EC Meeting Oct 6 2016

Minutes: WCGS Executive Committee

October 6, 2016 10:30-11:30

Present: Gary Bruce, Grit Liebscher, Mat Schulze, Ann Marie Rasmussen, James Skidmore, Lori Straus

Guests: Jane Forgay, David John, Friederike Schlein

Apologies: Tim Kenyon

Policy 44

Mat Schulze summarized the changes made under Policy 44, including changes in the make-up of the executive committee and member categories.

Executive Committee

The EC consists of the following people:

  • The Director of the Centre, who will also act as chair of the Committee
    • Term of office: ex officio
  • The Associate Dean of Arts (Research) as delegate of the Dean of Arts (the Responsible Officer of the Centre as per Policy 44)
    • Term of office: ex officio
  • Chair of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
    • Term of office: ex officio
  • Diefenbaker Memorial Chair in German Literary Studies
    • Term of office: ex officio
  • Two at-large members the Executive Committee:
    • Eligibility: members of the Centre who are also Regular Faculty at the University of Waterloo as defined in Policy 76 (Faculty Appointments), and at least one of whom is normally not a member of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies
      • Term of office: two years (renewable)
    • In consultation with Centre membership, the Director nominates at-large members to serve on the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee must approve the nominations. Only the Dean of Arts may remove an at-large member of the Executive Committee.

Member Categories

  • Regular Members: members of the University of Waterloo faculty (as outlined in Policy 76)
  • Student Members: graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo or other universities
  • Research Members: non-faculty instructors at the University of Waterloo or elsewhere; postdoctoral fellows at the University of Waterloo or elsewhere; faculty members at other institutions
  • Community Members: other persons interested in the activities of the Centre.

WCGS Digital Presence

Lori Straus, the Centre’s administrative assistant, summarized a report on the status of the Centre’s digital presence. Each section outlines the purpose of the digital platform, the intended audience, the platform's content, required maintenance, and any other relevant information. Section 1 details the Centre's WCMS website. Section 2 outlines plans for a new website, tentatively called Germans of Ontario, that is based on the oral history project. Section 3 describes the Centre's social media presence. Section 4 explains the Centre's email marketing tasks.

Feedback was invited:

  • Important to have clear purpose for each social media channel. E.g., Facebook could be more for fun content.
  • Not all material currently being shared via social media directly relates to Centre’s mandate.
  • In regards to seeking extra help to populate the Centre’s social media feed:
    • Centre members could contribute more
    • If extra paid casual help is sought, the person hired must be knowledgeable in social media as a marketing strategy
    • Could ask volunteer to find “fun stuff”
      • Grad students likely have all these links
    • Important to keep asking for material
  • Is it possible to have videos that offer three minutes of highlights from the longer ones?
  • What could instructors do to help get students more engaged with the Centre?
  • Use library resources
  • Library Technology Services offers open-access scholarly journal publishing. (Full information here: The Centre could begin an open-access journal for student research.
  • Younger generation is absent from Centre’s website

It’s important to note that although the Centre may present research on language learning, it doesn’t engage in language teaching.

WCGS Book Series

Ann Marie Rasmussen presented a draft proposal for ways to disseminate relevant research.

The book series began about 10 years ago, when a working group was created to investigate the topic. It was decided that the Diefenbaker Chair of GSS would be the editor. Anne Löchte’s book was the first in the series (published in 2007).

  • Should we end the series?
    • It's a challenge in working with current press and less with resources. 
  • Can broad dissemination be achieved a different way?
    • Should rethink relationship with current press? There’s empirical research that shows that books last, websites come and go.
    • Book series can be digital and paper. Books should be printed in any medium that can be accessed. There are other possibilities.
      • E.g., German Historical Institute. Essays, updates, one annual volume a year. The volume is great advertising for that centre. Anyone can request it. It's electronic and print. Ann Marie should look more deeply into how the centre can disseminate information. We don't need to look at it as book series vs website.
      • Other examples include the Institute for German Language and the Deutsche Schiller Gesellschaft
      • Any member of the Centre could contribute to the annual volume if one were ever produced.
  • Current series very eclectic. With seven books already published, series should continue.
  • ASA conference book nearing completion. Coming out via an Austrian publishing house.
  • Should make sure Centre’s name is in each book.
  • Concern about intervals in between books. Publishers say a good series publishes twice a year. In our area of research, books will never be a bestseller.

Mat asks Ann Marie to put together a group of people interested in this idea of research dissemination. James and Mat volunteer.