April 1980 Council Minutes
APRIL 1980 COUNCIL MINUTES
The Council met on 1 April 1980, at 5:10 PM in the Forum Room of the Ramada Inn
in Bloomington, Indiana. The members present were S. Armentrout, H. Bass, P.
Bateman, E. Berlekamp, J. Birman, L. Blum, F. Browder, C. Davis, J. Donaldson,
F. W. Behring, A.M. Gleason, R. Graham, M. Jerison, W.E. Kirwan II, P. Lax, L.
Lorch, D. Lutzer, R.S. Millman, C.M. Pearcy, E. Pitcher, M. Pour-El, S. Smale,
J.D. Stasheff, D.H. Wagner, R.O. Wells, Jr. Also present were L. Durst, H.
Farrell, R. Hahn, J. Selfridge. The privilege of the floor was granted to R.D.
Anderson. President Lax was in the chair.
1.1 MINUTES OF 2 JANUARY 1980: The minutes of the Council meeting of 2 Jan.
1980, which had been distributed by mail, were approved.
1.2 MINUTES OF 22 FEBRUARY 1980: The minutes of Council business by mail dated
22 February 1980, which had been distributed by mail, were approved.
COMMITTEES AND BOARD:
4.1 EDITORIAL COMMITTEE FOR PSAM: The EC noted that the series PROCEEDINGS of
Symposia in Applied Mathematics (PSAM) is about to have new titles added. The
series had not received new titles because it was superseded by the SIAM-AMS
PROCEEDINGS. Now however, PSAM is the natural locus for the publication of
lecture notes from Short Courses organized by the Committee on Employment and
Educational Policy. Accordingly, PSAM needs an editorial committee, which
would serve both for the new titles and for possible reprinting of the old
ones. The EC proposed that the President appoint such an editorial committee
(which would not have representation on the Council). The Council authorized
such a Committee. It was understood that SIAM would be informed even though
the undertaking is exclusively a Society venture.
4.2 RESOLUTION SUPPORTING VACLAV BENDA: The Committee on Human Rights of
Mathematicians proposed a resolution. The quotation is from a letter by
Chandler Davis, a member of the Committee and of the Council.
On behalf of the Committee, I recall that the young computer
scientist Vaclav Benda, formerly at the Research Institute for Computer Science
in Prague, was convicted 23 October 1979 on a charge of subversion and
sentenced to four years' imprisonment. This Committee addressed inquires on
Benda's behalf to the Czechoslovakia government already last August, but there
has been no reply. The following motion is proposed:
The Council of the AMS expresses its concern over the treatment of
our fellow mathematical scientist Vaclav Benda, now serving a four-
year term in Czechoslovakia. This sentence seems from press accounts
to be purely in punishment for his publications critical of the
government. We would hope that this conviction can be reconsidered,
or at the very least, that clemency can be shown.
A letter expressing concern for Dr. Benda is attached. Following a discussion
of the information, the motion was passed. It was understood that the
President should communicate the substance of the resolution to appropriate
4.3 RESOLUTION SUPPORTING JOSE LUIS MASSERA: The Committee on Human Rights of
Mathematicians proposed a second resolution. The quotation is from another
letter from Chandler Davis:
I would like to report briefly on recent developments in the case of
Jose Luis Massera. I submit the following resolution, for the
purpose of strengthening the Committee's hand in its effort to get a
delegation at Masser's hearing.
The Council of the AMS has been informed that a public hearing is planned in
the case of Dr. Jose Luis Massera. We welcome the prospect that, after so
many years of imprisonment and isolation, Dr. Massera may at last have a
chance to present a defense in open court.
We repeat our conviction, which we have communicated to you before, that the
interests of justice would be best served by the immediate unconditional
release of this distinguished scientist. If he comes before judicial hearing,
we feel strong concern in the case as his colleagues in mathematics, as you
surely appreciate; we appeal to you therefore to authorize a delegation sent by
this Society to attend a hearing.
During the discussion, it was asked whether the proposal included payment of
travel expenses of a delegation by the Society. The answer was negative.
Professor Lee Lorch proposed that a letter concerning Professor Massera be
published in the NOTICES in the usual manner. The motion was then passed.
It was understood that the President should communicate the substance of
the resolution to appropriate parties.
