The organizational structure of MLA is changing, and this is confusing to some, disconcerting to others, and hasn’t yet “reached” the rest.
As a new attendee, I was told not to worry about understanding special interest groups (SIGs) and sections as they would soon be going away. However, to better understand the new structure and the current conversations going on around me, I thought it helpful to understand some of the past structure as it relates to the new one. This is what I learned at MLA ’19:
- Sections (discipline-specific groups) and SIGs (ad hoc groups) will become caucuses (fees are going away).
- There will be 50+ caucuses aligned with 7 domain hubs (professional practice areas).
- Domain hubs provide direction and vision.
- Caucuses advance domains and contribute to programs.
- The change came about after years of planning:
- The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force recommended no dues for sections to MLA Board because they were a barrier for members to join.
- The MLA Board voted for the recommendation.
- A transition task force spent the past few years figuring out how to move forward and is now rolling out the changes.
- We are now dealing with ramifications of this decision and are figuring it out.