Executive Board Minutes - April 2002April 13-14, 2002
College Park, MD
Board Members Present: John Hubisz, Past President; Charles Holbrow, President Elect; James Nelson, Vice-President; Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary; Charles Robertson, Treasurer; Steve Iona, Chair of Section Representatives; Frank Peterson, Vice-Chair of Section Representatives; Deborah Rice, At-Large Member, Mary Fehrs, At-Large Member (via phone) and Bernard Khoury, Executive Officer
Guests: Warren Hein, Valerie Evans, Maria Elena Khoury, Francis Smith, Sina Kniseley, John Layman, Carol Heimpel and Roxanne Muller, Marc Brodsky
1. Call to Order.
Due to the absence of the AAPT President, the Secretary requested that B. Khoury open the meeting and conduct an election of chair pro tempore for the April Board meeting. Khoury called the meeting to order at 8:35 AM.
2. Election of chair pro tempore.
C. Holbrow moved, and C. Robertson seconded, that J. Hubisz serve as the chair pro tempore for the Board meeting. The motion passed with eight yes and one abstention.
3. Executive Session I.
J. Hubisz called the meeting into Executive Session I (with the Executive Officer).
4. Introduction of Guests.
Hubisz reconvened the Board in open session. He recognized guests and thanked them for coming.
5. Approval of the Agenda.
There were no additions or changes to the agenda.
6. Approval of the Minutes.
One correction was noted for the January 2002 Minutes. The Bauder Fund will provide support in the amount of $200 to ten registrants for the Summer PIRA Demonstration Workshop, beginning in the summer 2002, not 2003 as recorded. The Board unanimously approved the January 2002 Executive Board Minutes with the addition of the one correction. In addition C. Robertson recommended that, in lieu of the length of the Minutes, the Secretary provide the members with a short summary of Board actions.
7. Officers’ Reports.
C. Holbrow noted that the AAPT has received a substantial increase in the number of contributed papers for the Boise meeting. He reported that the Board members had responded well to the call for abstracts for contributed papers addressing “best energy teaching ideas”.
Holbrow also reported that he and B. Khoury had attended a symposium sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives. One point emphasized during the conference was that executive officers should be more concerned with long-term policies rather than the day-to-day details of the office.
J. Nelson thanked Holbrow for inviting him to participate in the paper sort for the Boise meeting, saying that he found it very instructive. He expressed that this task should be a regular part of the duties of the Vice-President and should be added to the job description for the Vice-President in the Officers’ Handbook.
Nelson, along with Chris Chiaverina and Fred Goldberg, attended the meeting of the National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA) Teacher Preparation Standards Revision Task Force. In addition to the three representatives from the AAPT and members of the Task Force, there were participants representing chemistry, biology and earth science professional organizations. Steven Gilbert, facilitator for the meeting, asked the professional organizations for feedback/suggestions targeting content, history and nature of science corresponding to Standards 1, 2 and 4 of the ten NSTA science teacher preparation standards. There was some concern expressed during the NSTA meeting regarding the request by Gilbert for the organizations to consider content apart from pedagogy. Some representatives did not believe that content and pedagogy should be considered separately.
Nelson recommended that the AAPT ask its High School Committee for input regarding the proposed revision of the NSTA standards document. W. Hein suggested that the PhysTEC project and the AAPT Teacher Preparation Committee should also be polled for their comments. Nelson added that he would work closely with Chiaverina in collecting and relaying the AAPT recommendations to the Task Force.
Nelson asked the Board members for suggestions of plenary speakers for the AAPT Annual Meeting in Austin. The theme for the meeting will be “physics in space”.
Hubisz distributed a one-page report of the suggestions he had received since the AAPT January meeting regarding the concerns expressed by Joe Meyer as AAPT Election Teller. Khoury explained that there are about 1500-2000 ballots received in an annual election, representing approximately 20% of the membership. The Board generally expressed the opinion that a second teller might be the wisest course of action. Monroe agreed to share the distributed report and recommendations from the Board with Meyer and will report her conversations to the Board.
Holbrow moved that the Board extend to Joe Meyer a vote of confidence and commendation for a job well done. F. Peterson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Monroe had no report at this time.
Robertson referred the Board members to the Treasurer’s report in the Board packet. He reported that at the AAPT at the end of March had about $400K in operating funds, $1.9 million in short-term reserves and $3.5 million in long-term reserves. W. Hein clarified that the FY2001 budget report was prepared prior to the AAPT audit and therefore would account for some minor discrepancies in reported figures. In addition the amount reported in designated funds did not reflect the payment of approximately $50K for a bill received after the preparation of the report.
