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2018 Annual Meeting, Nov 17-20

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Annual Meeting! Plan to join your colleagues in Denver November 17-20. Register Now!

2019 Regional Meetings

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Southeastern Region

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The AAR's New Long-Range Plan

A Note from Jack Fitzmier to AAR Members:
 
 
Dear Friends:
 
It has been my privilege to serve as the AAR’s Executive Director, a position I’ve held for the last twelve years. In that time, our organization has overcome many obstacles and broken new ground. We celebrated one hundred years of service in 2009 and the following year launched an entirely new governance structure that featured a smaller and more agile Board of Directors, better models of representation of member constituencies, and improvements to our regions. Over the years, we have issued numerous statements, including best practice statements on job placements and the posting of placement records, policy statements on hotel and convention center labor, and a document on responsible research practices. We have revised sexual harassment policies, reexamined our core values in the context of professional conduct expectations, and seen the dedicated members of a dozen task forces challenge and advance our association.
 
With this message, I want to introduce a new, far-reaching initiative—a long-range plan that provides a framework for the AAR’s work over the next several years. In the fall of 2016, we launched an in-depth planning process that began with asking for ideas and feedback from AAR members, leaders, and staff. We then mapped the results of those conversations to our organizational strengths and financial realities. Developing this long-range plan also led to the recasting of our mission, which now acknowledges the work our members and staff have been doing to enhance the public understanding of religion. Even with this new emphasis on the public, however, the AAR remains committed to serving the needs of our members, and the long-range plan reflects that promise. I invite you to explore the goals and strategies through the microsite we have created specifically for this purpose: https://longrangeplan.aarweb.org/. Comments, questions, and ideas can be sent to us via the contact form on the microsite or to plan@aarweb.org
 
As many of you know, after I announced my decision to retire in 2015, the AAR undertook an extensive search to identify my replacement. Dr. Alice Hunt—a former student of mine, whose work I’ve admired for many years—was elected by the Board of Directors and will begin her duties as Executive Director on July 1. I know I leave the AAR in excellent hands and am excited to see what the future holds. The long-range plan lays important groundwork, and I will be serving as a Senior Consultant to Alice and the Board of Directors through the next academic year, providing support on projects related to the plan.
 
I walk away from my Executive Director role with considerable pride in what the AAR has done during my tenure. But that sense of pride in our corporate accomplishments is superseded by the pleasure I have derived from making and keeping so many friends and colleagues. I am grateful.  
 
With every good wish, I remain
 
Sincerely yours,
 
Jack Fitzmier
Executive Director, 2006-2018