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Friday, 19 September 2014

Complete mess at IASS Executive Committee meeting - Paul Cobley new President, Kristian Bankov new Secretary General

Yesterday the Executive Committee of the International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS-AIS) had its meeting to elect a new IASS board (all executive positions). The meeting took place during the 12th world congress of semiotics (Sofia, Bulgaria, September 16-20), and was attended by 50-60 Executive Committee members. I represented both Norway (along with Drude von der Fehr) and the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS), and voted on behalf of both.

Paul Cobley was elected the new IASS President. He got my support after announcing a sensible, reform-oriented electoral program. Kristian Bankov was unanimously elected new Secretary General, after Massimo Leone withdrew his candidature. Both are elected for the period 2014-2019.

Like the IASS General Assembly held the day before, the meeting of the Executive Committee was unfortunately characterised by a selective and random approach to rule-following. I was embarassed at both occasions. At the General Assembly no proper financial report was presented, for instance - and the electoral procedure was a mess, and far from transparent. At the meeting of the Executive Committee, the Committe first decided with a clear majority that after two consecutive mandates, an elected official is not eligible for any position for the next 5-year period. Then, an hour or so later, a majority of the very same Committee elected Susan Petrilli as one of five Vice-Presidents (if only for 2 years), even though she was ineligible for any position according to the decision just made by 80% of those present. In other words: The Executive Committee voted on whether or not to follow its own rules, and a clear majority voted not to follow them.

A bit later two Treasurers (plus one Vice-Treasurer) were elected, since by mistake too many names had been put forward, and the Committee did not want to choose between them.

Adding to the unprofessional mess, at both occasions, was the fact that even though English, French and Spanish are all official languages of the IASS-AIS, at several points voting took place after the members had been informed e.g. just in French. At these instances half the audience did not know what was going on.

All this is funny at best, tragic at worst. The IASS is in desperate need of some simple professionalism.

IASS General Assembly - elected Norway, NASS representative despite Pago's resistance

The International Association for Semiotic Studies (IASS-AIS) held its General Assembly - the first since 2009 - two days ago, Wednesday September 17th, during the 12th world congress of semiotics (Sofia, Bulgaria, September 16-20).

After much ado, I was elected representative for Norway (along with Drude von der Fehr) and for the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS) (along with Luis Emilio Bruni) in the IASS Executive Committee. The problems was due to the fact that the IASS Secretary General, José María Paz Pago, did not want to allow me and Drude to be nominated, despite the fact that no information whatsoever had been communicated in advance on how nominations should be made. Luckily the Assembly accepted the nominations even so. Just ahead of the meeting I had gathered a number of endorsements.

But Pago was not quite done. When the election itself took place, he read the name of the former Norwegian representative (John Ole Askedal), who was not there, instead of my name, and the President of IASS, Eero Tarasti, had to intervene by saying my name. I was appalled by Pago's attitude.

The election is for the period 2014-2019.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Reelected chair of Minding Animals Norway

At the Annual Meeting of Minding Animals Norway in Oslo on September 5th I was reelected as chair of Minding Animals Norway. Ida Knutsen was elected Webmaster, and Gunnar Kornberg member of the board.

The statutes was simultaneously changed so that board members are from now on just elected for 1-year periods, not 2-year periods.

Printed program for 12th world congress of semiotics

Here at the ongoing 12th world congress of semiotics, at New Bulgarian University, Sofia, I have received the printed program of the congress. The printed program incudes not only the session Biosemiotic ethics and my talk there "Introducing biosemiotic ethics", but furthermore the roundtable "Perspectives in biosemiotics", which is to be chaired by Timo Maran, Kalevi Kull and myself. All taking place tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

UiS profile page updated

My profile page at University of Stavanger has been updated with my current office number and phone number.

Staff meeting attended; member of work group planning personell trip abroad

Today I have attended the personell gathering/meeting at University of Stavanger's Department of social studies

I volunteered to be a member of a work group that will plan a 2-day personell seminar/gathering abroad which will take place next Spring.

4 more hours of teaching

Today I have been teaching for 4 hours (2 x 2 hours of teacher-assisted seminar) in Examen Philosophicum at University of Stavanger's Department of social studies. This completes this week's 10 hours of teaching.