that the project has more to do with departmental culture. She would like to see a better flushed out proposal. Tobochnik opined that these comments were expressed in the proposal but should possibly be strengthened. Khoury added that Duncan McBride, NSF-DUE program officer, was interested in this project.

Iona expressed that he did not see teacher preparation or diversity consistently addressed throughout the project and thus felt that the proposal needed another edit. Heller added that the proposal should better define who would develop and lead the workshops.

In conclusion, the majority of the Board expressed that the proposal needed to be rewritten and that they needed to see the budget for the proposal before taking formal action. Therefore, D. Peterson withdrew his second to the motion and Khoury withdrew his original motion. Holbrow moved that the Board communicate to the task force that while it regarded the proposal favorably, the Board would not take action concerning its submission to the NSF until it had received a budget for the proposal. Robertson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

24. Proposal for Membership Rates.
Warren Hein, Valerie Evans and Sina Kniseley recommended that the Board approve the submitted table (Board Packet Item II H) outlining member and non-member rates for 2005. Specific items include (1) $99 for TPT representing no increase; (2) $129 for AJP, representing a $2 increase; and (3) $10 increase to non-member subscription rates for AJP and TPT. Assuming no loss in member subscriptions, the increase in the AJP membership rate would result in a revenue increase of about $4700 for 2005. The increase to non-member rates would realize a revenue increase of about $36,000.

Robertson expressed that he felt it a mistake not to break the $100 barrier for the TPT rate because at some point the AAPT would have to make a substantial increase. He recommended inching the dues up.

Holbrow moved that the Board accept the presented plan with the modification that $2 be added to the TPT member rate, making it $101 for the paper copy and $110 for both the paper copy and the electronic version. Robertson seconded the motion. Heller asked if it were possible for a member to get only one format. Kniseley explained that the publication of record is the print copy and advised the Board members to consider the production costs of the online version. Heller suggested a $99 rate for one version only and a $101 rate for both versions. Khoury noted that the AAPT would save money if an member were sent an electronic version for $99. Tobochnik and Kniseley advised caution in providing this option. They believed that many members would only take the electronic version and then subsequently would access the TPT through library subscriptions, in lieu of AAPT membership.

The motion passed with a vote tally of 9 yes, 1 no and 1 abstention.

25. PhysTEC.
Layman and Hein referred Board members to the PhysTEC status report included in the Board Packet. Upon the suggestion of the external evaluator, Karen Johnston, the PhysTEC Leadership Council was created. The Council was formed to foster communication among the Primary Program Institution (PPI) leaders and to ultimately build and maintain the PhysTEC Coalition emanating from the PhysTEC project.  Layman reported that the project has six active PPIs and was negotiating with Towson University (Maryland) and the University of Colorado at Boulder. The last two sites will be funded with Campaign for Physics Funds. It was not clear to the project management team how these would relate to the six sites funded by the NSF/FIPSE funds. Oregon State University had been placed on “hiatus” and was not receiving PhysTEC funding. The management team was hopeful that the issues at Oregon State would be resolved and would resume its active status in the Fall 2005.

Layman announced that the PhysTEC Principal Investigator, Fred Stein, would retire from the APS September 1, 2004 as Education Director and therefore would step down from his leadership role in PhysTEC. Layman pointed out that the AAPT could have a major influence on the project by suggesting a replacement for Stein. (A job description was distributed to Board members.) When Monroe asked NSF’s reaction to the event, Hein explained that the matter was complicated by the loss of the project’s program officer at the NSF. Hein commented that it was not clear to him how the new director could do the 40% work load for APS while also serving as a PI for PhysTEC.

26. Boston Area Undergraduate Physics Competition.
At the request of David Morin, Harvard University, Holbrow asked the Board to consider assuming the management of a competitive exam, currently involving about a dozen colleges. During an exchange of emails among Morin, Tobochnik and Holbrow, Morin explained that while a graduate student at Harvard he and a fellow student formed the Boston Area Undergraduate Physics Competition (BAUPC). The exam, similar to the Olympiads and the Putnam math exam, is four hours long and consists of six problems. Morin would like the AAPT to assume the organization and administration of the competition. Holbrow explained that no commitment had been made along these lines.

During discussion, Board members expressed the following stipulations for assuming the administration of the exam:
  • Morin would continue as editor of the exam and would oversee the grading of the exam,
  • Morin would become a member of AAPT,
  • The competition would add AAPT’s name to it, and
  • The content scope of the exam would be expanded. 
Costs to the AAPT would only address staff time, assuming that Morin provides authors and graders. In conclusion, Holbrow agreed to talk to Morin about the concerns expressed by the Board and if he thought it appropriate, he would prepare an electronic motion authorizing the AAPT administration of the competition.

27. Executive Session II (without B. Khoury).

At the conclusion of Executive Session II, Nelson adjourned the Board for the day. The Board reconvened the next morning.)

28. Audit Committee continued. Iona, as Chair of the Audit Committee, moved that the Board accept the report from the auditors. (See these Minutes, Item 16.) Iona expressed that although the audit report was a draft, the committee expected only minor changes to be made to the completed report. The motion passed unanimously.