Vice Presidents' Reports
Direct links to all reports:
Some of the meetings of the Communications & Outreach Division were sparsely attended this year, it seems, because of the problems caused by the snow storm in Boston. Nevertheless, it was a productive meeting, and each one of the subcommittees brough action items to the Board Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 7. The Board’s responses and votes are included here.
1. Communications Committee: Thursday, 1/4/18, @ 8am
Present: Sarah Bond, Chair; Adrienne Rose; Chris Francese; Ted Gellar-Goad; Chris Trinacty; Keeley Lake; Matthew Loar; Helen Cullyer, ex officio; Matthew McGowan, ex officio.
Per telephone: Ayelet Haimson Lushkov; Sam Huskey, ex officio.
Absent: Sam Flores.
The new Chair, Sarah Bond, set an ambitious agenda for getting more Classics content on the web. The Chair is calling for regular contributions from committee members with a rotating list of monthly “editors” of the Blog—e.g. Jan: Francese; Feb.: Bond; March: Loar; etc.--to which will be added the regular feature of the “column / columnist,” e.g. Adrienne Rose on translation as a subdiscipline. Given this ambitious agenda and the difficulty of generating content alongside a full-time job, it was decided to increase the size of the Committee to include at least two more “at-large” members, at least one of whom would come from the ranks of K-12 constituency. That request was approved by the Board, and Bond, Francese & McGowan conferred to nominate 1) Ted Gellar-Goad for an additional 3-yr. term because of his excellent work and 2) Elizabeth Penland, Concord Academy, Concord, MA.
2. AMPHORA: Saturday, 1/6/18, @ 7am
Present: Wells Hansen, Chair; Molly Pasco-Pranger; Ward Briggs; Patrick Paul Hogan; Helen Cullyer, ex officio; Matt McGowan, ex officio; per telephone: Sam Huskey.
Absent: Brett Rogers, Thomas Sienkewicz, Judy Hallett, Angeline Chiu, Ruby Blondell, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak.
The Amphora meeting was sparsely attended, but the Chair and new Editor, Wells Hansen, noted that there were eight articles ready to go, some with images and video. The plan is to release perhaps one per month on the SCS website / blog, as has been the practice in collaboration with the Communications Committee. There are still two peer reviewers for articles; one peer reviewer for reviews. The main job of editorial board members, beyond peer-reviewing, is to recruit submissions. There was discussion with SCS Information Architect, Sam Huskey, about adding a DOI (digital object identifier) to our content on the web, which seems possible. There was also discussion about establishing a list of pertinent organizations which we can alert about our content. On a related note, Ward Briggs raised two points:
- How do we reach outside the membership? We do not seem to be doing this, as Archaeology does for the AIA, but budgetary concerns and production value ensure that our scope (and reach) will be limited.
- Audience: not experts, but secondary schools: can we insure that Amphora gets sent to schools? (cf. Classical Outlook) It was agreed that more could be done to insure that Amphora gets out to the right audience.
3. Committee on Public Information and Media Relations (PIMR): Thurs., 1/4/18, @ 10am
An energetic meeting chaired by Michael Fontaine by telephone. In attendance: Rosa Andujar; Tara Mulder; Patrick Burns; Joseph Farrell, ex officio; Tolly Boatwright, ex officio; Matthew McGowan, ex officio. by telephone: Shubha Puthak;
Absent: Bob Darrah.
Each of the subcommittees—1) on the database of experts; 2) database of media contacts; 3) establishing prizes—reported on their activity for the year. The first subcommittee (1) was overwhelmed and it was decided that establishing a database of experts was beyond the capacity fo PIMR. However, the second subcommittee (2) announced that a google doc has been started with a rudimentary database of North American classicists with media contacts, i.e. who publish work in places with wide circulation / readership. Still, it was decided that the primary activity of PIMR for the next year would be establishing the FORUM PRIZE, explained as follows:
DRAFT (approved by Board 1/7/18)
The Committee on Public Information and Media Relations will award “The Society for Classical Studies Forum Prize” annually in one of the following categories:
- Nonfiction (including podcasts);
- Fiction (including podcasts);
- Visual art (film, TV, plastic arts, etc.).
The Forum Prize recognizes outstanding contributions to public engagement made by non-academic works about the ancient Greek and Roman world. It empowers the SCS to build bridges with a broader public by rewarding the best public-facing essays, books, poems, articles, podcasts, films, and art produced each year, either by a classicist or non-classicist.
The Forum Prize will consist of (1) a cash award of $500, (2) a five-year membership in the Friends of the Classics, and (3) an inscribed gift from the Society. The PIMR Committee will invite the Forum Prize winner to the SCS annual meeting to be part of a public awards ceremony.
Winning contributions are not restricted to the English language or to the USA and Canada. There is no fee associated with a nomination.
The Nomination Process
The nomination period will open each year on September 1 and close on August 31 the following year.
All nominations will be submitted via Google form and include a concise statement (limit of 250 words) explaining why and how, in the nominator’s opinion, the work engages with the public in terms of creativity, outreach, impact, relevance, diversity, vision, and/or timeliness.
When the nomination period closes, the PIMR committee will determine the winner by October 15 of the same year.
