As the Middle States Regional Councilor I have been asked by the AAG to provide an overview of any recent activities, challenges, events and news in our Region. Please let me know if you have anything to report, or any concerns that you would like me to raise at the forthcoming AAG Council meeting on October 17th. I would appreciate it if you could send this to me no later than October 10th.

This need not be anything formal and I will respect confidentiality if you request it. Some issues that are of particular interest to the AAG are concerns over the health of our programs, budget cuts, enrollments, new initiatives and programs, any new hiring and so forth. Also any suggestions or opinions regarding the effectiveness of the AAG, the Annual Meeting, AAG publications or the Region are most welcome.

I also encourage all members to read the forthcoming minutes of the very productive AAG Council meetings held in Tampa. Important issues regarding the future of the AAG, including changing the name to the American Association of Geographers, and of Puerto Rico joining a regional division were discussed. Some background to the latter is that PR geographers requested that they be allowed to join a region and given the strong historical bonds between our region and PR they expressed a preference for our region. At last year’s Middle States Board meeting, the Board agreed that we would welcome them joining us if the AAG was agreeable, and our membership voted to accept this. In Tampa, with the strong support of Doug Richardson and Julie Winkler, it was agreed that PR could join the AAG and affiliate with a region of their choice (subject to regional approval). PR has now made a formal request to join with the Middle States. This is extremely positive news for our region, but it will, need a constitutional amendment to formally add them to our membership. In order to do this, we need to receive a 66% affirmative vote at the business meeting to be held at the conference in York. A separate notice about the proposed constitutional amendment will be sent to all members by email, sometime next month. I urge all members to support this change.

In addition to the regular Council meetings, the AAG hosted and funded a workshop for all the various regional representatives to share their organizational expertise and experiences as a way to enhance the strength of the regions. This was a very productive meeting, which hopefully will become a regular part of all future AAG annual meetings.
Please feel free to contact me if you are not receiving the monthly online AAG Newsletter and the weekly Digest so that I can have your membership status updated.

Grant Saff, Regional Councilor

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