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Executive Board Minutes - October 2006

October 28-29
AAPT National Office
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Session I, October 28
Members Present: Ken Heller, President; Dick Peterson, Past President; Harvey Leff, President Elect; Lila Adair, Vice President; Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary; Chuck Robertson, Treasurer; Randy Peterson, Chair of Section Representatives; Ruth Chabay, At-Large Member; John Roeder, At-Large Member; Dwain Desbien, At-Large Member; Jan Tobochnik, Editor, American Journal of Physics (AJP); Karl Mamola, Editor, The Physics Teacher (TPT); Toufic Hakim, Executive Officer

Guests: Carol Heimpel, Warren Hein, Bernard Khoury, Roxanne Muller, Rob Headrick, Erwin Campbell, Carroll Martin, Jack Hehn, John Layman, Karen Johnston, Paul Hickman

1. Welcome and Call to Order. President Heller called the meeting of the Executive Board to order and welcomed all members and guests.

2. Approval of the Agenda. There were no changes to the published agenda.

3. Approval of July (22, 23, and 26) 2006 Minutes. Following a report of corrections and additions to the July Minutes, J. Roeder moved that the Minutes be accepted as corrected. K. Mamola seconded the motion. Since some of the corrections were substantive in nature, Monroe explained she would give the Board an opportunity to review the revised Minutes. The motion passed unanimously.

4. Executive Session I (with Executive Officers and J. Layman). Heller called the Board into Executive Session to consider reports from T. Hakim and the Fundraising Advisory Committee.

(Heller convened the Board into Open Session.)

5. Development Initiative. Roeder moved that the Board authorize the motion prepared by Hakim addressing a development initiative by the National Office as presented in the Board Packet. The AAPT Executive Board endorses the National Office’s general effort to build a development arm charged with seeking and securing funding from individuals, private foundations, and corporations in support of AAPT’s mission and goals, with the understanding that a preliminary development plan be presented to the Board at its 2007 Summer meeting. Mamola seconded the motion. Following a short discussion, the motion passed unanimously.

6. Special Presentation to Khoury. Heller read a prepared resolution recognizing Khoury’s contributions as Executive Officer. The AAPT Board recognizes the contributions of Bernie Khoury who as Executive Officer for 16 years has provided leadership to advance the organization’s mission and facilitate the contributions of its members. We look forward to his continued service as Executive Officer Emeritus. In appreciation of his contributions, the Board presents him with a plaque on which the following is inscribed:

Presented to Dr. Bernard Khoury by the AAPT Executive Board
In recognition of sixteen years of leadership as Executive Officer of the
American Association of Physics Teachers

With gratitude and admiration

October 29, 2006

The reading was followed by unanimous Board applause and standing ovation.

Khoury expressed his thanks for the recognition, saying that he had enjoyed his 16 years immensely. His term as Executive Officer had been a time of wonderful personal and professional experiences. The high points of his service outweighed the low points. Khoury described the EO transition as being extraordinarily successful and he had found Hakim to be very welcoming. He added that he had worked hard not to be intrusive in the operations of the Executive Office.

7. Report from the Executive Officer. Hakim referred the Board members to his report appearing in the electronic Board Packet (iBook), explaining that this status report of previous Board issues, recommendations, and actions would become a procedural report at each meeting of the Board. The follow up activities to the January, March and July 2006 Board meetings were being conducted by the National Office and by committees.

In discussion of Hakim’s report, Roeder noted that in reference to the item addressing AAPT Affiliated Groups, the Physics Club of New York had been asked to send its newsletter to the AAPT Secretary instead of the National Office. He wondered if this change prompted the omission of the Club in the published 2006 Organizational Directory.

Roeder then asked about the status of the proposed word change to the criteria for the high school Teaching Excellence Award. D. Peterson, chair of the Awards Committee, explained that the Committee, during its July meeting, had discussed the word change proposed by Jim Nelson in January and decided not to recommend the change in criteria.

C. Robertson asked what follow up had been made with regard to ABET requirements concerning physics programs servicing engineering programs. Chabay explained that ABET does not require students to take physics. Tobochnik asked if 3-2 programs had to really be accredited by ABET as stated in the report. Hakim explained that this item referred to a Board discussion in the January 2006 Minutes, and added that he would review the report of the discussion.

Heller stressed that these ABET requirements address an issue concerning physics courses and engineering programs and therefore should be tasked to an Area Committee. He will send a letter to the Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee asking the committee to investigate how ABET requirements impact physics courses.

8. Governance Structure. Hakim explained that in his review of the governance structure of the Association, he had determined that the Board over time had created multiple committee layers and a number of groups with various levels of responsibility and work expectations. Communication among and between these groups had not always been effective, leading to duplication of efforts in some instances, with little or no systematic follow-through, and for some, no mechanism for timely action or response to issues. Hakim therefore proposed that the Board review the governance structure and study the interface between and among committees and groups. He identified the groups as including the Executive Board and Review Board, Area Committees, Section Representatives and their officers, editorial boards, Council, task forces, advisory groups, topical groups, grant project leaders, and the National Office. Hakim characterized the groups as not having clearly spelled out boundaries of responsibility and authority.