4. Communications & Outreach Panel, Friday, 1/5/18 @ 10:45-12:45
“Outreach Open Mic”
A lively panel, but only sparsely attended with perhaps 15-20 over the course of the morning, at which M. McGowan gave opening remarks and moderated open-mic session after these four excellent presentations:
1. T.H.M. Gellar-Goad, "The SCS online: Reflections from the Communications Committee;"
2. Mallory Monaco, "Non sibi sed suis: Service-Learning in an Advanced Latin Course;"
3. Tara Mulder, "Classics in Public: Year I of the Committee on Public Information and Media Relations;"
4. Wells Hansen, "The State of Amphora, The Outreach Publication of the SCS."
Here are some of the comments and suggestions that were made during the open-mic sesion, where the speakers are identified:
1. John Gruber Miller: branding is not a trivial matter for Amphora, which should continue to be recognizable and distinct from the SCS Blog;
2. Ronnie Ancona: how can we engage the state “Legates” in helping w/outreach (n.b. this has been a theme of the 2018 meeting and is certainly part of the planning for the Sesquicentennial Celebration in San Diego, Jan. 2019.
3. Curtis Dozier: a) podcasts are important and an excellent mode of Outreach and would make an excellent subject for an SCS panel (cf. San Diego 2019); b) since Communications & Outreach tend to develop swiftly, is there any way of keeping space on the program open for last-minute outreach discussion or a panel or the like?
5. Committee on Classics in the Community (CCC)
The new committee had its second meeting on Sunday, 1/7, @ 10am, chaired by Jason Pedicone and attended by Nancy Sultan (2017-2020); Mallory Monaco Caterine (2018-2021); Matthew McGowan, ex officio, and Elizabeth Butterworth, Paideia Institute Director of Development as guest of the Chair. The other ex officio members of the committee were engaged in another meeting at this time. Absent: John Klopacz; Peter Meineck.
The agenda before the meeting was to come prepared to share your outreach work with the Committee in the hopes of spreading ideas and generating actionable ideas. There was some frustration expressed at the outset of the meeting about not having access to a defined sum of money with which to undertake outreach. There was some discussion about the limits of what a primarily volunteer organization can do and, ultimately, it was agreed that what the SCS does have is a lot of members, real reach, and a platform for networking. Thus, after presentations by Sultan and Monaco Caterine about the kind of outreach they do, it was decided that CCC could be helpful to survey the SCS membership to see what’s out there. This suggestion was taken to the Board, which decided that it may be best, first, to “educate” the membership beforehand about what constitutes outreach in Classics, and then to invite the membership to submit summaries of the projects and to build initial connections that way. It was agreed that Mallory Monaca Caterine would try to write up something about her experience teaching Latin as a service-learning course at Tulane in New Orleans.
I am happy to report that we have more panels and workshops submitted this year. I and the committee have been trying to encourage members to move in that directions, and our efforts seem to be effective. Of the 28 Proposed panels that the 2017 committee saw, 18 were accepted; this compares to 15 submitted in 2016 of which 11 were accepted. Of the 12 workshops proposed, 9 were accepted by the 2017 committee; there were only 4 proposed last year and 4 accepted.
Because of the increase in panels, I think, the number of abstracts submitted dropped from 405 in spring 2016 to 366 in spring 2017. In response to the suggestions of the Board which were reinforced by me, this year, the committee accepted 42.3% of individual abstracts. This is almost a 10% increase over last year, when only 32.6% of individual abstracts were accepted.
In terms of gender, the ratio of submissions from male vs. female authors, and the rate of acceptance for male and female authors remains pretty steady at 60 / 40. This is consistent with our membership statistics. This year, 54.6% of individual abstract authors were men and 45.4% of authors were women. Of total abstracts accepted, 60% were authored by men and 40% by women.
Looking to the future, the committee approved the idea of lightening talks (five minutes each) for the Sesquicentennial Meetings. We also noted a problem in a number of Affiliated Group Panel Proposals which, upon several occasions, did not seem to generate enough interest or which did not have an adequate number of high-quality abstracts.
Divisional Structure and Activities
2017 marked the first year of two new major committees in the Education Division, the K-12 Education Committee and the College and University Education Committee. These committees met for the first time in Toronto in 2017 and planned two sessions for the Boston meeting in 2018, both of which were well-attended: (a) a panel on teaching and learning in secondary schools with a focus on encouraging recent PhDs to pursue careers at this level; and (b) a roundtable on opportunities for teaching Classics in community colleges.
Awards and Fellowships
The Education Division oversees a number of awards and fellowships: the Excellence in Teaching Awards and the Pre-Collegiate and Collegiate Levels; the Zeph Stewart and Pedagogy Awards; the Coffin Fellowship; the Koenen Papyrology Fellowship; and the Pearson Fellowship. Most awards and fellowships have a sufficient number of highly qualified applicants and nominees. Applications for the Pearson Fellowship in Fall 2017 were at a record high of 37. It is disappointing, however, that this year there were no nominations for the Teaching Excellence Award at the Pre-Collegiate Level. New Vice President Ariana Traill intends to work with the Joint Committee on Classics in American Education and the SCS office to simplify the nomination and application process for this award and to coordinate with ACL to publicize the award to a larger audience of teachers.
