AATSEEL Executive Meeting minutes 2005

Washington, DC, Dec 27 and 30, 2005


December 27, 2005 (7-10 p.m.):  Present: Todd
Armstrong, William Comer, Kathleen Dillon, Todd Golding, Gerald Janacek (for all
or part of the meeting?), Emily Johnson, Dianna Murphy, Catharine Nepomnyashchy,
Mary Nicholas, Benjamin Rifkin, Betsy Sandstrom, Patricia Zody, Sibelan
Forrester (taking minutes).  Not present:  Vice President Jane Hacking,
Newsletter Editor Betty Lou Leaver, Webmaster Marta Deyrup.

Discussion below is numbered according to the agenda for
the Annual Meeting of the Executive Council, AATSEEL.

EC members were informed of a correction to the conference
program:  Elizabeth Sandstrom is listed as recipient of the Award for Excellence
in Teaching at the Secondary Level (she won it in 2004), rather than the 2005
winner, Ruth Edelman.

1.  AATSEEL President Cathy Nepomnyashchy welcomed everyone
and introduced the newly appointed directors:  Patricia Zody, Executive
Secretary, and Dianna Murphy, Conference Manager.  The Council unanimously
approved their appointment.

2.  Approval of the Agenda. 

3.  Review of actions from the Action Agenda from the 2004
AATSEEL Conference. (numbered below according to that agenda)

I.a) The Executive Council should continue to inform
Kathleen Dillon if there is any change in contact information (ONGOING)

I.b) Minutes were reviewed and corrections sent to Kathleen
for posting on the AATSEEL web site (DONE)

I.c) Get an AATSEEL member from the city [or is attending
the conference anyway] to be AATSEEL delegate to the ACTFL delegate assembly
(DONE).  The same for other organizations:  Jane Hacking represented AATSEEL at
AAASS in Salt Lake City in 2005; Ben Rifkin at NCOLCTL.

I.d) Items for 2005 Business Meeting:  need to change the
by-laws so we can approve that agenda in advance, by e-mail.

I.e) Minutes and Action Agenda were reviewed and approved
by  Feb 5, 2005. (DONE)

II.a)  Creating a place to solicit donations to AATSEEL on
the website. (ONGOING)

II.b) The Executive Director will change from a cash to an
accrual accounting system on July 1, 2006. (DONE)

II.c) Informing prior delegates of the change in policy
regarding AATSEEL rep. to AAASS. (DONE)

II.d) Recruiting conference exhibitors.

          Discussion:  Best not to assign ongoing tasks to
people who are leaving the EC.  Agreed that every AATSEEL committee be chaired
by someone on the EC.

Suggestions for improving
exhibits:  contacting dvd distributors; more creative presentation arrangements;
a brief book fair (bring publishers over from the MLA?; panels at the conference
to present new books.  Liaison with the Publications Committee?  Agreed that we
should add the head of Publications Committee to EC as a non-voting member in
the short-term; in the long-term, agreed to seek a change to the by-laws to have
the head of the Publications Committee as a voting member of the EC.  This
change might be incorporated in larger revision of Constitution and By-Laws.

II.e) Kathleen Dillon informed the EC that she would not
continue as Exec. Dir. after the end of her current term on June 30, 2006; see
item VI.f) below.

II.f) Minutes were posted to AATSEEL web site by Feb. 12,

III (a-c).  Past President e-mailed the EC contact info for
people at South Carolina Public Radio who put together 52 weekly segments to
mark 2005 as the year of languages; Negotiated with JNCL to continue $1500 as
annual dues (EC approved by e-mail); solicited nominations for elections, see
VII below.

IV.a)  Ongoing work on outreach to pre-college teachers.

IV.b)  New AATSEEL representative to MLA.

IV.c)  Work on proposal for the MLA Delegate Assembly to
remedy the “othering” of less commonly taught languages.  (ONGOING).

IV.d) Emily Johnson composed a letter for President to
welcome new graduate students to the profession and encourage to join AATSEEL. 
Thanks to Emily Johnson, who composed the letter.  EC will track influence on
grad student memberships.

