AFA Newsletter Winter/Spring 2013

AFA Newsletter: A Publication of the American Forensic Association

Vol. 35, No. 2, Winter/Spring 2013


AFA Newsletter Information, p.1

Officers of American Forensics Association, p.2

2012 AFA Award Winners, p.3

In Memoriam, p. 3

AFA National Council Meeting – Minutes, p. 5-17

AFA National Business Meeting – Minutes, p. 18-22

AFA Financial Statement 2011-2012, p. 23-25

Proposed AFA Budget for 2013-2014, p. 26

2013 NCA/AFA Summer Conference on Argumentation, p. 27

The AFA Newsletter is published three times each year and is sent to all current AFA individual members. The first issue (September) contains information regarding the national meeting. The second issue (January) contains the minutes of AFA business meetings and National Council meetings from the AFA's annual convention and a supplement to the membership directory. The third issue (June) contains the tournament calendar for the following academic year. Each issue also contains news items of interest to members.

You are invited to submit material to be published in the Newsletter. You may submit news items, announcements, or articles (especially ones which are related to forensic activities). Items for the newsletter should be sent to: James W. Pratt, PO Box 256, River Falls, WI 54022, or via e-mail Closing dates for each issue of the Newsletter are September 15th, for issue #1; January 15th, for issue #2; and June 15th, for issue #3.



President – Scott Harris, University of Kansas

Vice President— Michael Janas, Samford University

Vice President for High School Affairs – Tim Mahoney, St. Mark’s School, Dallas, TX

Two-Year College Representative – Darren Elliott, Kansas City, Kansas, Community Coll.

Recording Secretary – Erika Thomas, California State Univ.- Fullerton

Executive Secretary – James W. Pratt, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Webmaster – Allan Louden, Wake Forest University

Editor, Argumentation & Advocacy – Harry Weger, University of Central Florida

Chair, NDT Committee – Tim O'Donnell, University of Mary Washington Committee

Chair, NIET Committee –Frank Thompson, University of Alabama

Nominating Committee

Chair – R Jerrod Atchison, Wake Forest U, Winston-Salem, NC

J David Cisneros, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Susan Collie, U of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI

Katherine Lavelle, U of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Sarah Stone Watt, Pepperdine U, Malibu, CA





New Editor of Argumentation & Advocacy

Harry Weger of the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida has been selected by as the next editor-in-chief of Argumentation and Advocacy. Congratulations to John Fritsch and Catharine Palczewski & John Fritch who completed their co-editorship of the journal.

Call for Submissions

Argumentation and Advocacy, the flagship publication of the American Forensic Association, invites scholarly submissions concerning any dimension of argumentation studies, contemporary or historical, including but not limited to argumentation theory, public advocacy, interpersonal argument, social influence, culture and argument, public and political argument, legal argument, forensics, and pedagogy. Studies employing any appropriate research methodology are welcome.

To facilitate a timely review process, manuscripts conforming to the guidelines for submission should be submitted via the online submission portal to:

Harry Weger, Jr., Editor

Argumentation and Advocacy

New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site, submissions should be made via the “create content/submit paper” function.

E-mail correspondence should be addressed to

Inquiries about book reviews should be sent to Mark Aakhus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, at



Distinguished Service Award


Jon Bruschke,

California State University, Fullerton


Daniel Rohrer Research Award

Leah Ceccarelli,

Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Communication at University of Washington


Ceccarelli, L. (2011). Manufactured Scientific Controversy: Science, Rhetoric and Public Debate. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 14(2), 195-228.

Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Award


Ryan McGeough,

Louisiana State University


Dissertation: “The American Counter-Monumental Tradition: Renegotiating Public Memory and the Evolution of American Sacred Space”







M. Jack Parker

Emeritus Professor, Northern Illinois University

July 14, 1931 - March 29th, 2012


James A. (Al) Johnson

Professor Emeritus, The Colorado College

July 6, 1930 - December 28, 2012


James A. Aune,

Professor and Chair, Texas A&M Univ.

