August 1975 Council Minutes
August 19, 1975
Minutes of the Council
The Council met on August 19, 1975 at 5:00 PM in the Dean's Conference
Room of Friedmann Hall on the campus of Western Michigan University in
Kalamazoo. Members present were R.G. Bartle, P. Bateman, A. Beck, L. Bers,
W.W. Comfort, C.W. Curtis, C. Davis, R. Fossum, D. Gale, R. Goldberg, M. Gray,
J. Green, P. Halmos, L. Gillman, O.G. Harrold, R. Kirby, D.J. Lewis, L. Lorch,
S. Mac Lane, A. Mattuck, J. Milnor, B. Osofsky, F. Peterson, E. Pitcher, J.
Scanlon, and E. Wilkins. By invitation and with privileges of the floor were
P. Cassidy, W. Fleming, T.K. Milnor, P. Mostert, W. Singer, and E. Thomas.
Also present were J. Burlak, L. Durst, R. Hahn, C. Krieger, K. McConaghy,
D. Roselle, and G. Walker. President Bers was in the chair. On several
occasions, not noted individually, he turned the chair over to the Secretary
in order himself to participate in the discussion.
The minutes of April ll, 1975, previously distributed by mail, were
The Secretary was granted permission to amend the minutes of January
25, 1975. After the sentence on the first page about a correction to the
minutes of October 22, 1974, a sentence was inserted: With this addition, the
minutes of October 22, 1974 were approved.
The Editorial Committee of the Colloquium Publications unanimously
recommended Herbert Federer to present the Colloquium Lectures of
January 1977. The Council authorized the invitation.
The attention of the Council was invited to the Minutes of the EC/BT,
Business by Mail dated June 3, 1975, item 8. The Minutes were distributed as
Attachment 2 to the Minutes of the EC/BT dated June 6-7, 1975. The section of
item 8 labeled [Mail Ballot Agenda Item 2.4] constituted the report of the
Joint Committee on Places of Meetings on certain questions concerning discrim-
ination referred by the Council of October 25, 1974. Professor Lee Lorch was
granted permission to raise issues possibly related to the report at a later
time in the meeting.
The Committee on an Abstracting/Indexing Service for Applied
Mathematics, a Committee of the Conference Board of the Math. Sciences,
reported by agreement to the governing bodies of this Society and of the
Society for Industrial & Applied Mathematics. Their final report is attached.
They reached a positive conclusion that there is no feasible action to be
recommended and requested discharge. The report was received with thanks. The
Council concurred in the discharge and requested the Secretary to communicate
this response to CBMS.
The report of the Committee on Committees was presented by its
Chairman, Prof. Emery Thomas. Phyllis Cassidy, a member of the Committee but
not of the Council, was present with privileges of the floor. The report is
attached together with a letter from one of the members, Chandler Davis,
stating his intention of proposing amendments. The report consists of six
sections, each containing a proposal.
The proposal in Section I concerning the Nominating Committee was
amended, editorially and substantively, to read thus:
The Nominating Committee shall consist of eight members. Each year
(after the first year) four members will be elected, each for a two-
year term. Nominees for the election will be selected as follows:
six candidates will be nominated by the President; nomination by
petition will be allowed; if fewer than two candidates are nominated
by petition the President shall nominate enough candidates to make a
slate of eight. After the Committee is formed, any vacancies that
occur will be filled by the President. In the first year, four
members will be appointed by the President for a one-year term; the
remaining four members of the Committee will be elected as described
above. The President shall name the Chairman from among the members;
after the first year, the Chairman shall be one of the continuing
members. Each year the election shall be carried out by the
preferential vote known as the "single transferable vote" with the
"senatorial rules" as described in Appendices IV and V of "Voting in
Democracies", Lakeman & Lambert, Faber & Faber, 1955.
The proposal was then adopted for one year only, to be used in the election of
1975 in selection of the Nominating Committee of l976. There were no
dissenting votes. The plan is to be reviewed at the meeting of April 1976,
with options of continuing, modifying, or dropping it.
The proposal in Section II was considered in two parts. The first four
paragraphs were adopted without dissent after an insertion in the first
sentence of the fourth paragraph, so that the text reads as follows:
We propose that a standing Committee on Committees be formed to act
as a consultant to the President in filling appointed positions in
the Society and to advise the President and Council on the functioning
The committee is to assemble and maintain a roster of names of members
of the Society who are available to fill appointed positions. The
names should be obtained through as many channels as possible: In
particular, the committee should solicit suggestions from Council
members, society officers, and Department chairmen; and should
distribute publicly (either as a page in the NOTICES or as a
sheet mailed individually to members) a returnable form calling
for suggestions and volunteers.
