January 1983 Council Minutes
JANUARY 1983 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met in the Zephyr Room of the Executive Tower Inn in Denver on 4
January 1983, at 2:10 PM. Council members in attendance were Steve Armentrout
Robert Bartle, Paul Bateman, Felix Browder, W. Wistar Comfort, Peter Fillmore,
Andrew Gleason, David Goldschmidt, Victor Guillemin, Paul Halmos, Melvin
Hochster, Meyer Jerison, William B. Johnson, Linda Keen, Robert Langlands,
Morton Lowengrub, David Lutzer, O. Carruth McGehee, M. Susan Montgomery,
Calvin Moore, Jan Mycielski, Walter Neumann, Everett Pitcher, Carl Pearcy,
Julia Robinson, Hugo Rossi, Linda Preiss Rothschild, Paul Sally, Jr., Jane
Cronin Scanlon, George Sell, Michael Shub, Stephen Smale, Lance Small, Joel
Smoller, Hector Sussmann, Olga Taussky-Todd, J. Jerry Uhl, Jr., Raymond Wells,
Jr., and Hugh Williams. Also present were L.K. Durst, R. Hahn, E. Heiser, W.J.
LeVeque, J. Mesirov, J. Selfridge, and W. Woolfe. There were two Trustees
present namely Frederick W. Gehring, and Ronald Graham. By invitation, William
Browder, Kenneth Hoffman, and Dieter Puppe were present for part of the meeting
with the privilege of the floor. President Robinson was in the chair.
Items are presented in the order actually discussed.
1.1 MINUTES OF 22 AUGUST 1982. These minutes were distributed by mail. It has
been noted that the last two lines on p. 3 are repeated at the top of p. 4.
Moreover, the minutes failed to note that the Report of the Treasurer for 1981
was attached. With these two items corrected, the minutes were approved.
5.1 REPORT OF THE SECRETARY. The report is attached.
COMMITTEES AND BOARD
4.1 MR AND ZB: Mathematical Reviews and Zentralblatt fur Mathematik have
cooperated in various ways for a number of years. For example, ZB prepared a
portion of the AMS Subject Classification and reviewed the entire
classification. Recently there have been exchanges of personnel between MR and
ZB for the purpose of comparing the operation of the two organizations so that
each might profit from the expertise of the other.
On the occasion of the recent visit of Professor B. Wegner (Editor in Chief)
and Mr. B. Ninnemann (Director of Scientific Staff) to Ann Arbor, a statement
of policy toward cooperation was drafted for mutual consideration. See the
minutes of the EC/BT of 19-21 November 1982, item 4.2 and attached #46. The
EC/BT discussed the statement and then passed the following resolution:
The EC recommends to the Council and BT approves the principle
of cooperation between MR and ZNTRL with the possibility of
merger in the long range future.
Dr. John L. Selfridge, Executive Editor of MR, described the situation briefly
and then called on Professor Olga Taussky-Todd for remarks. She had been one
of the earliest reviewers for ZB, before the founding of MR, and for MR.
Professor Taussky-Todd expressed her support of the resolution of the EC/BT.
Dr. Selfridge then introduced Prof. Dr. Dieter Puppe, Chairman of the
Mathematical Commission of the Heidelberg Academy of Science, which oversees
the editing of the Zentralblatt. The resolution had been communicated to Prof.
Puppe for consideration by appropriate organs of the Zentralblatt. Moreover,
he had been invited to attend the meeting of the Council with the privilege of
the floor. He had responded by a letter to the Secretary, which is attached.
It was the cover for a motion passed by the Mathematical Commission, which
Professor Puppe read and commented upon and which is attached. A motion by
Professor Felix Browder to endorse the position of the EC/BT was replaced by
agreement by a motion proposed by Professor Carl Pearcy, that the Council
approve the principle of cooperation between and possible merger of MR and ZBL.
The motion passed unanimously.
The Secretary reminded the Council that the actual terms of a merger are in
the province of the Trustees.
4.4 DOV TAMARI REPRISE: The Committee on Academic Freedom Tenure, and
Employment Security offered a report titled "In the Matter of Dov Tamari",
which is attached, with the request that it be published in the NOTICES.