August 17, 1953 - January 8, 2013




American Forensics Association National Council Meeting

November 14, 2012, 12:00 pm

Swan Hotel, Room: Teal - Second Level 

Orlando, FL


12:08 pm Meeting called to order.


Scott Harris: Education Development and Practice has asked a specific question.

It is regarding a case that involves a conflict at a regular season tournament. Students refused to shake hands at the end of the debate round; they said that they did not shake hands with black students.  There was no Director [DOF or DOD] running the tournament; instead a student ran it.  The other school attacked and yelled at the students then there was a Facebook controversy.  The coach took the students home and then the opposing school followed up with complaints against the school, that the debaters bullied the students.  The case went to the AFA’s Education Development and Practice Committee.  There was a lack of appropriate behavior on the part of all parties involved. The committee will write a report regarding the incident.


[continued]: The question is “What is the jurisdiction of the educational committee as it relates to regular season tournaments?”  The committee was unclear regarding what is their jurisdiction.  What it is that we have jurisdiction over? But, also, what is an AFA sponsored event? To what extent is the AFA supposed to be involved in administrative and ethical practices?


[continued]: They [tournaments/directors] are looking for guidance for the expectations.  Should they [AFA committees] be in the business of making enforcement mechanisms?

We were looking through the document and there appears to be some real ambiguity. [In the Code of Forensics Program and Forensics Tournament Standards for Colleges and Universities], implies that at nationals [an AFA sponsored event], there are 4 sanctions . . . there are provisions that lay out how to run a tournament, sanctions, etc.


[continued]: The fact that there was a section that it intends to be within the jurisdiction of the AFA.  In this case, it began in parliamentary debate and the incident spilled over to the Individual Events portion.


Discussion ensues:

[Question asked regarding what criteria must be met for the event to be considered an American Forensics Association-sanctioned event.]


There’s no official criteria for what makes something sanctioned by the AFA.  It was a timely issue at the Wake Forest tournament.  There are people who say we should have a different sanctioning process.


Scott Harris: But even if our guidelines are written/clarified, then what do tournament directors do with that? Where do we go?  Is that the appropriate place to go? 


Daniel Cronn-Mills: They can say we ascribe to AFA but then it is the responsibility of the Tournament Director to carry through?


The committee’s response is that we, as an organization, should offer guidance but we don’t have formal jurisdiction.


Scott Harris: How should the guidance be communicated?  What do we do with report? 


Comment: Email the tournament director.


Comment: The committee writes the response.


Comment: But part of the problem is that the tournament director is involved in the incident.


Scott Harris: Do we send them [tournament directors] to the Dean/President?  But that would be over-stepping . . .


Comment: We could send the copies of the reports/emails to the tournament participants and Director.


AFA has no formal jurisdiction, but we should provide recommendations.


We must be careful of legal liability.


Jim Dimock: Consider our motives.  Our motives have to be: “your bad behavior does not reflect on us.”


Rich Edwards: If it were a tournament, here is the guidance that we would provide. 


Comment: The organization has influence on normative practices, we should define what that is.


Question: Have requests of normative practices [of this nature] ever come from the committee before?


Comment: If we do so, we set a precedent.


Comment: The organization did not respond and take a stand, so I think it is important that there is a statement but we don’t want to jeopardize the program.  It might be important to say, there has recently been an incident, this is our guidance (according to the National organization).


Scott Harris: One issue was raised, to prevent such issues in the future: the notion of taking the issue to Facebook. The disputes raised on Facebook tend not to be professional.  One thing the want to say: taking this to Facebook is inappropriate, but I am not sure that we want that on the website.  Maybe we need a more general report. 


Daniel Cronn-Mills: Providing conversations even when we don’t have jurisdiction, helps us in the future


Jim Pratt:  Language needs to the tailored appropriately. 


Scott Harris: Have the AFA used particular legal people?


