Executive Board Minutes - July 2004July 31, August 1 and 4, 2004
Members Present: Jim Nelson, President; Charlie Holbrow, Past President; Dick Peterson, President Elect; Ken Heller, Vice President; Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary; Chuck Robertson, Treasurer; Steve Iona, Chair of Section Representatives; Randy Peterson, Vice Chair of Section Representatives; Deborah Rice, At-Large Member; Chuck Stone, At-Large Member (arriving on August 1); Ruth Chabay, At-Large Member; Karl Mamola, Editor of The Physics Teacher (TPT); Jan Tobochnik, Editor of the American Journal of Physics (AJP); and Bernard V. Khoury, Executive Officer.
Guests: Warren Hein, Jack Hehn, Roxanne Muller, Sina Kniseley, Valerie Evans, Maria Elena Khoury, Carol Heimpel, Jim Stith, Steve Turley, John Layman, Thad Lurie, Bruce Mason, Tom O’Kuma, Leonard Jossem, Andy Gavrin
1. Welcome and Call to Order. Jim Nelson called the meeting to order and welcomed all Board members and guests.
2. Changes to the Agenda. There were no changes or additions to the agenda.
3. Approval of the Minutes. Following a report by members regarding changes to the Minutes, C. Robertson moved that the April 2004 Minutes be approved as corrected. D. Peterson seconded the motion. The motion passed.
4. Report from the Executive Officer. B. Khoury highlighted the following items in his report to the Board.
- The transfer of AAPT copyrights to Active Physics to It’s About Time, a subsidiary of Herff Jones, had been consummated. The AAPT office had received the check for $75,000 and all necessary documents had been signed.
- Since the April meeting of the Board, AAPT had granted another $500 award to an AAPT section, bringing the total to eleven sections. The purpose of the awards is to support activities in teacher training and mentoring initiated at the section level. Holbrow asked Khoury to comment on the effectiveness of these awards. Khoury responded that a systematic measurement was not being made and it was not clear to him how effective the grants had been. In response to a question from D. Peterson, Khoury explained that a time limit had not been placed on the awards.
- During his visit to the Board in April 2004, Marc Brodsky, CEO of the American Institute of Physics, explained that the AAPT would receive a letter outlining new terms for its provision of publishing services. Khoury reported that the association had received the letter. The new terms propose a decrease in page charges over the next three years from $65 to $45. However the AIP wants a 12-month notice should the AAPT decide to terminate its use of AIP publishing services. The AAPT staff felt that the notice requirement was unreasonable and consequently, negotiations regarding the requirement of a term of notice were occurring. Sina Kniseley, AAPT Publications Director, received an unofficial bid from another publisher that was cheaper than AIP’s cost. Khoury reminded the Board that the American Physical Society had moved one of its publications from AIP to Beacon Press due to the lower costs.
During discussion of the report, Tobochnik commented that he did not really understand what the AIP did in its composition phase. He asked if the AAPT or his AJP staff could do some of the work and thus reduce the charges. Kniseley explained that the time consuming activity was the preparation of the figures for publication and the costs were primarily due to the layout. Responding to D. Peterson, Kniseley commented that the costs for publishing TPT is substantially lower. Khoury added that the AIP was retraining its publishing staff and was restructuring the publishing services it provides to its member societies. While the AIP expected to make the costs lower and thus get more customers, the institute would likely realize a financial loss of about $3-4 million. The new customers would be engineering organizations. Khoury concluded by saying that the AAPT staff expect that they will sign the agreement but that the AAPT might have to accept a 6-month notice of termination. Iona pointed out that the AIP was investigating how the new publishing terms would affect its other programs since they are financed by the surplus realized from the AIP publication costs.
- The Office of Foreign Asset Control (Department of Treasury) issued regulations that could have important implications on publishing articles authored or co authored by individuals from countries designated as “unfriendly”. About six countries are listed by OFAC as such. OFAC requires that an organization wanting to do business with these countries must obtain a license. It is not clear if business includes publishing/editing/reviewing a submitted paper from a resident of one of these countries. IEEE has stopped all transactions with these countries. Several of the major publishers are preparing to take legal action against the U.S. government to argue that the OFAC regulations are not consistent with Congressional actions or with Constitutional protection of free speech. Holbrow moved that the AAPT, as a small publisher, contribute $2000 from the Klopsteg Fund to this legal effort. Chabay seconded the motion. Holbrow clarified that this action is litigation to prepare a defense team. The motion passed with a vote tally of 9 yes and 1 no. (C. Stone was not present.).