Seal of Biliteracy
In September 2017, the Vice President recommended endorsement of National Committee on Latin and Greek’s recommendations regarding the Seal of Biliteracy to the SCS Board of Directors. The board endorsed the recommendations below, which are prefaced by a brief history of the Seals:
Across the country, states, school districts, and even individual schools have begun to issue Seals of Biliteracy for high school diplomas, to identify graduates “who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.” The first state to issue such seals was California, beginning with its 2012 graduates, after over 100 school districts in that state had already made them available. In a state whose students speak over 60 different languages (plus 13,000 students whose languages fall under “other”) one primary goal of this designation was to honor achievement both in students’ first languages and in English. As the clearinghouse Seal of Biliteracy says: “Our vision is to help students recognize the value of their academic success and see the tangible benefits of being bilingual.” Nearly half of the fifty states have adopted a version of this seal to date. The Commission on Language Learning of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences has endorsed it.
In 2015 four national organizations (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages--ACTFL; National Association of Bilingual Education--NABE, National Council of State Supervisors for Languages--NCSSFL, and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages--TESOL International Association) published recommendations for national guidelines for such standards; that publication can be downloaded here: http://www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/SealofBiliteracyGuidelines_0.pdf.
Importantly for us, these recommendations assume that students of any language should eligible to earn a seal. They also recognize that in language assessment one size does not fit all; specifically, they note that students of Latin and classical Greek may demonstrate proficiency in reading and writing and not necessarily in oral communicative modes.
- that all states accept and implement the national guidelines, specifically that which asks students to demonstrate proficiency by assessments beyond classroom performance, in both English and one or more other languages;
- that each state or district make its own determination of the level of proficiency a student must demonstrate to earn a seal;
that states use one or more of the following assessments to demonstrate proficiency in Latin and Greek:
- Advanced Placement Latin Exam
- ALIRA (ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Exam)
- International Baccalaureate Exams in Latin or Greek
- National Latin Exam
- National Greek Exam
- SAT Subject Test in Latin
- state-specific exams when appropriate;
- that states recognize but do not require students to demonstrate productive use in either oral or written mode in either Latin or Greek;
- that Classicists research the status of Seals of Biliteracy in their own states and advocate for appropriate assessments for students of Latin and Greek.
New Standards for Classical Language Learning
The Vice President discussed with the SCS Board in both September 2017 and January 2018 the draft document Standards for Classical Language Learning, and explained the World Readiness Standards for Learning Languages on which they are based, and the implications of those standards for learning Latin and Greek at the P-16 levels. In January 2018, the Board approved the following statement on the standards:
“The SCS board has reviewed Standards for Learning Classical Languages prepared by a joint committee of the major professional organizations of classical studies and agrees that the document should move to the final stage of review by the ACTFL-organized Standards Collaborative Board.”
The working draft of those standards is available for review on the ACL website.
The Annual Meeting in January 2018 marked the transition between Vice President Mary English and new Vice President Ariana Traill. Both were present at divisional committee meetings in Boston. At the College and University Education Committee Meeting, committee members discussed how SCS could make stronger connections with community colleges and partner with them on grant-funded curricular and professional development initiatives. At the K-12 Education Committee meeting members discussed: how to develop mentoring programs in collaboration with existing mentoring initiatives such as the Tirones project and efforts by WCC and ACTFL; how to foster collaborations between universities, colleges, and K-12 schools by means of summer and after-school programs; and how to simplify application procedures for the pre-collegiate teaching award.
1. Report on the Committee on Gender and Sexuality in the Profession = COGSIP)
Celia E. Schultz, Chair; Deborah Beck, Incoming Chair
The new Committee on Women and Gender in the Profession held its second meeting on Saturday, 6 January 2018. In attendance were Celia Schultz and Deborah Beck as Co-Chairs and members James Uden (incoming co-chair), Anne Duncan, Jeanne Neumann, Sarah Nooter, and Christopher Polt. Also present was Barbara Gold, VP for Professional Matters. Katharine von Stackelberg, Serena Connolly, and Jason Nethercut were not able to attend.
COGSIP has been very active in its first year, working to make our organization more responsive to matters of harassment/bullying and of inclusivity through efforts throughout the year and at events at the Annual Meeting. At the SCS meeting in Boston, COGSIP was a visible presence through several events. Most notable was a panel co-sponsored with the WCC (for which the WCC did the lion’s share of the work) on Harassment and Academia, as well as a workshop on Professional Matters at Religiously Affiliated Institutions and a roundtable on Mapping Roads to Inclusivity. For the Annual Meeting in 2019, plans are more limited: a panel on same-sex employment issues.
Helen Cullyer has been very receptive to COGSIP’s request (made on behalf of several new mothers in attendance at this year’s meeting) that a lactation room be available in the main hotel at Annual Meetings from now on.
COGSIP plans to continue four initiatives over the longer term.