Chair of Section Representatives:
Iona had no report at this time.
At the suggestion of B. Khoury, the Board members agreed that a report from the Vice-Chair of Section Representatives should be added to future Board agendas.
Khoury highlighted the following items from his April 2002 Report and March 18, 2002 EO Update.
The AAPT has four pending proposals requesting funding from the NSF. Khoury expressed confidence that the AAPT will receive funding for New Faculty Workshops, SPIN-UP/TYC and Rural PTRA, but he has not had any word concerning the status of the proposal for the Conference on Introductory Calculus Based Physics. In response to a question from F. Peterson, Khoury explained that the funding requested in the New Faculty Workshop proposal would include the expenses incurred for the workshop held this past Fall. He explained that he had no sense as to what was happening at NSF with regard to the workshop proposal.
Mary Moggee, Leaf Turner and Khoury completed the selection of the twenty-four students for the 2002 Physics Olympiad competition. The students, along with their alternates, will attend the training camp in College Park in June. Many countries will be participating in the 2002 physics international competition in Indonesia, which had been relocated from Jakarta and Bandung to Bali by the Olympiad officials. However, Khoury explained that he felt it too dangerous to take the U.S. team to Indonesia. His decision was founded on the warning issued by the U.S. State Department advising American citizens not to travel within Indonesia. The AAPT has reported to the Olympiad officials a readiness to alter these plans if the international environment were to change significantly.
Some of the monies allocated for travel to the international competition will be used for scholarship awards to the most competitive students attending the training camp. In addition the AAPT staff is considering ways to ratchet up the closing ceremony (such as hosting the ceremony at the Air and Space Museum) in an effort to compensate for the lack of international travel. The traditional Congressional visits will be downplayed since publicity coverage is generally not good for students not involved with international events.
Following a short discussion among members of the Board, J. Nelson moved that the Board support Khoury’s decision regarding the withdrawal of the U.S. physics team from international competition this year and his actions to develop alternate activities for the students. C. Holbrow seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. This action by the Board reinforces the previous decision by the Board (see October 2001 Board Minutes, Item 4, Report from the Executive Officer) not to travel to Indonesia made prior to the relocation of the competition within Indonesia by the Olympiad officials.
During its January 2002 meeting, the Executive Board asked Chiaverina, Holbrow, Robertson, Dickison and Khoury to prepare a response regarding an expressed intent by current tenants of the Dodge Building to purchase the building for $495,000. The group agreed that the offer was too low and that AAPT should invite a more reasonable offer from the tenants. The AAPT real estate agent, Cathy Kidwell, relayed the decision to the tenants. However, there has been no response and Kidwell believes that the AAPT will not hear one, at least in the short term.
The AAPT membership department launched a welcome back campaign in 1999 to all members who had let their membership dues lapse within the prior five years. Khoury reported that the Association was able to reactivate over 200 memberships. In September 2002, the AAPT the campaign will offer the current 2884 lapsed members a half price membership if they remit their application and payment by the end of the year.
F. Peterson cautioned the use of half price subscriptions, as this practice tends to undercut the value of the product. He suggested that it might be more prudent to provide this offer to long-term lapsed members.
Khoury referred the Board members to the “Brief Report of the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics” prepared by Bob Hilborn in the board packet. During discussion of the report, Peterson expressed concern about the SPIN-UP evaluator being from the same institution as Ruth Howes, the SPIN-UP Coordinator. He feels that if this were an NSF funded project, NSF would raise eyebrows. Khoury commented that he would investigate the reasoning for this action and report his findings.
Khoury recognized Steve Iona as one the 2002 winners of the Presidential Awards in Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Khoury reported that the eleven physics teachers among this year’s award winners attended the annual AAPT breakfast. Among these, seven were AAPT members and five were PTRA’s. Also attending the breakfast this year were Wayne Sukow and Gerhard Salinger from the NSF, James Stith, John Layman, Warren Hein and Bernie Khoury. Iona observed that few males were among the physics teacher award winners.
The AAPT has received a royalty check for $50,000 from It’s About Time, the company that publishes and markets the curriculum, Active Physics. In January 2002 the Association signed an amendment to the original contract with the company, resolving a lingering dispute about the calculation of royalties due to the AAPT and Arthur Eisenkraft. At the current rate of sales, the AAPT can expect to receive about $50,000 annually from the sales of this curriculum.
