Executive Director Search

On 24 February Rosemary Feal announced that she plans to step down as executive director of the MLA in summer 2017. The association’s Executive Council has appointed a search committee and retained a search firm to find her successor.

Search Committee

The Executive Council aimed to form a search committee of a workable size that would represent MLA members’ diverse fields and forms of employment. We are pleased to announce that the nine-person committee is composed of scholars from departments of English, French, and Spanish and Portuguese. It has a graduate student, a non-tenure-track faculty member, a museum educator trained in literature, as well as tenured faculty members from Research I universities. In addition, it includes former department chairs, deans from two public regional universities, a former executive director of a learned society, and professors of performance studies, African American studies, and philosophy and law.

The members of the search committee are

K. Anthony Appiah, chair
professor of philosophy and law, New York University
MLA president
Linda Downs
former executive director and chief executive officer, College Art Association
Lenora Hanson
graduate student, Department of English, University of Wisconsin, Madison
MLA Executive Council
Lanisa Kitchiner
director of education and scholarly initiatives, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
former member of the MLA Executive Council
Paula Krebs
dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Bridgewater State University
MLA Executive Council
Maria Maisto
adjunct faculty member, English, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland; president, New Faculty Majority and executive director, the NFM Foundation
member, MLA Committee on Academic Freedom and Professional Rights and Responsibilities
Jill Robbins
dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, University of California, Merced; former chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Texas, Austin
MLA member
Tracy Sharpley-Whiting
Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Vanderbilt University; professor of African American and Diaspora Studies (AADS) and French; director, AADS and Research Center
MLA Executive Council
Diana Taylor
university professor, New York University; professor of Spanish and Portuguese; professor of performance studies, NYU Tisch School of the Arts; director, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics
MLA first vice president

Next Steps

Initial phases of the search have begun. The search firm of Isaacson, Miller, chosen for its experience in recruiting leaders in higher education, foundations, scholarly societies, and nonprofit associations, is collaborating with the search committee to develop a position profile, which will be made available on the MLA Web site. Members are invited to submit nominations or applications directly to Isaacson, Miller on the Web site dedicated to the search: www.imsearch.com/5808.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, president, for the Executive Council