Executive Board Minutes - October 2003Oct. 18-19, 2003
College Park, MD
Board Members Present: Charles Holbrow, President; Chris Chiaverina, Past President; Jim Nelson, President Elect; Dick Peterson, Vice-President; Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary; Chuck Robertson, Treasurer; Steve Iona, Chair of Section Representatives; Randy Peterson, Vice-Chair of Section Representatives; Mary Fehrs, At-Large Member, Deborah Rice, At-Large Member, Chuck Stone, At-Large Member, Jan Tobochnik, Editor, American Journal of Physics (AJP); Karl Mamola, Editor, The Physics Teacher (TPT); Bernard V. Khoury, Executive Officer
Guests: Warren Hein, Valerie Evans, Fran Smith, Roxanne Muller, Sina Kniseley, Maria Elena Khoury, John Layman, Judy Franz, Jim Stith, Carol Heimpel
1. Call to Order.
Charles Holbrow called the meeting to order at 8:05 AM and welcomed all members and guests.
2. Changes to the Agenda.
Holbrow said that he would like to briefly discuss the biweekly AAPT Officers’ conference phone calls. No further changes or additions were made to the Agenda.
M.B. Monroe noted some substantive corrections to be made to the distributed Minutes. M. Fehrs moved that the August 2003 Minutes of the Executive Board be accepted as corrected. C. Robertson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
4. Officers’ Reports.
Executive Officer: B. Khoury highlighted the following topics in his October 2003 Report from the Executive Officer and the EO Update included in the Board packet.
- Khoury had obtained a verbal deal with It’s About Time publishers concerning the AAPT sale of its copyrights of Active Physics. At the time of the Board meeting he was attempting to develop a word statement, acceptable to both IAT and the AAPT, expressing that the association developed the curriculum but that all rights were being transferred. In addition the new owner could not in any way imply AAPT endorsement of or future involvement with the curriculum. Khoury reported that it had been two weeks since he last heard from the publishers.
In discussion of this report, Robertson asked if this could be a delay tactic allowing IAT more time to find the money with which to purchase the copyrights. Khoury did not think this was the case. Mamola asked if IAT had proposed wording clarifying the AAPT role in the curriculum. Khoury explained that a standardized statement was used on papers expressing NSF support of the effort. The IAT publishers wanted to add the AAPT to this small print NSF statement. However, Khoury did not want them to do this. Holbrow reminded the Board that if an agreement were not reached by the end of the year, the IAT would owe the AAPT additional royalties.
- Khoury reported that eight AAPT sections were given AAPT grants supporting activities addressing teacher preparation and mentoring. The grants were $ 500 each. Khoury described the proposals as having a diverse range of activities. He explained that some sections requested funding for teacher prep activities already in place at the section level, while other sections were requesting support for activities to be implemented. Khoury added that he had been very forgiving of sterile proposals but had reminded the awardees that the AAPT wanted some additional attention given to teacher preparation. He also explained to the sections that the AAPT expected to see papers at future national meetings describing their activities. Khoury concluded his report by saying that if the grants were successful in producing teacher prep activities, he would request the Board for a continuance of the special grants.
- Khoury reported that the NSF audit was technically completed. During the previous year, the NSF had conducted an audit of the AAPT’s indirect costs for four years, 1997-2000. During this term, the AAPT had received about $ 3 M in grants. Of this, the NSF disallowed $ 24, 000 in indirect costs that had been previously paid by NSF to the association. The AAPT had returned $ 700 to the NSF and the remainder of the $ 24, 000 will be taken as adjustments to the association’s current grant activity. In response to a question from D. Peterson, Khoury said that the NSF regularly audits other organizations and it was his belief that about 20 other organizations were audited at the same time as the AAPT. The auditors had remarked that the AAPT audit was a particularly clean audit. In response to a question from Stone, Khoury explained that he and W. Hein had had intense arguments with the NSF Chief of Contracts Branch. The person could not be convinced that the marketing of the projects was dissemination. The NSF stated that awardees could not use indirect costs to support project displays or outreach. Future dissemination activities will have to be specifically listed as direct costs within the grant proposal.
- Khoury explained that planning had been completed for the fourth rescheduling of the Introductory Calculus-Based Physics Conference. The third date had to be canceled due to the predicted arrival of Hurricane Isabel to the Maryland area. Khoury explained that the last rescheduling had not incurred a hotel penalty since dates for a new meeting were set with the same hotel prior to cancellation. Regrettably some participants from Korea had not realized the conference had been cancelled and they had flown to the United States for the meeting, only to have to return to Korea. They requested a refund of their registration fees because they would not be able to attend the new dates, October 31 – November 2. Holbrow complimented Maria Elena Khoury for her efforts in successfully rescheduling the conference. In response to a question from Stone, M. E. Khoury explained that more teams had registered for the new dates, but unfortunately a profile of the participants as to their educational level was not available at Board meeting time.
- Khoury reported that the U.S. State Department had listed five countries supporting terrorist activities. Therefore no service can be provided to these countries. Khoury explained that this report was merely to alert Mamola and Tobochnik as some might argue that the publication of an article authored by a citizen in one of these countries was a service to the country. Robertson asked if the AAPT financial support to Molta (the host for the international physics meeting recently held in Cuba) to attend the AAPT meeting in Miami could be regarded as such a service. No actual conclusion was reached.
Chair of Section Representatives: Iona reported that in response to a request from the Section Representative from Ontario he was developing a document describing the role of the Representatives within the AAPT. Historically the Representatives have had strong leadership in committees and other activities of the AAPT. This document will be timely as there are many new representatives. Robertson suggested that an orientation for new Section Representatives similar to the Area Chairs’ orientation be conducted. Iona agreed to consider this.
