Regions News
January 2012
American Academy of Religion
In This Issue

Dear AAR Regional Officers –

It's a busy time for those of us active in any of the AAR's ten regions: as we each gear up for our annual meetings, new academic terms are barely under way and all of their responsibilities stretch before us. Nevertheless, it is an exciting time to be part of the AAR's regional structure: In 2012 our organizations will assume a new legal status as Limited Liability Corporations, affording them new opportunities and new protections at the same time as the AAR is reinvesting itself in the health and vitality of its regions. As the AAR's Regional Director and on behalf of the AAR's many staff, especially Director of Finance and Regional Staff Liaison Deborah Minor, I am pleased to be able to introduce the first AAR Regional Newsletter, a vehicle for helping to maintain regular and direct communication between the AAR and the many officers who make its regions function as important sites of intellectual exchange for the study of religion in North America. Read on for news and information about upcoming changes and events. I wish you well as you make final plans for your 2012 spring meetings.

Brian K. Pennington
Maryville College
AAR Regions Director


We would just like to remind you to include nominations for Student Director on your slate of candidates for the upcoming Spring elections. Each Region will need to be sure to elect a Student Director to serve on the Board, as they, along with the AAR Student Director, will form the membership of the AAR Graduate Student Committee (GSC). It will take a couple of years to change the composition of GSC to include the Student Directors. While we will be providing more details soon, you can find current information about the AAR Graduate Student Committee available on our website at:

We are looking forward to welcoming the new Student Directors to the AAR Graduate Student Committee!


Last year, the AAR Board approved a plan to incorporate the 10 Regions as LLC's and approved a template of an organizing document, the Operating Agreement. The Operating Agreement replaces the current Region's bylaws. Each region must customize the Agreement to reflect their individual governance structures and get approval from their regional members by the close of their 2012 regional meetings. We need 100% approval this spring.

Please review the documents Deborah sent you last fall and create your final Operating Agreement so that you can approve it at your meetings. AAR can also set up an online election for you if you prefer. Deborah Minor can send the documents to you again if you will contact her at They are also available on the website at: at the bottom of the web page.

Following approval of the Operating Agreements, the next step will be for each Region to create a policies and procedures manual. This will include much of the detail present in your current bylaws. The Regions Committee will develop a template and share it with all of you so that you will have a model from which to work.



Several regions, Upper Midwest, Western, Midwest and Eastern International, are electing new regional coordinators. Many regions are electing student directors and other officer positions on their boards. Please contact Deborah Minor at with all election results.

Table of Contents
  1. Welcome
  2. Student Directors
  3. Restructuring
  4. Elections

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