Jim Pratt: Yes, we have in the past.


Daniel Cronn-Mills: Was a petition sent to NPDA?  Anyone connected with them?


Scott Harris: I’ll look into it.


Catharine Palczewski: Was it student run because it likely makes a difference if it was student run or whether the incident occurred when the DOF was AWAL?


Comment: The DOF was on campus somewhere else.


Comment: Tournament occurred in Texas. Wiley was a school involved – they withdrew the student (the one who would not shake the hands of the students).


Scott Harris: Committee described it as a he said/she said situation.


Michael Janas: A larger concern: what value does AFA add?  We added a calendar, but those are now farmed out . . . what is AFA’s value added?  This seems to be a place where we can have value added.


A secondary concern is to include a section on how to run tournaments.


Scott Harris: Maybe we should propose an amendment?  It can be difficult to pass them.  It has to go through formal amendment processes.  Looking through the documents, it seems too guided or too ambiguous.  I think I could ask the committee [Educational Practices] to look at that, could I?


Catharine Palczewski: CEDA is an affiliate but not a charter.


Darren Elliott: There are two committees.


Michael Janas: We can make a recommendation to resolve the conflict of practices.


Daniel Cronn-Mills: Send it up for a vote.  If you do amendments to the code, I would do it at the same time.  Do it as this time; provide guidance for the codes of practices.


Scott Harris: I would ask NDT to look at educational practices; then ask the committee to make some description. 


Daniel Cronn-Mills: We may need another statement on here is where we have jurisdiction and here we do not.


Research Committee –


Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award is awarded to Dr. Leah Ceccarelli for her article in Rhetoric and Public Affairs entitled “Manufactured Scientific Controversy: Science, Rhetoric, and Public Debate.”


Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation award has been awarded to Ryan McGeough of Louisiana State University for the project entitled, “The American Counter-Monumental Tradition: Renegotiating Public Memory and the Evolution of American Sacred Space.”


There were no applications for the research grant.  We may take a late application.


We are coming up with ways to promote the grants.


Committee wants to know how to create a third award; one to recognize Argumentation research and one to recognize Forensics research, The dissertation/thesis award has been reviewed in a way that favors a dissertation dealing with forensics over the argumentation, but, right now, there is not way to recognize anything that relates to forensics but DOES not relate to argumentation. Argument work tends to have more theoretical depth, whereas forensics tends to be more practical or immediate.  This year we had many strong applications.  Some of us thought that we should give one submission the award even though it was not as strong on argumentation. We want to encourage more scholarship in the area of forensics – we are talking about an article/publication.  An argumentation and forensics research award, but more specifically forensics-oriented so as to not exclude non-argumentation, such as sn article written entirely on the subject performance – it does not meet the criteria.  [How does the new award not overlap?] It does not . . .


Discussion ensues:


Jim Pratt: I have a new suggestion.  Ask an older person to give money for establishing the award/or their students.  Create it by an endowment.


[Example of Speaker and Gavel.]

Comment: If it is a good forensics piece, it should be able to compete with other pieces in those other journals.  Someone writing in forensics pedagogy should compete.


Daniel Cronn-Mills: Is it an issue of trying to compete between the two?


Jim Pratt: It’s a problem: that we are pushing forensics research even to the margins of our own discipline.  We need to be encouraging Forensics research.


Scott Harris: The purpose of the award is to increase quality scholarship.  It seems it’s a good idea, how do we proceed?


Jim Pratt: Is it possible to endow the award?


Scott Harris: I’m happy to write to people and encourage it.  How much do we need to raise?


Comment: It’s a plaque –


Scott Harris:  Seems like it would not be that difficult.


Daniel Cronn-Mills:  Set them up separately so it does not overlap. 

We could in theory, give it to someone won both.  Hammering out the details needs to go to a committee.


Scott Harris: So the if the committee puts together a proposal, does this body have the approval?  If you want to award something next year, we can approve it via email.


[Unanimous acceptance.]


