Council of Communication Associations
September 14, 2009
Patrice M. Buzzanell, Immediate Past President, ICA, Purdue University (Chair)
Heather Birks, Interim ED, CCA and Executive Director, BEA
JD Boyle, BEA
Betty Johnson, Executive Director, ABC; Stephen F. Austin University
Fred Blevens, Past President, AJHA
Betsy Bach, President, NCA; University of Montana
Dawn Braithwaite, First VP, NCA; University of Nebraska
Nancy Kidd, Executive Director, NCA
Sam Luna, ICA
Judy VanSlyke Turk, President, ASJMC; representative for AEJMC; Virginia Commonwealth
Linda Putnam, ICA, University of California, Santa Barbara
Guests: Ed Fink and Sabine Chai, University of Maryland
Call to Order: Chair Patrice Buzzanell called the meeting to order at approximately 9:30 am. The agenda was approved with a move of the strategic planning discussion to be positioned after elections.
Review of Minutes: The minutes of the March 2, 2009 meeting were corrected to list Stephen A. as Stephen F. Austin, to list Taylor & Francis correctly and to spell Betsy Bach’s name correctly.
Update on the NRC Doctoral Survey: Linda Putnam, Ed Fink and
The Methodology Guide was released on July 9th and the NRC anticipated a 6-week lag time between the guide and the actual data release. However, the data have not been released and currently an anticipated release date is unknown. A graduate student at University of Maryland (Sabine Chai) is standing by to crunch numbers as soon as data are available.
Linda Putnam provided overview of the history of the NRC and referred to the following handouts:
Handout 1: CCA Report, NRC Update, September 14, 2009
Handout 2: 83 Programs from 65 departments
Handout 3: NRC Sub-Field Taxonomy for Communication
Ed Fink noted that the ways in which the analyses were done is complicated and cannot be replicated exactly. Programs will be ranked in interquartile ranges rather. Actual ranks will not be provided.
P. 177 Interpretation of Sample Chart
In this exemplar, the numbered programs will be alphabetically listed with quartile ranges for each of the four areas: research activity, student support outcomes, diversity of the academic environment, and overall measure. The overall measure is not an average of the other three, but a separate assessment. For example, on p. 177, the Economics program that is “a” in the alphabet (and #1 in this Appendix) received research activity evaluation between 15-19 and received an overall measure between 10 and 14.
pp. 26-30 Table 5.4 presents a correlation matrix for all the variables in the four areas. This is useful in determining what variables were highly correlated for a given field.
In the placement of fields, Communication is considered a social science. In a comparison of which variables and dimensions are seen as the most important factors for quality graduate programs, there is considerable consistency across different disciplines.
In five disciplines, students received questionnaires and evaluated programs. Communication did not have a student questionnaire.
If the program missed one or two variables, they were given the mean average. If a program missed three or more variables, then the program was dropped. Our NRC Task Force does not think any communication programs were dropped but does not know that for certain.
Faculty members who participated were given a list of 15 schools to rank or say that they did not have enough information for an overall assessment. NRC calls this a “direct rating.”
Regressions were used on the 20 variables used to predict the overall quality (weights are regression-based weights).
If you take the three dimensions (which each have variables), faculty indicated up to 4 variables that they considered to be most important. These four were given a score of 1. The two that they listed as most important were given a score of 2. See p. 16.
Summary: They asked each program for their characteristics. Then they asked faculty which were most important. Then the NRC took the faculty ratings of the factors and called these the “direct weights.” NRC asked other faculty which programs were best on certain characteristics and their responses formed the “regression weights.”
Two weights—direct and regression—were then combined using an algorithm to determine how much NRC was going to weight the different combined weights for each field.
Then they used these combined weights to do a series of measures (random halves 500 times). Any variable that was not significant was dropped. The number of variables that were used is smaller than the original 20. Appendix F (p. 175)—for each of the three dimensions, the variables that contributed to determinations of quality programs are listed for each dimension. For example, for the “Student Support and Outcomes” dimension, the variables that contributed to quality in this dimension were: percent with full support, average cohort completing in 6 years (for humanities, the completion time is 8 years), time to degree (full and part time), placement of students, and program collects outcomes data. The NRC used Principal Components Analyses to determine which variables should drop out in the regressions.