4.4 COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS FOLLOW-UP LETTERS: Professor John Nohel,
chairman of the Committee on Human Rights of Mathematicians, asked for a
general authorization to limited action in the following resolution:
In human rights cases where the Council or the Business Meeting
of the AMS had previously authorized inquiries, or protests to be made
in its name, the Committee may send follow-up letters of the same nature
in the Council's name without consulting the Council again.
A sample follow-up letter is attached.
There was considerable discussion of clarifying or restricting amendments. The
version finally accepted was the additional sentence:
It is understood that these letters will be sent out after they have
been approved by the Committee as a whole and will subsequently be circulated
to the Council.
As amended, the motion was passed.
The Council turned to new business at this point even though it was not in the
order of the agenda.
8.1 TRANSLATOR'S MANUAL ON USE OF 'IF.' Professor Lee Lorch presented the
The sentence quoted below should be deleted from all future printings
of the pamphlet published by the AMS entitled "A Manual for Translators of
Mathematical Russian." It occurs at the end of the last paragraph on page 34,
and reads as follows:
Compare an English sentence like "if his parents were poor, they were
If it is within the power of the Council to direct the deletion of this
sentence, then the passage of this motion shall constitute its request that the
said sentence be deleted.
There is a supporting letter attached. A Letter to the Editor of the NOTICES,
20 (1973), 62, is attached. The referenced portion of TRANSLATOR'S (pp. 34-35)
manual is attached.
Several items of information and views were brought forth. No reprinting of
the pamphlet is expected for five years. The pamphlet is the work of an author
with which, it was said, the Council should not interfere.
An amendment to delete the words "If it is within the power of the Council to
direct deletion of this sentence, then " was defeated. Then the motion was
8.2 BERUFSVERBOT: Professor Lee Lorch proposed the following motion:
The Council of the AMS requests President Carter, on the occasion of
his forthcoming meeting with Chancellor Schmidt of the Federal Republic of
Germany, to convey to the latter our opposition to the Berufsverbot in a
meeting of the then Federal Chancellor and provincial (Lander) Minister-
Presidents held in January 1972. We ask President Carter to utilize the
occasion of this meeting, and of his other avenues to the government of the
FRG, to add his unequivocal personal support to our request that this program
and practice be terminated forthwith.
The Berufsverbot was the subject of a Letter to the Editor of the NOTICES
(27 , 76-77 (JAN), captioned THE CASE OF HORST ECKART GROSS), to which
the attached response has been submitted.
The Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights noted that the Committee has been
discussing special cases and proposed that the motion be discussed by the
Committee prior to Council action.
A letter from Past President Lipman Bers was distributed and is attached.
Professor Lorch objected to the characterization implied in the last paragraph
but two and stated that he was not objecting, but was seeking information.
The Secretary moved that the motion be referred to the Committee on Human
Rights and accepted an amendment that the Committee be asked to report at the
August meeting of the Council. The motion passed.
8.3 AMNESTY AND REPARATIONS: Professor Lee Lorch asked that the following
motion be considered:
The Council of the AMS hereby calls upon President Carter to grant
pardons to mathematicians and others convicted of contempt of Congress or
other political offenses, to return fines paid, expunge arrest records,
undertake compensatory actions such as credit toward pension rights, social
security benefits, provide compensation for time served in prison, legal
costs, etc. Further, we ask him to use the actual and moral authority of
his office to establish in appropriate re-employment in the U.S. (such
as in the institutions from which they were ousted) those who were led to
emigrate to other countries when they found academic and other doors to their
professionals closed to them on political grounds.
Following a parliamentary skirmish over whether the motion was in order or
proper business for the Council, the motion was postponed indefinitely.
8.4 VISAS FOR SOVIET SCIENTISTS. Professor Lee Lorch made the following
The Council of the AMS hereby registers its objection to the action of
the U.S. Government denying visas to Soviet scientists invited to participate
in scientific conferences held in California, but of international scope, as
described in the New York Times, February 22, pages 1 and A7. The President of
the AMS is requested to communicate this expression to the appropriate
government authorities and to the scientific organizations affected.
In support there is a copy of an article in the New York Times of Feburary 22,
The motion was postponed indefinitely.
8.5 INQUIRIES: Professor Lee Lorch offered the following motion:
Each agenda of a Council meeting shall have an item entitled
"Inquiries", under which Council members may direct questions to the
Officers, Executive Director and Committees of the Society, it being
understood that detailed answers may not be available on the spot and
that Council members are encouraged to submit their queries in writing
in advance of meetings, preferably in time to be incorporated in the
The motion failed.