- The United States team competed in the International Physics Olympiad in South Korea, bringing home 2 gold medals, 2 silver, and 1 bronze. In addition, the team received the top female award and the top innovative award. Mary Mogge, Academic Director, will retire after next year’s competition in Spain. Therefore, Holbrow moved that the President write a letter to Mogge expressing the Board’s appreciation and admiration. C. Robertson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The Board also extended its thanks to Maria Elena Khoury, AAPT Programs Director, noting that the AAPT preparation for this competition required a large amount of her workload.
- Members within the Physics Education Research community appointed Stamatis Vokos, Chair of the PER Election Organizing Committee (PEREOC). These members propose to create a PER Leadership Organizing Council (PERLOC) as a sub community within the AAPT membership, possibly as an AAPT affiliate like PIRA, but more likely modeled after an APS division. Apparently this action was motivated by the dissatisfaction by some of the PER leaders regarding how the AAPT appoints members to its area committees, particularly the PER Committee. Khoury distributed a copy of the PEREOC proposal that will be discussed within the AAPT PER committee during the Sacramento meeting.
- The AAPT received a proposal from a Pakistani group seeking AAPT’s cooperation in efforts addressing teacher training. Nelson directed that the proposal be given to AAPT Committee on Teacher Preparation for its review and comment.
Chabay asked for an explanation of the AAPT’s relationship with IUPAP. Khoury explained that the AAPT sends two members to the meeting of the IUPAP, which is a loose connection of physicists across many countries. Every three years the AAPT can nominate a person to serve on this international committee. In recent years, Len Jossem has been appointed to IUPAP and Dean Zollman is also serving on the committee at the present time. Joe Redish and Khoury currently represent AAPT on the US Liaison Committee, which is a go-between for the AAPT and the IUPAP.
- Ted Hodapp has been appointed APS Education Officer, replacing Fred Stein who will retire in September. Hodapp has been serving as NSF/DUE program officer. The NSF has yet to approve Hodapp as the PI for the PhysTEC project.
- Holbrow asked about the status regarding the organization of the interdisciplinary conference. Khoury reported that he had not had conversations with his counterparts at professional science organizations regarding special topics of mutual interest. Monroe asked if the money approved by the Board in August 2003 for the conference’s organizational committee would be rolled over to next year’s budget. Khoury responded that it would.
5. Treasurer’s Report.
- C. Robertson reported that the Bauder Committee awarded financial support to a Filipino to come to an AAPT meeting. However, he had been denied a visa to the United States.
- The AAPT has essentially reached its goal of $5 million for its long-term reserve.
- Robertson moved that the Vice Chair of Section Representatives be made the Chair of Memberships and Benefits Committee. Holbrow seconded the motion. In discussion of the motion, Robertson explained that the Vice Chair, as a representative of Section Reps has a much closer connection to the issues supervised by the committee than the AAPT Treasurer who currently serves as committee chair. Monroe asked if the rotation of the Vice Chair every two years would pose a problem to the committee. Robertson and Valerie Evans, AAPT Memberships Director, did not think it would. Robertson explained that the Treasurer would still retain his/her membership on the committee. Robertson and Holbrow accepted the friendly amendment from Dick Peterson that the Vice Chair be made a member of the M&B Committee. The motion passed.
6. Secretary’s Report.
- Two email motions were passed in the interim between the April and Summer meetings of the Board.
1) The AAPT Board authorized Jim Nelson as AAPT President to sign and endorse the “Statement and Recommendations on Visa Problems Harming America’s Scientific, Economic, and Security Interests” dated May 6, 2004.
2) The AAPT Board approved the recommendation of the Director of Examinations Search Committee to appoint Richard Olenick to the post of Director of Examinations effective July 1, 2004. Holbrow asked that if Olenick were attending the Sacramento meeting, that Khoury invite him to visit the Board and be introduced to its members.
- The appointments for the Nominating Committee in 2005 were completed. The members serving on the committee are Francis Tam, Jane Flood, William McNairy (Chair), Dwain Desbien, and George Amann.