In preparation for this discussion, Hakim had prepared, and posted in the Board’s iBook, five proposed actions and accompanying rationale.
1) Committees. Hakim’s first motion addressed the evaluation of the Area Committee model. Adair moved that the Board authorize the first motion and Leff seconded the motion. The Executive Board charges the Area Committees with a review of their committees addressing a list of questions (appearing below) and recommendations for restructuring the committees and their charges for the Board to consider at its April 2007 meeting.
  • Should the number of standing committees, appointed by the Board, be formally capped? Should committees be established with prescribed lifespans and have regular reviews and options for extension?
  • Since committees vary widely in charge and scope, should Area Committees be organized into two different classes: Issues/Policies (Area) Committees and Operational Committees (such as Publications or Membership and Benefits)? In addition should names of committees be changed to better align expectations with responsibility?
  • Area Committees do not seem to serve the Association as advocates and/or experts on certain aspects of physics education. What should be done to develop leadership committees charged with scanning their corner of the physics educational landscape and making recommendations to the National Office and/or Board on issues of concern, opportunities for action, etc.?
  • Since a few committees seem to have shared or common interests, should the Board consolidate such committees and have larger committees and multiple sub committees as the need arises?
  • How can the communication between the Board and the committees be enhanced?
In discussion of the motion, Heller proposed that the name of Programs Committee be changed as the name suggests that the main purpose of Area Committees is to develop the programs for national meetings. D. Peterson explained that the missions of the Area Committees are presented and discussed in the Area Chairs’ Meeting. Leff noted that this meeting is not held in the Summer. Heller suggested that one or two exemplars for reorganization should be developed and presented to the Area Chairs to help them better understand their charge. It was agreed that Leff and Adair would develop the exemplars for presentation to the Chairs during their January 2007 meeting. Leff characterized the motion as not being clear to whom the charge was being addressed. He said the intent of the motion was to have each chair make recommendations. However, if the task falls to a sub committee of Chairs, the Chairs collectively should select the members of the sub committee. Heller directed that Leff and Adair make the decision regarding how the selection of the sub committee members will be made.

The motion passed unanimously.

2) Governance Review Group. Hakim moved that the Board appoint a one-year Governance Review Group, whose members include Rod Grant, Bernie Khoury, Mary Beth Monroe, and Dick Peterson, charged with completing the proposed tasks according to the proposed timeline (see below). Roeder seconded the motion. The charge to the committee would be to review the Constitution, Bylaws, Officers’ Handbook and propose editorial, structural, and procedural revisions to the Board no later than April 2007; to refine and finalize the recommended changes in view of discussions with the Board and National Office and announce them to the membership no later than the Summer 2007 meeting; to facilitate discussion by the membership and Council through January 2008; and to lead the membership voting process toward adoption no later than March 1, 2008, at which point the committee will have completed its task and may be dissolved.

Hakim said the rationale for such a committee was to address the inconsistencies in current governance documents and to provide for a careful and thorough evaluation of the Association’s governance structure and processes. The members listed in the motion include two former secretaries, the current secretary, and the EO Emeritus. During discussion of the membership of the committee, Heller recommended that a new person with little or no experience in the governance of the Association be appointed. Therefore, the motion was amended authorizing Heller to make additional appointments as deemed appropriate. In addition to the tasks listed in the charge, the review group will be expected to help implement forthcoming recommendations from the Area Committee sub committee (See Item 8, these Minutes) and Section Representatives (See these Minutes, Item 21) adopted by the Board.

The motion passed unanimously.

3) Advisory Committee on Public Policy. Hakim moved that the Executive Board appoint a three-year, Advisory Committee on Public Policy to advise the Executive Officer on all aspects of public policy and assist the National Office in drafting, where appropriate, letters to various policymakers and developing position statements for public dissemination subject to approval by the Board. Roeder seconded the motion. Hakim explained that as the AAPT strives to enhance its public agenda in the next phase of our growth and development, it is important to tap the knowledge and network of AAPT senior members who are experienced and interested in public science policy. There will be opportunities for AAPT to take a stand on given issues, draft or support a position statement, and be part of congressional or committee hearings. Therefore the Association should be willing and able to participate in such opportunities and even lead when appropriate. Hakim recommended that the committee have four members, at least two active members of the AAPT who know the Washington scene and/or have been involved in public advocacy, public policy research, or policymaking.

In discussion of the motion, Robertson offered the friendly amendment that the Board authorize the EO to make member appointments with input from the Board. The amendment was accepted. D. Peterson suggested that the members include a high school representative and a two-year college representative. Hakim reminded the Board that in three years they would review the work of the committee and decide if the committee should be renewed for another term.

Jack Hehn advised AAPT to talk with the six AIP member societies that have such advisory committees. He characterized these six committees as “centers of gravity” because people want to be members. Hehn noted that AAPT could make significant strides with respect to education since no society as yet has developed a good set of science education public policy statements. He recommended that another point for the committee to consider is how AAPT can respond to issues addressing public policy. The committee could review how the Association responded to previous issues such as the science standards and No Child Left Behind legislation.

