January 1982 Council Minutes
JANUARY 1982 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met in Room 23 of the Cincinnati Convention-Exposition Center at
2:00 PM on 12 January 1982. Members present were R.G. Ayoub, P. T. Bateman,
F.T. Birtel, J.H. Bramble, F.E. Browder, T.H. Brylawski, C.W. deBoor, P.A.
Fillmore, F.W. Gehring, A.M. Gleason, D.M. Goldschmidt, R.L. Graham, P. R.
Halmos, M. Hochster, M. Jerison, W.B. Johnson, L. Keen, W.E. Kirwan II, R.
P. Langlands, L. Lorch, M. Lowengrub, D.J. Lutzer, O.C. McGehee, R.S. Millman,
J. W. Milnore, C.C. Moore, W.D. Neumann, C.M. Pearcy, F. P. Peterson, E.
Pitcher, M.B. Pour-El, J.B. Robinson, M.E. Rubin, P. J. Sally, Jr., H. J.
Sussman, J.J. Uhl, Jr.,R.O. Wells, Jr., L.A. Zalcman. Also present were L.K.
Durst, R. Hahn, E. Heiser, W.J. LeVeque, and J. L. Selfridge. The privilege
of the floor was granted at various times to Kenneth Hoffman, Serge Lang,
Saunders MacLane, John Nohel, William Rosen, and Eduardo Sontag. President
Gleason was in the chair.
1.1 MINUTES OF 18 AUGUST 1981: These minutes had been distributed by mail.
Professor Lorch moved that minute 8.3 U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE be amended to
read as follows:
The Council did not accept for the agenda the following resolution
proposed by Professor Lorch: Whereas it has come to our attention
that the U.S. National Committee on Mathematics is composed solely of
white males, we request the Committee on Women and the Committee on
Disadvantage Groups to consider the situation, and to make their
respective recommendations to the January 1982 Council meeting as to
what representations, if any, either or both of these Committees
suggest that the Council should make in this connection.
The minutes were so amended and were then approved.
3.1 COUNCIL MEETINGS: After seeking the advice of the Agenda and Budget
Committee and in accordance with an authorization from the EC, the Secretary
set the following Council Meeting:
16 March 1982 Bryn Mawr
The EC set Council meetings as follows:
24 August 1982 Toronto
4 January 1983 Denver
The EC authorized the Secretary to set the time and place of a Council meeting
in the Spring of 1983. This information was communicated to the Council.
3.2 COUNCIL OF AUGUST 1982: Professor Lee Lorch offered the following
Following the precedent established at the time of a previous
International Congress of Mathematicians, the Council meeting
normally to be scheduled for August 1982, shall be postponed
and held in connection with a Fall 1982 AMS meeting.
The motion failed.
COMMITTEE AND BOARDS:
4.1 DUES: The EC made the following recommendations:
1. The Council establish a formula for dues whereby dues are increased each
year a whole dollar amount equivalent to the percentage increase in average
salary for institutions reporting data to the AAUP for the last decade. (This
is referred to as the AAUP salary indicator in the attachment.)
2. That the Council establish the division point between lower and higher dues
for full dues paying members at a round thousand dollar amount which places
about 60% of those persons at the lower level of dues.
3. That the Council empower the EC to apply the formula and determine the
division point annually and to forward the results directly to the Trustees
for their approval.
It was understood that dues for the lower paying members remain at
approximately three quarters of the dues for higher paying members.
It was observed that salary decisions made in the year n-1 to n determine
salaries in the year n to n+1 and are known at the time of the EC/BT meeting
late in year n+1. Thus, they are availabe in the middle of the year n+2 for
the printing of dues bills for the year n+3. See minute 6.23 of the EC/BT
of 20-22 November 1981. Examples are attached.
Professor Lorch moved to amend the second recommendation that the division
point be based on salaries earned in the United States (the effect being to
place almost every member outside the United States in the class with lower
dues). The amendment was defeated. The recommendations were then passed. It
was noted that the Trustees have approved the formula.
