2003 Strategic Plan

In the fall of 2002 the executive board held a planning retreat to outline strategic goals for the OAH. As the organization approaches its one-hundredth anniversary (2007), we will emphasize initiatives that help historians reach broader audiences and improve history education at all levels. In addition, we will continue to enliven the annual meeting and work to insure the longterm financial security of the OAH.

During the 2003 Annual Meeting in Memphis, OAH service committees discussed this strategic plan and made recommendations to the executive board, which has endorsed the evolving plan as it appears below. 

Goal 1: By 2007, OAH will expand connections with members and broader audiences.

  • Establish a continuing collaborative relationship with the National Museum of American History.
  • Increase recruitment of new members, especially among underrepresented groups (precollegiate teachers, community college historians, public historians, minority historians, and practitioners of more traditional subfields) and graduate students.
  • Increase the listenership of Talking History so that by 2007 it will be carried in its entirety or in segments on 200 radio stations around the globe.
  • Expand Lectureship program to 125 engagements beginning in FY2005 and reach new audiences.
  • Expand OAH website to connect with members and reach a broader audience.
  • Explore involvement in film production as a powerful way of reaching broader audiences.

Goal 2: By 2007, OAH will expand its leadership at all levels of history education.

  • Enhance and expand the OAH Magazine of History, and hire a full-time editor, so that by 2007 it will have a circulation of 20,000.
  • Hire a full-time education coordinator.
  • Enhance education materials on the OAH website.
  • Enhance the quality of precollegiate history education.
    • Expand the number of History Educator members of OAH. (See Goal 1, Strategy 2.)
    • Survey OAH members on existing collaborative projects (precollegiate schools and colleges/universities; and history departments and schools of education).
    • Develop greater cooperation between history departments and schools of education by establishing models for others to emulate.
    • Collaborate with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in establising History High Schools.
    • Mount Fifty-State Survey of History Education on website to share the information widely with educators, historians, and policymakers able to shape history education at the state level.
    • Expand collaboration with Advanced Placement/Educational Testing Service (AP/ETS) and the National Council on History Education (NCHE).
    • Strengthen the relationship between community college historians and other members of the profession, especially by establishing regional workshops on teaching the U.S. history survey.
  • Enrich the professional lives of part-time and adjunct history faculty.
    • Provide travel grants for part-time and adjunct faculty to encourage greater participation in annual meetings.
    • Increase advocacy efforts on behalf of part-time and adjunct faculty.

Goal 3: By 2007, OAH will transform its annual meeting to make it less rigidly structured and to make it more dynamic, innovative, and interactive.

  • Appoint an ad hoc committee, including former program chairs, to consider changes in the Annual Meeting.
  • Shorten annual awards ceremony at 2003 Annual Meeting in Memphis with new arrangements.
  • Implement further changes at 2004 Annual Meeting in Boston.
    • Fewer papers should be read.
    • Create sessions of varying time length.
    • Create more informal "how to" sessions on the craft of history.
    • Create more interactive teaching sessions that address all teachers, including university faculty.
    • Create sessions on scholarly controversies in which two or more distinguished historians take opposing positions.
    • Increase the number of international scholars on the program.
    • g. Increase the number of senior scholars presenting research (not just serving as chairs and commentators).
    • Create new lunch event on Friday that is connected to a half-dozen Chat Tables for discussion and boxed lunches.
    • Move president's address to late afternoon or other time of day and replace with an evening event such as a film screening or concert open to the public.

Goal 4: By 2007, OAH will have increased revenues and diversified its funding sources so as to ensure greater financial independence and support for further programming.

  • Execute the development plan approved by the executive board in spring 2002.
  • Establish more collaborative programs.
    • Apply National Park Service-OAH Cooperative Agreement model to new relationships with other national, regional, and state entities.
    • Expand revenue-generating collaborative relationships with organizations and institutions that promote American history, such as the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National Museum of American History, and academic and trade publishers.
  • Strengthen the long-term relationship with Indiana University Bloomington, the largest financial supporter of the organization.