Vice Chair of Section Representatives: R. Peterson had no report at this time.
Treasurer: C. Robertson explained that the January 2004 Announcer would not have a Treasurer’s report because he had no ideas for an article. He asked the Board for suggestions. D. Peterson and D. Rice advised that a description of the Bauder Fund would be of interest to AAPT readers.
Fehrs said one article could explain the $50 increase on meeting registration. Kniseley explained that the fee was applied if members were only attending the workshops. Fehrs commented that this was unclear on the paper registration form. Khoury volunteered to edit the form to clarify the wording and intent of the new charge.
- Monroe reported that the deadline for voting in the AAPT elections was November 1. She explained that Joe Meyer, Election Teller, would confirm the vote tally and report the results to her. She would then call each candidate and report the election results. After all candidates had been contacted she would email the results to the members of the Executive Board.
- Monroe also reported that the letters recognizing the appointments to Area Committees had been mailed. The new appointees will start their terms at the close of the 2004 January meeting. She thanked J. Nelson for completing the appointments early and Roxanne Muller for preparing and mailing the letters.
Past President: Chiaverina reported that he had mailed letters to the Chairs of the Area Committees reminding them that the annual reports to the Review Board were due by the end of the year. He added that traditionally it takes a lot of prodding to get the reports submitted. Chiaverina also reported that he had attended the New England Section meeting.
- D. Peterson reported that he was working on the programs for the next two AAPT meetings. He expressed a need to better publicize the speakers for the award sessions and the plenary sessions. He advised that the electronic AAPT Updates really need to highlight this service. Carol Heimpel explained that she had prepared a special page advertising the speakers for the next Update. B. Khoury volunteered that a special email blast could be sent to AAPT members and Nelson advised that the email blast should be a single item announcement. Mamola said that the TPT could help with advertising speakers for future meetings. However, Kniseley did not think this was feasible due to inadequate lead-time between confirmation/acceptance of speakers and publication dates for the magazine. Holbrow suggested that email blasts should also be sent to physics departments, not just individual AAPT members.
- D. Peterson explained that the meeting space for the Miami meeting is smaller than normal. He predicted that the smaller meeting rooms will incur criticisms from among the participants. He added that the meeting schedule is quite tight with attractive parallel and conflicting sessions. Participants will be hard pressed to find time for lunch. Submission of contributed papers and poster sessions was healthy to date. Additionally, the meeting will have a large SPS presence.
- Peter Urone is working diligently to implement many ideas for the Sacramento meeting scheduled for August 2004. It will also be a very full meeting. Hein asked if the paper sessions could begin on the weekend with workshops held on Thursday and Friday instead, thus alleviating problems associated with a compact schedule. Board members noted that this would mean that attendees would miss potential class periods over two weeks instead of just one. The APS Beams division will sponsor a session during the Summer AAPT meeting. The AAPM (American Association of Physicists in Medicine) had also expressed an interest in organizing a special session on new Developments in Medical Physics for the Sacramento meeting. Peterson thinks this is doable since AAPM has a strong presence in this locale.
President: Holbrow reported that he will give a colloquium presentation in the Spring on history of nuclear physics at the request of the APS section on nuclear physics at MIT. He attended the New York state section meeting in the Fall and described the meeting as very enjoyable.
5. Assumptions for 2004 Budget.
W. Hein referred Board members to the Assumptions for the 2004 Budget included in the Board packet. In response to a question from Monroe, Robertson explained that travel expenses for Board members had increased during recent years and therefore the Assumptions included a request to increase these budgeted amounts for 2004. Monroe added that Board members should be reminded that their budgets included some money to support their visits to AAPT section meetings.
Mamola and Tobochnik asked for a status report concerning the bankruptcy proceedings of RoweCom, a subscription service agency handling AAPT journals. Khoury reported that there is still some uncertainty concerning the outcome from this action. Operationally a subscription service agency sells journal subscriptions to libraries, collects the fees and sends the money to publishers of the journals. Lawyers were still in negotiations at Board meeting time. Khoury predicted that the AAPT might receive 10 cents on the dollar. The AIP had invested a lot of money trying to make direct contact with subscribing libraries in an effort to help member societies honor the subscriptions made through RoweCom. However, the identity of some subscribers had been lost, particularly among the smaller libraries and the international libraries. The consequences to the AAPT will be that subscription money will be lost and some subscribers will also be lost. It was uncertain just how large these losses will be. The agency that purchased RoweCom obtained the subscriber list, as this is an asset of the company.
In response to a question from Iona, Hein explained that Assumptions 5 and 6 address the amount of members dues assigned to members services and to journals. The Assumptions assign an increase in 2004 to member services and a decrease to the TPT and AJP journals.
Robertson explained, in response to Nelson, that the 2005 budget, rather than next year’s budget, would provide support for a visiting fellow. Khoury reminded the Board that Hein begins to prepare the budget in September of each year. However budget amendments could be made, thereby providing the Board with flexibility to make financial authorizations after the approval of the new budget. Khoury stated that he did not want the actions of the Board to be controlled by the budget cycle.
Mamola asked why the subscription rate for the TPT had declined in 2001-2002. The reasons were not known and Hein volunteered to investigate the question.
