Statement Regarding the Annual Meeting at Tempe, AZ

On behalf of the Council, the Executive Committee wishes to thank the many members of the Academy and the medieval community for their active engagement with the question of holding the Academy’s Annual Meeting next April in Tempe. As you know, the Council asked the Executive Committee to make a final decision concerning this question on 3 August 2010. We are writing to inform you of our decision, and are also posting this message on the Academy’s website.

The results of the advisory poll of the membership held by the Council was divided. The poll was sent to 3881 members, of whom 1025 responded. Of the respondents, 431 voted against holding the meeting in Tempe (42%), 477 (46.5%) voted to hold it as planned, and 110 (10.7%) expressed no opinion. Seven responses [<1%] were invalid. Only 32.7% of the respondents said they were prepared to contribute towards offsetting the cost of canceling the meeting, whereas 65 % declared their unwillingness to do so. Of the 477 voting against canceling, 186 included comments; of the 431 voting to cancel, 111 wrote comments; of the 110 expressing no preference, 18 added a message. In reaching its decision the Executive Committee discussed at great length a wide range of issues, including its fiduciary responsibility for the Academy's endowment, the appropriateness of making collective political statements, the precedents that would be set if the Academy canceled the meeting, the scholarly effects of canceling the annual meeting, the work done by the Arizona programming committee, the difficulty of finding any alternative meeting place, the timing of cancellation, and the possibility of legal challenge to Arizona's legislation (which in fact occurred on 28 July). After weighing all these issues, the Executive Committee has voted to hold the meeting, as planned, in Tempe. The Committee is working with Robert Bjork and the Progam Committee to ensure that the program of the meeting reflects and relates to similar issues at stake in medieval society, including such topics as race, ethnicity, immigration, tolerance, treatment of minority groups, protest against governmental policies judged unjust, and standards of judicial and legislative morality. We are delighted that the Episcopal bishop of Arizona, Kirk Smith, who has been deeply involved in the immigration legislation debate (and whose doctoral dissertation Brian Tierney directed), has agreed to speak to us. Elizabeth A.R. Brown, President Alice-Mary Talbot, First Vice-President Maryanne Kowaleski, Second Vice-President Constance Berman Peggy McCracken Brian Patrick McGuire Danuta Shanzer

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