Khoury reminded the Board that, in addition to the regular AAPT yearly audit, the NSF was conducting a special audit of the Association. He reported that Maria Elena Khoury had to be very forceful to obtain the paperwork that the NSF auditors were requiring, such as the hotel receipt from the Guelph meeting. The Association is at risk if it makes a payment without recorded documentation. In response to a request for clarification from Holbrow, Khoury cited a couple of possible examples. If the payment, disallowed by the NSF, were made with NSF monies, then the AAPT might have to reimburse the Foundation. In other cases, the AAPT might lose indirect costs for disallowed payments. Khoury commented that the NSF audit had been very educational for the AAPT staff. He added that the AAPT current audit firm is not particularly skilled in working with organizations that have NSF grants and therefore the accounting department will probably be looking for a new audit firm with this experience.
In earlier action taken by the Board, the AAPT shifted administration of the insurance coverage for AAPT employees to the American Institute of Physics (AIP), reducing some of the administrative burden to the Association. In addition the AAPT is now able to offer coverage to retirees satisfying age and longevity requirements (typically retirement age at 60 and employment term of 10 years).
The AAPT now has about 36 lifetime members. Khoury believes that this number is large enough to warrant the regular reporting of liabilities of future benefits for these members. Dues received for lifetime memberships are deposited into the long-term reserve funds.
Plans for the 2003 InterAmerican Conference to be held in Cuba are progressing. Following authorization from the Board, the AAPT subsidized the travel for three AAPT members of the International Committee to attend the April 2002 meeting of the Planning Committee. The AAPT has traditionally demonstrated its support of the interamerican physics conferences with a delegation of AAPT members attending the meetings. The APS has some interest in the Cuban conference, primarily due to their connection with the Cuban Physical Society.
Khoury reported that he, in response to a Board directive to explore the establishment of joint meetings with related societies, had initiated discussions with the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) concerning the possibility of a future joint meeting, probably in 2007. Approximately 1000 ASA members attend the meetings of the society. Though their meetings are normally longer than the AAPT meetings, Khoury suggested that the association does not need to meet for the same length of time.
Khoury reported that no action had been taken concerning the Board suggestion to investigate if the Three Corners AAPT Section would be interested in meeting jointly with the AAPT in Albuquerque in January 2004. Monroe contributed that the second Texas Teacher Preparation Conference would probably be held in tandem with the 2003 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.
8. Dues and Subscription Rates.
Warren Hein, Valerie Evans and Sina Kniseley prepared for Board consideration a proposal recommending small increases in member subscription rates but rather significant increases in nonmember subscription rates for both AJP and TPT. One dollar (roughly 1%) was added to each current subscription rate available to AAPT members while nonmembers will realize a 5.5% increase for the paper and online versions of AJP, a 16% increase for the paper and online versions of the TPT and a 5.3% increase for the Announcer.
The electronic version of TPT is expected to be available in July 2003 with a viewing of the beta version by AAPT members during the Spring 2003. The proposed 2003 rate for both TPT and electronic TPT to members will be $9 above the current rate for the paper copy. Nonmembers will realize a subscription rate increase of $40 for both the paper copy and electronic TPT. It is estimated that $25 of the new rate charged to the 2000 nonmembers will pay for putting TPT online in 2003.
In addition, the AAPT staff proposed giving undergraduate students electronic journals instead of paper copies with no change in current subscription rates. This recommendation will facilitate the delivery of subscriptions to students whose mailing addresses frequently change. Kniseley reported that this recommendation is in line with what other organizations are offering their student members.
Iona asked if the goal of the publications department were still to get member cost more or less equal to the cost of production. Hein replied that this was the case but the problem dealt with the publication of AJP. He reported that the marginal cost for AJP is about $35 while it is about $25 for TPT. D. Rice then asked if members have the option of not subscribing to Physics Today (PT). Hein explained that this was an AIP publication and that as a member society, the AAPT pays $5 of its $57 dues to members to AIP. Therefore the AAPT does not have the option of dropping this service. Hein added that $15 of the member’s dues is the cost for receiving the Announcer.
Rice suggested that the AAPT needs to inform its members just how little of their dues goes to AIP for the PT journal. Khoury volunteered that it may be appropriate to write a commentary concerning costs of publications available to AAPT members, coinciding with a report to the members of the association’s survey of its web services. Robertson volunteered that this might be an appropriate topic for discussion in the Treasurer’s column appearing in each issue of the Announcer.
Holbrow inquired if it would be better for the Association to separate the costs of hard copy journals and online journals from membership dues. However, as expressed by Kniseley and Khoury, such an option may not be in the best interests for the AAPT. Khoury cited the APS as an example: the society’s members hip dues are separate from journal subscription and consequently most APS members do not subscribe to the journals. Khoury added that the AAPT is unique among many professional societies as its journal subscriptions are a part of the membership dues.
