At its meeting on 7 January in Philadelphia, the MLA Delegate Assembly voted on three regular resolutions and one emergency resolution. The assembly voted to move forward for consideration by the entire MLA membership a resolution to refrain from endorsing the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and an emergency resolution calling on the MLA to endorse the American Association of University Professors statement “Higher Education after the 2016 Election.”
The MLA Executive Council must now examine each resolution to determine if any constitutional, legal, or fiduciary issues are posed by its language. The council will then either forward the resolution(s) to the membership without modifications or with nonsubstantive modifications or determine that it is unable to forward the resolution(s) for reasons set forth in the MLA constitution.
If the council forwards one or both resolutions, all MLA members will be able to vote in 2017 after a monthlong commenting period. Resolutions must be ratified by a majority vote in which the number of those voting for ratification equals at least ten percent of the association’s membership.
MLA delegates did not approve a resolution to endorse a boycott of Israeli institutions. They voted to postpone a resolution to condemn attacks on academic freedom in Palestinian universities.
In a letter to MLA members, Rosemary G. Feal, the MLA’s executive director, expressed her appreciation for the thoughtful and engaged discussion leading up to the vote.
A longer summary of the Delegate Assembly meeting will appear in the Spring MLA Newsletter, and a complete report will be published in the May 2016 issue of PMLA.