Minutes of the CASLL Annual General Meeting, Inkshed 22
15 May 2005, White Point Beach Resort, Nova Scotia

Present: John Bell, Katie Bryant, Geoff Cragg, Mary-Louise Craven, Lise de Villiers, Susan Drain, Diane Driedger, Roger Graves, Miriam Horne, Anne Hungerford, Russ Hunt, Penny Kinnear, Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier, Christina Halliday, Trudy MacCormack, Brock MacDonald, Kenna Manos, Jane Milton, Margaret Procter, Pat Sadowy, Leslie Sanders, Karen Smith, Doreen Starke-Meyerring, J. Barbara Rose, JulieAnn Stodolny, Stan Straw, Sharron Wall (plus one undecipherable signature).

Leslie Sanders served as Chair, Brock MacDonald as Secretary

1. The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of May 2004 were approved
(moved by Barbara Rose, seconded by Christina Halliday).

2 .Jane Milton presented the Treasurer's Report, which was approved (moved by
Christina Halliday, seconded by Stan Straw).

The impact on our budget of subsidies for graduate students attending the conference was discussed at length. Jane Milton noted that as many as 8 grad students might apply for subsidy this year, and stated that the Association's bank balance is relatively low at present because of the number of subsidies to grad students in recent years. Susan Drain pointed out that the balance varies from year to year, and that it is higher in years during which our conference has strong support from the hosting institution. Christina Halliday proposed that we consider raising our membership dues to ensure sufficient funds for both conference startup and grad student support. Geoff Cragg asked about our membership numbers; Russ Hunt said that there were roughly 150 people on the CASLL list, and Jane Milton said that only 30 members were currently paid up (though she anticipated more before the end of the conference). Geoff then proposed that we add our membership fee to the conference charge as well as raising it. Nan Johnson supported this idea, observing that our fees are very modest. Leslie Sanders recalled that at last year's AGM the Treasurer was given discretion regarding the amounts to be disbursed to grad students, whose expenses vary considerably depending on how far they travel to the conference.

Nan Johnson then moved that we set a maximum of $2500 to be used at the Treasurer's discretion to subsidize grad student presenters; Susan Drain seconded. Discussion: Stan Straw thought that it might be awkward to lock us into a specific figure like this, noting that the conference must make enough to repay its startup money as well as cover this $2500. Russ Hunt pointed out that our membership and conference fees are both low, but the rest of our conference cost (accommodation and food) is high, and that we need to keep this in mind re: grad students.

Stan Straw then moved that we set our fees at $40 for fully-employed members, $15 for students and under-employed members, effective next year; Russ Hunt seconded. Discussion: Christina Halliday asked whether we should raise the fees even more than this. Roger Graves asked what members receive for paying their dues, apart from the online journal and the listserve. Christina observed that $40 per year is a modest cost for the online benefits and eligibility to attend our conference. Brock MacDonald noted that people join similar organizations, such as CATTW, primarily to attend the conference. Russ Hunt agreed and said that CASLL's online presence is essentially for the purpose of outreach. Stan Straw argued against raising the fees any higher than the levels proposed in the motion, in order to maintain our organization's emphasis on inclusion.

Rick Coe called the questions. Both motions--the $2500 for grad student presenters to be disbursed at the Treasurer's discretion, and the increased membership fees effective next year--carried.

3. Election of CASLL officers:

Leslie Sanders noted that we have a problem in this area, because we have been sloppy in recent years in ensuring that the Board has its required seven members. Jane Milton said she was sure she was currently on the Board. Brock MacDonald said that he wasn't sure, but thought that his term might in fact be over. Karen Smith, Wendy Kraglund-Gauthier, and Julie-Ann Stodolny volunteered to serve on the Board if in fact there are vacancies. Susan Drain said that we need someone to be responsible for finding out who is still on the Board and whose term is actually up. Stan Straw mentioned the need to stagger Board membership, so that we don't need a new slate all at once. Russ Hunt said that there had been an email a while back regarding a list of the current Board members and their term dates, and that we need to find that information. Pat Sadowy asked about the time frame for resolving this issue, because Inkshed Publications would need the Board's signing authority fairly soon. Leslie Sanders suggested that the three members who volunteered for the Board be noted and held in reserve for the moment, while Russ Hunt finds out the facts. Rick Coe made this suggestion a motion; Stan Straw seconded; the motion carried.

4. Next year's conference:

Stan Straw and his colleagues from Manitoba volunteered to organize Inkshed 23. He proposed developing the conference theme based on the inksheds from this year's final morning session, the excellent wrap-up discussion facilitated by Nan Johnson. Susan Drain asked about the possibility of keeping the accommodation and food costs relatively low, perhaps by choosing a less remote or resort-like location. Stan undertook to look for the best possible rates but said he believed it important to preserve Inkshed's retreat quality. Kenna Manos wondered whether we could find a way to estimate the costs for grad student presenters ahead of the conference, and suggested that the conference committee investigate this possibility. Stan agreed. Rick Coe moved that we accept the Manitoba team's proposal; Karen Smith seconded; the motion carried.

5. Inkshed Publications report:

Stan Straw reported that Inkshed Publications has $5500 in the bank, enough to publish two new books. From eight excellent submissions, the Publications board chose the two that speak most directly to our community: Writing Centres, Writing Seminars, Writing Culture: Teaching Writing in Canadian Universities, edited by Roger and Heather Graves; and an new book by Natasha Artemeva and Aviva Freedman. Both manuscripts were expected in the early fall, and the Publications board hoped to publish them simultaneously. The board planned to use an "on demand" arrangement with the printer: copies will be printed only when orders are received, eliminating the need to store stock. The printer will provide the means for online ordering.

Stan noted that there is still a significant stock of four or five previous books in storage. The board plans to package them together and offer the package at a reduced price via our listserve and venues such as CCCC, hoping to close the books on these earlier publications and make money for new ventures.

Russ Hunt moved that the Inkshed Publications report and proposals be accepted "with enthusiasm and gratitude;" Leslie Sanders seconded; the motion carried.

6. Inkshed newsletter report:

Roger Graves called for submissions from the membership; both short reflection / reaction pieces and longer articles would be welcome. Russ asked whether Nan Johnson would contribute some reflections on the wrap-up session she conducted; she agreed to do so. Someone asked whether we have a clear idea of the Newsletter's circulation. Russ Hunt said that it is difficult to determine: a hit counter on the site would not really help because it would not indicate repeat visits. He added that sending the Newsletter out in hard copy form would let us define its circulation more precisely, but the cost factor would be prohibitive. John Bell said that getting institutional and library subscriptions could help pay for hard copy distribution. Pat Sadowy moved that the Inkshed newsletter report be accepted; Susan Drain seconded; the motion carried.

7. Before adjourning the meeting, Leslie Sanders thanked this year's conference organizers, especially Jane Milton, for making Inkshed 22 an outstanding success.