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San Jose, CA, November 3-6

2005 CAO Fall Meeting


The Conference of Administrative Officers (CAO) of the ACLS held its semiannual meeting in San Jose, CA, on November 3-6, 2005.

The meeting schedule is available here.

The opening session of the meeting on November 4 was the business meeting of the CAO, led by Susan Ball, College Art Association, chair of the CAO Executive Committee. Other members of the Executive Committee are Adam Blistein, American Philological Association; Robert Judd, American Musicological Society; Carol Martin, African Studies Association; Allan Metcalf, American Dialect Society; Carl Monk, Association of American Law Schools; and Mariana Whitmer, Society for American Music.

Other morning sessions, held at the Montgomery Theatre, included the presentations "Learned Society Investments," by Herbert Mann, chair, ACLS Investment Committee, and "Information Technology Census/Models for the Learned Societies," by Ben Ohtsu and David Rissenberg, BMM Art and Computer. BMM works with ACLS on Web- and database-related projects.

After lunch, Rona Sheramy, Association for Jewish Studies, presented a report from the Task Force on Administrative Leadership, and ACLS President Pauline Yu spoke with the CAO group.

The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to discussion of papers written by CAO members on the topic for the 2007 CAO retreat: "ACLS, the Learned Societies, and the Shaping of Humanities Scholarship: Proactive, Reactive, or Both?" This session was moderated by CAO members serving as the Steering Committee for Retreat Planning: Carl Monk, Association of American Law Schools; James Nafziger, American Society of Comparative Law; and Margaret Reynolds, Linguistic Society of America. Luncheon and the afternoon sessions took place at the Sainte Claire Hotel.

On November 5, after breakfast at the Hotel Montgomery, the group took a walking tour of downtown San Jose, seeing the San José Museum of Art, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, and other attractions. The tour ended at the Martin Luther King Library at San Jose State University for a visit to the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, where William Rhea Meredith, director of the center, described its mission and collections. The group enjoyed a demonstration by Meredith of Beethoven's early, middle, and late compositions played on fortepianos suited to the works. Two pianists among the group—David Rissenberg of BMM Art and Computer and Bob Judd of the American Musicological Society—accepted the invitation to play.

The afternoon brought a visit to the Santa Clara Mission and Santa Clara University (SCU), home of Alexander Field and the Economic History Association and the alma mater of CAO member Margaret Reynolds. George F. Giacomini, Jr., associate professor of history, Santa Clara University (Serving the Intellect, Touching the Heart: A Portrait of Santa Clara University, 1851-2001 with Gerald McKevitt, S. J. [2000]), led the SCU tour.

Two program sessions that afternoon were held in the Recital Hall at Santa Clara University: Jessica Jones Irons, executive director of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), provided an update on NHA's advocacy efforts; and Antony Dugdale, research analyst with UNITE HERE (labor organizers), presented "Society Meetings and Labor Issues."

The meeting, hosted by the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, included visits to the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Dolce Hayes Mansion, the Doubletree Hotel, the Hotel De Anza, the McEnery Convention Center, and the Fairmont San Jose. The Hilton San Jose and Towers and the San Jose Marriott were the host hotels.

A smaller group enjoyed a postmeeting bus trip along the Coastal Highway, touring the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove and taking in the sites and sounds of the Monterey peninsula.

  • The CAO on the steps of Martin Luther King Library, San José State University, November 2005

  • James A.R. Nafziger, Margaret Reynolds, and Carl Monk

  • A visit to the Center for Beethoven Studies, hosted by William Rhea Meredith

  • Post-meeting: at the Royal Chapel de Borromeo, founded 1770

  • Post-meeting: along the Pacific Coast Highway.