IV.e)  Creating roundtables and panels.

IV.f)  Committee to discuss alternatives to the current
system of abstract vetting.

IV.g)  Invite Congressman Curt Weldon to AATSEEL in
Philadelphia, 2006, rather than Washington 2005

IV.h)  President’s column in the AATSEEL Newsletter will
invite AATSEEL members to seek funding from ACTR/ACCELS, given the current
emphasis on policy relevance at IREX.  (Roundtable with reps from ACTR/ACCELS,
IREX, the Kennan Institute, and NCEEER scheduled on the 30th.

V.  VI.a)  Publications Committee taking on the best
website award?  Set up a separate jury.  [Issue was not resolved, rolled over to
new chair of Publications Committee, Michael Gorham.]

VI.b)  Endowment committee:  ideas to fund an endowment
(life memberships, sustaining memberships, donations).  A full-fledged campaign,
as AATSEEL approaches 60th anniversary.  Finance committee discussed this during
the course of the year; Cathy Nepomnyashchy and Kathleen Dillon suggested a
carefully designed campaign plan for an AATSEEL endowment.  Cathy Nepomnyashchy
will continue to work on this project with Kathleen Dillon, then with Pat Zody
as of July 1, 2006.

VI.c)  Ad Hoc committee on Newsletter Advertising:  change
to password protected NL on line has meant fewer members reading.  Send out
teasers or tables of contents when new issues come out.

VI.d) Conference Recruiting Committee charged with
encouraging more attendance, esp. among senior scholars.

Program Committee chair sent out
500 e-mail messages to non-members; only one responded negatively.

Idea that President-Elect serve
as communications person.

VI.e) Committee on Affiliate Journals:  report suggests
procedure for handling affiliate journals and a list of journals to invite.

VI.f)  Position of Conference/Event Manager was
established, committee received high-quality applications and hired Dianna

VI.g)  Task Force on Anecdotal Success Stories:  one rough
draft is done.

          Suggestion to link to existing sites of

          Information can help threatened programs make a
case for their existence.

          Suggestion of looking for more senior,
high-profile people; list people in tiers (new, mid-career, successful);
celebrities too?  Date the information so people know what it is.  Perhaps
include a list of NGOs, federal and business organizations that hire new BAs
with foreign language expertise.

VI.h), VII(a, b). Nominations and Awards committee.  Not
too soon to be thinking about 2006 awards; reminder of updated schedule of
dates:  Call for nominations for AATSEEL Officers (Vice Presidents, President
Elect) for terms beginning Jan. 1, 2007; nominations due to Past President Ben
Rifkin by February 1, 2006.  Call for nominations for AATSEEL awards;
nominations due to Past President Ben Rifkin by March 15, 2006. 

VIII.  The Program Committee:

VIII.a)  Organized a workshop on interviewing (scheduled at
8 a.m. on Dec. 28), scheduled a roundtable on policy relevance.  Idea of a
workshop on publishing in the field.

VIII.b)  Idea of a half-day scheduled around pedagogy
panels; investigating using AATSEEL to grant continuing education units to
pre-college teachers was not done – rolled over to next year’s agenda.

VIII.c)  Call for papers stipulated that participants must
pay to rent LCD projectors.  Text on web site has been updated, may need

Idea of a publisher roundtable
next year; a roundtable for journals – someone from editorial boards.

VIII.  Other individual EC members as noted:

VIII.a)  Look at SEEJ web page to see whether it
puts our best foot forward.

VIII.b)  A statement about professional behavior at the
conference is on the web page and will also go to anyone approved to give a
paper at the conference; comments have been received.

VIII.c)  The membership directory is online, the Members
Only (password-protected) link on the website accesses it.

VIII.d)  NL editor Betty Lou Leaver notified advertisers
that henceforth the newsletter will only be produced electronically.

