Tuesday, October 28, 2008

>>>MELUS 2008 Annual Meeting

Call for Nominations

The MELUS Election Committee seeks nominations for election to the Executive Committee (2009-2012). All MELUS members in good standing are eligible for nomination to any position. Candidates for office must be MELUS members and possess expertise appropriate to the officer’s duties. Graduate students are encouraged to run for Graduate Student Representative.

We are accepting self-nominations and recommendations of others. Those nominating themselves will submit their curriculum vitae and a brief description of their experiences related to their desired position as well as any vision they have for the office they would like to hold. Submissions must be sent to the Chair of the Election Committee, Fred Gardaphe via email attachment to:

Fred.Gardaphe@qc.cuny.edu or through regular mail at Dr. Fred Gardaphe, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 W. 43rd Street, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10036.

Those who have not been self-nominated will be contacted by the Election Committee to ensure that they are willing to run for office, and if they are willing to run will submit their CVs and statements of experience and vision.

The deadline for all nominations is December 15, 2008. The elections will take place as soon as a digital ballot has been created and sent out to the members in good standing via electronic mail soon after in December. Paper ballots will be available for those who do not use the Internet. The ballots will be sent in no later than December 31st. The Committee will count the ballots and report the complete results to the Executive Committee and the Membership by January 15th. The candidate with a simple majority will be declared the winner for each position. In case of a tie, the Election Committee will arrange another election between the tied candidates within a week after announcing the general election results. MELUS members will vote and submit their ballots to break this tie no later than February 15.

Those elected to office will be introduced and installed at the spring conference.

Constitution of and Responsibilities of the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of a President, a Program Chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer, the Editor of the MELUS Journal, a Membership Chair, the Project Chair and the Graduate Student Representative. This Committee is responsible for the operation of the Association, subject to review by the entire membership at the annual meeting. All officers of the Executive Committee (with the exception of the Editor of the Journal) are elected for a term of three years. They are eligible for re-election once, with the exception of the Treasurer, who has no limitations on renewal of appointment. Should a vacancy occur, the position may be filled temporarily by an appointee of the Executive Committee. The Journal Editor receives five-year appointments from the Executive Committee, with no limitations on renewal of appointment.

The President shall chair meetings of the Society (including those at the annual spring conference and the annual MLA convention) and coordinate all of the functions of the Society. He/she shall administer the Constitution and By-Laws throughout the year. With the elected members of the Executive Committee, he/she appoints all non-elected officers, reviews significant expenditures, and shall make arrangements for conferences, national and regional meetings, publications, etc. The President takes ultimate responsibility for all aspects of the Society's programs and activities.

Program Chairperson
The Program Chair shall coordinate the annual program, including the national MELUS conference and sessions at other regional and national conferences. The Program Chairperson directs preparations for the annual national MELUS Conference in consultation with the Executive Committee and local organizers. Once the MELUS President has secured a contract with a university that specifies the responsibilities of the campus and the Society, the Program Chair or his/her designate serves as a resource person for the campus coordinator, who is expected to follow the guidelines outlined in the MELUS Conference Handbook. The Program Chair shall develop procedures for future projects and programs.

The Secretary shall set the agenda and keep minutes of the Executive Committee and membership meetings and shall distribute copies to the Executive Committee before each meeting. The Editor of MELUS NewsNotes should receive a copy of the minutes in time to publish them in the first yearly-usually January--issue. In conjunction with the President, the Secretary will also notify the Executive Committee of the time and place of its annual meeting. The Secretary also serves as the liaison between the Executive Committee and the Editor of NewsNotes, the Webmaster/mistrix, the MELUS listserv moderator. This officer is involved with communicating internally and externally the activities and policies of the Society.

The Treasurer shall establish and maintain a careful bookkeeping system in accordance with the requirements put forth by the non-profit corporation laws. The treasurer prepares biennial reports of all financial transactions, including checks received, and works closely with the Membership Chairperson to apply funds received by members to their accounts. He/She reports regularly to the Executive Committee about such matters as the percentage of dues which goes to the journal, regular payments to the journal, and regular financial statements received from the Managing Editor of the Journal, which the treasurer incorporates into his/her quarterly report and] will eventually present in an annual report at the business meeting. This officer also works with the Executive Committee on basic financial operations, such as designing a yearly budget, fulfilling contractual obligations, and receiving and keeping track of all MELUS funds, including membership and conference registration fees.

Project Chairperson
The Project Chairperson serves as Executive Committee liaison to the various ongoing projects that the organization may undertake through ad hoc committees and subcommittees. This officer is responsible for executing special projects the Executive Committee may deem necessary to pursue for the benefit of the organization at large. The Project Chair must report to the Executive Committee on the status of said projects. At the beginning or his or her term, the Project Chair, along with the Executive Committee, will establish a work plan to cover the most pressing projects

Membership Chairperson
The Membership Chair is charged with all responsibilities and duties related to the recruitment and retention of members. Primary among these duties is to keep the MELUS membership database up to date using information provided by the Editor of the Melus Journal and the Treasurer and to make that information available as deemed necessary by the Membership Chair and Executive Committee. The Membership Chair is also responsible for establishing and executing a plan for increasing membership.

Graduate Student Representative
The Graduate Student Representative helps the Society address the specific needs and concerns of MELUS members who are currently graduate students and recruits new members and potential leaders for MELUS from among this population.

Questions about the election should be directed to the Election Committee Chair, Fred Gardaphe. Along with the chair, the Election Committee includes Derek Royal and Jose Torres, with JoAnne Gruvoli, webmistrix.

MELUS Executive Committee Meeting
Annual Conference
Blackwell Hotel, Ohio University
Columbus, Ohio
Saturday, March 29, 2008

Convened: 5:30 pm

Present: Martha Cutter, Fred Gardaphe (Interim President), Wenxin Li, Kim Long, JoAnne Ruvoli, Derek Royal, , Jose Torres-Padilla.

1. President’s Report: Gardaphe has nothing new to report.

2. Treasurer’s Report: The institution is doing well financially. Total assets as of 3/27/2008:
$85, 706.18. See attached report for further details.

3. MELUS Journal

3.1 Submissions are up; the acceptance rate is at 10%.

3.2 Upcoming special issues: summer issue on Iranian American literature; one on Alien/Asian literature; a guest issue edited by Carol Henderson on African-American literature and the Construction of Body; another on Multiethnic Poetry.

3.2 The journal needs to hire a new Managing Editor

4. Membership: See attached report.

4.1 Slight decrease from last year: from 332 to 304.

4.2 36% of new members are graduate students.

4.3 Not as many memberships from Midwest region as typically expected when the
conference is in that region.

4.4 Generally, these numbers are consistent with last few years.

5. Programs

5.1 The 2009 MELUS conference will convene in Spokane, Washington, on April 2-5, 2009. It will be hosted by Washington State University. The proposed theme is “Poetic Justice: Imagination, Empowerment and Identity in Multiethnic Literatures of the United States.”

5.2 MELUS will present 2 panels at the 2009 MLA. Li reports that there are not many proposals for these two panels.

5.3 There were plenty of submissions for the 2 ALA panels.

5.4 The panel at the 20th Century Literature conference in Louisville on February, 2008 were not successful. Given the problems with the conference, the EC decided to presently eliminate this conference from MELUS’ program schedule.

5.5 The EC voted to subsidize the Program Chair to enable him or her to moderate the ALA conference panels.

6. Graduate Student Representative Report

6.1 Discussion ensued concerning the Dissertation Award as proposed by Ruvoli. This Award would be rewarded annually to the best dissertation written by a MELUS member during the year. The EC considered some logistical problems of such an award. Ruvoli will investigate how other organizations run similar awards.

6.2 There were 12 applications for the President’s Award for Graduate Student Presenters.

6.3 The Graduate Student Resource links updated on the MELUS website.

6.4 Update sent to current graduate student members which included solicitation to get more involved. Feedback included appreciation for awards, registration fee waiver, and the online syllabus database. Feedback also included a proposal from Stephen Pearson, Ph.D. candidate at U. of Georgia, to motivate students and professors to work on Multiethnic US literature articles on Wikipedia.com He will serve as contact through his user talk page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk: Aristophanes68

7. MELUS Website

7.1 The complete list of past MELUS presidents has been posted on the website.

7.2 Ongoing updates for membership, conferences, journal and announcements.

7.3 Still gathering archival materials, such as conference programs, award winners.

7.4 Ruvoli proposes an update of the website’s design and asks for suggestions.

8. MELUS Lifetime Achievement Award:

8.1 The EC voted to award the 2008 award to John Lowe.

8.2 For the 2009 award, EC members will nominate and seek CV’s of potential recipients.


9.1 In a 6 to 1 vote, the EC decided to discontinue funding to ACEE and recommended disbanding the special committee since the EC has not received any status or accounting of ACEE’s work for a lengthy period of time.

9.2 The EC still awaits the Survey Report on Issues Concerning Multiethnic Faculty and Teaching which ACEE began with MELUS funding.

9.3 The EC recommended that discussion of ACEE’s purpose, work and future should be continued in the business meeting scheduled for the 2008 MLA convention in San Francisco.

10. Election Guidelines

10.1 The EC reviewed the election guidelines approved on March 23, 2007.

10.2 In discussing the proposed guidelines, it was recommended that Section 2 of Article IV (Officers) of the MELUS Constitution, and Sections 3, 6, 7 and 11 of Article IV (Duties of MELUS Officers) of the Bylaws, should also be changed for clarity and accuracy and coherence with the new election guidelines.

10.3 A Section 12 , which describes the duties of the Project Chair, was added to Article IV of the Bylaws.

10.4 The revised election guidelines will expand the present version of Article III of the Bylaws.

10.5 The proposed revisions to Article IV of the Constitution and Articles III and IV of the Bylaws will be posted on the MELUS website for membership review.

10.6 After investigating options for conducting elections via the internet, the proposed revisions will be submitted officially for membership approval.

10.7 If approved, the EC will follow new guidelines for the upcoming elections.

Adjourned: 7:35 pm
Respectfully submitted by Jose L. Torres-Padilla

MELUS Treasurer’s Report, March 2008
MELUS Board Meeting, MELUS Conference (Columbus, OH)
March 29, 2008

Funds reported on last financial statement, December 2007 $78,288.97

Transactions since last statement

Deposits, Credits $10,449.03

Checks received 7,700.00
Paypal payments received 2,297.51
Dividends and interest income 451.52

Debits $3,031.82

6 MELUS reimbursement checks 1,200.00
MLA Reception 372.32
Grad student support for MELUS 1,400.00
Website hosting renewal 45.00
Banking supplies 14.51

Amounts in Current Accounts

Orrstown Bank 2,500.00
ING Direct 81,701.29

Paypal 1,504.89

Total assets 3/27/2008 $85,706.18

Respectfully submitted by Kim Martin Long

Membership Statistics

2006 Membership (by time of MELUS Conference): 285 –
% of new members who are graduate students: 46% 2007 Membership (by time of MELUS Conference): 332 –
% of new members who are graduate students: 45% 2008 Membership (by time of MELUS Conference): 304 –
% of new members who are graduate students: 36%

2007 Membership

2007 Membership Up to March Conference 2007 Membership Since March Conference

Category Numbers % of Total

New members 130 39 %

Renewals 149 45%

Lifetime 51 15%

Patrons 2 < 1%

Total members 332

Category Numbers % of Total

New members 101 69%

Renewals 43 30%

Lifetime 2 1%

Institutional Patrons 0 0%

Total members 146

2008 Membership, as of March 2008

Membership by Renewal Status Membership by Position

Category Numbers % of Total

New members 110 36 %

Renewals 140 46%

Lifetime 54 18%

Total members 304

Category Numbers % of Total

Faculty 139 46%

Instructor/Lecturer/ 23 7%

Students 67 22%

Other/not listed 75 25%

Total members 304


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