At 6:30 PM the Council adjourned for dinner and reconvened at 8:15 PM
8.6 GRIEVANCE OF A MEMBER: A member complained of being arrested and abused
physically in the City of San Antonio while he was in attendance at the joint
meeting of 3-8 January 1980. Charges were dropped, but the record had not been
expunged. He regarded his subsequent dealings with various authorities in San
Antonio as unsatisfactory. He wrote the Secretary, letter attached, asking
that the matter be placed on the Council agenda. He did not request specific
action, but suggested the Council pressure the City of San Antonio to have the
record expunged. Note that he asked for no notoriety from the Council
discussion. He wrote two detailed letters concerning the incident, one to Lee
Lorch, and the other to his attorney. Both are attached, together with the
arrest record and some correspondence concerning it.
Professor Lorch inquired "Does the AMS have any policy or method of assisting
members in such situations and of acting to safeguard against recurrences.?"
The officers and staff have provided a great deal of assistance for persons
attending meetings in response to appeals for help in a variety of
unanticipated emergencies. With respect to this particular event, an account
of the initial involvement of officers and staff is attached. The follow-up
letter from the Executive Director and the response are attached as well. A
brief account of assistance offered by the staff in some of the more
spectacular emergencies in the last ten years is attached.
The problem was noted by the Council. Appreciation to the staff of the Society
in caring for the members was expressed. There was a motion that the Committee
on Meetings be asked to consider the general problem from the point of view of
both individuals and the Society and report at the earliest convenient time.
There was no vote, but it was understood that the motion would go to the
Committee as a suggestion.
8.7 THE ILLNESS OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: The Council noted the absence of
the Executive Director because of illness and on a motion by Professor Lorch
voted to wish him a speedy recovery.
8.8 PAST PRESIDENT EINAR HILLE: The Council noted with sorrow the recent death
of Einar Hille, President of the Society in 1947-48 and Colloquium Lecturer in
1944. The Secretary was instructed by a motion from Professor Lorch to convey
the sympathy of the Council to his widow.
COMMITTEES AND BOARD (Cont.)
The Council returned to the order of business proposed in the agenda. Item 4.5
was considered at two times and is reported next.
4.5 CLOSING GRADUATE PROGRAMS: The Committee on Employment and Educational
Policy submitted the attached resolution on the subject of the closing of
graduate programs. The report is an outgrowth of the situation at Yeshiva,
where some graduate programs were closed, but it addresses the general
The report was referred back to the Committee on a motion by Professor Lorch
with the suggestion that it incorporate a more positive assertion protective of
graduate programs which are threatened with being closed and perhaps should not
4.6 THE YOUNG INVESTIGATOR: Professor R.D. Anderson, Chairman of the Science
Policy Committee, presented and discussed the attached report of the Committee.
The report is preceded by a covering letter. Reference is made to the Bock
Committee report, of which selecta, consisting of an Executive Summary on pp.
i-iii, Chapter V on pp. 93-115, and Chapter VII on pp. l30-l33, were attached
to the minutes of 2 January 1980.
There was extended discussion, during which it appeared that Recommendation I,
which is different from the proposal of the Bock Committee, did not have the
full support of the Council and that the proposal of the Bock Committee did
have some support. No motion was passed, but it was agreed that the Council
and the Committee had a disagreement in philosophy. Near the end of the
meeting, President Lax stated his intention of adding some members to the
Committee and of asking the Committee to invite some department chairmen to
discuss the issue with the Council.
The Council supported Recommendation II of the Committee. There were proposals
for rewording, which were received by Professors Anderson and Donaldson, who
prepared the following revised wording which was presented to the Council later
in the meeting.
The Council recommends that NSF establish and fund a program of
small grants for travel and professional expenses to people in two categories:
(1) the best of the young (less than 10 years past their Ph.D.'s) applicants
for regular NSF summer research grants not funded, but who would have received
grants had funds been available; and (2) applicants who would be recommended
for regular grant support, but who opt for this type of travel and professional
expenses support in lieu of summer support. The selection process would be the
same as that of ordinary research grants, consistent, of course with
affirmative action guidelines. The grants could be for two years at a total of
$2,400 per grant with an additional $600 for administrative costs and overhead.