- The Five Year Reviews of the Resource Letters and the Physical Science Resource Center (PSRC) are due September 1, 2004. These reports are scheduled for discussion during the October 2004 Board meeting. Steve Turley, Chair of the Resource Letter Review Committee, will meet with the Board in a later session of this meeting to give a status report of its activities. (See these Minutes, Item 29.) Monroe explained that Patsy Ann Johnson, Chair of the PSRC Review Committee, had not submitted a preliminary report.
- The Board, during its October meeting, will consider recommendations from the Secretary concerning the membership, charge and timeline for the committee conducting the Five Year Review of the TPT in 2005.
- Joe Meyer and Lila Adair will serve as Election Teller and Assistant Election Teller for the AAPT 2004 elections.
- Monroe commented that she found the “Call for Nomination” pages in the Announcer to be confusing. For example in the Summer 2004 issue, the positions announced for election were for the Fall 2005 election. However, the listed Nominating Committee was not the committee responsible for selecting the candidates for these positions. Previous members of nominating committees had found this to be a problem as well. Monroe asked the publications staff to add words or a new page layout that would clarify the roles of the two nominating committees which have overlapping timelines.
7. Past President’s Report. Holbrow serves as a member of the APS insurance committee. He reported that the insurance made available to APS members was good insurance. He said that he had also learned how the APS obtained the money to provide insurance packages to its members. W. Hein suggested that APS consider adding liability added to the insurance package. He will follow up with an email to Holbrow to start this inquiry.
8. Vice President’s Report. K. Heller had no report at this time.
9. President Elect’s Report.
- D. Peterson explained that the changes in the AAPT programs approved by the Board during its Spring 2004 meeting would be discussed during the first meeting of Programs. It was his feeling that the changes would be well received by the area chairs. According to adopted AAPT procedure for Summer meetings, D. Peterson as President Elect will chair Programs I but Ken Heller, as Vice President would assume responsibility for meeting programs during the AAPT meeting and chair Programs II.
- D. Peterson highlighted events scheduled for the Sacramento meeting. He reminded Board members of the joint session between the APS Executive Committee and the AAPT Board on Monday afternoon. Although Monday afternoon would be very crowded, he urged Board members to attend the paper sessions. He noted that the meeting would have many parallel sessions, thus possibility eliciting some criticism from AAPT attendees. In addition, for the first time a meeting had been scheduled for AAPT staff and Board members to meet with AAPT liaisons. AAPT liaisons are 4U contact faculty who encourage colleagues to join the AAPT. Valerie Evans reported that the association currently has 92 liaisons and 25 reported that they would attend the meeting. D. Peterson explained that the liaisons are primarily faculty at larger universities. D. Peterson also encouraged Board members to attend the Exhibitors’ meeting.
- The AAPT meetings scheduled in 2005 (Albuquerque and Salt Lake City) will have themes addressing the World Year of Physics (WYP). The meeting in New Mexico will emphasize the Einstein perspective of the year’s events. The Winter Meeting in January 2006 in Anchorage, Alaska will celebrate the 75th birthday of the association.
10. ComPADRE. Bruce Mason, Online Publications Editor and PI for ComPADRE, reported that the proposal requesting additional funding of $3 million over four years had been submitted to the NSF/NSDL during the Spring 2004. No word had been received concerning an award. All initial collections proposed by the project (student collection, quantum collection, introductory astronomy collection, pre college teachers’ collection, and informal education collection) are essentially completed. The astronomy editorial board attended a couple of conferences in an effort to better determine how to use this collection. Mason had been talking with leaders of the PTRA and PhysTEC projects to determine how ComPADRE could help new teachers find resource materials in its collections. The basic organization and design of a PER collection has been set.
Robertson asked Mason to explain the meaning of tools referenced in his report to the Board (Board Packet Item III O) regarding the pre teachers’ collection. Mason explained that for each standard topic, the collection would have an outline of subtopics and resources such as lesson plans, labs and student activities. Right now the resources are merely referenced. Eventually these tools will be automatically displayed.
Mason added that the project leadership wants online discussions and people are using some of the collections now. The high school collection is not yet available to the public yet but it is in staging. The student section is being heavily used. ComPADRE has about 1800 registered users, including some international users. The site averages 12,000 visits and 30,000 page accesses per week.
During the Summer, a SPS student intern analyzed the student collection and identified what content areas were missing. The student will present a poster during the AAPT meeting. Jack Hehn, AIP Education Director, added that the SPS had two student interns working for ComPADRE during the Summer and the society was pleased with their work. W. Hein commented that the student interns were the subject of a nice article appearing in the APS Forum on Education (Fed) newsletter.