Robertson moved that the Executive Board accept the proposed 2003 membership and non-membership rates as distributed in the Board packet. J. Nelson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
9. Planning Initiatives.
During a general review of the seven strategic goals adopted by the Board in its January 2002 meeting (See Board Minutes, January 2002, Item 25). Khoury highlighted for discussion PER Dissemination, Cross Over Teachers, and Outreach to Other Disciplines.
Khoury introduced two options for PER dissemination in addition to the publication of PER articles within the AJP:a PER virtual journal and a PER electronic journal.
The PER virtual journal would be an electronic table of contents listing articles published in more traditional journals. The virtual publication would be distributed free-of-charge and electronically to any interested person. However, Khoury pointed out that no one had figured out how one could realize income that would pay for the publication of the virtual journal. While libraries are interested in subscribing to virtual journals, they do not understand why they need to a pay a fee when they do not receive a hard copy.
Another question to be explored concerns how to archive such a publication, in lieu of the rapidly changing technology. The suggested PER electronic journal would be archival and peer-reviewed. While the APS offers an editorial model for this option (Physical Review Special Topics – Accelerators and Beams), Khoury stated that a viable business model for a PER electronic journal was not obvious. The Board members generally agreed to revisit this issue in future meetings when the editors of TPT and AJP were present.
Khoury asked the Board to consider how the AAPT could provide assistance to physics teachers whose training and/or certification was not in physics. He suggested that the Board appoint a small task force to prepare recommendations for Board consideration and action addressing this initiative. One source of assistance may be the PTRA workshops. The PTRA program is beginning to address the needs of teachers with little training in physics and will probably become a stronger effort as the program expands to teachers in rural schools. Nelson (a principal investigator for the PTRA program) commented that both the PTRA urban and rural workshops were seeing more physics teachers not trained in physics. He projected that the trend will continue and therefore the content of the workshops will be influenced by the participation of these cross over teachers.
Nelson moved that the Executive Board appoint a task force to explore how the AAPT can give assistance to the needs of cross over teachers teaching physics at the high school level. C. Holbrow seconded the motion. During discussion Robertson expressed that this assignment might more appropriately be assigned to the AAPT Teacher Preparation Committee. Holbrow responded by saying that the appointed task force would be able to respond to the charge in a shorter period of time and would better facilitate the development of specific actions that would go directly to the AAPT staff. The recommendations from the task force will guide the AAPT Executive Office in converting the broad AAPT strategic goal (planning initiative) into specific actions and efforts. The motion passed unanimously. Hubisz appointed Jim Nelson, Charles Holbrow and Deborah Rice as members of the new task force. (The members will designate the chair of the task force.)
Holbrow expressed that a clear connection between the AAPT and other science/math disciplines would be made if the Physics First movement produced a ninth grade physics curriculum preparing students for later studies in biology and chemistry. Following subsequent discussion, the Board instructed Khoury, as Executive Officer of the AAPT, to make contact with leaders of the science societies to learn if there is sufficient interest to warrant the collaborative development of a ninth grade physics curriculum. Robertson asked that the AAPT area committees be polled to learn if there are activities along these lines already occurring. Khoury will report his findings to the Board.
10. Visit from Marc Brodsky.
Brodsky, CEO of AIP, described an overview of the AIP publication of electronic journals. A reengineering of manuscript submissions from printed form to electronic form facilitated a seamless transition from paper publication to electronic publication. The AIP now provides a web-based service of manuscript management from the author to the editor to the referee. The first electronic publication was Chaos that went online April 3. Brodsky explained that while this was a costly investment it had the potential to realize savings within the editorial offices and would also speed the process from author to referee. Brodsky also reported that the AIP journal Physics Today that went online in July 2000 is realizing a steady growth in subscriptions and to date had received 1466.
The AIP is publishing the Virtual Journals in Science and Technology. The set of virtual journals lists articles across 49 contributing scientific journals, including the AJP. Appropriate articles for listing are identified by a general computer search as well as by the search efforts of an editor. These listings enable the AIP to address the new interests of the physics community without the hassle of adding a new journal.
Consortia sales were reported to be generating an extra $400K for AIP during the current year. A consortium consists of a group of colleges or universities who agree to pay an extra 10% fee for journal subscriptions and agree not to cancel any subscriptions. Brodsky explained that the transactions are all electronic and very labor intensive. He further explained that the participating institutions check what journals they want in the licensing agreement.
