AATSEEL Executive Meeting minutes 2002

The Executive Council of AATSEEL

Friday, December 27, 2002 and Monday, December 30, 2002

Marriott Marquis, New York

 Minutes taken by President-Elect Ben Rifkin

MEETING A December 27, 7-10 p.m. Meeting Room: Wilder

Present and Voting Members of the Executive Council: 
Chevalier, Dillon, Evans-Romaine, Janda, Janecek, Leaver, Miller, Pratt,
Rifkin, Robinson, Ruder, Ueland.

Present and Non-Voting Members (newly elected individuals
whose terms go into effect as of January 1, 2003):  Johnson, Nepomnyashchy

The meeting was brought to order at 7:10 pm


The agenda for the meeting was approved by unanimous consent.


Action Agenda 2001:  Ben Rifkin reminded everyone that we had voted to review minutes
by e-mail in January and that we would be working off the “Action Agenda”
generated by the minutes last year.  A similar “Action Agenda” will be
generated from the minutes this year.  EC members are asked to approve or
suggest corrections to these December 2002 minutes by e-mail to Executive
Director Kathleen Dillon by January 15, 2003.  In late January they will
be turned over to the AATSEEL WebSite Director to be put up on the AATSEEL
website.  A review of actions taken in accordance with the “Action Agenda”
from 2002 was planned for the Monday morning meeting. 


President's Report:  Sally Pratt discussed the plan for the President’s Report at the
annual Business Meeting (scheduled for 29 December at 10:15 – 10:45) including
the announcement of new committee appointments, awards, membership numbers,
discussion of the preconference workshop, information about conference
registrations, solvency of the association, results of the recent elections,
and plans for the 2003 conference in San Diego. Sally announced the first
AATSEEL Distinguished Award Lecture for 29 December, immediately following the
Business Meeting, by last year’s award winner, Caryl Emerson, and the
President’s Reception, where awards would be presented, 28 December at 9 pm.


The Steering Committee discussed the work of the Program Committee and considered proposals
from its chair, Karen Evans-Romaine, in light of the coming end of her term
after the December 2003 conference.


Report on Elections:  Frank Miller reported that “turnout” (“response”) for the
election was not as robust as we might have liked it to be, and we might want
to consider changing the format of our elections (discussed below).  He
reported that the following individuals had been elected to office in the
Executive Council for the following terms:  Cathy Nepomnyashchy
(President-Elect 2003-2004; President 2005-2006; Past President 2007-2008);
Todd Golding  (Vice President 2003-2005); and Emily Johnson (Vice
President 2003-2005).  We will need to identify four candidates for Vice
President, from whom two will be elected, for terms from 2004-2006.  We
discussed the timing of elections and agreed unanimously to move them to the
spring semester so that the elections are completed and results can be
announced before the end of the spring semester.  There are no
restrictions regarding the timing of annual elections in the Constitution or
By-Laws, so we are free to make this change, which promises to improve the
efficiency with which elections are conducted.  Sally Pratt, Harlow
Robinson and Cindy Ruder now constitute the new Nominations and Elections
Committee and they will work closely with Kathleen Dillon to move forward
efficiently in recruiting candidates to run and getting ballots prepared and
out to the membership in a timely fashion on the newly approved spring semester
election calendar:  candidates recruited by end of January; statements
submitted by middle of February; ballots mailed by mid-March; ballots due back
to Sally by some date in April.  Results announced on SEELANGs and in the
next possible issue of the AATSEEL Newsletter (depending on the publication
schedule of the AATSEEL Newsletter).  This will allow newly elected
candidates to plan to attend both EC meetings at the annual conference in 2003.


Report on Awards (Miller):  Frank announced the names of the award winners for 2002 and
reminded us that the awards would be presented at the President’s Reception on
December 28.  We agreed that the AATSEEL website should have a running
list of award winners for both publications and AATSEEL awards in
general.  Such a list will be compiled and the AATSEEL website director
will be asked to put it up on our website.  Frank also pointed out that in
the recent past awards for best teaching on the post-secondary level have been
going to teachers of Russian and that we should try to solicit nominations for
excellent teaching on the post-secondary level of individuals who teach other
languages.  Frank and Publications Committee Chair Kevin Platt announced
that Kevin would be stepping down as chair of the Publications Committee as per
the term set forth for this position in the By-Laws.  He has identified
two or three candidates to succeed him and will work to recruit a new chair and
identify that person by the end of January. 