12. President’s Report.
- Nelson asked the Board members to individually visit with the vendors at the meeting, expressing their thanks and appreciation for the important contributions they make to AAPT. He asked that members also find opportunities to thank the area chairs and invited speakers.
- In his discussion of the PTRA project, Nelson reported that 600+ teachers attended the rural institutes. Each PTRA participant nominally teaches about 100 students. Nelson estimated that about 300 K students would be impacted by this effort. The PTRA workshop leaders use various forms of pedagogy including Physlets by W Christian; Ranking Tasks by O’Kuma, Maloney, and Hieggelke; Modeling, a product of the Hestenes project; and Randall Knight’s Five Easy Lessons. Nelson noted that the PTRA has had a presence at each regional NSTA meeting.
- Nelson recommended some points for future discussion by the Board.
- If the AAPT sells the Dodge Building the Board will need to consider how to use the income. Nelson listed possibilities such as matching monies for AAPT grants, support for AAPT awards, front money for fund raising activities and leverage for the PTRA effort.
- The AAPT should bring in a person to ACP to maintain the efforts of the PTRA and TYC21 programs.
- Board members should identify efforts to address the challenges posed by the AAPT planning initiatives.
13. Board Retreat. The Board retreat is scheduled for June 24 and 25, 2004 with June 23 and 26 designated as travel days. Khoury requested discussion regarding retreat sites. He expressed if the AAPT staff were going to participate in the retreat, College Park would be the most convenient for them. Chabay commented that the Board did not really need the staff presence, adding that should questions arise the staff could be contacted by phone. Tobochnik said that a different location would help put Board members into a different mindset.
Following a short discussion of previous sites suggested by D. Peterson and Monroe, C. Robertson moved that the Board retreat be held at a resort or conference center, not at the ACP or on a college campus. Holbrow seconded the motion. The motion passed. Nelson asked D. Peterson, Khoury and Heller to prepare some possibilities for Board consideration in October. Khoury added that the Board might want to make a decision concerning the retreat site by electronic voting prior to the October meeting of the Board.
14. Dodge Building. The AAPT received a written offer from Campus Outfitters, current tenants of the Dodge Building, to purchase the building for $900 K, the current appraisal value. The tenants have identified a bank that will lend them $810 K or 85% of the appraisal value, whichever is cheaper. Khoury described this as a serious offer although the AAPT had not yet received a firm contract. Once AAPT receives a contract, the association will have a 45 study day period and 30 days to close the deal.
D. Peterson pointed out that AAPT would lose approximately $14,000 each month in rent if the building were sold. In addition some expense will be incurred in renting storage for the AAPT items (primarily inventory products and financial records) currently located in the building. AAPT will not have any tax implications as the building has been depreciated each year. Peterson projected that gross expenses to the AAPT could be $40K - $50K.
Khoury moved, and Holbrow seconded, that the AAPT Executive Board authorize Bernard Khoury, as AAPT Executive Officer, to sell the Dodge Building to 5112 Berwyn Rd, LLC, at a price of $900,000 and to negotiate and sign on behalf of AAPT any and all documents appropriate to affect the sale. The motion passed.
15. Executive Session I. Nelson called the Board into Executive Session I with B. Khoury and W. Hein.
16. Executive Session II. At the close of Executive Session I, Nelson called the meeting in Executive Session II without Khoury or Hein. Following the conclusion of Session II, Nelson adjourned the meeting of the Board until its scheduled meeting on Sunday.
17. Undergraduate Guidelines Booklet. Khoury explained that a revision of the guidelines for undergraduate physics programs had been completed. The AAPT Committee on Professional Concern and the Undergraduate Education Committee will review the document during the Sacramento meeting. If the committees recommend its publication, the AAPT will publish the booklet. (See these Minutes, Item 39.)
Many of the elements appearing in the revision were drawn from the SPIN-UP Report from the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics (NTFUP). The Task Force is sponsored by the AAPT, the APS and the AIP. The revised undergraduate guidelines booklet is a statement of policy and therefore does not require review by the Publications Committee.
