AATSEEL Executive Meeting minutes 2001

Summary of Minutes of the Meetings of the Executive Council

of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic & East European Languages

December 27-30, 2001, New Orleans, LA

taken by President-Elect, Benjamin Rifkin

Presiding: Sarah Pratt, President

Present: Kathleen Dillon, Jerry Ervin, Karen Evans-Romaine, Laura Janda, Olga Kagan,

Frank Miller, Ben Rifkin, Harlow Robinson, Cindy Ruder, and Jim Sweigert. Also

attending: Carol Ueland (non-voting member of EC in December 2001, incoming Vice

President, member of EC for 2002-2003).

After approval of the agenda, the EC decided to defer approval of minutes from

December 2000 to March 2002 to give members more time to consider changes and

corrections. The EC voted to post summaries of EC meetings to the AATSEEL Website

and possibly the AATSEEL Newsletter (space permitting). The EC then discussed

items the President should include in her report at the AATSEEL business meeting.

The EC considered a request from Leonard Polakiewicz for $2,500 remaining from a

grant from the National Council of Organizations of Less Commonly Taught Languages

for the development and publication of the Polish Language Learning Framework. The

PLLF has been completed. Leonard Polakiewicz requested funds for a publication

subvention. The EC approved the disbursal of funds for a publication subvention by

May 30, 2002.

The EC discussed plans for the reception and noted, with thanks, the performance of

the Luther College Balalaika Orchestra.

The EC approved the following resolution: The Newsletter Editor is encouraged to post

and enforce all deadlines for all Newsletter submissions.

Executive Director Jerry Ervin informed us that SEEJ has submitted all of its material –

the entire history of its publication – to JSTOR for electronic publication. SEEJ

continues to submit new issues of SEEJ to JSTOR on an ongoing basis. Ultimately

previous issues of SEEJ with a 3-year firewall (up to a 3-year gap) will be up on JSTOR

in pdf format with full-text search options. Ultimately there should be a link from the

AATSEEL website to JSTOR's archives of SEEJ. This will be available only through a

university that subscribes to JSTOR. JSTOR has not yet begun to make the material

available on the web: JSTOR is still working on font issues.

The EC discussed the status of SEEJ. The USPS has negotiated with Jerry Ervin for

SEEJ to make up the issues we have missed so that SEEJ doesn't lose its bulk mailing

priveleges. Jerry Ervin and Jerry Janecek have agreed to a schedule for the publication

of new issues of SEEJ at the rate of one every two months starting February 2002 for 3

years or until SEEJ is all caught up with its publishing schedule, at which time SEEJ can

go back to the regular pattern of 4 issues per year.

The EC discussed the possibility of electronic dissemination beyond JSTOR but

decided against dissemination of more recent issues of SEEJ at this time.

The EC endorsed a resolution of gratitude to Jerry Janecek for taking SEEJ on and

providing such an important service to the profession.

Past President Frank Miller reported on AATSEEL Awards:

Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Post-Secondary Level: Thomas Garza, U. of

Texas – Austin

Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Secondary Level: Judith Wobst, Amherst

Regional Middle and High School

Award for Outstanding Achievement in Scholarship: Caryl Emerson, Princeton


Award for Distinguished Contribution to the Profession: Alex Rudd, List Manager and

Systems Operator, SEELANGS.

Past President Frank Miller reported on Publication Awards on behalf of Kevin Platt,

chair of the Publications Committee:

Award for Best Contribution in Language Pedagogy: Olga Kagan, Benjamin Rifkin,

Susan Bauckus, eds. The Learning and Teaching of Slavic Languages and

Cultures. Bloomington, IN: Slavica Publishers, 2000.

Best Book in Literature / Cultural Scholarship: Eliot Borenstein. Men without Women:

Masculinity and Revolution in Russian Fiction, 1917-1929. Durham, NC: Duke

University Press, 2000.

