Monthly Archives: February 2012

Apply to be a Part of the History Tuning Project

History Tuning Project ApplicationLast week we announced that the AHA is initiating a History Tuning Project, supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation, to define what a student should understand and be able to do at the completion of a history degree program. The announcement received a great response and was featured in articles at Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle.

Many history professionals contacted us to express their desire to be involved, and today we have information on how to do so.

The AHA seeks an enthusiastic group of 60 history faculty who represent institutions of diverse types in terms of size, source of funding (public/private), populations served, curricular emphases, location, and degrees offered to be a part of the History Tuning Project. Interested parties should fill out this application by March 16, 2012.

Professional Organizations and Political Engagements: An OAH Discussion

OAH forum Professional Organizations and Political EngagementsIn advance of its upcoming annual meeting, the Organization of American Historians held an online forum on “Professional Organizations and Political Engagements.” Current and former members of the OAH Executive Board discussed the various complex issues related to requests for a scholarly society to support causes that might or might not be part of the mission of their organizations. The discussion will continue at a plenary session at the OAH annual meeting on Friday, April 20, 4:30 p.m.

AHA President William Cronon and Executive Director Jim Grossman were among the participants in the forum, which also included Jon Butler, Albert Camarillo, William Chafe, David Hollinger, Alice Kessler-Harris, Nancy MacLean, and Vicki Ruiz.

Topics explored in the forum included:

  • Core principles by which organization leaders can be guided when they, or a substantial segment of their membership, believe that a particular cause is worthy of support.
  • Issues that an organization could or should support even if such support carries some financial risk.
  • The idea of a “division of labor” among the various organizations to which scholars belong.
  • The concept of “fiduciary responsibility” as an aspect of decision-making by governing boards of scholarly membership organizations.

The forum engaged both abstract issues and such concrete examples as deciding whether or not to break hotel contracts because of labor disputes or other objections to a venue. Readers are invited to contribute their thoughts on this discussion online.

Celebrating Presidents’ Day

Last year on Presidents’ Day we explored the holiday’s beginnings: starting in 1880 as a celebration of George Washington’s Birthday, modified in 1971 to fall on a Monday in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, and finally broadened in the 1980s from Washington’s Birthday to Presidents’ Day (learn more in the National Archives Prologue magazine article, “By George, IT IS Washington’s Birthday!”).

This Presidents’ Day, we look back at past president-related posts featured here on AHA Today.