That’s the end of our report.


Publications Committee –

Catharine Palczewski: The journal is proceeding on pace.  Spring is a special issue; we will figure out a way to make a smooth transition.  Acceptance is about 11.8%.


[Question asked regarding whether the journal is almost caught up.]


Catharine Palczewski: We are almost.  We will be caught up with spring, now we need to get the transition process rolling.


Stephen Croucher: We have an applicant for editor: Dr. Harry Weger – 4 out of 6 people have voiced support, so I can officially say . . . (the others have not voiced anything).  That is our official endorsement to the National Council.  From there they need to determine it.   Our task was to look at and evaluate how the journal is doing.  We are happy with it.  Want to congratulate John and Cate.  We are happy with Harry and looking forward to working with the transition and to have an even better one.


Finance Committee –

Jim Pratt: [Referencing financial statement]


I’ll begin by talking about the journal. We published 5 issues, which means that we are back on track. We are still getting money from the subscription agencies; we just put it aside.  We’re a little over with $4600 [roughly], but it’s not that bad because we are now basically caught up.


Membership is slightly down from last year.  I think this is not a serious cause of concern, because we are about 50 lower on the institutional agencies and the ones that follow the publication.  They pay up but do not always do it in a fiscal year.  We are exactly the same in terms members at 11 – students, 260 – members paid; we have 194 life members (that is down by 2 because of deaths). We have 194 life members who do not pay anything.  Due-paying is 260; that gives us 474 [members].


Ballot income: $410.00. Catholic institutions are good to us. We have a good stockpile of ballots; we keep selling them.


Interest rate is declining (because all interest rates are declining)


We got some interest and income from that [ballots] but we don’t expect it to grow.  The big item that we depend on are the royalties from EBSCO $3500 a quarter – a guarantee.  In three quarters we have gone slightly above $3500.  It must mean that they are generating more income than expected. Royalty income is the primary source of income for us. 


Non-income items: we collect income from participating organizations (from who we collect dues)


Last year, we started passing along to the organizations the credit card fees.  There is some effect of that in these figures (because it started with NDT/NIET receipts for this year). I collect the money and then pass on 99% to the organizations.  We will be having an offset item under expenses (Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal fees) will be reduced by the off set. 


The accountant item: for our tax returns. Our tax returns require mandatory filing with the IRS.  It is really simple to do a tax return for non-profit as long as the income is under $50,000.  But as soon as you go over that mark, it is required because we incorporated the other organizations.  As a result, it is a pretty complex report, $1075 is not unreasonable.  Corporate fees are low.  They have a supportive approach to non-profit organizations.  We don’t file tax returns in Indiana. 


$3600 [Honorarium] is for us. 


Telephone is down a bit; postage is also down quite some significantly from last year, because this last year was the first one, at Scott’s suggestion, we sent the renewals out by email.  I had all of them [emails], but 5 members’ emails.  That will reduce our postage.  We used to pay money for the newsletter, but now we don’t.  Now we do that entirely by email. We now have zero cost for that.  Happily we have no legal fees, photocopying is small because we don’t photocopy.  We are sending invoices by email, too.


Secretarial fees are what I pay for students to do data entry.  There is also travel for me to come here. 


President’s Office:  Here we get into an interesting change: cutting out coffee break [at the conference], cut us $3,000.  We are spread out, and asked if there could be central place and they said “not really.”  When we are rolling in money again and have a place, we will re-institute it.  I took that out.  We would have paid more for the coffee breaks than the reception itself.  The cost was offset by contributions; I expect the same this year. 


Ballot Expenses is $95.  This brings our profit down to $300.  Committee requests are down to $0.


Internet fees and website maintenance: we pay for domain names and we pay fees for access to internet.  We have a directory online – a $2,000 item because I paid a guy (Metrodome website); I got him to do the directory.  I am just as pleased as can be.  It is easy for me to maintain and make changes. It costs about $25 a month.  It’s a real good deal.


