Report from the Chair

I am happy to report that 1992-93 has been CLAGS’s most productive and successful year so far. Not only did we sponsor another series of SRO presentations and panels, including last fall’s notable Kessler Lecture by Joan Nestle, but we cosponsored several additional public events, including two outstanding PEN programs on lesbian and gay literature that were among this season’s most exciting events (See separate article). And in the first full year of our fellowship program, CLAGS has been able to support innovative and significant work in lesbian and gay studies by several first-rate scholars. More than ever, these events and activities were made possible by the hard work and commitment of CLAGS’s dedicated Board of Directors. This year, in addition to its ongoing work on programs, development, fellowships, and curriculum, the Board also addressed the issue of CLAGS’s relationship to the CUNY Graduate School, an association that is emerging as unique among CUNY’s Centers. To this end, Executive Director Martin Duberman and Board members Shepherd Raimi, David Kahn, Randy Trumbach, and Gilda Zwerman met with Dean Alan Gartner to explore new structures for working within the CUNY system. In an effort to broaden its impact not only within the Graduate School, but at the other CUNY campuses, Board member Ann Pollinger Haas has been exploring channels for further engaging CUNY faculty in CLAGS’s activities. Other Board members held meetings with CUNY Graduate School administrators to find ways to better address CLAGS’s development needs. And finally, we have been working with four other Rockefeller-funded CUNY Centers to discuss opportunities for initiating collaborative projects. (See Director’s Report) With CLAGS’s emergence as an active, fully established Center at CUNY, the Board formalized its own structure and operations by creating a set of internal bylaws (drafted by Board member David Kahn) governing the selection, tenure, and responsibilities of Board members. In the process, the Board has also undergone some further reorganization. The position of Treasurer has been replaced by that of Financial Advisor, a role W. Kirk Wallace has agreed to take on. The Executive Committee has been enlarged to include the Executive Director, Board Chair, and all Committee Chairs. And the size of the Board has been expanded: five new members were added, bringing the total to 24 (see separate article). The Board also stepped up its efforts at fundraising obligations. Following the suggestions for cultivating individual donor contributions offered by two of the outstanding fundraisers in the community, Michael C.P. Ryan and Vivian Shapiro, Board Members David Kahn and Sharon Thompson reworked our publicity material to make CLAGS’s mission and goals more accessible and compelling to non-academic audiences. Several Board members, including Byrne Fane, David Kahn, and W. Kirk Wallace generously opened their homes to host fundraising parties
[7] and receptions, and have gotten their friends to do the same. The enthusiasm and energy with which the Board has approached the task of donor solicitation will be even more important in the coming year as we face the prospect of finding a replacement for CLAGS’s talented and dedicated Development consultant, Eli Zal, who will be resigning his post in April to commit himself to his new career as a psychotherapist. This is a serious concern because CLAGS’s continued success is dependent on its ability to sustain itself financially –no mean feat in a still slumping economy (See notice on page 10). We are anticipating an even more exciting and productive season in the coming year. We hope you will be there to share it with us.