Meeting of the Board of Directors of the
American Philological Association
January 8, 2012
The Board of Directors of the American Philological Association met at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, on January 8, 2012. Those present were Profs. Jeffrey Henderson, President, Ronnie Ancona, Roger S. Bagnall, and Peter Bing, Dr. Adam D. Blistein, Profs. Kathleen M. Coleman, Joseph Farrell, Denis Feeney, Sara Forsdyke, Bruce W. Frier, Michael Gagarin, Mary-Kay Gamel, Jonathan M. Hall, James M. May, Kathryn Morgan, S. Georgia Nugent, Matthew Roller, and Ann Vasaly. Prof. Henderson called the meeting to order at 12:00 noon.
Action: The Board approved the agenda for the meeting that it had received the previous week.
Action: In accordance with By-Law #14, Profs. Gamel and Hall were chosen by lot to serve on the Executive Committee in 2012.
Report of the Development and Capital Campaign Committees
Dr. Blistein reported on the combined meeting of the Development and Campaign Committees which had taken place on January 6. The Committees reviewed documents showing results of both the Gateway Campaign and Annual Giving appeals as well as progress made to date on the solicitation of several large gifts to the Campaign. Staff was asked to prepare a list of members who had not yet contributed to the Campaign for distribution to the Committee. Committee members could then identify individuals whom they could solicit. Committee members were also asked to examine the list of Campaign donors published in the Annual Meeting Program and provide to staff the names of supporters of Classics, particularly from outside of the Association, who had not yet made contributions.
The Committees also made plans for appeals to members during the next six months. This would definitely include a winter appeal for the Campaign and, because of the impending NEH Challenge Grant deadline, might involve making the usual Spring Annual Giving appeal a Campaign appeal instead. Directors discussed the success of various “Friends” funds in obtaining donations for the Campaign.
Report of the Finance Committee
Prof. Nugent reported that the Finance Committee had reviewed what it expected to be the final draft of the audited financial statements for the 2011 fiscal year. Now that the audit was being produced more rapidly, the Committee was developing a plan for it to review the document by conference call with the auditor in January or February of each year and might ask the Board also to meet with the auditor by conference call in March. This plan would be implemented in 2013 because of the upcoming Board retreat in March 2012.
It now seemed likely that the deficit for the 2012 fiscal year would be almost $100,000, due to the necessity of continuing the Gateway Campaign for another year, but neither expenses of the Board retreat nor outside support for this process which the Association was seeking was included in the calculation of this deficit figure. Prof. Nugent reminded the Board that, even in years not affected by the Campaign, the Association depended on disbursements from its endowments, in order to break even financially.
In its review of the budget for 2012, the Committee had concluded that the honorarium for the Goodwin Award should be increased to $1,000.
Action: The Board authorized Prof. Henderson to form an ad hoc committee to review the Association’s awards program.
The Association’s lease for office space at the University of Pennsylvania would expire in June 2012. The Committee had discussed the extension of that lease in light of Dr. Blistein’s reappointment for an additional four years.
Action: The Board authorized Dr. Blistein to negotiate an extension of the lease through June 2016. If terms were acceptable, the extension could consist of a two-year lease with options for two one-year extensions.
The Committee had reviewed the performance of Association investments, which had declined in value along with all financial markets during the second half of 2011. The Committee was generally satisfied with the work of the APA’s investment advisor in a difficult environment and planned to meet with her via conference call during the winter in addition to its usual meeting with her in May. The Board discussed the possibility of obtaining benchmarks that would compare the performance of APA investments with those of similar organizations.
Reports of the Vice Presidents
Professional Matters. Prof. May reported that the Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups was pleased with the annual meeting session it had organized, in which authors of two recent books had been members of a panel along with several critics. It would use the same format the following year. The Committee urged the Board to discuss data collection at its upcoming retreat and apply more expertise to this function than the Committee could provide. Prof. Henderson noted that participants in the meeting of the Caucus of North American Classics Associations were also very interested in improving the quality of data collected about the field.
The Committee on Placement was developing policies for institutions conducting interviews via Skype. Its current attitude was that institutions should not use this tool to screen all candidates but only to overcome problems of distance and availability. Directors suggested that in developing this policy the Committee should consider access for disabled persons and should state that interviews conducted via Skype should adhere to established Placement Service guidelines. The Committee’s panel for the next annual meeting would deal with nonacademic careers.
At its meeting the Committee had discussed with Dr. Blistein the transfer of responsibility for scheduling interviews at the annual meeting from the office to individual institutions, as both the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association do. Dr. Blistein would obtain information about the procedures of these societies, so that the Board could decide in March or April whether to make this change for the next academic year.
Publications. Prof. Gagarin reported that TAPA was continuing to thrive, as was the Textbooks Series, which had several new projects in development. The Publications Committee had discussed the failure of the recent search for a Monographs Editor, as well as the low number of submissions in that Series, and recommended that it be suspended. If the Board accepted this recommendation, the Textbooks Series might be expanded to include more books in the category of Resources instead of Texts and Commentaries.
Action: The Board voted to suspend the Monographs Series but to honor any outstanding commitments to authors who had submitted proposals or manuscripts.
Prof. Gagarin had spoken to the authors preparing an edition of Servius. They had a plan to produce an online edition in five years and had agreed to submit annual reports on their progress beginning in December 2012.
At the Business Meeting earlier in the day, members had voted to merge the Publications and Research Divisions. During the coming year Prof. Gagarin would work with Prof. Bagnall to effect this merger.