The proposed committee should meet with the President between the
November elections and the January meeting to advise the President
on appointments. In an advisory capacity, it should try both to
achieve fair representation on committees by geographical area,
mathematical interest, age groups, type of institution, and pro-
fessional level, as well as to include representatives of members
of the Society most likely to be affected by each committee's actions.
The second function of the proposed committee would be to inform
itself insofar as possible of the activities of the various
committees of the Society, and to recommend changes to the
President and Council. It may recommend the formation of new
committees, the disbanding or amalgamating of existing committees,
the assignment of new charges to existing committees or the increase
or decrease of membership or budget of existing committees. The
President or Council may assign it specific tasks, particularly if
a recommendation on the formation of a new committee is needed.
Committees themselves would continue to report to Council, but
members of the committee on Committees should receive the reports
The remainder of section II, on the composition of the Committee on
Committees, was amended and debated in detail. The final form was as follows:
The Committee on Committees would consist of seven members: the
Secretary of the Society, together with six members appointed
by the President for a two-year term, coincident with the term
of the President. At least one member other than the Secretary
is to be appointed from the EC and at least two others from the
Council, one a member-at-large and the other not.
In this form it was approved. It is noted that an amendment intending to
replace appointment by election by the Council was defeated.
The proposal in Section III for delegation of additional powers from
the Council to the ED was edited and passed. The approved text is stated here:
PROPOSAL: To the list of specific duties delegated to the EC add the following:
1. Approve invitations to give special lectures such as the Gibbs Lecture and
Colloquium Lectures on recommendation by the appropriate selection committees.
2. Approve winners of prizes, such as Bocher, Cole, Veblen, Birkhoff, Wiener
and Steele prizes, on recommendation by the appropriate selection committees.
3. Approve panel discussions, short courses, and other events, either
peripheral to a meeting or separate from meetings, including joint sponsorships
with universities and publishers of events in which the participation is real.
4. Receive reports of committees of the Council that recommend no action.
5. Set dates and places of Council meetings.
The proposal in Section IV concerning the representation of each
editorial committee on the Council by a single individual was referred back to
the Committee on Committees, with a further recommendation that the method of
fractional votes, specified in Article IV, Section 4, of the bylaws be
The proposal of Section V concerning the establishment of Committee on
the Status of the Profession, subsuming several other committees, was referred
back to the Committee on Committees with a request that the continued consider-
ation include consultation with the other committees concerned.
The proposal in Section VI was modified editorially, with "emphasize"
instead of "be" in the first sentence of the third recommendation. [The
secretary has subsequently edited the rhetoric as well.] The text is the
We propose changes in the nature of the committee, its membership, and
in the nature of the hour talks and choice of speakers, as follows:
First, the committee should be replaced by a Program Committee which
should deal with the special sessions and panel discussions as well
as the hour talks. (However, this Program Committee is NOT meant
to handle the Colloquium Lectures, Gibbs Lectures or other special
lectures.) It is present practice that members may volunteer to
organize special sessions, and a number of special sessions have
been initiated in this way; this practice should be continued, and
should be announced in the NOTICES.
Second, the Program Committee should be larger than the one it replaces
and it should have a chairman. Moreover, the Associate Secretary from
the region in which the next national meeting will be held should be
consulted on selection of speakers for that meeting.
Third, the one hour talks should emphasize very high level exposition
and should be designed for fully trained mathematicians. The emphasis
in choosing speakers should be on the quality of talk, even though this
may result in more repetition of speakers than is now the practice.
Nevertheless, the search for good young speakers should be pursued.
The Program Committee should make systematic efforts to gather
suggestions for speakers. They should consider the possibility of
having a form printed in the NOTICES to be used by members to make
The proposal was adopted. It was noted that the recommendation does not apply
directly to the committees to select speakers for regional meetings but it was
recognized that these committees should be advised of the policies stated in
the third recommendation.
There was a motion by Chandler Davis that the Nominating Committee no
longer be instructed to propose only one name for certain offices. During the
discussion, the attached letter from Morris Kline was read. The motion was
The issue of how to select the Editorial Committee of the NOTICES
(assuming a pending amendment of the bylaws to allow the Council to set the
method) was raised and was referred to the Committee on Committees.
