January 1980 Council Minutes
JANUARY 1980 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met on 2 January 1980 at 4:10 PM in the Corte Reale of the Hilton
Palacio del Rio Hotel. Members present were S. Armentrout, H. Bass, P.
Bateman, E. Berlekamp, J. Birman, L. Blum, J.H. Bramble, C. Davis, J. Donaldson
F. Gehring, M. Gerstenhaber, R. Gilbert, A. Gleason, R. Graham, M. Jerison, J.
Kemperman, W. Kirwan, P. Lax, L. Lorch, D. LUtzer, W. Luxemburg, R. Millman, G.
Mostow, J. Mycielski, C. Pearcy, F. Peterson, E. Pitcher, M. Pour-El, P.
Rabinowitz, K. Ross, M. Rudin, D. Sanchez, J. Scanlon, S. Smale, K. Uhlenbeck,
D. Wagner, R. Wells. Also present were L. Durst, H. Farrell, R. Hahn, W.J.
LeVeque, and J. Selfridge. The privilege of the floor was granted to R. D.
Anderson and R. Goldberg. President Lax was in the chair. During the meeting
he appointed Professor Douglas parliamentarian.
1.1 MINUTES OF 22 AUGUST 1979: The minutes of 22 August 1979 had been
distributed by mail. In those minutes the passage of the following resolution
is recorded on the top of page 4:
If, before the May meeting of the AMS Trustees, no satisfactory
clarification of the Council's inquiry to the Soviet Academy of
Science has been received, the Council recommends that the AMS
seek to renegotiate the contract with VAAP for translation of
Russian journals for the purpose of dropping the translation
of MAT. SBORNIK.
The following statement, supported by consensus, was offered to be added to the
It is understood that this motion does not bind the Trustees to a
timetable, but leaves them free to use their judgment when to start
The name of the Gibbs Lecturer was incorrectly recorded on page 6. It is
With these changes, the minutes were offered for approval.
President Lax noted that he had written a letter to A.P. Alexandrov,
President of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, communicating the resolution
concerning reports of discrimination against Jewish authors by the journal MAT.
SBORNIK as recorded at the bottom of p. 3 of the minutes of August 22, 1979,
[not including item (ii)] and requesting clarification. He stated that he had
not written the letter as promptly as he had hoped to do.
Professor Lee Lorch inquired whether a copy of the letter would be
attached to the minutes, as well as a copy of any reply. President Lax replied
in the affirmative to both questions. A copy of the letter of Lax is attached
to these minutes. To date, there is no response.
Professor Lorch turned to the resolution of Professor Stein at the top
of p. 4 of the minutes of 22 August 1979 concerning clarification of the
inquiry and possible renegotiation of the contract with VAAP for the
translation of Russian journals. He wished the record to show that there is no
mechanism in the resolution for determining whether the requested clarification
is satisfactory. In particular, it does not say "satisfactory to the Trustees"
nor would he admit to the legality of such an interpretation. He further asked
under what rule of the bylaws the motion of Stein was entertained. Article IV,
Sections 2 and 8 were cited as possibilities. Lorch wished a ruling but did
not receive one. Professor Murray Gerstenhaber noted that the Council is a
continuing body and questioned a procedure of reconsidering the actions of
previous meetings and called for the question of accepting the minutes as
corrected. Lorch returned to the point that he had not received a ruling on
how the motion by Stein came up at the August meeting. The president agreed
and stated at the request of Lorch that the minutes would record that fact.
Gerstenhaber noted that the resolution had been introduced and considered
without objection at the time and the Secretary observed that this was the
The minutes as corrected were then approved with Lorch casting a
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES MINUTES OF 9-11 NOVEMBER, 1979.
The EC/BT minutes of 9-11 November 1979 had been distributed to the Council by
mail and are attached to record copies of these minutes.
