Executive Board MinutesNov. 9-10, 2002
College Park, MD
Members Present: Chris Chiaverina, President; John Hubisz, Past President; Charles Holbrow, President-Elect; Jim Nelson, Vice-President; Mary Beth Monroe, Secretary; Charles Robertson, Treasurer; Steve Iona, Chair of Section Representatives; Francis Peterson, Vice-Chair of Section Representatives; Deborah Rice, At-Large Member; Mary Fehrs, At-Large Member; Carolyn Haas, At-Large Member; Jan Tobochnik, Editor, American Journal of Physics (AJP); and Bernard Khoury, AAPT Executive Officer.
Guests: Leonard Jossem, Frances Smith, Valerie Evans, Carol Heimpel, Roxanne Muller, Maria Elena Khoury, Sina Kniseley, Jim Stith, John Layman, Jack Hehn, Joe Redish, Warren Hein
1. Call to Order.
President Chris Chiaverina called the meeting of the Executive Board to order and welcomed all members of the Board.
2. Recognition of Guests.
Chiaverina introduced guests to the Board and thanked them for coming.
3. Changes to the Agenda.
In response to a question from Fehrs, Khoury explained that the agenda item, “Board Involvement in Commercial Proposals”, had been an agenda item scheduled for discussion during the Boise meeting, but due to time constraints, the discussion had been delayed until the November meeting.
M.B. Monroe requested that an item addressing election of At-Large Members be added. No other changes were made to the Agenda.
Monroe asked if there were corrections to the Minutes of the August meeting. Reports of spelling errors and typos were made and recorded. Nelson moved, and Fehrs seconded, that the Minutes of the August Meeting be accepted as corrected. The motion passed unanimously.
5. Officers’ Report:
Chiaverina reported that he had attended the meetings of the Illinois Section and the Appalachian Section. These were good meetings with contributed papers and student papers. However he was amazed with the disconnect between the national organization and the sections. His presence as AAPT President was not recognized at the Illinois Section, signaling an apparently weak affiliation with the national AAPT.
Chiaverina will represent the AAPT at the NSTA Physics Day Strand of Meetings in Albuquerque, New Mexico scheduled for December 6. Nelson had taken the lead on the development of the activities for the day’s activities but due to prior commitments would not be able to attend the meeting.
Joe Taylor, Professional Development Associate at SCI, contacted Chiaverina concerning his article on crossover teachers. They have exchanged numerous communications and at Taylor’s invitation, Chiaverina will visit the SCI office in Colorado to continue discussions regarding a possible joint effort between the two organizations addressing crossover teachers. Chiaverina will give the Board a report of this visit during the AAPT meeting in Austin.
Khoury explained that the SCI is the professional development component of the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), which is a private, non-profit organization that has sustained itself primarily through grants. In a communication initiated by Chiaverina, Arthur Eisenkraft reported that the SCI does good work in the San Diego area. Khoury thinks that SCI could be involved in the implementation phase of new curriculum, not the development phase. The development would need to be overseen by associations like the AAPT and the NSTA.
Iona asked how the SCI had become involved in the issues addressing high school science curriculum in the San Diego area. Khoury opined that the involvement was at the request of the local high schools. Chiaverina will check on this and report back to the Board.
Chiaverina thanked J. Hubisz for agreeing to serve as a member of the APS Forum on Education Nominating Committee. He also acknowledged the pending resignation of Frank Peterson from his leadership position within the Section Reps and his position on the Executive Board and thanked him for his contributions to the Board during his term as Vice-Chair of Section Reps.
Chiaverina reviewed the tentative time schedule for the Board meeting and reminded the members that the New Faculty Workshop (NFW) was also being conducted at the ACP in parallel with the Executive Board meeting. Khoury referred the Board members to the workshop schedule in the Board Packet and reported that the Board members were invited to participate in the workshop activities at any time. The Board schedule would permit Board members to join the NFW participants for lunch, dinner, and breaks.
In discussion of the NFW, Khoury reported that the Workshops, this being the 7th, continue to grow in success and visibility. Eighty of one hundred applicants were accepted for this year’s workshop. The other twenty applicants were asked to resubmit their application for the 2003 workshop. Khoury suggested that the NFW might need to host two meetings per year to accommodate the number of faculty applying. (Roxanne Muller distributed a NFW booklet for Board review.)
In response to a question from Nelson concerning the impact of the NFW on AAPT membership, Khoury reported the association might get a couple of new members from among the participants. Both Khoury and Ken Krane, NFW Project Director, publicize the advantages of AAPT membership to the new faculty during the workshop. Holbrow asked about giving all workshop participants complimentary memberships for one year. Valerie Evans, AAPT Director of Membership Services, explained that the costs of the memberships could not be charged to the NSF funded grant, as the association would be the recipient of the money. The marginal cost for adding one member to the association is gauged at $30, associated primarily with the expense for postage of AAPT mailings to its members. If the AAPT were to give the participants complimentary memberships, it would have to be free memberships. Fehrs expressed two advantages to giving the NFW participants complimentary membership: (1) the new faculty would see the AAPT meeting programs in the Announcer which lists resource papers and (2) the new faculty would also see the section news in the Announcer.
Nelson moved that the AAPT provide complimentary membership for one year for every NFW participant. Holbrow seconded the motion. In subsequent discussion, Hubisz advised that if the motion passed, the announcement should not be made at the workshop. Since some of the NFW participants are already AAPT members, the announcement of the Board action during the workshop would likely produce complications. The motion passed unanimously.
Holbrow expressed his pleasure that the Revision of Active Physics Proposal was submitted to the NSF under the AAPT name.
