Academic Health Center
History Project Advisory Committee
Wednesday 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
June 20, 2007
Room 475 Children’s Rehab Center
In attendance: Dr. Frank Cerra, Elaine Challacombe, John Eyler, Jennifer Gunn, Elisabeth Kaplan, and Erik Moore
1. Oral history project
The primary goal for the Oral History Initiative will be to conduct high quality, well researched oral histories of past and present members of the AHC community. The focus will be on the interviews.
John Eyler explained that his choice for a candidate to fill the oral historian position would be a qualified historian of medicine or medical science with a special interest in the history of medical/health care institutions. If hired as a tenure track faculty member, the position would attract a talented scholar and build the incentive to remain at the University and complete the project.
Three primary concerns regarding a tenure track position centered on 1. the academic currency required to satisfy tenure for such a position; 2. the need for the position to remain focused on creating an extensive collection of oral histories and not to become too focused on a particular aspect too early on in the project; and 3. the oral histories would need to be available to all researchers as completed and not at the end of the tenure cycle or writing process.
The discussion focused primarily on ways to satisfy the tenure requirements. The position would need to have a reduced teaching load and instead would focus on research (the oral histories). Publications would be primarily based on articles developed from the project and the finalized transcripts of the interviews. These transcripts would include scope and content notes and provide a historical context for the interviews. The other concerns could be satisfied by incorporating them into the position description and making them part of the tenure process.
Next steps: John Eyler, with assistance from other members of the advisory committee, will look into the academic requirements to satisfy tenure in oral history. Once a satisfactory tenure plan and position description are put together, they will be reviewed by Dr. Cerra.
2. Digitization of AHC archival material
Erik Moore distributed and discussed a list of potential items to digitize and make available online for the History Project. The materials include studies and reports leading to the re-organization of the Health Sciences and the formation of the Academic Health Center, archival records and reports pertaining to the management and operation of the University Hospitals and Clinics including the minutes for the Board of Governors, the full run of the Bulletin of the Medical School (now the Medical Bulletin) beginning in 1929, and several oral histories conducted by Ann Pflaum in 1999 with prominent leaders of the AHC.
Erik explained that these materials along with the digital preservation of current AHC Strategic Positioning documents in a single online repository would provide researchers with material that documents the AHC’s planning activities over the course of fifty years. Dr. Cerra added that many of the electronic files that could be added to the repository are available from the Office of Communications and even his own electronic files. Plans to capture that data will also be part of this process.
All were supportive of the list and suggested additional areas for growing the digitization project. Erik will continue to develop the list and will review it with Dr. Cerra in July. A budget for digitization has been set aside and scanning can begin shortly after the initial priorities have been established.
Next meeting TBA (fall 2007)