In the standardized weights in col. 1, there isn’t much difference in average publications per faculty (table 3a on “Research Activity” dimension, p. 175, Appendix F).
What we don’t know:
· How humanities would factor in.
· Awards. We know that the NRC did get the Communication field list of awards, but how did the NRC determine which were the most prestigious awards? NRC used faculty CVs to correct the awards measure but we are unsure what this means given the methodology report document.
Heather Birks will collect information from Associations on awards that are given. These awards are all-association awards rather than division or interest group awards.
· There was some discussion and questions about how the methodology reports citations for the years 2000-2006 for publications from 1981-2006.
If a faculty member was in more than one program, the faculty member’s work could possibly be split. For the humanities, the NRC counted books (5 points) and articles (1 point). It seems that some books were included by the NRC in their statements about use of faculty CVs. The question is: if Communication is listed as a social science (which it is), are books counted? Books may only be counted if the entire field is considered in the Humanities.
NRC used the CVs to “correct”—our task force is unsure of the meaning of this phrase and how corrections will influence final reported outcomes.
During the CCA discussion, we noted that the third dimension, diversity, was not predictive of quality in the regression and direct rating results. This finding would need to be explained in reports. Members of the CCA meeting noted that on September 4, 2009, there was a commentary in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the NRC methodology report and program selection processes. There are fields that are excluded (or chose not to participate) and many of these programs and disciplines were those that most likely would have greater diversity in terms of underrepresented group members and different criteria and values for quality scholarship. For instance, many of the programs that are not represented in the upcoming NRC report emphasize public scholarship. Interdisciplinary centers where there would be diversity also have not been included. CCA believes that the NRC is moving in the right direction in terms of diversity but that there is more that can be done with regard to this dimension.
NRC results are relatively stable results because of the multiple iterations that were conducted. Because there are different random halves for the 500 rotations, one cannot replicate the NRC findings nor can one catch mistakes.
The CCA noted that there are some issues for our field that will require explanation and further investigation. These issues include:
· 13 subfields. Faculty were asked if they were active in a subfield. Programs were asked if each of these subfields were active in these programs. We can look at subfields but not individual faculty because of aggregated data. For example, the NRC report would indicate which of five programs that have rhetoric are the best, but cannot designate the five best universities to study rhetoric.
· Graduate students. Some programs admit students to doctoral programs and the students pick up a MA along the way; others admit into their MA and Ph.D. degree programs separately. Some programs fund students differently. If admitted directly to doctoral program, the program may not fund students for two years until they earn the MA. These admissions and funding differences across the field of Communication may affect how many students actually are doctoral students (C15 and other items from the survey). The CCA NRC task force will work on teasing out what is confounded.
· Humanities publications. Programs have humanists, but the humanists’ publications may not be listed. If the NRC used communication researchers’ books off of the faculty members’ CVs, then the report is fine because it would reflect the diverse nature of our field. Because it is unclear what the NRC did and whether NRC procedures would affect the relative standing of programs, the CCA Task Force will be conducting validity checks. The issue is whether a program would change in the interquartile range if books were included. At this point, it is not known if the books would matter. There are a few ideas for how validity checks might be handled.
Within the CCA discussion, a general question arose that would need to be discussed at the time the CCA issues statements about the NRC reports. The question was: What was the purpose of excluding books? The reason probably was logistical; namely, it is hard to track books—maybe the book is a scholarly book, monograph, and so on. It would be hard to calculate books. Furthermore, ISI counts only certain journals. NRC went through 60 permutations for books (e.g., going to the Library of Congress). There is no citation impact for humanists and the cost might have been too significant.
The humanities faculty in Communication typically publish articles so it’s not as though humanities would not be represented at all. It is likely that humanities will be represented.
Each discipline will have a different R2. If the R2 is robust in that it predicts the reputational measure (i.e., what counts is well explained by the variables included. Even though some programs may have more or less books, the NRC assessment may still be valid.
1. Once the NRC report and data are released, the CCA Task Force will provide descriptors of variables, types of doctoral programs, and other profiles of the field. The Task Force anticipates that these data would not be provided in aggregate data. NRC seems to be providing much of the data that the subtask force members wanted.
2. Given the discussion about the humanities parts of our field, CCA might create a vetting system to assess quality of books.
