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Minutes of the World History Association Executive Council

Philadelphia, American Historical Association, January 5, 2006
Marriott, Rm 408

Open: 3:10 pm

Members present: Ken Curtis, Robert White, Jonathan Reynolds, Al Andrea, Ralph Croizier, David Northrup, Linda Black, Deb Johnston, Jerry Bentley, John Voll, Adam McKeon, John Meyers, Laura O'Connell, Ane Lintvedt, Roger Beck, Marc Gilbert, Avi Black, Bob Bain, Anand Yang, Pat Manning.
David Northrup moderated this last meeting of his term.
David opened by thanking those members of the executive council who were attending their last meeting and passing the baton to the new members. A special thanks was extended to Deb Johnston, who represented those who were leaving us, for her frequent and extensive service in many different capacities. A few ground rules were enumerated to clarify procedures for both new and old council members. Deb, representing departing members, votes until the end of this session. John Reynolds, serving in a replacement capacity and finishing an incomplete term has a vote for this session, all new members are welcome to speak but do not have a vote until the next council meeting.

The Texas affiliate (WHAT) is having a meeting in late Feb on Africa and world history. A web search for will find the conference and the CFP.

I.               Conference Committee Report 4
Al Andrea, chair of the conference committee, reported on the work of the committee.

CSU at Long Beach in 2006 – The details regarding this conference were included in the package sent to council members.

Milwaukee in 2007– The contract with University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee is being forwarded by Merry Wiesner-Hanks and will make its way to Michele Forman for signature next month.

London in 2008 is moving a little slower, but still looks good. Following the conclusion of the Milwaukee contract, Al Andrea will devote more time to finalizing the details. He mentioned that he is also discussing possibilities for a potential 2009 site. Details will be offered at next council meeting.

Members asked if the London conference was slow due to loss of direct connections, Al responded no difficulty had occurred, the Queen Mary site is looking strong, and they are excited. They presently are working on discussions with Prentice Hall for subvention of that conference.

No further questions were raised. Dave Northrup congratulated Al on this strong achievement. This is the best position the WHA has ever held regarding conference planning. Jonathan seconded that comment, as did members of the council.

Further discussion focused on the Long Beach conference. It is expected that the registration will be up on the web by the end of next month. If there are any other questions, please contact Robert White ( Kerrie Ward is assembling the program and bringing together paper proposals. The deadline is January 10. More papers are expected within the week.

II.             Executive Director's Report
This report covers the period from July to Dec 05. Four major items have been the focus of WHA headquarters during these six months.
  • The first item is the successful completion of the 2005 WHA conference in Morocco. Our final count was 137 registered participants, 14 non-registered, and 86 who attended the post conference tours. The conference produced $14,500 of revenue.
  • The WHA web site is finally fully controlled by this organization; the relationship with Duomo Media has been severed. The next phase is to recruit a designer to develop or update the web site.
This item led to discussion from the council members, which evinced their urgency to move beyond this bottleneck. The web site needs concentrated attention and the executive director is busy handling too many other items to focus exclusively on its development. The council needs to devote some energy to this matter. The conclusion was a motion to charge Jonathan Reynolds and Jacky Swansinger in conjunction with Robert White to develop a web site plan, create a budget, and offer firm proposals as soon as possible, but no later than the June meeting. This was voted unanimously.
  • The finance committee has not convened as often as necessary. A good deal of time has passed as the WHA centralizing accounts from our previous multiple state base to the headquarters site. However, the next challenge remains the matter of reporting on finances in a clear and consistent manner. WHA has built a relationship with Allan Arakaki, a CPA in Hawaii. We need to explore the possibility of obtaining quarterly reports and reporting transparently through the financial committee to the council on finances. David Northrup presented some categories and charts that he believed would be useful in developing this pattern.
  • The fourth item requiring the time of the executive director are home office operations. Office operations were hindered by the resignation of Kristy Ringor, HQ's administrative assistant. This has required a search for a replacement. An ad was placed in late November and the pool will be examined carefully in the first two weeks of January. There is every expectation that this hire will occur quickly. Achievements have included the WHA elections and continued efforts to recruit members.
  • The executive director was pleased to announce that membership appeared to be strong; 250 applications were received in the last week.

Discussion of the report centered on creating greater efficiencies at headquarters. There ranged from electronic ballots to a better web site. Also covered were the need to organize more efficiently, the loss of Kristy Ringor and explanations for her resignation, difficulties encountered while working through Hawaii University's personnel procedures, and the need for clear procedures. Ralph Croizier reminded the council that Kieko Matteson, just prior to her departure, had created a procedure manual and perhaps it was time to return to that document. 10
III.           Financial committee report 11
David Northrup pointed out that one of the difficulties of the organization has been a lack of consistency in financial reporting and inherent difficulties compounded by our calendar. We need to move our financial reports to a timelier schedule. Presently we report in early January based on information collected until December 31. If the WHA were to move to a financial year closing on September 30, we could have time to create the reports needed for policy development. The purpose of these reports is both to know the financial health of the organization and to create policy and plan for the future. Recommendation is that the council agrees to a change of date, that a basic format be agreed upon and that the debate be concluded. 12
A wide-ranging discussion ensued. Suggestions included asking Mr. Arakaki to do both the audit and the quarterly reports, and discovering the costs involved in this request. The issue of officer liability was also raised, the council asked Linda Black to investigate the question. Roger seconded the idea of moving towards a September 30 year-end. The question of financial oversight was the biggest issue that ran through the discussion. 13
David Northrup presented the reporting forms he brought for consideration of council and suggested they might become standard. He added that the executive director must report to the finance committee and set up standard time frames. There is also a need for timely presentation of the endowment report. 14
IV.           Fund Raising Committee 15
Al Andrea reported on the fund raising committee. He is presently working on initiatives to bring Asian scholars to Long Beach. One foundation is the Freeman Foundation; another possibility is soliciting the Chinese government in Beijing, which might be interested in developing some funding. Suggestions were offered: public service office that might be willing to spend money to bring scholars to conferences; lifetime memberships could be used to bring in more money; etc.
V.             Proposals Presented to Council 17
Proposal 1: Request for Funding to digitize the World History Bulletin.

