Your Board of Directors met in New York on June 18th. Our gathering came as we near the hand-over from one executive director to another for the first time in seventeen years, with Adam Blistein’s retirement at the end of this month. Helen Cullyer, his successor, began work for the Society on May 1st, and they have been working together closely over the past seven weeks. The directors made special contributions to the annual fund in honor of Adam’s service—and it’s not too late for you to do so also before the close of our fiscal year on June 30th.
It was a very productive meeting and there is much to report. Since I hate over-long emails as much as anyone, Helen, the other officers, and I will, over the next month, be bringing you the details of the many decisions the Board made. In particular, I’m going to save the details of a major reorganization of the Society’s divisions and committees for later. For today, I’d like to highlight just a few important developments.
- Thanks to the generous response to the appeal for funds to provide travel grants to graduate students and contingent faculty who lack access to institutional funding for travel to the annual meeting, we will have more than $20,000 available for such grants for the Toronto meeting, four times what was available for the San Francisco meeting. A later message will give details of how to apply for these grants and how they will be awarded.
- In response to the recommendation of our advisory group on contingent faculty, a standing committee on contingent faculty will be created and entrusted with the task of working to implement the other very thoughtful recommendations of the advisory group. As a reminder, the talks from the presidential panel on contingent faculty organized by John Marincola at the San Francisco meeting are available here.
- Planning for our sesquicentennial has begun! The 150th anniversary of our foundation as the American Philological Association will be 2019, and Vice President for Program Michele Salzman is leading a group thinking not only about special initiatives for the annual meeting that year (in San Diego) but much more broadly. Members with ideas on how the Society might use this anniversary, as both an opportunity to look back on the development of Classics in the New World and also a chance to think about the future of the field, are invited to send Michele their ideas.
We have a wonderful, thoughtful Board of Directors this year, and I feel very fortunate to have them as colleagues in this year of transition and renewal. Stay tuned.