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THE NEW STUDY COMMISSION OF THE MODERN LANGUAGE ASSOCIATION On May 2 and 3 the recently constituted New Study Commission met at MLA Headquarters. The specific charge of the Commission is to review "the report of the earlier Study Commission and the constitutional amendments which were tabled at the 1968 Business Meeting." We have also been charged with a much more far-reaching task: "to hold hearings and"make investigations leading to further recommendations to the Executive Council concerning the structure, governance, and activities of the MLA." In order to form an opinion on the sentiment of the membership concerning a new constitution and more appropriate representation, the Commission decided to hold a number of open hearings: 1.One member of the Commission will be present at each of the regional meetings planned for this fall as well as at other group meetings of the Association. (Prof. Liselotte Dieckmann, member of die MLA Executive Council, will hold a hearing at the RMMLA annual meeting in Provo, Utah, on Saturday morning, October 11, following the Business Meeting.) 2.We furthermore invite members to confer with us personally and to write us letters. We also hope to hear from departments and other groups. All suggestions will be carefully considered. But it should be understood that not all of them may appear in die final version the Commission hopes to present to the membership for consideration and possible adoption. 3.At die Denver meeting the following schedule for private and public hearings Ls planned: Dec. 27 2-4 p.m. at MLA Headquarters at die Denver Hilton. Dec. 28 2-4 p.m. (same place) Dec. 29 8:45-11:45 a.m. Public Hearing, location to be announced in the MLA Program. Dec. 30 9-10 a.m. Evaluation session for the Committee. The following points are suggested for discussion. Others may be added as the need arises. A. Governance, structure, participation: 1. A representative assembly to conduct business at annual meetings (powers, composition, optimum size, manner of election). 2. Relation of the assembly to MLA Executive Council and to MLA officers (division of functions and powers). 3. Election of officers, executive council members (how nominated, number of nominees, how elected: by the assembly or by the total membership ?). 4. Practicability of two meetings a year (in June a scholarly meeting ; in December one devoted to business, forums on both scholarly-literary and professional-public questions, and the Faculty Exchange; associated societies to meet in December). 5. Provision for participation by younger members. B. Internal scholarly and professional services and activities: 1. Faculty Exchange and hiring processes. 2. Form of MLA media publications (PMLA, MLA Newsletter, bibliography, etc.). 3. Improvement of teaching (Materials Center, English Program, FL Program, EAIC; pedagogy: curriculum , mediods, orientation; special problems of minority groups and the disadvantaged, of junior and community colleges). 4. Sponsored activi- 122RMMLA BulletinSeptember 1969 ties (Center for Editions of American Authors, Book Club, Scholars' Conferences , etc.). 5. Special problems of younger members and of women. C. External activities and relations: 1. Division of labor with other associations , NCTE, ACTFL, CEA, ADE, ADFL, AAUP, etc. (Can any of these take over functions now exercised by MLA; should MLA concern itself with matters pertinent to AAUP: tenure, teaching loads, censorship, etc?) 2. Role of MLA with reference to foundations. 3. Role of MLA with reference to the federal government. 4. Political and social responsibilities. 5. International obligations. No action will be taken at any of the hearings and the first round of hearings will be completed (hopefully) by the end of the Denver meeting . We urge MLA members to take an active part in the discussion of their future constitution. The Commission is open to all suggestions from all sides. At a later time, we will come up with definite suggestions which might again be open to debate. Liselotte DieckmannScott Osborn Department of GermanDept. of English Washington UniversityMississippi State University St. Louis, Missouri 63130State College, Miss. 39762 Frank RyderFrancis L. Utley, ChmRichard Van Fossen Dept. of GermanDept. of EnglishDept. of English Indiana UniversityOhio State UniversityCornell College Bloomington, Indiana 47401 Columbus, Ohio 43210Mount Vernon, Iowa 53314 ...


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