4.2 PUBLIC BRYPTOGRAPHY: The National Security Agency has been moving to carry
out a recommendation from the Public Cryptography Study Group to institute a
voluntary prepublication review system of certain material of interest to the
agency. The first trial by the NSA was unsuccessful. The second trial is
presented in the attached letter, dated 6 August 1981, from Eugene F. Yeates to
William J. LeVeque. The EC considered the issue and recommended the following
position to the Council:
1. The Society as an organization should not become involved in any phase of
the administration of a plan of voluntary prepublication review of papers in
2. In particular, neither the editors or Society journals nor the Providence
office should inquire whether a paper submitted to, or accepted by a Society
journal has been offered for review.
3. The Society should not make recommendations of names to any appeal panel
that is set up in the review process.
4. On the other hand, the NOTICES should publicize, without endorsement, any
request by NSA for individuals to particpate in the review process.
The Council approved the postiion advanced by the EC.
4.3 COORDINATION OF CONFERENCES: The Society conducts Summer Institutes, Summer
Seminars, and Summer Research Conferences and is concerned with Regional
Conferences, for which it has published proceedings. These events are
supervised by separate committees. In order to prevent duplication of coverage
of fields in cases where that might be undesirable, the EC recommended that the
Council be asked to charge the EC formally with considering and resolviung
duplication of subject matter when it considers the scientific merit of
proposals for special meetings. In order that this aspect of the charge be
carried out effectively, it was recommended that the schedules of deliberations
of the committees be coordinated and the monitoring by the EC be inserted in
committee charges as a step in the deliberation. The Council approved these
4.4 DUPLICATE PUBLICATION: The Council of 6 January 1981, was aware that the
BULLETIN and the POINCARE SYMPOSIUM volume are duplicating the publication.
The Council referred the policy question to the Committee to Monitor Problems
in Communication. The EC agreed informally that Comm.-Comm. was not the proper
site for the deliberation and recommended to the Council that papers not be
published almost simutaneously in two Society publications. In making the
recommendation, the EC was aware that arrangements for some duplicate
publication may have been made already and did not propose that these be
There was a motion by Milnor that when almost simultaneous publication by the
of two variants of essentially the same papers is contemplated, and should be
brought to the attention of the Council in advance. The motion was passed.
4.5 COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS: The Committee report, which is attached,
"endorses AMS co-sponsorships of an in-dept study proposed by Joel Lebowitz ..
on the topic of discrimination in mathematics in the Soviet Union." The study
would be a joint enterprise of the New York Academy of Sciences (Lebowitz is
the Chairman of their Committee on Human Rights) and this Society. The EC
endorsed the proposal in principle, subject to the conditions. See the EC
minutes, item 5.13, where the conditions are stated. In response to a
solicitation by the co-sponsor the project with the Society and to assume
financial responsibility for the study contingent upon the approval of the
Board of Governors. There are attached letters to that effect from the
President of NYAS. Lebowitz has agreed in the attached letter to accept the
advice and consent of the President of the AMS on the person or group to carry
out the work. A letter of support from Barry Simon is attached.
There was general discussion of the role and scope of the Committee on Human
Rights. There was a motion by Professor Halmos that the Council endorses AMS
co-sponsorship of the indept study proposed by Joel Lebowitz on the topic of
discrimination in mathematics in the Soviet Union. It was understood as part
of the motion that co-sponsorship is to be taken in the sense of active
monitoring, by either the Human Rights Committee, or other person or group
designated by the President, with the possibility of withdrawal should the
development of the operation be judged to be unsatisfactory. The motion was
Professor Lorch asked that his vote be recorded as opposed to the motion. The
President ruled that the recording of an individual vote was contrary to
precedent. Professor Lorch asked for a roll call vote ("by fractions"). It
was pointed out that this would result in a record of the numbers of votes, but
not of the names of voters. There was a motion by Professor Goldschmidt that
the vote of Professor Lorch against the main motion be recorded. It was
passed. The request for a roll call vote was withdrawn.