The motion, as amended, passed unanimously.

4) Standing Meetings Committee. Inspired by previous Board discussions regarding national meetings, Hakim moved that the Executive Board appoint a new Meetings Committee charged with advising the National Office on logistical plans for upcoming meetings and long-term site identification and review with the membership and activities as defined in his proposal. D. Peterson seconded the motion.

In discussion of the motion, Chabay suggested that the member terms might be too short. Leff asked how the Meetings Committee would interface with the retreat planning group. Hakim reminded Board members that the term of the planning group would end in the Spring. Adair cautioned that the Meetings Committee should not interfere with the paper sort, which is conducted at the National Office.

Chabay asked for clarification regarding the charge to the committee. Hakim explained that currently there is not a committee concerned with site selection. Once the Board defines selection criteria for the Winter and Summer meetings, the Meetings Committee would provide continuity to the selection process. Leff asked at what point the responsibility for a future meeting would end with the committee. Hakim replied that the committee would be an operational committee that would work on the meeting logistics and the designation of the local contact person from the host department. The meeting responsibility would then pass to the local meeting committee. When asked who on the Board would make the committee appointments, D. Peterson responded that it should be the President Elect.

At the request of the Board, Hakim revised the motion and Committee Charge and Membership description to include elements of the Board discussion. The President Elect shall appoint a new Meetings Committee charged with advising the National Office on logistical planning for upcoming meetings and long-term site identification and review with the membership and activities as proposed. The standing committee will advise the National Office on logistical plans for upcoming meetings and long-term identification and review.
  • The Programs Committee is responsible for the program content of our meetings. Its focus is short-term since the upcoming meeting represents its horizon of responsibility. It is important to have a committee of active member volunteers that advises the National Office, and the Board through the National Office, on issues of logistical planning (marketing, event organization) and on long-term site identification and review. The National Office envisions having committees that parallel its managerial structure; currently a committee on meetings (which would interface on our Meetings Department on pertinent planning issues) does not exist.
  • The proposed Meetings Committee will not replace the Programs Committee. Its charge is to advise the National Office and report to the Board through the National Office as needed on (a) logistical planning for the upcoming annual meeting(s) – particularly ensuring the active participation by hosting physics departments and sections – and (b) site consideration for annual meetings in the long term.
  • The chair of the committee will serve a three-year term and will be appointed by the Board in consultation with the National Office. Their qualifications will be experience with meeting planning with former service as vice-president or area chair preferred.
  • The size of the committee will be 8 members, including the chair. Members will be the current Vice President and Program Chair (voting ex officio), one Area Chair (two years), two Section Representatives (one for two years, the other for one year – the latter one would be representative of the section in whose region the upcoming Summer meeting will take place), and two rotating members (two-year staggered terms). The Director of Meetings and Exhibits at the National Office will serve as a non-voting ex officio member.
  • The activities of the committee will include the review of upcoming meeting planning dates, the review of available information on meeting site selection, and collaboration with the Section Representatives on the selection of site evaluators who will review sites and meet with host physics departments or sections (especially for Summer meetings).

The revised motion was accepted. In response to a question from Hein, Hakim clarified that upcoming meeting meant one year out. Heller called for a vote. The motion passed unanimously.

5) Publications Committee. Monroe explained that following a phone conversation with Hakim earlier in the Fall, she asked the members of the Publications Committee to consider the addition of the National Office’s Director of Communications and Publications as a non-voting member. Historically the Director has attended every meeting of Pubs and has presented a Publications report to both Pubs and the Executive Board. Members of Pubs unanimously voted (by electronic ballot) to recommend that the Director be appointed a member of the committee. Monroe, as Chair of AAPT Publications Committee, recommended that the Board add the Director of Communications and Publications at the National Office as an ex officio, non-voting member of the Publications Committee.

Hakim explained that the participation by the Director in the Publications Committee would enhance the communication and coordination of communications and publication-related projects between the National Office, the Board and the volunteer membership. Monroe pointed out that in effect the Director already had this participation. The appointment would formalize the participation. Hakim in his proposal addressing publications also proposed a name change for the committee to Communications and Publications Committee. Monroe clarified that the motion from Pubs did not request such a name change.

The motion passed unanimously.

9. Meetings Criteria. The National Office submitted a proposal for criteria regarding the selection of annual (Winter and Summer) meetings. The criteria were designed as a first high-quality measure for annual meetings. They will facilitate high attendance and active participation, meaning networking opportunities and social interactions, broad visibility and good reputability for the Association, and a positive experience for registrants and guests. The proposed criteria incorporated recommendations from the Section Representatives and the Area Chairs Committee on Meetings.

