Minutes of the Executive Board Meeting of
The South-Central Renaissance Conference, 8 March 2007
Present: Maurice Hunt, Vice President and acting President; David Reinheimer, Editor, Discoveries; Frances Malpezzi, Editor, EIRC; Megan Conway, Donald Dickson, Thomas Herron, Patricia Marie Garcia, Martha Oberle, Jacob Blevins, Members-at-Large; Christopher Baker, Local Arrangements Chair; Arlen Nydam, Webmaster; Sean Benson, Secretary-Treasurer.
Absent: Christine Getz, Past President; Norman Land, President.
The following minutes are keyed to the agenda as brought forward by acting President Maurice Hunt. Some of the ensuing materials are presented out of their actual order. These minutes have also been supplemented, when necessary, by written reports circulated by the officers.
1. Approval of Minutes. President Hunt called the meeting to order at 8:03 p.m. A motion to approve last year's minutes was made, seconded, and passed.
2. Secretary-Treasurer's Report. Secretary Benson reported that the SCRC's finances continue to be robust: last year at this time the organization had a net worth of $29,316; this year that figure is $32,848, an increase of nearly $3500. Sean indicated that this represents a historic high and positions the organization for continued growth in the next decade. Motion to approve the report was made, seconded, and carried.
3. 2007 Program. Christopher Baker noted that there were 116
presentations in 39 sessions. Over half the papers dealt with English
literature, with art, history, theology, and
French literature rounding out the top five disciplines with the most papers. Our affiliates sponsored numerous panels at this year's conference: SRAH (4), QEIS (5), the Marvell Society (3), and one co-sponsored by SRAH and SSEMW.
4. Explorations in Renaissance Culture. Editor Frances Malpezzi reported that transition of the journal from Missouri State University was completed in late fall with the shipment of back issues to Arkansas State University. Frances noted that the journal currently has 19 essays that have been accepted and another half dozen essays in the review process. Thus, there is sufficient material for Volume 33 (2007) and part of Volume 34 (2008). Frances also noted that EIRC is now listed with the John Donne Society, SCN and SCMLA, and she has also made special offers for subscriptions for the SCMLA conference and for the Donne Conference. Frances indicated that we should remind invited speakers of EIRC's first right of refusal to print their talks.
5. Discoveries. Editor Dave Reinheimer indicated that he will be issuing in the coming months a call for additional manuscripts and is looking for additional ways to increase submissions from disciplines other than English. He also is looking into ways to increase the visibility of the site and to make it more easily accessible from the SCRC homepage.
6. Report of the
Nominations Committee. Past President
Christine Getz brought to the board the following slate of candidates as
reported by acting President Hunt:
2007/08 President: Maurice
2007/08 Vice President: Christopher Baker
2009 Program Chair: Brian Steele
Les Brothers (musicology) and Susan Silver (French literature) for three-year terms (2007/08-2009/10) as board members
Executive Secretary-Treasurer (2007/08-2009/10): Patricia Marie Garcia
The slate of candidates will be brought forward for the membership's approval at the general business meeting.
II. Old Business
7. Planning for 2008 and beyond. Maurice Hunt indicated that the 2008 conference will be held in Kansas City and the 2009 conference will be held in Philadelphia. Corpus Christi and Tucson were mentioned as prospective future sites.
8. Archives Deposit. Maurice reported that David Hart has retired as the archivist and would like to move the entire deposit, which is only four boxes' worth, to a new home with the next archivist. Don Dickson mentioned that Raymond Frontain may be willing to volunteer as archivist. Maurice Hunt volunteered to contact him and discuss the possibility. Jacob Blevins also expressed an interest if Raymond should decline the position.
9. Report of the Publications Committee. Sean said that not much had been done in the past two years since several members of the committee had rotated off the board. After considerable discussion as to how to proceed, Frances Malpezzi agreed at Maurice Hunt's request to serve as the chair of the committee and to pursue ways to make EIRC more visible and electronically accessible (through JSTOR, Project Muse, etc.) and to explore the publication of some issues bound as books. Jacob Blevins and Sean Benson agreed to contact former members of the committee (Don Stump and Jim Baumlin, in particular) to see where things stand and report back to the committee.
