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Kansas City, MO, November 9-12

2006 CAO Fall Meeting

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The Conference of Administrative Officers (CAO) of the ACLS held its semiannual meeting in Kansas City, MO, on November 9-12, 2006.

The meeting schedule is available here.

The first evening, Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes offered a warm welcome at a reception at the Cordish Building in the burgeoning Kansas City Power and Light District, and the group enjoyed Kansas City Barbeque and Jazz at the Museums at 18th and Vine (American Jazz and Negro Leagues Baseball Museums).

Throughout their stay, the group was treated to the enthusiasm and fond feeling for the city by one of their own: Carl Monk, executive director of the Association of American Law Schools and current chair of the CAO Executive Committee, who lived there as a child.

As Executive Committee chair, Monk led the business meeting on November 9. Other members of the committee are Adam Blistein, American Philological Association; Rosemary Feal, Modern Language Association; Robert Judd, American Musicological Society; Carol Martin, African Studies Association; Allan Metcalf, American Dialect Society; and Jonathan Rodgers, American Oriental Society.

Later that morning, Adam Blistein and Jane M. La Barbera, Associate Director, Association of American Law Schools, presented "Hotel Labor Contracts: How the Current Environment Affects Long-Range Planning for the Learned Societies."

In the afternoon, Jessica Jones Irons, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), reported on postelection outcomes and their possible implications for humanities support. Rosemary Feal, Modern Language Association; Amy Newhall, Middle East Studies Association; and ACLS Vice President Steven C. Wheatley then led the session "Scholarly Advocacy: Procedures, Policies, Politics, and Protests: On What Issues Do/Should the Learned Societies Take a Stand and What Standing do the Learned Societies Have to Take a Stand?" Discussion of topics from the morning and afternoon sessions ended the day, at the Kansas City Convention Center.

After luncheon on November 11, there was a discussion, led by Monk, of papers written by CAO members on the CAO 2007 retreat topic "The ACLS, the Learned Societies, and Shaping Humanities Scholarship." The Retreat Planning Committee will follow up on this discussion at their meeting in February.

In the morning of November 11, the CAO visited the Truman Presidential Library, where the library director, Michael Devine, provided an overview of presidential libraries and the public.

The meeting concluded with a session on learned society membership campaigns, led by Bill Davis, American Anthropological Association, and Kent Richards, Society of Biblical Literature, and the discussion "Cyber-issues for Learned Societies: Open Access, Digital Scholarship, Digital Publishing," with presentations by Amy Bix, Society for the History of Technology; Pauline Saliga, Society of Architectural Historians; and Steven Wheatley, ACLS. Also commenting on the topic were Donald J. Waters, Program Officer for Scholarly Communications of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Bill Davis.

The meeting, which was hosted by the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association, included visits to the Liberty Memorial Museum, Pierponts Restaurant at Union Station, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Plaza III Restaurant. The Westin Crown Center, the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, and the Kansas City Marriott Downtown were the host hotels.

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  • The CAO in the lobby of the historic Muehlebach Hotel, Kansas City, November 2006

  • Carl Monk, Chair of the CAO Executive Committee and Kansas City enthusiast

  • Adam Blistein and Jane M. La Barbera spoke on hotel labor contracts.

  • A barbershop quartet entertained with a song incorporating (almost) every society acronym.

  • Scholarly Advocacy panelists Rosemary G. Feal, Steven C. Wheatley, and Amy Newhall with Jessica Jones Irons

  • Marianne Fizet and Jody Ciufo

  • Arnita Jones and Carl Monk with Michael Devine. Harry S. Truman looks on.

  • Kent Richards and Bill Davis led a discussion of membership issues.