January 2006

Friday, January 6, 2006 - 12:15pm
Council Meeting

Friday @ 12:15-1:45 pm

Jefferson Boardroom, Loews Hotel, Philadelphia, PA

Present: David Anderson, Frank Costigliola, Craig Daigle, Brian Etheridge, Peter Hahn, Richard Immerman, Mark Lawrence, Fredrik Logevall, James Matray, Joe Mocnik, Robert Robinson, Robert Schulzinger, Katherine Sibley, Mark Stoler, Randall Woods (presiding), Thomas Zeiler

Business Items


  1. Recap of motions passed by e-mail votes Woods reported that Council had approved three motions via email since the last Council meeting in June 2005. Woods reported that Council had approved a well-deserved increase in compensation for the Executive Director and he indicated that the vote was unanimous and enthusiastic. Council also approved a program to offer free advertising for jobs in U.S. diplomatic/foreign relations history on the SHAFR website and in Passport. To publicize this service, ads will be placed in Perspectives and the OAH newsletter. It was also reported that SHAFR had paid a nominal sum to be listed in the AHA’s Directory of History Departments, Historical Organizations, and Historians. Finally, Council voted to endorse a lawsuit filed by the National Security Archive seeking access to the President’s Daily Briefs.
  2. Motion to set disbursement amount for Travel-to-Collection grants in 2006 Referring to background information circulated in advance by e-mail, Matray reported that Council needed to decide how many travel grants to offer for the upcoming year. At the last meeting it was suggested that 10 percent of the annual increase of the endowment would be devoted to this purpose. After the growth of the preceding year, the total for both endowments is roughly $990,000.00. Each endowment earned roughly $45,000.00 for a total increase of $90,825.00. Matray recommended that Council consider funding ten grants of $1,000.00 each. Costigliola asked whether SHAFR was still spending enough of its earnings to maintain tax exempt status. Woods said that he was considering appointing a committee to make sure this issue is considered adequately. This would give Council time to make reasoned decisions rather than decide during Council meetings how to spend sufficient funds. A motion was made and seconded to authorize ten grants of $1,000.00. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.
  3. Motion to rename the Travel-to-Collections Grants as “Samuel F. Bemis Research Grants” Anderson moved to rename the Travel-to-Collections Grants in honor of Samuel F. Bemis. Bemis was considered an appropriate choice because of his history as an early leader in the field and as a model of multi-archival research. The motion was approved unanimously.
  4. Motions re. funds at 2006 SHAFR conference Hahn reminded Council that it had approved a one-time allocation of $1,500.00 to a Graduate Student Travel Fund for the 2005 SHAFR annual meeting. Of this allocation, $1,275.00 was recouped through fundraising associated with the conference registration. Hahn proposed that Council consider renewing the program with another $1,500.00 contribution for travel to the 2006 Annual Meeting. Costigliola mentioned that as program chair for 2006 he had so far received nine applications for travel aid. Hahn further suggested that Council consider offering a reduced registration fee for high school teachers. Anderson suggested that charging a smaller amount rather than allowing free registration would help assure that attendance was viewed as a meaningful opportunity. In addition to this price adjustment, the local arrangements committee might reach out to local high school teachers in some other way. Stoler moved to offer secondary school teachers and students a rate of $30.00 for pre-registration and $40.00 for on site registration, half the rate proposed for graduate students. Both motions passed unanimously.
  5. Motion to approve 2006 annual budget Hahn distributed copies of the 2005 financial report and proposed 2006 budget for the Business Office. He also explained some features of the profit and loss summary for 2005. The net income for the business office was $23,205.00. The office was mistakenly sent $7,500.00 in 2005 for the electronic issue of the Guide instead of the $5,000.00 that was expected. The extra $2,500.00 will be applied to next year. Incidentally, the last two copies of the 1982 Guide were sold. The funds received from Blackwell represented a significant increase over the previous year. This figure will climb much higher under a new contract. The present growth is largely from consortia sales and online per-article sales. The SHAFR 2005 conference was put in this budget for the first time. The meeting at College Park netted about $3,400.00. These earnings can be seen as helping to offset the costs for luncheons and receptions SHAFR puts on at the AHA and the OAH. The savings account was untouched in 2005. The endowment grew 9.7%. Total assets for the organization increased to over $1,000,000.00 during the year. Hahn stressed that the proposed budget for 2006 contained only estimates subject to revision during the course of conducting SHAFR’s business. Council approved the 2006 budget unanimously.