(I) Harassment: The Committee has worked closely with the Women’s Classical Caucus on instituting a harassment policy for the SCS Annual Meeting. The SCS Board has welcomed these efforts, and a new policy was in operation at the 2018 meeting. COGSIP recognizes that this work is not yet finished, the policy not yet perfected. At the 2018 meeting, the Committee requested that the reporting mechanism currently in place be tweaked to make clear that initial reports should be made both to the VP for Professional Matters and the Executive Director of the Society (instead of just the VP, as it is now). COGSIP also requested that the policy allow for a report to be made without an ensuing investigation , if the person making the report prefers that no investigation occur. Sometimes the act of reporting is sufficient. The Committee itself will work with the WCC and Eidolon in the next few months to create a survey of classicists (broadly defined) to gauge the extent of harassment in our field. The importance of the issue for the field at large is evident in the number of regional and international Classics organizations that have approached Barbara Gold and COGSIP for advice on how to institute their own policies. COGSIP will continue to reach out to the AIA on the issue of instituting its own harassment policy.
(II) Statement of Professional Ethics: During the process of writing the harassment policy, COGSIP became aware that the SCS Statement of Professional Ethics is in need of updating; a list of suggestions / questions was presented to Barbara Gold for further consideration. COGSIP hopes to be included in this process as it goes forward.
(III) Professional organizations with policies that discriminate against SCS members: Following on from this year’s workshop on employment issues at sectarian institutions, COGSIP has recommended to Career Planning and Development (which has since taken up the proposal) that the Placement Service compel employers that require a Statement of Faith or who impose “lifestyle expectations” to be explicit about this in their ads and that they provide a link to webpages detailing these. Likewise COGSIP discussed the unfortunate decision by CAMWS to host its 2023 meeting at Brigham Young University, an institution with employment and free speech policies that conflict with the SCS Statement of Professional Ethics.
(IV) Census data: The Committee remains committed to the position it took up last year vis-à-vis the gathering of information: the SCS should collect more data about its membership at the individual level. Significant steps have been taken in this direction in the past year through the efforts of the Chairs of COGSIP, Career Planning, and Helen Cullyer, but more remains to be done. COGSIP continues to believe that this information should be gathered by the SCS itself (through the main office) rather than through COGSIP or some other committee. We would like to see the SCS hire specialists in survey design and data analysis for a time (we think this need not be a permanent expense) to help the organization develop information-gathering tools that will give the SCS a better understanding of its membership – and give COGSIP and several other committees (including Diversity and Career Planning) a clearer idea of their constituents – and the issues they face.
COGSIP is aware that at its next meeting it will need to detail what information it would like gathered in the next census, to be conducted in 2020.
In sum, COGSIP has had a very productive first year, but much work remains to be done. As it goes forward, the Committee will continue to tackle professional matters as it defines its role within the SCS and its relationship to its natural allies, the Women’s Classical Caucus and the Lambda Classical Caucus.
2. Report on the Committee on Contingent Faculty
Tim Heckenlively, Incoming Chair; Elizabeth LaFray, Future Chair
The following were present, physically or otherwise, for the meeting on Sat.:
Elizabeth LaFray (via conference call)
William Tortorelli (via conference call)
Salvador Bartera (via conference call)
Andrew Scott (arrived at end, after his panel ended)
Chris Caterine, by invitation
Max Goldman, by invitation
Our enumerated five goals for 2017.
- Networking with other professional societies
- Coordinate with CAS (Classics Advisory Service) on external review guidelines
- Coordinate with Committee for Career Planning and Development
- Awards for contingent faculty
- “Awareness” (in reference to “contingent” as term of discourse, of general constituent concerns, and of committee visibility)
Goal One: Using the ACLS membership as a starting point, we attempted to contact the chairs of similar committee or working groups. We then invited respondents to a virtual meeting in May, which lead to a Google group email. This conversation waned once classes started, but will continue.
We also made contact with the AAUP. Their top people on contingent faculty concerns are both Baylor faculty and this conversation will also continue.
Goal Two: This goal proved overly ambitious. We tabled this concept to pursue more incremental initiatives. Although already underway at last year’s annual meeting, we are very pleased that language better protecting the needs and concerns of contingent faculty was formally adopted this year into the revised SCS Statement on Professional Ethics.
Goal Three: We made little progress on this goal in 2017 due to slow response from the Committee on Career Planning. We will carry this goal forward into 2018.
Goal Four: We held a wide-ranging email discussion on awards in April that resulted in no consensus. We tabled this discuss until Boston.
Goal Five: As last year, we hosted a reception for contingent faculty at the annual meeting. We also sponsored a roundtable on the question “Are you contingent?”. Several of our members will also host a similar discussion at the upcoming CAMWS Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM. Contingent concerns will also appear prominently at CAMWS-SS.
- Network: Continue and expand extra-disciplinary conversations begun in 2018.
- Career Planning: Through a serendipitous conversation with Pat Johnson (Boston University), we learned that one of her students developed a significant repository of resources for all manner of career paths for Classicists. Two of our members will be working to gather this information and prepare it for broader consumption through the SCS website vel sim.
- Awards: After further discussion, the committee does think that, as a long-term goal, some kind of grant to assist with summer research or teaching develop would be beneficial to contingent faculty. We do not, however, want to see this come at the expense of exiting travel grants to the annual meeting. Short term, we think contingent faculty will be best served by finding ways to improve access to existing SCS awards.
