April 1975 Council Minutes
April 11, 1975
Minutes of the Council
The Council met on April ll, 1975 at 5:00 PM in the Champagne Room of
Stan Louis and Biggie's St. Louis Hilton Inn. Those members present were
Robert G. Bartle, Hyman Bass, Paul Bateman, Lipman Bers, W. Wistar Comfort,
Charles W. Curtis, Chandler Davis, Richard R. Goldberg, Michael Golomb, Mary
Gray, Judy Green, Robion Kirby, Lee Lorch, Saunders Mac Lane, Richard K.
Miller, Karl Norton, Franklin Peterson, Everett Pitcher, Daniel Stroock,
Alexandra Ionescu Tulcea, Hans Weinberger, and J. Ernest Wilkins, Jr. Others
present with the privilege of the floor were Meyer Jerison, Paul Mostert,
William H. Pell, Emery Thomas, and Karen Uhlenbeck. Also present were Sue
Broulliette, L. Durst, R. Hahn and G. L. Walker. President Bers was in the
The minutes of January 22, 1975 had been distributed by mail. The
Secretary noted that they should be corrected at the top of p. 3. The second
sentence in the first paragraph, lines 2-5, should be altered as noted in
italics to read:
It contains a statement of principles, with alternatives, and a
proposal MADE IN A LETTER FROM PROFESSOR EDWIN E. MOISE TO THE
COMMITTEE AND headed Proposal: Reduced Rates For All Foreign
The point to the correction is that Prof. Mosie was not a member of the
Committee and did not participate in the deliberations concerning the merit of
his proposal versus the statements of principle formulated by the Committee.
The minutes as corrected were approved.
The Committee on Teaching Loads and Class Size submitted the attached
report, under the attached covering letter from its chairman, George Piranian.
The report as a whole was presented by Prof. Meyer Jerison, a member of the
Committee. It was proposed to consider the report by sections, beginning with
Section l, particularly as there was to be a minority report concerning Section
It was moved to endorse Section l. By agreement there were two changes
made in the text prior to the Council vote. The following sentences, offered
by Charles Curtis, were added to the third paragraph.
There is in many institutions a tradition of teaching elementary
mathematics in small classes. A change from small sections to
large lectures tends to be an irreversible step. Before
supplementing the approach of teaching in small sections by
lecture-discussion sections, administrators are urged to weigh
carefully the educational merits of the two methods of instruction
as they apply to their own institution.
To the last sentence of the first paragraph were added the words:
and diminishing scientific activities.
With these alterations, Section l was adopted by the Council.
In the consideration of adopting Section 2, Prof. Hans Weinberger moved
to strike the second sentence but the motion lost. Then Prof. Jerison as a
minority of one presented his report on Section 2, substantially as noted in
the covering letter from Piranian, and moved to delete Section 2. The motion
lost and the Council endorsed Section 2.
Section 3 was endorsed.
Section 4 was deleted.
Section 5 was amended at the suggestion of Prof. Curtis by the addition
of the words "and class sizes" to the first sentence, which was also altered
editorially to being "the Council is establishing ..." Section 5 was then
The complete text as amended and endorsed is attached.
The Committee was discharged with thanks.
The Committee on NOTICES Editorial Policy presented the attached
report. After considerable discussion, the Council approved the report except
for the portions describing the selections of the Board. Moreover, they noted
that the authority assigned to the Board in the report contradicts the bylaws
and established an interim consulting committee. The changes were described
rather than prescribed, so that the Secretary has prepared a text of the
critical paragraph as follows:
There shall be an interim consulting committee to advise the
editors of the NOTICES. It shall consist of eight members, six
appointed by the President, together with the Secretary, ex
officio and voting, and the Executive Director, ex officio and
not voting. The committee may be expected to leave the matters
concerning abstracts and announcements to the Editors but to
consider other material such as articles, letters, or potentially
controversial advertisements by mail ballot, with recommendations
to the Editors by majority vote.
The Council agreed that the establishment of an Editorial Board should await
amendment of the Bylaws and that its mode of selection should await the report
of the Committee on Committees.