C. Heimpel, Director of Meetings, reviewed the main criteria for each site.
I. Summer Meetings: The target audience for the Summer meeting is 1000 full paying registrants and the target month is July. Summer meetings are held on and/or in close proximity to a college or university campus. The campus setting maintains a collegial environment for our meetings and taps the educational resources and talent of the hosting physics department. Consideration as to the size, type, or character of the host institution (e.g. two year college, comprehensive university, research-intensive university, HBCU or MSI) will be made strategically and in line with the criteria below. The site must have the following four criteria and ratings.
1. Facilities – Excellent
  • Adequacy of space and accommodation. The site must have the ability to host 1500 participants (amphitheater/rooms/poster space/banquet hall/etc.) and a sufficient number of residence halls of acceptable quality and comfort.
  • Professional support. The host must have available local professional staff that are equipped with the knowledge, skills, tools, and experience to organize and cater large conferences.
2. Level of Support by Hosting Physics Community – Excellent
  • Leadership of host department. The host institution will provide a formal invitation from the Chair of its Physics Department and identify a local organizing committee with a department that consists of at least three members of the department. The department will need to report the level of SPS activity at their institution as well as the status of institutional subscription to AJP and TPT.
  • Leadership and participation of local section. The local AAPT section must be active and demonstrate its willingness to participate in having representation on the local organizing committee and in regional marketing.
3. Locale – Very Good
  • Proximity to international airport. The campus must be within a 30-minute drive from the airport and must have adequate public transportation.
  • High density of colleges and universities in the region.
4. Costs – Reasonably Affordable.

In discussion of the criteria for the Summer meeting, D. Peterson asked in retrospect, if Edmonton satisfied these requirements. Heimpel replied that it did. In reply to a question from Tobochnik, Heimpel explained that a goal was to double the current participation. Heller pointed out that the criteria sought to accommodate a large population within an eight-hour driving radius. He assumed that most high school teachers drove to the Summer meetings. In his review of past meetings, he found that these assumptions agreed with the demographics of recent past meetings. Chabay asked if some flexibility could be provided that would allow for one Summer meeting out of five or six to not have a large density population. She felt that AAPT members would want to see the allowance for an occasional deviation written into the criteria.

R. Peterson expressed that the locale criteria should be changed to a campus within a 30-minute drive from an airport serving a major airline. He also recommended that the requirement of public transportation be removed.

Hein suggested that the criteria should concentrate on member density, not faculty density. Heller disagreed, saying that the AAPT should try to attract non-members. Hein pointed out that the registration rate for non-members is prohibitive. Heller then suggested that the Association should allow for on-site member registration. Valerie Evans expressed that a focus on member density for site selection might result in a larger attendance from the membership.

Heimpel advised the Board that while a geographic rotation of sites accommodated more AAPT members, it was difficult to attain. Heller emphasized the need to provide the rotation and therefore supported Chabay’s idea to relax the criteria every few years. Heller also stressed that the faculty involvement in the local committee should be a majority of full-time physics faculty. He also noted that in order to rank the sites, the criteria need to be quantifiable.

Robertson reminded the Board that members of Council will want the criteria rankings on proposed sites in advance of the Council meeting. During subsequent discussion Board members agreed that multiple sites should be presented to Council only in the early stages of the selection process. At that time Council could indicate their preferences for further review. However, only one site would be presented to Council for final endorsement. Board members agreed that it was not wise to have competing sites.

II. Winter meetings. The target audience will be 800 full-paying registrants and will have a flexible date (January or February) to accommodate joint meetings. Where possible, Winter meetings will be held jointly with sister societies that share an interest and a commitment to science and/or physics education. Joint meetings will reinvigorate attendance at our Winter meetings, increase our Association’s visibility among other science and science education practitioners, and generate new joint projects and workshops.
1. Nature of Interaction with Partnering Society – Excellent
This criteria considers the strategic significance of partnering with a selected society, the compatibility of our mission with the society’s mission, and the nature of our working relationship with the society.
2. Facilities – Excellent
  • Adequacy of convention space and support. The site should have the ability to host an attendance of 1000 for AAPT and the projected attendance by the partnering society (rooms/poster space/banquet hall/etc.). (For a listing of specified needs, refer to the Table of Space Needs, page 45, Board Packet.) Special features will be an additional consideration.
  • Adequacy of hotel space and availability.
3. Locale – Very Good
  • Proximity to an international airport. The site should be a 30-minute drive from the airport and the site should have public transportation.
  • High density of colleges and universities in the region.

4. Costs – Reasonably Affordable
5. Level of Activity of Local Section – Good

Heimpel explained the criteria were pretty much the same for Winter meetings as for Summer meetings. Winter meetings require local support because of the AAPT offerings of workshops at its meetings. She noted that about the same number of high school teachers attend both meetings. She suggested that the Board might want to loosen the driving distance criteria. It was agreed, following a short discussion among the Board members, that the Winter meeting criteria would incorporate the same changes regarding airports and flexibility in meeting criteria as were accepted for the Summer meeting.

In response to a question from the Board, Adair advised that the chair of the local organizing committee should be appointed by the host institution but confirmed by the Board through the National Office. D. Peterson affirmed that the AAPT wanted a physics faculty member as chair rather than a lab coordinator.

