As an editor of H-Afrteach, as the primary designer of the new H-Afrteach content management system, and as a member of the H-Net Committee on Teaching I have already been able to make significant contributions to H-Net. Last year I declined a nomination for H-Net council in order to complete the first phase of the content management system ( <http://www.h-net.org/~afrteach/afrteach/search.php>http://www.h-net.org/~afrteach/afrteach/search.php ), which I hope will serve as a prototype and a basic structure for other lists. Having successfully completed that project, and in the process learned a great deal, I now believe I have can offer much of value to H-Net as a member of the council.
H-Net's success rests on its ability to satisfy the needs of its lists and their members. This includes not only technologically savvy scholars who would like to see the addition of new and complex features and services, but also others for whom H-Net remains their primary link to their colleagues around the world. I believe that H-Net has the capacity to promote collaboration on all levels in ways that serves the entire academic community and wider stakeholders. The backbone for this type of progress is reasoned, carefully designed new capabilities: image sharing, syllabus and lesson plan databases, RSS feeds perhaps, even collaborative course-building. However these additions must not be allowed to interfere with the mission of the organization to connect researchers, instructors, librarians, and others to each other.
H-Net also has a role to play in promoting interdisciplinary cooperation across regions and times. I'm particularly excited by the addition of numerous thematic networks dealing with empires, nationalism, and such topics. These networks complement region- and period-oriented networks, allowing a great deal of cross-fertilization. This diversity is one of the great strengths of H-Net, and I'd like to see it continue. H-Net's role in this respect is enhanced by close ties to professional organizations and to other groups that share our mission, especially when the benefits are reciprocal. I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to these types of discussions and projects as a councilor. I have always considered myself somebody who "gets things done", and I think my record as an editor and a member of the teaching committee demonstrates my abilities in this direction. I hope to be able to further demonstrate by dedication in the service of H-Net as a member of the council.