Executive Director’s Report:  Kathleen Dillon discussed several important items in her

Kathleen first discussed the reports from Jerry Ervin
(previous Executive Director) and the independent auditor from Arizona. 
She pointed out that the relationship with the auditor is working fine and she
plans to continue working with that auditor.  However, the U. of Arizona
Press has had a change in its staffing and it has become clear that we can no
longer work with U. of Arizona Press for the publication of our ballots,
directories, and other publications. Kathleen will work to identify a new
printer for us.  She also described the significant difficulties in
managing the databases she took over from Jerry Ervin.  Jerry avoided
upgrading software to keep expenses low, but the problem now is that no
existing software packages can read the data he was keeping.  It has taken
considerable time and effort to “translate” the data into a readable
format.  Accordingly, we discussed and then agreed unanimously that the
Executive Director should make periodic upgrades in order to avoid winding up
in a similar situation in the future. 

Next, Kathleen discussed the tasks and responsibilities of the
Executive Director and we decided that we should look to outsource membership
and registration functions to make them electronic as well as easier for both
members and the Executive Director.  However, we need to retain a
non-electronic option for those members who do not use e-mail or the internet
at all.  The goal is to identify a service provider who would create an
e-commerce web page to manage memberships, subscriptions and registrations so
that this information can be input by members themselves, the webpage would
automatically update the database, and the members would be able to pay by
credit card over the web.  Transactions completed in this way would
require minimal (or zero) interaction on the part of the Executive
Director.  The Executive Council unanimously agreed to create an Ad-Hoc
Committee on On-Line Membership Management  (COLMM) to review options and
costs. The COLMM consists of Kathleen Dillon, Harlow Robinson, Betty Lou
Leaver, and Joan Chevalier.  The goal is to have a process established in
time for the next conference registration cycle (by summer 2003) in order to
automate the conference registration and membership renewal process by that
time.  The COLMM will investigate options and make a recommendation to the
steering committee (as of January 1, 2003 consisting of Sally Pratt, Ben Rifkin
and Cathy Nepomnyashchy)  The EC authorizes the Steering Committee to make
a decision to adopt  an on-line process for member services as described

Kathleen also reported that she was able to find a copyright
attorney who provided AATSEEL with pro-bono consulting about copyright issues
that arose during the course of the previous year.  The EC thanked
Kathleen for finding someone willing to do this work for us on a pro bono

Kathleen described a problem with mailing list requests. 
The EC voted to provide electronic versions of the lists, rather than sending
simply a set of labels.  Those renting the mailing list will be told they
may use the list only once.  Since we will be providing the list
electronically, a more desirable format for those buying the list, we will
increase the price of the list.

Kathleen reminded us that association membership dues were
raised moderately last year.  Conference registration costs for the 2002
conference in New York are much greater than they have been in the past because
New York is simply a more expensive city to hold a conference, but also because
audio-visual equipment costs have skyrocketed and more and more members are
requesting audio-visual equipment for their presentations.  The Executive
Council agreed unanimously to increase conference registration fees for 2003 by
$20.00 to offset the increased costs.  Kathleen Dillon and Ben Rifkin will
write an explanation of the increase in conference registration costs by a Feb.
15 deadline for the AATSEEL Newsletter.

Kathleen next discussed the status of AATSEEL’s investments in
multiple investment accounts.  We agreed that Kathleen will consult a
financial consultant on these issues (at a cost to AATSEEL) and will send us a
set of options by e-mail for our response.

After deciding to take up the rest of the items on our agenda
on Monday morning, the Friday evening meeting was adjourned at 9:56 pm.

Meeting B of the AATSEEL Executive Council at the 2002
Annual Conference

30 December 2002

7:00 am – 10:00 am

The meeting was brought to order at 7:10 am.

Members Present and Voting: Chevalier, Dillon, Evans-Romaine,
Janda, Leaver, Miller, Platt, Pratt, Rifkin, Robinson, Ruder, Sweigert,
Ueland.  (Janecek arrived later.)