18. Venture Fund. C. Robertson reported that Cinema Classics was now available in DVD format from Ztek. The Fund invested $50K in the preparation of the DVD version of the film collection. The Venture Fund Committee received a letter from Robert Fuller advising members that the books on Bartlett’s exponential function studies had been printed and were available for purchase if the AAPT was interested in buying some for resale. Valerie Evans had purchased 26 books and these were on sale in the exhibit area of the AAPT meeting
The committee did not have any action items to present to the Board.
19. NTFUP Regional Workshops. In response to a request from the Board during its April 2004 meeting, NTFUP submitted a revised proposal containing a budget that identified full indirect cost recovery by the AAPT. The purpose of the proposed workshops will be to share what was learned during the SPIN-UP site visits to undergraduate physics departments and to help implement the findings from these visits. The workshop leaders will be NTFUP members. The proposal requests $226 K to conduct four workshops over the next two years.
In response to a question from the Board, Khoury explained that all anticipated line item costs to the AAPT were covered by the proposal. Holbrow asked if the stipend designated for Warren Hein as a project director was adequate. Khoury responded that it was, adding that the AAPT would provide logistical support for the program.
Khoury moved that the AAPT Board approve the submission of the proposal with a budget of $226,708 to NSF seeking funds to support the effort by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics to carry out a series of workshops to assist physics departments. Holbrow seconded the motion. The motion passed.
20. Electronic PER Journal. Khoury reported on the progress taken by Bob Beichner and other PER leaders to establish an all-electronic journal as a joint effort between AAPT and APS. The proposed journal, to be titled Physical Review Special Topic – Physics Education Research (PRST-PER), will be modeled after the APS’s Physical Review Special Topic – Accelerators and Beams. Beichner reported to Khoury and the Publications Committee that the APS Editor-in-Chief, Marty Blume, was enthusiastic about the publication but had some reservations concerning the business model for the journal. The APS proposed that a page charge for all articles published in the new journal. Beichner recommended a page charge of $100 per page. A grant award from NSF/NSDL to Beichner will provide initial start-up money. Prior to the Summer meeting and after consulting with AAPT officers, Khoury sent a letter to Marty Blume, APS Editor-in-Chief, expressing AAPT support for the publication interests of the PER community and AAPT’s concerns regarding the need for a business plan.
Board members expressed several concerns in its discussion of this proposal. Holbrow explained that the proposed publication had two obstacles. One was the lack of a feasible business model. Conclusive conversations between the AAPT and the APS concerning the financial funding for the journal had not occurred. Iona commented that it was odd that the APS had not asked the AAPT to provide some financial involvement for the new effort. Other Board members indicated that they thought such requests would occur toward the end of the NSF funding term for Beichner’s grant. One member explained that there was no guarantee that the APS might not withdraw its financial support for the journal at some future point. The second obstacle concerned the 50 articles to be published in the PER journal. It was not clear to Board members that the PER community would submit these many articles.
Tobochnik urged the Board to give this effort a try. Further Board discussion was delayed following the report from Publications and a possible report of the discussion within the PER Committee concerning Beichner’s proposal. (See these Minutes, Item 28.)
21. APS Connection. Holbrow included in the Board Packet (Item IIIE) a report of the meeting of the Executive Committee of the APS Forum on Education held in Denver, Colorado, May 3, 2004. Holbrow explained that he found a large overlap of Fed interests and concerns with the AAPT. His report summarized these ideas and presented his suggestions for AAPT activity stemming from the Fed discussion. Holbrow also included in the Packet for possible Board discussion (Item IIIF) a description of the AAPT activities and AAPT’s cooperative activities with the APS at the national level through its Forum on Education, the APS Committee on Education, and the APS staff in carrying out the PhysTEC project. He proposed a list of large issues that the APS might want to consider during its Planning Retreat as well as some specific ideas for future cooperation between our two organizations as the society prepares its long range plans for its role in physics education.
Holbrow then solicited agenda items for the informal meeting between the APS Fed Executive Committee and the AAPT Executive Board scheduled for Monday of the Sacramento meeting. These include:
- publication of some APS Newsletter articles in AAPT journals,
- enhancing the AAPT presence at APS meetings,
- discussion of past difficulties between APS and AAPT,
- development of tools to better communicate ideas of curricular reform to physics teachers (members of APS, but not AAPT) of undergraduate students,
- improving the rank of AAPT among 4U physics departments, and
the need for collaboration between the AAPT and the Forum on Education.