The Secretary proposed the following amendment to Article XI, Section
2, of the Bylaws, with a deletion in brackets and an addition in italics.
The editorial management of the NOTICES shall be in the hands of
a committee [consisting of the, executive director and the
secretary] CHOSEN IN A MANNER ESTABLISHED BY THE COUNCIL.
The Council passed the amendment and agreed to refer it to a Business Meeting
for its approval.
Professor W. Norman Smith, Chairman of the Joint Committee on
Employment Opportunities commented by letter on the following statement that
appears in the journal Employment Information for Mathematicians:
TITLE VII, U.S. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964.
All employers in the United States are required to abide by the
requirements of Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of l964,
announcing a national policy of equal employment opportunity
in private employment, without discrimination because of private
employment, without discrimination because of race, color,
religion, sex or national origin. All institutions listing
positions in this publication have signed a statement indi-
cating that they abide with the spirit of this law whether
or not they are legally bound to do so.
His comments are as follows:
The second sentence of this statement has caused some problems, leading
to delay, expense and some unhappiness in the case of foreign
institutions who resent being asked to sign a statement that they abide
with a spirit of a U.S. law. The more we considered this sentence, the
more convinced we became that it represented a restriction on the right
of access to job information for our applicants. Accordingly, we
drafted the following statement to replace the present paragraph.
All employers in the U.S. are required to abide by the requirement of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964, announcing a national
policy of equal employment opportunity in private employment, without
discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex or national
origin. All U.S. listings are accepted with the understanding that the
employer complies with federal requirements. Applicants should be
aware that institutions outside the U.S. may not be legally bound
to conform to these or similar requirements. Applicants are advised
to inform themselves of conditions that may exist at the institutions
to which they apply.
There was a motion to publish the statement titled NON-DISCRIMINATION
in each issue of EIM. [See the note of the Secretary, occurring later.]
The Council dissolved into committee of the whole for discussion. Upon
reconvening the Council, the President appointed a committee consisting of
Bass, Peterson, and Gray to draft another statement.
At a later point in the meeting, the committee reported. They
suggested that each potential employer be presented with a statement reading:
Employment at (institution) is offered without discrimination
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
There were two subsidiary proposals. The first was that only those who sign
the statement be allowed to list positions and that the front material in EIM
state that each employer has signed the statement. The second, was that only
those who sign or decline in writing to sign be allowed to list positions and
that the front material contain the statement that each employer has signed or
declined to sign and contain lists of the signers and the decliners. In
committee of the whole, both the statement and the second subsidiary proposal
were approved. On reconvening, the Council divided the question of the
statement from the disposition of nonsigners at the request of Prof. Lorch
and approved the text of the statement and the requirement that it be signed
or declined. Then Prof. Lorch moved that nonsigners not be permitted to list
positions. The motion lost. Then the listing of signers and of decliners
along with the statement was approved.
The following resolution proposed by the Joint Committee on Employment
Opportunities was presented by Prof. Curtis, a member of the Committee on the
Emergency Employment Situation in Mathematics, which was also concerned with
the employment problems encountered by the Committee on Employment Opportunites.
The organization cooperating in the publication of EMPLOYMENT
INFORMATION FOR MATHEMATICIANS adopt the following principles
of employment procedures, to accompany the use of EIM:
1. Employers are expected to include closing dates in all listings
insofar as possible. The understanding would be that applicants
who complete their files by the closing date are assured of
consideration for the position listed.
2. Employers are expected to give candidates for positions a
reasonable time to respond to offers.
3. Prospective employers are urged to make their listings as specific
as possible, as to field of specialization, experience, etc.
In addition, the committee decided to add closing dates to the list of items
which employers are requested to consider including in their resumes, and to
notify the sponsoring organizations that it has done so.
There were two editorial alterations in the text in item 3. The word
"specific" was replaced by "informative" and the word "field" by "fields". With
these changes, the resolution was endorsed.
[The Secretary notes that both of these resolutions with respect to
EIM require approval from the MAA in order to be effective since EIM is
published by AMS for the Math. Sciences Employment Register, which is a joint
venture. The statement on non-discrimination currently used was endorsed
initially by the AMS Executive Committee and the MAA Executive and Finance
Committee. The resolution on procedures is made in the name of the
cooporating organizations and in edited form was endorsed by the Society.]