The Secretary recalled that in about 1972, there was an extended discussion
over the possible publication in the NOTICES of a letter from Tamari about a
complex dispute with Technion concerning the cessation of his employment by
Technion (whether it was dismissal or resignation appeared to be part of the
dispute). The Editors of the NOTICES first declined to publish, but then
agreed to publish with comments by concerned parties and a rejoinder. The
Trustees then passed a resolution that it would not be in the best interests of
the Society from either a fiscal or legal viewpoint to publish the letter, so
the letter was not published. The Secretary recalled this bit of history not
in objection to the publication of the report, but so that the Council might be
reminded that other aspects of the dispute had appeared before the Council in
The Council agreed that the report should be published.
4.8 INDIVIDUAL DISCOUNTS. Individuals receive deep discounts on subscriptions
and purchases, for example 50% on books and about 90% on MR. There is evidence
that there is considerable abuse of the discount privilege by individuals who
buy for institutions. Some of this may be inadvertently done in ignorance of
the issues, but some is surely deliberate. In order to educate individual
purchasers and to discourage the abuse, the EC/BT recommended that a procedure
be established for verification that purchases by individuals are for
individual use. See EC/BT minutes of 18-21 November 1982, item 6.12 (e).
Professor Browder moved that the Council reaffirm that the purpose of discounts
to individuals on books and journals is a discount to individuals and not an
alternative means of lowering costs for libraries. The motion was passed. The
mechanism was left to the Trustees, with the hope that individuals not become
involved in a mechanism of disclaimers.
The following comment should be added to minute 4.8:
Professor Comfort noted that there are institutions at which individually
financed subscriptions are the only vehicle readily available for access to
journals. By common consent the faculty in Mathematics purchase one or two
journals each, donating these to the department, or to the central library and
losing access to them upon retirement or termination of contract. His
sentiment was noted, to be conveyed to the Trustees, that the Trustees should
consider the announced goal of the Society, namely, "the furtherance of the
interests of mathematical scholarship and research", when they draft a policy
to tighten up on the abuse of discounted subscriptions.
7.1 SEEKING A PRESIDENTIAL PARDON FOR C. DAVIS: THE COUNCIL of 22 August 1982,
passed a resolution (minute 8.4) requesting the President of the United States
to pardon Chandler Davis for his conviction for contempt of Congress. The
Secretary subsequently investigated the pardon procedure. It was his
conclusion that a letter to the President requesting a pardon would produce no
effective result. There is in the Department of Justice an office of Pardon
Attorney. The Acting Pardon Attorney has supplied a set of rules covering the
form and contents of a petition for a pardon, the eligibility to apply, and the
rules for consideration of petition and notification of the results. (see
Federal Register, No. 10, 1962, vol. 27, no. 220, Part I, pp. 11002-3, 28CFR
l.l et seq.) One rule concerning petitions for pardon is that the petition
must be submitted by the convicted person. It cannot be submitted by any other
person or group. Hence, the ineffectiveness, noted above, of any communication
from the Society to the President requesting a pardon.
The Secretary observed that the preparation of a proper petition with
supporting documents would be a great deal of work. Before proceeding with any
of this work (not only by himself, but by others as well), he inquired from
Professor Davis whether he would be willing to have the petition go forward
and would sign the petition were it prepared. Prof. Davis replied that he was
neutral and not involved with respect to the action of the Society in taking a
position on the pardon. He neither agreed nor declined to sign the petition,
were it prepared, but left the Secretary with the impression that he might not
President Robinson stated that she planned to write to the PRESIDENT in an
attempt to accomplish the aims of the Society by requesting not a pardon, but
decriminalization for Professor Davis.
7.2 BIR ZEIT REPRISE. The Council of 23 August 1982, considered a resolution
of regret over "the closing of Arab West Bank universities in what appears from
a distance to be 'collective punishment' for acts of individual students."
The resolution failed. The minute 7.3 from 22 August 1982 is attached (but its
attachments are not included). Past President Lipman Bers asked that the issue
There was immediate objection by Professor Lance Small to consideraation of
the question. The Council sustained the objection by the requesite two-thirds
7.3 A-21 Professor Serge Lang wished the Council to be informed concerning
the prospective handling of funds on an NSF contract related to the fact that
the principal investigator had not signed PAR forms (Personal) Activity Report
time and effort1 report).
