Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting, 2005


Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Boston, MA Sheraton, Commonwealth Room

  1. Call to Order-the meeting was called to order at 4PM with Gordon Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh), presiding and Ryan Galloway (Samford University) serving as Recording Secretary.
  2. Alan Coverstone (Montgomery Bell Academy) was appointed as parliamentarian.
  3. The minutes of the 2004 Business Meeting were APPROVED without objection.
  4. Reports of the Officers and National Council Members
    1. President
      1. Gordon Mitchell announced that the AFA archivist, Gerry Sanders has been working on the archives in Utah, and we are reaching the point where the archives can be opened up.
      2. Gerry Sanders-AFA archivist. Sanders stated that he is putting together information about how to use the archives when they are officially opened. Commented that journals and minutes of the AFA would be available in the archives, and what the major committees have contributed to the AFA. Sanders said that the archives were looking for a balance between scholarship activities and competitive events, not an either/or. Sanders is working on formulating a mission statement, in order to facilitate the announcement of a formal opening. Input on the content of the archives can be sent to gsanders@1.net.
      3. Mitchell thanks Sanders for his hard work. Mentions that argumentation conference has searchable database on search premier on EBSCO. Mitchell states that the AFA is working on forming a new journal of public argument, a venue for those who wish to publish public debates and presentations in contest rounds, a niche he argues is missing.
      4. Mitchell encourages tournament directors to do an AFA public debate checkoff so that two dollars can go to a general fund that is dispersed to people who submit peer reviewed projects for public debates.
    2. Past President
      1. Dave Hingstman announces that he is happy to be involved in the project to revise and extend the Quail Roost document. Hingstman said he would call on people to give information, and come back next year with a proposal for the document. Hingstman asked those who are interested in the project to contact Clark Olsen if they are interested at clark.olsen@asu.edu
      2. Hingstman further announced an invitation to honor Al Johnson for his years of service to the forensics community, and his desire to recognize and congratulate Al.
    3. Vice President
      1. Carole Winkler announced a new initiative of the Crusade debates on the history channel, and the desire to continue to partner with the History Channel on other initiatives.
      2. Winkler announced involvement with the Bush administration to create an at risk youth initiative for programs related to family, school, and community. Winkler said that debate was the featured program at a White House conference, and asked for people to register involvement in the program.
      3. Winkler announced the Call for Papers for the AFA for next year, arguing the importance of participation to the discipline.
    4. Vice President for High School Affairs
      1. Alan Coverstone said that he was looking for links and the ability to bridge the gap between the AFA and high school organizations. Announced that the AFA is thinking of ways to expand and ease the burden on those who are doing the work in high school.
      2. Coverstone announced that in the spirit of broadening connections, that the national debate coaches' association was going to affiliate with the AFA, and promoted the mission of the organization.
    5. Executive Secretary
      1. Jim Pratt announced that the financial news was strong, and that membership is incredibly consistent.
      2. Pratt announced that 236 libraries subscribe to the journal, and that number remains consistent from year to year.
      3. Pratt stated that the AFA had signed a contract with EBSCO for electronic rights to the journal for $10,000 royalty rights.
      4. Ballots continued to be an income item.
  5. Standing Committee Reports
    1. Educational Practices Committee
      1. Bill Newnam said that a change in eligibility rules passed by a voice vote.
      2. Newnam also argued for bringing practices into the 21st century, in the way the activity has evolved over the years, especially with regard to switch-side debate, the role of digital evidence, and the role of digital technologies.
      3. Newnam mentioned putting together a new survey for information about the direction of debate in the digital age.
    2. Finance Committee
      1. Acting Chair Mike Janas recommended the projected budget and the notion of a budget reserve.
      2. Janas mentioned the need to have money in a predictable place and that the organization had quite a bit of money left over.
