Constitution of the Conference
The Constitution was drafted after discussion at the first meeting of the conference at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale on May 4, 1963. The draft was sent to the members on October 17. On October 26, it was discussed, amended, and formally approved at a business meeting held at Saint Louis University.
I. NAME. This organization will be named the "Midwest Medieval Conference."
II. MEMBERSHIP. Any person interested in the study of the Middle Ages is eligible for membership in the Midwest Medieval Conference. Membership will be established merely by registering at the annual meeting.
III. PURPOSE. The purpose of this organization will be to promote the study of the Middle Ages in the midwestern United States. It will attempt to provide a forum for reporting on the progress of significant research in medieval studies, to establish a means whereby newcomers to midwestern universities and colleges can become acquainted with their fellow medievalists, and to create an opportunity for teachers who are not primarily specialists in medieval studies to familiarize themselves with the latest trends in medieval scholarship.
IV. ACTIVITIES. The chief activity of the Conference will consist of an annual meeting devoted to making known important scholarly activities and to permitting scholars to become better acquainted with their fellow medievalists. The membership of the Conference may by two-thirds vote of those attending the annual meeting decide to undertake other activities suitable to the purposes of the organization.
V. ANNUAL MEETING. The Conference will assemble for a one day meeting during October of each year. The membership will decide upon the date of each annual meeting and will approve of the place of meeting. Members wishing to invite the Conference to their campuses may present an invitation to the President of the Conference prior to the business session of the annual meeting. The annual meeting will be arranged so as to include three general sessions devoted to papers and discussions and a business meeting.
1. Officers. The organization will have the following officers to be elected by a majority of the members attending the business meeting of the annual meeting of the Conference.
a. President. It will be the general responsibility of the president to oversee all the activities proper to the Conference. Specifically, he will take the responsibility for arranging each annual meeting, preside over the business meeting, and appoint the committees needed to conduct the business of the Conference. The President will be ex officio a member of all committees.
b. Vice-President. It will be the duty of the Vice-President to assume the responsibilities of the President whenever necessary. He will also take responsibility for encouraging potential members to become active in the Conference.
c. Secretary. The secretary will have responsibility for keeping the records of the organization. He will record the proceedings of each annual meeting, maintain a roster of the members of the Conference, and assist the President in publicizing the activities of the Conference.
2. Committees. The following committees will be constituted annually.
a. Program Committee. The program committee will consist of a chairman and two other members to be appointed by the President of the Conference. The committee will arrange the program for each annual meeting.
b. Local arrangements committee. The local arrangements committee will consist of a chairman and two other members to be appointed by the President of the Conference. This committee will assume charge of those matters pertaining to the actual conduct of the annual meeting except the program. Whenever possible the chairman of this committee will be a member of the faculty of the host institution.
c. Nominating committee. The nominating committee will consist of a chairman and two other members appointed by the President of the Conference. It will present to the members of the Conference at each annual meeting a list of nominations for President, Vice-President, and Secretary for the next year.
d. Other committees. Whenever the need arises, the President of the Conference with the approval of the Council may appoint ad hoc committees.
3. Council. A Council will be constituted as a part of the organization of the Conference. It will be composed of the officers of the Conference, the chairmen of the program, local arrangements, and nominating committees, and two members elected at each annual meeting of the Conference. The Council will act to determine matters of policy which cannot be settled expeditiously in the meetings of the entire Conference or which arise during the intervals between annual meetings.
4. Terms of Office. Terms of office for all officers, committee members, and council members will be limited to two years.
VII. DUES. There will be no dues for membership in the Conference. However, the local arrangement committee may charge a registration fee of each member attending the annual meeting to defray expenses involved in the organization of the meeting.
VIII. APPROVAL AND AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION. This constitution will go into effect after it is approved by two thirds of the members attending the business session of the annual meeting. It may be amended by two thirds vote of the members attending any subsequent meeting.
1967: Article VI, section 4 was amended to allow the secretary to serve for an indefinite number of terms. Richard "Skip" Kay of the University of Kansas served as secretary continuously from 1964 to 1985. Several other secretaries later served for more than two consecutive terms. Michael Altschul of Case Western Reserve University served from 1987 to 1990; Martin Arbagi of Wright State University served from 1991 to 1995; and Richard Ring of the University of Kansas served from 1996 to 2001.
1968: Article VI, Section 1, subsection b was probably not amended. However, it did become standard practice to include in the responsibilities of the vice-president that of being president-elect for the following year.
1971: Article VI, Section 1, subsection c was amended to expand the secretary's responsibilities to overseeing a modest treasury, out of which the conference would pay its annual CARA dues.
1986: After more than two decades of discussion, Article I was finally amended to change the name of the conference to the Midwest Medieval History Conference.
1986: Article V was amended to expand the conference to a day and a half. Friday afternoon sessions for graduate student papers were added to the conference in an attempt to recruit new scholars. The strategy worked very well.
1995: Article VI, Section 1, subsection c was amended when the position of secretary-treasurer was split into two offices.
2003: IX. ASSETS. In case of the dissolution of the Midwest Medieval History Conference, the assets remaining after payment of all legitimate obligations shall revert to the Medieval Academy of America, Cambridge, Massachusetts.