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Thirty-Second Annual Byzantine Studies Conference
University of Missouri-St. Louis, MO

Business Lunch Minutes: Saturday, November 11, 2006

  1. Asa Kirin, President of the BSC, called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

  2. On a motion duly made by W. Kaegi and seconded by D. Olster, the agenda as presented was approved unanimously. Brief discussion, raised by D. Olster, considered the issue of the new constitution, with clarification that we would be electing officers this year under the present constitution.

  3. Following review by the membership, a slight emendation of the Minutes for the Business Lunch meeting in 2005 (28.x) were proposed by N. Laos. (#8 read 2004 instead of 2003). W. Kaegi moved, and D. Krueger seconded, to accept the Minutes as emended. The Minutes were approved unanimously.

  4. The President expressed thanks on behalf of the membership to the Local Arrangements Committee, especially Diane Touliatos and Alicia Walker, Lynn Voss, and to the Program Committee and Chair, Derek Krueger, all followed by warm applause. He then yielded the floor to D. Touliatos, who acknowledged Nicholas Karakis.

  5. Treasurer’s Report: L. Jones tabled the budget for the previous year, drawing attention to the printing of abstracts which will in fact be covered, on the one hand by reimbursements from the local arrangements committee ($3000) and on the other by the graphic designer who donated her fee ($2000). In addition, since the BSC is now incorporated in the state of Florida (rather than Illinois), the organization will be charged an annual fee of $75 (rather than $350). E. Ivison questioned the ‘net loss’ of $7548.29 in the budget. L. Jones explained that part of this was due to last year’s BSC-DO liaison committee and the need to fly members to the spring symposium and house them while there. E. Ivison questioned the ethics and logic of having done this, and inquired whether the policy of reimbursing board members would continue. L. Jones responded that yes, it will continue for independent scholars who have generally been nominally reimbursed. Jones clarified that the net loss is reduced to $2548.29, while A. Gonosová clarified that the Baltimore conference (2004) did not print enough abstracts and that this need is currently being met. D. Olster drew attention to the largest expense of the BSC, which is its graduate student base, and questioned whether the Board ought not to consider how it distributes money to itself, but that this should be decided in a meeting in the future (and not among itself). This proposal will be discussed by the new governing board and will be addressed at next year’s business meeting (as reflected in the record today). L. Jones thanked A. Kirin again for his ability to raise $5000 to fund some of these deficits. This was greeted with warm applause

  6. Governing Board Elections: A vote was held for the four places. The following were elected to the Governing Board from the five candidates on the slate: Stratis Papaioannou, Adam Schorr, Linda Safran, and Alicia Walker.


  7. President’s Report:
    1. A.Kirin reported on the difficulties experienced over the past two years of maintaining charitable status in the state of Illinois, resulting in the dissolution of the organization. The help of Segundo Fernandez (present at the meeting), in re-incorporating in the state of Florida, was acknowledged with warm applause.

    2. A. Kirin reported that, through the generosity of Dr. Anastasios Tousimis and his foundation, the current graduate student prizes will be doubled to the amount of $1500 (first prize) and $750 (two equivalent second prizes). D. Olster raised the issue of our various donors (Dr. Tousimis, anonymous donors) and our gratitude for their gracious donations of the past and present.
  8. Graduate Student Prizes for the 2005 Conference: On behalf of the Program Committee, A. Papalexandrou presented the prizes. First prize was given to David Michelson, and the two second prizes were given to Marica Cassis and Eric Martin. (E. Martin personally accepted his prize.)