The President Elect participated in a three-hour phone conference of the APS Forum on Education. Ken Krane is Chair of the Forum and Wolfgang Christian is Vice-Chair. The APS has agreed that AAPT members may attend, free of charge, the Forum sponsored sessions of the APS April Meeting in Philadelphia. The AAPT officers and staff will therefore look for ways that the AAPT might reciprocate, possibly during the Summer Meeting in Madison. Holbrow also reported that there had been an agreement made to increase the exchange of articles between the APS and the AAPT. The proposed APS award for contributions to physics education will be presented to institutions rather than individuals, so as not to conflict with the AAPT awards.
Holbrow also reported that he had attended the meeting of the AIP Governing Board.
Holbrow reported that Don Reeder, Chair of the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin, had offered his help in the hosting of the AAPT Summer Meeting. One session at the Summer meeting will address reform of teaching introductory physics at large universities and another session will address large university outreach programs, particularly to high schools.
Holbrow announced that the Executive Board will meet April 12-13, 2003 and the Board’s Fall meeting has yet to be scheduled, but would probably be the third weekend in October.
Nelson has completed the report, which contained input from AAPT Area Committees regarding the revision of the NSTA Standards for Teacher Certification, and has submitted the report to Steve Gilbert at NSTA. (See EB Minutes, August 2002, Vice-President’s Report.)
The organization of the activities for the AAPT Physics Day Strand at the NSTA Regional Meeting in Albuquerque was completed. The activities will include three presentations by Mike Zeilik (astronomy), Geoffrey West, and Luis Prieto and some PTRA workshops. George Amman will chair the AAPT activities. Nelson added that the activities at the NSTA meetings normally target elementary and middle school teachers and biology high school teachers. Therefore this meeting will give the AAPT an opportunity to help high school physics teachers, particularly cross-over teachers, to increase the visibility of the association and to publicize the services of the AAPT. He also expressed that he would like to talk to Gerry Wheeler, Director of NSTA, about developing a template for these regional meetings, thereby enabling the AAPT to continue as a visible participant in these meetings. The National Association of Biology Teachers and the American Chemical Society will also have parallel strand days, providing the AAPT representatives with possibilities to interact with the other science organizations concerning the collaborative development of a high school science curriculum.
During the discussion of Nelson’s report, Iona reminded the Board that during a NSTA meeting two or three years earlier, the largest number of sales had been canvassed for the AAPT. He did not recall the long term effects but on the short term, NSTA participants bought the AAPT materials and many joined the association. Khoury further commented that during this same meeting Arthur Eisenkraft, then President of the NSTA, had announced the presence of the AAPT at the meeting. Khoury explained that the NSTA newsletter announces the AAPT’s participation in this year’s meeting and the announcement was also printed in the Announcer.
The PTRA program has identified eleven university sites for summer workshops. Nelson explained that the university faculty provide incredible support for these PTRA centers. He was very pleased with the new PTRA pamphlet prepared by AAPT Publications Department. (Copies were distributed to Board members.)
Nelson explained that in his review of PTRA participants, many of the teachers listed themselves as cross-over teachers. He expressed that there seems to be an increase in the number of these teachers and therefore a growing need for a program to help these new teachers of physics. Along these lines, he also expressed that he was glad the AAPT was supporting the effort to revise the Active Physics curriculum.
Nelson reported that the planning for the AAPT meeting in Austin had been completed. The meeting will end early due to a reorganization of the paper sessions. The change was made to accommodate the smaller number of contributed papers submitted while maintaining the same number of papers per session. Khoury added that since the AAPT meeting would end about noon on Wednesday the Board meeting had been rescheduled to Wednesday afternoon and would adjourn about 5 PM.
Nelson expressed gratitude for the preparation of the Board packet and the posting of the Information Items on the Board’s website, saying that these efforts represented an appreciable amount of work on someone’s part
Hubisz reported that all AAPT award designees have accepted. However, Larry Martin, one of this year’s award winners, had died and the award will need to be presented posthumously.
He commented that the meeting of the Review Board was coming up and only one area committee had submitted its annual report. Hubisz will attend the meeting of the New England Section and he will be working with the APS in the preparation of a session on books for their March meeting.
Hubisz continues to receive a lot of publicity concerning the report on middle school textbooks. The Physics Today has requested an article on these books. CNN aired a five minute segment of its interview with Hubisz on Tokyo TV but unfortunately; his comments about the AAPT were cut from the segment. He also reported that his new website had already received 200,000 hits.
M.B. Monroe reported the results of the AAPT Fall elections: Richard Peterson was elected Vice-President, Chuck Stone was elected At-Large Member representing two year colleges, and Monroe was re elected as Secretary. Total number of ballots received was 2029.
The Board acted on two electronic motions made since the August meeting of the Board. (1) On August 21, 2002 Khoury and Monroe submitted the following electronic motion: The AAPT Board authorizes submission of the “Proposal for a Revision of Active Physics” to NSF. Nine of the eleven voting members responded. The vote tally was 3 yes, 4 no and 2 abstain. The motion did not pass.
(2) On September 6, 2002, Khoury and Monroe submitted the following electronic motion: The AAPT Board authorizes submission of a “Proposal for a Revision of Active Physics” to NSF. The proposal was sent to all members of the Board earlier today (September 6). (The proposal had undergone substantial revision since the failed motion of the Board in August.) All voting members responded and the vote tally was 10 yes and 1 no. The motion passed.
C. Robertson had no report at this time.
Chair of Section Representatives:
Iona had three items to report.
