2008 May 30 meeting minutes

New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance

Alexander Library, New Brunswick

May 30, 2008

Members Present: Ron Becker, Ben Beede, Bonita Craft Grant, Alan Lucibello, Maxine Lurie, Marc Mappen, Carla Zimmerman

The meeting was convened at 3:15.

Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.

Treasurer's Report: Bonita reported that we have $1424.30 in our Commerce bank account. We have approximately $113 in cash.


Membership: Carla reported that we have 99 members; a vast improvement over 2005 when we had only 38. She attributed the growth in membership to (a) the frequent mailing of dues notices, and (b) the sale of NJ-shaped cookie cutters – people who purchased the cutters got a one-year membership in the NJSAA. Carla asked for suggestions on new premiums we could use to attract members, such as coffee mugs or lanyards. A new dues mailing will go out soon, the rate is still $5 per year, with the option of paying for three years.

Author Award: Bonita stated that seven books have been nominated. The committee will make a decision in August, and the award will be presented at the Advocates annual meeting in October. The members discussed a proposal to present a special award for lifetime achievement. It was agreed that the creation of a new award would be redundant, given that fact that there are so many other awards already given for lifetime achievements. Rather the Author Award committee should continue to give awards for individual books.

Librarian Award: Ron reported that the committee will be soliciting nominations, and that the award will be presented at Monmouth County Archives Day in October.

Teacher Award: It was noted that we had received three nominations in the most recent round, which was an improvement over last year. Alan pointed out other teacher award programs had difficulty attracting nominees, and cited some examples. The members agreed that the call for nominations should be distributed widely through the Department of Education, professional organizations, county superintendents, and other venues. The nomination deadline for the next round will be

January, and the award will be presented at the History Issues Convention in March.

Archives Day: Maxine will be the keynote speaker at this event, which will be held on October 11, 2008.

Stellhorn Award: From what we can gather, Fred Pachman does not wish to continue as chair of this committee. Maxine will seek to recruit a new chair; several names for new members were suggested, Raymond Frey, and Timothy Hack.

NJSAA Lecture series:c

NJSAA Website: Maxine reported that due to changes in the Seton Hall computer system, we will probably need a new host for the organization's website. Carla said that she has experience in web design and web hosting, and will look into the creation of a new site. She said that developments in technology had made this task easier than it was before.

New Jersey History Day: The schedule for next year's NJHD will be as follows: Northern regional competition at Seton Hall, March 21; Southern regional competition at Rider University, March 28; and Statewide final competition at William Paterson University, May 2. Ron bemoaned the fact that the NJ History Fair has been held on the same day as NJ History Day final competition. Marc will inform the Division of Parks & Forestry of the May 2 date in hopes that this schedule conflict can be averted in 2009.


State Budget: Marc reported on the status of the campaign to restore funding for history. At present there is cause for cautious optimism. The campaign, spearheaded by the Advocates for NJ History and ArtPrideNJ seems to be getting support from some members of the legislature. Efforts are also being made to convince the governor's office not to veto any such restoration. Although the prospects seem improved at present, we could all wake up on July 1 and find that all our efforts had failed. He also reported on the prospects for renewed funding for historic preservation. Various means are being pursued to

find money for this purpose, in conjunction with funding for open space and farmland preservation.

Other news: Marc stated that Giles Wright of the Historical Commission staff had suffered a stroke and was in the critical care

unit at a hospital in Willingboro. The members expressed their hope for a speedy recovery.

Next meeting: Friday, September 19, 2008, from 3-5 pm in the Case Room of the Alexander Library.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 4:44 PM.

Respectfully Submitted

Marc Mappen