The program could be administered through CBMS or the AMS by grant or contract
with NSF. The recipients would file vouchers with the chosen administrative
agency for prompt reimbursement or payment of actual expenses which could
include travel, secretarial services, travel support for visitors, publication
costs or other such activities directly involved with the grantee's research
and in accordance with guidelines issued by the administrative agency. We
recommend an initial total of 50 grants per year for people identified in
category (1) above with possible future expension of the program if warranted
The motion as reworded was passed.
4.7 DISCHARGE OF COMMITTEES: The Committee on Committees recommended that the:
Committee on Elected and Appointed Officers
Committee on Modes of Support
be discharged with thanks. The Council approved.
The Committee on Committees and the Budget Committee both recommended that the
AMS-MAA JOINT FACT FINDING COMMITTEE ON ARCHIVES
be discharged of all responsibility to the Society. The two Committees
observed that the need for the joint committee has passed inasmuch as the MAA
has made a unilateral decision concerning the handling of its archives.
Professor Henry Alder sent the following statement to the Council:
At the meeting of the Council on August 22, 1979, "A motion to thank
the Committee was passed, but the Committee was not discharged from its duties
to the Society." This was the explicitly stated desire of both the Committee
and the Council. There have been subsequent events concerning archives which
should eventually be brought to the attention of the Council, but have not been
in accordance with the action of the Council "that any further decision
concerning the archives be laid over indefinitely..."
For these reasons, the Committee strongly opposes any change in the previous
action of the Council that it not be discharged.
The Secretary noted the view of the Committee on Committees and the Budget
Committee that it would be advisable for a long time, say ten years, to elapse
before any issues concerned with archives are raised. The Council approved the
4.8 NOMINATIONS: In executive session, the Nominating Committee for 1980
through its Chairman, Jane Scanlon, made the following recommendations for
Vice President (One Position)
Paul R. Halmost (Ind.)
Murray H. Protter (UCB)
Secretary - Everrett Pitcher (Lehigh)
Associate Secretary (2 positions)
Raymond G. Ayoub (Penn. State)
Frank T. Birtel (Tulane)
Treasurer - Franklin P. Peterson (MIT)
Associate Treasurer - Steve Armentrout (Penn. State)
Trustee - Cathleen S. Morawetz (NYU)
Members of Publications and Communications Committees
American Journal-Victor W. Guillemin (MIT)
Bulletin-Felix E. Browder (Chicago)
Colloquium-Stephen Smale (UCB)
Mathematical Reviews-Carl M. Pearcy (Mich)
Mathematical Surveys-Jane Cronin Scanlon (Rutgers)
Math. of computation (2 Positions)
James H. Bramble (Cornell)
Morris Newman (UCSB)
Proceedings - Thomas H. Brylawski (U of N.C.)
Committee to Monitor Problems in Comm. (2 Positions)
Lynn A. Steen (St. Olaf's)
Karl H. Hofman (Tulane)
Member-at-Large (Five Positions)
Donald L. Burkholder (Ill)
Eugenio Calabi (Penn)
Alan J. Hoffman (IBM)
Linda Keen (CUNY)
O. Carruth McGehee (LSU)
MIchele Vergne (MIT)
Scott W. Williams (SUNY Buffalo)
The Council made the suggested nominations.
REPORT OF OFFICERS
5.1 REPLACEMENT BALLOTS: The Council of 2 January 1980 authorized a plan for
the issuance of a second ballot to members who claim not to have received a
ballot in the annual election. The procedural details were presented in the
attachment at Council request and were approved.
7.1 EFFORT REPORTS: The Council had considered by mail the following
The Council of the AMS calls for suspension of the requirement for a
monitored work load or a personal activity report (as defined in Circular No.
A-21 from the Office Management and Budget) from individual members of the
professional staff participating in research under grant support because such
reports are incompatible with academic life and work and admit no meaningful
compliance. The Council further reaffirms that teaching and research are
inseparable and that accounting procedures in universities must recognize
and accommodate their unitary character.
There were 26 6/7 votes in favor, 1/7 vote opposed, and 5 votes requesting
discussion. In accordance with Article IV, Section 6, of the bylaws, action
on this resolution was postponed until the current Council meeting.
The discussion is supported by a number of documents.
(1) A letter dated January 6, 1980 from Serge Lange to James T. McIntyre,
Director of the Office of Management and Budget, with attachments. This was
distributed with the mail ballot and is not now distributed again. However,
it will be attached to record copies of the minutes.
