Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Hotel
Sunday, October 31, 2010
1. Call to Order
President Ann Taves called the meeting to order at 7:40 AM and welcomed members. Fifty-six people were in attendance.
2. Approval of 2009 Minutes
The previous year’s minutes were approved (Bailey/Geffen; unanimous).
3. Memorial List
Ann Taves read the predistributed memorial list of members who had passed away since November 1, 2009. Those remembered are: Don S. Browning, Harry M. Buck, Mary F. Daly, Norman L. Grover, Conrad R. Haglund, Mary Herczog, Thomas A. Idinopulos, William R. LaFleur, F. Stanley Lusby, John Steven Paul, Clark H. Pinnock, Claude Welch, Philip D. Wise, and Arnold J. Wolf.
4. President’s Report
Ann Taves reminded members of the historic significance of this meeting: members are being asked to vote on major changes to the governing structure of the AAR.
5. Report on the State of the Academy
Executive Director Jack Fitzmier thanked the Board of Directors and the staff for their hard work this past year, noting that staff reductions of 25 percent have meant that fewer people have had to do more work. Robert Puckett, Director of Meetings, received a round of applause.
The AAR is financially healthy. Membership is down slightly (9,500), but the Annual Meeting attendance this year is strong (4,800); financial investments have recovered; and the last five audits have given the AAR a clean bill of health. Deborah Minor, Director of Finance and Administration, received a round of applause.
The concurrent meetings with the Society of Biblical Literature will begin next year in San Francisco. Other concurrent meetings are planned for Chicago (2012), Baltimore (2013), and Atlanta (2015), with San Diego being the likely location in 2014. Jack Fitzmier thanked Jeffrey Stout and Emilie Townes for their dedication to the AAR, including their work as co-Chairs of the Governance Task Force. The report they prepared paved the way for the significant changes in the bylaws proposed today.
6. Vote on the Proposed Bylaws
Ann Taves began with a recap of how the AAR has reached this point of proposing major changes to its governance structure. She took members back to the creation of the Governance Task Force, between the presidencies of Jeffrey Stout (2007) and Emilie Townes (2008), through various discussions by the Executive Committee and Board, to this moment in time when members are being asked to vote on a set of new bylaws. She noted that at each stage requiring a vote, both the Executive and Board members had given their unanimous approval.
A transitional plan is in place pending the outcome of today’s vote. The criteria for nominating people to the new transitional Board and to the committees were continuity, expertise, and diversity. People’s terms are staggered so as to move steadily toward fully-elected representation.
Motion: That the new AAR bylaws proposed by the Board be accepted. The motion passed unanimously.
Emilie Townes thanked the various iterations of the Board for their goodwill and hard work. The process took place amidst hard conversations and a constant collegial spirit, with Jack Fitzmier remaining the steady rock. What has begun this morning will result in a better AAR structure, as it becomes an increasingly representative body. She thanked Jeffrey Stout for his collegiality and wisdom, Ann Taves for shepherding the recommendations through the final stages, and all members for their support.
Jeffrey Stout reminded members that the heart of these changes is the democratic urge to make the AAR as fully representative as possible.
Ann Taves led the round of applause for Jack Fitzmier, Jeffrey Stout, and Emilie Townes.
7. 2010 Election Results
Ann Taves announced the election results: Kwok Pui Lan is the new President, Otto Maduro is the new President Elect, and John Esposito is the new Vice President, with these positions all taking effect at the end of this meeting.
8. New Business
There was no new business.
The meeting adjourned at 8:00 AM (Denny/Alpert).
Respectfully submitted by Michel Desjardins
October 31, 2010