1. The Section Representatives elected Pat Keefe to replace Bernadine Cook as a member of the Section Reps’ Nominating Committee. Cook had requested this change.
2. At the suggestion of Bill Ploughe, the Reps are preparing an electronic survey of Section Representatives regarding their genuine concern about the disconnect between the national AAPT and the AAPT sections. The survey will be administered during the first part of December.
3. After reviewing the AAPT constitutional provisions concerning the resignation of the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Section Representatives, Iona concluded that the Section Representatives would elect a new Vice Chair during the meeting in Austin. F. Peterson as the incoming Chair of Section Reps would resign this position, thereby moving the newly elected Vice Chair into the Chair’s position. The Section Reps would then elect a Vice Chair for the second time during this same meeting. Iona will inform the Section Reps’ Nominating Committee of the necessary action to be taken in January.
Vice Chair of Section Representatives:
Peterson stated that he would cooperate with Iona in whatever manner concerning the timing of his resignation. He had no other report at this time.
(The Officers’ Reports were interrupted so that the Board could go into Executive Session I, with B. Khoury, according to the time schedule set for this meeting. Following a morning break, Chiaverina reconvened the Board into regular session.)
6. Visit by Jim Stith.
Stith, AIP Director of Physics Resources Center, referred the Board members to his report appearing in the Board packet and highlighted the following items for report.
Discoveries & Breakthroughs Inside Science: This program is moving along really well and currently has 86 stations with a goal of 90 stations set for the end of the year. (The original goal of 100 stations had been redefined since the program had not realized a projected increase in income due to the recent decline in the American economy. Despite the market situation, however, the program had maintained itself. ) In an effort to measure the impact of this program on the public, the AIP will submit a proposal to the NSF by November 15, 2002 requesting $2.6 million for 4 years to evaluate this program. Stith explained that the development of an evaluation plan to measure the impact of television programs on its viewers is charting new territory. The proposal will also request money to upgrade the know more website www.knowmore.com on which viewers can learn more about the television piece.
In response to a question from Haas, Stith explained that after the television broadcasts, some of the programs go up on the web. He would like to incorporate the programs into educational materials but has not had the time, staff, or money to make this happen. In further discussion, Stith explained that the 90 second clips are in digital format and are uploaded on satellite and then downloaded by the TV stations usually to videotape format. The ultimate goal is to make the program self-sustaining. Current costs for the production is about $400 K.
Physics Today On Line is now posted behind access control. One portion of the journal is free and is put up outside the access control site. Stith reported that this tease mechanism is working and the web traffic to the electronic journal is increasing. The market for this journal is very large as evidenced by the large number of Sigma Pi Sigma members who do not subscribe to physics journals.
The Industrial Physicist continues to struggle. Stith reported that this was a terrible year from the advertising point of view. However, AIP is doing better than competitors. Stith expressed that he continues to believe that the journal will eventually be a profit making venture since approximately 50 K readers are new to AIP and are not members of the AIP Societies or readers of Physics Today.
In additional comments, Fehrs commented that her students really enjoyed Early Careers of Physics Bachelors. Stith stated that he was pleased with its success and a second piece would be available in May.
In response to a question from Iona concerning budget, Stith explained that the Physics Resources Center uses about $10 M a year for its publications and tries to realize an equal amount in revenue. The PT journal costs about $6 M a year to produce. Each society pays the AIP about $4.61 per member; of this, $2.61 goes to the PT. The AIP realizes about $600 K a year from dues. He explained that the PT does realize an annual deficit with AIP subsidizing the loss from revenue realized from grants, publishing and advertising sales.
Stith concluded his report to the Board stating that the AIP enjoys a good relationship with the AAPT and expressed the hope that the AAPT would avail itself of services provided by AIP to its member societies.
7. Continuation of Officers’ Reports.
Khoury highlighted the following items from his report included as Tab IE in the Board Packet.
He explained that due to the New Faculty Workshop overlapping the meeting of the Executive Board, the Board was meeting in the conference room of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, which is larger than the AAPT conference room. Holbrow moved, and Robertson seconded, that the Executive Officer write a letter to the AAPM expressing the Board’s thanks and gratitude. The motion passed.
The AAPT Executive Office had obtained a verbal deal, to be confirmed later in writing, with Ztek concerning the production of Cinema Classics on DVD format. By this agreement, the AAPT will commit $50 K for the front end contribution and Ztek will give the association a royalty stream over the next few years. The Classics will be produced on 6 DVDs. In response to a question from Holbrow, Khoury explained that the AAPT has the copyright on the materials but Ztek owns the accompanying teacher’s guide. The contract will provide an exit clause that would insure that the AAPT would get the materials back if Ztek were not making a good faith effort to produce or sell the products.
The selling price for the DVDs will be $999 for the set and AAPT members will be able to purchase the set for $799. Individual DVDs will sell for $199 with AAPT members paying $159. The AAPT will advertise the availability of the new product with Ztek. Robertson explained that according to Hein, the AAPT would recover its money with the first 200 sales and a sale of 1200 sets is anticipated over the next 10 years. Holbrow inquired how the association monitored sales. Khoury explained that in the past, the AAPT assumed the report from Ztek to be accurate but the AAPT could send an independent accountant to monitor the company’s books.
Khoury reminded the Board that as the association was incorporated in New York and, in accord with the law of that state, the association could not use electronic ballots in its elections. Hubisz stated that TIAA-CREF uses electronic balloting and it was his belief that the firm was incorporated in New York. Khoury agreed to check into this.
In response to a question from Fehrs, Khoury stated that a session on Advanced Placement physics was not planned for Austin, but one may be developed for the meeting in Madison.
