January 10, 2007
By Robert Townsend
This year’s annual business meeting was unusually busy, with three resolutions sponsored by members for consideration. Members in attendance adopted two of the resolutions. The first, an amended version of the proposed resolution on speech codes, opposes the use of “Free Speech Zones”, “which are an unconstitutional restriction of civil liberties and restrict academic freedom.” The second resolution objects to U. S. Government Practices Inimical to the Values of the Historical Profession and calls on the Association to urge its members “To take a public stand as citizens on behalf of the values necessary to the practice of our profession; and To do whatever they can to bring the Iraq war to a speedy conclusion.” A third resolution, directing the Association to subscribe to the Informed Meetings Exchange (INMEX), was referred to the Association’s governing Council for further study.
Under the Association’s Constitution, resolutions are considered by the Association’s governing Council for acceptance, nonconcurrence, or veto. If accepted by the Council, they are binding on the Association. At its meeting on January 7, the Council accepted the statement on “Free Speech Zones” and asked the Executive Director, Arnita Jones, to investigate the subscription to INMEX. The Council then adopted the following statement on the resolution about government practices:
At its January 7, 2007, meeting, the AHA Council accepted the resolution, but because the resolution came into the Association too late to be published in the December 2006 issue of Perspectives prior to the business meeting where it was passed, and because of its intrinsic importance, the Council believes its acceptance should be ratified by a majority of those voting in an e-mail ballot of the membership.
We are currently working on the mechanism for implementing that decision, and hope to have an announcement about the timing and procedures for the vote by the end of this month.