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Minutes for Board Meeting - January 2012

Minutes for the ACLA Board Meeting
8-10 AM, Friday January 6th, 2012
Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle WA

Present: Antic, Beecroft, Berman, Damrosch, Eckhardt, Hayot, Lewis, Lionnet, Slaughter, Tarlaci, Walkowitz, Zamora

Welcome and introductions

1. Report of the Program Committee (Damrosch)

a. Preparations for the 2012 conference at Brown are on track; a record number of papers have been submitted
b. Future conferences: Neil ten Kortenaar (University of Toronto) joined the meeting briefly to discuss future plans for ACLA 2013, to be hosted by the University of Toronto; details are being negotiated. Marshall Brown (University of Washington) joined the meeting briefly to discuss the possibility of holding the conference in Seattle in a future year, most likely 2015. Lois Zamora reported on progress towards organizing a conference in Mexico City in 2016; further details to follow in the summer.
c. Discussion of conference finances. David Damrosch presented a sample conference budget, with versions for hotel-based and campus-based conferences. He emphasized the need to manage the budgets for both kinds of conferences so that they can break even. Various cost-saving measures were discussed, including reducing the costs of the banquet, opening reception and coffee breaks, releasing an electronic version of the program only, better management of audiovisual costs, possible adjustments to fees. The question of the balance between US and international destinations was discussed; Marina Antic suggested that the cost of international conferences was a concern for graduate students. The conference committee will review these questions, and report further at the board’s March meeting in Providence.

2. Report of the Nominations Committee (Slaughter)

a. Joseph Slaughter reminded members of the elections to be held this spring for second vice-president, chair of the publications committee, and one of the two graduate student representatives

3. ACL(x) Planning Report (Hayot)

a. Eric Hayot presented a report on the successful inaugural ACL(x) event, held at Penn State on 29 Sept-1 Oct, 2011. A follow-up panel will be held at ACLA 2012, and $5000 was approved for ACL(x) 2012, to be held at the University of Chicago. Discussion of the future of ACL(x) was deferred to the March meeting

4. Report from the Finance Committee (Lewis)

a. Pericles Lewis presented an update on the financial position of the organization. Revenues were slow in the second half of the year, as few members chose to renew their membership while the ACLA’s e-commerce system was non-functional. To cover operating expenses, $5000 was transferred from the organization’s reserve accounts to the operating account. There was a discussion of the need to make clear the distinction between the annual operating budget and the conference budget, with the latter including secretariat staff time as appropriate.

5. Confirmation of new Chair, Finance Committee. (Lionnet)

a. Per the bylaws of the ACLA, the Board voted unanimously to invite Jessica Berman to serve as the new Chair of the Finance Committee.

6. Update on Transition of Secretariat; approval of new policies on whistleblowing, conflict of interest, audit committee, emergency transition (Beecroft)

a. The transition of the Secretariat from the University of Texas to the University of South Carolina is proceeding generally smoothly, with the exception of the difficulties with the e-commerce site noted above.
b. Alexander Beecroft invited the board to consider policies on whistleblowing, conflict-of-interest, the role of the Finance Commmittee as an Audit Committee, and on Emergency Transitions. These policies are now best practices at non-profit organizations and learned societies. Moved: David Damrosch. Seconded: Françoise Lionnet. Approved unanimously

7. Report of the President (Lionnet)

a. Françoise Lionnet thanked the members of the board for their work over the past year of transition, and reminded members of the ADPCL roundtable on teaching she will be leading at the ACLA at Brown on “Challenges and Successes: How Comp Lit Departments Thrive.”

8. Report of the Publications Committee (Walkowitz)

a. Rebecca Walkowitz reported on planning for the special issue of Comparative Literature titled “Remediation,” to come out in 2014. Moved: Eric Hayot. Seconded: Caroline Eckhardt. Approved unanimously. Walkowitz also reminded the board that the next chair of the Publications committee will need to deal with renewing the ACLA’s contract with Comparative Literature, currently due to expire in 2014, and with preparing for the next State of the Discipline report, which should appear in about 2015 or 2016.

9. Student Representatives Update (Tarlaci and Antic)

a. Marina Antic and Fatma Tarlaci presented a proposal for a Roundtable on the Non-Tenure Track job market, as well as for a survey of graduate students. There was general support for both initiatives.

Respectfully submitted,
Alexander Beecroft