Events

2017 Annual Meeting, Nov 18-21

Join your colleagues in Boston for the 2017 AAR & SBL Annual Meetings. Regular rates end November 16.

Registration and Housing
General Information
Annual Meeting Guide
Employment Center
Online Program Book
Plenary Sessions
Twitter: #aarsbl17

Travel Visa Statement

Read this important update on travel visas for this year's Annual Meeting.

2018 Regional Meetings

The following Calls for Papers are open:

Mid-Atlantic
Deadline: December 15

Pacific Northwest
Deadline: January 19

Rocky Mountain-Great Plains
Deadline: October 27

Southwest (SWCRS)
Deadline extended: October 23

Upper Midwest
Deadline: January 6

Western
Deadline extended: October 20

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Proposed Changes to AAR Bylaws: New Contingent Faculty Board Position

To: Members of the American Academy of Religion
From: Jack Fitzmier, Executive Director
Subject: Proposed Changes to AAR Bylaws / New Contingent Faculty Board Position
Date: June 12, 2017
  1. This memo serves as the official notice of proposed revisions to the AAR Bylaws. A similar announcement will be posted in our newsletters and social media platforms.
  2. When the AAR Board of Directors proposes a change to our Bylaws, we follow the procedure outlined below.
  3. After the Board notifies the membership of a proposed revision, we observe a thirty-day period during which members can ask questions or make comments to the Executive Office or the Board.
  4. In this case, we will do the balloting electronically, as is permitted by our Bylaws. At the close of the notification period, the Executive Office will provide members an electronic ballot that describes the proposed revisions and invites a simple Yea or Nay vote.
  5. Voting will remain open for two weeks. Reminders will be sent to all members encouraging them to vote. Approval of the proposed Bylaws changes requires a two-thirds majority of all votes cast in the election.

Rationale for the Proposed Changes and Brief History of Board Deliberation

At its September 2016 meeting, the AAR Board of Directors approved several recommendations regarding contingent faculty. First, it approved, in principle, a plan to transform the Contingent Faculty Task Force into a longer-term Working Group. Second, it approved, in principle, a plan to add a contingent faculty member to the Board of Directors.

At its November 2016 meeting, the Board unanimously approved the charge of the new Working Group, as well as its name: the “Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Working Group.”

At its February 2017 meeting, the Board unanimously approved the means by which it hopes to add a contingent faculty member to the Board of Directors. Such a change will require a revision of our Bylaws, which would normally occur at the Annual Business meeting, held at the Annual Meeting. However, the Board hopes that such a change can be made in advance of our fall 2017 elections to allow for the election of the contingent faculty member to the Board as soon as possible. To accomplish this, the Board unanimously voted to invoke Article X of our Bylaws and to use the “electronic ballot” option. Here is the text of the relevant Article:

Article X. Amendment

These bylaws may be amended by a two‐thirds majority vote of the entire Board of Directors, followed by a two‐thirds majority vote of the Members present and voting at a meeting of the Members, or by mail or electronic ballot. Notice of the proposed revisions and meeting shall be distributed to all Members of the Academy at least thirty days (30) prior to the meeting at which they are to be considered.

Therefore, the Board recommends that a.) the AAR maintain a Board of Directors of twelve members and b.) that we accommodate the addition of the new Contingent Faculty Director by re-designating one of our three At-Large Director positions as the Contingent Faculty Director position. To this end, the Board proposes to amend Article V of the AAR Bylaws as follows (changes are in red typeface):

Article V. Board of Directors

Section 1. Governance. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 2. Composition. The Board of Directors consists of the President, President‐Elect, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Student Director, Program Unit Director, Regions Director, Status Committee Director, Contingent Faculty Director, and three two at‐large Directors. In addition, the Executive Director serves as a nonvoting member of the Board. The Board may excuse the Executive Director from being present in a meeting when it discusses matters relating to performance and employment of the Executive Director.

Section 3. Student Director. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 4. Program Unit Director. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 5. Regions Director[Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 6. Status Committee Director. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 7. Contingent Faculty Director. The Contingent Faculty Director shall be a Member who, at the time of election, is teaching in a non-tenure-track position. The Contingent Faculty Director advocates for cultural and structural change to ensure just work conditions, pay, and collective bargaining rights for contingent faculty in order to foster equity, labor justice, and the common good in the Academy. The Contingent Faculty Director shall serve a term of three years and may not serve an additional consecutive term.

Because the proposal inserts a new Section 7, the former Sections 7 through 13 must be renumbered. In each case, the text of the Section remains unchanged. The renumbering is as follows:

Section 7 8. At‐Large Directors. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 8 9. Election. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 9 10. Vacancies. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 10 11. Board Meetings. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 11 12. Action without Meeting. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 12 13. Conflict of Interest. [Text of Section remains the same.]

Section 13 14. Governance Transition. [Text of Section remains the same.]

At its February meeting the Board also approved a means by which members would be nominated to the new Contingent Faculty Director position, pending changes to the Bylaws. As is the case for similar Board seats (Program Unit Director, Status Committee Director, Regions Director, and Student Director) the Board recommends that the Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Working Group provide the Nominations Committee with the names of four AAR members suited for the post and willing to run for election. The Nominations Committee (keeping in mind its duty to present balanced ballots) will select two of the four nominees to run for election by the AAR membership during our regular fall elections.