The ASIANetwork Board is proposing multiple revisions to the organization’s Bylaws. Most of the proposed revisions are not substantive, but helpful for ensuring that the document reflects current administrative language and practice. Two of the revisions, both in Article III “Membership,” are substantive. See rationales below.
Comment Period through Dec. 31, 2018.
The Board’s first draft of the revisions is available here (link). Member comments may be made through the ASIANetwork submission system (link) through December 31, 2018.
Voting on the Proposed Changes
In January 2019, the Board will discuss the revisions again, with member comments in mind. A final version of proposed revisions will be posted by February 10, 2019. The Board will bring these revisions for a vote during the Business Meeting at the 2019 annual conference in San Diego.
Rationale for Revisions Concerning Membership
- Revision: Clarify the descriptions of Category I and II institutions through undergraduate enrollment parameters of about 5,000 for the former and 10,000 for the latter category. These parameters will apply at the time of the first membership application or when requesting to rejoin after a hiatus of five years or more.
Rationale: These revisions address ambiguity in the current descriptions, which has occasioned multiple and prolonged discussion at Board meetings and in other communications. Currently, of the 111 Category I members, only four have enrollments of more than 5,000. Of the 27 Category II members, only six have enrollments of more than 10,000.
- Revision: Remove references to specific dollar amounts for membership dues and insert, “Annual membership dues for all categories are proposed by the Board of Directors and passed by a simple majority at the Business Meeting.”
Rationale: This change eliminates the need to make a formal change in the Bylaws when membership dues are adjusted in response to current conditions. Membership dues increases will be presented by the Board for a vote at the Business Meeting and require a simple majority.
Increase in Membership Dues
The Board has voted to raise membership dues for institutional members from $300 to $350 beginning in 2019-2020.
ASIANetwork is a consortium that offers many programs for its member colleges and universities, focusing particularly on smaller schools that may not otherwise have competitive access to extra-muros funding. Increasingly, ASIANetwork programs require a piloting phase of one to several years, during which time they are funded by the consortium directly, in order to demonstrate their value to an outside donor. Meanwhile, annual membership dues have remained at $300 since 2007, with no adjustment for inflation. In view of these factors, the Board thinks it reasonable to raise those dues to $350.
Overview of ASIANetwork programs:
Funded by partnerships with external foundations….
- The Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow Program, funded by the Luce Foundation, offers member institutions the opportunity to apply for a $40,000/year grant to hire a postdoctoral teaching fellow in Asian Studies for one or two years.
- The Student-Faculty Fellows Program, funded by the Freeman Foundation, supports eight to ten student-faculty research teams annually.
- Enhancing Asian Studies: Asia in the Undergraduate Curriculum, funded by the Luce Foundation, leverages the expertise and experience of ASIANetwork members to create a comprehensive, digital, resource guide for teaching about Asia.
Funded by ASIANetwork, either in pilot form or as ongoing commitments….
- The ASIANetwork Speakers Bureau, currently funded in pilot form by the consortium, provides grants to institutions to bring an ASIANetwork speaker to their campus.
- The Digital Asia Project, currently in development and to be funded in a pilot form by the consortium, provides workshops under leaders in digital applications to the humanities and social sciences who work with teams from member institutions to design projects focused on Asia to be taken back to their colleges.
- The Asian Studies Consultant Program provides a list of qualified consultants (individuals and teams) who visit ASIANetwork member institutions to help strengthen the study of Asia on their campuses or conduct external program assessment.
- The Teddy Amoloza Conference Travel Award provides travel grants of $500 for up to four junior faculty members who are presenting papers at the ASIANetwork conference.
- The Marianna McJimsey Student Paper Competition provides an annual prize for the best undergraduate student paper in Asian studies from a member institution. Up to three students receive conference registration and 2-nights lodging.
Programs under consideration which may require consortium funding during the pilot phase:
- ASIANetwork Imprint of Lever Press—an open-access book publication program that seeks to publish high-quality, original monographs embodying a rigorous liberal arts approach to Asian Studies by ASIANetwork institution members.
- Faculty Enhancement Program—funded by the Mellon Foundation from 2011 to 2019, and now entering a new stage of conceptual and financial development, has provided 74 faculty from member institutions an opportunity to participate in an on-site seminar to study a country in Asia which lies outside their primary range of expertise.
- Embodied Learning about Asia Program—seeks to create opportunities for students to gain knowledge about Asia through active participation in faculty-designed projects that provide background knowledge, center on first-person participation, and are supported by sustained dialogue and mentoring. The central focus will be upon immersion in and reflection upon a form of practice performed in an Asian cultural context that benefits from the embodied knowledge of an experienced practitioner.
- Asian Arts Initiative—seeks to build upon the consortium’s previous partnerships with the Luce Foundation to develop traveling exhibitions and an art lending program for member institutions; support travel grants to bring an artist from Asia; improve and expand upon IDEAS (Image Database to Enhance Asian Studies); and support curricular and professional development in Asian art.