VIII.e)  Idea of expanding pre-college representation to
include pre-college teachers of non-Russian Slavic languages. Article for the
REEI newsletter at Indiana University, also AATSEEL and AAASS newsletters.  Idea
of putting pre-college teachers in touch with Title VI Center outreach.

4.  Return to numbering of Annual EC Meeting Agenda, with
the President’s Report (Cathy Nepomnyashchy):

4.1 Agenda for Business Meeting:

Brief discussion of the abstract system – its history (for
younger members).  Conference program issues.

Dianna Murphy’s presentation of the “Members Only” section
of the AATSEEL web page.

Introduction of Patricia Zody and Dianna, explanation of
their different tasks.

Reminder of calls for nominations for elections and awards.

Invite members to volunteer to serve on committees.  We
need one to study the Constitution and the By-Laws (mostly dating from 1948!). 
Proposed members of this committee:  Ben Rifkin (chair), Cathy Nepomnyaschy,
Sibelan Forrester, Kathleen Dillon, Pat Zody, Jerry Ervin, Bob Channon.

4.2  The AATSEEL Distinguished Award/Keynote Lecture,
2005-2006: Alexander Shenker, “What’s in a Name?” – on the nature of Slavic
Studies.  Next year’s Keynote speaker will be this year’s Distinguished Award
winner, William Mills Todd III.

4.3  President’s Reception, Dec. 29.  Thanks to Ben Rifkin,
Dan Davidson of ACTR/ACCELS, and the Harriman Institute for making this happen.

4.4  Affiliation with AATSEEL for the WGCTV – Working Group
on Cinema and Television.

Local cinema and TV people
distributed a list of AATSEEL panels on relevant topics, suggesting that members
should stop in (without necessarily registering for AATSEEL).

          WGCTV is affiliated with AAASS, where they
dedicate a room, cutting costs for equipment.  Ben Rifkin moved to accept their
request for affiliation with AATSEEL, and all approved.

4.5  Website designer:  put this issue on Business Meeting
Agenda, create a committee to discuss it.

4.6  Decision-Making mechanism and By-Laws review.  The
current by-laws were written before e-mail.  We need to make it possible to make
decisions faster.  Discussion deferred to Friday:  meanwhile, re-read By-Laws.

5.  Nominations/Awards Committee Report (Ben Rifkin):

5.1  2005 elections:  deadlines and procedures have been
altered to make everything happen earlier in the year, allowing newly elected EC
members to attend the EC meeting before they become active members.  This year
we elected Tony Anemone and Betsy Sandstrom.  The committee will try to use the
same calendar in the next elections.  Ben announced candidates already
identified, took down other suggestions.

5.2  2005 awards:  procedures and deadlines.  Ben specified
categories for awards (not including book awards, handled by the Publications
Committee), invited suggestions.

          Cathy pointed out that AAASS is considering
adding more awards, suggested that we might want to as well, or have some of
them as named awards, connected with fund-raising and creation of an endowment.

6.  Executive Director’s Report (Kathleen Dillon):

6.1 Membership, conference, exhibit advertiser history.

          We continue to face declining membership,
especially among pre-college teachers.  Cathy suggested finding the people who
teach heritage courses (they were at ACTFL).  Ben noted that they are very cut
off; often teaching language is an extra job they do on weekends.  Put together
a letter to the “heritage” teachers – a letter in Russian?  Emily suggested
creating a small grant program to finance some travel by pre-college teachers to
the AATSEEL conference.  Betsy said the Russian AP test is up and running as of
spring 2006 and includes assessment of language and culture; she has a list of
the schools with Russian AP programs.  Cathy suggested that we work on this for
next year, given the density of programs in the Northeast corridor, not far from

          Online registration has kicked in – now a minimal
number of people pay by check.  Bill suggested a system of early-bird
registration, available on-line until December 1, and then continued on-line
registration at the higher “on-site” cost.  Kathleen said she could not handle a
deadline for pre-registration any later than Dec. 1:  people would keep sending
checks.  Make clear on the web site on December 1 that pre-registration is
closed, but you can still register on site.