2.2 ARCHIVES. The BT at the meeting of 9-11 November 1979 passed the following
In view of the request by the Council of 22 August 1979, the Trustees
instruct the Executive Director to defer the accomplishment of a
contract with Brown University for the establishment there of the
Archives of the Society.
This item is recorded for the information of the Council.
2.3 COUNCIL OF 1980. The current composition of the Council was distributed in
a separate mailing and is attached to the minutes. It is noted that the
following persons were elected to contested offices.
Vice President Hyman Bass
Mary E. Rudin
Member-at-LARGE Frederick W. Gehring
Richard S. Millman
Marian B. Pour-El
David A. Sanchez
The persons elected to the Nominating Committee for two-year terms are:
Martin D. Davis
Hugh L. Montgomery
Jane Cronin Scanlon
The chairman in 1980 is Scanlon
2.4 AMS-MAA-SIAM COMMITTEE ON WOMEN IN MATHEMATICS: A report of the AMS-MAA-
SIAM Committee on Women in Mathematics, prepared for the meeting of the MAA
Board of Governors, is attached.
2.5 EFFORT REPORTS. The Council agreed to receive a letter from Professor Serge
Lang to Mr. James T. McIntyre, Director of Office of Management and Budget,
concerning time and effort reports, together with attachments. The whole is
attached to these minutes.
COMMITTEE AND BOARDS
4.1 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND SOCIETY ACTIVITIES: The Council of 20 January 1971
charged the EC to "carry out a continued review and appraisal of the Society's
activities." The EC at its meeting of 9-11 November 1979 considered the
question whether it was fulfilling this obligation. The President was
requested to appoint a small committee, including the continuing members, to
study this problem. Item 5.5 of the EC/BT minutes is a reference. It was
understood that the Council would be informed of this study for possible
reaction by individual members but no action was requested.
The Council received this report and requested the president to appoint
a Committee including the continuing elected members of the EC and the
4.2 RESEARCH EXCELLENCE AWARD PROGRAM: The National Science Board is
considering a mechanism for financing research through a Research Excellence
Award Program. The problem is to assure the continued vigor and effectiveness
of academic reserach performance. In recognition of the problem, the NSB asked
the National Academy of Science to conduct a study. Through its operating arm,
the National Research Council, specifically the Commission on Human Resources,
the study was conducted by the Committee on Continuity in Academic Research
Performance (the Bock Committee). The Committee produced a report entitled
RESEARCH EXCELLENCE THROUGH THE YEAR 2000; THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING A FLOW
OF NEW FACULTY INTO ACADEMIC RESEARCH (3+ X +2l2 pages) was published by the
Commission. Selected pages from the report, namely i-iii and 92-115 and
130-133 are attached. (There exist drafts in which the pages are v-vii and
95-117.) (The report in entirety was available for $9.00 from the Office of
Publications, National Academy of Sciences, 2l0l Constitution Ave. N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 204l8).
The commission did its work during a period of about five months,
turning its report over the NSF on August 3l, 1979. General publicity
appeared in an article in the CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION on 29 October. The
EC/BT looked briefly at the issues at their meeting of ll-l3 November l979 and
referred them to the Committee on Science Policy. That Committee had two
conference telephone calls, on the basis of which there is a preliminary
statement of position attached to these minutes. The issues were presented to
the Committee on Science Policy. A letter from Saunders MacLane to Peter Lax
in attachment (54) to the EC/BT minutes, concerned with broader problems of
government financing of research, was received and is cited.
The Council, through a straw vote, expressed the view that the proposal
in the Bock report was attractive and that it, or variants of it, should be
The Council requested the Committee to prepare a report on the issues,
both the narrow ones of the REAP proposal and broader ones of government
financing of research, for the council of April 1980, with distribution to
the Council and others well before that meeting, to allow time for reactions
4.3 JOINT PROJECT COMMITTEE: When the Joint Projects Committee for Mathematics
was established in 1974, it was given a life of five years unless that period
was specifically extended. The Committee operates under the aegis of the
Conference Board, which dispenses certain funds contributed by the sponsoring
societies (AMS-MAA-SIAM) and administers contracts or grants for the work of
the Committee. The EC recommended to the Council that the JPCM have its
charter extended for another five years through 1984. Notice of this
recommendation was forwarded to MAA, SIAM and CBMS. The Trustees budgeted
funds for the continued support of JPCM in 1980. The Council recommended
continuation of JPCM for five years to the Conference Board.