4.6 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: In consonance with the request of its Chairman,
Professor Alice Schafer, the Committee on Affirmative Action Procedures was
discharged with thanks.
4.7 COMMITTEE ON LEGAL AID: The Council of 18 August 1981 scheduled for the
current meeting the following agendum:
The BT has recommended that the Committee on Legal Aid, which is a committee
of the Council, be transferred to be a committee of the Trustees. Accordingly,
the Secretary moves that the Council approve the discharge of the Committee on
Legal Aid, with the understanding that the same committee will be established
as a committee of the Board of Trustees.
A letter from Dr. Daniel J. Wagner is attached.
The Council approved the discharge of the Committee on Legal Aid with thanks.
4.8 FUNDING OF RESEARCH: Professor Kenneth Hoffman, Chairman of the Committee
on Science Policy, reported on Society plans to monitor the funding of research
particularly on the possibility of having a Washington representative. Dr.
William Rosen from the Mathematical Sciences Section of the National Science
Foundation had the privilege of the floor to speak about the current NSF
allocation for mathematics and the prospective budget. The Council thanked
Dr. Rosen for his remarks.
5.1 MATHEMATICAL REVIEWS: The Council passed the following resolution:
The Council notes with pleasure the facts that the backlog at the
MR editorial office has been cleared and that the journal now appears on
time. The Council congratulates the entire staff for accomplishing this
task and commends the Executive Editor, John L. Selfridge, and the Managing
Editor, William B. Woolf, for this leadership in directing it.
8.1 MINUTES: Professor Lee Lorch offered the following resolution:
When motions or resolutions are proposed to a Council meeting,
their texts shall be recorded in the Minutes of that meeting.
The Secretary stated his opinion that, in view of the informal mode of conduct
of Council business, a strict interpretation of such a resolution would make
Council minutes very difficult to read. The motion was defeated.
8.2 U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Professor Lee Lorch offered the following
The Council requests the AMS President to write to the agency or
agencies appointing members to the US National Committee for
Mathematics directing attention to the fact that this Committee
is composed exclusively of white males and conveying the view of
the Council that the composition should be broadened by the prompt
addition of female and minority members. A copy of this letter
shall be sent to the USNCM and published in the NOTICES.
The resolution was defeated.
8.3 U.S. NATIONAL COMMITTEE (bis) The Business Meeting of the Association for
Women in Mathematics has passed the following resolution, which was
communicated by its President, Bhama Srinivasan.
AWM wishes to memorialize the AMS Council and the Joint Committee on
Women to approach and request the National Academy to change the
composition of the U.S. National Committee so that it is not
restricted to white males, as it is now and has been in the
The President ruled the issue out of order as a matter of Council business.
8.4 ADVERTISEMENTS: Professor Lee Lorch offered the following resolution:
Noting that advertisements for vacant academic positions at the
University of Santiago and the Technical University in Valparaiso,
Chile, were published in the October 1981, AMS NOTICES (P. 553),
and that one of these was republished in the November 1981 NOTICES
recalling that the AMS Council meeting of January 1974 condemned
the then newly-established military dictatorship for its treatment
of Chilean universities, their students and staff, keeping in mind
that mathematicians and students of mathematics share the fate of
their fellow-academics, including dismissal from the universities
(including the University of Santiago), imprisonment, expulsion
from Chile, denial of permission to return for visits,
disappearances, keeping further in mind that the Rectors are appointed
and removed solely at the discretion of General Pinochet (Indeed, all
such appointments continue to be solely of Generals and Admirals,
none previously identified with academic life), that entire faculties
and departments have been closed down recently, that professors and
students continue to be dismissed at a moment's notice, the Council
concludes that AMS publications, including the NOTICES, should not
and requests that they shall not, publish advertisement for posts
in Chilean universities under present conditions. The Council notes
further that the publication of such advertisements in our periodicals
might mislead potential applicants into believing that reasonably
normal academic conditions prevail in Chile, that it is safe both
professionally and personally to accept employment there, and that the
AMS might thereby assist in causing individual mathematicians to place
themselves and their families in circumstances of professional and
personal jeopardy. This we wish to avoid, expecially since we cannot
provide any legal assistance to anyone who might be victimized. We
note that the Chilean authorities have refused to punish or extradite
persons convicted in U.S. courts of murder of Chilean and U.S.