          Emily suggested separating projector registration
from pre-registration.

          The number of exhibitors has increased a bit
after a fall, but still a small number.  They’re not all the same old people;
some new ones found us on the web site.  Ben suggested that we should regularly
review the hall at AAASS and invite appropriate parties to exhibit at AATSEEL.

6.2  Conferences 2005 and 2006:  at the JW Marriott in
Washington, DC, the room rate is $119 per night; in 2006, at the Hyatt in
Philadelphia, the rate will be $109 per night.

6.3  Financial Report:  Besides what’s in the printed
report:  AATSEEL’s by-laws require an annual audit.  Since Enron, etc., an audit
is much more expensive.  Kathleen has been advised that a compilation
should be sufficient for an organization like ours; we are not big enough for
most CPAs to be willing to audit.  The audit she has arranged will make us
current as of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005.

6.4  Cost-saving measures have been quite successful. 
Other organizations have much higher on-site registration rates, because it
costs a LOT in extra labor.   (6.5, 6.6, 6.7)

7  Report on the Conference Program (Bill Comer)

Ten or so of the abstracts
rejected in April were resubmitted in August.

Bill noted the range of papers
and topics, much broader now than in the past.

There were far fewer requests for
LCDs this year than last.  The language about a fee for LCDs now on the AATSEEL
web site does not clarify what happens if a whole panel, roundtable or forum
uses an LCD projector.  Bill proposed that we might charge a forum or roundtable
a single $120 price, presenters can split.

The EC approved modifying the
online conference registration form to allow members to “split” the cost for
whole sessions, roundtables and for a.  Kathleen said that this cost splitting
will have to be done among members, with a single person paying for the
equipment on the AATSEEL web site.

          The P. C. also requested permission not to have
to meet the Newsletter deadlines of January 9 and September 10, now that the NL
is electronic and located on the same site as the P.C. calls for papers.  The
Council approved this proposal.

          The Program Committee requested approval for the
cost for Dan Morris to develop conference submission pages.  Cathy asked to
shelve this until the discussion of the web site on Friday.

          Cathy asked why we guard our Newsletter but not
our conference program.  Other associations do just the opposite.  We are
facilitating conference crashing.  Bill Comer noted that it would be much easier
to have a “members’” (with time and place indicated) and a “non-members’”
version, if we moved to a data-base driven website.

          At 10:13 p.m., Ben moved that we adjourn for the
night, and all approved.

December 30, 2005 (7-10 a.m.):

The meeting began at about 7:12.

Ben proposed a constitutional
committee:  Ben, Cathy, Sibelan, Kathleen, Pat, perhaps others.  (See list above
under item 4.1.)

Ben asked Cathy to write notes to
thank the Russian Ambassador and Dan Davidson for the reception on the 29th.

Lilya Kaganovsky is the new
AATSEEL representative to the MLA.  EC members should let Cathy know if they
thing we should ask the MLA for anything.

          Report by Julie Buckler, chair of the
Publications Committee:

Now in her final year, Julie will
be replaced by Michael Gorham; will pass on all the files and history that Kevin
Platt gave her.

          Last year we discussed whether nominated authors
need to be AATSEEL members.  The issue is the growing interdisciplinarity of the
field – relevant books may be by people who would not normally join AATSEEL: 
anthropologists, Cultural Studies.  In 2005 Julie told all nominated non-members
that they needed to be AATSEEL members, and all were willing to join, pleased to
be nominated.  And one of them won, a British historian.

          The smaller categories, Pedagogy and Linguistics,
require more legwork to drum up enough appropriate and worthy submissions. 
Publishers are very responsive; they make 95% of nominations, send copies to the

          We receive multiple nominations from single
publishers.  But not all wonderful books automatically get nominated; Julie
looked some up and solicited nominations.  She’ll suggest that Michael continue
to contact lazy publishers.  She encourages all AATSEEL members to consider
being involved in the rewarding work of the Publications Committee.