- “Contribution”: We would like to start a public discourse about the definition of “contribution to the field”, a phrase which, at present, seems largely synonymous with the scholarly monograph. We think a broader conception, at least in general discourse, would better serve the needs of contingent faculty, community college and high school faculty, as well as through who chose to pursue careers outside academe. We have begun a dialog with President-Elect Joseph Farrell about the best venues for fostering such a conversation within the field.
- Visibility: Two of our committee members have been tasked to work more closely with SCS web and social media staff to provide stories highlighting the successes of its contingent and alt-ac members.
- Survey: Two of our committee members have been tasked to coordinate with the Professional Matters Division regarding ongoing collection of data that can help guide our committee better fulfill its duties and responsibilities.
- Recruitment: It became evident in this year’s application cycle that this committee will need to be proactive in soliciting applications in order to maintain a representative balance within the committee. Each committee member has been charged with cultivating at least one possible successor for the coming year.
3. Report on the Committee on Diversity in the Profession
Victoria Pagán, Chair
The Committee on Diversity in the Profession met on Thursday, January 4, from 6:30-8:30 pm. Victoria Pagán, Craig Williams, Angelo Mercado, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Katherine Hsu, Sasha-Mae Eccleston, and Akira Yatsuhashi were present, as well as incoming committee member Dan Leon. We reviewed 19 applications for the Minority Scholarship; 3 were awarded unanimously, and 2 runners up were also selected. Results will be conveyed to Helen Cullyer.
The committee then hosted a reception from 9:00-10:00 pm. Approximately 30 people attended.
The committee held a business meeting on Saturday, January 6, from 2:00-3:00 pm; present were Victoria Pagán, Craig Williams, Angelo Mercado, Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Katherine Hsu, Akira Yatsuhashi, incoming committee member Dan Leon, and Barbara Gold, ex officio. We discussed the following topics:
- In January 2018, Craig Williams and Katherine Hsu will rotate off of the committee. We thank them for their service. Dan Leon will join the committee; we will need one more member.
- In January 2019, Victoria Pagan and one other member will rotate off the committee.
- For the 2020 meeting in Washington, D.C., the committee will need a new chair.
- The following table demonstrates the composition of the committee at annual meetings until 2021, by which time a rotation will be established.
San Diego, 2019
Member until 2022
Member until 2022
Dan Leon, until 2021
Dan Leon, until 2021
Dan Leon until 2021
Aileen Das until 2021
Member until 2021
Aileen Das until 2021
Member until 2022 for either:
Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Member until 2023
Member until 2023
Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Dan-el Padilla Peralta
Member until 2023
Revisions to the scholarship applications:
- The candidate’s letter of intent will be limited to 500-750 words.
- The instructions will be revised to ask students to discuss “future goals,” not “career goals.”
- The candidate will list names of two academic references; the application will specify that the candidate solicits the letters, not the SCS.
- Recommenders will be asked to comment on the potential impact of the proposed program.
- We will not require that recommenders be members of the AIA/SCS.
- The form will ask for the expected date of graduation.
- The committee discussed following up with all of the scholarship applicants to offer support and further resources, ideally located on a webpage housed by the SCS. Information on the webpage would include our mission statement, profiles of committee members, the link to eosafricana.org. We would also like to offer mentorship, in coordination with other branches of the SCS that are also currently pursuing mentorship programs; we do not want to duplicate efforts.
- The committee fully supports the formation of a caucus for SCS members who are interested in diversity; the caucus is still in its formative stages.
- The committee agreed that the reception was a success, limited only by the weather. We would like to hold the reception again next year, on Thursday evening, 9-10 pm [Corrected: probably Friday not Thursday] , but with more substantial food, if the committee continues to meet from 6:30-8:30. Members did not have dinner, and were not able to get dinner because of the late hour.
- The committee would like to hold a workshop at the San Diego meeting on the topic of implicit bias. Victoria will pursue the possibility of inviting Dr. Kate Ratliff, Executive Director of Project Implicit.
4. Report on the Committee on Career Planning and Development
Alexander Sens, Chair; Cynthia Bannon, Incoming Chair
The CCPD met on Saturday, Jan. 6, at 11:00 a.m. All current members and both incoming members were present: Alex Sens, Cynthia Bannon, Catherine Connors, Aaron Seider, Caroline Stark, Isabel Koester, Celia Schultz, Victoria Pagan, Brandon Jones, Timothy Moore, John Paulas.
The meeting began with reports from ex officio members chairing other committees. In particular, a report from Celia Schultz, chair of COGSIP, about ongoing discussions of Title IV-exempt, religiously affiliated institutions whose official policies violate the SCS code of professional ethics prompted a robust discussion of how the Placement Service should handle ads. The Committee agreed that institutions with official policies around faith commitments or lifestyle expectations should be required to link to them in their advertisements.
The Committee also agreed that it stands ready to help organize networking events at future meetings.
The bulk of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of draft guidelines for interviews held by Skype and other teleconferencing platforms. Some of this was editorial, but there was also a discussion around two major matters of principle. First, the Committee discussed the extent to which institutions should be required to conduct all interviews in the same way. Some members felt that Skype interviews should be encouraged for all institutions as a matter of social justice. In general, the Committee felt that so long as wiggle room was allowed, institutions should actively be encouraged to be consistent in the manner of conducting interviews. Similarly, the Committee felt that recording digital interviews was problematic: since as a matter of law many states require two-party consent, such recording could occur only with the permission of candidates. The Committee felt that it was unfair to put candidates in the position of giving consent in a situation where it refusing could be seen as problematic.