Program. Prof. Farrell stated that the excellent attendance at the meeting had generated good discussions in sessions. He described an experiment in which presiders had been given a set of abstracts previously reviewed by the Program Committee to see whether they shared the Committee’s conclusions. The presiders agreed with the Committee 74% of the time regarding abstracts that had ultimately been accepted and 66% of the time with abstracts that had been rejected. Presenters of individual abstracts had, for the most part, cooperated with the Committee’s request that they submit completed versions of their papers to presiders several weeks before the meeting.
The Committee had invited several speakers to give talks in paper sessions for which it had accepted only three abstracts. It had also organized the APA’s first poster session and a session to discuss John Miller’s Goodwin Prize-winning book. Prof. Farrell had received compliments on all of these innovations. The speaker in one at-large panel had participated via Skype. Participants in the session felt it had gone well, but the Program Committee remained unenthusiastic about using this technology.
For the next annual meeting authors would have the opportunity to request that their papers be scheduled in the poster session. The Committee was also reviewing possible topics for a “controversy session” at the 2013 meeting in which two speakers would take opposite sides of a particular question. The Directors discussed ways in which the Presidential Reception might be improved.
Research. Prof. Bagnall reported that the Association would submit its Digital Latin Library grant proposal to the Mellon Foundation later in the week. The TLL Fellowship Committee had reviewed a record number of applications and had considered every candidate it interviewed to be acceptable. The Committee was considering a suggestion by the NEH that the APA apply for a second fellowship. A group at NYU whose proposal had been endorsed by the APA was preparing to submit a planning grant to create an archive of performances of Greek and Latin texts.
Prof. Hans-Friedrich Mueller had successfully taken on the responsibility of chairing the Advisory Board to the American Office of L’Année philologique, and the Office continued to operate smoothly. The German Office of L’Année was facing the loss of its current funding. L’Année’s governing body, the Société Internationale de Bibliographie Classique, was developing a plan to keep the Office in operation.
Education. Prof. Ancona reported that the APA had added members to the Minority Scholarships Committee during the past year, when AIA had decided to end its participation in this program. The Committee had selected two recipients of the scholarship for summer 2012.
The Committee on Ancient History had held a successful panel on teaching ancient law and planned one on inscriptions for 2013. The Committee also hoped to establish connections with the American Historical Association. That group’s meeting, which took place at the same time as the APA’s, contained few sessions dealing with ancient history, but it was still the primary venue for job searches in history. The Joint Committee on the Classics in American Education wanted to build a list of colleges that train Latin teachers for public schools, create a list serve of faculty teaching Latin students in those colleges, and compile statistics on the number of students in their courses.
Prof. W. Robert Connor had asked the APA to endorse a document on outcomes assessment prepared by the New Leadership Alliance. Prof. Ancona reported that the Education Committee discussed the document and decided not to recommend to the Board endorsement at this time. The Committee did, however, underscore the important of the issue of assessment. The Committee's response was conveyed to Prof. Connor.
The Committee was also developing proposals for the Board concerning the use of “Next Generation” gifts to the Gateway Campaign to support teacher training. The Committee had had good attendance at its panel on pedagogical training for graduate students; its topic for 2013 would be teaching literary theory.
Other Education Division activities included preparation of new editions of both the Guide to Graduate Programs and Careers for Classicists and obtaining continuing education credits for primary and secondary school teachers attending the annual meeting. Prof. Ancona urged Directors to nominate candidates for the Association’s teaching awards.
Outreach. Prof. Gamel reported that the Committee on Outreach would make an effort to increase the number of nominations for the Outreach Prize. It would also develop guidelines that institutions could use for the evaluation of the work of scholars who were also practitioners of, for example, theatrical productions. She described the panels in her Division organized for the 2012 meeting and in development for 2013.
The Amphora Editorial Board had held a useful meeting earlier in the day and was hoping not only to produce a new issue but also to establish more of a presence on the APA web site. Future tasks for the Division included preparing a handbook for Classicists wanting to engage in outreach to wider audiences, preparing a directory of such Classicists, and working more closely with the Dionysiac list serve.
Possible Changes to Regulations
The Directors reviewed a number of proposed changes to the Regulations. Prof. Farrell asked the Board to postpone acting on a recommendation from the Nominating Committee to expand the number of members on the Program Committee. He wanted to give the latter Committee an opportunity to discuss this suggestion.
Action: The Board modified Regulation 57 to add the Information Architect and the Chair of the Advisory Board to the American Office of l'Année philologique to the Research Committee as ex officio members.
Action: The Board modified Regulation 44 to remove the Chair of the (now inactive) Editorial Board for Non-Print Publications from the Publications Committee and to add the Information Architect to that Committee as an ex officio member.
Action: The Board modified Regulations 47 and 48 to eliminate the Editorial Board for Non-Print Publications.
Action: The Board adopted the following new regulation: The Committee on Translation of Classical Authors maintains a list of existing translations of classical texts; sets priorities for additions to that list; enlists scholars to produce new works; and then facilitates the production of new translations. It consists of a Chair and seven regular members serving staggered three-year terms, with the Vice Presidents of the Publications and Research Divisions and the Information Architect as ex officio members.
Action: The Board approved a recommendation from the Lambda Classical Caucus that Association questionnaires allow a response of “Prefer Not to Answer” when the instrument asked the respondent’s sex.
Prof. Coleman reminded the Directors that the Association would mark its 150th anniversary in 2019, and that it should begin to plan for this event.
Dr. Blistein reminded the Board of the dates of the upcoming retreat and stated that he would circulate an e-mail asking for Directors’ availability for their meeting in September.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 4:10 p.m.