The Committee on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Employment Security
proposed the following resolution:
In an especially meritorious case, where CAFTES feels that the
support of the AMS would be of vital significance to the court,
on recommendation by CAFTES and approval of the Council, the
Legal Aid Committee shall be authorized to file an AMICUS CURIAE
Professor Paul Mostert, Chairman of the Committee, presented the argument.
After extended discussion, the motion was defeated, with a roll call vote of
8 3/4 to 9 1/4.
Professor Paul Halmos proposed a resolution
That the Council approve the filing of an AMICUS CURIAE brief in the
case of John Sopka vs. Boston College, if and when that case goes to
It was on the agenda conditionally for discussion and Halmos stated that he was
proposing it in order to be able to clarify issues by speaking against it.
After extended discussion, the motion passed, with the understanding that the
brief would be reviewed by the Council or, if that were not possible, then by
the EC. An account of the situation of Professor Sopka is attached.
Professor Lorch proposed a resolution, subsequently divided, of which
the first part follows:
The AMS shall not hold meetings at hotels or other places where
facilities are administered or designated in such a way as to
Before commencement of debate, Professor Pitcher objected to discussion of the
matter. There were seven votes to consider and twelve opposed, the latter
not being the required two thirds, and the objection failed. By agreement,
the wording was changed to "... designated in a discriminatory way." The
motion was passed.
The second part of the resolution was the following:
The Society office shall prepare a check-list for the guidance of
local arrangements committees. This check-list shall be prepared
after soliciting suggestions via a request in the next issue of
the NOTICES and shall be approved by Council.
On written request, the Secretary read the attached statement from Professor
Gottschalk. After additional discussion the motion was defeated.
Professor Charles W. Curtis as an individual Council member had pro-
posed a resolution that is attached together with a letter of comment from
Saunders Mac Lane. Curtis is the Chairman of the Committee on the
Emergency Employment Situation in Mathematics and the resolution arose with a
member of the Committee, William M. Singer. Subsequently, the Committee had a
meeting and agreed to support an amended version, which was introduced as the
main motion, with this text.
** BE IT RESOLVED:
That the President of the AMS is requested by the Council to send a
letter dealing with the current employment prospects in pure mathe-
matics to the head of every PhD-producing mathematics department.
The President is requested to emphasize the following points.
1. The great majority of Ph.D.'s in pure mathematics are dependent
on college and university teaching jobs for their long term employment.
2. The number of long term new positions in college and university
teaching for several years to come, is expected to be substantially
less than the current production rate of Ph.D.'s in pure mathematics,
on the basis of estimates prepared by the AMS Committee on Employment
and Educational Policy.
3. The President and the Council of the AMS urge all departments to
inform current and prospective graduate students of the employment
situation, as shown by the AMS studies. They should also inform
current and prospective students of the employment records of recent
Ph.D. graduates of the department.
4. The President and the Council of the AMS urge that departments
encourage candidates for the Ph.D. in pure mathematics to achieve
flexibility in their response to the employment situation, through
the study of some branch of applied mathematics or by developing in
some other way considerable breadth in their mathematical interests.
Singer and Wendell Fleming, Chairman of the Committee on Employment and
Educational Policy, had the privilege of the floor and supported the resolution
The President made it clear that the letter would follow the suggestions in the
resolution but would be of his composition. The resolution passed.
The attached report of the Committee on Budgetary Procedure and Cost
Effectiveness was approved and the Committee was discharged with thanks.
The Committee to Select the Gibbs Lecturers for 1975 and 1976
recommended Professor A.S. Wightman for the lecture of 1976 in San Antonio.
He had agreed to accept if formally asked. The Council approved the
The Steele Prize Committee proposed the following change in terms of
the award of the Steele Prizes:
The Committee on Steel Prizes recommends (by a vote of 6-1) that
the Council replace the present Steele Prize with a large prize
for a spectacular piece of research to be given on the rare
occasions (perhaps every three to five years) when such a piece
of research comes to light.
The argument in a letter from Hans Weinberger and a plan prepared for the
Steele Prize Committe by Paul Halmos are attached. The motion failed. The
Committee gave notice that there will be no prizes in 1976 and that it will
probably bring in another recommendation.
