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Executive Board Minutes - January 2004 (Part 2)

Jan. 24, 25, and 28, 2004 (Continued)
Miami Beach, FL

24. California Schools.
Dewey Dystra, representing the Pre High School Committee, requested the Executive Board to write a letter to key members in the California Department of Education. The purpose of the letter would be to express concern that California was considering the adoption of new criteria for science instructional materials that could limit the use of hands-on activities in K-8. (The criteria actually limit the kinds of instructional materials that would be considered for adoption by the state. The instructional materials, according to the proposed criteria, would not require any teacher to use more than 25% of instructional time on “hands-on” activity.) Bernie Khoury will draft a letter for Board consideration. Subsequent discussion and action would be handled by the Board via email.

25. Report from Section Representatives.
Iona reported that the Section Representatives will prepare a summary of issues addressing the selection of AAPT meeting sites for the Board’s consideration during its April meeting. The Representatives would like the Board to appoint a task force to review and refine the selection process. The Representatives feel that the current process is very awkward.

Vice Chair:
R. Peterson reported that the Section Representatives were preparing a plan to truncate inactive AAPT sections. Currently there are four inactive sections.

26. Lotze Scholarship.
Fehrs presented the report for the Lotze Scholarship Committee. Brett Guisti, Brigham Young University, would receive the Lotze Scholarship of $2000 and a year’s membership to the AAPT. Honorable mentions were awarded to Kevin Daum, Central Michigan University; Lindsey Gamard, University of Arizona; Kathleen Stone, Clinton Community College; and Lisa Webber, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. These four will receive a year’s membership to the AAPT.

27. Memberships and Benefits.
Robertson reported that the AAPT had 10401 members as of December 2003. The membership is comprised of high school teachers – 30.8%, two-year college faculty – 6.5%, four-year college faculty – 9.8%, university faculty – 20.2%, retired faculty – 9.9%, student – 4.9%. The committee reviewed the memberships losses by educational level and concluded that the losses are evenly distributed. (See Board Packet II-F.)

28. Venture Fund.
Robertson reported that the transfer of Cinema Classics from videodisc to DVD format had run into unforeseen technical difficulties, thus delaying the availability of these new products. Hein explained that the AAPT had taken some pre sales.

Robertson also noted that the committee members were receiving unofficial requests to fund the publication of Robert Fuller’s book concerning Al Bartlett’s work on the Exponential Function. Upon advice from the committee, Robertson will send another letter to Fuller explaining that the Venture Fund would not support this effort. The committee did not feel there was a large enough demand for this book.

The balance of the Venture Fund as of 11/30/03 was $43,812.61.

29. Bauder Fund.
Robertson reported that the reprint of the Sutton book had been very successful. PIRA had returned $2200 to the Fund as agreed.

The Bauder Fund can approve requests for amounts less than $1000 but larger requests need approval from the Executive Board. Requests approved by the committee include:

$500 to Michele Cable for Physics Resource Center 2004 CDs; this on condition that she refund the Fund with half of the profits up to $250;
$200 to Lamberto Jeresano to support his attendance at the Summer 2004 meeting, with the caveat that he present a paper on his workshops;
$500 to Lamberto Jeresano to support two different workshops in the Philippines;
$900 to Stan Micklavzina to provide travel and take-home materials for the demonstration show at the Sacramento meeting (the Oregon section will also provide $100 for this effort) and $500 for preparing demo equipment for the World Year of Physics.

Upon recommendation from the Bauder Fund Committee, the Board approved the following requests:

$1200 to the Resource Center for the 2004 Summer Meeting;
$1015 to PIRA for printing the Dick and Rae Demo Notebook;
$3000 to Dave Maiullo and Steve Schnetzer for cosmic ray detectors;
$1000 to Michael Jabot at SUNY Fredonia for a science Saturday program

During the 2003 AAPT Summer Meeting, $4000 was approved to support first-time attendees at the demo and lab workshops during the 2004 meetings. Robertson explained that an advertisement of this funding support would be published in the Announcer.

The New Jersey section continues to be active. Robertson explained that half of the interest earned from the Bauder Endowment goes to the New Jersey section.

30. Publications Committee.
On behalf of the Publications Committee, Monroe recommended the appointment of Thomas Walkiewicz (Edinboro University), Chris Chiaverina (New Trier High School), and David Keeports (Mills College) and the reappointment of Dan MacIsaac to the TPT Editorial Board. The new appointments would replace retiring members Mary Beth Barrett, Tom Greenslade, and James O’Connell. The motion passed.

Monroe recommended the three-year appointments of Richard Matzner (University of Texas), Joseph Priest (Miami University of Ohio), and Michael B. Weissman, University of Illinois to the AJP Editorial Board. These appointments will replace Don Jacob, Ken Krane, and Lyle Roelofs. The motion passed. 