The Committee also discussed the possibilities of more thorough going revisions to the Placement Guidelines, which currently conflate a range of information.
The outgoing and incoming chairs will finalize drafts of the teleconferencing guidelines in the next few weeks for Committee and ultimately SCS review.
5. The Committee on Professional Ethics
Barbara Gold, Chair
This committee did not meet at the SCS as there were no pressing issues to discuss. A number of issues have arisen informally throughout the year relating to hiring practices, plagiarism, and concerns about the future of departments; these were handled on an informal basis by the Vice President for Professional Matters and did not rise to the level of formal complaints.
6. Classics Advisory Service
Jeffrey Henderson, Director
Since its last report the Classics Advisory Service (CAS) has acted in response to requests for advice or assistance from threatened classics programs in five US universities without graduate programs, two of them following up on actions taken last year, and one European research university. There were no requests from K-12 schools or programs.
(1) A faculty joint committee charged to advise on budget shortfalls voted to eliminate the classics program. CAS worked with faculty members, supportive colleagues from other departments, and an alumnus who conducted a letter-writing campaign. In the end, the faculty will be reduced by voluntary severance to one FTE, who will be reallocated to (an)other program(s) for which the incumbent would be suitable, with Greek and Latin phased out by 2020. During that time, the general education requirements will be revised, and although a language requirement might be an element, most faculty seem opposed. (2) For a classics program with two non-tenure-line classicists in a languages department: the dean, responding to low enrollments, has proposed to suspend Greek, spelling an end to its only degree (a minor in classical studies) and thus endangering Latin too, which would no longer be required for anything. Colleagues in related humanities departments joined the CAS in the protest. (3) For a two-person department whose newly-hired tenure-line Assistant Professor began this fall: the Provost has not authorized the erstwhile second adjunct position (on the rationale of inadequate funding and enrollments that do not justify priority over other departments), endangering the major and minor concentrations, which will be difficult to run with a single faculty member. CAS enjoyed robust support from faculty members in related departments, and the new hire is very energetic and committed, so there is reason to hope for the future.
The administration of the European University, following a master plan rushed through without faculty input, would reduce the number of academic posts and support staff in the humanities. Although classics might get away with the voluntary severance of one position, archaeology would be severely reduced and humanities programs generally would be significantly diminished. SCS received only a perfunctory acknowledgement of our President’s letter.
In continuing actions: (1) A long-established classics department has been trying in the past few years to regain both a tenure-line position that had been replaced by a lectureship and (thereby) its classification as a stand-alone department: these were steps recommended by a recent external review in view of the program’s substantial number of majors and healthy enrollments generally. Last year the CAS, along with SCS administration, was invited by the university’s president to advise, but this year both restoration of the tenure line and departmental status were again rejected by the College Curriculum Committee and the administration. (2) The CAS and SCS administration have in recent years worked with a university where inter- and intra-departmental disagreements combined with severe administrative turnover have resulted in the loss of its Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies majors, with only a Latin minor remaining. After a new academic plan was agreed upon, including a new tenure-track appointment that was made, another new administration nevertheless proposes to merge the department with a larger humanities department, to shift its curricular focus, and accordingly to assign future open lines to a proposed but still only vaguely defined concentration. The CAS and SCS administration continue to monitor and advise.
In addition to assisting threatened programs, the CAS also advised about various academic and curricular norms and standards; on the selection of visitors for college and university external reviews; and on concerns raised about administratively devised assessment criteria, both program- and promotion-related, that seem ill suited to the discipline of classical studies. In view of the increasing prominence of assessment and the appearance of novel assessment tools in academia, the Professional Matters Committee will work to create a document articulating appropriate assessment measures for classical studies.
The Director has found that self-studies leading to external reviews are usually very helpful for classics programs in maintaining, enhancing, or defending their institutional stature, in no small part because our field is exceptionally solidary and constructive both collegially and in upholding agreed ideals, standards, and practices, nationally as well as internationally. This year, for example, one external review clarified questions about standards for tenure and promotion, while another gave impetus to the creation of a new major in classical civilization. As a rule, administrators take advice from faculty at other schools more seriously than the same advice from their own faculty. Programs should therefore consider requesting an external review if such reviews are not regularly scheduled.
Jeffrey Henderson, Director
Classics Advisory Service
7. Professional Matters Committee
This committee met on Sunday, Jan. 7, at the Marriott Boston Copley Place in Boston from 8-9:30 a.m. (which will be our regular meeting time so that Chairs of all the committees in this division can report on their activities and events at the meetings). The committee is comprised entirely of Chairs of the other committees in the Professional Matters division and also Jeffrey Henderson, Director of the Classics Advisory Service. Present were Cynthia Bannon, Tolly Boatwright (guest), Chris Caterine, Helen Cullyer (ex officio), Joe Farrell (ex officio), Barbara Gold (Chair), Timothy Heckenlively, Jeffrey Henderson, Victoria Pagán, Celia Schultz, Alexander Sens.