Reference may be made to a letter from then President Andrew M. Gleason,
attached to the council minutes of 16 March 1982, and to the document titled
SOME FACULTY PERSPECTIVES ON CIRCULAR A-21, endorsed by the Council and
appearing in the NOTICES OF APRIL 1982, PP. 253-255.
One behalf of Professor Lang, Professor Stephen Smale offered a resolution,
which was amended to read as follows:
The Council of the AMS has learned with dismay of continued
problems that arise because of the effort report requirements
of Circular A-21. Auditors have disallowed funds when effort
reports have been missing; and in some cases they have also
disallowed funds despite professors signing the forms, which
were meaningless and could not be substantiated.
Therefore, the Council recommends that alternative methods be
explored, for example, that now being used by Stanford University
in order that individual faculty members need not sign PAR forms.
It is reasonable to provide a simple certification for direct
costs like summer salary, for instance:
I certify (or confirm) that the personnel charges allocable as
direct costs of the sponsored agreement are appropriate.
7.4 THE AUGUST COUNCIL MEETING: THE EC on 18-21 November 1982, set a Council
meeting on 7 August 1983, in Albany, with the knowledge that the Council might
cancel entirely a Council meeting for August 1983, in recognition of the ICM in
Warsaw, postponed from 1982 to 1983. The Council of 22 August 1982, asked that
the matter of whether to hold a Council meeting in August 1983 be considered.
A history of comparable meetings is attached.
The Council took no action, leaving the Council meeting of 7 August 1983 in
COMMITTEE AND BOARDS (CONTINUED)
4.5 TELLERS' REPORT. The tellers in the election of 1982 reported that in the
contested positions the following persons were elected:
Vice-President Calvin C. Moore
Member-at-large Peter L. Duren
Susan J. Friedlander
4.6 REPORT OF TELLERS IN ELECTION TO THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE: The persons
elected to the Nominating Committee:
O. Carruth McGehee
Wolfgang M. Schmidt
James D. Stasheff
8.1 TABLE FOR PETITIONS: Professor Murray Gerstenhaber proposed the following
motion to the Committee on Human Rights. The CHR forwarded it to the EC,
which in turn asked that it be placed on the Council agenda.
RESOLVED, that at each meeting of the Society, it maintain near
the registration area, a table at which petitions on behalf of
named individual mathematicians suffering from human rights
violations may be displayed and signed by Society members acting
in their individual capacities. Signs of moderate size may be
displayed at the "Petition Table", but must not represent that
the case of the individual in question is backed by the Committee
on Human Rights unless it has in fact so voted. Volunteers may be
present at the table to provide information on individual cases,
provided that notice is sent at least five (5) days in advance
of the meeting to the Providence Office, in order that it may
if necessary, limit the number of volunteers present at the table
at any one time. However, the petition table shall supplement and
not supplant the work of the Committee, and the Committee may
delegate a person to be present at the table at any or all times,
taking precedence over other volunteers.
The Secretary had been asked whether the proposed procedure could be tried at
the meeting of 30-31 October 1982, in College Park. He agreed that it could
be tried provisionally. The EC had agreed that it might be tried provisionsally
at the meeting of 5-9 January 1983, in Denver, with the understanding that the
Council of 4 January might overrule.
The Secretary informed the Council of his understanding that a majority of the
Committee on Human Rights favor the proposal, but that there are members of the
Committee who think that procedures for acceptablility should be established
formally in advance.
On a motion by Professor Robert Bartle, the motion was referred back to the
Committee on Human Rights to clarify the procedures and the kind and degree of
supervision to be exercised.
COMMITTEES AND BOARD (CONT'D)
4.7 SCIENCE POLICY COMMITTEE: Professor Kenneth Hoffman, the chairman,
reported for the Committee.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 EC/BT MINUTES OF 18-21 NOVEMBER 1982: These minutes are attached.
2.2 COUNCIL OF 1983: A list is attached.
The Council adjourned at 5:30 PM.
EVERETT PITCHER, SECRETARY
JANUARY 4, 1983.