Executive Board Minutes - April 2003April 12-13, 2003
College Park, MD
Board Members Present: Charles Holbrow, Chris Chiaverina, Jim Nelson, Dick Peterson, Mary Beth Monroe, Charles Robertson (not attending April 13 Session), Steve Iona, Randy Peterson, Mary Fehrs, Deborah Rice, Chuck Stone, Bernard Khoury
Guests: Carol Heimpel, Valerie Evans, Warren Hein, Judy Franz, Jim Stith, Renee Diehl, John Layman, Maria Elena Khoury, Fran Smith, Roxanne Muller, Sina Kniseley
1. Call to Order.
2. Additions to the Agenda.
3. Approval of the Minutes.
4. Officers’ Reports.
Holbrow attended recent meetings of the APS Forum on Education and the APS Committee on Education. He reported that these groups had expressed an eagerness to work with the AAPT in joint ventures and he, in turn, had expressed that the AAPT shared the same sentiment. Holbrow added that as the Committee on Education was meeting in the ACP in parallel with the AAPT Board, some time would be set aside for the two groups to meet together and discuss possible joint activities.
Nelson noted that he and Holbrow had conducted a site visit to Madison and had met with Don Reeder in preparation for the national meeting. The two also visited Edgewood College, which will be the site for the PTRA summer meeting. Nelson thought the visit was very helpful to the planning and encouraged future Program Chairs to conduct similar site visits.
Nelson reported that the AAPT had a visible participation in the NSTA meeting. PTRA volunteers worked 1.5-hour shifts at the AAPT booth. He recommended that the AAPT continue this activity.
Chiaverina explained that the Awards Committee will be seriously considering recipients for the awards to be presented during the Winter Meeting and asked for nominations. He added that the Committee will try to improve the description of the awards so as to more clearly identify the qualifications of the recipients for the different awards. Rice expressed that the High School Committee was often confused about what materials should be in the nomination packets. Chiaverina responded saying that the nominations should include both biographical and anecdotal information as well as letters of recommendation. Robertson commented that asking an individual for a vita in this instance could be awkward but that nomination for an AAPT award is an honor in itself. D. Peterson also asked the Awards Committee to review the awards stipends and make sure that the amounts are competitive with like awards from other societies.
Monroe also reported that letters of appointment were sent to the three members of the Announcer Review Committee. The letters presented the charge and timeline for the review activities. She had talked with Tom O’Kuma, Chair of the Review Committee, and he expressed that the members understood the charge and would work with the AAPT staff in publicizing the review and soliciting input from AAPT members. Also serving on this committee are Gerry Taylor and Ann Brandon. The Board will receive the committee’s report in September 2003.
Two projects with funding from the Bauder Fund, Mobile Physics, and the Sutton reprint book, are both doing well. Robertson noted that the reprint book would be published somewhat more cheaply than estimated.
In response to a request from W. Hein, Robertson moved that the $5000 allocated by the Board in its January meeting to support AAPT section activities addressing teacher preparation be taken from the Klopsteg Fund. Fehrs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. During discussion of the motion, Khoury explained that he, Iona and R. Peterson were preparing a three-paragraph announcement of this funding available to AAPT sections. With a $3000 personal gift from Len Jossem, the total funding available for these activities is $8000. The announcement will be distributed to the AAPT sections and appropriate AAPT committees.
Khoury also expressed that he and Len Jossem, Chair of the AAPT Teacher Preparation Committee, had a lot of discussion regarding the funding process. Section Representatives should submit the proposals, approximately one page in length, to the AAPT office and if funded, the sections would be expected to present papers of their activities at AAPT meetings. The award amount will be $500 per section. If the AAPT uses all of the designated funds and proposals continue to come in, Khoury will bring the matter to the attention of the Board.
Rice and R. Peterson moved that the Board send a letter to Len Jossem recognizing his generous contribution of $3000 to help fund section activities addressing teacher preparation. The motion passed unanimously.
Chair of Section Representatives:
Vice-Chair of Section Representatives:
Fehrs asked for a status report regarding the bankruptcy proceedings of RoweCom, the subscription service agency used by libraries. Khoury explained that EBSCO, a major subscription service agency, had a proposal on the table to buy out RoweCom. However, it was likely that the AAPT would not recover most of its projected $100 K loss. He reminded the Board of its decision to honor claimed subscriptions to AAPT publications. Many of these subscribers are known but not all. He added that it appeared that all AIP member societies affected by this action would honor claimed subscriptions and consequently the AIP was endeavoring to contact every subscribing library to learn its current status. The AIP is anticipating a $1 M loss. Khoury estimated that about 1 out of every 10 subscribers will be affected by this bankruptcy. Libraries constitute the bulk of institutional subscribers.