Holbrow pointed out that the APS and AAPT have 3000 joint members. In response to a question from C. Stone concerning the number of college teachers who are AAPT members, Khoury reported that Ken Krane studied the list of physics faculty listed by college departments in the APS Directory and found that 10% were AAPT members. Jim Stith, AIP Physics Resources, reminded Board members that many physics teachers are members of other physics societies but are not members of either AAPT or APS. Nelson proposed that proceeds from the AAPT sale of the Dodge Building could be used to support an AAPT fellow to explore ways to increase cooperation between the APS and the AAPT. (For a report of the meeting between the AAPT Executive Board and the APS Fed Executive Committee, see these Minutes, Item 37.)
22. Jim Stith. Stith, AIP Physics Resources Director, presented a general report concerning the status of activities under his supervision.
- Stith invited the Board members to check out the Physics Today website which will have more physics information than the print version.
- The AIP has 106 stations subscribing to the Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science (DBIS) clips. With funding from the NSF, the institute will evaluate the impact of the clips on the public. Currently money is not available to make these publicity pieces available as educational resources for teachers.
- Career Services Division has been renamed as Career Networks and will be linked to the magazines division.
In discussion of the report, Nelson asked if there were plans to prepare special DBIS clips for the World Year of Physic 2005. Stith reminded the Board that the clips are syndicated science. The science pieces are used by the stations as news clips presented by their own reporters and therefore the AIP logo is not seen. Stith explained that there are other science and math societies involved in this endeavor: DBIS is not “discoveries and breakthroughs in physics.”
23. SPIN-UP/TYC. Tom O’Kuma, Principal Investigator for Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics at Two-Year Colleges, presented a status report for the project, funded in part by the ATE program of the National Science Foundation. Other project directors are Warren Hein and M.B. Monroe. During the course of the project, ten site visits were conducted to determine what made a successful physics program at a two-year college. In addition, a background survey of physics programs at community colleges was prepared and administered by the AIP Statistics Division.
Physics faculty from both two-year college and four-year institutions were recruited as visiting team members. Prior to the site visits, the project held a special training and planning conference in San Antonio, Texas in July 2002. The conference was an intensive four-day effort led by Jack Hehn, with two trial site visits, one to San Antonio College and the other to Coastal Bend College, south of San Antonio.
- the AIP has published its findings on the background survey, which point out the differences between two-year colleges and four-year colleges and universities,
- a booklet containing the ten Case Studies produced from the site visit reports was printed and distributed widely around the country, and
- the project directors completed the draft of the project’s major report. Dr. Jay Norton, Southern Mississippi University, was asked to edit the document in an effort to make it attractive to the large physics/science community. Printed copies should be ready for distribution by the Albuquerque meeting.
With remaining monies SPIN-UP/TYC will conduct approximately five additional site visits targeting campuses with significant populations of African-Americans and/or strong technical programs. These characteristics were not seen in the initial ten site visits. The project will end its funding term January 31, 2005.
24. Sigma Pi Sigma Congress. October 15-16, 2004, Sigma Pi Sigma will hold its 2004 Quadrennial Congress in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The conference will be held in conjunction with the APS 4-Corners Section Meeting and the regional meetings of the Society of Physics Students and American Association of Physics Teachers. The Congress will be the primary kick-off event for the World Year of Physics. Following a review of the program activities planned, Nelson reported that Dick Peterson would attend the Congress as the AAPT representative. Peterson’s college has a strong Sigma Pi Sigma chapter and he will also be the AAPT President during the WYP. Warren Hein will also attend and report the special activities the AAPT has planned for the 2005 commemoration.
Stith expressed that the Congress was shaping up to be a very exciting conference. Stone emphasized the need to get the program of activities and speakers strongly publicized within the physics community, especially among physics students. Monroe added that at the request of Gary White, SPS Director, she would be attending the Congress as a two-year college liaison.
25. Task Force on National Meetings. During its Spring 2004 meeting, Nelson appointed Steve Iona Chair of a special Task Force on Meetings. Iona was asked to select the other members and was asked that these represent the diversity of the AAPT. The task force was charged with gathering data, presenting options, and making recommendations along the guidelines appearing in the Board April 2004 Minutes (Item 29.) The final report is due in January 2005.