          The Publications Committee did not establish a
web site award.  The committee wanted to do it, but didn’t get to it.  The web
award will be taken up by Michael Gorham as new head of the Publications

          Ben proposed adding to the Action Agenda that
Michael Gorham convene another jury, in discussion with the publications

          The by-laws specify that there be two separate
committees for achievement awards and publication awards.  Emily suggested
creating a category for Cultural Studies that isn’t literature.  Julie agreed
that this could be evaluated by the same committee.

          The committee discussed considering work in
Russian, but that presented too many problems.  Cathy suggested creating a way
to honor people elsewhere who’ve done great things for the profession.  Ben
suggested an award for contributions to AATSEEL for foreigners.  The problem
would be how to bring the winners here to receive the award.

          Pat Zody suggested, to general approval, asking
winning publishers to exhibit at our conference.  Publication awards are decided
in late October.  The Awards Committee moved the achievement awards calendar to
allow notification in June, so that award winners know in time to attend the
conference – perhaps the Publications committee could change their dates,
allowing members enough time for reading, perhaps shifting the eligibility
period to allow the change.  Michael Gorham will be asked to consider this for
2006 or 2007.

          Cathy suggested inviting the winning publishers
could throw a book party.  AAASS has created new panels to present new books,
showcase them intellectually, and these have apparently been among the most
successful panels.  Ben asked Bill or Kathleen or Pat to look into this. 
Perhaps get publishers of winning books to help juice up our President’s
reception.  If the Program Committee knew by November, they could add a book
party to the printed program.

          Ben moved to approve the appointment of Michael
Gorham as Chair of the Publications Committee, Bill seconded, and the motion
passed unanimously.

          Cathy Nepomnyashchy offered a report from the
subcommittee on abstracts (Cathy, Steve Franks and Emily Johnson).  She felt it
was most efficient for her to make a statement together on abstracts and
by-laws, and told us the resolution that was planned for the Business Meeting
but not proposed. 

          The resolution also has three corollaries:

a one-pass system of abstract evaluation;

two routes to the conference:  panels, where the chair would submit
abstracts, and submission of individual abstracts;

abstracts should be no longer than 150 words.

Point 1) would requite moving up the deadline for
submission, which would bring us into line with our peer institutions, the MLA

          There should be abstract tutors, people you could
apply to for advice.  Graduate students should be helped at their home

          On the third point, Cathy said that other
conferences want only 150 words or so.  There are guidelines on the web page for
what constitutes a good abstract.  The committee felt that the longer abstracts
are not focused, tend to wander.

          Since these are complicated issues, the 50-minute
business meeting is not long enough for discussion.  Hence, the need to update
the by-laws.

          Ben suggested creating a committee to work with
the by-laws.  The web site could allow better interaction and discussion over
the year.

          Cathy pointed out that junior people are losing
the audience when we have roundtables with senior people.  She agreed that the
President should encourage senior people to chair and organize panels.

          Ben suggested ending the by-law discussion, since
we have a committee, and discussing the web page later today.  He summarized
Cathy’s proposals thus:

          Bill pointed out that panel chairs can submit
panels as a whole, it’s already in the guidelines.  Ben suggested that what
Cathy is proposing already exists, and we should undertake propaganda so people
know about it.

          Steve objected that a panel could be 3/4
accepted, and that destroys it – it’s too late to add someone else.

          Cathy added that if all the abstracts on one
panel could be sent to a single referee, comments might be more valuable.

          Bill explained that this already takes place, and
outlined what the Program Committee does to facilitate refereeing for panels
submitted as a whole.  We need to avoid a system where the panel is submitted as
an unbreakable whole, voted up or down, if there’s one bad abstract.

          Ben repeated that there’s already a system that
addresses these concerns, we need to advertise it better.

          Steve suggested ending each panel with the
question, should we have this panel next year.  Ben suggested that Bill could
tell chairs to ask that after a good panel.  Bill felt this would be much more
effective in linguistics than in literature or culture, where what’s hot now
will not be in four years or even less.