10. Website Issues/Development. Arlen Nydam reported on the number and "quality" of hits that our site is receiving. He also invited suggestions for revision to the site. Several suggestions were made about increasing the number of hits to our site; Arlen promised to look into them, especially the use of public domain images that may appeal to a broader audience. Discussion also turned to the possibility of moving to credit card registration for the 2008 conference, an issue Arlen agreed to raise with Les Brothers.
III. New Business
11. Election of a new resident agent. Maurice reported that Clifford Ronan, our past resident agent, had finished his tenure in 2002 and had indicated this past February that there was a need to elect a new resident agent, a position that requires one to be a resident of Texas and to file, every five years, a renewal of our organization with the state of Texas. George Klawitter's name was suggested, and Sean agreed to contact George with the board's request. (Note: subsequent to the meeting, Sean spoke with Cliff, who volunteered to serve again as the resident agent once again.)
12. Media Needs for the Conference. Local Arrangements Host Pat Garcia reported on the media charges ($1883) that Our Lady of the Lake University incurred in order to meet the media requests of conference presenters. After protracted discussion, David Reinheimer made a motion to establish an ad hoc committee that would investigate the issue of technology in presentations and report back to the board by July 1st. Seconded, the motion passed. David, Patricia, and Arlen are the members of the ad hoc committee.
13. Revision of Honorarium and Student Travel Award Amounts. Sean made a motion that was eventually amended as follows, "Beginning in 2008, $1000 each will allocated for invited speakers (Martz, Hunter, and keynote) from North America, and up to $1250 for invited speakers from outside North America, with the appropriate sponsoring organization providing as much of those funds as possible." Seconded, the motion carried.
Sean also moved, "Beginning in 2008, during in any year in which contributions to the Graduate Student Travel Award total less than $500, the SCRC will pay the difference between $500 and the amount of that year's contribution so as ensure the awarding of at least two GSTA's each year." Seconded, the motion carried.
Megan Conway then moved that "the SCRC pay at a minimum of two nights' stay (minus incidentals) for each of our invited speakers." Seconded, the motion carried. The hope, of course, is that the organization will be able to comp. those rooms by meeting the hotels' requirements for number of rooms booked.
14. Recruitment of More Spanish/Hispanic-Studies Papers and Panels. Thomas Herron brought this issue to the board's attention. Martha Oberle and Thomas agreed to discuss the possibility of contacting scholars in the discipline in order to arrange a panel. Don Dickson also indicated the ongoing need to find scholars in a particular area or discipline whose mutual interest may lead them, as with our current affiliates, to sponsor sessions and spread the word among new potential affiliate (and SCRC) members.
15. Affiliation with RSA. Megan Conway made a motion to discontinue our association with the RSA. The motion was seconded. After considerable discussion, Don Dickson noted that it did not cost us anything to maintain the affiliation and thus be listed in their promotional material. Tom Herron also indicated the usefulness of maintaining the connection so as to allow our own affiliate organizations, as part of the arrangement with RSA, to be able to sponsor sessions at the RSA. Jake Blevins made a motion to table the motion for now. Seconded, the motion to table carried.
16. Multi-Year contract with hotel chain. Martha Oberle and Sean Benson received a proposal from Hyatt for 2008 in Kansas City and 2009 in Philadelphia. Having forwarded those proposals to the local arrangements chairs in both cities and solicited comment, Sean informed the board that both Les Brothers and Marina Johnston had already, as part of their responsibilities, entered into negotiations with other hotels and had been able to negotiate rates and locations that were substantially better than those proposed by Hyatt. Sean indicated that the experience impressed upon him the advisability of keeping hotel negotiations in the hands of local arrangements hosts, who know their respective cities well and seem to be able to find deals that are better than the board can do on its own.
17. Acceptance/Rejection of Undergraduate Papers. Christopher Baker made a motion that "the SCRC forbid papers from undergraduate students." Seconded, after a spirited discussion the vote was 5-5 in a hand count and, thus, did not carry. Jacob Blevins then moved that "the SCRC allow a maximum of one undergraduate session of three papers with a letter of support from faculty members in the appropriate discipline, and the submission of full papers in advance." Seconded, the motion carried on a hand vote of 6-4.
At 9:25 p.m., Maurice Hunt adjourned the meeting.