Brodsky reported that China is now buying subscriptions. Previously the country bought one copy and made reproductions. AIP has received 300 orders for its journals from China. Khoury added that the AAPT would realize approximately $30K from the $1.4 M Chinese purchase.
Brodsky reported that The Industrial Physicist is an editorial success but the advertisers do not like it. Although advertising is down by 40%, the AIP Board decided to continue its publication.
Brodsky also added that the AIP is in good shape financially. During the last year the organization had a budget of $68 million and it was off by only $10K.
11. National Science Digital Library (NSDL).
Hein led in the discussion concerning the proposal ComPADRE: Communities for Physics and Astronomy Digital Resources in Education, which was included in the Board packet. He explained that the previous draft had generated some feedback from the Board, which had been incorporated into the latest version. If approved by the Board, the proposal would be submitted to the National Science Digital Library program of the NSF. The proposed physics digital library is the product of a collaborative of the AAPT, the APS, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the AIP/SPS. If funded, the AAPT will serve as the fiscal organization for the award.
The primary goal of ComPADRE is to provide established physics and astronomy communities with electronic access to materials that enhance learning, such as exemplary classroom activities, descriptions of education research, course implementations based on assessments of student learning, historical documents and online and offline learning experiences. Through ComPADRE, users can access a set of community-specific, user-managed online collections of educational resources and learning environments. Hein explained that this service will provide more benefits to the AAPT members and will provide service to cross over teachers.
Holbrow moved, and C. Robertson seconded, that the Board authorize the submission of the ComPADRE proposal to the NSDL program of the NSF. Subsequent discussion of the motion primarily addressed the proposed budget, prepared by Hein and Bruce Mason. Hein explained that no matching funds are required. In addition the AAPT is only requesting 25% indirect costs of the negotiated 35% allowed rate. The request for a lower rate accommodates what the partner societies want to do while still being under budget. Khoury expressed that he was comfortable with the request for the lower rate. He went on to explain that all participating societies will get some web-assisted service from the grant, the grant will pay for some staff time, and the societies understand that they will give some type of match when receiving help or services, although the match may not be one for one. Holbrow emphasized that NSF needs to realize that the AAPT would be taking a reduced indirect cost rate if the proposal were funded and in fact the Association would be making a contribution to this initiative. The motion passed unanimously.
12. Report from the Audit Committee.
Iona referred the Board members to the report from the AAPT auditors in the Board packet. He reported that selected members of the Audit Committee met with the auditors. He recommends that this should become a regular action of the committee so as to better understand what happens in an audit. Following its review of the audit report and subsequent discussion among committee members, the Audit Committee accepts the report subject to the findings of the general audit of the American Center for Physics appearing within the report.
Holbrow moved that the Executive Board accept the report from the auditors. In subsequent discussion of the motion, Fran Smith, AAPT Accounting, explained that the current AAPT auditors are not familiar with the NSF granting principles and procedures. Therefore she would like to look for a new auditing firm for the Association, one who would help the AAPT develop a reporting format more compatible with the expectations of the NSF. The motion passed unanimously.
The Audit Committee moved that AAPT Executive Office research and hire a new auditing firm, one experienced with NSF grants. Nelson seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
13. Member Assessment Survey.
Following Board authorization, the AAPT staff conducted an electronic survey to selected members in an effort to assess member needs in line with the AAPT planning initiatives. Khoury reported that the response rate was about 40% (excluding bounced email messages). The report prepared by the AIP Statistical Research Center was included in the Board packet, along with the survey questionnaire and the verbatim responses to open-ended questions.
Discussion among Board members addressed their impressions of the verbatim comments. Peterson expressed that the comments indicated that more members would join the AAPT if the faculty received institutional support for membership dues. Possibly as a way to encourage more institutional support, he suggested that the schools paying membership dues for its faculty be offered student rates for journal subscriptions. Hein cautioned that this might actually reduce the number of AAPT members. Kniseley also advised that such an action could possibly upset the journal subscription model. On the other hand, Rice suggested that the offer might increase the number of memberships, offsetting the losses in journal subscriptions.
Rice also suggested that a reduction in meeting registration fees for first-time attendees might attract new members. V. Evans reminded the Board that Educators’ Day in Philadelphia attracted 60-70 first timers compared to the usual 10 attending the promotional activity for non-members. Iona also added that the report has implications for cross over teachers.
In closing, Khoury explained that the raw report along with staff inferences would be given to the Memberships and Benefits Committee for their consideration. In addition he will highlight some of the findings of the assessment survey in the Announcer.