The MAA and this Society had been considering a proposal by the Joint
Committee on Employment Opportunities. The text, with comments, is on pp. 3-5
of the minutes of April ll, 1975. It altered the policy on certain procedures
by which non-discrimination in employment is encouraged. Because the
recommendation concerns listings in the journal EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION FOR
MATHEMATICIANS, a joint project, a change requires concurrence of both
organizations. A comment from the Joint Committee on their earlier report is
attached. Subsequent to its preparation, the Association had acted in a
manner slightly different from the Committee recommendation. With the approval
of the Committee, the Secretary introduced a resolution in four parts that
agreed with the most recent Association action.
1. That EIM publish in each issue the statement headed
"nondiscrimination." [The text of the statement is reproduced from the minutes
of April ll, 1975:
All employers in the United States are required to abide by the requirement of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of l964, announcing a national policy of
equal employment opportunity in private employment, without discrimination
because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. All U.S. listings
are accepted with the understanding that the employer complies with federal
requirements. Applicants should be aware that institutions outside the U.S.
may not be legally bound to conform to these or similar requirements.
Applicants are advised to inform themselves of conditions that may exist at
the institutions to which they apply.]
2. That each employer not subject to the laws of the United States who propose
a position listing be asked to sign or refuse to sign a statement of
nondiscrimination as approved by the Council of April ll, 1975. [The statement
Employment at [INSTITUTION] is offered without discrimination on the
basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.]
3. That positions of employers who refuse to sign be listed and be flagged, as
with the symbol RS (for "refuses to sign").
4. That in the event that there is insufficient time to secure signature or
refusal, the position be listed for one issue only, to allow time, and be
flagged, as with the symbol NDSNA (for nondiscrimination statement not
Item 4 was separated from the rest. Items 1-3 were passed and then item 4
was passed. There was an interpretation of item 4 to the effect that it
applies once to a specific employer, not once per year.
The AMS-IMS Committee on TRANSLATIONS recommended that the Society
investigate means of publishing selected translations from ACTA MATHEMATICA
SINICA. The full letter of recommendation and supporting papers are attached.
The Council approved.
The Committee on External membership presented the attache report,
including the section headed Proposal as a motion. The motion was interpreted
as a recommendation to the Secretary to prepare a draft of the change in the
bylaws necessary to carry it out. The motion was presented by the Chairman,
Prof. Mattuck, and by Prof. Tilla Milnor, a member of the Committee with the
privilege of the floor. After extended discussion, Prof. Lorch proposed a
substitute motion not to institute the proposed system of external memberships
but to return to the earlier system of memberships by reciprocity. [The
Council of January 22, 1975 had agreed in principle to abolish membership by
reciprocity, so that the substitute would rescind that action E.P] The motion
to substitute was defeated. The motion from the Committee was then defeated.
A motion by Prof. Lorch to reinstate reciprocity agreements, interpreted as
rescinding the Council action of January 22, 1975 was characterized by Prof.
John Milnor as new business not notified to the members of the Council and
President Bers rules it out of order.
Prof. Mattuck noted that the substance of the report of the Committee,
which the Council had specifically requested, had not been discussed. It
was observed that all societies with whom there have been reciprocity
agreements had been notified of possible replacement of the agreements by a
new category of individual membership and that the procedure for carrying out
the agreement in principle of January 22, 1975 should be developed for
consideration by the Council soon.
The decision by the Council of January 22, 1975, to institute a two year
trial of "blind refereeing" [in which the referee's copy of a submitted
manuscript does not include the name or institute of the author] for the
PROCEEDINGS produced several kinds of results:
(1) An associate editor, Prof. Norman Blackburn, declined on
principle to follow the procedure of blind refereeing.
(2) Potential referees have refused to referee on the terms of
(3) An associate editor has resigned.
The attachments for item (1) begin with a summary letter dated May 6, 1975 from
Prof. W.W. Comfort, Chairman of the Editorial Committee, on the situation of
Blackburn, followed by an exchange of letters between Comfort and Blackburn,
beginning with Blackburn's letter of 2 February 1975, which received wide
distribution, and followed by Blackburn April l4, Comfort April l8, Blackburn
April 23. In the matter of Item (2) there is an attached refusal of Saunders
Mac Lane to referee, dated May 22, 1975, the reply from Jay Goldman, the
Associate Editor who made the request, dated June 12, and the acknowledgment
by Mac Lane of June l7. Moreover, there is a note from Henry Helson to
Editor Richard R. Goldberg, reading in entirety as follows: "I am not willing
to referee papers without knowing the author," followed by a footnote,
"Referees should not be anonymous either." Finally, with reference to (3) there
is the attached letter of resignation of Peter Duren dated March 3l, 1975.
