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News & Press: AAALetter

From the Secretary-Treasurer

Wednesday, April 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Glen Martinez
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This report is two-fold.  I first offer a synopsis of the AAAL 2018 Business Meeting, and then I offer insights into a meeting held with AILA representatives during this past conference in Chicago.

AAAL Synopsis

I would like to thank all of those who attended our AAAL business meeting in Chicago.  For those who were unable to attend, I would like to share some key insights and exciting initiatives underway in our organization.

President McNamara called the meeting to order and discussed at length the Executive Committee’s work on diversity and inclusion in the association.  He informed the membership of the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and recognized the leadership role on this committee assumed by Peter De Costa.  The Committee was structured around three main themes: survey of the membership on issues of diversity, mentoring of junior scholars and scholars from under-represented communities, and assessment of represented diversity in recent conference programs.  President McNamara emphasized the sustained and serious response to the letter that triggered these ongoing conversations at the level of the Executive Committee.  He concluded: “the period of reflection and self-scrutiny it has triggered is in my view very healthy for the organization.” Questions from the floor followed including a list of five recommendations for the EC to consider as they continue discussions, deliberations and action toward promoting diversity in AAAL.  President McNamara ensured the members that these recommendations would be taken up in earnest by the EC.

Vice President and Conference Chair Linda Harklau described the success of the Chicago conference indicating that proposal submission has grown by 30% over the past 4 years.  She also highlighted some of the innovations rolled out in the Chicago conference including the Conference Connections initiative which engaged 66 student members. Vice President Harklau thanked all of the staff and volunteers who make our AAAL conference a resounding success each year.

Second Vice President Laura Collins described the planning for AAAL 2019 in Atlanta and discussed significant changes to the program structure including the disestablishment of the 3 hour colloquium and the institution of a 2 hour colloquium instead.  Second Vice President Collins invited all attendees to study the call for proposals and encouraged all to submit for next year’s conference.

Secretary/Treasurer Glenn Martinez described the growth in AAAL membership and stressed the astounding increase of student members.  While the financial position of the organization is strong, with over $1 million in assets, there is a need to increase the funds specifically designated for graduate student support.  The growth in student membership requires a corresponding increase in student support. Secretary/Treasurer Martinez urged all attendees to donate to the Fund for the Future of Applied Linguistics (FFAL).

Chair of the Nominating Committee Rosa Manchon reported on the work of the committee and presented the committee’s list of candidates. She stressed the career and geographic diversity of the slate.

Graduate Student member Laura Haman reported on the multiple engagement activities of the Graduate Student Council including three events at the conference that were all filled to capacity, the biannual newsletter and the AAAL Graduate Student Council website. The Council also unveiled its AAAL T-shirt initiative this year.  They sold 150 t-shirts at the conference and generated $538.47 in profit that will be deposited directly to the FFAL account.  To put this into context, the total contribution to FFAL last year was $2000, so the t-shirt effort netted over 25% of the total yearly contributions to the account.

Chair of the PAEC Netta Avineri reminded members of the committee’s purpose and invited all members to take part in the new initiative. She reviewed the outcomes and next steps emerging from the open meeting.

Finally, Chair of the Resolutions committee reported no new resolutions this year.

AILA Upcoming Activities      

While at AAAL 2018, several members of the AAAL Executive Committee (EC) (President McNamara; 1st VP Linda Harklau; Secretary / Treasurer Glen Martinez, and the AAALetter Editor Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala) met with AILA representatives to discuss future collaborative initiatives.  AILA was represented by Claire Kramsch, Marlies Whitehouse, Laura Gurzynski-Weiss, and Professor Daniel Perrin, AILA President.   Collaborative activities with the goal of strengthening outreach efforts that were discussed during the meeting included:  (a) Interweaving academic networks; (b) endorsing socially relevant policies, (c) deepening inter-institutional collaboration; (d) leveraging the “Words of the Year” initiatives; (e) welcoming new AILA Research Networks; (f) joining the AILA website development team; (g) enacting the AILA Multilingual Matters Library Award; and (h) launching the AILA affiliates tandem initiative (this particular initiative is for the EC to discuss and decide at the next Board meeting).  AAAL will participate at the upcoming business meeting of AILA Executive Board and International Committee meeting (AILA EBIC) to be held in Groningen, The Netherlands, on June 4, 2018.

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