The circumstances described above have been confirmed again very
recently, e.g., in an official U.N. report on Chile (The Report of the
Economics and Social Council. Protection of Human Rights in Chile.
Prepared by the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in
Chile, for the 36th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. November 6, 1981.)
At the request of Professor Lorch, the attached article from the New York Times
of February 5, 1980 was circulated.
A motion was isolated that "AMS publications, including the NOTICES should
not..publish advertisements for posts in Chilean universities under present
conditions." There was a proposed substitute motion that the NOTICES should
not accept position listings from any countries except the U.S., Mexico and
Canada. The entire matter was then tabled.
8.5 A-21: Professor Serge Lang requested that a matter concerning the A
[ssociation of U [niversities] Proposal on Circular A-21 [once known as "time
and effort reporting"] be put on the agenda of the Council. His request was
displaced partly with his assistance, but partly contrary to his original
intent, by a more recent and urgent development in that the Office of
Management and Budget on January 7, 1982 published in the Federal Register,
Part V, sixty day period during which comments would be received. The actual
text from the Federal Register was not available at the meeting.
Notwithstanding, it is attached to these minutes for information. Inasmuch as
the thrust of Council action was displaced by the advent of the proposal in the
Federal Register, material from Lang which was circulated with the agenda has
not been attached to these minutes. However, it is in the hands of the EC (see
With no motion before the Council, Professor Lang, Professor Hoffman, and
Professor Saunders MacLane and others presented their views on whether and
how to respond. Two letters from MacLane were distributed at the meeting
and are attached. Not only did Lang distribute a great deal of material at
the meeting, but also subsequent to the meeting he supplied about 200 pages
of material. From the latter, the cover, title page, contents, and sections
1 and 2 written by Lang are attached. The entire file has been supplied to
the EC (see below). [The selection was made by the Secretary, in whose
opinion the sections prepared by Lang provide a succinct summary, not by
Lang, who has indicated a wish to have his personal involvement minimized.
There was a motion to refer the issue to the EC with power to respond as they
saw fit or to decide that no response was required. It was understood that
the EC would consult with interest and knowledgeable parties in formulating
its position. The motion passed. In the course of argument on the motion
to refer. Professor Lang made the point that many, letters from individuals
could well have more force than a single statement from a governing body, such
as the EC speaking for the Council of the AMS and urged individual Council
members to comment on the proposed Circular A-21.
The Council thanked the individuals who had appeared to discuss the issue.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 EC/BT MINUTES OF 20-22 NOVEMBER 1981: The minutes of the EC/BT are
2.2 SCHEDULING MEETINGS: Attention was invited to minute 5.5 from the EC/BT
minutes of 20-22 November 1981, on the topic in the heading.
2.3 REVIEW OF SOCIETY ACTIVITIES: The Council was informed that the EC, in its
cycle of mandated review of Society activities, is examining the publication
program in 1982. Comments on any aspect of the program were solicited.
2.4 PREFERENTIAL VOTING: Attention was invited to item 5.12 of the EC/BT
minutes of 20-22 November 1981 and to its attachment, which is a paper by
Steven J. Brams, a professor of politics at NYU, entitled "The AMS Nomination
Procedure is Vulnerable to Truncation of Preferences." There is a sentence in
the instructions to the voters for the Nominating Committee that "[t] here is a
no tactical advantage to be gained by marking few candidates." Brams exhibits
examples which appear to have the following thrust: A coalition, after the
fact, could learn that it could have influenced the election in favor of one of
its candidates by voting for fewer candidates. Could it divine the facts in
advance, it could make practical use of the "truncation" as a tactic. The
incorrect sentence will be removed from the ballot by agreement of the EC.
2.5 COUNCIL OF 1982: The list of members of the Council is attached.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
12 JANUARY 1982