Letter from the President of the World History Association: Richard Warner, Wabash College.
I am pleased to offer this, my final message as President of the World History Association, by way of our excellent Bulletin. We are so pleased with the leadership of Jared Poley and his staff, and are grateful for the connection with Georgia State University, a rising star in World History graduate education. As we have noted recently, we continue to be grief-stricken by the untimely passing of longtime WHB editor Denis Gainty, whose contributions to this publication and world history generally were significant.
Over the past four years, the first two of which I served as Vice President and the past two as President, the World History has undergone significant change. Mostly for the better, I hope! The other officers and our Executive Council deserve most of the credit for these positive developments. Due to difficult economic circumstances, we began the process of moving our headquarters some four years ago under the guidance of President Craig Benjamin. The Hawaii office was no longer sustainable, and to be honest if we had stayed a few more years we might have bankrupted the organization. After a thorough vetting process, we moved our headquarters to Northeastern University in Boston, hired Kerry Vieira as our Director, and have benefited handsomely from the work of NU graduate students and our alliance with Heather Streets-Salter. Thanks to the generosity of our membership, we have managed to replace the many thousands of dollars that were borrowed from our Endowment. Thanks also to the shepherding of these funds by Carter Findley, I can announce that our Endowment should top $100,000 by year's end, slightly higher than it was four years ago. Our operating financial situation is equally strong, and we have been able to cut conference fees as a result.
Improvements have also been made to our governance practices. We have professionalized our bookkeeping and accounting systems, and our Treasurer now produces quarterly reports for the Executive Council. The Council now takes a more active role in conducting our elections, while the role of the Nominating Committee is limited to soliciting nominations and passing them on to the EC. Over the past two years our EC meetings have largely consisted of working sessions around particular topics, and we have moved to a system of written committee reports to make more effective use of our time. At the Ghent meeting the EC discussed ways to strengthen our outreach in Teaching and Research, which resulted in the creation of the new Research Committee, currently headed up by Laura Mitchell. At the Boston meeting we focused our energies on how to continue our work to diversify our organization's membership and governance. We decided to focus more intently on developing our community college sector, since this would result in a variety of positive outcomes in terms of diversity writ large.
As I pass into the ranks of "past presidents," allow me to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to build our organization. Our membership continues to grow, our programs are increasing, and I do believe that our impact on the discipline of world history is increasingly felt. As a team we have greeted numerous challenges over the past four years, and though there have been some difficult times I can honestly say that I have truly enjoyed working with you all. There is yet more to do, of course, but I have total confidence in president-elect Merry Wiesner-Hanks, the rest of the officers and EC, and most especially the ever-present Kerry Vieira whose compassion, wisdom, and perseverance are truly legendary. Thank you so much.... And I hope to cook for you all once again!
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|Publication:||World History Bulletin|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2017|
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