Khoury reminded the Board that the U.S. Physics Olympiad team had not participated in the international competition in the summer due to the political unrest in Indonesia and the advice from the U.S. State Department. Considering the recent shootings in Bali hindsight seemed to support this caution. Next year’s competition is scheduled for Taipei, Taiwan and plans are being made for the team to participate in this event.
Khoury announced that new auditors have been hired. These auditors have experience in working with organizations with NSF awards. Fran Smith, AAPT Director of Accounting, explained that she was working closely with the auditors and found them to ask really good, insightful questions not asked by the previous auditors. Overall, she expressed pleasure with their performance.
The AAPT has received raving compliments concerning its High School Photo Contest and the poster displaying the winning entries. The poster of photos will be included in the TPT and the photos will also be featured in a 2003 calendar. The Membership Department was still contemplating how to best distribute the calendars. The APS has expressed an interest in publishing the photos and that request will be explored further.
Negotiations are occurring for the AAPT to have a future joint meeting with the Acoustical Society. The most likely date appears to be in June 2006. Holbrow reminded Khoury that the Board felt the latter part of June would be the best time for AAPT members.
Khoury is negotiating with the NSF to determine if the new award of funding for the New Faculty Workshop would pay for the Workshop held by the AAPT ten months earlier. NSF normally allows a request for expenses incurred three months prior to the award. However, in this case, the announcement of awards was delayed and the AAPT had held the workshop in anticipation of funding from the NSF.
The National Task Force for Undergraduate Physics (NTFUP) will meet in Dallas December 7-8. The Task Force had received a supplemental grant for $8 K from ExxonMobil to support the travel for 10-12 representatives from the Hispanic and Black physicists’ societies. The Task Force would like to determine how to improve the recruitment and retention of these minorities into physics programs.
Due to the delay by NSF in announcing an award of funding to the AAPT for the Calculus-based Physics Conference, the association had to cancel hotel reservations made for that meeting. As a result, the hotel sent the AAPT a bill for $35 K, which is 75% of the full cost. Khoury explained that after intense discussions with the hotel management, the penalty had been waived. Since that time, the NSF has announced funding for the grant and it is very likely that the AAPT will use the same hotel for the conference.
A second conference of the 25 chairs of elite universities will be held in April 2003 at the ACP. This effort is being led by Paul Leath of Rutgers University. Khoury will check into a possible overlap of this meeting with the regular Departmental Chairs’ conference.
Khoury had conversations with Bertha Dresden, widow of Max Dresden, about possible candidates for the Dresden Lecture scheduled for the Madison meeting. She had suggested Jack Marlberger, Presidential Science Advisor, adding that he was a friend of the Dresdens. Khoury will explore this option.
The AAPT will be the sole supporter of the Physics Bowl competitions this year as the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation had withdrawn its support during the past year. However, Khoury explained that while the association will provide gifts to the winners it cannot afford to provide the $22 K in scholarships.
In June 2002, the NSF awarded funding to the AAPT for Strategic Programs in Undergraduate Physics at Two Year Colleges (SPIN-UP/TYC) in the amount of $270 K for 18 months. During the term of the project, approximately ten site visits to two year colleges will be conducted and a nation-wide survey will be conducted for the purpose of identifying and describing exemplary practices at two year colleges.
Monroe, a PI of the project, reported that a site selection instrument had been produced to serve as a primary indicator in the identification of thriving physics programs at community colleges. Letters were mailed to all TYC presidents and physics faculty, along with email blasts to TYC faculty who are members of AAPT, to submit the questionnaire for the project’s consideration. To date about 64 responses had been received and three sites had been identified for visitation, with one scheduled to occur before the Christmas holiday. About four more sites would be identified by January and the last sites would be identified in early Spring.
In addition, the three PIs for SPIN-UP/TYC (Tom O’Kuma, Warren Hein and Monroe) were working with Mike Neuschatz, AIP Statistics Division, in the preparation of the AIP survey. The survey will be administered by the AIP to about 250 TYC campuses in the country, thereby helping to insure a high response rate. Target date for the survey was set at late Winter.
(Chiaverina convened the Board into Executive Session with B. Khoury. Following this session the members of the Board joined the participants and staff of the NFW for lunch. The President reconvened the meeting of the Board after lunch.)
9. 2003 Preliminary Budget Assumptions.
Robertson reviewed the proposed AAPT budget for 2003 and the assumptions made in its preparation (See Board Packet Tab IIA). He commented that the major change in the budget reflected the award of funding for ComPADRE.
Hein added that the 2003 budget provided for more AAPT involvement at future NSTA meetings. Each meeting is expected to cost the association about $10 K in travel and staff housing. Iona asked Hein to clarify Budget Assumption 2, “Professional fee expenses will increase due to Phase Two of the Assessment Survey”. Hein explained that in Phase 1, members were surveyed and during Phase 2 prospective members will be surveyed. The cost for the first phase was $6 K. AIP will administer the second survey.
Fehrs asked about Budget Assumption 7 and the meaning of “table fees”. C. Heimpel explained that the Boise campus did not have the space to accommodate exhibit booths, so tables were used instead. The Madison meeting will accommodate booth space and consequently the AAPT will charge booth rates, thereby increasing the summer exhibit income.
Tobochnik asked for an explanation of the $150 K increase in budget expense for AJP. The AAPT will realize some increases due to changes in the editorial office, publishing services, online journal services and indirect costs of about $70 K. However these items did not explain the total increase reported. Hein and Robertson will investigate this further and report back to the Board.