In his interim report to the Board, Iona listed Richard Krantz, Tom O’Kuma, Carol Heimpel, and Dick Peterson as members of the task force. He explained that one or two more members might be added. The committee has collected information concerning ten years of meetings that provide some interesting trends. The task force will survey area chairs and section officers. In addition the members will prepare and administer a web-based survey, similar to the one developed for the Announcer review, to meeting attendees and non-attendees.
Iona added that there had been some general discussion among Board members as to the purpose of the AAPT meetings. However it was not explicit to the charge that the task force should determine the purpose of AAPT meetings. He advised that if the Board wanted more than statistical data, the task force could develop survey questions addressing this area. Iona added that the purpose of meetings might be a good topic for the Board retreat.
In subsequent discussion, the following requests were made. Chabay would like to see the attendance at meetings broken down as to educational levels. Tobochnik would like to learn the number of participants attending both the Winter and the Summer meetings. Robertson asked for information characterizing those who present papers. Heller would like to know, if possible, the number of papers related to grants’ dissemination. He also asked the task force to look at different meeting models.
In an impromptu brainstorming activity initiated by Nelson, the Board compiled the following list of purposes for AAPT meetings:
- to affect how people teach physics,
- networking – personal interactions,
- to project the presence of AAPT at regional levels,
- to hear new ideas and get feedback on these,
- to see and touch famous people,
- to disseminate information,
- for professional advancement,
- to accommodate the conducting of business by different organizations,
- to give the association a sense of unity/identity,
- to learn about directionality within the physics community (physics research areas, physics education research, etc.)
- to provide opportunities for young students to give talks, and
- to learn about new products.
(During the last session of the Board, members reviewed the list and ranked the items according to their top three choices. Nelson will report the results at some later date.)
26. World Year of Physics. In a special report to the Board, Andy Gavrin described the “Nobel Talent Search”, an international effort to introduce a large number of pre college students (ages 10-19) worldwide to physics. The competition will award points to students for each documented physics-related experience. Gavrin will coordinate the activities within the United States. A national committee will be formed during August to review and select the international rules applicable to the United States. The committee will also identify the regional, state, and local people who will help disseminate this effort, report the performance by students, and decide how the winning results will be recognized (certificates, ceremonies, etc.). About 116 American students will be selected. Gavrin explained that he would like for the activities to be conducted under the sponsorship of the AAPT. In addition he asked for membership from AAPT leadership on the organizing committee and permission to use the AAPT’s venues of dissemination.
During the subsequent discussion of the report and request, Tobochnik advised that the point system should not be the only evaluation used to select students. He further commented that the persons awarding the points would need to be unified as to their criteria. Gavrin explained that are about 40 million students in this age range and consequently a regional gauge would need to be set. A Google search of the internet for “physics talent search” will produce a site showing the award of points.
D. Peterson asked about the eligibility of students with dual enrollment in both high school and college. Gavrin explained that students would qualify as long as their names were on high school rolls. R. Peterson asked for a report of the timeframe of the competition. The definition and dissemination of competition rules must be completed by June 30, 2005, corresponding to the end of the school year. The awarding of points will occur during the Summer and Fall 2005.
In response to an inquiry from Hein, Gavrin reported that he had identified a major gifts officer who is working to obtain monetary support for the competition. The APS has provided logistical support, but no money to date. When Heller asked who would sign the certificates, Gavrin explained that he hoped that a Nobel Laureate would sign these. He also planned on having a reception for the 116 winning students with anticipated guests to include Nobel Laureates and a physicist in the U.S. Congress. Stone expressed his support for this event, saying that the competition embodies the worldwide aspect of the WYP commemoration.
D. Peterson moved that the AAPT grant Gavrin permission to use the AAPT name and logo for these activities. Rice seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Nelson clarified that Gavrin will need to keep Khoury apprised of the use of the AAPT name and logo. Iona invited Gavrin to make a report of this competition to the meeting of the Section Representatives.
27. Executive Session I. Nelson called the meeting of the Board into Executive Session I with B. Khoury and W. Hein. Following the close of this session, Nelson adjourned the Board until its next meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
28. Report from Publications. Monroe, Chair of Publications, presented a report of the motions and discussions by the committee. The Board’s discussions and actions follow.
- Upon recommendation from Pubs, the Board authorized the following appointments:
AJP Editorial Board
David Griffiths, Reed College
Elaine Oran, Naval Research Laboratory
Sid Redner, Boston Univ.