5.1 ELECTION PROCEDURE: The question of ballots mailed by the Society, but not
physically received by the voter arose again. There are several points of
The Secretary, working through the Providence office, knows surely to
whom all ballots have been mailed. The mailing list is made up from the
computer file of members with addresses, which is updated daily. It is
photocopied before the labels are affixed. Subsequent to the mailing, the
postage charged is checked against the list, so that one knows that mailings
were made to all names and addresses on the list. In the instance of
occasional complaints of a ballot not received, a check is made against the
list to assure that the mailing was made. No case has ever appeared in which
the ballot was not mailed. The Secretary has declined to issue a second
There is a legal precedent which states that a document that is mailed
is received. Inasmuch as the Secretary has received no instruction to the
contrary, this is the precedent which has been used in Society elections.
There is another arrangement that is sometimes used with respect to
voting by mail, which proceeds as follows: If, contraray to the presumption, a
voter claims not to have received a ballot which has been mailed, he receives a
second ballot on the inner envelope of which is a statement, to which the voter
subscribes, that he has not previously voted, and that if this is not the case,
he understands that no ballot of his shall be counted. He may then vote using
the second ballot. Ballots are checked against a list of qualified voters and
multiple ballots are rejected before the count is made.
At the request of the Secretary, the council authorized the provision
described above by instructing the Secretary to adhere to it, allowing the
privilege also to persons who have spoiled the original ballot. The council
understood that the Society will incur clerical expense of several hundred
dollars for checking ballots against a master list in some manner. The new
procedure is to be instituted in the election of 1980, following detailed
procedures to be offered by the Secretary to the council of April 1980 for
7.1 NOMINATING COMMITTEE INSTRUCTIONS: The council of 20 April 1979 laid over
to the current meeting a motion by Professor Chandler Davis as follows:
That the Council rescind its standing instruction to the Nominating
Committee to recommend for certain offices no more candidates than positions
to be filled.
That the council declare its intention in the future to offer more
candidates on the ballot than positions to be filled, provided enough well-
qualified candidates can be found, for the offices of president, trustee,
secretary, associate secretary, treasurer, associate treasurer, member of
That nomination by petition be treated for above offices in the same
way as for the office of vice-president.
A petition with wording identical to the first two paragraphs of the
motion and carrying thirty-two signatures was filed with the Secretary. The
Secretary noted that issues in the motion had been considered and defeated in
the past. A proposal identical with the first paragraph (also introduced by
Professor Davis) was defeated on 19 August 1975. The Committee on Committees,
at the request of the Council, considered the nominating procedure for
President Elect and for Trustee and reported to the Council of ll April 1975.
In consonance with the majority view of the Committee, that council voted to
leave the mode of election of these officers unchanged.
The Secretary presented a statement of position, which is attached.
There was a great deal of manuvering over the form in which the
motion should be considered. The motion was amended by deletion of the words
"president, trustee" from the second paragraph and then was defeated.
The following motion was considered.
That the Council rescind its standing instruction of the Nominating
Committee to recommend for the office of Trustee no more than one candidate.
That the council declare its intention in the future to offer more
than one candidate for Trustee providing enough well qualified candidates
can be found.
That nomination by petition for this office be treated in the same way
as for the office of vice-president.
The motion was amended by deleting the third paragraph. It was then amended by
deleting the second paragraph. It was further amended by adding to the
remaining first paragraph the words "and instruct the Committee to recommend
not more than two candidates." The amended motion passed.