Some discussion then turned to verbiage. Hakim proposed that AAPT use the term conference in lieu of meetings, saying that conferences are more marketable. Chabay stated that these are really meetings, not conferences. Desbien commented that the term meeting does have a negative connotation (i.e. campus meetings). No consensus was reached regarding the proposed change in terminology.
 
Hakim reported that there was a serious interest within the National Office and by some AAPT members to publish the abstracts online. There was little discussion on this issue and no consensus was obtained.

Heller then reminded the Board of the motion prepared by Hakim. The AAPT adopts the proposed annual meeting selection criteria (as modified by the Board) and charges the National Office with ensuring that the criteria are met, with the understanding that when sites are proposed supporting documents will be presented to the Board for discussion and review and to the Council for discussion and adoption. Adair seconded the motion. The criteria for Winter and Summer Meetings were modified by the Board to accommodate a locale near an airport serving a major airline and flexibility in the adherence to criteria every five or six years. The motion passed unanimously.

10. Future Meeting Sites Updates. Heller asked the Board if there were questions regarding the report from the National Office regarding sites for future meetings. The report listed the confirmed sites for annual meetings for the next two years:
  • Seattle, WA, January 5-11, 2007;
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, July 28-Aug 1, 2007;
  • Baltimore, MD, January 18-24, 2008; and
  • University of Alberta, Edmonton, July 2008.
The Office proposed the following for future meetings:
  • A joint meeting with AAAS in February 2009;
  • University of Michigan at Ann Arbor or a return to Madison, WI (Monona Terrance and the University of Wisconsin) for the Summer 2009;
  • Possible joint meeting with the Optical Society of American in October 2009 (Winter 2010); and
  • Joint meetings with either the American Society for Engineering Education in June in Louisville, KY or the Mathematical Association of America in August in Pittsburgh, PA for the Summer 2010 meeting.
Leff pointed out that the WI site proposed for the Summer 2009 would be close in time and geography to the proposed Chicago meeting in Winter 2009, which would deviate from our practice of rotating meeting sites around the country. Heimpel replied that the Michigan physics department had really expressed excitement about hosting a national AAPT meeting.

These sites will be presented for consideration by Council in Seattle.

11. AAPT Membership Analysis. In its report to the Board, the Membership Department explained that it would be presenting membership reports in new formats with a particular attention to trend analysis of new, renewing, and non-retained member data. The statistical analysis will help identify various trends in membership and AAPT activities that will lead to improved marketing. The Membership Department was in the process of developing the right queries to make the analysis meaningful.

During Membership’s review of the 2006 Third Quarter Data, it noted that
  • International membership had remained stable at 13% for the past four years;
  • There had been a slow but steady growth among new regular members with a large gradient for 2006 in every tracked category – the largest being among high school teachers;
  • The 2006 attrition data as compared to the same quarter in 2005, revealed much improvement (931 compared 557), especially among students (36%) followed by high school teachers (31%);
  • This quarter lost half as many 4U faculty as the third quarter in 2005;
  • The number of retired members had increased by 2.8%;
  • 20% of regular members are now eligible to change membership status to emeritus, which would result in a potential 63% drop in revenue.

12. Departmental Memberships. Hakim and V. Evans, Director of Memberships, submitted a report proposing one model for departmental memberships with anticipated benefits for consideration by the Board. Hakim explained that rates for such memberships had not yet been considered. Heller stated that he envisioned two benefits: the first a published listing of department members, possibly online; and the second was an enhanced opportunity for departments to advertise for graduate students, possibly once a year. Evans explained that the motion was merely asking for Board endorsement of the concept. Hakim then moved that the AAPT endorse the concept of departmental memberships and request a model for approval at the January meeting and rollout in 2007. Mamola seconded the motion.

In discussion of the motion, Tobochnik asked if the membership data is broken down by department, thereby giving the Board a sense of distribution across the country. Evans replied that while the AAPT did not have that information, the AIP did. R. Peterson reported that the Membership and Benefits Committee was in the process of conducting a survey of departments to determine that data. B. Khoury reported that five years ago Ken Krane had completed a study of R1 faculty and found that less than 10% were in the AAPT database. D. Peterson commented that the peer pressure among Minnesota colleges provides a real incentive to faculty to join organizations. Heller added that was also true among R1 universities. D. Peterson cautioned that departmental memberships should not include faculty memberships because of usual university policy. Heller agreed, adding that maybe the departmental memberships could provide X number of registration fees. Leff proposed that the departmental membership might provide student memberships as well.

The motion passed unanimously.

13. National Task Force for K-12 Teachers. Paul Hickman, Chair of the Committee on Teacher Preparation, presented a request and rationale formulated by the Committee during its Summer meeting in Syracuse. The Committee asked the Board to support the formation of a National Task Force on the Physical Science Preparation of K-12 Teachers. The charge to the task force would be to
  • Develop an expository report highlighting effective and exemplary work of physics departments in the physical science preparation of K-12 teachers and the resulting benefits to those departments.
  • Develop a summary of best practices in physical science preparation taken by those departments.
The Committee expressed that it was important for the AAPT to engage the APS and the AIP in this effort as well. The work of the task force would be similar to that of the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics (NTFUP), which sought to highlight best practices among departments with increasing numbers of physics majors.

