May, 1985

Phillip Rhodes

The membership is well aware that the Society has only recently emerged from a period of intense self-examination during which all of its operations were called into review. The result was a substantial reorganization of the Society's governance structure, national office, committees, and publications as these relate to and serve the Society's sense of purpose.

Specifically regarding publications, at its meeting during February of this year, the Board adopted—by unanimous vote—a new Mission Statement for College Music Symposium. It calls for Symposium to be published at the rate of one issue per year, but provides for the publication of special and/or additional issues when the need arises.

The cost of producing College Music Symposium rose enormously between the years 1977 and 1983 which, as you will recall, was a period of extremely high inflation. In 1977, the cost of producing two issues of Symposium was $26,490.60; in 1983, the cost was $44,535.06. It became clear that Symposium was taking an inordinate amount of the Society's budget. It was also the sense of the Board that Proceedings should be taken out of Symposium and published separately. Perhaps most important, however, was the emergence of other budget priorities which could not be effectively dealt with if we were to continue publishing two issues of Symposium per year.

Thus we come to the decision recently taken by the Board— a decision which was not arrived at easily or quickly. Issues concerning the Society's publications (and Symposium in particular) have been considered and vigorously debated by the Board for more than a year. The Board's action was not intended to downplay the importance of Symposium as the CMS journal, but rather to give the Society some flexibility—within the confines of an extremely limited budget—to address other equally important issues and areas of concern. To mention a few:

  • to maintain and continue to develop the Society's summer institutes and other programs in the area of Music in General Studies;
  • to upgrade the quality and substance of our Annual Meetings;
  • to support the development, expansion, and availability of our Regional Chapters;
  • to publish the Proceedings of the Society (national and regional) separately from ymposium;
  • overall, to upgrade the quality of all the Society's publications;
  • to expand in general our services to the membership via the Newsletter, vacancy listings, label services, and faculty exchange listings;
  • to have moved the National Office to adequate quarters and the purchase of new office equipment (computer equipment and software).

I personally feel—and strongly so—that we have made the necessary and proper decisions and that the Society is on the right track. I hope the membership will agree.