  6. Diplomatic History Contract Committee Woods gave a thorough report on the ongoing negotiations between the Diplomatic History Contract Committee and the four presses that have made bids for the next publication contract. A lengthy discussion followed, touching upon the terms of the offers made and the services offered. Woods and other committee members indicated that they are evaluating proposals on the basis of projected income, quality of membership services, and willingness to consider creative options for increasing the circulation of the journal. It was clarified that the committee would aim to circulate a written report to Council by about May 1 and that Council would consider its options and reach a decision at its meeting in Lawrence in June.
  7. Diplomatic History Schulzinger reported that Diplomatic History is flourishing. The editorial board will now having annual meetings. The journal received about 90 submissions last year. The editorial staff is working to expand the temporal range of the journal by including more articles on 19th century topics. More submissions from international scholars have been coming in. The editors have also been working to integrate the editorial board more completely. The board has three new members: Klaus Larres, Chris Jesperson, and Frank Costigliola. One of the bidding publishers asked external reviewers to comment on the quality of the journal. The reviewers noted that the articles showed high quality but remained U.S.-focused, and they suggested broadening the temporal scope as well. Some also noted a whining tone in discussions of the state of the field of diplomatic history.
  8. Electronic version of the Guide Zeiler circulated a copy of the annual report. Most of the chapters have been updated through 2005. ABC-CLIO is still deciding how it will appear and be accessed on the site. An updated Guide should be available to all SHAFR members by July.
  9. Membership Services Web-site Etheridge circulated a handout that analyzes site usage over time for the member services site hosted by Blackwell. So far 240 members have registered, and 82 of those have also registered their research interests. It was suggested that Hahn consider sending out paper requests for member information. Etheridge explained that 1,400 unique visits to the site have occurred so far. Other statistics were also included. The most requested sites were for membership renewal and accessing Diplomatic History. Logevall wondered if a mass email might be helpful. Hahn said it would be simple to do, and we could also put a new ad in Passport.
  10. Passport Hahn circulated a written report from Mitch Lerner which indicated that Passport enjoyed a banner year. Lerner will seek another publication grant from the Mershon Center at Ohio State University to subsidize publication in 2006-7. Hahn added that Woods, as President, had recently signed a letter reappointing Lerner editor for another three years. Hahn also added that Doug Little will sit on the editorial board in 2006-8. Costigliola suggested shifting the production schedule to ensure that information about SHAFR annual meetings appears in a timelier manner, perhaps by advancing the December issue to November. Hahn agreed that he and Lerner would take that idea under advisement.
  11. 2006 annual meeting A written report from Ted Wilson was circulated. Costigliola said interest in going to Kansas is a bit of a problem and shifting the typical dates for the conference toward the weekend is another problem. The program committee tried to compensate by pre-loading the schedule on the opening and closing nights with eminent panels. Costigliola described some of these high-profile panels. 43 additional panel proposals and 19 individual paper proposals have been received. SHAFR will sponsor a Friday morning visit to the Truman library and a Monday morning visit to the Eisenhower library. Hahn pointed out that the written report suggested a budget with a profit of $4,200.00; however, recent telephone updates from Sara Wilson and Ted Wilson indicate that a small loss should be anticipated. Much of this loss may be made up through a grant from KU. Immerman asked for a sense of whether panel submissions were coming from senior people. Costigliola answered that most are from junior scholars and graduate students.
  12. 2007 annual meeting Anderson reported that the 2007 Annual Meeting will be hosted by Georgetown, pending final confirmation. David Painter is helping to make local arrangements. Steve Rabe and Doug Little have agreed to co-chair the program. Logevall asked about the possibility of moving the D.C. conference to a convention center. Sara Wilson will be doing some more research on this issue. Logevall pointed out that the location of the 2005 meeting at the National Archives created some considerable problems.
  13. Endowment Matray reported that the slight dip discussed at the last meeting has been easily overcome. Matray passed a sheet explaining where the endowment funds are invested. He also suggested that Woods advertise the Bemis grants using H-Diplo.
  14. Bernath Dissertation Grant Hahn reported that the prize committee will award the Bernath Dissertation Grant to Peter Shulman and Robert McGreevey. Also, the committee wanted some guidance on whether this award should be reserved for SHAFR members.
  15. Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship Hahn reported that the prize committee will award the Gelfand-Rappaport Fellowship to Heather Dichter.
  16. Other Business Woods offered thanks to retiring Council members Robert Beisner, Mary Ann Heiss, Andrew Rotter, and Scott Laderman. Woods reminded those in attendance of the reception tonight and luncheon tomorrow.

Respectfully submitted Peter L. Hahn Executive Director PLH/rr