Business Meeting 2014: Minutes

GASC Business Meeting
June 22, 2014

Present: Andrew Bartlett (President), Ian Dennis (Secretary-Treasurer), Chris Fleming (Member), Eric Gans (Board), Peter Goldman (Board), Adam Katz (Board), Marina Ludwigs (Board), Stacey Meeker (Board), John O’Carroll (Member), Robert Rois (Conference Attendee), Keith Russell (Conference Attendee), Kris Rutten (Conference Attendee), Matthew Schneider (Board), Matthew Taylor (Member), Richard van Oort (Board)

Meeting called to order at 9:30 am., Harbour Room, Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria, B.C.  Andrew Bartlett chaired.

1.  President’s Welcome and Report

Andrew B made opening remarks and led a discussion on the current conference, which was felt to be a great success.  The recruitment of Raymond Tallis was noted as a particularly effective element.  Thanks were proffered to Richard van Oort as organiser.

2.  Treasurer’s Report

Ian Dennis provided a preliminary Financial Statement and noted that, as was the case last year, a more complete Statement will be circulated to the Board after the accounts for the 2014 Conference were finalised.

He noted it was once again a good year for memberships, with 18 regular and 4 student/underemployed memberships fully paid.

The question of getting rid of the GASC bank account and retaining all funds in our GA Pay Pal account was discussed.  Ian D noted that the bank account did allow us to pay our Student Award winner by cheque.  As he will be passing on the accounts to a new Treasurer in about a year’s time he will defer a decision on the bank account till the new Treasurer takes office.

3.  Use of Funds: Student Travel or other Awards

The Board decided to continue the Student Award in its current form, feeling that it was successful this year in achieving the goals of attracting and supporting student participants in the GA community in a more merit-based manner than the previous version.  The selection of the 2014 winner, Kieran Stewart, was discussed and commended (despite the misfortune of Kieran’s illness), and the “Professionalization” workshop was evaluated and felt to be effective and worth continuing.

3.  Use of Funds – Continued

It was decided that the amount of the Award should be increased to $500, if possible.  To this end, and because they have remained unchanged since 2010, the Board voted unanimously to increase the annual GA Society dues.  The new rates, for 2015 and beyond, are to be:

Regular Members:                               $CDN 50 per annum

Students, Retired, Underemployed:   $CDN 30 per annum

4.  Upcoming Conferences – Nagoya, Japan, June 2016

Matthew Taylor made a presentation on the possibility of holding a future GA Conference in Nagoya, Japan.  He described the city and the facilities available, and laid out several choices of structure and venue.  These were discussed appreciatively, with a consensus developing that the use of a satellite campus of Kinjo Gakuin University was to be preferred over other options, such as a vacation house retreat in Nagano.  The satellite campus has a meeting room holding 34 persons, and is a 5 minute walk from the Garden Palace Hotel downtown, which offers modest rates for accommodation.  This campus would not be available on Sunday, however, so that if the conference met on this day it might need to shift to the main campus.  The satellite campus also does not open till 11:00 am, but remains available till 9:00 pm.  It was felt GASC could adapt to such a time frame without difficulty.

Matthew was unsure how much direct support, if any, would be available from his University, but was assured that the use of meeting rooms and a formal endorsement of the Conference (which would help others with their travel funding applications) would be sufficient.  Financial support was not crucial.  Matthew will check to see if there would be any difficulty with such an endorsement, but expected it would be forthcoming.

Travel to Nagoya was discussed, and Mathew noted that direct flights to the city were rarely available, but that connecting flights or bullet train travel from Tokyo were viable options.  There was some concern on this point, but veterans of the 2012 conference in Tokyo noted the efficiency and ease of use of the Japanese travel infrastructure.

Scholarly interest in Japan was assessed.  Although the Japanese Girardian association is currently inactive, it was felt that a number of local scholars might well be interested in participating, including perhaps Jeremiah Alberg and Paul Dumachel.

4.  Upcoming Conferences – Nagoya, Japan – Continued

Matthew proposed a conference theme of “Cultural Specificity, Globalisation and Universality” and this idea met with approval.  It was agreed that GA Board members would assist Matthew in developing the CFP, publicising the Conference, vetting proposals and establishing a program and web site.  Matthew was encouraged to remain in touch with the Board to set up such working relationships.

The timing of a conference in Nagoya was discussed and Matthew indicated a preference for 2016, which was gladly endorsed by the Board.  A late June conference was once again indicated, as Matthew noted that there were no particular advantages of other times in the summer given the Japanese academic term.  He would be in term, but since the event was local he would be able to avoid serious disruptions of his other duties.

5.  Upcoming Conferences – High Point University, North Carolina, June 2015

The Board discussed several options for a 2015 conference, after concluding that it was highly desirable to keep the momentum and not miss a year.  Future possibilities include Chicago, Sweden and Australia.  All present at the meeting were encouraged to express their preferences.

Matt Schneider then generously offered to host the 2015 meeting at High Point University, in High Point, North Carolina, the site of the 2011 conference, and this proposal was enthusiastically adopted.

Ian D was instructed to assure Andrew McKenna, who was tentatively considering Chicago as a venue, that he need not undertake this but is warmly invited to come to High Point instead.

Adam Katz proposed a conference theme of “Models and the Human: Analog and Digital” and this was discussed and adopted.  The program committee for the 2015 conference will consist of Matt S, Adam K, Peter Goldman and John O’Carroll.

The conference will be scheduled in the normal late-June time frame, and will be formally endorsed by High Point University.  Matt S will investigate some probably limited financial support.

6.  Other Conference – The Future of the Humanities – Ghent

Kris Rutten brought the meeting’s attention to an upcoming conference on the future of the Humanities at Ghent University, Belgium, and promised to keep us informed.

7.  Rotation of Executive

The current President and Secretary-Treasurer proposed that the GA Society executive positions were due to rotate, having been held by the same two Members since the Society’s inception in 2010.  They suggested that the Presidency change now, and the Secretary-Treasurer position in a year’s time, to permit some overlap for consistency.

It was noted that the four years served by the current executive need not be considered a precedent or conventional term.

Andrew B then duly stepped down, receiving the Meeting’s sincere thanks for his meritorious service.  After discussion, Peter Goldman was elected the new President, effective noon, June 22, 2014.

It was agreed that the Secretary-Treasurer rotation will be decided upon and enacted at the 2015 business meeting.

Three new members were then elected to the GASC Board:

Chris Fleming
John O’Carroll
Matthew Taylor

8.  Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.