In discussion of meetings, Iona pointed out that the AAPT normally loses money on its meetings even though the association realized income on the Boise meeting. Robertson noted that the losses from meetings are getting smaller. Heimpel projected a smaller attendance for the Austin meeting from the Boise meeting but believes the attendance in Madison will be larger.
Hein also noted that the AAPT put more money into savings that it withdrew.
Robertson moved that the Executive Board accept the Budget Assumptions for 2003. Holbrow seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The Executive Board will formally consider the 2003 Budget during its January meeting.
10. Comments on the Budget.
Haas explained that she had asked that this item be put on the Board agenda out of concern that the Board may be approving expenditures without sufficient thought concerning where the money will come from. The recent actions of the Board, in her opinion, seem to suggest two problems: (1) the Board is overspending its defined budget and (2) The Board is not tracking approved expenditures deviating from the adopted budget. She advised the Board members to exercise caution when considering new expenditures. Holbrow agreed that the preparation of a budget does reflect budget discipline but when the Board readily spends money, its members weaken this discipline. Robertson expressed that AAPT accounting does provide the necessary tracking of the expenditures and budget security.
11. Investment Advisory Committee Report.
Robertson distributed to the Board members the November 8, 2002 Report of the AAPT Investment Advisory Committee. The Committee recommended that
1. The AAPT withdraw its investments from Legg Mason and that these monies be transferred to TIAA-CREF where the AAPT already has a long term investment. Two reasons were cited: (1) Legg Mason continues to give the association errors and inconsistencies in its reports even after the difficulties were brought to the attention of the account representative at Legg Mason; and (2) Legg Mason has higher rates than TIAA-CREF.
2. The Executive Board authorize the Treasurer to open an investment account with Vanguard. Robertson explained that the AAPT was seeking a proposal from Vanguard in the next month specifically addressing the recommendations for the association’s investment based on the AAPT investment policy. If the proposal revealed that Vanguard would be competitive in fee structure and recommendations, the Treasurer would invest long-term money equally in TIAA-CREF and Vanguard.
Robertson reported that according to policy, the Board had to approve amounts to be transferred into or out of the long-term reserve. On behalf of the Investment Committee Robertson moved that the Board remove the word “into” while preserving the words “out of” in this statement of policy. The motion passed unanimously.
Subsequently, Robertson moved that the AAPT Board accept the Committee’s Recommendations 1 and 2, described above. He clarified that the Board does not need to authorize transfers between long-term accounts. The motion passed unanimously.
12. Technology Upgrades.
Hein referred the Board to the Web Services Update Memo included in the Board Packet (Tab IIF.) He explained that due to the anticipated growth of visits to the AAPT website projected by Jennifer Greenfield, the AAPT Web Service Manager, and an increasing threat from hackers within ACP, they felt it necessary to revise the original hardware request that was previously approved by the Board for 2002.
Last year, the Board authorized an expenditure of 13 K to purchase a new server to accommodate the new content management system. The money was used, however to purchase two new servers that will be used in a configuration designed to balance the web load. Consequently a CommonSpot supplemental license was purchased at a cost of $10,500 using ComPADRE grant funds.
Web services recommended that the Board authorize an expenditure of $33.5 K to purchase a “backend” SQL database server that will reside behind the firewall and communicate with the two servers hosting the content management system along with two CPUs (PowerEdge 6650) that can be upgraded to four CPUs at a later date. In addition the web services department requested approval for the purchase of a rack peripherals package at a cost of $2,300. (These prices include significant educational discounts.) Hein also pointed out that the hardware would be depreciated over a period of three years with an approximate monthly budget impact of $1,000.
In discussion of the recommendation, Holbrow asked if any purchases could be charged to the digital library grant. Hein stated that $10.5 K would be used to purchase a slave license agreement, workstations for two new employees and a metadata base, as well as an additional annual license fee of $1,000.
Robertson and Holbrow moved that the Board authorize $33.5 K for the recommended purchase of hardware and software described in the Memo. The motion passed unanimously. Khoury explained that this would be a capital expenditure, which is not currently in the AAPT budget. The purchase will be depreciated over the next three years and will be reflected as an expense in the associational budget. The new equipment will replace four year old equipment, which had been crashing.
13. Proposal for Active Physics Workshops.
Khoury presented to the Board a request from Arthur Eisenkraft for the AAPT to provide financial support (travel and a partial stipend for his time) for several workshops he is planning to offer to urban school districts (San Diego, Brooklyn, Prince George, and Boston) that have adopted or are considering adoption of the Active Physics curriculum. The request from Eisenkraft was for $23,500 and he suggested that the money be drawn from the royalties already received by the association from prior sales of the books.
Khoury proposed that if the Board granted the request from Eisenkraft the money could be drawn from royalties that are likely to be earned during the next two to three years. Alternatively, if the NSF funds the proposed revision of the curriculum the requested money could possibly be considered as matching money. In addition it was pointed out that it was possible to charge to the grant expenses incurred within 90 days prior to the award; however the decision date for the award was not known.
Rice asked if support were being offered to teachers who use the curriculum. Khoury replied that both the PTRA and It’s About Time have conducted some workshops for teachers. He added that Eisenkraft’s request is really addressing how the AAPT is using the royalties from the sale of the curriculum. Holbrow expressed concern that Eisenkraft was telling the organization that the AAPT has to fund the proposed workshops since the AAPT is endorsing the materials. Rice and Nelson both stated that while the workshops are good ideas, the editor is not the only mechanism to provide the necessary training for teachers. Monroe also expressed concern that financial support for the workshops would imply AAPT’s endorsement of a curriculum product in competition with other texts, such as those by Hewitt.