The Committee outlined the steps for the task force.
  1. Secure support from sister societies in the formation of the task force.
  2. Choose one representative from each supporting society to serve as the leadership for the task force.
  3. Choose the task force membership from among the leaders in physics/physical science teacher preparation.
  4. Define the scope of the study by the task force.
  5. Determine the methodologies for the task force’s study.
  6. Employ consultants or engage community members in the work as necessary.
  7. Carry out the study and write the report.
The Committee anticipated that this work would span 2-4 years.

Hickman reported that the results of the AAPT Board’s creation of the committee on teacher preparation six years earlier had resulted in good benefits. The committee listserv now has about 400 participants. He added that the committee would have a new chair beginning in 2007. Other interests in teacher preparation are indicated by the 55 institutions, which have now joined PTEC. The interest in teacher preparation is high among people as well as by departments. In addition to the formation of the teacher preparation committee and its collaborative efforts in PhysTEC, the AAPT has been involved in the national attention to issues addressing teacher quality, such as No Child Left Behind, shortage of science teachers, and reports on teacher quality. Hickman explained that the spotlight was moving from test scores to what was happening in physical science classrooms. He therefore expressed that the AAPT now has a real opportunity as a discipline-based organization to have an impact in this area. The outcome proposed for the creation for the task force would be strategies that could be acted on, not just a document to be read. The committee would like for the Association to provide support to begin this effort by bringing people together to plan and then to pursue external funding.

Heller asked Jack Hehn to give his response to this request. Hehn, AIP CoPI for the PhysTEC collaborative and charter member of the teacher preparation committee, explained that the collaborative had learned a lot about teacher preparation activities. He would be exceedingly pleased for the AAPT to brand this task force. However he felt that the effort should be a joint effort with APS and AIP. Hehn was prepared as Education Director for AIP to bring some resources to the table to help staff the task force and to provide similar services that he had provided for the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics (NTFUP).

In discussion of the proposal from the Teacher Prep Committee, R. Peterson said he found that some PTRA participants never became members of the AAPT and he fears that once the work of the teacher prep task force is completed, people would forget the involvement of AAPT in this. He stressed that the Association should have presence and influence. Discussions on the teacher prep listserv have reported that the preparation of teachers requires a longer process than originally envisioned and so that once teachers are out of school, they need to be engaged in professional organizations. Hickman responded, saying the process requires about ten years. R. Peterson continued, saying he wanted to see AAPT members actively engaged in the activities of the task force.

Heller asked who would be responsible for carrying out the outlined steps. Hickman said he would assume this responsibility until a group had been identified to move the effort forward. Heller asked if the motion were to empower Hickman to assume this responsibility. Hickman clarified that the motion was simply to get the AAPT to take a leadership role in establishing the task force. Hakim asked if the AAPT name would be listed first in the collaborative. Hickman said yes. Hehn advised that if NTFUP is used as a model for this teacher prep task force, then each of the three organizations would commit a certain number of resources. He expressed that the selection of the leader for the task force should be more of a collaborative one that was done in the past. Hickman replied that the leadership had not yet been defined.

Hakim asked which organization would hold the task force accountable. Hehn said that NTFUP had brought the report to AAPT and AAPT had published the report and handled the money. He added that in this instance, however, there would probably be some funding from the PhysTEC project. However, he urged the AAPT to announce its commitment to the teacher prep task force.

Hakim commented that the leadership also has a connection to the fiscal responsibility. B. Khoury expressed that he thought the brilliance of NTFUP was that it was not accountable to any one of the three organizations. The credibility fell on the nine members themselves. Heller said that he was hearing the Board say it was critical who the leadership is. Hakim asked if the leadership for the teacher prep task force could be identified in a similar way that NFTUP used. Heller stated that the Board was stressing the necessity of having AAPT leadership in this new effort. Hehn noted that NTFUP was a success because of its big names in physics.

Hickman added that he wanted to be sure that the different levels of education, such as two year colleges (TYC), are represented on the task force. Monroe advised that if the teacher prep committee wanted involvement from the TYC community in this, the committee needed to enlist their representation from the very first. The PhysTEC project, when first presented to the AAPT, had indicated that it wanted involvement from the TYC community, but regrettably they had not enlisted TYCs at the onset. Therefore she and O’Kuma had been unsuccessful in persuading TYC faculty to become involved with the recent PTEC activities.

Hickman replied that more discussion is needed on this and other issues before they proceed. Hickman will serve as facilitator for an organizing discussion in Seattle.