A similar motion was considered with "Trustee" replaced by "President
Elect" in the first and second paragraphs. It was amended by deleting the
first paragraph and again by deleting the second paragraph. The amended motion,
consistent solely of the first paragraph, was then defeated.
7.2 RULES FOR CAFTES: When the Council adopted the Rules for the Operation of
CAFTES (Committee on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Employment Security) in
January 1977, it was for a three year trial period, which ended in December
1979. The question arose how to consider the outcome of the trial and whether
to alter or extend the rules. A set of rules is attached. A letter of comment
from Mary Gray, Chairman of CAFTES, is attached.
The Council voted to extend the life of the Rules for the Operation of CAFTES
8.1 BLIND REFEREEING: Professor Chandler David "comment[ed] that the existence
of AT LEAST ONE major mathematical journal practicing blind refereeing is
strongly desired by some Society members, and can be provided by the Society
with negligible inconvenience." He moved:
That the policy of blind refereeing be restored for the PROCEEDINGS.
He is the author of a three page attachment consisting of background and
supporting arguments for his motion.
Professor Davis noted that the inital motion for blind refereeing was a
surprise to the Council of January 1975. It was neither on the agenda,
distributed prior to the meeting, nor even on the supplement distributed at the
The Secretary noted that in recapitulation of arguments, Professor
Davis omitted one that was influential.
(7) That a referee who is able to recognize a paper as written by an
unknown author, say as the rewrite of a Ph.D. thesis or as an early effort of
an under-utilized mathematician, will be more likely to help the author with
suggestions for revision and will temper his judgment in accepting the paper.
The Secretary further observed that when the plan for blind refereeing
was put into effect, one of the conditions was that it be evaluated after two
years. That is, the request for evaluation did not arise after the plan was in
effect, but was an initial condition of the plan.
The two motions passed by the Council of January 23, 1979 were as
Blind refereeing is abolished as a policy for the PROCEEDINGS of the
AMS. Any author who so requests and who provides a blind copy of a manuscript
(s) he submits to the PROCEEDINGS, will have his/her manuscript refereed blind.
An exchange of correspondence with Mary Gray, who saw a slightly
different draft of the agendum in advance, is attached.
Professors Goldberg, Kirwan, Lutzer, and Douglas, all editors of the
PROCEEDINGS, spoke against blind refereeing. A letter from Professor Reinhard
Schultz is attached. Professors Davis and Lorch spoke in favor of blind
refereeing. Professor Gerstenhaber suggested an experiment whereby some
papers would be refereed both ways, with author and institution identified and
blind. It was noted that, under current rules, four persons out of seventy had
asked recently for blind refereeing. Professor Davis asked for a recorded roll
call vote on his motion. The Secretary expressed his willingness to do so on
instruction from the Council, but pointed out that Article IV, Section 4 of the
bylaws specifies a voting procedure in challenged votes, known informally as
Professor Gerstenhaber moved to authorize a committee to study the
question of an experiment on the refereeing of papers two ways, blind and
otherwise. President Lax ruled that this was business not on the advance
agenda, requiring a two-thirds vote of those present to be accepted for the
agenda. It was not accepted.
8.2 FOURTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON COLLECTIVE PHENOMENA: Professor Joan
Birman received the permission of the Council to have the following placed on
That the Council of the AMS request its President to write a letter
to Dr. Viktor Brailovsky, Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the Fourth
International Conference on Collective Phenomena, to be held in Moscow, USSR
on April l3-l5, 1980. This letter shall express the support and best wishes
of the Council of the AMS, and its earnest hope for successful scientific
A summary of the program was read. The resolution was passed.
Notwithstanding talk by some of recording their votes as individuals, none
finally requested the privilege.
8.3 TRANSLATORS MANUAL: Professor Lorch requested that a motion, presented
with comment in the attached letter, be placed on the agenda. The Council
did not grant permission.
The Council adjourned at 10:00 PM having recessed for dinner from
6:30 until 8:00 PM.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
January 2, 1980