The Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly voted overwhelmingly Friday to endorse shifting the dates of the annual convention away from the traditional time slot in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and passed a resolution calling for the replacement of the term “illegal aliens” with “undocumented workers” (and a guarantee of in-state tuition for those fitting under the label).I have to wonder how many of the delegates who voted yes on that second resolution will actually have to teach any illegal immigrants, but that's a rant for another day. The change in the start date of the job meetings is one I can agree with, despite the tradeoffs.
I'm not sure what the columnist is writing about, "vacations," the weeks between finals and spring term registration are good for getting some research done while the students are resting and the campus politicians are away from their offices.
The MLA meeting is a must-attend event for thousands of English and foreign language professors each year — not only for the content, but also because it is the site of initial rounds of job interviews. So those on search committees or job hunting have had to cut their vacations short.
The proposed change in the convention start date to early January was overwhelmingly endorsed 138 to 9 by the assembly, with little opposition voiced, despite the fact that MLA’s executive director, Rosemary G. Feal, acknowledged that the change will inconvenience some members who teach in colleges on a quarter system, have early spring semester or winter session start dates or teach abroad, where terms often begin earlier than in the United States. The earliest that the change could go into effect, assuming it’s approved by the MLA Executive Council, would be three years from now, due to plans already in place.
The Economics job meetings also used to be immediately after Christmas, and I recall waiting for airplanes just after Christmas or just before New Years and thinking "there has to be a better way." The meetings now begin after New Years, possibly even on that "Thursday after" formula (The schedule may already be in place for three years hence, but I'm not that curious.)