There’s another set of zeros for all of those expenses of conferences – they are off years or did not occur or did not ask for money. 


We were asked for money for research awards. 


$44,000 total expenses ($5300 is the difference that includes the extra issue of the journal)


We don’t have to purchase/print new ballots.


General savings: There is a money market account where I place extra money.


Life member reserve has $20,000. We use the interest, but don’t touch the principle


McGee award: We are holding the funds in a separate account but it is not controlled by us.


NDT Board of Trustees: They asked to keep money with us and have not asked for the money for it. It’s there and in CDs.


Scott Harris:  It seems that last year the NDT might have talked about it.


Jim Pratt [continues with report]:


Brockreide Memorial: Just never took off.  That [money], too, is sitting in a separate account.


There is some loss because of deadbeat debate coaches, who order ballots but don’t pay for them.  I should write it off.


Accounts payable: we pay.


Bottom line: net worth of the organization is $77,800.


Budget was approved by today’s financial committee.  It is a slightly optimistic projection with membership. 


Larry says he will try to get more cooperation with the NDT mandate (subscribers should have at least one from the subscribing school).  If they fill it out that way, we have a non-journal membership so promote it; NDT is doing more with that.


I’m going to send out more renewal notices.  It’s not that people don’t like us but that they keep forgetting about it. 


Expenses listed there are pretty much the same.  None of the committees spent this last year, so why put it in the budget? 


We still have $2400 for NDT committee support and research awards. 


Unbudgeted: $1350.  The committee did not have requests for additional funding.  Has anyone received requests?


Catharine Palczewski: Is the $1,000 for argumentation conference the typical amount?


Jim Pratt: Yes.  ALTA proceedings from the past: produced $140 – volumes of past conferences.  NCA was handling the sales so they sent me the back issues.  The cost varies. 


Scott Harris: If you advertise them, you could get rid of them. 


Jim Pratt: Maybe we should put something on the website. 


Catharine Palczewski: It would be easy to put in a short ad for the program.


Jim Pratt: I should send these out to the subscription agencies for their libraries.  Libraries still like those. I’ll do some publicity. 


Catharine Palczewski: Most recent ALTA proceedings are also available on EBSCO. They moved from current to back issues.


Jim Pratt: Should we approve or change the budget?


Scott Harris: Second:


Motion taken to approve. Unanimous acceptance.


Scott Harris: Will next year’s budget change because of the developmental conference?  I don’t know. There will not be anything in the works?


Jim Pratt: Not at this time.


Brief discussion ensues:

Are the proceedings from IE conferences available as well? 


Those are all online. Again, an ad and proceedings may be useful. Think about whether it should be tagged on to ALTA proceedings.


Scott Harris: Part of it is, I pay my membership fees, when I’ve paid my NDT dues, although it didn’t seem reinforced.  [The NDT deadline] Did it happen yet?  Danielle Wiese is the treasurer. We’ll need to ask about that. It’s possible to lose institutionalize memberships, if not.


Professional Development Committee –

They recommended Jon Bruschke for the Distinguished Service Award.  They are pleased with revisions in the standards development.  We are not sure what they are talking about.  Is this revision already happening . . . the only one that we completed with standards and practices . . .?

Maybe saying [in a statement] that they like the changes made.  Seems to suggest that that is the appropriate committee.  I will communicate the request to them. 


Committee made a recommendation for the Argumentation & Advocacy editor: Do we know – do we act on that?


[Motion to approve editor recommendation]


Daniel Cronn-Mills: Motion moved to second


Scott Harris: Harry was recommended and then he sent in his application. Ed was the recommender of him.  He is interested and seems qualified.  All in favor, say I.


Motion taken to approve. Unanimous acceptance.


Scott Harris: We need to communicate that he is the new editor. 


Catharine Palczewski: He should meet with me and John.


