Call for Applications for Secretary of the Business History Conference

Job Announcement


As a result of the recent amendments to the Business History Conference Bylaws, the BHC has decided to split the roles of Secretary and Treasurer.  The Secretary, like the Secretary-Treasurer before this year’s bylaw amendments, and the Treasurer going forward, will be elected by the members after endorsement by the Trustees. The Secretary is eligible for re-election to additional four-year terms of service.  The BHC now requests applications for this important position in our scholarly society.  As the job description below indicates, the BHC Secretary performs several crucial roles.  The candidate must be: a facilitator of effective committee work, a repository of institutional memory, a partner to BHC presidents in achieving their priorities, a conductor of BHC elections, a resource about the requirements of the BHC bylaws, and a key participant in discussions about the BHC’s strategic direction.

Timing, Remuneration, and Support

The first four-year term will begin at the conclusion of the 2021 BHC annual meeting. The remuneration for this position will be $15,000 per year, along with coverage of expenses to attend annual meetings. The Secretary will be able to count on administrative support from the Hagley Library, but may reside and work anywhere. Once in office, the Secretary will work closely with the President, Treasurer (Roger Horowitz until we fill this position as well), Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, and BHC Committees.

Application Process

Applicants should submit a c.v., as well as a letter of interest by November 15, 2020.  The letter should describe any relevant experience to the specific roles laid out in the position description, as well as prior engagement with the BHC and a brief explanation of how the position dovetails with the applicant’s career trajectory. The selection committee, comprised of Past-President Edward Balleisen (chair), and previous BHC Presidents Mary O’Sullivan, Ken Lipartito, and Pamela Laird, will recommend up to two names to the Nominating Committee. If supported by that committee, this recommendation then requires the endorsement of the Trustees, prior to an election by the members.

Please contact Roger Horowitz (, Interim BHC Secretary-Treasurer, for additional information or to pose any questions.  Send applications to the search committee (;;; by November 15, 2020.

BHC Secretary Job Description

As one of the BHC Officers, the Secretary assists in overseeing the ongoing administration of the BHC and executing the policies that have been decided upon by the Trustees. The Secretary ensures that BHC records are safely archived and updated as needed, so that can be accessed when appropriate.

Each year, the Secretary is responsible for:

  • Sitting on the executive committee
    • The committee is responsible for handling urgent situations that may arise in between the Trustees' meetings.
  • Maintaining the administrative files of the BHC
  • Conducting routine correspondence, including
    • ensuring that the time and location of the annual members meeting is disseminated to the members in a timely and effective fashion, usually no later than at the preceding annual meeting
  • Coordinating member affairs, including communications to the membership
  • Presenting a brief report at the annual members meeting
  • Attending and taking minutes at Trustees’ meetings and the annual members meeting
  • Notifying members of the date and location of annual meetings no later than the prior annual meeting
  • Coordinating elections in timely fashion
    •  Receive nominations and nominee bios from the nominating committee
    • Create the online ballot at least two months prior to the annual members meeting
    • Ensure voting is secure
    • Notify membership of election processes & deadlines
    • Tabulate election results & communicate results to membership and candidates
    • managing any other ballot process, such a voting on bylaw amendments
  • Serving as a liaison between the Officers, the Trustees, the standing committees, prize committees, and any ad hoc committees, and the members
    • Inform the President-Elect of the responsibilities associated with that position
    • Inform the President of the responsibilities associated with that position
    • Inform the Past-President of responsibilities associated with chairing the nominating committee
    • Advise and support the Director of the Doctoral Colloquium as appropriate
    • Notify trustees of meetings (10 days prior to an ad hoc meeting, four weeks prior to regular meetings) and ensure that the relevant committee reports and other documents reach the trustees sufficiently in advance of said meeting (ideally two weeks in advance)
    • Shortly after the annual meeting inform each committee chair of the committee’s membership, responsibilities, and timetable for completion of mandated tasks
    • Monitor as needed the standing, prize, and ad hoc committees so that they remain on schedule for their particular responsibilities
  • Serving as a nonvoting advisor to the Program Committee(s)
  • Undertaking other appropriate tasks as agreed by the Trustees