D. Peterson asked for insight regarding a comparison of income and expenses for AAPT national meetings. He observed that the income for the Madison meeting was down $ 5K from the typical income of $ 250 K. He also noted that expenses for the same meeting were up by $ 80 K. Carol Heimpel explained that the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison was twice as expensive as most convention centers. Hein noted that the difference between meeting income and expenses is paid from membership fees. Nelson asked if there were a way that meeting participants could pay the difference rather than using money from members not attending the national meetings. Robertson explained that some effort had been made toward that idea when adjustments to workshop fees were made under the leadership of Larry Kirkpatrick and Tom O’Kuma.
Nelson asked about the meaning of unreimbursed indirect costs. Khoury explained that the NSF will not pay certain indirect costs on certain direct expenses, and these are reported as “unreimbursed indirect costs. The AAPT had just renegotiated a rate for indirect costs at 40.77%. Holbrow asserted that the AAPT needs to take all overhead and not forego any indirect costs.
Iona noted that 5% increase in meeting registration for AAPT members is modest and suggested that at this rate, the AAPT would lose twice as much money in 2004 as lost in 2003. Hein explained that the budget draft did not reflect the suggested increase. Khoury reported that the Board, a few years earlier, had rejected a proposed plan to systematically increase the meeting registration fees. That plan had called for a fee of $200 by the year 2000. The AAPT missed that projection by four years. Early bird registration for meetings will be $200 in 2004. Seventy-five per cent of the meeting participants are early bird registrants. Rice commented that registration fees should be increased gradually rather than a large increase at one time.
Nelson moved that the Board accept the Budget Assumptions for 2004. D. Peterson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
6. Investment Advisory Committee Report.
Robertson reported that upon the advice of the Investment Advisory Committee, $250 K had been moved from short-term reserves to long-term reserves. The short-term account serves as a buffer for the operating fund. At the beginning of the fiscal year, the short-term account is replenished. He explained that the short-term account was too large and that as certificates of deposit come due, the monies would be moved to the long-term account. The target was to maintain the short-term account at $500 K and additional money would be moved to the long-term account. Robertson also noted that the AAPT would attain its goal set for the long-term account in the foreseeable future. This goal was to obtain an amount equal to one year’s operating expenses. The committee will prepare recommendations for Board consideration concerning what the association should do with monies received after the goal was obtained. Robertson responded to a question from Nelson stating that the AAPT is growing at about half a million dollars a year, assuming that the economic recession was over. He predicted that the account would grow by itself at $200 K a year.
Robertson explained that he was considering making designated funds a separate account, which would allow for better tracking of the money.
Robertson reported that Brad Bishop from TIAA CREF gave the advisory committee a good presentation regarding the current economic situation. He also noted that the AAPT investment would see a growth in the market and thus far it had increased 2 % this year. Members of the advisory committee include Len Jossem, Alex Dickison, and Rod Grant. Robertson and Khoury are ex officio members.
D. Peterson asked how it was possible for the AAPT to transfer money into the long-term account in 2002 at a time when the economic market was down. Khoury explained that the AAPT tries to maintain a budget that balances expenses and income. The Board was reminded that while cash can be moved into the long-term reserve, the budget must also reflect expenses not incurred as cash flow, such as depreciation of the Dodge Building. The Board has responsibility for all aspects of the budget. The Investment Committee advises the Board concerning excess amounts of cash. The Audit Committee, however, bases its report on all items of the budget, not just cash reserves and cash flow. Khoury added that the Investment Committee could advise the Board, for example, to regard excess money in the long-term reserves as an endowment for the operating fund.
Holbrow reported that he had attended the Investment Committee meeting and he took a less conservative view. It was not obvious to him that the AAPT should put money into the reserve at the rate that it had been. He expressed that the association could use the money in other ways. Tobochnik suggested that the Board should attempt to predict areas that could potentially be problematic and identify sources of income to cover these rainy days. In his opinion the AAPT should consider alternate ways to generate money now rather than several years down the road.
7. Executive Session I.
Holbrow called the Board into Executive Session I (with B. Khoury).
(Following lunch, Holbrow reconvened the Board into open session.)
8. AAPT Web Update.
In her report to the Board (See Board Packet IIC), Sina Kniseley reported that the AAPT website had been very active and up time was very strong. During the landfall of Hurricane Isabel, the AAPT had sustained a down time of 13 hours. Kniseley explained that the AAPT staff was researching technologies that would improve the site’s up time. Holbrow remarked that it was unclear in the report if up time also meant time accessible to AAPT members. He asked if stats were available that would report the time spent by users on the different features of the website. He felt that this would be useful in the future design of the website. Kniseley explained that the staff was looking at the web usage and traffic quantitatively.
Hein added that the system had been slow since the implementation of new software. The staff had delayed installing new technology to correct this aspect to allow them time to test the effect of the patches. A new server, identical to the one in use, had been purchased by AAPT. The new server will allow staff to experiment with the new technology and determine its effect on operations without interrupting the current service to AAPT users.
As an aside, Holbrow asked the staff for information that would report how many times people called the AAPT by phone and were routed to voicemail. He explained that if this were frequent, then this could be a serious problem for the association.
John Layman, AAPT CoPI for the PhysTEC collaborative effort of the APS, AIP and AAPT, referred Board members to his report in the Board packet (Item IIIM). He reported that the project leadership had initiated brown bag lunches on a regular basis for the purpose of meeting and discussing PhysTEC Coalition issues. In an effort to strengthen the involvement of the AAPT in the Coalition and at the suggestion of B. Khoury, the leadership met during the national AAPT meeting in Madison. This event in effect commits the resources of the AAPT to the PhysTEC effort. The project received a good report from its evaluator, Karen Johnston. She carefully examined the project activities and pointed out areas that were weak. One of her recommendations suggested that each participating institution should develop a strategic plan. Consequently Layman explained that the project leaders would develop a plan to serve as a model for the institutions.