The Council adjourned from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM at which point it
convened in executive session.
The candidate for the Wiener Prize advanced by the AMS-SIAM selection
committee was approved for the Society.
The Nominating Committee offered a partial report, consisting of the
Vice President (two to be elected)
Stephen C. Kleene
Max M. Schiffer
George D. Mostow
Member at Large (five to be elected)
Joan S. Birman
Edwin E. Floyd
Guido L. Weiss
William K. Allard
The Council nominated these persons as candidates. The Committee proposed as
usual there be at least 10 names on the ballot for the position of member-at
large and proposed to offer additional names to the Council if the number by
petition did not bring the total to at least 10.
Professor Judy Green proposed the following motion:
The Council directs the Joint Committee on Women to prepare
recommendations concerning procedures to be used by mathematics
departments in implementing affirmative action programs.
In committee of the whole, the wording was revised to read:
The Council authorizes the President to appoint a COMMITTEE
to prepare recommendations concerning procedures to be used
by mathematics departments in IMPLEMENTING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
In revised form the motion was passed.
The Council returned to open session.
The chairman of the Committee on Committees, Prof. Emery Thomas, pre-
sented a report on a special task assigned to the Committee, namely to consider
the nomination procedure for President-Elect and Trustee, particularly
nomination by petition. The report, consisting of a covering letter, six pages
of the report proper, and ll pages of letters, is attached. It was noted that
the vote in the Committee with respect to President Elect was 2 in favor of
opening it to nomination by petition and 7 opposed with respect to Trustee was
l in favor and 8 opposed. A motion that the mode of election of President
Elect and of Trustee be unchanged was passed. The President thanked the
committee for this special report.
Prof. Paul Moster, Chairman of the Committee on Academic Freedom,
Tenure, and Employment Security, presented the attached progress report. In
the course of the discussion it was suggested that the Committee be merged with
the Committee on Legal Aid, inasmuch as the duties overlap and the former has a
bulky job while the latter does not.
The Committee of Scientific Society Presidents is seeking financial
support from the societies of its member presidents, as described in the
attached letter from its Secretary, R.S. Rivlin. The Council recommended to
the Trustees that support for l975 be allocated, not to exceed $500.
The second recommendation was negative and no action was required in
order to follow it.
The Council voted to make the Committee on Postdoctoral Fellowships be
a standing committee with rotating memberships.
The Special Commitee on Graduate Education presented the attached
report. The Secretary moved that the Council recommend that the Society take
steps to enter into an agreement with the CNR (Centro Nazionale delle
Ricerche) and the UMI (Unione Matematica Italiana) which will allow for the
graduate education in the U.S. of some 10-20 Italian students annually. The
motion was passed. The Committee was discharged with thanks. The President
interpreted the motion to mean that he should appoint an operating committee.
Prof. Judy Green introduced a recommendation from the Committee on the
Emergency Employment Situation in Mathemtaics as follows:
The Committee on emergency Employment recommends to the Council of
the AMS that the AMS agree to serve as the Institutional Affiliate
for mathematicians in need of such affiliation who want to apply
for research grants, and that the AMS publicize this service.
The Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Curtis, noted that he did not yet have
full concurrence of the membership of the Committee on the minutes of the
meeting at which the Committee formulated the recommendation. The Council
did consider the recommendation and did pass a resolution that the Society
should serve as the Institutional Affiliate for mathematicians in need of such
a affiliation who want to apply for research grants, and that the AMS publicize
It is recorded that Saunders MacLane was not in the chamber during the
considertion of the preceding motion.
Prof. Lorch questioned whether there was as piece of unfinished
business with respect to a motion dealing with discriminatory practices
introduced at the the meeting of October 25, 1974. It was agreed that a recent
position of the Joint Committee on Places of Meetings was relevant and would
It was reported to the Council that Prof. Galo Gomes is no longer in
Chile. The explanation was offered that he was formerly in a political prison
colony and is now exiled. It was reported that Leonid Plyushch continues to be
confined in a mental hospital in a state of very poor health. President Bers
had written the attached letter to Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin inquiring
about Plyushch but no reply was received.
