- Minutes of the 2011 Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee meeting at the Annual Convention was held on Friday, November 4, 2011, at the Marriott St. Louis Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri. President Craig Owens called the meeting to order at 9:11 a.m. The following report has been filed by the Executive Director on behalf of the Executive Committee:
1. Approval of minutes of 2010 meeting. The minutes of the 2010 meeting were unanimously approved.
2. Report on elections. Craig Dionne was nominated for President; Charlie Stivale (Wayne State) was nominated as a candidate for 2013 or 2014. More nominations will be forthcoming.
3. Report on membership. Our membership numbers are up considerably from last year; the ultimate target is to have approximately 1000 members. The EC noted the increasing ratio of graduate students to professors; membership is now about 50/50.
The number of associated organizations joining in the MMLA annual meeting is on the increase. The EC agreed that this should continue. Prof. Dionne spoke of bringing e. g. the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Association next year.
The EC discussed various forms of outreach to secondary schools: workshops (either at the conference or onsite); inviting people to sessions; inviting them to piggyback; and joint end-of-day workshops on pedagogy.
Prof. Posner proposed raising membership rates slightly, at least for those at the rank of Assistant Professor and above; the EC approved. Prof. Owens suggested a discount for firsttimers, following the model of crack dealers. The EC agreed, [End Page 122] on the assumption that we can verify if people actually are first-timers.
4. Report on convention. This year the attendees number approximately 800, with over 250 sessions.
5. Report on publication. Subscription numbers are slightly up. The journal is behind schedule on production, but will catch up.
The EC discussed the e-journal question. We may wish to form an ad-hoc committee to study the question. One issue is that of the relative status value of electronic versus print journals; it was suggested that we should survey department chairs and deans about this. It was also suggested that we should get more new-media scholars to participate in the conference, not least because they inhabit the e-world and so would help us make the case. The EC agreed that it was important for the time being to have online materials in parallel with and linked to print materials, not identical or supplanting (yet); examples would be digital appendices, book reviews, etc., as well as separate and/or supplemental content, perhaps including pedagogical materials. It was pointed out that we would have to avoid stepping on the toes of JSTOR and Muse.
6. Future conventions. The EC agreed that sustaining and expanding the number of permanent sections was important, along with expanding diversity of offerings, numbers of associated organizations, and numbers of participants. It was observed that the workshops have been very successful, and that we should therefore continue our efforts in this area.
As audio-visual costs are extremely high, the EC agreed that AV use should be minimized at the convention, and that members should be told up front to ask for it only if it is truly necessary. It was agreed that we should also be vigilant about hotels charging extra for wireless internet and parking, and [End Page 123] that these items should be factored into hotel contract negotiations and choices.
The location for 2012 will be Cincinnati, with Milwaukee probable for 2013. Discussion of future locations ensued, with possibilities including Chicago (2014?), Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Cleveland. It was suggested that we should poll the membership.
7. Financial report. For fiscal year 1 July 2010-30 June 2011, a report prepared by Bernadette Steele was received unanimously. Support and revenue totaled $67,807.35, while expenses totaled $70,368.94 for FY 2010, which created a deficit of -$2,561.59.
Our financial situation continues to improve; we are back in the black, and owe nothing to the hotel. However, we still need to increase revenues. The Friends of the MMLA fundraising initiative has so far yielded little fruit.
The EC proposed and unanimously passed a resolution that the...