D. Peterson clarified that “the final report from NTFUP (National Task Force for Undergraduate Physics)” was the report of the project SPIN-UP, not the final report of the Task Force. In response to a question from D. Peterson, Khoury explained that the SPIN-UP report was made to the AAPT, rather than AIP, because the funding grant from the Exxon Mobil Foundation was awarded to the association.
As additional information items not included in his reports, Khoury reported that:
1. The first volume of astronomy education journal, an all-electronic journal, was now available on-line.
2. Melba Phillips had been selected as the recipient for the 2003 Joseph A. Burton Forum Award, an award of the APS. Khoury acknowledged the gracious efforts of John Layman in helping to make this award known to Phillips, who now lives in an assisted care facility, and to communicate her response to the APS.
3. Dr. John Marburger, Science Advisor to the U.S. President, will present the Dresden Lecture during the Summer Meeting in Madison. Harvey Leff will give the introductory remarks as he had been one of Dresden’s students. D. Peterson advised the Program Chair to nail down the topic for the lecture.
5. Audit Committee Report.
6. 2004 Membership Rates.
Hein explained that a comparison of the allocation tables for 2003 and 2004 reveals that by keeping the subscription rates constant, the AAPT is able to move toward a model where the journal allocations more closely represents the cost of producing the journals. He added that the rate is still fairly low but is not pricing the journals out of the market. T
he proposal to the Board, prepared by Hein, Sina Kniseley, and Valerie Evans, recommended that the member rate for the TPT be set at $99 and that this rate not be changed over the next two years (2004 and 2005). They did recommend that when the rate was changed it should be increased by $2, which would produce a revenue increase of $7 000 for the AAPT. Holbrow expressed that he did not feel that the Board should authorize the rate freeze for two years.
Nelson moved that the Proposed 2004 Membership Rates defined by the chart appearing in the Board packet be accepted. Robertson seconded the motion. In discussion of the motion, D. Peterson asked how the editors (Mamola and Tobochnik) had responded to the proposed rate changes. Khoury answered saying that Tobochnik had made some comments about other items in the Board packet but had not offered any special comment regarding the new rates, and no comments had been received by Mamola. D. Peterson expressed that the Board values the opinions of its editors and therefore feels it important that the editors attend the meetings of the Board. He added that the Board will need to look more closely at membership rates as they are tied in with subscription rates since electronic publications are becoming more viable. Many AAPT members join the AAPT solely for the purpose of subscribing to the journals. If these members have access to the electronic journals through their institutional libraries, they might necessarily drop their associational membership. D. Peterson advised the Board to consider strategic planning for this occurrence. The motion passed unanimously.
7. Designation of 2003 Election Tellers.
8. Proposal for Commission on Graduate Education.
“It is proposed that there be established a commission, under the sponsorship of the AAPT Board and the Area Committee on Graduate Education, and consisting of recognized contributors to the field of graduate education in physics, with the charge to examine and to summarize directions in graduate education in physics as it has evolved over the past decades within the community of university graduate programs in physics as a whole and with special attention given to the flagship programs within that community. It is proposed also that the AAPT Board seek funding to cover the expenses of this commission, including honoraria for its members.”
In explanation of the resolution, Jacob added the following note: “The essence of our discussion was directed toward PhD programs, and I would expect the charge from the Board to the Commission to reflect that if the Board is of the same mind. This initiative would be paralleled by John Rigden’s proposed white paper on content in the physics major and grad student curriculum, which the Committee has agreed to help write.” Jacob added in his note to Holbrow that Robert Beck Clark, Chair of the APS Committee on Education, had suggested cooperation between his committee and the AAPT. Jacob also asked that appointment of a commission be timely allowing for a report of its activities during the AAPT 2004 Winter Meeting in Miami Beach.
Holbrow asked the current chair of the area committee, Renee Diehl, to recapitulate the committee’s discussion leading to the action item before the Board. Diehl explained that the graduate course structure has substantially changed at many universities, the qualifying exams are quite different from university to university, and while the PhD research at different universities is similar, its structure is different. She added that consideration must now be made concerning what students are being serviced. Some students will go to work in industry while others will go into academia. The proportion of international students in graduate school has gone up significantly. Diehl explained that both quantitative and qualitative aspects of graduate education will need to be looked at by the commission.