          Emily suggested that the call for submissions
encourage submission of pre-planned panels, and say that the Program Committee
will work with chairs or organizers to make panels work well as a whole.  She
was concerned that a graduate student might invite a senior person to be on a
panel, only to have that abstract turned down.

          Cathy observed that just posting the guidelines
for submission on the web site is not enough.  Bill suggested that AATSEEL’s
issues with communications seem to require an officer or VP for communications. 
A side discussion raised the issue of whether such communications are most
effective coming from a general AATSEEL e-mail address or from a specific

          Ben and Bill pointed out that there is an open
call for papers, in the Newsletter and on the web page.

          Cathy felt that some people were burned early on
in the new abstract process, and they haven’t wanted to try again.  Senior
people must be assured that the reviewing will be in the spirit of collegial
discourse.  Bill said the Program Committee takes referee reports as advisory;
they have been told for several years now to edit referee feedback to ensure an
appropriate tone.  The purpose is to inform people about comments on the
abstracts, which tend to be helpful rather than hurtful, so that many people
respond with thanks.

          Discussion by various EC members:  shortening
abstracts would help – make people be succinct, and it won’t be read by referees
as a writing sample.  Maybe not sending comments to people whose abstracts are
accepted.  Accepted abstracts often get no comments.  They also often do, and
they’re helpful.  Perhaps someone besides the referees should look at abstracts
as writing.  The process should be easier and shorter.

          For Russians, tezisy do not equal 150
words, and linguistics and pedagogy topics often need 300 words or so just to
document proof.  Perhaps ask for a shorter abstract with a longer description,
as does ACTFL.  (What maximum length for the description?)

          There was a general feeling that requiring an
abstract plus a description would require more work all round.

          Mary summarized that this had been very useful,
and wished we had had this discussion at the first EC meeting.  It seems the
system actually works quite well, but we need to advertise it better.  She
suggested that we make some modifications in our guidelines (such as limiting
the length of abstracts by writing the guidelines to say “no longer than X
words”).  The system basically works, it’s been a good discussion, but we don’t
need to make changes.  The two pass system is absolutely a courtesy – why would
we remove the courtesy for our colleagues?

          Cathy reiterated Ben’s point [from discussion at
the Business Meeting] that foreign scholars or those who must apply early for
conference funding need earlier decisions.  Is the April round harder on people
– told to resubmit though they’d have passed in August?

          Kathleen said she felt that the Executive Council
had passed its concerns on to the Program Committee and moved to end this part
of the discussion.

          Cathy offered the President’s Column in the
Newsletter to get the word out.  Who now reads the Newsletter?  Bill asked how
to get people to read the guidelines, which are long and complicated.  Pat
suggested starting off with a table of contents.

          Cathy suggested that she and Bill could co-author
a letter on paper and send it to every Slavic department.

          Everyone voted for the motion to end the

8.  Editors’ reports:

8.1  SEEJ editor’s report:  see below.

8.2  Newsletter Editor’s report:  Betty Lou is not here,
but sent her report.

          Discussion:  Each new issue of the Newsletter
should be announced on SEELANGS.  The cost for a mass e-mail is tiny, but
messages bounce back from incorrect/outdated addresses.

          Create an AATSEEL listserv, just for sending out
official information?  People have to know how to use it.  Perhaps create a
listserv with no Reply function.

          A laptop at the conference so people can update
their e-mail addresses?  The online connection here is too expensive.  We do not
want someone at AATSEEL to be correcting information by hand.  An e-mail to go
out to everyone, reminding them to update their information?

          Ben suggested that Kathleen, Pat and Dianna work
to improve that.  Try a year of posting to SEELANGS and other listservs when new
Newsletter issues come out, and an email to all members.  Notification of the
new issue should include highlights or a Table of Contents.  For an advertiser
to see that only 50 people read the October issue is really discouraging.

          Cathy suggested posting the whole Newsletter, not
password protected, but password-protecting the job list, as MLA does.

Discussion of the web page:

          Kathleen pointed out that the front page is
cluttered, hard to navigate.