Haas moved that the Board deny the request to fund these workshops. The motion failed for lack of a second. Holbrow and Haas then moved to table the discussion of the request until the January meeting. Following further discussion of the request, the motion was withdrawn. Peterson then moved, with a second from Rice, that the Board say No to Eisenkraft’s request. The motion passed with the vote tally of 10 yes, 1 no. Khoury will prepare a letter to Eisenkraft reporting the action of the Board and incorporating the comments of its members and will send a draft of the letter to the Board members for their consideration. Khoury explained that if Eisenkraft should call him before the letter was prepared, he would report the Board’s action to the editor and explain that he would receive a letter reporting the discussion of the Board.
14. Committee for Commercial Ventures.
Iona moved that the Board create a committee to develop a policy for the association’s involvement in commercial ventures. He explained that the AAPT had a investment policy and likewise the AAPT should have a policy guiding its activities with commercial companies, such as It’s About Time and Ztek. Nelson seconded the motion. The motion passed with 10 yes and 1 no. The President appointed C. Holbrow and M. Fehrs to serve on the committee and would complete the appointments at a later date.
15. AJP Back Issues.
Tobochnik reported that the American Journal of Physics (AJP) had received many requests for back articles and how they could get these articles online. In addition reviewers report the submission of new articles that were published some years earlier. Tobochnik expressed that potential authors could research online issues more easily that paper copies. In addition some of the back issues have valuable information not available to many current readers. He also opined that articles published in AJP today perhaps would be improved by better referencing to the older articles.
Tobochnik referred the Board members to a proposal prepared by Sina Kniseley included in the Board Packet (Tab IIE). The proposal contained a ballpark quote for the installation of AJP back files. The quote was broken into two parts. Phase I would install back issues from 1975-1998 by January 2004 at a cost of approximately $25,000. Phase II would install back issues from 1933-1974 by January 2005 at an estimated cost of $48,000. The second phase would require more time since the files for this time frame are not in electronic format, necessitating the creation of electronic records for this issue. Following the completion of both phases, AJP expenses would increase by slightly more than $9,000 annually, making it necessary to increase subscription prices. The proposal recommended that this be accomplished as an on-going increase rather than a one-time charge.
Haas asked if the expenses could be paid by the digital library grant. Hein commented that this is not covered by the proposal and Kniseley explained that were the grant to pay for this action, the other involved societies would also want the grant to put their journals online. Fehrs spoke in favor of the proposal stating that her students prefer to research online rather than going to the library. Kniseley explained that a research mechanism would be made available, which will allow readers to search by title, author and subject. However, Kniseley advised the Board members that the major costs to the organization would be the maintenance of the archives in light of rapidly changing technology. She also pointed out that at some point the AAPT will need to decide how the archives would be made available to readers who terminate their subscriptions.
Tobochnik moved, and Fehrs seconded, that the Board authorize the $75 K expenditure to convert AJP back files from 1933 to 1998 to online and the increase in institutional subscription fees to recover these expenses. The motion passed.
(Chiaverina recessed the Board until Sunday morning. At 8:01 AM, the President reconvened the Board into Executive Session II, without B. Khoury. Following Executive Session II, the meeting was reconvened in open session.)
16. Planning Initiatives.
Khoury explained that this item was placed on the agenda as a reminder of the strategic goals the Board had adopted. Many of the items were scheduled for discussion later in the agenda.
Monroe asked about the status of the Task Force on Standards. Hubisz stated that the committee’s assignment had been completed with the submission of the report to NSTA. Rice and Nelson explained that the AAPT report to the NSTA addressed teacher preparation standards and it was their opinion that the AAPT task force was assigned to address student standards. Holbrow added that he thought the task force would develop activities or guidelines that would help the AAPT advise teachers how to address the standards as well as review state standards. Hubisz reported that he had created a website which reported the state standards.
General discussion then followed concerning how the AAPT could best help teachers implement their state standards. Nelson expressed that an AAPT generated document could possibly help eliminate errors in the standards adopted by states such as Florida. Khoury explained that the AAPT had made several unsuccessful efforts to develop commentary on the state standards prior to the development of the national science standards. Nelson opined that the AAPT should possibly produce a document describing the goals of physics education and how teachers could meet these goals. Hubisz suggested that teachers need exit goals.
Holbrow expressed that the AAPT could help teachers on the implementation of the standards, by becoming a presence in a select set of states. He suggested that possibly the AAPT could prepare a proposal for the AAPT to work with the teachers in one state as an experiment to see if the association could affect a way to address the standards. Khoury responded by citing the activities within the Texas Section and the frustration the teachers expressed during the March 2002 meeting in trying to address the new state standards. He did not think that the association should go into Texas and tell the teachers how to do this. Chiaverina closed discussion of this topic, asking the members to revisit the issue at a future meeting.
17. Conference on Introductory Calculus-Based Physics.
Khoury informed the Board that plans for the Conference on Introductory Calculus-based Physics have resumed, following a couple of postponements, since the announcement of an award of funding from the NSF. The conference will probably be held in October 2003. Bob Beichner and Ramon Lopez will lead the effort under the umbrella of the NTFUP. It is anticipated that about 200 faculty will attend the conference. L. Jossem advised the project leaders to review the conference on undergraduate physics held at RPI as a possible model. In response to a question from Iona Khoury said the goal of the conference was to inform teachers that there are other ways to teach this course rather than with just traditional texts such as Halliday and Resnick. The conference will share ideas concerning teaching innovations for this level of physics. Hein contributed that the AAPT needs to encourage the project directors to publish proceedings of this conference, which will require that speakers produce their paper abstracts before the meeting. The conference will be widely publicized and participants will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis.