Monroe reported that David Meltzer, Joe Redish, Lillian McDermott, and Paula Herron made a special request to the Publications Committee as representatives of the PER community. They asked that the number of pages allotted to the PER Section each year and the frequency of the publication of the PER section be relaxed. They explained that such restrictions place constraints on the content of the submitted articles and inhibits the timely submission and reviews of PER articles. Meltzer pointed out that the number of PER papers published in the AJP has decreased, which he believed to be partly due to these constraints. In response, Tobochnik explained the review process used by the AJP editors and added that he had not seen many PER articles submitted to the regular part of the journal.

Following a healthy and positive discussion regarding PER publications, Redish commented that it appeared that many of the issues discussed were “perceived constraints”. He asked Tobochnik to meet with the PER community to explain what he felt to be an acceptable article for publication in the main section of the AJP and the review process employed by AJP. Tobochnik agreed that the PER Section could be published more than twice a year and the number of published pages could be relaxed.

Redish asked the Publications Committee for guidance regarding his preparation of a proposal to print an ad hoc volume of PER articles. He will have the proposal ready for committee consideration in August 2004.

Monroe moved, on behalf of the Publications Committee, that the Board approve the recommendation to create an electronic publications editor. (See Board Packet II-I.)

“We propose that an online editor be given a seat on the Publications Committee. We also support the idea that the ComPADRE principal investigator be the online editor since he effectively bears responsibility for the content of ComPADRE through the efforts of the collection editors.”

The Pubs Committee also recommended the following amendments:
The appointment of the e-publications editor be for three years.
The appointed interim editor present a job description for the editor’s position and recommendations for members of an e-publications editorial board to the Pubs Committee during its Summer 2004 meeting.
Search committees would be formed to identify future e-publications editors, on a parallel with the appointments of new TPT and AJP editors.

The motion passed.

Monroe reported that the Pubs Committee had appointed a subcommittee of Bernie Khoury, Sina Kniseley, Warren Hein and Dick Peterson to develop a job description for a books editor. This action was in response to a recommendation from Khoury and Kniseley.

31. Investment Advisory Committee.
Robertson reported that the committee had met informally during the Miami Beach meeting. He reminded Nelson that he needed to appoint a new member to this committee.

32. Awards Committee.
Chiaverina thanked the staff for the arranged luncheon honoring award recipients. The luncheon provided an opportunity for visiting speakers to interact with AAPT members, forgoing an abrupt departure following their presentations. Carol Heimpel explained that future luncheons would be better advertised.

The committee, during the Miami Beach meeting, made considerable progress in its selection of recipients for the Summer awards. However, the committee was in need of nominations for the Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics award. Board members were asked to send their suggestions to the incoming committee chair, C. Holbrow. Also along these lines, Holbrow will email each undergraduate physics department requesting nominations for this award.

At Chiaverina’s request, Monroe, as committee secretary, presented the “proposed” motion for consideration.

Part I: The Awards Committee requests that the award stipends be ranked as listed. 

  1. The Oersted and Phillips awards should have the same stipend amount. 
  2. The Millikan award should have a slightly smaller stipend. 
  3. The Klopsteg, Richtmyer and Teaching Excellence award stipends should be equal.

Part II: The AAPT should raise money from vendors to support the Teaching Excellence Award stipends and should establish a private endowment fund for the Phillips award, possibly with contributions from AAPT members.

Part III: The committee recommends the following stipend amounts. These amounts would increase the stipends awards by $11 K in a year not granting a Phillips Award.

  • $10,000 each for the Oersted and Phillips
  • $8,000 for the Millikan
  • $3,000 each for the Klopsteg, Richtmyer, and Teaching Excellence awards

During discussion, Board members commented that the description of the awards and the intended prestige of the awards may not be correctly represented by the proposed changes in the award stipends. D. Peterson expressed concern that the judgments of the awards were not accurate. He suggested delaying any action on the proposed motion until more discussion had occurred. Therefore, it was agreed that committee members would research the history of the awards before presenting the motion to the Board for formal action in April. Responding to a recommendation from Khoury, the Awards Committee agreed to present its motion and rationale in writing to the Board.

33. NSTA Strand Days.
The AAPT has conducted three physics strand days at NSTA meetings: November 2000 in Baltimore, MD; December 2002 in Albuquerque, NM; and December 2003 in Reno, NV. During a meeting between Nelson and Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Director, in December 2003, Wheeler expressed his continuing support for AAPT strand days. In follow-up to these activities, Nelson prepared for Board consideration a proposal for a trial version of an AAPT activity to be held at three NSTA regional meetings scheduled for October, November, and December 2004. (Copies of the proposal were distributed to Board members.)

Nelson proposed that the AAPT would sponsor an exhibit booth at one of the regional meetings. The estimated cost for the exhibit was $10 K. At a second NSTA meeting, the AAPT would organize a Physics Strand Day similar to the ones previously conducted. The AAPT President Elect would serve as the Program Chair for this event. Estimated cost to the AAPT would be about $2500. At the third NSTA meeting, a PTRA workshop would be conducted at an estimated cost of $1250. The event would be a pay for fee workshop at $50 per participant and for 25 participants, the workshop would almost be a break-even activity.

