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Minutes for Board Meeting - January 2013

Minutes: American Comparative Literature Association Board Meeting
Cambridge MA, 3 January 2013
  1. Report from the President
    1. There was discussion of the non-appearance of the annual bulletin for 2012, due to delays in receiving elements of the document. It was agreed to move towards a blog-like format for the bulletin, with annual letters from the incoming President and from the ADPCL, reports from each of the committee chairs posted annually (staggered so that there would be a report every quarter), and other information posted as it becomes available.
  2. Discussion of the State of the Discipline Report 7:00-7:30
    1. The board began a discussion of the upcoming decadal state of the discipline report. The board agreed that this report, unlike previous reports, should not be edited by a single individual, and should instead be the collaborative effort of an editorial board, appearing first as an online “magazine,” with portions of the website being developed into book format later. The board agreed to send a call for editors to the membership list, and to evaluate the applications received, and choose a core group of board members, by the April Meeting
  3. Report on ACL(x) (Hayot) 7:30-7:40
    1. There was no ACL(x) in 2012, but funds continue to exist for hosting an ACL(x) at Penn State in 2013. It was suggested that this year’s ACL(x) could be focused around the State of the Discipline report.
  4. Report of the Program Committee (Damrosch) 7:40-8:00
    1. Plans for the 2013 Toronto and 2014 New York conferences are moving forward, and contracts have been signed for the 2015 Seattle conference. After consultations, it was decided not to host the 2016 conference in Mexico City, and to move the next Boston/Cambridge conference to 2016.
    2. There was discussion of possible hosts for 2017 and 2018. There has been preliminary interest from Utrecht for the 2017 conference, and it was agreed that the Program Committee and Secretariat would pursue this further. It was also agreed that work should be done on identifying a site for the 2018 conference.
    3. Discussion of media fees for conferences. While there had been an initial proposal to institute such a fee at the Toronto conference, such a fee will not be necessary there due to institutional arrangements. However, it was agreed that the costs for media will be substantial at the 2015 conference in Seattle (which will be the first hotel-based conference since Vancouver in 2011), and that some means of recouping that extra cost will be necessary, whether through a specific media fee, or through higher fees for everyone.
  5. It was agreed to postpone the next report from the Journals committee until the April meeting in Toronto.
  6. Report of the Nominations Committee (Slaughter) 8:20-8:30
    1. Elections will need to be held this spring to replace the chair of the nominations committee, to elect a new second vice-president, and a new graduate representative.
  7. Report from the Financial Committee (Berman) 8:30-8:50
    1. The financial committee presented a report on the current state of ACLA finances. Pending final numbers, 2012 seems to have ended with a modest surplus, a result of the annual conference coming in at budget, and contingency funds not being required.
    2. The financial committee presented a draft budget for 2013, extrapolating from expenses for 2012. Allowing for contingencies, the budget appears to be in balance for 2013.
    3. UBTI Taxation issue: The ACLA accountant has advised the secretariat that Highlander Capital has been investing some of the ACLA’s funds in so-called master limited partnerships, which incur the risk of Unrelated Business Taxable Income. He advised that we direct Highlander Capital to invest elsewhere, and it was agreed that the Secretariat would do so.
  8. Student Representatives Update The student representative updated the board on plans for a roundtable at the next conference, along with discussing the question of how to arrange for room-sharing at the conference.
Respectfully submitted,
Alexander Beecroft