Diehl explained that little discussion had occurred regarding the structure of the commission but the graduate education committee wanted the commission leadership to consist of faculty from the top graduate institutions. She suggested that possibly the first task of the commission would be to identify a funding source and define an expense budget for its operation.
Diehl, explained in response to a question from Fehrs, that the graduate education program at Penn State had reduced its number of course offerings and the current qualifying exam addresses the last year of undergraduate studies in physics, although students take the exam before completing these studies. She added that while Penn State uses the GRE in Physics as the qualifying exam, many other graduate institutions use letters of introduction and the general GRE in lieu of the GRE in Physics.
D. Peterson asked Diehl to clarify what the committee proposes to be the specific charge of the commission. Would the commission primarily assess the graduate physics curriculum or would it make recommendations? Diehl anticipated assessment to be the primary focus. D. Peterson expressed doubt that the evaluation could separate graduate education from undergraduate education and suggested that the commission should have members knowledgeable of what is happening at the undergraduate level, although it is not clear if the physics community has a comprehensive understanding of the status of undergraduate education.
Khoury reported that the findings from the SPIN-UP project indicated that there is a tremendous convergence of activities among undergraduate programs, at least regarding what texts are used at what levels, suggesting that there is consistent curriculum for undergraduate education across the institutions. He also referred to the AAPT and APS jointly sponsored Chairs’ Conference on Graduate Education held a few years ago. He advised the Graduate Education Committee to review the 1995 report generated by this conference.
Board members suggested special topics that should possibly be explored by the commission on graduate education in physics: manpower studies for PhD’s in physics; foreign language requirements, graduate programs’ requirements concerning courses outside the physics discipline; special graduate courses accommodating those students who have undergraduate degrees in non physics disciplines but who want to pursue graduate studies in physics; and special graduate requirements for physics graduate students wanting multiple minors. D. Peterson suggested that while the focus of the commission will probably be curriculum a possible hot topic would address visas for international students given our current international environment. Diehl also added that the commission might want to address the growth of terminal master’s degree programs.
Discussion then turned to the membership of the commission. Diehl explained that the number of members would depend on how the commission would operate (site visits or survey) and that the committee wanted members with high visibility within the physics community as leaders on the commission. R. Peterson reminded the Board that four-year colleges/universities are among the greatest consumers of physics graduate education and therefore the AAPT should have an important place on the commission. Other suggestions from the Board included NTFUP members, Osheroff, Wieman, and Gates.
Discussion by Board members produced two possible funding sources for the commission: national and industrial labs and the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics. Nelson moved, and D. Peterson seconded, that the Board support in principle the creation of a commission to study the current status of physics graduate education and that the Board allocate up to $ 10 K from the Klopsteg Fund for the its expenses. The motion passed unanimously. (During discussion of the motion, concern was expressed by Holbrow regarding the enhanced deficit to the Klopsteg Fund produced by this action.) Holbrow reiterated the need to define a specific charge to the commission.
9. Visit by the APS Executive Officer.
Franz then summarized various suggestions for possible interactions.
1. She explained that the topic of joint membership between the two organizations had come up within the Society and, while Khoury has expressed reservations about the feasibility of this joint effort, she thought the association should reconsider this idea.
2. Franz also expressed that joint meetings between the APS and the AAPT would give the AAPT more involvement and more visibility within the APS.
3. She referred to the recent action by the APS permitting AAPT members to attend meetings of the APS Forum on Education at no cost and asked if a similar service could be made available to the APS members.
4. Franz asked if the AAPT could provide subscriptions of the Physics Today (PT) to graduating high school students, modeled after a practice by the Germans. She said such a service would get more high school students exposed to physics. Stith, AIP Physics Resources, volunteered to explore this suggestion but with the idea of providing the high school graduates with online access to the PT.
5. Judy also suggested that the AAPT might want to probe the offer from the IOP (Institute of Physics) to provide associational members with 25% discount on subscriptions to science and math magazines targeting middle school aged children. The discount would be made available if the AAPT agreed to advertise these magazines to its readership. Nelson suggested that this service might be an appropriate activity for the AAPT during the World Year of Physics. Khoury agreed to provide Board members with review copies of these magazines.