Layman reported that a the Teachers in Residence component had experienced problems during the project’s first year. Four of the six TIRs did not return to their home institutions as outlined in the project. However the selection of the second set of TIRs had produced teachers who will likely return to their schools. Layman explained that the mentoring aspect with PhysTEC is significant, as many states are now requiring mentoring activities in their schools. Nelson contributed that many successful mentors are in fact retired teachers. Layman added that the project will have a training session for new TIRs at the close of the PTRA program in Sacramento, thereby enhancing the opportunity for the teachers to attend the AAPT meeting.
The American Physical Society has raised private funds to support additional participating institutions. Eventually there may be as many as twelve such institutions. The project sent to all physics departments the 1999 AIP/APS/AAPT Statement on Teacher Preparation asking each department to endorse the statement. Layman reported that 250 institutions had endorsed the statement.
10. Financial Support for Speakers.
D. Peterson reported to the Board the budgeted amounts supporting travel for invited and plenary speakers since 1995. In 1996 the budget listed $3000 for the Winter meeting and $2000 for the Summer meeting and this practice had continued to the present day. He explained that the actual financial assistance given to speakers had typically been in the range of $200-$300 per individual and rarely had the full budgeted amount been used in a year. However, D. Peterson expressed that the amounts for each meeting should be the same, either $3000 or $2000.
Therefore D. Peterson moved that the Board authorize a budget of $3000 for each Winter and Summer Meeting to support the travel for plenary and invited speakers. R. Peterson seconded the motion. In discussion of the motion, Khoury expressed that while the budget would reflect $3000 for each meeting, in practice the office would regard the budget as $6000 for the year. The motion passed unanimously.
11. Health Benefits for AAPT Staff.
Holbrow announced that the Executive Board during Executive Session voted to establish a 50% retirement health insurance subsidy for AAPT employees. He explained that the Board at its own quest had initiated this provision to acknowledge the staff contributions to the AAPT and the Board’s appreciation. He added that the retirement package has a cap of $100,000 so as to provide some protection to the organization. Khoury, on behalf of the AAPT staff, thanked the Board for the retirement benefits and expression of appreciation and support.
12. AAPT Awards.
Chiaverina reported that award recipients had been confirmed for the 2004 Winter meeting. The award recipients are: Lawrence Krauss will receive the Oersted, Lene Hau will receive the Richtmyer, and Robert Beck Clark will receive the Melba Phillips Award. Distinguished Service Citations will be given to Lila Adair, James and Nancy Watson, Jennifer Hickman, and Ruth Howes. Chiaverina also reported that the Awards Committee will present to the Board during its January meeting a recommendation to increase the award stipends.
13. APS Report.
- Judy Franz reported on the status of joint activities between the AAPT and the APS. Some of these include the New Faculty Workshop with follow-up reunions occurring at APS meetings and the PhysTEC collaborative that is realizing progress. She reported that she and Khoury were planning the next Chairs’ Conference, which is now alternating with the meeting of the chairs of elite institutions. Responses from APS members concerning the creation of a joint graduate education commission had been positive. She recommended David Campbell as chair of the commission. She invited ideas from Board members concerning these joint ventures.
- Franz also reported that the APS would probably initiate an APS Education Award to be given to an individual, team or group. The APS Committee on Prizes has accepted the award concept but the proposed award would next need to be approved by the APS Board. In turn the APS will need to identify the funding source for the award.
- Additional activities of the APS include the submission of a big proposal to the NSF for special activities to be developed for the 2005 World Year of Physics Celebration. Some of these activities will be jointly conducted with the AAPT. Among the activities planned are presentations on Einstein coordinated by the APS section on gravity, spot announcements on the radio and a special teacher physics quest contest targeting middle school students and teachers.
Holbrow commented that the AAPT had been working with the Forum on Education and that it was nice to have a handhold to go to for information and ideas. He expressed the Board’s delight that the APS Particles and Beams Division will be participating in the AAPT meeting in Sacramento. Franz added that the physics community as a whole is more outreach oriented. Board members inquired as to the possibility of a joint meeting between the APS and the AAPT. Franz seemed agreeable and suggested that the April APS meeting would be preferable to the March meeting owing to the difference in size.
Stone asked for more information concerning the APS plans for the 2005 celebration. Franz stated that UNESCO had recognized the World Year of Physics and effort was underway to also obtain recognition for the Einstein commemoration by the U.S. Congress. She advised Stone not to be too concerned about possible overlap of activities between the two associations.
14. Report from AIP Physics Resources.
Jim Stith, Vice President of AIP Physics Resources, distributed copies of his October report to the AIP Governing Board. He highlighted the following special topics.
- The Career Services Network, a recently launched AIP service to member societies, provides a database of jobs to applicants. It is hoped that direct applications will be received online. Stith explained that the APS and AVS-The Science and Technology Society were presenting their own Jobs Network, powered by the AIP, to their membership. AIP anticipates expansion of this service to half of its member societies within the year. However the site was receiving some criticism because the resumes posted by applicants were not appropriate for the job listings. Stith stated that the applicants will necessarily need to do their homework.
