2004 minutes, Chicago


Minutes of the Annual Business MeetingWednesday, November 10th, 2004
Chicago, IL, Palmer House Hilton

  1. Call to Order-the meeting was called to order at 4PM with Gordon Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh), presiding and Ryan Galloway (Augustana College) serving as Recording Secretary.
  2. David Hingstman (University of Iowa) was appointed as parliamentarian.
  3. The minutes of the 2003 Business Meeting were APPROVED without objection.
  4. Reports of the Officers and National Council Members
    1. President
      1. Gordon Mitchell announced that Jerry Sanders' project of getting AFA archives established is moving forward. He is looking to enlist assistance in future directions of the archives. The archives are established at the University of Utah. The archives also hold material of NCA and other scholarly organizations. There is an oral history of almost all tapes. Jim Pratt has worked closely in getting the records of the AFA in the archives. He asked for suggestions about the role of the NDT in the archives, and is looking to contact programs of universities that would merit inclusion in the archives.
      2. Patricia Riley of the University of Southern California announced that a call for papers was going out next week for Alta, and would be posted on the AFA website. She identified that Alta will start on the afternoon of August 4th and end the morning of August 7th. Features will include Sally Jackson on argument from expertise, and Tom Goodnight will be putting together a special program.
      3. Kevin J. Minch of Truman State University announced that interviews for international discussion and debate would go on at the convention for students who will go on the British Tour and the Japanese Tour. He encouraged people to apply, and said that next year IDEA would be sending students to Eastern Europe. He further state to check Allan Louden's website for more information.
      4. Gordon Mitchell then summarized the AFA panels at NCA. He announced that AFA had a bumper crop of panels at NCA, with 24 panels submitted, and encouraged further submissions for next year, noting that the submission rate affects the number of slots allotted to the organization at NCA. Mitchell further noted that attendance at panels was an important criterion for the number of slots that would be allocated to the AFA in future conventions, and thus encouraged members to attend AFA panels.
      5. Mitchell then announced a project to create a new journal. The journal would not overlap with Argumentation & Advocacy, but be designed for: 1) the research of undergraduates and coaches related to tournament competition, and 2) transcripts of public events, public debates and performances. The journal would be an online, peer reviewed journal, and the AFA was in the process of creating an editorial board. The online nature of the journal was noted to overcome the financial and printing obstacles of a print journal. Mitchell conducted a straw poll for the name of the journal, with the choices being: 1) Journal of Public Argument; or 2) Journal of Public Controversy. The straw poll indicated overwhelming support for option 1.
    2. Vice President
      Carol Winkler of Georgia State University announced a call for papers for next year's conference. Winkler indicated that more papers submitted will create more panel slots for the AFA. The goal was to strengthen the health of the argumentation discipline.
    3. Vice President for High School Affairs
      1. Alan Coverstone, Dean of students at Montgomery Bell Academy, announced a fact-finding mission to support partnerships between the AFA and the high school community. Coverstone expressed concern about participation and looked for innovative ways to keep people involved.
      2. Coverstone indicated that professional affiliations need to be improved. Coverstone argued for a need for scholarship regarding two aspects: 1) high schools that lack argumentation classes, and 2) the notion that forensics are perceived as merely extra-curricular.
      3. Coverstone indicated that AFA has unique benefits for the high school debate community and that the high school community is willing to work with the AFA to bolster both organizations.
    4. Executive Secretary
      1. Jim Pratt of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls announced that an American Debate Association meeting would follow the AFA meeting, and that a reception would be held in the Crystal Room from 7-10pm this evening.
      2. Pratt announced that he had received the past proceedings of Alta conferences from NCA. Pratt announced that these would be catalogued and advertised for sale, indicating that they should be available after Christmas.
      3. The financial report indicated good news, with a positive balance of $13,000. An increase in dues had gone into effect this year, and fifty percent of dues are represented in the current report. He further indicated that next year the organization would see the entire effect of the dues increase.
      4. Pratt further identified a continued decrease in membership in the organization in all categories, but less of a decrease than last year. Some of this effect was attributed to increased dues.
      5. Pratt identified a need to increase membership efforts, particularly the retention of existing members. There are 707 active memberships and 742 active individuals.