18. Guidelines for Elected Officers.
During the Board meeting in Boise, Khoury had presented to the members a document reviewing the status of the occasional efforts by the AAPT to provide support, financial and otherwise, to elected officers. Therefore in an effort to help bring closure to the earlier discussion, he prepared a motion containing what he felt to be the consensus of the opinions expressed by the Board members.
“The AAPT Executive Board expresses its general support for the July 19, 2002 statement entitled, “Guidelines for Support of Elected Officers”. Consistent with that statement, the Board authorizes the Treasurer and the Executive Officer to work together to negotiate, on a case-by-case basis, an arrangement for AAPT to provide financial support to a school or other employer of an elected officer in order to obtain released time for that elected officer. In general, any such financial support will be limited to a maximum of 25% of the full salary. Final approval of such an arrangement requires an affirmative action by the full Executive Board.”
In subsequent discussion of the motion, Fehrs expressed that the issue is one really encountered by the nominating committee, as it is this committee that convinces the members to run for office. She feels that this matter is a tricky one and that 25% is a lot of money. Fehrs felt that the negotiation had to occur before the person is elected. Holbrow also expressed a problem with the 25%. He did not feel that the Board should put itself into a position to vote against the 25%, which could be interpreted as the Board rejecting the elected officer. Haas commented that if this support were given to one person, it would become an expectation that the same support would be given to everyone. The general consensus among the Board members was that they could not support this motion and that the issue is best resolved by helping the nominating committee to communicate the obligations and time commitment of the officers’ positions. No action was taken.
(During the break Hein distributed to Board members copies of the publication, “Preparing Future Faculty”, which describes a three-year NSF project involving four pilot colleges. The booklet will be distributed to all U.S. graduate physics departments.)
19. PER Publication Modes.
Khoury reminded the Board that the AAPT has made a commitment to publish PER articles. Originally these articles were published as a Supplement to the AJP. However presently the AJP publishes the articles in a PER section edited by Joe Redish. The section appears twice a year devoting approximately 64 pages of the AJP to PER articles annually. However it is anticipated that the number of pages in AJP will not be adequate in the near future. Therefore Tobochnik and Khoury asked Redish to meet with the Board in preliminary discussion concerning alternate publication venues for the PER articles.
Redish expressed his thanks for being asked to visit with the Board and to discuss this matter. He expressed that there is an increasing number of young people in the PER community who as junior faculty will be seeking promotion based on publication. Not all of these can publish within the AJP and Redish reported that he had been working with many of these to find alternate publication venues such as education journals. However articles published in the education journals will not reach the physics community. Generally it takes about two years for the young faculty to get published in the AJP and this is too long. Redish reported that in 1999 he had 18 submissions of PER articles, in 2001 he had 17 and for 2002 he had 21 submissions, with 16 manuscripts still in process. He suggested that an alternate publication mode might be an electronic format.
Robertson asked Redish if electronic publications were considered for tenure promotion. Redish responded that universities were accepting electronic publications as a consideration for faculty promotion, but the difficulty was that the PER community did not have the historical record like the AJP. He expressed that if the AAPT somehow could connect the electronic publication of PER with the AJP, it might give the publications the type of prestige acceptable in tenure considerations. A related issue concerns who would be able to read the electronic publication (e-publication). Tobochnik expressed that an electronic journal with a search mechanism and an advisory board would help to improve the academic respect for the e-publication. Robertson added that a second associated issue dealt with sustainability. Khoury noted that the APS has a special section of PhysRev for Accelerators and Beams published online with the support of the major laboratories. The section publishes refereed articles under the halo of PhysRev.
In discussion concerning how the AAPT would financially support the e-publication, F. Peterson pointed out that the AAPT and the APS make money on its journals. In clarification Robertson explained that the AAPT income is based on library subscriptions, which has been decreasing. He felt that possibly an e-journal for PER would not attract library subscriptions. Khoury contributed that most surviving e-journals are spin offs of paper copies. The reputation of the journal is established through the paper copy but it is not clear to him how the AAPT could transfer the economics of the publication from the paper copy to the e-version, although he anticipates that readers will move from paper to electronic copies. Khoury added that libraries would like the e-journal for online access.
The AJP journal would not exclude articles from the PER community but these AJP published articles would have a different character than those in the PER journal. Redish explained that the PER community was interested in making the articles accessible to high school teachers.
Khoury proposed that it might be useful for about 10 leaders in the PER community to get together in Austin to try to have a focused discussion concerning the future publication of PER articles. Tobochnik liked the idea but was hesitant to convene the meeting as this might imply a definite move by the Board to publish the PER articles in an electronic journal. Khoury stressed that the meeting should be convened, possibly by Redish and L. McDermott, merely as a preliminary discussion to explore what would constitute appropriate publication modes for PER articles when the 64 pages in the AJP were no longer adequate. Redish concurred with this thought adding that it was important to maintain open lines of communication among members of the PER, physics, physics education and education communities. Khoury also suggested that virtual publications might be an option to explore, which would enhance the dissemination of PER information without increasing the number of PER published articles. Redish reported that he had discussed this possibility with J, Stith during the summer and had received initial support for the idea.
Holbrow then asked Redish if the PER authors wanted a publication mode which did not have refereed articles. Redish expressed that he did not like this option as he had found the process of scanning all journals as a grad student very time consuming. He added that non refereed publications did not count for tenure. Redish favored the virtual journal model having one editor with a board of advisors representing diverse but related fields, thereby broadening the scope of the papers referenced.