Best Book in Linguistics: Sue Brown. Syntax of Negation in Russian: A Minimalist

Approach. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information,


Best Translation into English: Daniel Weissbort. Selected Poems of Nikolay

Zabolotsky. Manchester: Carcanet, 1999.

The new nominations and elections committee will consist of Past President Frank

Miller (chair), and outgoing Vice-Presidents Laura Janda and Jim Sweigert. They will

recruit nominations for AATSEEL awards and nominations for offices (two vice

presidents and one president-elect).

The EC endorsed Publications Committee Chair Kevin Platt's recommendation to

change the timing of deadlines for consideration of publication awards (in what period of

time a book must be published in order to be eligible for an award in a given year.)

These recommendations are appended to this summary.

The EC confirmed the following policy on awards: Common practice up until now has

been that members of the Publications Committee have recused themselves when

there is a potential conflict of interest in the review of a nominated work for a publication

prize (as happened again this year). The Executive Council endorses this practice for

the future as our standard policy on publication awards. Members of the Executive

Council are eliminated from consideration for all other awards (i.e., awards other than

publication awards) during the period of their service to the Association.

The EC commended the Publications Committee for maintaining an awards jury that is

diverse in its composition with regards to years of service to the profession, academic

rank, and area of expertise.

The EC recommended that the Publications Committee set up a separate jury for the

review of works nominated for the best prize in translation; that is, that this jury should

include individuals with expertise in translation. The jury reviewing works nominated for

the translation prize may overlap in composition with the jury reviewing works

nominated for the prize in literary and cultural studies.

The EC will recruit a new committee chair for the Technology Committee. This

committee is charged with, among other things, selecting a website for the annual

website award.

The EC members will individually write Alex Rudd to congratulate him for his award and

thank him for his service to the profession.

Report from ACTR: Jim Sweigert reported that ACTR is hiring a marketing expert to

promote the teaching of Russian and Slavic languages at the high school and university

levels. The EC was informed that work is ongoing to develop an AP test in Russian;

ACTR is looking for sites to pilot test the new AP exam in Russian. (Several EC

members serve on the ACTR AP committee.)

Report from Committee on Testing and Professional Development: Ben Rifkin has

stepped down as chair of this committee. The new chair is Richard Robin. The

committee sponsored several events at the 2001 AATSEEL Conference and plans are

underway for events at the 2002 conference.

Future conferences: AATSEEL 2002 Conference will be held in New York at the

Marriott Marquis on Times Square with room rates at $130 single, $140 double, exactly

the rate that MLA got at one of its sites, the Hilton.

Conference Program Committee Chair Karen Evans-Romaine reported on the

AATSEEL 2001 Conference. She noted that the program committee is receiving more

and more requests for sophisticated technological support. Given that rental costs are

rising, the EC decided that AATSEEL will NOT provide live internet connections for

anyone presenting at the AATSEEL conference. Participants are recommended to

download from the internet the interesting webpages they wish to demonstrate and to

show them from a "canned" version. AATSEEL conference participants are encouraged

to bring their own a/v equipment, but we will continue to provide such equipment when

a/v requests are made by the deadline set by the Conference Program Committee. The

EC commended Karen Evans-Romaine and the entire program committee for a job well


In response to concerns about the timing of pre-conference events, the EC agreed to

schedule the annual pre-conference meeting of the Conference Program Committee for

27 December from 5 to 7 pm (as currently scheduled), but to change the Executive

Council Meeting for 27 December from 2 to 5 pm to 7 to 10 pm. In 2002 the EC

meeting on 27 December will be from 7 to 10 pm. The pre-conference workshop (see

below) will be scheduled for 28 December from 8 to 10 am. At this time the EC agreed

that AATSEEL should sponsor coffee and donuts at the exhibit hall from 8 to 10 am to

welcome conference participants to the conference and draw them into the exhibit hall

right away. The 30 December meeting of the EC will remain at 7 – 10 am.

The EC voted to consider outsourcing some clerical tasks to management companies.

Executive Director Jerry Ervin and incoming Executive Director Kathleen Dillon will get

information about such options and bring it to the EC's attention.