The President proposed that he be authorized to appoint a Committee on
Principles and Procedures to be followed by the Society in taking positions on
political and quasi-political matters. His presentation is contained in the
attached letter to the Council. The Council authorized him to appoint such a
The audited report of the Treasurer was received.
The Secretary read the attached letter from Prof. William A. Small and
wondered about the propriety of publishing it. There did not appear to be
strong objection, but the question was not settled.
The Secretary proposed the following resolution of thanks:
The Council of the AMS at its meeting of April ll, 1975 in
St. Louis takes special note of the 25th anniversary of the
founding of the National Science Foundation. The Council
expresses satisfaction and appreciation to the Foundation
for its contributions to the development of mathematics,
in particular for the programs of graduate fellowships
and traineeships and of science faculty and postdoctoral
fellowships. Special thanks are due for the grants in
support of research and for the support of symposia and
institutes at all levels.
The Council passed the resolution and instructed the Secretary to publish the
resolution in public accounts of its actions and to convey it to the Chairman
of the National Science Board and to the Director of the Foundation.
It was noted that Prof. J. M. Thomas had distributed the attached
printed circular to a number of people. In response, the Secretary received
several requests that quote or paraphrase item (2) of the attachment,
requesting an "investigation of the practices of Edition, Refereeing and
Reviewing, with the ultimate publication of a manual of recommendations for
the guidance of all concerned." Past President Saunders Mac Lane received
such a request and wrote a background letter to President Bers, with copy to
the Secretary for attachment to the minutes. In it he recommended that the
Council not undertake the proposed investigation. The Council noted these
matters. They further noted that there already exist a manual for editors
and instructions for referees and for reviews. They agreed to take no action.
Prof. Deane Montogomery, Atle Selberg, and Andre Weil, two at least
being members of the Society, request in the attached letter that a letter of
inquiry about the status of the mathematician I.I. Piatetski-Shapiro be
dispatched. A letter from Montgomery and Weil to Senator Jackson containing
background information is attached. A letter of recent information from
Montgomery, Selberg, and Weil to President Bers, which had just arrived, was
read to the Council:
We wrote to Prof. Pitcher a few weeks ago concerning Piatetski-Shapiro.
Recently new and discouraging information has been received. In
October he was formally charged with being unemployed, and the relevant
file to this effect was completed. This document makes it possible to
begin trial at any time. The law of unemployment under which he was
charged usually carries a penalty of exile from Moscow for several
years with forced labor. The situation is deteriorating and the
possibility that he will be tried is constantly increasing.
The President, on passage of a motion from Prof. Curtis, was authorized to
write a letter of inquiry to appropriate persons in the USSR concerning Prof.
Piatetski-Shapiro, to undertake further actions carrying the authority of the
Society in trying to get him out of the Soviet Union, and to offer the strong
support of the Council for any proposed invitations to lecture or participate
in mathematical activities in the United States. In the discussion, it had
been clarified that the President offered to consult the EC about his actions
and that eh motion in no sense suggested any restriction of the freedom of
choice to Piatetski-Shaprio to emigrate wherever he wished.
Dr. Karl K. Norton proposed the following motion:
The Council recommends to the Board of Trustees that unemployed members
of the Society be permitted to purchase any publication of the Society
(including journals) at a rate not to exceed 50% of the ordinary
He further stated "I believe that this motion is consistent with the present
policy of reducing membership dues for unemployed members. I hope that the
motion, if approved, will make it easier for unemployed mathematicians to
maintain their knowledge of the subject and stay active in research."
At the request of the Secretary, the Executive Director examined the
financial and administrative aspects of the proposal. A page of his comments
are attached. One point is quoted here: "If special discounts are to be made
for unemployed (and for student) members, a decision must be made about who
will cover the deficit. As you know, our books and journals are priced to
break even... The question here is one of principle: Whether the proposed
discounts should be treated in such a way that they exert pressure to raise
prices and subscription rates on the one hand, or pressure to raise dues on
The motion passed.
