October 2007 e-Bulletin

The October 2007 e-Bulletin was sent by e-mail on October 11, 2007 to all current and recently-lapsed members (except those who have requested that we not send e-mail notices).  If you should have received one, but did not, please confirm your e-mail address using our Change of Contact Information form.

E-Bulletins often contain merged information targeted to the specific recipient.  Such information is omitted from this archive.

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American Academy of Religion October 2007 e-Bulletin

A Message from the Executive Director


Greetings from the Luce Center in Atlanta!  In this issue of the e-Bulletin you will find news and announcements about our Annual Meeting Survey (which is available on our website until October 15), the AAR Elections (which are open until November 1, also on the AAR website), our meeting in San Diego, and a number of other items.  This issue of the e-Bulletin also contains an announcement about a change in our By-Laws that the Board is proposing.  If you have any questions about these or other AAR matters, please feel to visit our website (www.aarweb.org) or give our staff a call at 404-727-3049.  Looking forward to seeing next month in San Diego, I remain


Signature of Jack Fitzmier
Jack Fitzmier
Executive Director

Annual Meeting Survey

We are conducting a survey, asking all members to identify what considerations they think the Board should take into account when planning future Annual Meetings. We encourage you to fill out the Annual Meeting Survey, which can be seen on line at https://www.aarweb.org/Members/Surveys/Annual_Meeting/.  The survey will be available online until October 15th.

AAR Election

You should have received notice of the electronic ballot for the 2007 AAR elections. The Vice President, Secretary, and Student Director positions are to be filled during this election.   You can view the candidates’ statements by going to http://www.aarweb.org/Members/Election/.  The successful candidates will take office at the conclusion of the 2007 Annual Meeting.  This is a wonderful opportunity to influence the governance of the AAR, so please cast your vote for the candidates when elections are open October 1-November 1, 2007.

By-Law Changes

The AAR’s Board of Directors is working to make sure that our business dealings conform to current best practices for professional associations and non-profit corporations.  With this in mind, the Board has elected to separate two offices that have traditionally been held by a single individual. 

Under its current By-Laws, the AAR’s Executive Director also serves as its Treasurer.  In the past, it was not uncommon for associations to lodge both executive and fiscal authority in a single individual.  Today, however, corporate best practice suggests the separation of these offices.  With this in mind the Board wishes to revise the AAR’s By-Laws.  The proposed changes deal with one Section of Article V (“Officers”) and two Sections of Article VI (“Duties of Officers”). 

The proposal separates the Executive Director and the Treasurer and provides for the Treasurer’s election and tenure on the Board.  None of the Treasurer’s duties have been changed.  The following text indicates the proposed changes, with deletions to the original being struck through and additions being underlined:

Article V. Officers

Section 2.

The officers President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary shall be elected by mail ballot distributed to all current members and they shall serve until their successors take office.  Their term of office, except as otherwise specified in these ARTICLES, shall be for one year and shall begin at the close of the annual business meeting at which their election is reported.  The Executive Director shall distribute the ballot and compile and report election results to the membership. 

Article VI.  Duties of Officers

Section 5.

The Treasurer is elected by a majority vote of the Board of Directors for a three- year, renewable term and serves as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chair of the Finance Committee.  The Treasurer, who concurrently serves by appointment of the Board of Directors as Executive Director, shall be elected to serve for a term of five years.  The Treasurer shall propose an annual budget to be acted upon by the Board of Directors.  The Treasurer shall receive and disburse funds in accordance with policies and budget approved each year by the Board, or under certain circumstances its Executive Committee.  Further, the Treasurer shall invest available funds. The Treasurer shall present a financial report to the annual Business Meeting. The Treasurer/Executive Director Executive Director shall administer and maintain the Academy's central office to conduct its business and to serve the needs of the Academy, which shall include furnishing an annual list to the Board of Directors of all committees with terms, charges, and referrals from the Board specified.

Section 6.

The term of all offices shall begin at the conclusion of the annual business meeting of the Academy at which their election is announced and shall conclude at the annual business meeting at which their successors' election is announced.  The only exception shall be the term of the Treasurer which shall begin on the first day of the next fiscal year following election and shall conclude on the final day of the fiscal year in which a successor's election has occurred.

The AAR’s By-Laws (Article XVI, Sections 1 and 2) stipulate that By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at the Annual Business Meeting and that “Notice of the wording of proposed bylaws revisions shall be distributed to all members of the Academy at least thirty days (30) before the meeting at which they are to be considered.”  This memo serves as notification of the proposed changes.

Our Annual Business Meeting is scheduled to be held during the Annual Meeting in San Diego on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 11:45 AM.  The meeting will be held in the Manchester Room of the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.  The meeting is listed in the Program Book as A19-130.  Full text of the AAR’s By-Laws can be found on our website at http://www.aarweb.org/About_AAR/Board_and_Governance/bylaws.asp.

Annual Meeting in San Diego

Auckland Call for Papers

Announcing Call for Papers for AAR International Meeting. AAR plans to host sessions in conjunction with the Society of Biblical Literature’s International Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, July 6-10, 2008.  Several AAR program units have posted a Call for Papers at: http://www.aarweb.org/Meetings/International_Meeting/.  Please send all proposals to the chair(s) of the individual program units by the January 15, 2008 deadline.  AAR will subsidize the international meeting registration fee (US$125) of members accepted to the AAR program.

Martin E. Marty Award

To nominate someone for the AAR's Martin E. Marty Award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the public understanding of religion by those whose work speaks to the public as well as to scholars, go to http://www.aarweb.org/Programs/Awards/Marty_Award. Deadline: January 25, 2008.

Especially for Students

  • Your Opinion Counts!  Student members are heartily encouraged to complete the member survey. As future leaders of the Academy, student perspectives are particularly welcome and valuable.
  • Student Director Elections:  Student members are also encouraged to vote in the upcoming AAR elections, particularly as the 2007-08 Student Director will be elected. Candidate statements and ballots will be sent via e-mail.
  • Annual Meeting News:  The Student Director and Graduate Student Committee invite student members who plan to attend the Annual Meeting in San Diego to view the rich offerings for the 2007 "Especially for Students" programming online at aarweb.org. Online registration is now open for the ATLA Career Alternatives Luncheon (A17-133) as well as the Wabash Center & AAR Student Teacher Luncheon (A18-132). Please note that eligibility and space for these luncheons are limited, and participants must register by 2:00 PM EST on November 15th.

    Are you a teacher or mentor of undergraduate students of religion? Are your students attending the Annual Meeting in San Diego? If so, and you would like to bring your students to an Orientation to the AAR especially for you, please contact Davina C. Lopez at davina.lopez@gmail.com by November 1. This special session for undergraduate teachers and students to greet one another will once again be held informally in the Student Lounge.
  • Student Liaison Group:  Students should identify and contact their Student Liaisons for information particular to their institutional needs. Student Liaisons, who represent institutions and programs granting the PhD in Religion and Theology, serve as a vital link between student members and the AAR. To locate your Student Liaison, see the list at http://www.aarweb.org/Members/Students/slglist.asp. If a Student Liaison does not currently represent your institution, the next appointment period will be in January 2008. Please contact Myesha Jenkins at mjenkins@aarweb.org for more information.
  • Student Programs:  The Graduate Student Committee is currently deliberating and designing projects to further support the professional development of students of religion and theology. The Committee would like to hear recommendations for programming and resources that, when implemented, will spark conversations and new directions, as well as foster excellence and wholeness. Please send suggestions to Davina C. Lopez at davina.lopez@gmail.com and Kimberly Bresler at kimberly.bresler@alum.ptsem.edu.
  • As always, all students are invited to contact Davina C. Lopez, 2006-2007 Student Director, at davina.lopez@gmail.com with questions and concerns.