S-USIH Minutes 2.1.2012

Minutes of S-USIH excomm meeting      February 1, 2012

Minutes: insert “invited” in relation to Ronnie Greenberg under Ben’s section in the minutes

Minutes approved


Andrew: ad hoc membership committee wait until later in meeting (see below)

Mike: started IRS forms for non-profit status, 26 pages long, promises to get it done by May, we have 18 months until we need to submit

Ray: will discuss issues related to elections and website under other items

Ben: invitations went out for new bloggers; blog expansion coming.

David: CFP out January 31, 2012; hard time to get dates secured with CUNY; either we pay for rooms which will be expensive or put in a request now for the conference in 2013.  We are stuck because we don’t have a new conference chair; CUNY reluctant to put in request earlier in the past, but more willing now.  Reservation for Friday night is in jeopardy; took 3 months to get confirmation of rooms with CUNY—November 1 and 2 but not Friday night yet.  Hopeful to get that soon.

Book Prize

David: 5 to 3 on committee.  Laying out how the committee should work might want to be less detailed.  We need the publisher to send books straight away.  Friendly amendments all.

Ben: Copies of books—request copies of the books considered.  Need to get copies of the book to the members of the committee.  IF you nominate a book that number of copies needs to be sent to the committee.

Mike: Fine

Mike: discussion of numbers of members

Andrew: three is fine.

Discussion of what the committee should do.  The criteria is the best book in US intellectual history by a member of the society

Remove the process.

Mike: move to accept the proposal with revisions

Motion passes by a unanimous vote.  Revisions forthcoming in the next day.

Election Process

Motion passes by a unanimous vote.  Elections process approved as written.

Ben: Not in our bylaws, we need to put this into the bylaws

Modify budget for website

Discuss revision and expense: see email with bids

Ray: will get to work on the website over the next month with Curtis Billue and will do the website for under $2000; the problem with the other bids is that we do not have and will not have access to enough money to make them viable alternatives.

Ben: email History and New Media—what do we need as a new organization?

David: approved modified budget

Andrew: second

Motion passes by unanimous vote.

Five year plan

David: we need much more development in all points of the proposal; loans are difficult because we have no collateral

Ben: e-journal through upress or not—what is the future of e-journals; we need to answer these questions

Andrew: agree with spirit of both the plan and comments—need further clarification on creating an actual plan; lifetime membership is an interesting idea and could bring need cash

Mike: lifetime members would not give money after the initial gift

Ben: strategic planning in a two step process and dedicate meetings to this; have a phone call this spring about the plan; pose specific questions;

Andrew: should we create an ad hoc committee

Ben: should we create a formal committee

David: leave the creation of the committee until we understand what the committee will do; the org is a conference delivery vehicle; it might grow into a journal delivery vehicle;

Mike: the main area we need to grow is in membership—how do we increase the numbers of members

Ben: why would someone join if they weren’t in the conference?  All items are related—anything donated is tax-deductible; need affiliations with AHA and OAH; relationship to book publishing; should not merely be a conference delivery vehicle; foundations do give money to do the kind of thing that we want to do; we might get money to meet over a weekend to develop a full-blown strategic plan

David: supports a strategic planning meeting

Mike: questions posed for that meeting prior to the call

Andrew: submit questions to him for this meeting.  Refine by email and prepared prior to discussion.

Motion to table proposal passed unanimously

Gender workstudy group

David: worried about forming an ad hoc committee with a graduate study as chair; questions are at a level not specific to a scholarly society; what is the problem that this proposal seeks to solve?  Will vote against this proposal.  No intention to sponsor a white paper

Mike: agrees. Society needs to drive the process

Ben: two issues—not a proposal for a white paper that the org can do now; however societies do things like this so we should investigate doing something like this in the future.  Can’t sponsor a white paper at this moment.

Andrew: agrees with other sentiments but is concerned that by rejecting the proposal we don’t deal with the situation the proposal suggests.

David: the society is intellectually sound regarding gender, as is the conference.  We are not accepting white papers at this time.

Motion to reject the proposal passed unanimously

Membership Committee

Andrew: recruiting people to post on the blog; tailor flier on the org to be distributed at conferences, etc.; want to survey the membership

Mike and David: see the questions before it’s sent out

Andrew: will get the questions


David: any ideas regarding dates and times for the conference. Should we set dates for 2013 now at least as a reservation?

Mike:  but that might cause problems with the next chair

David: June is better that the fall for scheduling the conference; conference is dependent on the goodwill of an institution does not need us—we have gotten the rooms for free!

Mike: we never asked for rooms before the fall before.

Andrew: how much would we be hurting our relationship with CUNY if we cancelled reservations in June by the new chair if we made those reservations now?

Ben: we charge too little for the conference and we don’t pay for rooms like all other orgs; we need to figure out the cost of the conferences; has our elections cycle made it difficult to plan and reserve the space?  If a conference chair is elected for a two year term then year 1 is taken up with location and year 2 is take up with organizing

David: elect conference chair in different ways or with different responsibilities than it is right now

Mike: buddle amendments and bylaw into the elections so we can settle the issue of the conference chair

Andrew: future conference call excom meetings to include separate discussion of development and amendments to constitution (including conference chair duties)

Motion to adjourn, seconded.  Meeting ended, 12:30pm EST