The EC reviewed rates and fees, considering the proposal from Executive Director Jerry

Ervin, and approved the following schedule.

Subscription Rates for 2003

SEEJ Only – N. America $ 60

SEEJ Only – Outside N. America 75

Newsletter Only – N. America 35

Newsletter Only – Outside N. America 50

Comprehensive: SEEJ + NL + Memb. Dir. – N. America 80

Comprehensive: SEEJ + NL + Memb. Dir. – Outside N. America 95

Membership Rates for 2003

Affiliate (Newsletter only) (NLO) $ 30

Students & Independent Scholars 30

(note change of name of category from students and unemployed)

Retired & emeritus (EME) 30

Secondary school teachers (SST) 35

Instructors, Lecturers (I&L) 40

Assist Profs (ASI) 45

Non-academic members (NAM) 45

Assoc Profs (ASO) 55

Full Profs & Admins (FPR) 65

Sustaining members (SUS) 100

Joint membership (JOI)

The fee for the higher-ranking member (see above) +15

Mail to address outside N. America

Any membership or subscription category +15

Benefactor/Life Member (LIFE) 750

Conference Registration Fees for 2002



Students $ 40

Others 70


Students 55

Others 90



Students 55

Others 90


Students 70

Others 105

MLA Courtesy Rate (Available On-Site Only) 45

Conference Program Committee Chair Karen Evans-Romaine, incoming Executive

Director Kathleen Dillon, President-Elect Ben Rifkin and Vice President Harlow

Robinson agreed to serve on a committee to look into ways to track the academic rank

of members in order to determine the nature of participation in annual conferences.

Outgoing vice president Laura Janda agreed to organize the pre-conference workshop

for 2002 (scheduled for 12/28 from 8 to 10 am / see above), with concurrent sessions

on at least some of the following topics

writing abstracts (for the AATSEEL Conference and possibly for other purposes)

interviewing for jobs

writing c.v. and cover letters (researching the targeted institution)

how to do a job talk (on a campus visit)

expectations for tenure / different for each institution


working with administrative staff

how to conduct interviews (for faculty on hiring committees)

The EC agreed that interviewers should be reminded of the MLA guidelines for

interviewing in the October Newsletter and that they can get interview space at

AATSEEL, but that they must request such space by the deadline.

Recommendations for Changes in Eligibility Rules for Publication Prizes

(submitted by Publications Committee Chair Kevin Platt, endorsed by EC – December


The Publications Committee of AATSEEL, with the approval of the Executive

Council, has voted to institute the following changes in the eligibility

and administration of the AATSEEL book prizes. For fuller explanation of

these changes and of the eligibility requirements for the prizes in

general, please refer to the Publication Committee webpage at


A: Beginning in the coming year, the deadline for nominations of books for

the AATSEEL book prizes will be April 1.

Rationale: In the past, nominations have been due by June 1. This has

necessitated that jury considerations and voting take place in the summer

months, when it is difficult to make contact with members of the committee.

This change will make the administration of jury voting for the prizes


B: Beginning in the coming year, eligibility for the prizes in linguistics,

literary/cultural criticism, and translation will extend to books published

in the preceding two calendar years (2000-2001 in this case), but will not

include those published in the current year (2002). For the prize in

language pedagogy eligibility will extend for the preceding three calendar

years, but not the current year.

Rationale: In the past, eligibility for all prizes has extended to books

published in a three year period including the year in which the

competition takes place (books considered for this year's prizes were

published in 1999, 2000 and 2001). This has given an unfair advantage to

books published early in the year, which have in effect been eligible for a

year longer than books published late in the year. It has also made it

difficult for jury members to examine some nominated books, which are not

available in time for the committee's deliberations. This change will

address these issues. Further, the reduction of the eligibility window from

three years to two for all prizes except that for pedagogy reflects the

well-established nature of these prizes, which ensures that books are

nominated in timely manner. The prize for pedagogy is only in its second

year, and needs more time to come into its own.