The Professional Matters Committee is comprised of the chairs of the committees under the Professional Matters division and the Director of the Classics Advisory Service, along with the President of the SCS. All reports from these committees are included in my report (see above) so I will not reiterate most of the information found there. Each of these committees is still thinking through what their missions and goals are since they were mostly reconstituted last year, so there are many developing and exciting items on their agendas.
The main accomplishment of Professional Matters this year was sending out and receiving the Department Census, which takes place every three years. Helen Cullyer and I worked extensively with various committees, especially COGSIP, and revised many of the questions to reflect current concerns (particularly demographics). There was an excellent return of 62.5% (especially notable since the Census was so long and many chairs mentioned how long it took them to complete it). Chicago Survey Lab has sent back the results, and we will now need to analyze and distribute them. Other major accomplishments were reworking the Working Conditions portion of the Professional Ethics Statement (in conjunction with the Contingent Faculty Committee) and writing a statement on Harassment for the meeting (in conjunction with COGSIP and WCC). Next year there will be a box to check on the registration form indicating that each registrant has read and agreed to the conditions in the Harassment Statement.
The committees in the division have been very active this year. Several of them held receptions for the first time at the meetings (Diversity, Contingent Faculty, Career Planning and Development). Career Planning and Development also held a series of meetings with Classicists who have PhD’s and are working outside of academia, graduate students and Directors of Graduate Studies in Classics at universities. Next year there will be a joint meeting of the Liberal Arts Chairs group and the Chairs of PhD departments so that a discussion can be held about preparing graduate students not only for careers outside of Classics (an on-going discussion) but also for teaching at Liberal Arts colleges.
COGSIP is working closely with the Women’s Classical Caucus on their two-year initiative on harassment. They will be working on devising and distributing a survey about harassment. They have also asked that I revise other portions of the Professional Ethics Statement, in particular the sections on Harassment and Publishing, to update it. This revision is in progress. They would also like to do a survey of individual members, but it is not clear on how we could best do this.
The Diversity Committee reports that there were a good number of applications (19) for the Minority Scholarship awards; 3 were awarded with 2 runners-up. There was discussion about how we could keep in touch with the applicants who did not win and could mentor them.
Jeff Henderson for the Classics Advisory Service will be working, with Helen Cullyer and myself, on creating best practices for assessment; a subcommittee may be created to work on this.
Several of the committees in Professional Matters desire more visibility (Diversity, Contingent Faculty), and we are working on ways to meet this desire. It remains somewhat difficult to recruit people for these committees and to find people who will provide energetic leadership in these groups. There is much work to be done, but few people who have the time and will to do the work. For many of the contingent faculty and of people with PhD’s working outside the field there is, or they feel there is, a stigma so we need to work to destigmatize these groups of people.
It is important for all the committees, but especially for COGSIP, Diversity and Contingent Faculty, that they be able to make connections with the many other groups who are working towards the same goals and to use the collective energy to make some real progress. For example, COGSIP is working closely with WCC on harassment, and I have suggested to the Diversity Committee that they might propose a panel for the 2019 meeting that brings together the many different groups who are focusing on issues around diversity. It is also important that we be able to work with AIA on issues like the harassment statement.
Most of the committees have now set up a system of senior and junior co-chairs so that there will be a smooth transition from one year to the next and some historical memory. I am very grateful to the committee chairs, co-chairs and members for all the thoughtful work they have put into our very real concerns this year, and I look forward to working with them over the next several years.
This report covers developments between the annual meeting of January 2017 and through the annual meeting of January 2018.
The transition from the editorship of Craig Gibson to that of Andromache Karanika went smoothly. Gibson completed the setup of his final issue, 147.2, in the spring, and therefore in March he turned over new submissions and five ongoing cases to Karanika. Karanika reported that her first issue (148.1) was ready to submit to the press on time in January 2018. The level and distribution of submissions remain similar to those experienced in recent years.
For the sesquicentennial year, Karanika is planning an extra issue that will feature articles about the history of the APA/SCS and of the journal and some analysis of the subject matter, methods, and authors of the articles published during TAPA’s long run. In cooperation with JHU Press, a timeline will be created on the JHU site for TAPA.
2. TAPA publisher and membership processing
Donald Mastronarde and Helen Cullyer evaluated the arrangement with JHUP for both journal publishing and membership services. After financial modeling, Dr. Cullyer concluded that the current arrangement with JHUP is the most financially advantageous, particularly with regards to TAPA. The current contract for journal and membership services is up for renewal at the end of 2018. Staff are considering whether handling membership services in-house would be feasible and advantageous
3. Committee on Translations of Classical Authors
Committee member Andrew Zissos confirmed in the spring that he had sufficient advice and support to move the pilot database from Grand Valley State University to UC Irvine. Diane Rayor and her partners at GVSU continued to develop the project until June, and the files were transferred during the summer. In January 2018 Zissos reported that during the summer and fall he reviewed the sample data already entered and developed some additional metadata items in the structure of the database. He was assisted during the summer in the data transition and in writing documentation by an intern from Stanford largely funded by the Department of Classics at Stanford. The next stage is to plan for a public launch in 2019 and for adding data, most likely through a crowd-sourcing scheme.
A committee-sponsored panel on translation will be on the program of the San Diego meeting in January 2019.
