NCRSA 2009:
UNC - Chapel Hill

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Business Meeting
October 17, 2009
Minutes (Draft)

The business meeting was called to order by Heather McDivitt, president, at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

The minutes of the business meeting of October 24, 2008 were approved.

The agenda for the meeting was adopted.

John Brooks, secretary-treasurer, reported that the Association began the year with $1034.74.  The Association brought in $130 in membership dues and spent $100 on student presentation awards to end the year with $1064.74.

P. Eddy Wilson, editor of the Association's online journal, Thinking About Religion, reported that Volume Eight had just appeared. He called upon members to submit articles for the next volume and to serve as peer reviewers. Articles should be submitted by December 20, 2009 for review.

Joseph Osei, program chair, presented the award for best student paper.  The award went to Mashal Saif of Duke University for "Genealogies and Boundaries: The Politics of Discipline Construction & Classification and The Place of Islamic Studies Within Academia."

Elections for officers were held.  In accordance with the NCRSA by-laws, Joseph Osei, vice-president, was elected president by acclamation.  Katherine Zubko of UNC-Asheville was elected vice-president and program chair. John Brooks, whose four-year term expired, will continue to serve as secretary-treasurer.

As directed at the preceding meeting, John Brooks reported on the costs and benefits of incorporating the NCRSA as a non-profit tax-exempt organization.  The main benefit would be to facilitate departmental memberships.  Several institutions have not paid in the past two because their business offices require a tax identification number. Two major steps would be involved.  First the NCRSA would file with the state to become a non-profit corporation.  Once the non-profit status was approved, the organization could file with the IRS for tax-exempt status.  Each step would cost roughly $300 in fees.  The organization would be required to file tax returns. Brooks recommended that becoming a tax-exempt organization be undertaken only if a permanent departmental home could be found for the organization.

After discussing the pros and cons, the members decided not to pursue tax-exempt status. Instead, Jim McLachlan moved "that departmental dues be abolished." The motion was seconded.  During the discussion, the consensus was that the organization could avoid tax issues by funding itself through a conference registration fee.  The motion was carried unanimously.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John I. Brooks III
North Carolina Religious Studies Association


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