Following a short discussion of the proposal, Nelson moved that the AAPT allocate $2500 for the organization of a Physics Strand Day at a regional NSTA meeting in 2004. Fehrs seconded the motion. It was agreed that the decision regarding which NSTA site would be made after the AAPT meeting. Robertson recommended that the strand day should be held at the meeting with the strongest participation. The motion passed. Holbrow asked if the NSTA strand day could serve as model for APS strand days. Nelson replied that it would be similar but the activities would be organized in a different way.

34. AGU Statement on Diversity.
Khoury referred the Board members to the American Geophysical Union Statement on Diversity submitted for consideration by the AAPT Executive Board. He explained that he and Trish Allen had attended the recent AGU meeting that produced this statement on diversity. The issue of diversity within the physics community has been discussed previously by the Board. In addition, Juan Burciaga proposed to the Board during its Madison meeting that diversity be incorporated as a theme for the AAPT meeting in Albuquerque in January 2005. He also asked the AAPT minorities committee and the AAPT committee on women to review the diversity statement and voice their opinions to the Board.

D. Peterson reported that the minorities committee had reviewed the statement but that only one actual member of the committee was present, therefore preventing any official action by the committee. Fehrs reported that the women’s committee had also reviewed the statement but felt that the implications to the AAPT were unclear.

Robertson asked if the AIP and APS had a statement on diversity. He also inquired if it would be appropriate for the AIP to develop a statement on diversity that all physics societies could sign. Stith asked the Board to consider what the endorsement from the AAPT would mean and if the AAPT members would understand the implications particularly since the wording was specific to AGU.

Khoury reported that he, Burciaga and Allen had had discussions regarding action that the AAPT could take with respect to diversity. However, the discussions did not produce any real action aside from an endorsement of the AGU statement. Khoury described diversity as a deep problem warranting more attention from the physics community. Stith suggested that the issue could be brought to the AIP Governing Board. Khoury explained that the statement on diversity had not been endorsed by the AGU. The Board did not reach a consensus regarding how it should respond to this matter.

35. Commission on Graduate Education.
Holbrow reported that the commission was slowly realizing progress. The commission, created in April 2003, would be comprised of nine members evenly divided among the physics societies. He explained that he thought the APS and AAPT were nearing agreement on the charge to the commission. The chair of the commission is David Campbell who led in a wide-scale undergraduate reform at Illinois State University. Campbell had since moved to Boston University. Appointments to the committee have not been completed.

36. Executive Sessions II and I.
Holbrow called the Board into Executive Session II and subsequently into Executive Session I.

37. Board Retreat.
Holbrow proposed that the Board consider the idea of having a retreat to review its strategic goals and possibly to identify new goals. The last Board retreat was held in 2004. For that meeting, an AAPT leader developed the program and the Board identified topics for white papers prepared in advance of the retreat.

Khoury compiled a list of Board recommendations for the facilitator and agreed to ask the facilitator to meet with the Board during its April meeting. The Board generally agreed that the retreat should be held in tandem with the AAPT Sacramento meeting, beginning Thursday evening July 29 and ending Saturday afternoon, July 31. It was also agreed that the retreat should be held off site from the AAPT meeting, but at a location near Sacramento.

(Iona, due to previous commitments, departed the Board meeting.)

38. Area Committee Reports.
Each Board member briefly reported on the apparent health and activity of the area committees he/she visited. Highlights of these reports follow.

The Metric Committee, a temporary AAPT committee, petitioned the Board to make it a permanent advisory committee. Nelson moved that the Board accept this petition and Fehrs seconded the motion. The motion passed with one abstention noted. 

The high school committee is realizing progress with the writing of a pamphlet that provides guidance to schools electing to implement physics first. Barry Frierman and Rex Rice are the primary authors. 

The International Committee would like to see more news of international physics in the Announcer. Robertson visited this committee and suggested that a member of the committee would possibly agree to serve as editor for such a column.

The Physics Education Research Committee proposes to establish a PER Leadership and Organizing Council. The proposal will appear as an agenda topic for the April meeting of the Board. 

The Astronomy Education Committee reported that no Board action had occurred regarding its request to change its name to the Committee for Astronomy and Space Science.

39. World Year of Physics.
Chuck Stone summarized the activities that have occurred in preparation for the celebration of the World Year of Physics 2005 (WYP) as well as the special activities planned for 2005. Stone prepared an article for publication in the TPT and Iona asked the Section Representatives to report their committed WYP activities. Stone stated that more articles about WYP are planned.

40. Adjournment.
Holbrow thanked the Board members and adjourned the meeting.

Mary Beth Monroe, AAPT Secretary