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Update from SLA President, Bonnie Urciuoli

The AAA announcement for the spring balloting is now open.  I write to remind everyone of the importance of voting.  In addition to the AAA ballots (including AAA president-elect), the positions of particular concern for SLA membership are the SLA president-elect, the Linguistic Seat on the Executive Board, and the Linguistic Seat on the Nominations Committee. 

In addition, you will see an amendment to the by-laws, which reads as follows:

  1. The terms of office for members-at-large shall be three years, commencing at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

At the November 2016 SLA executive committee meeting, the committee members voted to add this language to Article VII (which sets out the composition of the SLA executive committee) specifying the term for members-at-large as three years.  Thus, this amendment would be added to Article VII.  (

Our rationale is as follows.  SLA by-law article VI #5 specifies the term for elected officers (president, secretary-treasurer, president-elect) as two years.  Article VII items 1-4 specify that the executive committee consists of the elected officers and two elected members at large, and lays out what the executive committee does.  But nowhere in this article (or elsewhere in the bylaws) is a term specified for the two members-at-large.  SLA has up to now treated the two-year term as customary for members as well as officers.  But since SLA has undertaken the development of a spring conference, the executive committee believes it would be productive to elect each member to a three year term, in order to provide the board with greater continuity, depth of experience, and institutional memory for such undertakings.  The new bylaw language would go into effect at the close of the 2017 meetings.

Many thanks for your attention and continued support.