          No one was opposed to the idea that we should
revamp the web page.

          Cathy suggested creating a committee to study
options, and asked whether we (according to the By-Laws) may discuss this
further by e-mail.

          Kathleen said that the EC has authority to decide
and pay for updates.

          Design can be very expensive (aesthetic and
technical); members discussed a paid update versus a volunteer.  Even a
volunteer would need money if we had to build up our technical base.  Ease of
maintenance would be essential.

          Ben will chair a committee on redesign of the web
page, including Pat, Dianna and Bill; EC members suggested others.  Pat offered
to co-chair.  Cathy offered to be on the committee.

          Emily moved to constitute a committee co-chaired
by Ben and Pat, charged with coming up with stuff to propose (by e-mail) by the
end of the year.  Kathleen seconded the motion, which passed.

Discussion of what we want on the
web page.  Desiderata included archived materials on the history of AATSEEL;
more prominent listing of hotel information on the conference page; web forms to
allow more automated submissions for the conference; a pre-college corner, with
pictures, links to pedagogy materials, lesson plans; advertisements (since the
page gets an amazing number of hits); a site map; general information about the
Slavic languages, where they are spoken; explanation of how to access SEEJ
on JSTOR at your home institution’s library; password-protected back issues of
SEEJ itself; abstracts for SEEJ articles; a history of Slavic
Studies in the US; a web site launch coinciding with the launch of the year-long
endowment campaign; pictures, especially of AATSEEL award winners.

Carol Ueland started a project to identify the size
of Russian language programs at various places, and Mary Nicholas worked on it
too.  The list of programs included was taken from US News and World Report – to
provide threatened programs with a list of prestigious places with Russian
programs.  People at institutions not on that list have been irritated.  People
have offered to help update it; suggestion of linking to the MLA data now being

Emily moved that we vote to take down the US News
and World Report list from the web site, and all were in favor.

8.2  Jerry Janacek’s report on SEEJ.  His term as
Editor in Chief is up, but he is willing to continue.  The EC voted unanimously
to reappoint him.

Ben moved to congratulate Jerry and the whole staff
of SEEJ for catching up and for the fine work of the Journal – all were in
favor.  Kathleen congratulated him on his fine editorial assistant, Susan
Janacek, who is such a pleasure and so effective to work with.  All supported
and applauded.

Discussion: concerns about
’s inclusion of languages other than Russian.  Jerry said there was a
Polish forum about a year ago, and a Ukrainian one coming up.  (Ukrainian
specialists now know explicitly that they are welcome.)  The SEEJ Board
meeting discussed how to handle submissions in area studies outside literature
and linguistics, agreeing to consider articles as long as they are not wholly
theoretical, not mere number crunching, and of value to teachers of courses on
Slavic topics.

Electronic composition means
can now move from endnotes to footnotes – this will begin with volume
50.  From now on SEEJ will require one hard copy (rather than four) and
one electronic copy for submissions.

The question of papers pre-posted
on the web:  this is common practice, especially among linguists, like giving a
conference paper.  If an article is accepted the author should take it down (and
possibly repost the SEEJ abstract).  SEEJ will begin including
abstracts of articles, in the relevant languages.

SEEJ could use access to
data on members’ fields of interest –make it easier to find readers for
submissions.  So could there be a box on the renewal form to fill in with
interests, searchable?

A more complex issue is the
invitations to post SEEJ on data bases besides JSTOR.  Jerry has offers,
besides JSTOR, and would recommend consideration of posting SEEJ on our
web site immediately, for members only.  How broadly do we want to make SEEJ

Have the Publications Committee read the contracts,
or create a new committee that Jerry would be on.  Kathleen recommended that
when the time came to consider joining another electronic system we should find
someone with proper professional qualifications to review the contract.  Members
suggested a few names.