Old Business/New Business –

Daniel Cronn-Mills: Have the Education practice committees collected research – in the areas that we are deficient in, [the concern is] that we are not producing good data about what forensics does well . . . The UDL’s are producing that data.  The articles are dated. Can we set-up an assessment profile?  I am no master. 


Scott Harris: We have something good to assess and new tools to do it.  Tim O’Donnell will talk about assessment to generate ideas on what we can do.  I want to make a mission to talk to people across programs to implement assessment and tools.  We need to create critical thinking tools.


Rich Edwards: It is very expensive, however. They do this in music and athletics and they spend millions.  The price is about $240,000 – it’s not cheap. They explain why we can’t just spend a few $1,000.  To do a proper study, we need money.


Scott Harris:  There is proper assessment and that which works in universities.  Students are doing it in departments.  We need to buy assessments and track students with a system.  I found Tim O’Donell’s presentation at ALTA persuasive.  I put together a panel for Saturday morning that seeks to create a larger discussion. 


Discussion ensues:

Comments: Is anything happening at the IE side?


What role should the AFA play in this?


It could be good if it could be cross-applied.


Rich Edwards: We are talking about different things here . . . if it advances academic achieving. 


Scott Harris: We are now assessing high quality students that we bring them in.  The problem is the measuring how it changes.  We already start with high critical thinking scores [in the student]; we don’t necessarily prove that we increase it. 


Rich Edwards: But the idea of academic success is possible.


Darren Elliot: Many colleges are collecting this; it may show that it’s not critical to thinking but citizenship.


Scott Harris: Trying to figure out the ways to assess us – that’s good.


Darren Elliot: If we fulfill the mission of the college, that’s good.


Scott Harris: Our panel is 9:30 on Saturday. 


Daniel Cronn-Mills: I think NFA has something going.


Scott Harris: I will reach out to you to see how we can assess.  We can create a larger project. 


Scott Harris: Fred Steinhagen. 


Rich Edwards: Ben Voth is looking at debate across the curriculum. 


Erika Thomas: Neil Butt’s dissertation collected similar data.


Darren Elliot: Our college is looking at the relation to ESL classes.


Scott Harris: People tend to look at it as a pain; but it is something good we do and should have; rather than only showing we won trophies, we have anecdotal evidence from alums.


Darren Elliot: In documents it would be great to have statements from university officials.  Why do we support it?  This is good for someone trying to start a program and to say that this is why we want it [a program].


Scott Harris: We need to be proactive and make it part of our mission.


Other issues –


Darren Elliot: How much influence do we have about the way the [NCA] program is laid out.  Can panels not overlap?


Scott Harris: I spent the last few years being a program planner – we have zero influence.  They think affiliate programs are less important.  It is a scheduling nightmare. The planners could work together, but we don’t know, we rank the programs, we can make requests, maybe we have the different planners communicate with each other, and make similar requests.  Make sure that people acting as multiple planners aren’t conflicted. 


Darren Elliot: Even business meetings are clumped together. 


Scott Harris: We can request. I think the business meeting conflicts are solvable. 


Darren Elliot: CEDA and NPDA are at the same time.


Daniel Cronn-Mills: I would recommend for affiliates, put in all the officers.


Scott Harris: It’s now on the online list.  I need to put in requests. But it was too late to add in the program.  But that needs to be done at the initial process.  That’s a way to solve it. 


Darren Elliot: They changed the number of the times that it was listed.


Daniel Cronn-Mills: Then they changed it with not multiple divisions. 


Scott Harris: Move to adjourn if there are not any other questions. 


Second. Motion taken to approve. Unanimous acceptance.


Meeting adjourned at 1:14 pm.




American Forensics Association Business Meeting

November 14, 2012, 4:00 – 7:00 pm

Swan Hotel, Room: Mockingbird 2 – First Level

Orlando, Florida


Meeting called to order at 4:08 pm by Scott Harris.


Scott Harris: Approval of Agenda: acknowledging it with its inaccuracies


Motion made, agenda is approved, and appointment of meeting’s parliamentarian approved.