Prof. Judy Green proposed the following item:
There is evidence that the editors of at least one prominent journal
have adopted a policy of holding authors individually responsible
for page charges and discriminating against those who cannot pay
them. The Council should consider the likely impact of this practice
on the research of mathematicians who are unemployed or whose employing
institutions are not willing to accept responsibility for page charges.
There was discussion but no formal motion. It seemed to be agreed that
were there to be a specific instance of an attempt to enforce such a policy,
it could be brought to the attention of the President, who could protest by
The following Letter to the Editor from F.G. Asenjo appeared in the
NOTICES for February l975:
Last year I wrote to AMS officials suggesting that the BULLETIN,
the PROCEEDINGS, and the TRANSACTIONS, be merged into a single
monthly journal with each issue devoted exclusively to one
specific area of mathematics-logic, algebra, topology, etc.
AMS members would then have the option of choosing two issues
of the journal free of charge, paying extra for any additional
issues they might wish to order. This arrangement would reduce
publication costs and at the same time provide more rewarding
service to members. It is a delusion to think that we can
keep abreast of developments in all mathematical areas by
publishing comprehensive mathematical journals. The era of
such an approach is gone forever. Let us face it, the amount
of material that an individual reader finds interesting or at
least readable, let alone usable, in each comprehensive journal
As an alternative proposal last year, just in case the AMS
administration were to find it impossible to adandon a format
that has been operative for so long, I also suggested that
members might at least be allowed to choose between receiving
a subscription to the BULLETIN or receiving instead two sections
of the MATHEMATICAL REVIEWS that are now offered separately at
extra cost. Personally, I would rather have reviews of papers
in my own and related fields than most of the articles in the
My suggestions drew courteous responses from AMS officers in
which I was told that in the past proposals such as mine had
been considered and rejected, that the matter had been raised
at the l974 Council meeting and no action taken "which effectively
means that the Council did not want to may any changes in t he
status quo." Why? Is this the creeping effect of bureaucracy's
I have discussed my suggestions with a substantial number of
colleagues in my own and other universities and have encountered
widespread enthusiasm. I wish, therefore, to invite members of
the AMS who find themselves in agreement with either of the
changes described here to write individually or collectively to
Society officials requesting a poll of the membership on the
issue. If actually there is a majority in favor of either
change it would not be proper of the AMS administration to
ignore such sentiment.
The two proposals have been considered by Society committees and so far
have not been recommended. The Secretary has received a few support letters.
The Executive Director has analyzed the marginal cost of journals and the loss
to the Society connected with a member who drops the BULLETIN and selects a
journal to which he does not now subscribe or to which he already subscribes.
His report is attached.
President Bers requested the Editorial Committee of the BULLETIN to
re-examine the procedure for handling Research Announcements and to report at
the next meeting. The current procedure contains the sentence " A limited
number of research announcements may be communicated by each member of the
Council who is also a member of a Society editorial committee." In practice,
the number is six and it was suggested that this be specifically stated.
President Bers wrote the attached letter to the Director of the
National Research Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Pretoria and received
the attached reply.
The change of procedure to BLIND REFEREEING was communicated to the
Associate Editors of the PROCEEDINGS of the Chairman of the Editorial
Committee. The response of one of the Associate Editors, Norman Blackburn,
distributed with his permission, is attached for the Council, who voted the
change. The letter of resignation of Peter L.Duren, with his comments on
blind refereeing is attached, also.
The Council was informed that in accord with a request from this
Council, the AAAS Council of January 3l, l975, passed the following resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the American Association for
the Advancement of Science urges the NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
to reinstate its postdoctoral fellowship program.
The point was made in a recent meeting of this Council that it might
be illegal to publish in EIM a listing of a position at the University of
Rhodesia. The argument was that Rhodesia is under "sanction" by the UN and
the U.S. adheres to the UN. The Secretary, accordingly, consulted the
attorneys for the Society and has been assured that this is not the case. The
complete opinion is attached.
At the request of Prof. A.H. Lachlan, Chairman of the Editoral
Committee of the TRANSACTIONS and MEMOIRS, the attached letter on editorial
standards is distributed.
The Council adjourned at midnight.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
April 11, 1975