We have to take the word of these
services on how much usage, and how many royalties.  If people can read SEEJ
on-line, for members only, some may decide to forego paper copy, saving on

Jerry asked who indexes SEEJ,
besides the MLA.  Does AATSEEL have an active librarian mentor?  Members
suggested a few names.  Idea of organizing a panel for librarians or Slavic
bibliographers at next year’s conference, though they get little funding to
travel to conferences.

Kathleen reminded members that
the Finance Committee has always only functioned in a crisis, though the by-laws
require that it’s supposed to prepare a budget along with the President.  She
suggested reactivating that function; the accountant will make it much easier –
a recommendation to the by-laws committee.

Cathy moved to accept the report
of the Finance Committee, all approved.

Todd Golding reported on outreach:  the events for
pre-college teachers at this conference were well attended.  Last year, the EC
suggested that he do an article on Title VI centers; he sent it to the ACTR and
AATSEEL newsletters.  He e-mailed all pre-college teachers to invite them to the
conference, and organized a tour to Hillwood (due to leave the Marriott in less
than an hour).  As he turned his position over to Betsy, he encouraged her to
keep in touch with pre-college teachers.  There is a great K-12 program in
Alaska, a K-12 program in Philadelphia…

Cathy proposed inviting
Congressman Curt Weldon to speak at the conference in 2006.

Todd G. suggests to add
pre-college teachers of other Slavic languages to the list of Russian ones. 
(Referred to the CCPCR web site.)  Emily’s letter to graduate students could be
a model for a similar letter to  pre-college teachers as we locate them.  Todd
G. wants to get a good e-mail list going.

Suggestion of reaching out to any
pre-college teachers with Slavic links, even if they teach Russian history. 
Maybe advertise through the other professional associations.

Cathy moved to accept the report
on pre-college outreach, all approved.

Re the Testing and Professional
Development Committee, Ben pointed out that the by-laws say committee chairs
should rotate off every three years.  Any new prospects for a chair from the
current EC?  Mary Nicholas volunteered.

Bill moved that the EC approve
Daniela Hristova and Catherine O’Neil as new members of the Program Committee. 
All were in favor.

Reporting on point 9.9, graduate
student recruitment, Emily suggested that the president send the letter she
wrote up to new graduate students every fall.

Cathy moved that the President
send the letter Emily prepared to graduate students, and we’d move on that basis
to create a section of the web page and go forward.  Kathleen seconded it, and
all approved.

Re the affiliate journal program,
Emily emphasized the value of the idea, now that she is going off the EC.  Ben
suggested inviting new EC member Tony Anemone to take over the affiliate journal
program.  Emily will be delighted to have Tony contact her with any questions.

Marta Deyrup and David Galloway
were not present to discuss the web page report further (point 9.10).

Cathy will try to get more Slavic
panel slots at the MLA and investigate possible cross-listing.

Following the idea that AATSEEL
representatives to other organizations should be from the place where the
conference or meeting is taking place:  Cathy is rotating off the AAASS Board,
but is willing to become the delegate from AATSEEL.  All voted in favor.

Ben proposed that he, Cathy,
Kathleen and Sibelan identify which committees are missing chairs and appoint
people.  The EC approved.

Kathleen reminded everyone that
she needs constant contact information for everyone in the room:  contact her
early in January with that information, for the records, and she will forward it
to Pat and Dianna.

Ben, Cathy and Sibelan will get
the minutes together by January 15, allow a week for comments, and then create
an Action Agenda in the following two weeks.

Kathleen pointed out more
business for the By-Laws Committee:  we need a change to make the descriptions
fit, and to include both Executive Director and Conference Manager on the
Executive Council.

Changes of wording and substance
in the By-Laws must be circulated in advance, but can be voted on at the next
AATSEEL Business Meeting.

Cathy closed the meeting by
noting that we are losing three very valuable people:  Vice Presidents Todd
Golding and Emily Johnson are leaving the Executive Council after doing great
work.  Everyone applauded and wished Todd and Emily well.  Kathleen Dillon will
step down as Executive Director in July of 2006.

The meeting ended with a standing
ovation to recognize Kathleen Dillon.

          (Minutes prepared by Sibelan Forrester,