- The Media and Government Relations Division was awarded a $2.35 million grant for four years by the NSF. The award will support several important components of the Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science program, which incurs more than $1.2 million in expenses to the AIP each year. In addition, the grant will allow the AIP to evaluate the impact of the segments in improving the public’s appreciation for science. AIP will also provide matching funds to produce and evaluate the program. Some of the pieces proposed for production will be done in Spanish. Currently 211 television stations broadcast the science segments within our country. The Nielsen ratings can track the usage of this short segments. Stith explained that these segments address general science topics, not just physics. Regrettably the APS had withdrawn its support of this service, stating that it was not doing enough physics. In response to a suggestion from Stone, Stith said that the radio clips in support of the World Year of Physics would have to be general science in nature and could not be too technical. He explained that the pieces have to please the science advisors and the radio managers. Collaborating with the AIP in the production of this program are the American Geophysical Union, the American Mathematical Association, Astronomical Society of America, the American Meteorological Society and Schlumberger.
- The AIP and its Member Societies continue to interact with the educational community and the publishing community to maintain instruction of evolution within public schools. The Institute was successful in encouraging the New Mexico State Board of Education to maintain its science standards that do not include the teaching of Intelligent Design. In addition the AIP sent letters to writers of textbooks used in Texas asking them to keep discussions of evolution in textbooks as issues of creationism are not science.
- The History of Physics in Industry Project successfully cobbled together the money to document the impact that physicists in industry have had on the community. Several industries have been identified and they will be interviewed as part of this documentation process. This project is being conducted under the auspices of the History Center.
- Stith announced that George Atkinson, the new science and technology advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell, was AIP’s first State Department Fellow in 2001. He was a chemistry professor at the University of Arizona.
- AIP magazines continue to be a challenge. The organization has lost 2000 pages of advertising over the last two and a half yeas in The Industrial Physicist and the Physics Today. The AIP also faces a real challenge concerning the growing market to non-US subscribers. Stith reported that one quarter of all subscriptions go outside the country.
15. Inactive Sections.
Iona explained the criteria for creation of AAPT Sections, which are authorized by the AAPT Council. Constitutionally the Sections are required to maintain some level of activity. According to Article VII, Section 7 of the AAPT Constitution, “any Section not providing evidence of activity for a period of two years may be declared inactive by the Council.” In his report to the Board (Board Packet, Item IID) Iona listed 4 sections that had not provided any activity for some time: Quebec, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, and Alabama. Iona explained that these Sections could be reapportioned by zip codes to other Sections. The problem this inactivity poses to the national organization is that there is not a contact person within these four areas to respond to inquiries for information about local AAPT and/or physics education activities.
In discussion of this, Holbrow stated that some contact needs to be made before requesting Council to deactivate the sections. He proposed that possibly a contribution of a few hundred dollars to fund a small meeting could help to rejuvenate the Section. Iona proposed that intermediate steps be taken. Efforts will be made to identify a contact person for each of the four sections. In addition he and R. Peterson will prepare a letter to be mailed to these sections suggesting that the sections should host small Saturday afternoon meetings (possibly organized by a PTRA teacher) as well as identify a person to carry the ball for one year. Iona explained that this action would put the national AAPT in a positive position rather than one of a punitive nature.
16. 2003 Review of the Announcer.
Monroe distributed copies of the preliminary report from the Announcer Review Committee, prepared by Tom O’Kuma, Chair. The report summarized the questions identified by the Committee that should be addressed during the review process. The committee had developed a survey to be sent to the Physics Education Research community, special AAPT groups such as the Executive Board and Section Representatives, AAPT committees and a random sample of non-national meeting attendees. The survey was proposed for administration in November via the internet using a server at Lee College. All responses would be sent to Lee College, thereby insuring the anonymity of the members responding. Khoury asked that Monroe remind the committee of the need to insure that the report of the review to the Board be structured so as to also insure confidentiality.
17. Review of AAPT Resource Letters.
Monroe distributed copies of her recommendations addressing the 2004 review of Resource Letters.
- Monroe recommended that Steve Turley (Brigham Young University) serve as Chair with Toni Sauncy (Angelo State University) as a member. Both of these had agreed to serve on the review committee. Monroe explained that she had asked a third AAPT member to serve on the review committee, but she had not heard a response by Board meeting time. She proposed a list of three alternates for Board consideration should the last person decline her request.
- The Review Committee will submit its written report to the AAPT Secretary by September 1, 2004 and Monroe would in turn distribute copies to the Board for their study prior to formal consideration during their October 2004 meeting. The main points of the Charge to the committee are:
- The Committee will judge the effectiveness of the Resource Letters in meeting its primary goals, as perceived by the Review Committee, and will report these conclusions to the Executive Board.
- The Committee can serve to advise the Editor and the Executive Board regarding specific ways the Resource Letters can improve in the future.
- The Committee will be free to proceed in the manner it deems most effective.
- Monroe recommended that the Board authorize $3000 for committee expenses including travel, duplication costs, phone conference calls, and postage needs. The proposed timeline and budget are the same as accepted by the Board for the 2003 Review of the Announcer.
Fehrs moved that the Board accept the recommendations for the Review of the Resource Letters prepared by Monroe. D. Peterson seconded the motion. The motion passed.
18. 2004 Review of the PSRC.
Monroe distributed a proposal of her recommendations concerning the timeline, charge and budget for the 2004 Review of the Physical Science Resource Center (PSRC). Monroe also recommended a September 1, 2004 timeline for this review and a budget of $3000 for travel and operating expenses. The main points of the Charge to this review committee are:
- The Committee will assess how well the PSRC is accomplishing its goals, as interpreted by the Committee.
- The Committee will determine who (teachers, students, curriculum developers, etc.) uses the teacher resource and will assess the impact on the users.