      6. Pratt identified increased income through an agreement signed with EBSCO host for exclusive distribution of publications, netting $10,000 a year in royalties.
      7. Pratt identified interest in savings increased as well, with $1000 anticipated.
      8. Pratt identified a decrease in ballot sales, with the biggest customers being high schools and colleges that host high schools. The biggest sellers were Lincoln Douglas and parliamentary ballots. The Form W also served an important source of income, but lower than previously.
      9. The organization paid for only three issues of the journal this year, with the average issue cost of $4900, whereas the budgeted amount was $5500.
      10. The financial picture was identified as good, and copies of the report are available.
    5. Immediate past president
      1. David Hingstman of the University of Iowa thanked committee appointments, and thanked Karla Leeper for being a mentor and therapist.
      2. Hingstman further thanked Jim Pratt and Jim Klumpp for a fantastic job on AFA website. He identified that the survival of organization has a lot to do with Klumpp's efforts. Hingstman wanted to continue the program of recognizing forensics directors who have made long term contributions. Hingstman identified the organization's desire to honor Al Johnson, but problems with family prevented Johnson from coming.
      3. Clark Olson of Arizona State University identified that Eddie Myers, who recently passed away would be honored at 3PM Friday afternoon.
      4. Hingstman announced that the organization would look for other directors who deserve this kind of honor.
      5. Hingstman expressed excitement about Mitchell's proposal for an online journal.
      6. He identified the long-term priority of the organization was to encourage tenure track professors of forensics to get tenure, and that the Alta conference is a venue to discuss those issues. Hingstman fully endorsed Mitchell's effort in this direction.
      7. Hingstman encouraged people to purchase life memberships and pushed for members to come to the meeting of the Argumentation & Forensics division, cosponsors of Alta. Hingstman also encouraged members to come to the Alta conference.
  5. Standing Committee Reports
    1. Educational Practices Committee
      1. Gordon Stables of the University of Southern California sought input on revisions to the AFA code regarding the degree-seeking element of the eligibility requirement.
      2. Stables announced an initiative to make the a place for potential code of ethics and eligibility violations.
      3. Stables also announced an effort to establish an NIET representative. He was looking for an advisory member before formal appointment.
      4. Stables identified efforts to increase coordination and participation in the West with the announcement of a White Paper on Debate in the West and how programs have been able to increase participation nationwide. Stables announced that a web-based calendar had been discussed.
      5. No further action items were identified at this time.
    2. Finance Committee
      Kathleen Edelmyer announced that Kevin Minch has volunteered a marketing class to do a project for a brochure for the organization. The class would work with the organization by conducting interviews and creating focus groups for the organization.
    3. Professional Development & Practices Committee
      Clark Olsen of Arizona State University announced that the outstanding speaker award would be given posthumously to Christopher Reeve. Olson noted that Reeve had strong convictions to the end, and that Reeve's widow would accept the award.
      Olsen announced that the distinguished service award winner was Dale Herbeck of Boston College.
    4. Publications Committee
      1. Anne Marie Todd of California State University, San Jose announced that the website was searching for a new webmaster, and that anyone with an interest in being the webmaster should contact her.
      2. Todd continued by arguing that the website should be more of a presence for the organization. The University of Maryland is still willing to host the website.
      3. Todd noted the possibility of the website publishing the back issues of the Alta conference.
      4. Todd argued that the new online journal could serve as a venue for graduate students and younger scholars to get work published, and that the new journal was important, but need not compete with or overlap with Argumentation and Advocacy. Todd argued that the online format would keep costs down for the journal.
      5. Randall Lake of the University of Southern California said that he appreciated the incredibly smooth handoff from Dale Herbeck for Argumentation & Advocacy.
      6. Lake announced that Karla Leeper was the new book review editor. Lake then thanked the members of the review board.
      7. Lake announced that Argumentation and Advocacy was trying to expand the circle of conversation of argumentation studies. Lake was encouraged by the number of manuscripts and breadth of interest in the journal. Lake argued that these trends bode well for the health of argumentation scholarship
      8. Lake announced that there will be 2 special issues forthcoming. The first would be non-Western approaches to argumentation edited by Steve Combs. The second would focus on televised debates in the last election cycle and be guest edited by Kathryn Olson. The deadline for submission is March 1st of 2005.
