S-USIH MINUTES 8.3.2011
S-USIH Meeting Minutes, August 2, 2011
Conference Call 10am-11:45.
- Department Reports
Andrew: president’s report
PR burst once the conference program is up
Contact media—traditional and newer
Mentioned the potential advertising but that will cost something
Acknowledged that it would not be wise to plan a budget that will use all or more of our funds
Andrew will hold off on publicity until budget is more secure
Ben asked if we are thinking of becoming an affiliate society
Ben: affiliate society requires a session at a conference
Ben suggested HNN and other on-line venues for publicity
Two ad-hoc committees: membership (James) graduate student (Julian—report on jobs; David Weinfield—research conducted by grad students)
Update on number of members—31 as of August 3, 2011
What do we want to with e-commerce
Mike: not too concerned with the e-commerce is too expensive in comparison to what we need to the money to do
Website needs to look good and needs to work well
Ben: consider affiliation with an institution
Check into the Marian help with setting up the website, webhosting, maintenance, e-commerce
Ray will introduce hard figures to the excom before moving toward a contract
Time is of the essence
$1,003.20 in treasury
Incorporated in IN
Tax-free status: we are NOT officially tax-free
We are in the process of filing for this status, but we have not sent the paperwork to the IRS
IRS could take many months to assign this status for the society
$300 for the application—not certain this is an annual fee
Report on publications
Committee is Ben and Tim
New member on the team—
Wants to the newsletter the priority
Email membership for the new position on the team
Did not get a response to the ad
Blog going well—Smithsonian offer
Digital Humanities NEH program, but need to be a non-profit
Look into how the digital media can create new possibilities
Working on newsletter
Physical at the conference, all others PDFs
Newsletter quarterly, possibly and will see how the physical newsletter goes
Content: Remarks from president; report on conference from Mike; report from David on next conference; report from publications committee and perhaps a solicitation for a new member; Paul might put together a brief history of the society; look back at 2010 conference volume; material from the blog to fill out the newsletter. All content by earlier November.
Logo for the society by November 1—need to commit to something like this.
Intellectual property requires buying the licensing of the logo
Ray will ask Marian Graphic Design department to do a logo for S-USIH
Solicit ads for the newsletter in the future
Not much to report other than Allison Perlman will be on the conference committee for 2012
Considering location—likely to be back at CUNY
Considering theme: power; vocabularies; intellect/culture; Louis Menand (keynote)
Plenaries: hoping to broaden the identities
Ben suggested USIH from abroad
Vote on budget today
Andrew will not spend money until we have it.
Once we approve the budget, we can negotiate entering contract for the budget by departments, including the website
Move to waive Robert’s Rules
Vote: First contingency—if the website needs more money then it comes out of the president’s fund.
Vote on Budget
Estimate to Andrew to update the budget.
3. Constitutional Changes and Bylaws
* [Alteration to Article III, Section 3] Replace “Treasury” with “Treasurer.” TYPO SHOULD BE CHANGED
* [Addition to Article III, Section 3] Add to end of section: “The Treasurer shall also be responsible for ensuring that the Society is in compliance with all state and federal laws and policies relating to incorporation, taxation and other financial matters.”
RESPONSIBILITIES SHOULD BE ENUMERATED IN THE CONSTITUTION
* [Addition to Article III, Section 4] Add to end of section: “The Secretary shall also be responsible for maintenance of the Society’s web page.” This is a formalization of how things appear to stand now, but I actually think we need to talk about this. If the publications chair runs the blog (and now our facebook page) it seems to make sense that he/she should also run the website. But whatever we decide, that responsibility needs to be in the constitution.
BEN AND RAY AGREE THAT THE SECRETARY SHOULD MAINTAIN WEBSITE
* [Addition: Proposed as Article II, Section III] “Members are presumed to be in good standing unless specifically determined to be otherwise for behavior detrimental to the goals of the Society. Members held not to be in good standing may, at the discretion of the Secretary, be ejected from the Society for any length of time, with no refund of prior dues. Any such determination must be made by the Secretary, and approved by a majority of the EXECUTIVE Committee.” This was something that Tim and I worked out when we were writing the constitution. It was not terrible controversial, but James and Paul said it was too late to put in the text.
WHO DETERMINES AND HOW WE DETERMINE A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING. MIKE WILL REWRITE THE AMENDMENT.
* [Addition to Preamble: Founding Principles—“Inclusivess”] To fix syntactical error, insert the word “including” so that text will read: “Encouraging the participation of anyone with an interest in the intellectual history of the United States, including professional historians and scholars who work in other fields AND also teachers, public historians, journalists, policy analysts, artists, and free-lance critics.”
LEAVE THE LIST BUT MODIFY THE GRAMMAR
* [Deletion from Article I, Section 2] Delete the phrase “subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.” The section concerns the annual budget. Right now individual officers submit budget requests to the president, who prioritizes these requests, mostly likely cuts some of them, and then finalizes the S-USIH annual budget. I don’t think that someone who is potentially unhappy (or, for that matter, happy) about his or her budget allocation should be in a position to vote on it. This strikes me as less about checks and balances than pure dysfunctionality. Better to take our chances with no approval at all.
LAYING OUT PLAN FOR THE COMING YEAR. THE EXCOMM SHOULD LOOK OVER AND APPROVE SUCH PLANS. MIKE BELIEVES THE PRESIDENT IS FAIRLY WEAK AND THE ONLY POWER HE HAS IS TO CREATE A BUDGET.
* [Addition to Article I, Section 2] All instances of the phrase “the approval of the Executive Committee” should be changed to “the approval of a majority of the Executive Committee.”
* In my copy, at least, Article I, Section 3 is in a different font from the rest of the document.
Proposed bylaw additions
* “Votes of the Executive Committee for any purpose may only be called by the president, and may only take place only at officially convened Executive Committee meetings.”
GUARANTEES THAT WE DO NOT DO THINGS TOO INFORMALLY AND PROTECTS AGAINST CORRUPTION. NEED TO INSURE THAT THE SOCIETY HAS MEETINGS AND HAS VOTES. EMPOWER THE EXCOM TO CALL MEETINGS AND VOTES. THE SENSE IS THAT THIS IS NOT NECESSARY TO INCLUDE AT THIS TIME.
* “Society funds may only be disbursed by the Treasurer, and only in accordance with the Society annual budget. Should the Society lack a Treasurer, the President may disburse funds until a new Treasurer is appointed or elected. Only the Treasurer and the President may be authorized by the Society’s financial institutions to spend money on its behalf.”
TREASURER IS THE ONLY PERSON THAT HAS ACCESS TO THE SOCIETY’S FUNDS. SENSE OF THE COMMITTEE IS TO APPROVE OF THIS.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Mike: not as important to decide who is in charge of social media.
Ben: not looking for excom to do something other than to determine who is responsible for this. Publications will take on the role of social media.
 BEN: FRIENDLY AMENDMENT