- The Committee will determine how accessible and how user friendly the resource is to AAPT and non-AAPT members.
- The Committee shall advise the Executive Board as to specific ways the electronic collection could be improved.
- The Committee will be free to proceed in a manner it regards as most effective and appropriate.
Monroe reported that Patsy Ann Johnson, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania had agreed to serve as Chair for the review committee. However, she had not heard responses from two AAPT members also asked to serve on the review committee.
Robertson moved that the Executive Board accept the recommendations proposed by Monroe. Fehrs seconded the motion. During discussion of the motion a list of alternate members was prepared should the two AAPT members decline Monroe’s request to serve on the review committee. Monroe explained that at least one member of the committee should be a recognized leader from the high school community and that she would consult with the high school teachers on the Board to identify such leaders. The motion passed.
19. Executive Session II.
Holbrow called the Board into Executive Session II (without B. Khoury).
20. Procedures for Review of the AAPT Executive Officer.
Rice moved that the Board adopt the Procedure for Review of the AAPT Executive Officer prepared by Holbrow in consultation with members of the Board. Fehrs seconded the motion. The motion passed.
The procedures follow:
Procedures for Review of the AAPT Executive Officer
September 28, 2003
Review of the Executive Officer is one of the most important responsibilities of the Executive Board. It provides the Executive Board and the Executive Officer with a basis for recognizing and rewarding merit and for identifying and correcting deficiencies.
The Executive Officer Review Committee
The review of the Executive Officer is carried out by the Executive Officer Review Committee (EORC). The members of this committee are the Secretary, the President Elect and the President. The President chairs the committee. Customarily the Vice President participates as a guest.
Charge to the Committee
The EORC evaluates the Executive Officer’s leadership, management and productivity. It assesses his or her effectiveness in identifying major opportunities and challenges facing the AAPT and in initiating and executing strategies and actions to deal with them.
The EORC submits a written report to the Board summarizing the evaluation and the assessment. The report identifies the Executive Officer’s achievements, strengths and deficiencies. It recommends steps to correct deficiencies and to recognize accomplishments.
The EORC also prepares a written evaluation that, with the approval of the Executive Board, will be sent to the Executive Officer.
The EORC is the official representative of the Board in matters pertaining to the Executive Officer’s contract. In this role the EORC recommends to the Board terms of compensation and contract renewal to be offered to the Executive Officer.
Review Procedure and Time Table
At least four weeks before the Board’s fall meeting, the chair of the EORC solicits from the members of the Executive Board questions, concerns, and evaluations relevant to the Executive Officer’s performance. These are discussed by the EORC and incorporated into a letter prepared by the EORC chair. This letter is discussed by the Executive Board in executive session at its fall meeting. Advised by these discussions, the EORC chair prepares a final draft of the letter and sends it to the Executive Officer. This process is to be completed normally by the end of the first week of November.
The Executive Officer prepares a report of his/her important activities, initiatives, accomplishments, problems, and concerns. The report also tells how s/he has met the goals of the previous year and how s/he has responded to the evaluation of the preceding year. S/he transmits this account to the chair of the EORC, normally by the end of the second week in November. The chair shares this letter with the other members of the EORC.
In early December the EORC members visit the AAPT national office and interview upper level staff, including the directors of the various departments of the office, the Associate Executive Officer, and the Executive Officer.
EORC Findings and Recommendations
The EORC members discuss and interpret the interviews, the letters, and their findings. They discuss what elements of the evaluation are to be conveyed to the Executive Board and to the Executive Officer and they take the following actions:
1. The EORC chair summarizes the committee’s conclusions in a letter to the Executive Board.
2. The EORC chair drafts a summary of the committee’s evaluations that is intended to go to the Executive Officer after it has been seen by the members of the Executive Board.
3. The EORC prepares recommendations to the Executive Board for renewal of her compensation for the coming year.
All of these tasks are normally completed by mid-December.
The Executive Board reviews the EORC’s letters and acts on its recommendations at the first Board meeting to occur after the EORC completes its review.
As soon as possible after the Board has acted, the EORC chair and the Association Secretary offer the approved contract terms to the Executive Officer. They carry on any subsequent negotiations within a range of parameters approved by the Board.
The EORC chair sends the Executive Officer a letter summarizing the EORC’s evaluation. At some later time the EORC chair and the Association Secretary may meet with the Executive Officer to discuss the letter.
Five Year Review
Every five years after the date of hire of the Executive Officer the Executive Board will make or have made a comprehensive review and evaluation of the functioning and operation of the AAPT National Office and the Executive Officer’s performance and accomplishments.
21. Executive Session I.
Holbrow reconvened the Board in Executive Session I (with B. Khoury).
22. Area Committees.
Nelson reported that all appointments to AAPT Area Committees had been completed and letters had been mailed, with the exception of a Chair for the Committee for Physics in Two Year Colleges. He added that during the last meeting of the Area Committee Chairs, the suggestion had been made to have a phone conference. In response to this suggestion, the member s of the Board expressed that this would be difficult to arrange.
23. Four Year College and University Task Force.
Holbrow reported that the committee had no report at this time. Members of the task force include Ken Krane (Chair), Oregon State University; Daniel Kleppner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Thomas Glasmacher, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory; Elizabeth Simmons, Boston University; Stephen Fitzgerald, Oberlin College; Peter Collings, Swarthmore College; and Jan Tobochnik, Kalamazoo College.
