March 2004

CCA minutes 
March 8, 2004
Washington, DC

Present: ACA — Don Boileau, George Mason University
AEJMC — Jan Dates, Howard University; Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, Florida International University; Jennifer McGill, Executive Director
ASJMC — John Soloski, University of Georgia; Charles Self, University of Oklahoma
BCCA — No representatives
BEA — Steven Anderson, James Madison University; Louisa Nielsen, Executive Director
ICA — Robert Craig, University of Colorado-Boulder; Jon Nussbaum, Penn State University; Linda Putnam, Texas A&M University; Michael Haley, Executive Director
NCA — Isa Engleberg, Prince Georges Community College; Judy Pearson, North Dakota State University; Sherry Morreale, Interim Director for External Affairs

The meeting was called to order at 8.40 a.m. by President Charles Self, University of Oklahoma. Attendees introduced themselves.

Jennifer McGill presented a report on the finances of CCA (Appendix I). All groups have been billed for 2004 dues. Only one group has not paid yet, BCCA. Current balance is $6,328.33. Only outstanding expenses are catering costs related to this meeting.

Steve Anderson reported that the CCA website is up and running. The council purchased the domain name for three years, and rented server space from Website Source for one year. The group discussed content for the site, which McGill said her office will load.

Morreale said that she will keep the CCA listserve going though yahoo lists. It will be used to distribute opportunities for members to work with funders or to announce job openings with relevant federal agencies. She encouraged people to keep using it so it remains active.

At the last meeting the group decided to develop a description of the discipline that can be used to describe communication to outside organizations. Some information is in hand. Self asked groups to send him mission statements or anything used to describe each association. He will combine these and bring it back at the next meeting for discussion. What he is looking for is a comprehensive definition. The individual group definitions can be listed on the CCA website too.

Morreale offered to work on creating a brochure once the group has arrived at a definition. The idea also came up to look at doing a white paper on the discipline at some future time. It would provide some context and more information. Putnam offered to send Self the digital files of the presentation that NCA made to NRC. Self will share this information back to members groups as he works on this.

The group discussed questions that might be helpful as associations consider online databases for journals. Several associations are still addressing this issue. There were also questions about the new nonprofit group starting up, ASCUS. Isa Engleberg outlined the process that NCA when through when it decided to sign with EBSCO. She said that the main question was to find the best way to serve NCA members and get as many of its journals as possible, as quickly as possible, online. NCA also did not want to lose revenue. At the same time NCA was interviewing for a publisher for its journals. NCA was able to select a publisher, and also work out a five-year contact with EBSCO to provide its back journals online. Several of the groups present are planning to attend the ASCUS meeting in May in Albany, NY. Discussion followed. The trend seems to be a move to non-exclusive contracts with various companies. Groups seem willing to continue this discussion, and think this will remain a continuing topic. Much discussion followed. Two concerns raised during the discussion were the abrupt approach of ASCUS representatives and about the quality of the online pdfs from the EBSCO site (splotchy, wavy files, which are not searchable after download). Self asked people to send him questions or concerns about the issues discussed so we can draft some type of document so groups still debating the issue will have a resource.

The group asked for a future agenda item on the mission and editorial board policies of the various associations’ top journals. The suggestion was also made to have a few of the journal editors come to the next CCA meeting and talk about what they are trying to accomplish with the journals.

Linda Putnam reported on the status of the National Research Council’s next survey which will include communication. What has happened recently is the study is delayed until July 2005 with the final report available in fall of 2007. The main reason is funding related, but the council has also fielded many questions about the process from schools. Putnam reported that Film Studies will no longer be part of communication, but will be listed as part of the Humanities survey.

One of the most important roles that CCA can play is to educate members about the survey. For example, what it will seek, and possible ways to handle it on campus. The NRC task force has conducted convention sessions at NCA and AEJMC and will be going to ICA in May. Should the committee be going to other conventions? There was discussion about having a session at BEA next month. Nielsen will follow up on this.

Discussion continued on how to educate schools about the process. The task force will be sending letters to schools very soon. The suggestion was made to write articles for association newsletters. The letters will go to department chairs and deans. Putman anticipates that the letters will go out fairly soon.
A list of the doctoral programs in the discipline has been developed. Sherry Morreale handed out a draft copy of this (Appendix II). She will send a final document to McGill for the CCA website when all the updates are complete. Morreale asked whom would/could be in charge of keeping it updated. This item will be considered at the next meeting.

The NRC task force is working to expand the number of communication journals listed in the Index of Scientific Information. It takes a year to complete this process. They have gone forward with 10 journals, and will go forward with 9 more. Someone has to nominate a journal for it to be included. The NCR study will use the ISI listings as it evaluates faculty research. The list of journals will also be placed on the CCA website. About 40 communication journals are already in ISI.

Bill Balthrop has stepped down from the task force. Jan Dates will take his place. Other members include Scott Poole, Ed Fink, Ted Glasser and Chuck Salmon.