(2) The first five pages of a document dated February 1968 and titled TIME
AND EFFORT REPORTING BY COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN SUPPORT OF RESEARCH GRANTS
AND CONTRACTS. It is known less formally as the report of the Goode Task Force
which was drawn from several government agencies including the Bureau of the
Budget (predecessor of OMB).
(3) A section of a report dated April 29, 1977, and titled EDUCATION, put out
by the Commission on Federal Paper Work.
(4) A letter from Walter Feit, Chairman of the Yale Mathematics Department,
dated January 2l, 1980, and containing three resolutions passed by that
(5) A letter from Henry Helson to Mr. McIntyre dated January 6, 1980.
(6) A letter from Serge Lange to Richard C. Atkinson, Director of the National
Science Foundation, dated l7 January l980.
(7) The reply from Atkinson to Lang dated l9 February l980.
(8) A memorandum from Saunders MacLane dated January 30, 1980, to which is
attached an extract from circular A-21 revised to which reference has been
made in other documents, and other historical material.
(9) A draft of the form which the Yale administration thinks will meet
requirements of a Personal Activity Report as described in A-21.
(10) A letter from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, signed by its
Chairman, Henry Alder, and others, to Mr. McIntyre stating a position of the
Executive Board of CSSP.
(11) A letter from Saunders MacLane to the Council dated April 2, 1980 with its
Further information and argument can be found in a Letter to the Editor by
Serge Lang in SCIENCE, 207 (14 March 1980).
The Council approved the resolution quoted above that had been held over from
the mail ballot. The Council endorsed the efforts expressed in the letter
from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.
INFORMATION AND RECORD
2.1 NOTICES POLICY ON CIRCULATION OF LETTERS: Professor Lorch wrote as follows:
It appears that the Editors of the NOTICES often, perhaps even
usually, send in advance of publication copies of letters mentioning
individuals or disagreeing with previously published letters to the
individuals mentioned, or to the authors of the previous letters, giving
them an opportunity, at least from time to time, of preparing rejoinders
or explanations. Can you explain, as a member of the NOTICES Editorial
Committee, what the policy is in this respect and how it is implemented?
When a Letter to the Editor concerns factual material either by reference or
through questions about actions of Society officers or committees or staff, the
letter is forwarded to appropriate persons to gather backgound information or
answers for immediate presentation in the NOTICES. An example is a letter
(January 1978, p. 65) of complaint about the abbreviated form of an interim
index of MR. An immediate response from the Executive Editor was solicited.
Another example was the letter titled THE CASE OF HORST ECKART GROSS (January
1980, p. 76) His situation had been a subject of activity by the Committee
on Human Rights of Mathematicians and so a comment from the then Chairman of
the Committee was solicited. The touchstone is information for the members.
When the Council or the Trustees request that material be circulated, of
course their wishes are followed. An example is the letter (November 1978,
p. 495) containing an article titled THE SITUATION IN SOVIET MATHEMATICS.
There is no general policy calling for circulation of letters. To the
contrary, the Committee does not know any way short of publication to circulate
a letter effectively.
No action was requested and the item was noted.
2.2 LETTERS FROM COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RIGHTS: A quotation from a letter from Lee
Lorch containing two questions about the Committee on Human Rights follows:
Two letters in the NOTICES (OCTOBER 1979, January 1980) refer to a
letter sent by the then acting chairman and present chairman of the AMS Human
Rights Committee to the President of the United States prior to the latter's
departure for Vienna to sign the SALT II treaty. These letters indicate that
the Committee Chairman complained to the President that the US-USSR exchange
agreements constitute a fraud on the American scientific community, and
presumably connected this allegation with some action he wished President
Carter to take in his meeting with President Brezhnev, apparently in connection
with SALT II. Noting that the quotation published has never been adopted as a
finding by the AMS Council, and that it appears to have been sent on AMS
stationery, signed by a person holding AMS authority, I request you to
ascertain and notify the Council: (a) Was the letter in question approved, in
advance of being sent to President Carter, by the AMS Committee on Human
Rights? (b) Were the members of the AMS Committee informed in advance of
mailing to the President of the contents of this letter?
The letter from John Nohel, Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights, to
President Carter is attached. A letter from Nohel, also attached, supplies
answer to questions (a) and (b).
No action was requested and the item was noted.
The meeting adjourned at ll:55 PM.
Evertt Pitcher, Secretary
April l0, 1980