24. Examinations Editor.
Holbrow reported that the Search Committee for a new Examinations Editor has been appointed. (See Executive Board Minutes, August 2003, Item 14). Members of that special committee are Jim Nelson (Chair), Mary Mogge, and Chuck Robertson. Courtney Willis, current Examinations Editor, will serve as a consultant to the committee. The committee will meet during the AAPT Winter meeting in Miami Beach.
25. Physics Education Research.
Leaders within the Physics Education Research (PER) community (D. Meltzer, Joe Redish, L. McDermott, et al) prepared a position paper asking the AAPT to increase the association’s commitment to the publication of research articles authored by PER members. A major catalyst for the paper was the submission by Bob Beichner of a proposal to the NSF requesting funding to develop an electronic collection of PER articles in association with the ComPADRE project. The NSF submission had spawned intense discussions among members of the PER community during the August meeting of the AAPT Committee for Research in Physics Education. Subsequently this white paper was drafted. The AAPT Committee on Research in Physics Education did not author the white paper, but the committee had endorsed the document and its recommendations.
Khoury explained that the authors of the white paper had asked him to present the paper to the Board for its consideration and expressed a readiness to visit the Board during its October meeting. Upon advice from the AAPT officers prior to the October meeting, Khoury advised the PER authors that it would be best if the Board had a chance to review and discuss the paper prior to any discussions with members from the PER community. Khoury reported that the PER group ultimately planned to send the white paper to the AAPT Publications Committee for its consideration and action during the January 2004 meeting.
Khoury described the white paper as forceful and clear. The requests in the paper asked for a larger PER section in the AJP, more articles published within the main body of the AJP and an electronic publication of PER articles as well. In reaction D. Peterson stated that the authors of the white paper were asking the Board to constrain the AAPT editors in a way that the Board had never done before.
Tobochnik categorized the issues associated with the PER publications as ones addressing the politics of the community, the principle associated with the type of articles published in the AJP, and the finances of these publication venues. The PER community is growing, its members need to publish, and the AJP is the only credible venue. However, Tobochnik expressed that this does not justify additional publications. He perceives that the AJP readership desires fewer PER articles. The PER community is a small component of the journal’s readership. Tobochnik explained that in the early days of the PER community it was probably necessary to publish long articles. However the research community is now part of the normal science regime. The articles currently being submitted to the AJP for the most part are not reporting new information. In some cases the essence of the submitted articles provide analysis already published elsewhere. He concluded that the length of the papers should be proportional to the amount of useful material and that submitted papers should contain new material/ideas. PER articles selected for publication need to meet the same criteria as set for other articles selected for publication. Tobochnik added that he had not received very many submissions for publications within the AJP and though Redish reported a backlog of articles for the PER section, he had not seen these articles.
Holbrow expressed that members of the PER community need to publish to be considered for tenure at their home institutions. Necessarily these submitted papers will be long. Tobochnik expressed reservations about publishing such long papers but added that the issue of length is different with electronic publications. Holbrow pointed out that the tenure issue is counter to the readability issue. He expressed that Tobochnik gave responses that are consistent with the publication goals for the AJP and that the Board supports its editors. However, this philosophy does not address the concerns of the PER community. He asked the Board for ideas concerning courses of action to address these needs.
R. Peterson suggested that the Board consider action taken by the Optical Society of America during the mid 1970’s. At that time papers addressing the stopping of light were being submitted for publication, but they were terribly long. The Society explored publication venues for such long articles based on measurements of one small set of data. The Society eventually found a small journal that would publish the articles. R. Peterson said it is not unusual for a research community to evolve its own journal and proposed that maybe the PER community should consider this option. He expressed that the AJP is not a research journal even though some ideas from research are appropriate for publication within the AAPT journal. Holbrow added that there are many journals that would publish the PER articles but the journals do not have “physics” in their names.
In conclusion, the Board expressed its support for Tobochnik as editor of the AJP but it also expressed its respect for the PER community. The Board asked B. Khoury to talk with Joe Redish to learn if he wished to continue as PER section editor. If not, Tobochnik would then consult with the members of the PER community and the AAPT PER committee concerning his appointment of a new PER section editor. Members agreed that it would expedient to resolve this matter concerning the PER section editor before responding to the requests in the PER white paper.
26. Spring Meeting Dates for the Executive Board.
Nelson asked the Board for recommendations for dates for the Spring 2004 Board meeting. Following a short discussion, the dates were set for April 24-25 with the Orientation for New Board members set for April 23.
27. Future Sites for AAPT Meetings.
In August 2003, the Board asked Khoury to send a letter to the National Society of Hispanic Physicists requesting them to hold their own annual meeting in conjunction with the Albuquerque AAPT Meeting in January 2005. Khoury reported that this letter was on hold, awaiting Board discussion of a theme of diversity proposed by Juan Burciaga. In addition, two sites approved by Council for future meeting had to be withdrawn, Yale University and the University of Dayton.
C. Heimpel reported that in preliminary conversations with convention services at Yale she was assured that the university physics department supported the idea of hosting the national meeting. However when Heimpel made a site visit to Yale, she learned that this was not the case. In subsequent discussions with the university’s convention services, it was agreed that it would be best if Yale withdrew its name as a meeting site.
Upon visiting the University of Dayton campus, after the vote taken by Council last January, Heimpel learned that the university did not have the physical resources required to host the meeting. She had scheduled a site visit prior to the meeting of Council but due to a bad snowstorm she was delayed in visiting the campus. Heimpel explained that if she had made the site visit as originally planned, she would not have allowed the recommendation of the University of Dayton as a proposed meeting site.
