Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting, 2003



Wednesday, November 19, 2003


Miami Beach Wyndham Resort, Miami FL

  1. Call to Order- the meeting was called to order at 4:10 PM with David Hingstman (University of Iowa), President, presiding and Valerie Renegar (San Diego State University) serving as Recording Secretary.

  2. The agenda was distributed and APPROVED without the addition of a historian's report to precede the President's report.

  3. Vickie Fellers (Wichita High School East), the Vice President for High School Affairs, was appointed Parliamentarian.

  4. The minutes of the 2003 Business Meeting were APPROVED without objection.

  5. Reports of the Officers and National Council Members

    1. Historian- Jerry Sanders announced that the AFA archive at the University of Utah is moving forward. He will be working on the formal structuring of the archive and working in conjunction with the National Council to determine what kinds of material should be included. He asked for suggestions about what should constitute the archive and its structure and announced that the guidelines for the archive will be presented at the 2004 meeting in Chicago.

    2. President- David Hingstman announced that he sees helping forensics teams deal with the large budget cuts that are occurring across the country as one of his primary foci for the coming year. To this end he announced four projects:

      1. increasing mentorship between experienced forensics professionals and new coaches and administrators since there are many experienced people who have dealt with these kinds of budget pressures in the past. He called on these experienced people to be identified as mentors. He announced that he seeks to make the comparative data available about different teams available through more central locations, like the AFA website.

      2. We should continue to focus on professional development of tenure-track folks by encouraging research and publication. To this end, the AFA is working on hosting a Professional Development workshop that will focus on research and publication.

      3. The AFA should seek to develop stronger ties with the people that have made substantial contributions to forensics with the creation of an Honor Roll for outstanding service to the organization.

      4. Finally, he recognized the needs for the membership to give back to the AFA. He is chartering a Membership Committee to help increase membership as well as make membership more beneficial to the members.

    3. Vice President- Gordon Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh) announced that the new electronic submission process for the NCA convention enabled the creation of mini-conferences by scheduling panels with similar themes consecutively and in the same room. This will increase continuity among panels and provide more opportunity for interaction and discussion. He announced that the number of submissions for the 2003 convention exceeded the allotted slots, which could lead to n increase in slots in the future. He encouraged increased submissions by the membership to further this goal of increasing AFA visibility. The Call for Papers for the 2004 conference is out and can be accessed through the NCA website (www.natcom.org). Members should remember that they must use the online submission system. The theme for the 2004 conference is "Starting a New Century of Forensics Scholarship". He indicated that there is a dearth of material on the issues concerning the forensics activity and that this negatively impacts the historical memory of our organization. He encouraged those posting to the electronic forensics listservs to turn their ideas into papers and publications.

    4. Vice President for High School Affairs- Vickie Fellers announced that she was taking steps to help increase information about college forensics to the high school community in conjunction with the Professional Development and Support committee and mentoring programs.

    5. Executive Secretary- Jim Pratt (University of Wisconsin, River Falls) announced that the membership figures are declining in all areas. He indicated that ballot sales are down among colleges and universities, but strong among high schools. The royalties that are a result of the exclusive agreement with EBSCO host for our journal Argumentation and Advocacy will help the AFA budget situation. This year there will also be a decrease in reception costs. The newsletter remains inexpensive and benefits the organization. The Financial Statement is available on the AFA website. Also, AFA members will now be able to renew their AFA membership through the AFA website using PayPal.

    6. There were no reports from the Recording Secretary, 2-year College Representative, Immediate Past President or regional representatives.

  6. Committee Reports

    1. Standing Committees

      1. Professional Development and Support- Valerie Renegar announced that the Professional Development and Support committee is working on 4 projects in conjunction with the President's charges for the Committee. They are:

        1. Identifying mentors for young professionals. Brian Lain (University of North Texas) is heading this project.

        2. Creating an Honor Roll to recognize and express appreciation for outstanding service to the AFA. Ryan Galloway (Augustana) is heading this project.

        3. A central clearing house via the AFA website for the comparative information collected about different forensics program. Kevin Kuswa (University of Richmond) is in charge of this project.

        4. The development of a Professional Development summer workshop on research and publication to help tenure-track forensics professionals create a record of publication for tenure review.

        Valerie Renegar then called for Clark Olsen (Arizona State University) to present the 2003 Distinguished Speaker award to former attorney general Janet Reno. Jim Pratt then presented the 2003 Distinguished Service Award to Jim Klumpp (University of Maryland) for his outstanding service to the AFA and forensics community. Jim Klumpp accepted the award and expressed his appreciation for the honor. The committee awarded each of these honors after a published call for nominations.