Approval of last year’s minutes, motion made, meeting minutes are approved


Scott Harris: Introduction of self, new President of AFA;

Introduces the individuals who are also members of the executive committee (if they have announcements, they will make them during the introduction):


Vice President - Michael Janas, Samford University


Past President - Rich Edwards, Baylor University


Vice President for High School Affairs - Tim Mahoney, St. Mark’s School, Dallas, Texas


Two-Year College Representative -Darren Elliott, Kansas City, Kansas, Community College


Recording Secretary - Erika Thomas, California State University, Fullerton


Erika Thomas: A reminder to please send all newsletter related items to me at


Executive Secretary - James W. Pratt, University of Wisconsin-River Falls


Scott Harris: It is now time to proceed to committee reports:


EDP (Education Development and Practice) Committee - Wade Hescht, Lone Star College


Wade Hescht: One situation was brought to the committee to be resolved. The discussion brought up more questions than answers.  So we are working on a report. We are not yet sure how to respond.  We think there are issues with our documents that send out confusing messages. Are we sanctioning ALL tournaments?


Ken Young: The biggest issue is that the AFA code of practices that was revamped 4 years ago and sets expectations of the codes of ethics.  We need to look at the document and revise it.


Scott Harris: Executive council discussed the issue as well. We will ask NEIT and others to make recommendations for those changes and then ask the committee to vote on those changes.  It is not our role to administrator tournaments and to participate in micromanaging, but we are an educational organization.  Our documents, however, make this unclear because of ambiguity.  The AFA has a role to play to set standards, but we must explain how to go about those issues rather than dictate the issues.  We want to best pursue the mission in a way that doesn’t open ourselves up to liability issues.


Hescht: I will be serving as chair of the committee next year as well.


Finance Committee – Ben Voth, Southern Methodist University


Ben Voth: I am installed as the chair of the committee. We have one item to discuss.  We’ve had a decline in memberships in AFA.  We want to encourage all coaches to be members of AFA.  You are all key players to encourage others.  The second item is that we did not make a research award this year so we are willing to make payment if the committee needs the award allocation.  Forward the information to Ben or Jim. I now want to introduce Jim Pratt.


Jim Pratt:


(Passes out document) Membership totals are in the corner.  We have 194 life members.  The total number of members is 474; we’d like the number to grow.


As indicated, the income for the organization comes from royalties from EBSCO from the online use of the journal.  These royalties are the main form of income.


The non-income line items indicate that we collect dues for the memberships and pass them along.  We remit 97% of the dues compared to other organizations. Credit card amounts are there.


Some of the other lines are declining.  For example, postage and telephone charges are going down.  The charge for the online directory was one time.  It is easy to update and nice. 


Our lowest expense is $7.14. This is for maintaining our corporate status at a 5013 – all donations are tax-deductable.  We need to maintain that status in Indiana.


Our legal fees are zero. 


Presidents’ office expenses are used for the hospitality at the conventions. This year we eliminated that coffee break and goodies, which would cost $30,000 expenditure.  There was no good place to have it. 


Ballots produce a tiny amount of income for us.  Catholic league are staunch costumers and biggest supporters of our ballots.


We have $24,000 for charter committees. 


Good news regarding Argumentation & Advocacy – the average cost of the journal is below our budget.  We printed a fifth issue of the journal and we are almost on time. We budgeted for it and are catching up with it. 


In the years that we did not budget for the journal, money was placed in reserves and used to cover that cost.  We have virtually a balanced budget.


The organization’s net worth is $77,800.  


The last page of the document shows the budget for next year.  We put forward the proposed budget for next year,  $1350. 


Voth: Make a motion to accept the proposed budget.


Motion seconded and passed.


Professional Development and Support – Randy Cox


Randy Cox: We had a fun discussion.  I am chairing the committee until the end of next year.  The committee was generally pleased with practices and standards practices.  There is need to revise them because of video recording in NDT rounds being the norm now. The need to operate under the standards of conducts has continued in reports. 