The Council contemplated the situation described above. There were
suggestions that the appropriate response was no action, inasmuch as blind
refereeing had been instituted for a trial still in progress. There was a
motion by Prof. Frank Peterson that blind refereeing be abolished. There was
extended discussion in committee of the whole. On return to formal sessions,
the motion was defeated.
There was a motion by Prof. Osofsky that the Council instruct the
Secretary to write to Prof. Blackburn restating the policy concerning the trial
of blind refereeing and stating that he is instructed by the Council to
institute blind refereeing. Most of the discussion took place in committee of
the whole. The proposals were returned to Council in regular session. The
committee of the whole had reaffirmed the position of the Council of January
22, 1975 on the trial of blind refereeing in the PROCEEDINGS. However, the
Council did not act formally on the reaffirmation. The committee of the whole
also returned a substitute motion to instruct the Secretary to write to Prof.
Blackburn apologizing to him for institution blind refereeing without con-
sulting the associate editors, expressing the regrets of the Council, and
asking him to continue his duties as editor as long as his term permits and
subject to the rules in force when he was selected. The substitute motion
was substituted and then defeated.
Prof. Bers described the situation of the Russian mathematician Turchin.
The Secretary was instructed to write a letter of inquiry about him to the
Soviet ambassador, with a copy to the President of the Soviet Academy of
Sciences, it being understood by the Secretary that he would be supplied with
sufficient background information.
Prof. Mac Lane described the reported altered role of the Institute of
Mathematics of the Romanian Academy of Sciences. His memorandum to the
Council is attached. The Secretary was instructed to write a polite letter to
the Academy of Sciences inquiring what has happened.
During the earlier discussion of the report of the Committee on Committees
there was a recess for dinner at 6:30 PM, with reconvening of the Council in
executive session at 7:30 PM. At that point, the final report of the
Nominating Committee was presented. [See the minutes of April ll, 1975 for
the first part of the report.] The Council nominated the candidates for
various offices proposed by the Committee and list herewith:
President Elect R.H. Bing
Associate Secretary Paul T.Bateman
Kenneth A. Ross
Bulletin Olga Taussky
Colloquium Samuel Eilenberg
Mathematical Surveys Maxwell Rosenlicht
Mathematical Reviews Jacob T. Schwartz
Math. of Comp. John W. Wrench, Jr.
Proceedings Thomas A. Chapman
Richard R. Goldberg
Joseph A. Wolf
Transactions & Robert T. Seeley
Memoirs Solomon Fefermen
Comm. to Monitor Carl M. Pearcy
Prob. In Commun. Duane W. Bailey
Trustee Cathleen S. Morawetz
The Council then authorized the Chairman of the Nominating Committee and
the Secretary to fill any vacancies that might appear on the ballot prior to
its submission to the members.
The council received the information that Jacob Feldman wished to reign
his position of Editor of the PROCEEDINGS. His term would naturally end in
December l976, but he was on leave from the position through December 1975,
with Chandler Davis elected by the Council to replace him. The Council
learned that the Editorial Committee of the PROCEEDINGS wished Davis to serve
through December l976 and elected him to do so, subject to the approval of the
The executive session was completed at 8:00 PM, at which time the
discussion of the report of the Committee on Committees resumed.
There were several items of information received by the Council without
more formal action.
The Secretary announced the nominations by petition, subject to
agreement by some of the candidates.
Vice President Mary W. Gray
Member-at-Large Ed L. Dubinsky
Harriet M. Lord
Lee A. Rubel
The minutes of Business by Mail of June 5, 1975 are attached.
The minutes of the ED/BT of June 6-7, 1975 are attached.
the AMS-MAA Joint Committee on Women in Mathematics offered the
attached progress report.
The Executive Director and the Secretary observed two discriminatory
position listings that appeared in the EIM of June l975, one asking exclusively
for women and the other exclusively for citizens with no stated reason. Each
Chairman was notified that the list would not be repeated without modification.
A letter from Evgeny Levich and Alexander Levich is attached.
The Secretary had been commissioned to inquire about policies of page
charges by the Canadian Journal of Mathematics. The inquiry and the response
Prof. Leonard Gillman requested that the attached letter be
distributed. It corrects a false impression of Gillman's position, created by
distribution of the report of the Committee on Postdoctoral Fellowships without
concurrent distribution of a subsequent explanatory letter.
The Council adjourned at l2:40 AM.
Everett Pitcher, Secretary
August l9, 1975