As the Middle States Regional Councilor I have been asked by the AAG Council 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 at the end of this month. Some issues that are of particular interest to the Council are concerns about 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. Any issues regarding the effectiveness of our regional structure are also welcome as are suggestions for improving our interactions with members.

The Council would also welcome feedback from the membership about any of the following items: 1) The change that has occurred in the way the content of the AAG Newsletter is being delivered (now online only in the form of a weekly update). Are you happy with this change? Are you having problems receiving the Newsletter? Any suggestions about improving the Newsletter? 2) Past-President Sheppard’s column on changing the name of the AAG to the American Association of Geographers. There will be a non-binding referendum on this sent to all members soon. In the interim, Council would like any feedback on this proposal. 3) The new Long Range Planning process is under way with a goal to strengthen the AAG Regional Division network (among a number of others). Members are invited to contribute to the process. In particular we would welcome opinions on how to strengthen the AAG Regional Division network, and of identifying potential future challenges facing the AAG Regional Division system. 4) The Council is exploring the possibility of extending the AAG-funded child care subsidy to the regional meetings. One possibility is that the AAG would make a subsidy of $150 available to members to use at a licensed child-care facility while attending the regional meeting. The Council would like feedback from members’ whether you would support such a policy, and if it would provide an incentive for more members to attend regional meetings.

I would appreciate it if you could send any feedback to me as soon as possible, but no later than, 10/24. I will also be available at the meeting in Buffalo to discuss any of the above issues or anything else you want me to convey to Council. All responses need not be anything formal and I will respect confidentiality if you request it. I look forward to your response and hopefully seeing you in Buffalo. Thank you in advance for your help.

Grant Saff (

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