Members Present and Not Voting:  Comer (as incoming
Conference Program Committee Chair), Golding (incoming Vice President), Johnson
(incoming Vice President), Nepomnyashchy (incoming President-Elect)

7.  (continued)  We began this second meeting with
some additional comments from Executive Director Kathleen Dillon. 
Kathleen explained for context that ACTFL has a conference pre-registration
rate ranging from $130 to $165 that includes overhead projection. 
Presenters must pay additional fees to rent any other equipment.  The
Executive Council discussed this approach and declined to pursue it because in
the AATSEEL Context it is discriminatory with regard to members presenting in
the area of film studies or in cultural studies where papers depend on the
presentation of images.  As a community, we all benefit from this kind of
enhancement to our presentations.  Moreover, graduate students should not
be charged more as they have a difficult time just coming up with the
registration fees.  We agreed to stay with our decision of December 27 to
increase conference registration costs generally to share the burden of these
increased costs as a community.


Editors' Reports


AATSEEL Newsletter (Betty Lou Leaver)

Betty Lou discussed problems with the latest version of Adobe
that does not support Cyrillic. She encouraged all AATSEEL members to contact
Adobe and complain.  Betty Lou has come up with a work-around solution,
but it is complicated and depends on the good will of several of her family
members to print and deliver files from a variety of different kinds of
computers.  Betty will provide the address of Adobe to which letters of
complaint can be sent.  Betty also explained that the AATSEEL Newsletter
is now available on line with a delay of one or two issues in order to
encourage people to maintain current membership and get their newsletters on
time.  Betty Lou encouraged us to recruit advertisers for the Newsletter
and to have them get in touch with her.  We discussed the possibility at
some point in the future of giving members the option of receiving the
Newsletter only in electronic form as a cost saving measure (printing
and postage) for AATSEEL.  The time for this is not quite now, given
problems with Adobe and Cyrillic, but we will revisit it in the future. 
The Executive Council thanked Betty Lou for her terrific service as editor of
our association’s Newsletter.  Ben suggested we open up a new column in
the Newsletter:  Member News with announcements of dissertations defended,
new hires, promotions, retirements, awards, and, sadly, deaths.  This new
column will be announced in a President’s Column.


SEEJ (Janecek)

Jerry reminded us that the University of Kentucky will end its
$5,000 contribution to the operation of SEEJ as of the end of the current
academic year.  Jerry is willing to continue as editor of SEEJ for at
least two years if AATSEEL will pick up the additional costs. He pointed out
that these costs would not exceed $4,000 per year and in fact, at least in the
first year, might be less than that.  The Executive Council discussed the
fact that SEEJ had been in a period of some disorder in the transition first to
Stephen Baehr’s editorship and then, after Steve’s untimely death, to an
interim editor (thanks to Irene Masing-Delic for stepping in at a very
difficult time) before landing at the University of Kentucky.  We
recognized the terrific efforts of Jerry and his staff, esp. John Rucker, and
agreed that it would be in the best interests of the association to maintain
continuity at this critical time in the journal’s history.  The Executive
Council voted unanimously to pick up the additional costs of running SEEJ from
the University of Kentucky.  Laura Janda said that the National Slavic
& East European Language Resource Center might be able to contribute $500
or so per year towards these costs, reducing somewhat AATSEEL’s burden in this

We also agreed that Caryl Emerson’s distinguished award
lecture would be published in SEEJ as soon as possible.

The EC thanked Jerry Janecek for his wonderful work in
reviving SEEJ after the period of transition following Steve Baehr’s untimely


Committee Reports

The Executive Council reviewed reports of the nominations,
elections, and awards committee.  Sally will work with Harlow and Cindy to
recruit new candidates for Vice President very soon in order to shift our
election cycle from a fall semester election to a spring semester

We have no separate finance committee report, but will
recreate a finance committee (see below) to consider AATSEEL’s holdings in
various accounts.

Kevin Platt reported from the Publications Committee that
people who are voting on awards are actually working in that area, including in
the area of translation.  The Award Juries are listed on the AATSEEL
website, but the link is awkward and Kevin will ask the Website Director to
revise the webpage on which the juries are listed.

The EC agreed that it was important to revise the website to
make the association’s committee structure clear and easily accessible to
visitors to the site.  This might happen in conjunction with an on-line
members’ services section of the website.

The Technology Committee will be chaired again by Joan
Chevalier and Laura Janda.

