Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ASA Moves Annual Meeting from Chicago to Who Knows Where

This just in from ASA.  Note that the theme of this year's annual meeting is "Conflict: Multiple Dimensions and Arenas."  A change in location might make it easier for some of you to attend.

Dear Colleagues:

I know that many of you who have been following the news about stalled labor contract negotiations in Chicago are wondering about our 2011 Annual Meeting. A very protracted labor dispute between the service workers of UNITE HERE Local 1 and Chicago hotels has been taking place and there is no sign of an end. We have been concerned for some time that the uncertainty of a union agreement will adversely affect the ASA 2011 Annual Meeting.

The contracts between Chicago union hotels and UNITE HERE expired August 31, 2009. Since that time, there have been 11 bargaining sessions but contract negotiations are stalled. We have waited as long as possible to see if the contract situation would be resolved in deference to the importance of Chicago as a venue to the 2011 program. Without any resolution clearly in sight, the ASA Council voted unanimously to move the meeting from Chicago because ASA cannot guarantee that the facilities and environment necessary for our scholarly deliberations will be available.

Acting on Council 's decision which was made this past weekend, the Association has notified the host hotels in Chicago that, under these circumstances, we will not hold our meeting there this coming August. ASA will incur no major contractual costs for pulling out of Chicago in 2011.

An alternative site for the 2011 Annual Meeting has not yet been selected. ASA is exploring several possibilities with an emphasis on minimizing disruption to everyone's plans. We anticipate that arrangements for a new site (and potentially slightly different August dates) will be completed soon. The announced deadlines and planning timeline (i.e., Call for Papers submissions and the launch of the program schedule) for the 2011 are still in place.

The decision to move the meeting has not been an easy one, but there was little alternative if we were to ensure the success of the meeting for all participants. We are working with President Randall Collins and the 2011 Program Committee to ensure minimal impact on the invited program. The ASA will announce the new venue as soon as the decision has been made.

Thank you for your commitment to the Association and for your support of our 2011 Annual Meeting.


Sally T. Hillsman, PhD
Executive Officer
American Sociological Association

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