3. With regard to the original CCA Task Force members, all 10 task force members were contacted and all, but Joe Misiewicz, are able to continue. When there is some indication of when the NRC report and data will be released, these task force members will be updated again.
4. CCA intends to craft a narrative about our discipline. For instance, we can discuss aspects of small and large quality programs and can provide an overview of our field. CCA noted that we might want to issue a caveat on all documents that would function as a disclaimer for certain uses of the CCA Task Force documents. CCA materials would compliment NCA efforts. NCA has pursued and approved guidelines, not accrediation, for Communication programs.
Update on ABComS: Patrice Buzzanell and Heather Birks
Patrice Buzzanell provided an overview of the project. Heather Birks provided an update and discussed recent developments on this T&F project. T&F put this project on hold because of economic and other issues but would like to restart discussions. There have been conference calls and email exchanges among committee members. Task Force members: CCA ED (Heather Birks), CCA Chair (Patrice Buzzanell), and Mike Roloff.
CCA representatives plan to meet with T&F at NCA. Heather will follow up about meeting. Once the meeting time and date are scheduled, CCA associations will be contacted to find out if they would like to have members in attendance at this meeting. The main purpose is to determine contractual obligations and begin discussion about subfield listings.
Update on ISI: Linda Putnam
(See handout, CCA Report—September 14, 2009, ISI Sub-Committee)
Linda Putnam provided the history of CCA’s involvement with ISI. Journals that have been recently included (not listed on handout, CCA Report—September 14, 2009, ISI Sub-Committee):
· Journal of Public Relations Research
· Text & Performance Quarterly (listed in the Humanities)
· Mass Communication and Society
· Journal of Computer Mediated Communication
· Asian Journal of Communication
Linda discussed the journals that had been included recently (e.g., Management Communication Quarterly and Multilingua). Cross-listing was discussed. Cross-listing requires about about 20% representation from a field in the contributors to the journal, associate editors, or editors. Committee members have researched the nominated journals to construct arguments and determine the probability of ISI inclusion.
Journals nominated for ISI inclusion in 2009:
· Journal of International and Intercultural Communication
· Feminist Media Studies
· Journal of Interactive Advertising
· Journal of Business Communication
There was discussion of journals recommended for cross-listing, journals considered but not pursued for cross-listing, and journals under discussion for future nominations. ISI would like to see regional or international journal nominations. The committee would also like to see one of our journals on diversity included in ISI since we have none in Communication list.
The ISI/CCA Committee needs a representative from BEA. Heather suggested Bob Avery’s name. Journal that will be pursued for ISI listing in the near future:
· Journal of Radio and Audio Media
· Communication Education (waiting a year for regular publication)
· Communication, Culture, & Critique
Several ways to increase citation impacts are to expand the database index that provides abstracts of journal articles, to publish more review or state-of-the-art articles, and to publish cutting-edge special issues. When communication scholars don’t cite within our field, we hurt ourselves.
There was a question about databases that could become part of CCA strategic planning. CCA can create an education process to get our journal articles cited and develop a way for members of CCA organizations to have easier access to our journals.
Heather Birks will make sure the current listings of ISI journals, list of journals categorized by sub-fields, and list of journals not included in ISI are included on our association websites and on the CCA website. Could CCA associations work out something to enable specific association members to pay a nominal fee to obtain association publications? This idea may be difficult because different publishers have different concerns with sharing their publications.
Humanities Committee: Patrice Buzzanell
ISI asked CCA to create a humanities index. This committee investigates the scope and quality indicators for humanistic areas of our field and will find ways to help humanities journals in rhetoric to succeed in the ISI rankings.
Linda recommended that that CCA add to the charge the cross-referencing of humanities-based journals.
Elections of the CCA Chair, Vice Chair and Executive Director:
Motions to accept the following were unanimously accepted:
2010-2012 CCA Executive Director – Heather Birks
2010 CCA Chair – Patrice Buzzanell
2010 CCA Vice-Chair – Betsy Bach
Micro-grants (handout by Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz)
The different CCA association representatives discussed how their associations allocates funds for different grants.
AEJMC provides funding for the winter meetings but not for the conference. There is a small grant competition of up to $2500 for each grant. A proposal must be submitted and the funds are earmarked for junior faculty only. Up to $10,000 is awarded annually.
BEA has a faculty development grant—research and grant.