Khoury observed that one lesson to be learned from this was that AAPT staff should not present recommendations to Council until site visits had been conducted and the staff had received a clear buy-in from the university physics departments. Holbrow asked who was responsible for obtaining the support of the physics departments at university sites. Heimpel explained that she usually made the initial contact. Tobochnik proposed that it might be better if a Board member made the initial contact. Following a short discussion of this idea, Board members agreed to review suggested university sites and make recommendations to Council, thus helping to insure that all preliminary investigations had been made.
Heimpel then asked the Board for recommendations for potential university sites. Fehrs pointed out that Utah and New Mexico, sites located back to back, were both low-density areas and perhaps the AAPT consider a more populated area such as North Carolina, scheduled as a possibility in a few years. Heimpel said that this consideration could be moved to an earlier date.
Khoury explained that the staff found it easy to identify convention centers for the Winter meetings but that it was hard for the staff to obtain commitments from universities having the required resources for the Summer meetings. In response to this Holbrow agreed to make first contact with physics faculty at Princeton and Rutgers and Robertson agreed to contact the physics department at the University of Maine.
28. Theme for New Mexico Meeting.
D. Peterson explained that the New Mexico meeting is scheduled during 2005, the World Year of Physics. Therefore this timing provides the AAPT with spin-offs for themes. Juan Burciaga has requested the Board to consider a theme of diversity in physics teaching for this meeting. The meeting is also advantaged in that it will be held near the military labs of Los Alamos and Sandia. D. Peterson expressed that the pressure of so many sub themes made a one-theme meeting unlikely unless one unifying theme emerged. He expressed reservations to have a theme of diversity. Holbrow contributed that such a theme would distance the AAPT from its goal of a setting a topic in physics content as a meeting theme. Hein proposed that there might be a way to connect Einstein and diversity together. D. Peterson said that he would like to see some historical element in the New Mexico meeting. He added that while the AAPT did not necessarily have to have one theme at every meeting, it might be appropriate to consider diversity as one spin off from the overarching theme of the World Year of Physics.
29. NSTA Strand Day.
Nelson reported that the AAPT had organized strand days for NSTA regional meetings since 1999 but explained that there was really no way to measure their success. He distributed handouts listing considerations for a proposed AAPT presence at future NSTA regional meetings. The considerations proposed that the AAPT commit to do one of the following three activities each year:
- AAPT would display as a vendor during one meeting.
- AAPT with help from the local section would put on a “Physics Strand Day” during another meeting.
- AAPT/PTRA would lead a workshop during another meeting.
1. It would cost the AAPT about $1200 to provide a display at a meeting and about $ 10 K to pay the expenses for AAPT staff to attend the meeting.
2. The costs of Strand days hosted in the past were approximately $2000 each. This amount would cover travel and possible speaker honoraria. In the past these costs have been covered either by volunteers from their own funds, by the AAPT, or by PTRA. Nelson suggested that local AAPT section might assume some of this responsibility for future strand days.
3. Nelson did not believe that the AAPT/PTRA workshops would incur expenses as costs could be covered by PTRA funds. However he explained that NSTA would need to agree to register participants and to permit the AAPT/PTRA to charge a registration fee of $50 per participant.
4. The responsibility for organizing the AAPT activities at future NSTA meetings would reside with the AAPT Vice President or his/her designee.
5. Nelson proposed 2004 as a trial year. He proposed that the AAPT staff be asked to develop a system to evaluate the impact of the AAPT presence.
Nelson concluded his recommendations by saying that he would talk with Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Director, about a more realistic budget if the Board thought his plan to be a good idea.
In discussion of the proposal, D. Peterson suggested if the AAPT considered this a long-term commitment, some responsibility might be given to the high school At-Large Member of the Board. Hein suggested that with time, memory disappears and thus it would be wise to involve AAPT staff in the activities, thus insuring long term continuity. Chiaverina expressed that this would be one venue for reaching out to teachers who are not AAPT members. Holbrow expressed that he thought it was a good idea and Robertson opined that this should be a five-year venture. It was agreed that Nelson will develop a budget for this proposal and would discuss the plan with Wheeler and report to the Board in January. Iona asked AAPT staff to determine the number of sales and other impact the AAPT experienced during previous NSTA Strand Days.
30. Society Appointments.
- The AAPT received a request to appoint two of its members to AAAS committees contingent upon these individuals being members of the AAAS. The Board accepted Khoury’s offer to serve another three-year term as a member of the AAAS Section Q – Education. Accepting a suggestion from Monroe, Robert Beck Clark will be asked to serve as an appointee to the AAAS Section B – Physics, replacing Robert Romer.
- Some terms of members serving on AIP committees will end in 2004. Lists of these positions were distributed in the Board packet. Holbrow asked each Board member to nominate an AAPT member for each position to him by the end of the month, along with the paperwork accompanying each nominee. He and Monroe would consider the suggestions and submit the nominations to the AIP by its December 19 deadline.
- Khoury explained the terms of the AIP Governing Committee would end in 2004 and that it would be appropriate to reappoint Dick Peterson and him (Bernie Khoury) to this committee. Nelson moved that Dick Peterson and Bernie Khoury be appointed to the AIP Governing Committee. Fehrs seconded the motion. The motion passed.
Holbrow thanked Roxanne Muller for her help in making the travel arrangements for the Board members and her preparation of the Board packet. Holbrow asked Khoury to express the thanks of the Board members to the AAPM for the use of their facilities. He then adjourned the meeting at 12:07 PM.
Mary Beth Monroe, AAPT Secretary