Full Text of AAA Long-Range Plan Adopted by the AAA Executive Board on 11/20/2010

Russell Bernard sent me the full text of the AAA Long-Range Plan adopted by the AAA Executive Board on 11/20/2010. He obtained the document from Virginia Dominguez, president of the AAA. Here is the text in full:


AAA LONG-RANGE PLAN

Adopted by the AAA Executive Board on 11/20/2010



MISSION



Section 1. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance public understanding of humankind in all its aspects. This includes, but is not limited to, archaeological,
biological,
social, cultural, economic, political, historical, medical,
visual, and linguistic anthropological research. The Association also commits itself to
further the professional interests of anthropologists, including the
dissemination of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation.



Section 2. To advance the public understanding of humankind, the Association shall: Publish and promote the
publication of anthropological journals and monographs; Encourage
anthropological teaching, research, and practice; and maintain effective
liaison with related knowledge disciplines and their organizations.



Section3. To further the professional interests of anthropologists, the Association shall promote the widespread
recognition and constant improvement of professional standards in anthropology.



THE LONG-RANGE PLAN



As the largest organization representing anthropology in all its diversity, the American Anthropological Association is committed to assessing how it can best carry out its mission in changing
milieus of research, education, and employment. To honor this commitment, the
AAA Executive Board has instituted an ongoing long-range and operational
planning process.



This plan is an ongoing, evolving document that outlines twelve objectives for advancing and disseminating anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation early in the 21st century. Consistent
with the vision outlined below, the Executive Board annually revises and
reassesses these objectives to determine how the AAA might best advance
anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation; clarify its values;
create a more effective organization; ensure that its conferences are
stimulating, well-organized, and appropriate; and develop financial resources
and communication outlets for disseminating anthropological research, pedagogy,
and practice to our membership and the broader society.



A VISION FOR THE AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION



The mission and the Long-Range Plan entail a vision of the American Anthropological Association that contains three interlocking aspects:



1. The American Anthropological Association will support the growth, advancement and application of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation through
research, publication, and dissemination within a broad range of educational
and research institutions as well as to the society at large.



2. The AAA will reinforce and promote the values associated with the acquisition of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation. This includes a commitment to the AAA Code of
Ethics and the AAA Declaration on Anthropology and Human Rights. It also includes a commitment to the
importance of diversity in the anthropological profession, both social and
intellectual.



3. The AAA will remain an organization that enables the development and dissemination of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation. It is committed to having all of the
following work toward this goal: its internal organizational structure; its
long-range planning process; its Annual
Meetings; its Section-sponsored conferences; its support for the integration of
practicing anthropology within the AAA and the discipline at large; its support for a state-of-the art
communications infrastructure; its support for departments of anthropology
within colleges, universities, and other research and teaching institutions;
and its support for anthropologists otherwise employed in those institutions,
other kinds of institutions, and other organizations. The AAA will develop and
maintain the financial resources to carry out this vision.



SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES



1. The AAA will have a publications program that disseminates the most current anthropological research, expertise, and interpretation to its members, the discipline,
and the broader society. The American Anthropologist will continue to
publish broadly across the fields, subfields, and emerging scholarly
communities that constitute anthropology today.



2. The AAA will foster the discussion and dissemination of research on social and policy issues in the society at large, and respond in a timely fashion when
opportunities present themselves to apply relevant anthropological knowledge,
expertise, and interpretation.



3. The AAA will promote quality effectiveness and equity in the teaching of anthropology and anthropological perspectives at all levels.



4. The AAA will foster the discussion and dissemination of ethical principles and ethical issues in anthropological research, teaching and practice.



5. The AAA will foster inclusion of socially minoritized people in the discipline; advocate improved understanding of diversity, sameness, and difference in society; and promote the equitable
treatment of all anthropologists.


5.1. The AAA will increase the impact and presence of socially minoritized anthropologists by supporting and fostering programs that bring more
underrepresented or less visible sectors of the wider population into the
Association and discipline. It will also
commit itself to creating and promoting awareness of the issues facing
minoritized groups both in the United
States and elsewhere.