Jim Sweigert reported on the Outreach Committee with regard to
the Zvenigorod Program through ACTR, the National board Certification Program
for Secondary Teachers of Russian, and news of the AP exam in Russian being
developed by ACTR.   (Ben and Cindy are also on this
committee.)  Todd will pick up reporting on outreach now that Jim’s term
is ending.

Rich Robin submitted a report on behalf of the Committee on
Testing & Professional Development.

Ben Rifkin reported on the creation at this conference of a
new committee of Slavic Language Program Directors.  All those directing a
language program of one or more Slavic languages are invited to join this
committee, that will correspond by e-mail and meet at the annual AATSEEL
Conference.  To join the committee, write Ben Rifkin by e-mail (brifkin@wisc.edu).

Laura Janda reported on the linguistics committee and
suggested that it be discontinued since we have no reports on literature or
pedagogy.  Instead, we decided to create a “Committee on Statistics on the
Field” that should work with Dick Brecht (NFLC) and John Schillinger
(CCPCR).  Carol Ueland agreed to chair this committee.


Delegate and Representatives' Reports

The Executive Council decided to remind delegates and
representatives that they are required to provide written reports in electronic
form by December 1 of each year for inclusion in the annual reports read by EC
members.  Some reports were not sent forward this year as noted below:



AAASS (Gutsche) – no report (Kathleen will contact George to remind him of his
responsibility to submit a report and determine if he still wishes to be the
AATSEEL delegate to AAASS.)


AAUSC (Rifkin) – it was decided to discontinue this report, but announcements of AAUSC
volumes will be published in the AATSEEL Newsletter.  (Ben Rifkin will
send the information to Betty Lou Leaver.)


ACTFL (Rifkin) / it was decided to continue to support a delegate attending the ACTFL
delegate assembly


ACTR (Merrill) – no report was submitted:  Kathleen Dillon will contact Peter Merrill
and Dan Davidson and remind them of ACTR’s responsibility to name a delegate to
AATSEEL. Cindy Ruder has volunteered to do this, but it is Peter Merrill and
Dan Davidson’s decision to name the delegate to AATSEEL.


ADFL/MLA–Vitaly Chernetsky will be asked to continue as the MLA representative


AWSS – Sibelan Forrester new rep to AATSEEL


CCPCR –Schillinger:  we will ask him to continue to serve in this regard


Dobro Slovo – Couch:  we will ask him to continue to serve in this regard


JNCL/NCOLCTL – Schillinger :  we will ask him to continue to serve in this regard


NFMLTA – Ben Rifkin will ask Sally Magnan about this association; perhaps we will
discontinue reports from NFMLTA


Olympiada – must be folded into the ACTR report in the future


Slava – Walters


Slavic Language Program Directors – Eloise Boyle, Chair (Ben Rifkin serves on the committee,
can liaison with the EC)


Those reporting will be asked to divide their reports into a
descriptive section, describing events and actions taken by the association to
which they are delgates, and action items requiring a response from
AATSEEL.  Ben & Kathleen will work out a format for reporting.

Chapter reports will be solicited, but are not required.

The Executive Council noted with pleasure that the Polish
Language Learning Framework had been published. 


Report on the Program (Evans-Romaine)

Karen reported that the Conference has gone extremely well and
attendance at panels has been generally excellent, although a few panels have
had poor attendance.  Clearly evening slots are not the best in this
regard.  After some discussion, the EC agreed to recommend to the Program
Committee to try to avoid any evening panels.  Kathleen and Karen talked
about the number of breakout rooms and agreed that it was difficult to seek
hotels where there would be more than 10 breakout rooms (for 10 concurrent
sessions).    After some discussion, the EC recommended that the
distinguished award lecture should immediately precede the President’s
Reception in order to attract more attendance to the President’s
Reception.  Karen explained that the new Panel Chair’s form will require
the Chair to write down statistics on attendance, notes on people who didn’t
show up to panel, etc..  This form will serve as a panel declaration for
next year.  Next year the form will be an insert in the program

Karen than brought up a proposal from a member to change the
abstract system.  It was discussed at some length.  The EC agreed to
have the Program Committee decide whether any (or no) changes are to be made to
the abstract system.  The EC recognized that any change in the system
would not necessarily have an impact in terms of an increase in the
participation of senior faculty in the conference itself.  We agreed to
try to have a special event tied to the city in which the conference is held
(such as Russian California).  There is the possibility of having a
special visitor or speaker.