4. Digital Latin Library
I attended a meeting of the advisory committee in Norman, Oklahoma at the beginning of June. Bob Kaster and I are the SCS representatives, and representatives from the Medieval Academy of America and the Renaissance Society of America also attended. The project has advanced to the point where it will, within the next few months, announce that it is open for proposals for Latin texts of the classical, medieval, and renaissance periods. One implication of this is that the societies each need to adopt policies and procedures for evaluating proposals and reviewing full draft editions for final acceptance. My plan is to continue at first the practice Michael Gagarin began with the few projects that came to the Division after the suspension of the publication programs and the decision not to appoint new editors for textbooks or monographs. That is, the appointed members of the Committee on Research will serve as an Editorial Board with me as chair. A draft of policies and procedures for evaluation was been discussed by email during the summer and fall and a final version approved at the January meeting. This policy is expected to be promulgated in spring 2018 in coordination with final revisions of the information and guidelines on the DLL site. At that point, the committee will announce it is ready to receive proposals.
If the number of submissions rises to a significant level or other circumstances change in our publication program, it may be best to create a separately appointed specialized editorial board for DLL proposals and perhaps an appointed editor to lead it. In the near term, the SCS Board in September approved at my request a change of Regulation 47: the number of appointed members of the Committee on Publications and Research has been raised from four to five, with the specific purposes of adding some additional expertise in textual tradition and critical editions. After this approval, Cynthia Damon was appointed to serve as a committee member beginning in January 2018.
With the support of the three sponsoring societies, DLL succeeded in obtaining a one-year extension of its Mellon grant with permission to use remaining funds to develop the framework for a catalogue of entries of Latin works and populating it gradually. DLL ran a summer workshop on encoding critical editions of Latin text according to the DLL guidelines with fourteen in attendance: seven graduate students and seven senior faculty.
Other aspects of the DLL infrastructure and documentation have progressed well, and Huskey has recently been working on automating a good deal of the creation of the XML encoding so that those editors who are not comfortable with learning a lot about XML can instead prepare carefully formatted materials in text files and spreadsheets that will allow conversion through Python scripts. This is a very important development, because the XML encoding is complex and for some would be seen as a very burdensome overhead on the already onerous work of assembling a critical edition with full apparatuses.
Serviani in Vergili Aeneidos Libros IX-XII Commentarii, edited by Charles E. Murgia, completed and prepared for publication buy Robert A. Kaster, has an official publication date of Feb. 8, 2018; a copy of bound proofs was on display at the Annual Meeting in Boston. The series page designates this book as Special Publications of the Society for Classical Studies, no. 1, vol. 5 and lists the two previous volumes (no. 1, vol. 2 and no. 1, vol. 3).
We had looked forward to learning more about the prospects of a vol. 4 or equivalent, to complete the Servian commentary on the Aeneid. A committee-sponsored panel had been organized by Dirk Obbink and James Brusuelas. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of the few panels that had to be cancelled because all but one of the participants were prevented from getting to the meeting.
Andrew Scott’s volume in the Dio Commentary series is in production and should be out in the middle of 2018.
Work continued on completing and refining a full list of the publications of the APA and SCS in a spreadsheet. This is an expansion of the list created by Roger Bagnall. Among the uses of this list are to verify which books fall under the OUP contract and which do not, and to explore digitization and open access for the ones that SCS controls, and to encourage OUP to make available by print on demand, if not otherwise, some titles they have not yet made available. One problem is the availability of clean copies that can be sacrificed, since OUP’s digitization process is destructive. The SCS office has one copy of almost every publication, but these could be used only for a non-destructive process. Some kind of assessment of the whole list and what it tells us about the history of the discipline and of the association may also be prepared for the 2019.
6. TLL Fellowship
Helen Cullyer submitted a proposal for the TLL Fellowship in August (for the next three years’ funding) and a final decision, originally expected in December, was further delayed and still pending in January 2018.
Changes in NEH rules for the fellowship have affected who is eligible to apply and reduced the total number of applicants, and the TLL Fellowship Advisory Board continues to monitor the situation.
7. Information Architect
Sam Huskey reported that along with Erik Shell he completed some minor upgrades to the submission system for the Program Committee and for the Placement Service. Planning is in progress for upgrading within the next year or so the Drupal platform of the website and other aspects of the site, and recruitment of a successor to Huskey is also in the offing.
8. American Office of l’Année Philologique
The Advisory Board heard a report of the transition of the database to Brepols (in accordance with a contract entered into by SIBC). This has gone fairly well, although there are still some areas of functionality that remain to be implemented by Brepols in the coming months. The pricing structure for institutional licenses at Brepols may have a bad effect on smaller departments that are part of a large campus, since rates are aligned to the campus’ Carnegie classification and not to the actual level of use generated by those who consult classical bibliography on the campus.
The Advisory Board noted that in the reorganization of SCS structures and of the Regulations, there was no longer provision for a librarian to serve on the Board. They therefore requested a change of Regulations to allow this, and such a change will be presented for SCS Board approval in June 2018.
More February 2018 Newsletter Content
Read S. Georgia Nugent's report on her year at the helm of the Society as its president.
Hear from our Executive Director about Society activities at the main office.
Check out the new Forum Prize for public-facing Classics work, founded by the Committee on Public Information and Media Relations