      9. Lake further noted that everyone has a stake in this journal, and wanted to encourage scholars to submit their best work for the journal. Lake was positive about the trajectory for the journal. Lake encouraged those planning to submit to Alta to also submit to Argumentation & Advocacy.
    5. Research Committee
      1. Dave Cheshier of Georgia State University announced the research award prizes. The AFA dissertation award was won by Doyle Srader.
      2. Cheshier announced that the AFA Daniel Rohrer Research Award was given to Benoit, Hansen, and Verser for their article on the meta-analysis of US Presidential Debates.
      3. Cheshier raised the question of how the association can recognize academic achievement. One option was potentially allocating forums in Argumentation & Advocacy that would honor legal scholars.
      4. Cheshier noted a continuing problem in the publication of research awards. Cheshier encouraged members to put out the word on the various awards.
      5. Cheshier argued that many dissertation directors have too narrow a conception of what argumentation is, and needed to think of work in broader ways.
      6. Cheshier further argued for a move to a practice of automatic nomination of research award-anything in journals related to work could be put together in a pool of material. Cheshier noted some concern about drawing the line and working through the logistics of the proposed new system.
    6. Chartered Committee Reports
      1. NIET Committee
        1. Cindy Carver of Concordia College congratulated Matt Taylor on hosting the NIET tournament. The NIET honored Dan Smith with the distinguished service award.
        2. Carver then noted the creation of a new scholarship award: for new coaches in their first five years in individual events.
        3. Due to the dual issue of size and quality of NIET, Carver proposed to create a new position for two-year college representatives. The motion was seconded. The vote for the new position passed unanimously. This would then be sent out to a mail ballot for approval.
      2. NDT Committee
        1. Karla Leeper of Baylor University reported on the 2004 National Debate Tournament held at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Michigan State University was announced as the winner of the tournament.
        2. The NDT gave Cate Palczewski a coaches' award and gave the George Ziegelmueller award to Will Baker, the incoming CEDA President.
        3. Leeper announced the appointment of a new director of the NDT, John Fritch of the University of Northern Iowa.
        4. Leeper announced a meeting of the NDT committee would take place the day before the Wake Forest University tournament regarding redistricting and qualifications for the NDT.
        5. Leeper also commented that College Sports Television had come to the 2004 and made a documentary on what goes on at the NDT. Their presence had generated a lot of discussion, and the NDT would talk further about whether to invite them back.
    7. Old Business--none
    8. New Business
      1. An alliance was created to link English and Communication Fields. The action item had been taken today.
      2. A motion to vote on proposal by DSR-TKA to be an affiliate organization was proposed. If the AFA national council approved this, DSR-TKA members can renew membership through the AFA. This move was argued to gives a new pool of people to become AFA members. The motion was PASSED to make DSR-TKA an affiliate member.
      3. A proposed change in by-laws came from the office of president. Jim Pratt has been editing the newsletter. The job to edit the newsletter would be given to the AFA recording secretary. This proposed change to the bylaws PASSED unanimously.
      4. The Committee on Professional Development and Support expressed concern on the decreasing number of tenure track positions for directors of debate and forensics. Brian Lain of North Texas proposed a resolution to the NCA organization expressing such concern
        1. Discussion ensued on the proposed resolution with Clark Olsen commented on how the shrinking number of tenure track positions for directors of debate and forensics undermined the educational benefits of NCA as a whole.
        2. Jim Klumpp argued that the motion of expressing our desire to NCA on this issue would not be nearly as effective as laying out the case as to why this is important to forensics, and looked for well-developed rationale and a White Paper on this issue.
        3. Clark Olsen commented that the idea had been discussed to have session at the Alta conference on this issue, and there was no need to have a special conference on this issue.
        4. Tom Hollihan of the University of Southern California expressed concern about how this is likely read. Hollihan remarked that a document that was too narrowly written smacked of incredible self-interest. Hollihan argued that a broader statement about student-centered instructors and how they should be honored with promotion to tenure would produce a more appropriate response among Deans of Colleges and Universities.
        5. Ensuing discussion expressed support for the idea, and looked forward to voting on finished resolution down the line.
      5. The budget was approved by the Finance Committee and the organization.
    9. The meeting was adjourned, by unanimous consent, at 6PM.

Respectfully submitted, Ryan Galloway, Recording Secretary.