Leff moved that the AAPT enthusiastically support the establishment of the National Task Force on the Preparation of K-12 Physics and Physical Science Teachers as proposed by the Teacher Prep Committee, with AAPT taking the leadership role. Adair seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

14. AIP Committees. At this time each year, the AAPT and other AIP member societies are asked to nominate members to serve on AIP committees. The nominations are submitted to the AIP Committee on Committees and this committee decides who will be selected. In addition, the AAPT designates members to serve on the AIP Governing Board (these are direct appointments).
AIP Governing Board. Currently Ken Heller, Dick Peterson, Harvey Leff, and Bernie Khoury serve as AAPT members on the AIP Governing Board. Peterson and Khoury will complete their terms in March 2007. Khoury explained that customarily the AAPT Board appoints the Executive Officer and members of the presidential chain to serve on the AIP Board. In formal action, the Board designated Toufic Hakim and Lila Adair to serve on the AIP Governing Board, replacing Khoury and Peterson. Their two-year terms will begin in March 2007.

AIP Committees. The AAPT members on four AIP committees will end their terms in 2007: Congressional Science Fellowship Selection Committee, the Advisory Committee on Physics Education, the Committee on Media and Government Relations, and the Liaison Committee on Physics Education. The Board reviewed the responsibilities of these committees and presented their recommendations for nominations. Monroe explained that AAPT would have a better chance of having one of its members selected for committee membership if it only one nomination was submitted for each committee. In formal action, the Board instructed Heller and Monroe to make the final selections for nominations from the list prepared by the Board and authorized Monroe to transmit the nominations to the AIP.

15. Announcer and Web Expansion. Rob Headrick, Director of Communications and Publications, and Toufic Hakim submitted their report regarding proposed changes in the Announcer and the AAPT web presence. AAPT publications address three goals: to advance physics teaching, to serve the membership, and to enhance the visibility and the reach of the Association. The AJP and TPT address the first goal directly. The Announcer serves a number of member-related purposes, including a report of upcoming and previous events and awards, reports from the Executive Board, Council, the Section Representatives, and various AAPT committees, report of formal fiscal information, an archive of meeting abstracts, AAPT membership on AAPT committees and other society committees, and AAPT affiliates. AAPT News, an online publication, reports science news and timely briefs of AAPT activities. The AAPT webpages house governance documents, archived news, member information, and physics education resources for all visitors.

While the National Office will continue to work to expand the outreach of the AJP and TPT, its efforts will primarily address changes in the Announcer, AAPT News, and AAPT.org resources. The current Announcer will disappear and its contents will be embedded in new publications called Interactions and Annual Report and in the electronic platforms of AAPT News and AAPT.org.

Interactions and the Annual Report will serve two goals: (1) to present AAPT as a proactive enabler focused on strengthening physics education and supporting physics educators by assisting and promoting AAPT members and broadening our public outreach and (2) to create an ongoing, fast-paced dialog on related themes that propel physics teaching and learning forward. A third goal is (3) to promote AAPT.org as the primary information and service channel and encourage visitors to look there first to meet their needs. Details concerning the content of the three publications originating at the National Office and how the current Announcer will be transferred to these three publications appeared on pages 57-60 of the iBook.

Headrick described the changes as enhancing the Announcer by pulling out reports and announcements and publishing them elsewhere, such as in AAPT News or AAPT.org. Hakim said the National Office would highlight feature articles, such as an anchor article on Physics First or a story on introductory physics initiatives in follow-up to Holbrow’s efforts as staff physicist, in a collection of articles called Interactions. Initially this collection would remain in print to generate interest, with an option for an electronic format, but eventually Interactions would become an online publication only.

Hakim explained that the AAPT website needs to be modernized, to be made more functional, and to look better. The website serves as a member portal as well as a resource for non-members. The Office has received good response from their survey concerned its web presence. The primary effort at the present is to add the content from the Announcer.

Hakim characterized the Annual Report as the glossy showcase.

In discussion of the proposal, Roeder commented that the Annual Report and AAPT.org would allow the Association to reach out to more groups. D. Peterson commented that it is also good to have the print copy of the Announcer in racks. In response to a question from Tobochnik, Hakim affirmed that Interactions would be made available to both members and non-members. Evans and Hakim reviewed how the Office obtained the list of names for non-members and other groups.

Hakim moved that the Executive Board endorse the National Office’s revised communications and publications program. Roeder seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

16. Budget Committee Report. Robertson reported that the AAPT has about $5.8 million in unrestricted funds and about $0.9 million in designated funds. The investment return for the last six months was 8.6%, bringing the total long-term reserve to $6.8 million. The Klopsteg Fund will realize a deficit of a little of $ 49 K and he proposed that this be neutralized. A special project fund will be established with 1% designated to go to the Klopsteg Fund. In addition an Excellence in Education Fund will be established for receipts from the fundraiser.

Mike Kowalkowski of TIAA-CREF met with the Budget Committee in their meeting the day before the Board meeting. He reported that the world economy and real estate securities are strong. Robertson explained that the Association might want to adjust its financial portfolio if we continue to take large amounts of money out each year. For now, he recommended that we stay the course.

Robertson then referred the Board to the Operational Budget published on page 143 of the iBook. The projected deficit for 2006 is $13,616.