5.2. The AAA will promote a broader understanding of social diversity in anthropological practice, research, training, and outreach. It commits itself to a broad sense of social
inclusion in its own hiring practices, intellectual work, conference programs,
and publishing program. It understands
diversity to include socially constructed categories of race, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, gender, gender expression, disability, class, language,
nationality, national origin, citizenship, caste, descent group, and religion.



6. The AAA will strengthen internal working relationships among its Sections and Committees and the Association Office by effectively communicating its organizational structure, its Long-Range Plan,
and its financial and programmatic activities.



7. The AAA will organize the Annual Meeting to meet the following objectives:


1. To provide the broadest possible access to the Annual Meeting to all member constituencies, and to increase participation in the Meeting by students and
professionals in community colleges, undergraduate and graduate students in
general, anthropologists with Master's degrees (whether or not in doctoral
programs), anthropologists employed
outside of academia, and anthropologists normally living and working outside
the United States.


2. To serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas; the dissemination of research, expertise, and interpretation within and across sub-disciplines, emerging
scholarly communities, and thematic networks; and discussion and debate on key
topical and theoretical issues.


3. To provide a venue for informal networking and interaction both within and across sections and interest groups, for all members at all stages of their careers.


4. To promote the professional development of its members.


5. To disseminate information and ideas about the teaching of Anthropology.


6. To engage the media and other publics in order to demonstrate both the general relevance of Anthropology to the understanding of the human condition and to
promote the relevance of anthropological research and perspectives on specific,
contemporary ethical, social, cultural and policy issues.



8. The AAA will improve and maintain support for the professional development of practicing anthropologists in all sub-fields and better integrate them into the
Association.



9. The AAA will support and work with anthropology departments and programs to develop resources to assist them to meet their objectives.



10. The AAA will expand collegial and organizational collaboration across international and disciplinary boundaries.



11. The AAA will respond to needs for anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation in the wider society by identifying and using effective
mechanisms for making such resources available through print, broadcast, online
and other media.



12. The AAA will develop and periodically revise its long-term financial plans and goals, including but not limited to its investment policy, its targets for annual fundraising, and the growth and size
of the endowment. Financial goals and funding decisions will be based upon
articulated objectives and priorities of the Association, the size and
diversity of our membership, and costs to members and others consumers of AAA's
services.





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Comment by Jacob Lee on December 4, 2010 at 11:30am
Thank you John. A substantive and fresh take on the situation.
Comment by John McCreery on December 4, 2010 at 5:12am
FYI, I have posted the following message on the AAA blog and am cross-posting it to several of my favorite haunts on the Net.

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Section 1. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance public understanding of humankind in all its aspects. This includes, but is not limited to, archaeological,
biological, social, cultural, economic, political, historical, medical, visual, and linguistic anthropological research. The Association also commits itself to further the professional interests of anthropologists, including the dissemination of anthropological knowledge, expertise, and interpretation.

While much of the debate over the removal of "science" from the AAA's description of anthropology has followed the familiar lines of the science versus humanity or science versus po-mo debates, I have been looking from this issue from another perspective, that of an anthropologist who has made a career in advertising, been active in the Democratic Party, and learned in both contexts the weakness of what I will call laundry-list communication. The second sentence of Section 1 is a classic example, a perfect illustration of what happens when committees attempt to satisfy a jumble of competing constituencies and lack the imagination to come up with a single, compelling message. The default is the laundry list. It includes something for everyone important enough to be seen as requiring conciliation. It satisfies no one. More important for PR purposes, it has zero or negative impact on anyone who is not already on board one of the wagons being circled.

When I think of what got me into anthropology, it was a simple compelling message. This was the one academic discipline that proudly claimed to be not one or the other but both a science and a humanity, a uniquely liminal position from which humanity as a whole might be understood. There were also practical benefits. I could apply for grants from both NSF and NIH and also the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Add the appeal of exotic adventures in alien places. The image was irresistible.

When I look at this statement I see a only a laundry list in which "public understanding of humanity in all its aspects" has all the appeal of a dead fish left too long before it is cooked. The omniscience it claims is ridiculous. There is no unique perspective to add particular interest. And were I in charge of funding or curriculum I would place my bets on people with a clearer sense of what they are trying to do. Looks like a disaster to me.
Comment by Jacob Lee on December 3, 2010 at 11:20pm

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