14. High School Guidelines.
Monroe reminded the Board that the Publication Committee recommended the publication of the revised high school guidelines by the AAPT during the Board’s regular meeting in January 2002. However, the Board voted to table action on the recommendation until the April meeting, allowing Board members time to review the document.
The charge to the high school committee had been to revise the guidelines, but reviews from the Board members indicated that it would be wiser, in lieu of national and state science standards and the needs of the high school physics community, that the guidelines be rewritten, allowing for a change in the vision of the publication. Along these lines, Nelson distributed a new outline for the high school guidelines that provided a different structure for the document and altered the philosophical purpose of the document. Nelson also suggested that it might be appropriate to make the document an electronic publication only. However Kniseley contributed that the two year college (TYC) community had just completed the revision of their guidelines and had specifically asked for paper copies. She felt the high school community would want the same.
Discussion followed concerning the role of the guidelines and its relationship to three other high school documents (The Role, Education, and Qualifications of the High School Physics Teacher, Course Content in High School Physics, and Resource Kit for New Teachers). Khoury explained that the four documents were prepared in the 1980’s and were therefore out of date.
One option discussed at length was the authorization of a commission to develop one single document that would merge the four publications. However Board members concluded that this assignment would probably not get done in a timely manner. M. Fehrs recommended that the Board accept the email suggestion from Tobochnik to divide the guidelines into three categories, such as essential, very important and useful. However Kniseley reported that the same recommendation had been made to the two year college committee during its revision of the TYC guidelines and the committee rejected the idea.
Holbrow moved that (1) the Board authorize Nelson to restructure and edit the submitted draft of the high school guidelines according to the plan he presented to the Board and submit the new draft to the high school committee for their review; and (2) following approval from the high school committee, the Board authorize the publication of the revised draft as a hard copy and possibly an online version. Nelson seconded the motion and the motion passed with 8 yes votes and 1 abstention.
15. Proposal from Ztek.
Robertson reported that Ztek would like to transport Physics Cinema Classics from videodisc format to DVD format with Ztek funding half of the costs and AAPT funding the other half, approximately $45K. If the AAPT were to accept the proposal, the activity could be financed with monies in the Venture Fund. Ztek expects to sell the 30 remaining copies of the videodisk and anticipates a market for the product if it were available on the new format.
Khoury pointed out that Ztek would probably want to have the product ready in time for the new school year. He suggested two options for the Board: either the Board could require a proposal from Ztek and wait until the Summer meeting in Boise to act on this, or the Board could authorize the Venture Fund to give Ztek the $45K if the members were comfortable with the offer.
Ztek has been a successful vendor of audiovisual products and the AAPT has enjoyed a successful financial relationship with the company over the years. However it was not clear to the members how the AAPT would recover its investment. The Board agreed to consider by electronic motion a proposal by Ztek to convert Physics Cinema Classics from videodisc to DVD format if both Khoury and the Venture Fund Committee were comfortable with the proposal.
16. Departmental Chairs’ Conference.
Khoury referred the Board to the report on the Departmental Chairs’ Conference included in the Board packet. The conference is jointly sponsored by the AAPT and the APS and is one of a series that have been held every two years for about twenty years. The conference is scheduled for June 7-9, 2002 at the American Center for Physics. As the AAPT Training Camp for this year’s Physics Olympiad is scheduled for the same dates, the APS has taken the lead in the organization of the conference. To date, about forty of the anticipated 100 participants had registered for the meeting. A highlight of the meeting will be the participation by the two senior science members of the Bush administration on the first evening of the conference.
W. Hein presented the status report on the Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC), a collaborative of the AIP, the APS and the AAPT. The two day site visits to each of the six primary program institutions (PPI) were scheduled to begin in May 2002. A third conference, planned for the end of June at Western Michigan, will address the revision of courses targeting the science preparation of elementary and secondary teachers. Layman also added that for the first time Teachers in Residence (TIR) will have a chance to interact during this conference. In addition it is hoped that the TIRs will be able to visit the PTRA meeting preceding the AAPT Summer meeting in Boise.
Part of the $1 million received from NSF for mentoring and induction will be used to send student graduates from the PPIs to the AAPT meetings. Following an inquiry from Peterson as to how the additional $5 million award from NSF and FIPSE would be spent, Hein explained that the PPIs will receive approximately half a million dollars each of the five year term of the project. Layman stressed that it is very important that the project develop a scholarly research product since $5.5 M of the award came from the physics division of the NSF.