      2. Finance Committee- Kathleen Edelmeyer indicated that the proposed budget for next year includes an increase in dues for all membership categories except Student Members. This increase will help fund the increased allotment for Argumentation and Advocacy. The Committee moved that the proposed budget be accepted by the membership and the motion CARRIED without objection. The Committee also recommended the creation of a membership committee to recruit and retain members and to increase the benefits that the organization offers to members.

      3. Publications Committee- AnneMarie Todd (California State University, San Jose) recognized Dale Herbeck (Boston college) for his outstanding tenure as the editor of Argumentation and Advocacy. Randall Lake (USC) will become the next editor. She reported that Committee discussed the lack of forensics research in the journal and suggested the creation of a "forensics space". She also recognized the need to encourage those who submit forensics material to on-line discussions to submit these ideas into essays appropriate for publication.

      4. Educational Development and Practices- Barb Pickering (University of Nebraska, Omaha) indicated that the committee has been working on revisions to the Code of the AFA. The Committee moved that the sexual harassment clause previously discussed be included in the Code and the motion CARRIED without objection. She also indicated that the committee was looking into whether or not this language demands the AFA have insurance.

        She reported that the committee has been working to amend the code to reflect community standards concerning transfer students. The Committee has also worked on amending the Code to bring its description of eligibility into line with the current practices of the NIET and NDT. The Committee Moved to accept the language changes. Kevin Baaske (California State University, Los Angeles) proposed a Substitute Motion so that the language in the Code would read "A student's eligibility for forensics competition shall expire following the participation in a maximum of 5 academic years, or a maximum or 4 academic years of AFA national tournaments." Discussion ensued, the question was called, and a majority CARRIED the motion to substitute this language for the language the Committee originally proposed. The question of the motion itself was then called and the motion CARRIED.

        The Committee has also been working to clarify the term "degree-seeking students", looking at the practice of students judging and then returning to competition, and the questions of hybrid teams in competition. The Committee is attempting to lay out norms for forensics as an educational activity. Gordon Stables (USC) will chair the committee in 2004.

        Possible amendments to the Code concerning the use of hired researchers will be available on the AFA website for discussion before the 2004 meeting.

      5. Research Committee- David Chesier (Georgia State University) presented the Daniel Rohrer Research Award to Shane Miller, Eastern Illinois University, for his article "Conspiracy Theories: Public Argument as Coded Social Critiques. A Rhetorical Analysis of the TWA Flight 800 Conspiracy Theories". He also announced that the Committee seeks to increase nominations for the various research awards and discussed the possibility for both book and essay awards.

    2. Chartered Committees

      1. National Debate Tournament- Cate Palczewski (University of Northern Iowa) announced that Northwestern won the 2003 NDT at Emory University. Catholic University will host in 2004 and Gonzaga University will host for 2005. Possibilities for the 2006 host are already being discussed. Rule changes to the NDT bylaws will be available on the AFA website.
      2. National Individual Events Tournament- Cindy Carver (Concordia College) announced that Western Kentucky won the 2003 NIET at the university of Mississippi. California State University, Long Beach will host in 2004 and Kansas State University will be the site of the 2005 NIET. She announced that the NIET awarded distinguished service awards to Kelly Roberts (University of Florida) and Craig Brown (Kansas State University). She expressed concern that the number of schools competing in the NIET is declining. The new $2,500 research grant will be awarded in January 2004.

        She then announced that Committee proposed a number of amendments to the NIET charter. A motion to consider these amendments as a whole was made and CARRIED without objection. Discussion ensued and a friendly amendment was offered to bring the changes into line with parliamentary procedure. The question was called and the motion CARRIED unanimously. The changes will be available on the AFA website.

  7. Old Business- none

  8. New Business
    1. The Nominating Committee offered a slate of candidates for the elected offices and the Nominating Committee of the AFA. Nominations for each position were opened to the floor and closed without additional candidates being added. The nominations for the elected offices and future Nominating Committee are available on the AFA website.

    2. David Hingstman congratulated the Committee on creating such an
      outstanding set of candidates for AFA leadership.

    3. Jerry Sanders recognized the Officers and Committee Members for their dedication and service to the organization.

    4. Jim Klumpp, AFA webmaster, announced that there is a PayPal virus that has nothing to do with PayPal or the AFA circulating. Instructions to delete it are available on the AFA website.

    5. The forensics reception at 7:00 in the Grand Promenade Room of the Wyndham was announced.

  9. Resolutions- The resolution "That the AFA recognize the forensics achievements and honor the life of David Bloom" PASSED unanimously.

  10. The meeting was adjourned, by unanimous consent, at 6:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Valerie Renegar, Recording Secretary.