(continued): We were charged with assigning the Service Award.  This year the winner is Jon Bruschke for his work with (Southern California) Urban Debate League and his software and work with on IDEA.  Previously Jon received the Lucy Keele Award, so this year’s AFA Service award will be given to Bruschke.


Publications Committee – Stephen Croucher, Marist College


Stephen Croucher: We have a new editor for Argumentation and Advocacy; Harry Weger of University of Central Florida came forward.  We did not have a quorum this morning.  Matt Gerber, Stephen Croucher, and Jeff Jarman of the publications committee voiced their support and the National Council today also supported Harry, so he will be the new editor of Argumentation & Advocacy.


John Fritch: There are 3 issues remaining. The fall issue is getting final proof corrections. We have the winter 2013 to fill and the spring issue to fill, which is a special issue on the presidential debates.  The acceptance rate was about 11% for the journal.


Rich Edwards: I want to congratulate John and Cate for their job well done.


Research Committee – Jim Dimock, Minnesota State University


Jim Dimock: Our primary mission was to award and acknowledge outstanding scholarship.  The dissertation and thesis award: We elected to give the Outstanding Dissertation/Thesis Award to Ryan McGeough of Louisiana State University. His dissertation entitled, “The American Counter-Monumental Tradition: Renegotiating Public Memory and the Evolution of American Sacred Space” was well-written. (Reading a quote form Andrew King, Ryan’s advisor) It was described as “a magazine of intellectual riches…”


(continued): For the Daniel Rohrer Memorial Outstanding Research Award, we had a number of wonderful submissions and some lively debate over the final selection.  In the end, the committee awarded to Dr. Leah Ceccarelli (Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Communication at University of Washington) for her 2011 article “Manufactured Scientific Controversy: Science, Rhetoric, and Public Debate” in Rhetoric & Public Affairs.  (Reading a quote from) Thomas Goodnight who wrote her letter of recommendation and said that the article’s “impact is surely to be long-term . . .”


(continued): The missing line item in the budget goes to our research grants.  We have zero applicants for Brockreide Award or the Archival Research Grant.  We are streamlining to get more applications. 


(continued): The committee wants to recognize a new award to recognize forensics pedagogy. 


American Forensics Association Tournament committee report:


Peter Prober: We had a blast in San Marcos, Texas.  Congratulations to Bradley University for winning the tournament.  We are really psyched to go to a Community College for the tournament for the first time in our history; it was really exciting to support their work. 


(continued): There’s some shift in the chairs on the committee and there are some charter concerns, specifically the issues of voting rights.  The vice-chair is not mentioned in the charter and that needs to be recognized.


(continued): We would like to give a thank you to Nicole Bright.


National Debate Tournament committee report:


We had another NDT. Dallas Perkins is the new chair of the committee.


Scott Harris: We do not know of any old business. Is there any new business?


Rich Edwards: The nominating committee will be meeting next year. Jarrod is the new chair; he will be reporting next year.  Give that committee names [of nominees].  If you know of people who would like to have service, forward the names to Scott Harris as well. 


Motion to adjourn meeting at 4:39 pm, motion seconded, meeting adjourned.



American Forensics Association 2011-2012 Financial Statement


Proposed AFA Budget for 2013-2014




The 18th bi-annual Alta Conference on Argumentation will be held August 1-4, 2013, at the Snowbird complex in Alta, Utah. This year’s director is Catherine H. Palczewski of University of Northern Iowa.  The conference theme is “Disturbing Argument.” The conference is co-sponsored by the National Communication Association, the American Forensics Association, and the University of Utah and attracts scholars interested in all aspects of argumentation. Papers selected from the conference program will be edited and published in a conference proceeding.  The tentative program is available at the following link:


To register for the conference, use the online registration form available on the website.  Registration is due by July 2, 2013.


Conference housing information for the Snowbird complex is located at the following link: