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49th Annual meeting of the Council of the Renaissance Society of America.


The Council Meeting was attended by the RSA Executive Board, current and past discipline representatives, affiliate representatives, and other distinguished members of the Society.

Ronald G. Witt called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM.

There was a moment of silence for our departed members.

The reports were presented by the chairs of the individual committees:

John Monfasani, Executive Director, reported for the Treasurer, George Labalme, Jr. The Society's endowment has continued to decline, especially because of 11 September 2003 and the war in Iraq. John Monfasani as Executive Director in his report reiterated the same point. He also advised that the Society is making certain internal economies that will not impact programs in any way.

Anne Lake Prescott, Chair of Invested Funds, reported on her meeting with Joan Farr, our Bank of New York portfolio manager. Ms. Farr indicated to Professor Prescott that we need to hang in for the long haul. Professor Prescott announced her resignation as Chair of Invested Funds and informed the Council that the Board had appointed John W. O'Malley to replace her.

Sheila ffolliott, Chair of Capital Endowment, reported that individuals continue to contribute to the fund. She suggested a drive for the 2004 year as it is the fiftieth anniversary of the Society.

Martin Elsky and Janet Cox-Rearick, both from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, reported that exciting events will be taking place at the New York 2004 Conference, namely, a repeat of the Renaissance costume show that was such a large success at Florence 2000 and a special performance of John Milton's Samson Agonistes by Lark Ascending.

John Monfasani announced that the meetings for 2005 in Cambridge, 2006 in San Francisco, and 2007 in Miami are on track.

Eckhard Bernstein, Chair of Publications, reported that the Board had approved a $2,000 subsidy for Professor Betty Travitsky's Bibliography of English Women Writers. He also announced his resignation from the Executive Board.

William R. Bowen, Chair of Electronic Media, reported that Renaissance Quarterly is available online and the new website would be live by the end of April 2003.

Nancy G. Siraisi, Chair of Constitution and Bylaws, reported on the changes suggested to the Constitution and Bylaws by the Executive Board and proposed that they be approved by the Council.

The version of the Constitution and Bylaws referred to in this report is "Constitution and Bylaws of the Renaissance Society of America as amended April 12, 2002 at the 48th Annual Meeting held in Scottsdale, Arizona" (Renaissance Quarterly 55 [2002]: 1517-26).
 1) Proposal for amalgamating two of the seven standing

 John Monfasani has suggested that we amalgamate two of the seven
 standing committees, namely, the Committee on Affiliate Societies
 and the Committee on International Cooperation, into a single
 "Committee on Affiliates and International Cooperation." The
 rationale is that the tasks of the two committees are often similar
 or overlapping. The Constitution would have to be amended as
 follows, and I shall propose an amendment to that effect.

 Article IV.2:

 i) "the seven standing committees" to read "the six standing

 ii) "Committee on Affiliate Societies" to read "Committee on
 Affiliates and International Cooperation."

 iii) "5. Committee on International Cooperation" to be

 iv) renumber Committee on Publications as five, and,
 Committee on Electronic Media as six.

 Article V.14.3 to be changed to read:

 "3. Committee on Affiliates and International Cooperation.
 The Chair of this committee shall be responsible for
 promoting the interests of affiliate groups and societies
 and for facilitating their relations with each other and
 with the Society's Executive Board and Council. The
 Chair of this committee shall also be empowered to propose
 corresponding members abroad who are not members
 of the Society and to recommend honorary members
 among distinguished foreigners. He/she shall negotiate
 affiliation with foreign groups and societies. He/she is not
 empowered to commit the Society without consulting the
 Executive Board. Decisions of the Society shall be submitted
 to the Council."

 The former Article V.13.5 to be omitted.

 Article V.14.6 to be renumbered Article V.14.5.

 Article V. 14.7 to be renumbered Article V. 14.6.

 2) At its October 2002 meeting of the Executive Board of the
 RSA the following proposal for electing the Vice President of the
 Society was approved for submission to a vote by the Council at the
 annual meeting in Toronto:

 "The Vice President of the Society shall be elected by the Council
 of the Society on the basis of candidates named by a nominating
 committee. The nominating committee consists of five members
 and the Executive Director, who chairs the meeting but does not
 vote. Three of these members are to be elected by the Council and
 two by the Executive Board. The Council chooses its three
 members at the annual meeting in alternate years. The Executive
 Board chooses its two members in the subsequent October meeting
 of the Executive Board. The nominating committee is charged with
 preparing a slate of three candidates for Vice President. The
 election will be held early in the following February by mail
 ballot. The results of the election will be announced at the next
 annual meeting when the Vice President assumes office."

 If approved by the Council, this proposal will require the insertion
 of a new clause in the Constitution of the RSA with the above
 wording. Presumably it should be Article IV.4 and the present
 articles IV.4-12 should accordingly be renumbered IV.5-13.

Both changes were approved by the Council.

Deborah W. Parker, Chair of Membership, reported that membership declines in the first half of the year, and then, by autumn, it reaches its maximum. Many have taken advantage of the multiple-year membership. Professor Parker will be contacting the various heads of the Affiliates for their mailing lists.

David R. Marsh, Chair of International Cooperation, reported that he was elected to the board of FISIER. Max Engammare, President of FISIER, commented on the good relationship of FISIER and the RSA and their participation in the RSA annual meetings.

Konrad Eisenbichler, Chair of Affiliate Societies, reported that the Board had approved the application of The Medici Project, The Malone Society, and The Sydney Society for affiliation.

He requested that the Council do the same. The motion was seconded and approved.

Craig E. Harline, ACLS Delegate--no report.

David R. Marsh, Chair of the Research Grants Committee, reported that it was relatively easy to evaluate the applications since the process went online. There was a decrease in the number of submissions from the previous year.

Paul F. Grendler and Sheila J. Rabin, Coeditors of Renaissance Quarterly, presented their respective reports. Professor Rabin requested short CVs of those interested in reviewing or who knew outstanding graduate students whom she could consider as reviewers.

Professor Grendler announced his retirement, and that the Board has appointed Professor Jeffrey Chipps Smith to replace him as Articles Editor as of 1 October 2003.
Nominations for the nominating committee were taken from the floor:

Angelo Mazzocco Francois Rigolot
Elizabeth Cohen Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann
Jane Phillips Katherine Gill
Paula Findlen Mary Thomas Crane

The Council was asked to vote (written ballot) for three. The results reported. (The three top vote-getters were Angelo Mazzocco, Francois Rigolot, and Mary Thomas Crane. They therefore are the Council's appointees to the nominating committee.)

Since the International Cooperation and Affiliates Committees, had been combined into one, the Council elected Konrad Eisenbichler as the Chair of the new combined committee and elected David R. Marsh to replace Eckhard Bernstein, who retired as of the Toronto meeting, as Chair of Publications.

The meeting ended at 1:20 PM.

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Publication:Renaissance Quarterly
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Previous Article:2002 financial statement.
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