Franz explained that each ACP organization had agreed to prepare some activities for the World Year of Physics in 2005. The APS is negotiating with WalMart to provide local arrangements and publicity for the Physics on the Road show. The show comprises a van, equipped with interactive demonstrations, which could travel around the country and provide shows to the public from the stores’ parking lots. WalMart expressed an interest in this activity but had not yet made a commitment. Stone advised the APS to seriously consider how to make the physics van attractive to the public, thus insuring that people would visit the van and participate in its demonstrations.
Franz reported that the APS had also approached NASA about the possibility of beaming down experiments from the shuttle, involving children in the activities concurrently on the ground. The APS is also proposing to develop a poster contest among middle school kids. Since the byline for this World Year is Einstein and the 21st Century, the posters would display both a backward look and a forward look for physics. In addition to these activities, the AIP is redoing its website on Einstein in anticipation of the World Year and the APS is modifying its website on gravitation. All activities developed for the commemorative year will be publicized with the designated World Year logo, thus enhancing both the activities and the logo’s significance.
10. Meeting with COE.
1. the COE could jointly sponsor the commission with the AAPT,
2. the COE members could help the AAPT define the specific charge and leadership for the commission, and
3. the COE members could help the AAPT define the operational process of the commission.
Clark will report this discussion and AAPT request to the general membership of the COE. Formal action by the COE will have to be approved by the APS executive board.
11. The AIP Vice President of Physics Resources.
1. The Physics Today is available online. The advertising feature is not yet available, however. Approximately 16,000 AIP society members have subscribed to the service. However, the AIP is having difficulty in meeting its budget because of the expense in shipping printed copies of PT to non US members, a market which is realizing growth.
D. Peterson asked how the AAPT could enhance the visibility of the Society of Physics Students/Sigma Pi Sigma at the national AAPT meetings. Stith explained that the AIP is pleased with the growth of SPS student paper presentations at these meetings and the addition of SPS student receptions. He advised that the AAPT should better advertise these events. Stith also asked the help of the AAPT in the AIP efforts to broaden the appeal of the Sigma Pi Sigma and to establish the honor society within the college institution. The AIP wants to project the SPS as a professional society and Stith added that he would like to see AIP member societies doing a better job of reaching out to students. SPS members can join one AIP member society without paying membership fees. Stith explained that this service was added in an effort to combat the decline in physics students and to help students align themselves with a society member.
Khoury pointed out that the AAPT pays the AIP $4.22 for AIP services to each of its members while the AIP spends $134 for each member. He expressed that this message ought to go out more effectively to the membership. Holbrow opined that a large fraction of the AAPT members do not know what AIP is. Stith agreed with this opinion and added that he would like for the association to view AIP as an extension of the AAPT.
12. International Conference on Teacher Preparation.
13. Selection of 2004 Nominating Committee Members.
Following the preparation of a list of proposed candidates to serve on the Nominating Committee, R. Peterson moved that the Board authorize the President to appoint the Chair and two members to the 2004 Nominating Committee. D. Peterson seconded the motion. The motion passed. The 2004 Nominating Committee will be charged to select candidates for the Fall 2004 elections (Vice President, Secretary, and Member-at-Large representing High Schools) and two members to each AAPT Area Committee. Terms of office for appointed committee members and elected Board members will begin at the close of the 2005 AAPT Winter Meeting.
14. Executive Session I (with B. Khoury).
15. Executive Session II (without B. Khoury).
16. Next Steps in Revision of Active Physics.
In discussion of the financial aspects of such a venture, Khoury suggested that future royalties could be used to pay for the revision. The NSF originally funded the development of the curriculum product at $1.5 M with the AAPT not realizing out of pocket expenses. In 1997, following the completion of the project, the AAPT entered into a marketing and distribution agreement with IAT. Over the last four years the AAPT has received approximately $100 K in royalties. The rate of royalty payment to the AAPT escalates with sales, beginning with a rate of 2% of sales. Currently the AAPT is receiving nearly 6% of the sales. The royalty stream is shared with the editor Arthur Eisenkraft who receives 3/8 of the royalties.
However, IAT still owes the association $25-30 K. Khoury estimated that the minimum cost of the revision would be about $100 K over what the AAPT has earned. He added that if the AAPT elects not to prepare a revision, then IAT could move forward to finance a revision with the royalties. Consequently the association could lose royalties during this revision period.
In response to a question from R. Peterson, Khoury explained that the curriculum product consists of six modules in paperback form selling for about $14 apiece. Each module constitutes a different topic and purchasing schools can buy any combination of modules. The books are not throwaway items, but can be used for several years. IAT estimates that about 1 million students have used the curriculum. Nelson explained that the largest market for the curriculum is 9th grade while only a small number of students in higher grades use the AP curriculum.
Fehrs opined that the AAPT should not develop the revision since the association has not received enough money to pay for the revision. Nelson expressed that this effort seems to be the only effort making inroads to help students taking physics in the 9th grade. He believes that the potential for more sales is quite probable. However, Nelson added that he did not feel that the AAPT had control in the effort and was uncomfortable with the situation.
Holbrow suggested that the AAPT might want to consider selling the copyrights to another publisher who could afford the revision. D. Peterson asked if the AAPT can in fact sell this product. Nelson moved that the Board table this discussion and authorize the Executive Officer to explore the possibility of selling the copyrights for Active Physics. R. Peterson seconded the motion. Holbrow reminded the Board that the AAPT does realize an income from this product and that the association could possibly realize a 10% royalty on the sales. The motion passed with a vote of 10 yes and 1 abstention.
17. Relationship between AAPT and PhysTEC.
In her external evaluation of the PhysTEC project, Karen Johnston, Momentum Group, recommended that “AAPT should find ways to elevate the role of PhysTEC in their portfolio of projects. The level of funding for PhysTEC and the potential for improving science/physics teacher preparation should encourage a high profile for this project within AAPT.”
In response to this recommendation Hein and Layman made the following request: “Teacher preparation has not previously been a high priority within AAPT but it is one of the four ‘critical issues’ identified by the Board: ‘to increase the diversity and number of physics teachers and students’. Therefore, we propose that teacher preparation be considered as AAPT’s eighth planning initiative. An AAPT Committee on Teacher Preparation has already been established to support pre-service teacher preparation.”
Additionally in the Update Summary, the Project leadership stated that it was time for AAPT, APS, AIP, and the PhysTEC project to define their respective roles in the Coalition and provided a listing of suggested roles for each group. Currently neither APS nor AAPT have explained how they will support the Coalition beyond the funding term of the PhysTEC project. The PhysTEC leadership want to develop a Coalition plan and with input from the organizations develop formal operations. They recommended the following roles for the AAPT:
1. Serve as the formal home for the Coalition
Hein and Layman stressed the desire for the AAPT to adopt teacher preparation as an 8th planning initiative and a willingness to “house” the Coalition akin to the involvement of the physics education research (PER) community within the AAPT. It is their hope that the Coalition operations can be maintained with minimal staff support. Chiaverina asked for clarification regarding role of the AAPT as “home” to the Coalition. The CoPIs explained that possible activities would include the advertisement of meeting sessions dealing with Coalition teacher preparation activities and advertisements within the Announcer inviting physics departments to join the Coalition.
D. Peterson expressed his hope that PhysTEC would impact the physics community in more ways than just teacher preparation. Layman responded by stating that if someone would ask what PhysTEC was doing in the introductory labs, then the Coalition would have to produce some activity addressing this area. Khoury spoke in favor of the Board adopting the proposed 8th planning initiative but explained that he had a problem with housing the PhysTEC Coalition within the AAPT. He expressed a concern that linking the effort to the AAPT might weaken its impact on physics departments. The effort would be known as the Coalition but Fred Stein, the project’s PI, as yet did not have a vision for the Coalition. D. Peterson responded suggesting that since the APS would also have an affiliation with PhysTEC, the “housing of the Coalition” within the AAPT would not hurt the impact on the university department.
Holbrow explained that the Board would consider the adoption of teacher preparation as a planning initiative as a later agenda item. (See these Minutes, Item 24.)
18. World Year of Physics.
Stone gave a PowerPoint presentation, explaining the goals for the World Year of Physics 2005 (WYP) and the APS coordination efforts for this commemoration. The APS initiatives for WYP include Discovery Channel TV programs that will show how physics research and applications have advanced our modern society and lifestyle, a mobile physics outreach program, and cooperative activities with local groups to market the WYP. Stone proposed that the AAPT should prepare the following types of outreach in its participation in the WYP:
1. Mobile demonstration shows
Holbrow appointed Stone to chair a committee of AAPT members to generate activities appropriate to the World Year of Physics under the banner of the AAPT and to report back to the Board in August 2003 with a list of member names and activities. D. Peterson commented that the APS is building its activities on the expertise of the AAPT membership and therefore the AAPT should have an important role in this commemoration. He reported that Fred Stein is organizing a WYP session for the AAPT Madison meeting. It was agreed that Khoury should contact Stein and coordinate this activity along the guidelines set by the Board.
Holbrow expressed a readiness to write a letter of endorsement for the journal. Hein commented that it was not clear to him if NSDL (National Science Digital Library) would support this effort. Tobochnik expressed his support for the journal in his memos included in the Board packet, but had raised questions concerning how the PER community would interlock in this effort.
Holbrow read a prepared statement of endorsement to Fortenberry. He further explained that the Board would need to decide at a future time if A-SEER could provide links to the AAPT journals. A-SEER will merely be an electronic table of contents and would most likely have articles from journals not passing the quality standards of the AAPT editors. Nelson and Robertson moved that Board accept Holbrow’s statement and authorize its mailing to Fortenberry. The statement reads:
“The American Association of Physics Teachers endorses the proposal to establish a virtual Annals of Science and Education Research (ASEER). The AAPT foresees that such an entity would be particularly useful in bringing together the efforts of education researchers in a wide variety of fields of science and engineering. If ASEER is established, AAPT will appoint an editor to select the items pertaining to physics education research for inclusion in ASEER.” The motion passed.
20. 2003 Programs and Conferences.
21. AAPT Membership Offer to APS Members.
Beginning September 1, 2003 the AAPT will again provide a 50% off introductory membership offer to APS members, by including an APS designed brochure outlining the special offer with each member’s renewal form. Likewise, the APS will include in each APS member’s renewal form a similar brochure designed by the AAPT. The offer will end August 31, 2004. To facilitate the subscription and accounting processes, AAPT members will submit their application and dues to APS for processing and APS members would submit their applications and dues to the AAPT.
This effort seeks to increase the cooperation between the AAPT and APS and is a result of conversations between Holbrow and the APS President. D. Peterson clarified that this action has been an ongoing 50% discount offer to APS members but the campaign will provide new publicity.
22. Audit Committee Report continued.
23. APS-AAPT Interactions.
Chiaverina asked Khoury why the AAPT and APS no longer had joint meetings. Khoury explained that the separation had evolved over time. Prior to the late 1980’s the APS and the AAPT had an annual joint meeting in New York in the Winter. The APS, however, began to have specialty meetings that evolved to meetings of the APS divisions. Consequently the APS stopped paying attention to the Winter meeting and in the late 1980’s announced its intention to withdraw from the Winter Meeting. Subsequently the AAPT constructed the three meeting model with the AAPT meeting with APS in April of each year. Although very few AAPT members attended the Spring meeting, the joint meeting did require some work on the part of the AAPT staff. After several years, the AAPT Board decided that the association could not continue this practice.
D. Peterson suggested that the AAPT could participate in the APS Forum on Education meeting as a joint partner. Holbrow stated that the APS April meeting was a powerful meeting educationally. During the last April meeting, Wolfgang Christian had 40 participants and another session has 100 high school teachers in attendance. Khoury also expressed that enhancements in physics education could be seen in some sessions at the April meeting.
Khoury asked the Board if the members would like for him to prepare a slate of ideas for joint APS-AAPT interactions, with a joint meeting of some type as only one option. Fehrs stated that as a four-year college faculty member she has had an interest in improving the interactions between the two organizations since she joined the AAPT and she felt that it was important to consider the joint meeting as an option, in spite of previous failures. However she felt that the AAPT should consider the joint meeting as one of two meetings a year, not three. Holbrow reminded the Board that the association wants to improve the attraction of its meetings to four-year college and university faculty and therefore the AAPT needs to identify the needs of these faculty. He stated that this entails a broader question to be explored and could not be resolved solely by a joint venture with the APS. He added that the AAPT is losing contact with this community of faculty and this is a danger to the association. He continued by saying that the argument could be made that the AAPT does a good job of including physics content in its meetings but that it does not do a good job of advertising this.
Khoury asked the Board if it was worth rescheduling the AAPT meetings in order to accommodate a joint meeting with the APS. In response to a question from Stone, Khoury stated that the APS April meeting typically has 1000 participants and the March meeting would have close to 5000 participants. Monroe posed the question that maybe AAPT should not be asking how to get its members to all meetings but should design the meetings with the idea that members would attend one meeting a year. Rice then suggested that the Winter Meeting could primarily, not exclusively, focus on content and the Summer meeting could primarily, not exclusively, focus on education.
Chiaverina then asked if some of the elements addressed in the New Faculty Workshops could be infused in the AAPT meetings. Holbrow said he could see two groups that need mentoring, akin to the PTRA teachers: teachers just entering the classroom and teachers with two years of classroom experience. D. Peterson commented that these sessions would have to include some physics content as well. Fehrs volunteered that the model might be a Gordon conference within an AAPT meeting. Additional discussion addressed how the AAPT could attract younger faculty and leadership to its meetings.
Responding to an idea from Holbrow, general discussion followed concerning the plausibility and membership of a committee/commission charged with (1) identifying the needs of the four-year college/university teachers that AAPT could address and (2) looking for ways to better cooperate with the APS. Nelson moved that the Executive Board (1) endorse and encourage the creation of a task force charged with making the AAPT more useful and attractive to faculty teaching in colleges and universities, and (2) allocate up to $5000 for the expenses of the task force. The committee will make an interim report to the Board in August with a final report to the Board during its October meeting. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. It was agreed that the task force would have about seven members and that the President would select and appoint the members.
Holbrow suggested that the Programs Committee might want to reach out to the APS Forum on Education, soliciting its help in enhancing the physics content in our meetings. For example the APS Division of Nuclear Physics could organize an invited session for one of the AAPT meetings with the Forum paying travel expenses for the invited speakers.
24. Amendment to the Planning Initiatives.
Khoury expressed support for the motion but asked the Board to consider the meaning of this initiative. He explained that the initiative should be inclusive not only of the PhysTEC activities, but also the activities of the AAPT Teacher Preparation Committee and the allocations to the AAPT sections supporting local teacher prep activities. He stated that the initiative needs to stand for something broader than the activities of the PhysTEC Coalition, but it is not clear to him how to do this. The motion passed with 9 yes and 1 abstention.
Fehrs moved that the Board remove “member needs” as a Planning Initiative. Nelson seconded the motion. Rice asked that the AAPT staff review members needs regularly, possibly on a five-year cycle. Khoury responded stating that the AAPT staff would periodically assess member needs and as the assessment process would go through AIP, the AAPT Board would receive a report of this action. The motion passed unanimously.
Five sites have been designated for the project: Cathy Ezrailson is the editor for the High School Teachers’ site; Bruce Mason is editor of the quantum physics collection; David Donnelly and Gary White are editors for the student collection; Ed Lee and Jessica Clark (APS staff members) are tying Physics Central resources to ComPADRE and collecting information on physics road shows and public exhibitions; and the American Astronomical Society is working to identify an editor for the introductory astronomy collection.
Hein reported that progress was being realized on outreach to other communities. The AAPT Publications staff designed a flyer to provide information about ComPADRE. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with MERLOT to share both collections and user services and to explore future collaborations. Robert Beichner is preparing a proposal to the NSF/NSDL program for a collection supporting the PER community. The collection will use the ComPADRE resources and the AAPT will be directly involved with his project. Also Mike Zeilik is writing a NSDL proposal for FLAG and Gregor Novak is resubmitting a NSDL proposal supporting JiTT. ComPADRE will partner with these two projects through linking and sharing of metadata.
In discussion of the ComPADRE Update, Hein explained that ComPADRE was trying to persuade people to submit proposals to the NSF/NSDL program and attach the developed collections to ComPADRE. One example is the collection to be developed by Beichner. Hein stated that when the Board authorized support of ComPADRE he felt this obligated the AAPT to provide services to these collections, such as metadata tagging and server use. In addition, however, Beicher would like a letter of support from the AAPT stating its endorsement of the development of the Beichner materials at North Carolina.
Khoury commented that as the project would create a collection of sites, it was not productive for the Board to review each new link. He added that the AAPT should encourage the development of credible material collections. Holbrow asked if the AAPT would post a disclaimer concerning the quality of the linked materials. Iona echoed Holbrow’s question saying that the AAPT name stands for high quality and the Board needs to protect the AAPT name. Holbrow was hesitant to endorse the Beichner materials and asked for more clarification concerning the proposed collection. Khoury asked the Board to trust the staff and their judgment and to give them latitude in completing the project. The Board agreed to this request.