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AFS Review: News

AFS to Move to Indiana University

Monday, February 9, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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This summer, AFS will move its office to the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington.

In recent years, AFS and the IU Library have partnered on a number of successful scholarly communications initiatives, including the online MLA International Bibliography, the AFS Ethnographic Thesaurus, the Open Folklore portal to folklore studies scholarship online, and the National Folklore Archives Initiative. In the past year, AFS has also been a leading participant in the planning for IU’s new Office of Scholarly Publishing, in which our field is taking a prominent place.

With an eye toward encouraging and strengthening that partnership, last year the IU College of Arts and Sciences made an offer to provide AFS (as Ohio State has done) with office, meeting, and storage space in a university building and, in addition, to give AFS staff full faculty or professional staff status and benefits, to support the salary and benefit costs of one of AFS’s three staff members, and to support a new year-round folklore graduate student assistantship devoted to AFS work.

After discussion of this offer, the Executive Board asked the staff to see whether the details of such an agreement could be worked out to its satisfaction. After successfully negotiating those details, AFS leadership is now signing documents that formalize this partnership.The agreement also ensures that, although AFS's office will be located on the IU campus, and AFS employees will also be University employees with IU benefits, AFS will retain its institutional independence and its legal, financial, and operational autonomy as an "external agency" partner of the University.

Thanks to the leadership and work of Ohio State University Center for Folklife Studies directors Amy Shuman, Dorry Noyes, Ray Cashman, and Katey Borland, and associate directors Barbara Lloyd and Cassie Patterson, AFS has had a very successful fourteen years in Columbus. The Center—which continues to be one of the leading programs in our field—has been an important partner on several productive collaborations. AFS board and staff members will maintain close professional and personal ties and shared activities with Ohio State colleagues and friends.

This new arrangement with Indiana University will provide significant personnel and organizational support that will make AFS more fully sustainable in the coming decades, as the Society continues to build its capacity to serve the field. It will also strengthen those scholarly communications partnerships mentioned above. AFS board and staff members look forward to working with IU’s Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, with other campus units, and with the Society for Ethnomusicology, also headquartered on the Indiana campus.

AFS’s services to members will remain unchanged as a result of this move and, in fact, the Society will become more capable as a result of it. AFS staff will request your patience and understanding as the office moves in stages over the summer so that the entire operation will not be shut down at the same time.

Executive director Tim Lloyd and associate director Lorraine Walsh Cashman will continue in their positions and relocate to Bloomington; administrative associate Rob Vanscoyoc will remain in Columbus, and end his tenure at AFS at the end of August. AFS will seek a new administrator in the coming months. The AFS board and senior staff extend their deepest thanks to Rob for his exemplary service to the Society.

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American Folklore SocietySister Society: SIEF
Classroom-Office Building, Indiana University, 800 East Third Street, Bloomington IN 47405 USA

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