Wednesday, April 21, 2004

AAR stands firm on stand-alone meetings

Also on Deinde, news of a response to the AAR Joint Meetings Petition headed by Karen King and Elaine Pagels. It seems that the petition has been unsuccessful. Deinde references Ryan's Lair for a copy of the announcement, which has it under the heading Excellent news from the AAR. The gist of it is that there is no change about the fundamental decision to discontinue joint meetings with the Society of Biblical Literature from 2008, but that a "task force" will be set up to look at the "implementation" of the decision. Additionally, "the Board instructed the executive director to begin exploring the possibility of holding periodic concurrent meetings with other relevant associations" including the SBL.

There is no report from this meeting yet on the AAR Web Site, though I was interested to read the AAR's FAQ about the decision, including answers to the questions "What was the AAR Board's process for making this decision, and why didn't you seek the opinions of members?" and "Is it accurate that the AAR did not consult with the SBL before making this decision?". Both of these FAQs date back to last July. Effectively their answer to the second question is "No".

Update: Jim Davila comments in Paleojudaica and concludes that "The response of the Board of Directors is not satisfactory. With respect, this is not over yet." It certainly seems extraordinary to me that the membership of AAR were not consulted about this major decision.

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