In closing, Tobochnik stated that the AJP is almost at the 64 page limit for PER articles. It was generally agreed that these discussions would continue.
20. Report on Publications in Support of High School Physics.
Rice reported that the High School Guidelines had been published and Khoury distributed copies of the new booklet. She reminded the Board that it had asked her to poll the High School Committee during the Boise meeting as to what documents (possibly new documents or rewritten versions of existing documents) the members believed would best serve the needs of the general high school community. During the Austin meeting she will ask the Committee to develop an overall vision and designate a point person from the high school community to oversee the development process for the proposed documents. Rice will report her findings to the Publications Committee and to the Executive Board for discussion and possible modification. She added that the $1500 stipend appropriated for the editors of the High School Guidelines had not been given, as there were a large number of members involved in the revision. Therefore the Committee suggested that the money be used instead to convene a meeting of 5 high school faculty to work on the revision of the course content document.
In her report to the Board (See Board Packet, Tab IIIE), Rice described the background of the high school guidelines books including, the AAPT Guidelines for High School Physics Programs, Course Content in High School Physics, and The Role, Education and Qualifications of the High School Physics Teacher, as well potential new publications targeting often asked questions.
Hein commented that he would like to see these activities connected to the PhysTEC project because the collaborative program has the interest and available money. Rice responded that the high school committee was willing to work with PhysTEC on this vision.
21. Area Chairs Meeting in Austin.
Holbrow referred the Board to the Agenda for the Area Chairs’ Meeting in Austin included in the Board packet (Tab IIIG). He explained that the meeting would have a breakout session similar to the one in Philadelphia. One possible topic for discussion in the breakout groups could address how the AAPT might be more active in making connections with its sub communities and as outreach to physics labs and different professional societies. He invited Board members to send him their reactions to the agenda and discussion ideas for the breakout groups during the next week.
22. 2003 Appointments to AIP & Other External Committees.
Chiaverina asked for Board member suggestions for AAPT nominations for the 2003 AIP Committees and Subcommittees as described in the letter from the AIP Secretary (See Board packet, Tab III J.) He explained that Hubisz is a member of the AIP Committee on Committees that will make the appointments to these committees. The AAPT is only one of many organizations that will submit nominations to the AIP Secretary. The following nominations were made by the Board at this time: Advisory Committee on Physics Education, Steve Iona; Liaison Committee on Physics Education, Tom O’Kuma; Committee on Publishing Policy, Chuck Robertson; the Megger Award Committee, Larry Badar, C. Chiaverina, and Ron Unruh; and The Industrial Physicist, Chuck Robertson. Chiaverina asked the Board members to complete their suggestions to him by email before the December 20 deadline. Monroe, as AAPT Secretary, will transmit the AAPT nominations to the AIP Secretary.
In additional action regarding AIP governance, Robertson moved that Jim Nelson be appointed as one of the four AAPT representatives to the AIP Governing Board, replacing Hubisz who will be retiring from the AAPT Board in January 2003. Fehrs seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Chiaverina explained to the Board that he would not be able to attend the 2003 meetings of the AIP Governing Board and asked that incoming Vice-President Dick Peterson be appointed in his stead. Holbrow and Robertson moved that the Board appoint D. Peterson as a replacement for Chiaverina during the 2003 AIP Governing Board meetings, contingent upon D. Peterson’s acceptance of the appointment. The motion passed.
23. Review of AAPT Examinations.
In action taken by the AAPT Board during its meeting in Boise, the members acted on the recommendation from the Publications Committee that the AAPT resume the five-year review process for the AAPT journals. The review schedule approved by the Board included reviews to be conducted in 2003 for the AAPT Announcer and the AAPT Examinations. Khoury explained that the AAPT no longer publishes high school exams for sale and that the organization currently only prepares exams for the Physics Bowl competition and the Physics Olympiad. He opined, then, that it was not appropriate to conduct a review of the examinations. Haas moved that the review of the AAPT Examinations not be conducted. Robertson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Future related questions to be addressed by the Board will include the need for a possible review of the two competition events and the appropriateness of the Exams Editor to serve as a member of the Publications Committee.
24. Qualifications of At-Large Members.
Monroe explained that she was asked to present a concern to the Board on behalf of Tom O’Kuma. He and some other TYC faculty were concerned that the two candidates for the Two Year College At-Large Member during the recent AAPT elections were not two year college faculty. When the candidates accepted the nominations, they were teaching at two year colleges but each had resigned their positions during the summer and was now teaching at four year institutions. At the present time the Constitution and By-Laws have no defined qualifications for any of the three elected At-Large Members serving on the Executive Board. Therefore O’Kuma recommended that the Board adopt new By-Laws, which would require the three At-Large Members to be teaching faculty from each of the traditionally represented communities (High School, Four Year College and Two Year College). In addition he recommended that the Board adopt a policy whereby if an At-Large Member lost this eligibility after accepting nomination or during his/her term on the Board, that a new election be held during the next regular Fall elections to fill the position for the remaining term of the resigning Board member.
Chiaverina expressed that such action would have broad implications extending to those Board members who retired from teaching during their term on the Board. Other members of the Board expressed their belief that the change in teaching position did not affect the candidates’ ability to represent the two year college community, particularly as the elected candidate would serve as an ex officio member of the two year college committee. The Board members agreed that no action was necessary and asked Monroe to convey this response to O’Kuma.
Nelson moved, and Fehrs seconded, that the meeting adjourn. The motion passed and the President adjourned the meeting.
Mary Beth Monroe, AAPT Secretary