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Classics Advisory Service - 1997-98

Report to the Board of Directors, American Philological Association
Michael Gagarin, Director
November 22, 1998

My third year as Director of the CAS was extremely busy during Fall 1997 and rather quiet thereafter. We faced four situations I would call crises, one in the US, one in Canada, and two outside the US (in Australia and South Africa). I am not aware of the resolution of any of these cases except the one in South Africa, which turned out fairly well. We also were alerted to two threats of crises, which to my knowledge did not materialize. In addition to responding to these crisis situations, I have continued to provide for names of potential outside reviewers upon request (three requests in 1997-98) and to handle requests for information or other sorts of help (six requests), one of which was a request for help in starting a Classics program. I received considerable assistance throughout the year from John Marincola. The APA database, in particular, continues to be in demand and is always much appreciated by those who receive information from it.

Two matters of general policy arose during the year. First, the cases in Australia and South Africa are outside the APA region, though in the latter, at least, several faculty in the program are APA members. With the overall increase in the number of overseas members of the APA and the general acceleration of global communication, it seems likely that more such cases will be brought to our attention. I raised this matter with the Board of Directors at its December 30, 1997 meeting. The Board felt that it was appropriate for the CAS to become involved in such foreign situations, at least to the extent that we could be helpful. They also encouraged us to cooperate as much as possible with similar organizations in other countries. To this end, I discussed the matter with Christopher Rowe, President of the Classical Association (England), and we agreed to keep each other informed about foreign situations and to work together where possible. Since no such case has in fact arisen since then, this agreement has not been tested.

Second, a colleague doing a review of a small Classics program commented that it would be helpful to have some guidelines for what a Classics program should be. I have consulted with the Vice President for Education on the desirability of drafting an advisory (not prescriptive) statement. Although we both have some reservations, we see potential benefit in having such a statement and will bring the matter to the Education Committee for consideration at its December meeting. If they approve of the idea, we will work on a statement that would eventually be brought to the Board of Directors for approval.

Finally, a primary task for the coming year is to work on the CAS Web site, which has scarcely been touched in the last year and a half (though the information it contains is still useful).

Michael Gagarin
Director, Classics Advisory Service
gagarin@mail.utexas.edu

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