July 2014 – Notes From the Inside

In my last missive we were on the cusp of our strategic planning retreat in Chicago. That March weekend now seems an eternity in the past, in part, because so much has happened post retreat. I am grateful to the 40 members who gathered in the O’Hare Hilton and wrestled with mountains of data, engaged in extended discussions of whom, exactly, the HSS serves, and grappled with questions of what we should keep and what we should discard. A distillation of those efforts appears in this Newsletter, providing members the best update of where we are in the process. In the end, we identified six areas (or goals) on which we wish to focus our energy.

As I mentioned, this process is moving quickly. The six goal teams are now fully staffed and 40+ HSS members are exploring ways in which we can fully realize these six priorities: Meetings/Networking; Publishing and Standards; Professional Development; Broadening Our Reach; Advocacy; and Membership. Each goal team is charged with developing the objectives and action plans for their respective goals. There are no restrictions. If the team believes that we should add a program or that we should enhance an extant program, and Council agrees that this should be done, the next phase will be to reify the process, be it a redistribution of our resources or the more challenging prospect of raising the money to make this goal possible. Should we decide to engage in fund raising, then the circle will be complete—it was the desire to add to the HSS endowment that started us down this path of strategic planning. The prospect of profound change both excites me and sobers me as our goals begin to take shape. But the burden will be manageable because our members devote so much of their time and talent to the furtherance of the history of science. It is my hope that our strategic plans will unite our members’ talents and passion with the world’s great need—that is a recipe for happiness.

Thank you for your membership in the HSS.