    3. Professional Development and Support Committee
      1. Clark Olsen gave the speaker of the year award to Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio for her highly acclaimed reports.
      2. Olsen reported that Totenberg had commented that she was thrilled to be in such august company, and was honored to received the award.
      3. Olsen reported that the Distinguished Service Award was given to past president David Hingstman.
      4. Hingstman briefly commented that he didn't deserve the award, but appreciated the support.
      5. Olsen commented on revisions to the CEDALIA document, Forensic as Communication, and the Quail Roost document, so that a formal document could be ratified by next year.
    4. Publications Committee
      1. Anne Marie Todd said that the Publications Committee was working to increase subscription and advertising as well as ways to increase our reach.
      2. Todd further said that we need to come to terms with the digital age.
    5. Research Committee
      1. David Cheshier awarded the Daniel Rohrer research award to Olsen & Goodnight's edited anthology, and quoted from a nominator that the work did a masterful job of providing classic content to a contemporary controversy.
      2. Cheshier commented on the need to publicize awards, as there were no nominations for the dissertation of the year award.
    6. Nominating Committee
      1. Gordon Mitchell opened the floor for the positions of the nominating committee, which will be published in the upcoming newsletter.
    7. NIET Committee
      1. Dr. Thompson commented that a new chair was elected to the Board of Trustees, Leah White.
      2. Announced the conference on individual events in 2007.
    8. NDT Committee
      1. Karla Leeper said the organization survived the new year with a new director, Dr. John Fritch.
      2. Leeper announced that the new chair of the Board of Trustees was Dr. George Ziegelmueller of Wayne State.
      3. Leeper stated that the NDT had finished its second year with CSTV, the documentary about the National Debate Tournament. The organization had agreed to continue the relationship with CSTV.
      4. Leeper commented that the budget is healthy, and specifically thanked Greg Rosenbaum for his generous contribution.
      5. Leeper closed by announcing an intent to study perceived competitive inequities surrounding the NDT.
  6. Old Business
    1. Mitchell announced that there was no old business.
  7. New Business
    1. Mitchell announced a proposal for a formal affiliation with the National Debate Coaches' Association. Mitchell argued it was a win-win proposition and would help the AFA by making connections to the high school committee. There was a motion for the proposal and a second. The proposal passed unanimously.
    2. Mitchell pointed out that there is a hole in the procedures of the organization, because there is no way to amend the AFA code of ethics. Mitchell argued for an amendment to the AFA code of ethics that would describe this procedure. He called for a bylaw change to the AFA code of ethics as Article Six.
    3. The text of the amendment described by Mitchell is: This code may be amended by majority vote at any General Business Meeting, provided that those members with voting privileges have been notified of the proposed text of the amendment at least 30 days prior to the date of the General Business Meeting; or without prior notice by a two-third majority of those present and voting at the General Business Meeting.
    4. A motion was made to amend the AFA code of ethics. There is a second, and it passes unanimously.
    5. Klumpp made and a motion to substitute Educational Development and Practices Committee for PRC wherever it appears. The motion was seconded, and passed unanimously.
    6. Randy Lake put in a plug for the special issue on political debates in Argumentation and Advocacy. Lake discussed plans for the future, including an issue with a focus on scientific controversy and a forum discussion related to the topic of cognitive style and argument pedagogy.
    7. Lake invited the best papers from this conference to be submitted to the journal for publication.
    8. Lake thanked Katherine & Steve Combs, Karla Leeper for twisting arms for book reviews, and all those who reviewed manuscripts. Lake concluded that the state of the journal is healthy.
    9. Gerry Sanders announced the tribute to Al Johnson, and a special memorial tribute to Austin J. Freely. Sanders noted that Freely had contributed a great deal to this association.
    10. With no new business, and no new resolutions, Gordon Mitchell announced the reception in Salon A & B in the Marriott.
  8. The meeting was adjourned, by unanimous consent, at 6PM.

Respectfully submitted, Ryan Galloway, Recording Secretary.