PHILADELPHIA – In the midst of a prolonged economic downturn, the Modern Language Association’s governing body took steps to ensure its own financial stability and (it hopes) that of its members at its annual meeting here Tuesday.Amazingly, even MLA members aren't that stupid.
But, as the MLA Delegate Assembly’s session stretched into its sixth hour, drawn-out debate and vote on the most controversial issue on the agenda -- a resolution condemning the University of Colorado for firing tenured professor Ward Churchill, whose research came under scrutiny after furor over controversial statements he made about the 9/11 attacks -- was elbowed out by the rules of parliamentary procedure, as the crowd of delegates in attendance dwindled to well below the 80 required to reach quorum. Lining up behind Churchill's First Amendment rights has been a major goal of the MLA's Radical Caucus, which believes that the research misconduct findings were a pretense to get rid of Churchill because of his views. But many other association members, while not necessarily comfortable with the way the university investigated him, have been reluctant to focus on the issue.
While the assembly didn't vote on Churchill, it did vote to raise its membership dues for the first time in close to two decades, and to voice support for low-paid and untenured faculty members.Take heart, Benjie!
(via commenter Orson Buggeigh at PB)
Update: Noj adds this at PB:
The meeting was five hours old by the time they got to Chutchology, so yeah, sorebuttitis was probably a factor. They considered a non-binding vote in the absence of the quorum, but they couldn't even raise a pro-Chutch consensus from the sixty-odd Iron Tushes left in the hall.Can't understand it.