  9. New Business:
    Discussion of the new constitution: A. Kirin yielded the floor to D. Olster, who explained the reasons behind its creation, including growth of the BSC to what is now a national organization which gives prizes, publishes its abstracts and is taken seriously in academic circles. The new document, which the members had in hand, was unanimously adopted by the Governing Board and now required due consideration by the membership. A suggestion from the floor was made that the document actually constituted ‘by-laws’ rather than ‘constitution’. This was accepted as a friendly amendment. L. Striker pointed out the ambiguity of the term ‘regular faculty’ in II.2, stating that emerita are not regular and that ‘retired’ should be added to this list. Discussion followed concerning section II.3 and whether it was a good idea to have the exact amount of member dues embedded in the constitution. This included further discussion on whether the organization follows Roberts Rules of Order, leading to an amendment on the floor, by L. Striker, stating Roberts Rules of Order (newly revised) is recognized as the parliamentary authority for the functioning of the organization. This was seconded by T. Kolbaba. No discussion ensued, a vote was taken and the amendment passed (38 for, 7 against). F. Segundo observed that having the dues in the by-laws will require _ of the membership vote in order to change the dollar amount. A. Schorr clarified that this should be _ of the members in attendance at the meeting. G. Peers brought up the issue of the organization’s name, which would now be speaking for Canadians and Mexicans, and asked whether the committee consulted with the Canadian Association of Byzantine Studies. A more innocent name was suggested: Byzantine Studies Association of America. T. Kolbaba suggested that ‘North America’ was more inclusive, whereas W. Kaegi reminded that there is in fact a Brazilian National Committee. E. Schwartz suggested Byzantine Studies Association, to which A. Schorr pointed out that the acronym would be the same as that for the Boy Scouts of America. J. Barker asked about the process of re-defining the National Committee which would have no voice within the international association. It was clarified that the National Committee is a sub-committee (section III.10). G. Peers moved that the name chosen be the U.S. Byzantine Studies Association, Inc. This was seconded by W. Kaegi. A friendly amendment was made to change the name from North America to United States in section III.10. Further discussion ensued: A.M. Talbot felt this to be a terrible move. The organization was founded 32 years ago with the idea of being inclusive of U.S. and Canadian citizens, and this move would give the appearance of becoming exclusive. There was a move to call the question, seconded and passed unanimously. A new vote was proposed, the motion failed. D. Krueger proposed a friendly amendment concerning the language in section II, which was accepted and the language clarified in section II.1. J. Barker expressed reservations concerning section III.10 which were clarified by R. Ousterhout, who pointed out that the constituency of the two organizations (BSANA and USCBS) is the same, with overlapping mailing lists, so that the U.S. National Committee should become a subset of our national organization.

  10. Report from Dumbarton Oaks:
    Alice-Mary Talbot addressed the membership on the year at Dumbarton Oaks. A report of activities was distributed to all members in attendance, and attention was drawn to the upcoming symposium, to be held Dec.1-3, 2006, at the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C. It was announced that there would be no fellowship program for the coming summer (2007) due to renovations of the DO apartment building. It is hoped that these programs will resume in 2008. Members were also reminded that the galleries are currently being reinstalled and are scheduled to re-open in April of 2008.

  11. Announcements:
    1. A. Kirin announced, on behalf of Rob Nelson, the exhibit of icons from Mt.Sinai, which opens at the Getty next week and continues until March. He also reminded the members of the accompanying symposium in late January.
    2. George Demacopoulos called attention to the flyer announcing Fordham University’s first conference on Orthodox Reading of Augustus, June 14-16, 2007.
    3. A brief statement was read by Cecily Hillsdale concerning the recent death of Angela Volan.
    4. Linda Safran, Local Arrangements Chair for the 2007 conference, read a letter from Marc Gotlieb, Chair of the Dept. of Fine arts at the University of Toronto, welcoming all members for the 2007 conference 12-14.x.07. Members were reminded that they will need passports.
    5. R. Mathison wished, again, to acknowledge the amount of work that A. Kirin had undertaken in preparing for this year’s conference, followed by yet another round of hearty applause.
    6. David Olster announced the results of the vote on the new Constitution: Passed, with 65 votes in favor; 8 against.
    7. Date and Time of next Governing Board Meeting: 6:30 p.m., 11.xi.06, in the conference center.

  12. Date and Time of Next Governing Board Meeting – 6:30, 29.x.05, at the Conference Center.

  13. Adjournments ­ On a motion duly made by T. Kolbaba, seconded by D. Olster, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Amy Papalexandrou, Secretary