ICA has some research grants—located under awards as well as minority and divisional grants and online submissions for travel/conference grants for members of B and C countries who have had papers accepted for particular conferences.
Annenberg provides matching funds for some grants.
AJHA has funds for conference travel. A silent auction raises money and these funds are divided and dispersed among graduate students who attend.
NCA waives conference fees. NCA has a policy to waive fees for certain international scholars.
Motion: CCA endorses the concept of micro-financing and encourages member associations to investigate ways to fund micro-grants within their associations. (Report to CCA on next meeting).
To follow up on this motion, CCA is considering a twofold strategy. First, the idea of microfinancing or microgrants probably can only run through the CCA member associations. However, with CCA support, there may be large agency and/or foundation grants to support a CCA-wide micro-financing initiative. CCA might have more clout to obtain agency/foundation funding or to solicit funding from countries that want research on their particular region (e.g., China, oil countries). CCA might also act as a clearinghouse to inform other associations of what each is doing.
To pursue the microfinancing initiative and motion, the new CCAVice Chair (Betsy Bach) will work with Patrice Buzzanell and Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. This CCA task force will issue a memo to the respective Boards of member associations suggesting that they consider association microfinancing initiatives. The CCA Task Force will also pull together experts on funding to review the microfinancing proposal and pursue next steps for funding.
Further discussion on microfinancing revealed that ABC is a C6 (professional) association, but the rest of CCA member associations are designated as C3s (charitable, educational mission)
Updates of activities in the member associations
– ASJMC & AEJMC provided a handout on activities (see Appendix B)
Incoming President Maria Marron, Central Michigan University (ASJMC) and Carol Pardun, AEJMC. Jennifer McGill has been ED for 25 years.
– ICA provided conference figures for the May 2009 conference held in Chicago and noted the upcoming conference in Singapore. There are new ICA staff members: Amanda Pike (Member Services) and Emily Karsmak. ICA continues to pursue greening initiatives. ICA is not using All Academic for the awards site. ICA is testing a new platform for website and is in the process of logo re-development. ICA also want more interactivity in professional network. There is an ICA group on Facebook and Linked-In (not official sites). There also is an Amazon link for books that have been nominated and that receive awards. NCA representatives discussed the monthly teleconference series and Webinar series. NCA is hosting “Funding 101” initiatives to help with grant seeking. There is a RFP tracker that has a pretty comprehensive list of RFPs for grants (at all levels for all types of grants). NCA just released undergraduate program guidelines. The Istanbul Summer Conference was held last year and this upcoming year there will be summer workshops for projects and for teaching rhetorical criticism. NCA is starting to plan for the Centennial in 2014 in Chicago and has had a new webpage as of March 2010. The advance notice of conference events is getting good publicity (e.g., advance notice on association updates, divisional features, hotel events, roundtable for research in progress).
– BEA is using All Academic and has been working with companies for video uploads for the Festival of Media Arts. The BEA convention for the next few years will be in Las Vegas – co-located with the National Association of Broadcasters. BEA is trying to develop tracks for 17 divisions and has worked with corporations to enable faculty to work with new technologies. This is the third year for the research symposium. Members will soon be able to upload and download curriculum from a new site in development with the Poynter Institute. BEA also has the as Amazon store with an established limit on books and a time period.
– AJHA is going digital on submissions by using a Google site. This site was cheap and easy. AJHA receives about 90 submissions. The Gmail tied to Google enables submissions and reviewing. At the time of the CCA meeting, AJHA had just finished testing the Google site with great results.
– ABC has a program for online submissions that also does scheduling. There is an upcoming anniversary conference in Chicago. Updates on affiliated and regional conferences indicated that all have been successful affiliated discourse conferences—Robyn Walker and Jolanta Arntz; triennial conference held at Eastern Michigan University and in Maucau, and a Belgian university). Membership is 800 with around 25-30% international).
CCA website could include membership, countries represented, and percentage of international members for all member associations.
Continuation of Strategic Planning Discussion (March 09)
– Assisting graduate/doctoral students in the job market
– Reaching high school faculty/students to educate & recruit
– Interactive CCA web site
– Grants Database Project (in progress, reported by Patrice Buzzanell)
The meeting was adjourned by Chair Buzzanell at 2:30 pm.
The next meetings will be held in Washington DC on the following dates:
Monday, March 1, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Monday, March 7, 2011