18. Publications in Support of High School Physics.
Khoury explained that the purpose of this item on the agenda was to invite discussion concerning the four high school documents, two of which are currently under revision. Rice reported that the high school committee believed that it had been charged to revise all high school booklets. (Refer to Minutes Item 13.)
Discussion then ensued regarding the best way to proceed with the revising of the remaining two booklets, Course Content in High School Physics and The Role, Education and Qualifications of the High School Physics Teacher. Board members agreed that the directive to the committee would be better represented if the members were advised that the booklets needed to be “rewritten” rather than “revised”. Board members were divided in opinions concerning how to best accomplish the task: some felt the high school committee should lead the rewriting effort while others expressed that a separate task force, whose members would outlive the high school committee chairs and members, should be created to prepare the new documents. Iona suggested that as there is no one high school curriculum, it might be more appropriate to produce a policy statement (similar to the executive summary page developed by Nelson for the high school guidelines) with several examples.
The Board concluded the discussion by asking Rice to poll the high school committee members as to what documents they feel would best serve the needs of the general high school physics community. The committee’s answers would help to define a vision and a goal for these documents. The Board agreed to identify the taskmaster after these questions are resolved. Nelson also asked Kniseley to visit the high school committee and be prepared to tell them what questions the AAPT is getting from high school teachers if the members should ask.
Kniseley advised the Board that stipends for the editors assigned to revise/rewrite AAPT documents should not be taken from the Venture Fund. The Venture Fund was established to fund activities that would realize income. Inappropriately, the Venture Fund had approved stipends for the editors of the two year college guidelines and the high school guidelines, both of which are AAPT products that would not realize income. Layman explained that stipends for such efforts are the province of the Klopsteg Fund.
19. Membership on Area Committees.
Khoury explained that it is not uncommon for embers of Area Committees and Section Representatives to let their memberships lapse while serving their terms. He reported that currently six Section Reps had not renewed their memberships and therefore should not be reimbursed for their expenses to the AAPT Annual Meeting. Therefore the AAPT will implement a new plan whereby any individual serving on an Area Committee or as a Section Representative who has not renewed their membership dues by the end of the three-month grace period following the renewal date will be dropped from the AAPT active membership list and his/her name deleted from the committee/representative roster. Khoury explained that during the three month grace period, the person would have received one electronic renewal notice and three or four paper renewal notices, all clearly stating the date for the renewal payment.
20. Selection of Nominating Committee.
The AAPT Executive Board appoints three members to the Nominating Committee, designating one of these as Chair, and the Section Representatives appoint two members. During the January 2002 Section Reps meeting, the representatives selected Larry Badar and Sam Lightner to serve on the next Nominating Committee.
It will be the responsibility of the next committee to select the candidates for the positions of Vice-President, Treasurer, and Member-at-Large representing Four Year Colleges for the 2003 Fall elections. The elected candidates will assume their office at the close of the 2004 AAPT Winter Meeting. In addition the Nominating Committee will select new members for the AAPT area committees, whose terms will also begin at the close of the 2004 Winter Meeting.
Holbrow moved that the Board authorize the President to select the Chair and two members to the 2003 Nominating Committee. Peterson seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously. The Board, during Executive Session, prepared and prioritized a list of committee candidates.
21. Proposed APS Award in Physics Education.
Hubisz reported during the January 2002 meeting of the Executive Board that the APS was considering a proposal to establish an APS award in education. (Refer to January 2002 Board Minutes, Item 4, President’s Report) Khoury reminded the Board that the APS Council would be meeting in April and would most likely ask the AAPT President for the AAPT’s view of such a proposal.
In subsequent discussion concerning the development of a response from AAPT, Holbrow expressed that the AAPT needs to embrace the efforts of the APS in a positive manner and look for ways to cooperate in the proposed APS effort. For example, the AAPT could provide publicity for the APS award recipient in the Announcer, and/or invite the recipient to give a presentation during a national AAPT meeting. Holbrow expressed concern that if the Association did not seek ways to work with the APS, the AAPT would risk losing four year college/university faculty who consider themselves as physicists more so than educators. Peterson reinforced Holbrow statements saying that the AAPT should not do anything that would give the impression of starting a turf war on physics education. He cited that the Nobel Prize in Physics does not distract or take anything away from the APS awards in physics, implying that an APS award in physics education should similarly not distract from the AAPT awards. Hubisz agreed to carry these remarks, in a positive manner, to the APS Council.