Senior Scholars and AATSEEL (Rifkin)

Ben proposed working out a plan to recruit senior scholars who
are not now members in AATSEEL to return to AATSEEL membership.

Emily Johnson suggested that a similar plan be developed for
graduate programs for MA and PhD students to hear about the benefits of AATSEEL
membership.  Ben Rifkin will prepare such a letter for review by other
members of the EC.


Report on the Pre-Conference Workshop – Laura Janda organized several pre-conference
presentations on professional development issues. These presentations were
given at the first conference slot (8 am) with no concurrent panels or papers.
These presentations were almost all very well attended and Laura agreed to
organize a similar set of presentations for San Diego 2003.


Report on AATSEEL 2003, San Diego CA. (Dillon)  Kathleen talked about plans for the
2003 Conference in San Diego. 


Committee chairs for 2003

AAASS – George
Gutsche for one more year

AAUSC committee
is discontinued

Rifkin will continue as AATSEEL delegate

ACTR – Cindy
Ruder volunteered for this; Kathleen will check with ACTR about this

Ad Hoc Committee
On-Line Membership Management to review this:  Kathleen Dillon (chair),
Harlow Robinson, Betty Lou Leaver, Joan Chevalier.

Vitaly Chernetsky

Awards &
Nominations – Sally Pratt (chair) w/Harlow Robinson and Cindy Ruder

AWSS – Sibelan

CCPCR – John

Dobro Slovo –
Sandy Couch

Finance – Ben
Rifkin (chair) with Harlow Robinson, Cindy Ruder and Kathleen Dillon.

JNCL-NCOLCTL – John Schillinger

Rifkin will check on this

Committee Report will henceforth be folded in to the ACTR Report

Outreach – Todd
Golding (chair)

Committee – Karen Evans-Romaine

Publications Committee – to be named very soon; we will check with Kevin Platt
on this

Slava – Marion

Slavic Language
Program Directors – Eloise Boyle (Ben Rifkin can liaison with the EC)

Statistics – Carol Ueland

Testing &
Prof – Rich Robin (chair)


Elections 2003 (Dillon):  We have agreed to move the election cycle into the spring
semester (see above). Sally Pratt will recruit four nominees to run for the
office of vice presidents and have decisions and 200-word statements by
mid-February. Ballots will be mailed out in March and will be due back in
April.  Kathleen will find a new printer for the ballots asap.


Other New Business

We agreed unanimously to adopt the MLA policies on
interviewing for AATSEEL and publish them in both the AATSEEL Newsletter and
the Conference Program.  Cathy Nepomnyashchy will write an introduction
for this. 

We agreed to have the distinguished award lecture or some
other premiere event immediately before the president’s reception will help and
we’ll try to order better snacks, but we will not be able to afford to provide
a free drink to each attendee. All awards will have shorter citations to be
read, fuller versions will be posted on some kind of “pochetnaia doska”.

Michael Heim has proposed that AATSEEL sponsor a meeting of
departmental directors of instruction with graduate program representatives to
talk about recruiting students for graduate programs.  The EC discussed
the proposal and decided that Karen Evans-Romaine should be in touch with
Michael Heim to have him propose a roundtable for the 2003 conference.

A proposal was made to lengthen the term of the office of Vice
President from three years to four or five.  The proposal was discussed
but it was dismissed because the EC council does not have the authority to make
changes to the association’s constitution.

A proposal was made to make it easier for individuals
(including association members, but not only members) to make contributions to
the association’s endowment.  Maybe create an annual fund / perhaps make
it easier to give contributions.  Ben Rifkin, Cindy Ruder and Kathleen
Dillon will work on making the process of the contribution easier.

Ben Rifkin proposed creating a new column for the AATSEEL
Newsletter:  Member News. This column would feature announcements of
dissertations defended, new hires, promotions, retirements, awards (both
AATSEEL and external awards, including awards to AATSEEL members from the
institutions where they teach), and deaths.


Contact Information for 2003:

Members of the Executive Council agreed to contact Kathleen
Dillon with any changes in their contact information


Closing Remarks (Pratt)

The meeting was adjourned at 9:56 am.