49th Annual Meeting of the Council of the Renaissance Society of America

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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. …