Robertson then directed Board attention to the proposed Operational Budget for 2007. The balanced budget provides for the Assumptions, the breakdown of the proposed 2007 Budget, and the Context, which reports the 2007 goals of the Association. The Budget did not include the salary and benefits package for the Executive Officer Emeritus previously approved by the Board. The Budget does provide for new expenses associated with the position of Senior Physics Fellow and the second phase of development planning approved by the Board during the Syracuse meeting. In addition the 2007 Budget provides for salary, benefits and costs associated with the hiring of a new development professional by the National Office and the salary and related expenditures for a part-time Senior Physics Fellow for Middle and High School Programming.

The proposed 2007 Budget projected a increase in revenue resulting from higher projections in membership, subscriptions, and advertising. However, the proposed Budget also projected an increase in expenses relating to these same three areas resulting from a sustained higher activity level.

Robertson reported that he found the assumptions regarding revenues to be very ambitious. He cited one concern addressed the high exhibit fees. The AAPT will be splitting exhibits with AAS in its meeting in Seattle and the AAS has many exhibits. Hakim responded that the AAPT will make investments and if we find we are not realizing income, we will just have to make adjustments. Tobochnik asked if the projected 11% increase in membership was a realistic one. Hakim described it as doable. The Office will work with consortia and will also target the international market. He explained that he realized the AAPT was going out on a limb but it was important to have a balanced budget.

Robertson noted that the projected income for 2007 is $5.7 million and the expenses for 2007 is about $5.7 million, which may be a little less than in 2006. Tobochnik pointed out that the income from non-member subscriptions essentially pays for the AJP publication. Hein advised that the Office would like to get to the point where the library subscriptions pay for the journals.

Robertson, as Chair of the Budget Committee, moved that the Executive Board accept the 2007 Budget and Assumptions as presented. The motion passed unanimously.

17. PDA/Cell Phone Support Policy. Robertson explained that the implementation of the presented policy regarding the use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) with cell capabilities (e.g. Blackberries, Palm TREOs) by the AAPT staff would cost the AAPT about $6 K. Hakim explained that it was a nightmare to itemize for such use, so they are proposing the adoption of the AIP policy, presented on page 70 of the iBook.

According to the presented policy, the AAPT will compensate AAPT full-time employees at the level of director or above for PDA/cell phone usage. It is very difficult to separate personal use from professional use. In addition the IRS regulations regard employer-provided cell phones as taxable compensation and so any AAPT compensation will be reported on W2 forms. The proposal outlines compensation at two levels: $100/monthly for Executive Officer, Associate Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and $50/monthly for directors. An additional PDA/cell phone will be used during meetings and exhibit participation. The employees receiving such stipends will be responsible for selecting the appropriate cell phone plan for their needs and for paying for all cell phone charges. The employee will receive the monthly stipend via their paycheck during the first payday period of the month. The stipend will be expected to cover only business related cell phone use, maintenance, and other related fees. Reimbursements for extraordinary business cell phone use must be justified and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. (See the iBook pages 71-72 for additional details of the policy.)

Hakim moved that the Executive Board approve the policy presented setting in place a PDA/cell phone stipend for the Executive Officer, Associate Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and directors at the National Office, and other managers as deemed necessary by the EO as described in the presented policy. Roeder seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

18. Expanded TIAA-CREF Retirement Program. Robertson introduced for consideration by the Board an expansion to the existing TIAA-CREF retirement program for AAPT employees. Under the current retirement program, AAPT employees do not qualify for participation in the AAPT program until their third year of employment. At that time, the AAPT contributes 10% of gross salary to the TIAA-CREF retirement program and the employee is vested simultaneously. Robertson explained that the current policy puts the Association at a competitive disadvantage since many organizations have a much shorter waiting period for new employees. This policy can negatively impact our attrition of AAPT employees as well as our recruitment of new employees.

By the expanded program, an employee who had worked at AAPT for one year would pay 5% and AAPT would pay a matching amount. After two years, the payments would increase to 10%. Robertson explained that the expansion would not significantly affect the 2007 budget. However, the estimated fiscal impact of the new policy in 2008 would be $10 K - $15 K. The National Office reported that they anticipated hiring five new employees over the next 12-18 months with a total salary impact of $200 K to $300 K.

Robertson moved that the Executive Board approve the presented policy setting into place new AAPT contributions in the AAPT TIAA-CREF retirement program as described in the presented policy. Roeder seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

19. AAPT Purchase of Alcohol. Robertson explained that it was AAPT policy that AAPT money not be used to purchase alcohol for any AAPT function. Hakim would like for the Board to revisit this policy. Hakim explained that he would like to provide wine for the participants to the New Faculty Workshop. Leff responded that it was one thing to give wine to the workshop participants and another to buy Board members alcoholic beverages with their dinners. D. Peterson asked B. Khoury his reaction to this request. Khoury said he supported Hakim’s request as presented by Robertson. He explained that during his term as Executive Officer he had provided wine for organized conferences, such as New Faculty and Department Chairs. However, the money had come from private sources, not AAPT funds.

Robertson moved that the Executive Board allow the Association to purchase alcohol for appropriate functions. Chabay seconded the motion. Leff firmly stated that he did not want any appearance that the AAPT was spending money for alcohol in an improper way. The motion passed unanimously.


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