A proposal to digitize the World History Bulletin for $400 was presented by Micheal Tarver and approved unanimously.

Proposal 2: Request for Affiliation of the World History Association and the World History Network from Pat Manning.

The World History Network is an independent, non-profit corporation, chartered in Massachusetts in 2004 and granted non-profit 501c3 status by the U.S. government.   The purpose of the WHN is: ๑the principal purposes of the Corporation shall be (i) to advance research, conceptualization, and institutional support fort the academic field of world history, encompassing studies o f the past that analyze global patterns of historical interaction over a full range of time and space, topical coverage and interdisciplinary exchange; (ii) to nurture worldwide ties among individual scholars, disciplines, universities, and other institutions that desire to participate in world-historical research; (iii) to affiliate with relevant organizations of historians and other scholarly institutions in order to advance the study of world history; (iv) to prepare and promote a research agenda in world history, seek funding for research on high-priority projects, and encourage design and implementation of large-scale projects of data collection and analysis in world history; (v) to serve as host of research projects, resources, and institutions in world history; and (vi) to provide active support for curriculum development, teaching, and communication among teachers in the field of world history.๎

The proposal requests affiliation in order to assist the WHA in strengthening efforts in research. The WHN proposes to support and collaborate with the WHA's program for research.

Discussion focused on the nature of WHN activities and whether a greater emphasis on research would create an impression of secondary citizenship for secondary teachers who are members of the organization. The officers of the WHN are well known for their strong commitment to secondary education, to research and to inclusiveness. The council engaged in some discussion of the advantages of a closed conference and its ability to generate conclusions and action; these results could then be brought to open conferences, such as the WHA or AHA and lead to further development.

Another issue debated: Is there a danger that research driven scholars participate in WHN and undercut the nexus of teaching and pedagogy and development? The answer focused on the importance of affiliation and its ability to allow both sides to work together even if one is more research driven than the other. It is the interplay between the two concepts that will lead to original work in both areas.

Motion to approve the affiliation and that a committee be formed to appoint people to the WHN steering committee was passed unanimously.

Proposal 3: Request from Heidi Roupp to fund some expenses of World History Connected

World History Connected is the field's only journal devoted to the scholarship of teaching. Since its launch in November 2003, World History Connected (WHC) has been the subject of more than 90 million searches, including hits from 120 countries, and a projected readership of over 175,000 visitors or individuals who select eight or more choices within the website during a visit.

WHC proposes that the World History Association become a financial sponsor of the journal. A financial relationship will result in planning and closer integration between the two organizations, enabling both to work on common goals and to enjoy mutual benefits of integration.

This proposal asks the WHA to support the WHC with an annual budget of $6,500 to cover the cost of course release time for one co-editor ($6000) and the costs of annual membership in the History Cooperative ($500).

Discussion: This is a fairly standard expense and the membership costs are very reasonable. Does this money cover only one specific co-editor or is this for the position? What is the equity concern raised by this funding for the World History Bulletin? What future do we see for the WHB and WHC? Will World History Connected facilitate membership for the WHA?

David concluded the discussion by pointing out that this was a very long proposal with some written inconsistencies, therefore we will not vote on its present language. It will need to be examined more carefully in the near future. However, can we vote to fund this position for the next three years with continued conversation?

A motion was approved to authorize funding for three years, to work out the exact details and to request membership promotion on WHC as part of the agreement. Passed unanimously.

VI.           Nominating Committee: Elections  
The council needs to vote on members of the nominating committee. These nominations are made by the president and voted by the council. A quick look indicates that membership is strongly geographical biased towards California; it would be good to have greater Eastern representation. Two terms are currently expiring: Maggie Favretti (chair) and Heidi Roupp. Continuing members include: Kenneth Pomeranz (1/08) UC-Irvine and Bob Bain (1/08) University of Michigan; and Ken Curtis (1/07) CSU, Long Beach and Monty Armstrong (1/07) Cerritos HS. We need everyone to consider members who might wish to serve in this capacity.

President proposes two nominations: Consider nominations: Linda Black and David (?) as two new nominees. [Maggie Favretti and Michele Forman arrived at that moment.] Michele held the vote and the two nominees were unanimously approved.

VII.         New business 23
The College Board has decided to revise old examinations as part of their policy to raise standards; they are moving towards a best scholarship practice from their prior standards. They will be holding meetings to discuss this issue shortly. They are trying to assess whether or not the exams need to be revised and gathering names of people to serve on these committees. 24
Marc Gilbert stated that Church History will begin soliciting articles on other churches besides Christianity. Bob Bain raised the issue of the national history standards that will be assessed in 2010. Mary Corvo at NAAHA is responsible for setting assessing standards for world history. Anand will bring information regarding joining American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) at the next meeting. 25
Don't forget the WHA Annual Conference at Long Beach, press the flesh, and bring everyone to southern California!

Motion to adjourn. 6:10 pm.


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