22. Physics First.
Holbrow distributed for Board consideration a revised draft of a resolution addressing “AAPT and Physics First”. During the July 2001 meeting of the Executive Board, Chiaverina, Holbrow and Khoury volunteered to prepare a planning grant concerning “teaching physics first” curriculum in the high school for Board consideration. (See Executive Board Minutes, July 2001, Item 16). The distributed resolution represented a culmination of discussions among the Board members concerning this issue.
During subsequent discussion of the statements, Holbrow explained that the statements were prepared for the Board; the Preamble being a policy statement and the bulleted items comprising a resolution. He explained that action on the resolution was needed to guide the AAPT as it develops some type of support for cross over teachers and considers curriculum appropriate for a high school science sequence beginning with physics. He added that the AAPT needs to make clear that its support of Physics First carries stipulations. Following some word crafting of the submitted resolution, the Board produced the following statements.
AAPT and PHYSICS FIRST
The Executive Board of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) recognizes that teaching physics to students early in their high school education is an important and useful way to bring physics to a significantly larger number of students than has been customary. This approach – which we call “Physics First” – has the potential to advance more substantially the AAPT’s goal of Physics for All, as well as to lay the foundation for more advanced high school courses in chemistry, biology or physics.
We believe the following actions are necessary to have useful and successful Physics First programs:
· consultation between administrators and teachers in choosing the content and level of Physics First courses. In this way, the choices can be guided by the teachers’ familiarity with their students’ capabilities.
· development of materials and pedagogy appropriate to the mathematical preparation and cognitive development of Physics First students. They will be appreciably younger than students in traditional high school physics courses.
· discussion of the level, content, and purposes of Physics First with parents and other concerned members of the local community.
· provision of training and workshops to help teachers develop and teach Physics First.
· development of a Physics First curriculum that provides students an intellectual foundation for the study of chemistry and biology later in their high school education. To this end teachers of these different disciplines need to work together and coordinate their curricula.
The introduction of Physics First programs will create two especially pressing needs: a need for new teaching materials – textbooks, laboratories, assessment tools, etc. – suitable for Physics First students – and a need to recruit teachers to teach Physics First. These people will need in-service training and support to help them become skilled and comfortable teaching Physics First curricula. Because in any given school sufficient teachers for mounting a Physics First program are likely to be obtained only by recruiting teachers from other science disciplines, it is urgent to provide these “cross-over” teachers training and support for the teaching of physics in general and the teaching of Physics First in particular.
Holbrow moved that the Board accept the preamble and resolution, as expressed above, and Rice seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The adopted preamble and resolution will be published in the Announcer and on the AAPT website.
23. Dates for October Board Meeting.
Hubisz reminded the Board that the Fall meeting will be held November 8, 9, and 10, 2002 in College Park.
24. Executive Session I.
Hubisz called the Board into Executive Session I (with B. Khoury).
At the close of the session, the meeting adjourned until 8:30 AM Sunday.
25. Texas Teacher Prep Conference.
At Khoury’s request, Monroe gave a short report of the Texas Teacher Prep Conference held at Stephen F. Austin State University in tandem with the Joint Meeting of the Texas Sections of APS and AAPT and Zone 13 of the SPS, March 6-7, 2002. During the working conference, the participants discussed the role of college physics departments in Texas in teacher preparation. By the conclusion of the day and a half meeting, participants had formulated short term and long term plans for individual departments and for the APS and AAPT sections. The participants also requested that the Joint Society Statement on Teacher Preparation be presented to the APS and AAPT sections for their endorsement and that the sections host a second, follow up meeting in the Spring 2003. Attending the invitational conference were about 10 high school physics faculty, 8 two year college physics faculty, and 30 four year college/university physics faculty. B. Khoury, J. Hubisz, Len Jossem and John Layman were among the ten special guests of the conference, serving as resources and facilitators for the conference.
The Board expressed that the conference had implications not only for other sections of the AAPT, but also for the members of the AAPT. After learning that the tentative date for the second Texas Teacher Prep Conference would be held in proximity to the AAPT 2003 Winter Meeting just preceding the dates of the national meeting, Holbrow and Nelson expressed a desire to create special AAPT sessions providing a venue for reports of the Texas activities. Khoury also voiced an interest in publishing an announcement of the Texas meeting in the Announcer.
26. Thanks to Administrative Assistant.
Holbrow moved that Board express appreciation and thanks to Roxanne Muller, the AAPT Administrative Assistant, for her orchestration of the Board meetings, meals and snacks. The motion passed unanimously.
27. Executive Session II.
Hubisz called the Board into Executive Session II (without B. Khoury).
Hubisz adjourned the meeting of the Executive Board at 10:05 AM.
Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary