January 2004

Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 7:30am
Council Meeting

7:30 am

Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington D.C.

Members and guests present: David Anderson, William Burr, Nate Citino, Frank Costigliola, Peter Hahn, Mary Ann Heiss, Michael Hogan, Chris Jespersen, Scott Laderman, Mark Lawrence, Mitchell Lerner, James Matray, Robert McMahon, Dennis Merrill, Joe Mocnik, Robert Robinson, Andrew Rotter, Katherine Sibley, Mark Stoler (Presiding), Samuel Walker, Sara Wilson, Thomas Zeiler

Business Items


  1. Mark Stoler presented a recap of motions passed by email since the June 2003 Council meeting, including the allocation of $2,500 to pay for Thomas Zeiler and Robert Schulzinger to attend an American Studies Association conference, and the decision on the part of Council to conduct an informal financial review conducted by a CPA rather than a formal audit.
  2. Dennis Merrill reported on the progress of the search for an Editor-in-Chief of the electronic Guide. The search committee has taken steps to advertise the position, and has targeted the search on senior scholars who have some degree of technical proficiency. The committee has received one formal application and one serious inquiry to date. The committee will report to Council as the search advances in the following months.
  3. Peter Hahn reported on the guides he drafted for the various committees and officers of SHAFR. These guides were circulated among current committee chairs for comment before being finalized. Hahn presented several items for decision of the Council. Council approved unanimously the following proposals:
    1. to streamline the application process for the Bernath Dissertation Grant and the Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship by allowing graduate students to apply for both awards with the same application forms.
    2. The Bernath Dissertation Grant should be $2,000 and earmarked for foreign research, while the Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship should be $1,000 and earmarked for domestic research.
    3. The definition of “younger scholars” in the guidelines for the Bernath Lecture Prize (that is, that a recipient must be within ten years of receiving the Ph.D. or younger than forty-one years of age) shall be based on the time at which the recipient would deliver the lecture.
    4. The Michael J. Hogan Fellowship would be made available to all graduate students, not only those who have achieved ABD status.
    5. Any change in the due date for applications for the Ferrell Prize would be left to the decision of the committee itself.
  4. Peter Hahn made a presentation on the sales of the American Foreign Relations since 1600: A Guide to the Literature volumes. It was reported that sales had fallen flat since June 2003, and that SHAFR still had 240 copies that it was obligated to purchase for resale. Hahn asked for suggestions on marketing the remaining copies, and on whether SHAFR should offer a sale price temporarily or permanently. There was a consensus that Hahn might offer a conference discount at the summer SHAFR meeting. Hahn acknowledged the desirability of retaining sufficient inventory to meet the needs of future graduate students in the field.
  5. Peter Hahn made a presentation on the recently concluded review of SHAFR’s financial records. The CPA, Ron Kuck, from the Columbus firm BKR Longanbach Giusti, examined records for the years 2001, 2002, and 2003. The overall assessment was that the organization was in excellent shape and that no sign of fraud was evident. Hahn passed around and discussed copies of the actual report which including the exact figures of the various categories of the organization’s assets.
  6. Peter Hahn made a presentation on the SHAFR budget, and distributed copies of same.
  7. 2004 Annual meeting Chris Jespersen, the chair of the program committee, reported that 55-56 panels had been submitted, and that the committee had accepted 46. Given the number of sessions, the program will begin 1:30 pm on the Thursday of the conference. Jespersen raised for comment that possibility of providing travel funds to some foreign scholars desiring to attend the conference. Discussion ensued and Mark Stoler suggested postponing any decision until the next Council meeting. Mark Lawrence made a presentation on the local arrangements for the conference. He reported that everything was going smoothly with the major concerns being the inability to sell books on the campus and the geographical spread of the conference which would require shuttle busses.
  8. 2005 Annual meeting Samuel Walker made a presentation indicating that the 2005 meeting would be held at College Park, Maryland under the joint sponsorship of the University of Maryland and the National Archives.
  9. Endowment James Matray made a presentation that highlighted the positive performance of the endowment in recent months. He pointed out that an Endowment Committee had been reestablished and was tasked with giving advice on the management of the funds as it became necessary.
  10. Passport Mitchell Lerner made a presentation indicating that Passport was running smoothly and was receiving support from both the Mershon Center and Ohio State University-Newark. Several members of Council praised the quality of the newsletter. There was some discussion on making sure that the types of materials in Passport did not overlap or compete with the materials in Diplomatic History.
  11. Bernath Dissertation Grant On behalf of committee chair David Engerman, Peter Hahn reported that the grant had been awarded to Meredith Oyen in the amount of $2,000 for research in Taiwan.
  12. Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship On behalf of committee chair David Engerman, Peter Hahn reported that the fellowship had been awarded to Susan Haskell in the amount of $1,000 for research in Minnesota. Michael Hogan suggested that Gelfand be notified of the decision, and it was suggested that all living namesakes of SHAFR prizes and fellowships would be notified when such prizes were awarded.
  13. A resolution was introduced by Mark Stoler to thank retiring Council members Frank Ninkovich, Keith Nelson, and Deborah Kisatsky for their service, as well as Michael Hogan for his service as president. The motion was unanimously approved.
  14. Other items Mark Stoler brought several additional items before the Council. First, there was discussion regarding the possibility of sending to the National Archives a letter of support in its discussions regarding the inclusion of the Nixon Library in the National Archives system. There was some concern about various issues during the transition including the continued availability of documents. A motion for sending the letter was introduced and passed unanimously. Mark Stoler would assume responsibility for writing and sending the letter. Second, William Burr presented information about the declassification of Presidential Daily Briefings (PDBs). He reported that the CIA opposed their declassification absolutely, and he put to Council the question of whether SHAFR should send a letter to President Bush supporting the release of these documents. Discussion ensued and it was decided to postpone sending a letter pending advice from the SHAFR representative on the State Department Historical Advisory Committee. Third, Thomas Zeiler reported on Diplomatic History. He reported that Robert Dean and Amy Kaplan have joined the editorial board, and that Riccardo Salvatore would join next year. He mentioned also that the journal had moved to a five-issues-per-year format. He further reported that he and Robert Schulzinger recently attended an American Studies conference, and there ensued a discussion about reaching out to other organizations. Fourth, Mark Stoler asked for suggestions regarding where to hold the 2006 Annual Meeting. Robert McMahon suggested a Midwestern university such as Wisconsin. Michael Hogan suggested U.C. Santa Barbara. Stoler also asked for suggestions regarding a guest speaker for the AHA conference in Seattle in 2005. Fifth, Peter Hahn brought up the issue of changing the time of the Council meeting. It was decided to stick with the 7:30 A.M. schedule for the Austin meeting, and to look into the possibility of a lunch meeting at the 2005 AHA conference in Seattle. Sixth, Peter Hahn pointed out that the SHAFR website would be required to change names, and asked Council for permission to acquire the rights to www.shafr.org. This was approved. Seventh, Mark Stoler expressed a special thanks to Peter Hahn for the quality of his work in his capacity as Executive Director.

The meeting adjourned at 9:14 am. Respectfully submitted, Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/rr