Resource Letters Editorial Board
Suzanne Amador Kane, Haverford College
Michael Nauenberg, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
Monroe explained that the appointments were three-year appointments beginning in January 2005.
- The Publications Committee passed a resolution thanking Courtney Willis and extending its appreciation for two long terms as Exams Editor and 24 years of service on the exams board. Willis retired from his editorial position in July 2004.
- Pubs recommended that the Board approve the job description for Online Publications Editor and recommendations for members of the Online Publications Editorial Board prepared by Bruce Mason. The motion passed. The job description and the Online Publications Editorial Board members were part of a report prepared by Bruce Mason for members of Publications and the Executive Board (appearing as Item IIF in the Board Packet.)
- The job description states that the role of the Online Publications Editor is to provide electronic forms of content and take advantage of emerging delivery technologies for the benefit of the AAPT membership and the physics teaching community at large. In addition the editor must handle questions relating to the volume, quality, communications channels, and the distributed nature of the electronic content. The editor will be a member of, and report to, the AAPT Publications Committee. The term of the editorship will be for three years. In addition, the AAPT Online Publications will be reviewed every five years.
Specific duties and responsibilities of the Online Publications Editor include
1) the management of the discovery, organization, and presentation of electronic content of interest for physics (and astronomy) teachers;
2) creation, maintenance, and application of rubrics for judging the quality of both the content and presentation quality of items;
3) the leveraging of new and ongoing efforts in electronic publication;
4) working with other AAPT editors to determine better uses of the electronic communications channels benefiting the AAPT and its members; and
5) advising AAPT staff, as needed, on the electronic presence of the society.
An editorial board will advise the editor and will help with the strategic planning of the AAPT Online Publications. Members appointed to this first Electronic Publications Advisory/Editorial Board are:
Robert Beichner, North Carolina State University,
David Donnelly, Texas State University,
Machelle Cable, Wake Forest University (to be confirmed),
Cathy Ezrailson, Texas A&M University,
Marc Gagne, West Chester University,
Lisa Grable, North Carolina State University (to be confirmed),
Beth Hufnagel, Anne Arundel Community College (to be confirmed)
Edward Lee, APS,
Gregor Novak, U.S. Air Force Academy.
- The Board approved the recommendation from Pubs that the Exploratories and Practicums Manual prepared by George Amann be published by the AAPT, after minor editing by Amann and Kniseley.
- Kniseley and Khoury will prepare a more detailed job description for the proposed position of AAPT Books Editor for consideration by Pubs during its January 2005 meeting. The description will combine options 3 and 4 as described in the report of “Options for AAPT Books Publications” prepared for the Publications Committee and the Executive Board as Item IIF in the Board Packet.
- The Publications Committee recommended that the AAPT support, in principle, the creation of an all-electronic PER journal to be published as APS Physical Review Special Topic – Physics Education Research. The motion passed.
During discussion of this motion, Board members again expressed concern that support, beyond that in principle, would expose the association to financial obligations. (See theses Minutes, Item 20.) Holbrow pointed out that the AAPT has a financial commitment to the PER community due to its publications in the AJP/PER Section, but that this commitment could be moved by the Board from the AJP to the electronic journal.
Nelson assigned Tobochnik, Monroe, Chabay, and Khoury as a committee to work Marty Blume, APS Editor-in Chief, in an effort to resolve the issues addressing the financial issues associated with the proposed PER journal. Their report will be due to the Board during its October 2004 meeting.
- Joe Redish will submit to Bruce Mason, Online Publications Editor, a proposal for the publication of reviews of physics education research.
Tobochnik asked that the Board provide him with some guidance regarding the size of the AJP. He and his staff had spent some time in trying to address the growing size of the journal. Since the size of the journal is set by the Board, he asked the Board to instruct him as AJP Editor to work to insure that the journal does not exceed its current limit of 45 signatures a year. Holbrow moved that the Board reaffirm this limit on the size of the American Journal of Physics. Mamola seconded the motion.
During discussion of the motion, D. Peterson commented that the Board needed to support the editor in this matter but added that he did not feel that a slightly larger journal would hurt the AAPT. Tobochnik expressed that limiting the size of the journal would not hurt the quality of the journal. R. Peterson asked if some of the AJP-PER articles should be moved to the electronic journal. Tobochnik said this would complicate the issue and he did not want to do this. The motion passed with a vote tally of 9 yes, 1 no, and 1 abstain.