All available documents related to the NCR process should be posted on the CCA website. Steve Anderson offered to work on creating an online database for the PhD programs list so that it could be easily updated and sorted by fields, depending on what information people were seeking. There was strong support for him to do this.
Bob Craig talked about developing a reviewers list for National Science Foundation grant proposals. One of the biggest issues for the reviewers list is how to make sure you get quality people. Another issue is how to not appear exclusive. A related issue is to develop a mechanism to get job announcements at NSF or other federal agencies to members of the associations. Much discussion followed.

The suggestion was made to have panels at conventions on how to become a reviewer, which would keep the doors open to everyone. Another idea was to develop a list of qualifications of a good reviewer to share with interested faculty. This is something else that could become part of the CCA website.
The council considered a request from Michael Slater who is asking the group to write a letter urging federal agencies to recognize the value of the communication discipline, specifically the value of a doctorate in the discipline (Appendix III). Discussion followed on whether to target specific areas like this letter does, or in a more systematic way. Several people thought the real issue was much broader than this letter indicates. Discussion was deferred until later in the meeting.

John Soloski gave a report on CCA membership policies. His committee is making two recommendations: that any organization may seek membership in CCA if it is primarily focused on higher education dealing with communication, and that all member organizations should pay the same dues regardless of the size of the organization. The committee is not recommending a specific dues level.

Discussion followed on criteria for CCA membership. Basically the group is happy with what currently exists. The committee is recommending a slight change, that the word “higher” be added in front of education.
Motion: To add the word “higher” in front of education in the membership criteria.
Moved by: Linda Putnam
Seconded by: Lillian Kopenhaver
Motion passed

Discussion followed on the CCA dues structure. This would be considered a first reading, so it would also be considered at the next meeting. The committee’s suggestion is to go to a flat dues structure rather than a tier structure, which is what we now have. Discussion on dues led to discussion on the type of groups eligible to join CCA. Issues interwoven with the dues question are criteria for membership and the amount of money the group needs to run itself. One suggestion was to look at dues based on an association’s budget. Discussion on this issue will be continued later in the meeting.
Morreale presented a short report on a Directory of Funders in Humanities and Social Sciences. An NCA committee is working on this and it will be posted on the NCA website in the future. She asked for suggestions of other groups to include. The CCA website will link to this section of the NCA site when it is activated.

The council heard from Richard Lempert, a funding program director with the social sciences division of the National Science Foundation. He provided a general overview of the foundation and its funding-related programs. There were three areas of NSF he thought might be relevant to communications researchers: Computer Information Sciences, Education, and Social/Behavior/Economics. NSF also has exploratory grants for ideas that may not be a long-term project. The normal review process takes 6 to 8 months. Deadline for letters of intent was March 1 so it has passed for this year. Discussion followed.

Lempert said in order to create a directorate in communication, you would have to create a need for such an area, which would involve having a mass of proposals that would create a demand. It is a submission-driven process. Another way to make communication more visible to NSF would be to suggest possible reviewers from the discipline. A third suggestion was to invite NSF officers to participate in panels or presentations at association conventions. It helps if the conventions are in the DC area since NSF pays its own travel. NSF does this type of outreach frequently. Groups can also meet with program officers in DC to discuss ideas. Self thanked Lempert for coming to speak to the group.

Motion: To approve minutes of the October 2003 meeting.
Moved by: John Soloksi
Seconded by: Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Motion passed unanimously

The council discussed possible dates for the next meeting. Three suggestions were Sept. 27, Oct. 4 and Oct. 11. Later in October was also an option. These dates will be shared with the groups later in the summer to see which dates would be the best for the most people.

The next item of business was the election of a president for the coming year.

Motion: To nominate Charles Self as president for another year.
Moved by: Bob Craig
Seconded by: Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver
Motion passed unanimously

The group asked that the dues be re-examined based on the amount of income this organization would need and then consider whether there is a logical way of breaking down the budgets of the member associations into a tier structure. Once this is developed, a proposal would come back to this group for action. Self will collect information about budget structure on each group and then send some suggestions out on the listserve.

The last item for discussion was establishing a database of the discipline. A subcommittee was established last fall, but it was not able to begin discussion on this topic. Some ideas of the type of things to be gathered would be faculty salary information, number of faculty, basic information on the type of research faculties are doing, basic information about curriculum, etc. The council is still interested in developing this type of database. Self had invited Lee Becker to this meeting, but he was unable to attend. Becker has expressed interest in becoming involved with something like this. Discussion followed on what member organizations are already doing in this area. The suggestion was made to do a conference call of the four executive directors together with Scott Poole and Lee Becker and develop a list of the type of data we need to gather. This group could develop a starting place in creating an RFP for such a project. This list should come back to the council at the next meeting.
The group talked about the location of the next meeting. The group did think it was useful to consider the location based on the agenda items and possible outside speakers. If the speaker was in DC, then it makes sense to meet in DC. If the group is thinking of bring in Lee Becker at the next meeting, then it might make sense to meet in Atlanta to save on his travel expenses. As the agenda for the meeting is developed, then the location will also be discussed on the listserve.

When the group went back to its earlier discussion on the Slater letter, Soloski said the issue of recognition of the communication discipline as it relates to agencies involved with health communication is much broader. One of the main focuses of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta is biomedical and health issues. There is a great need to get the CDC to consider how it approaches communication about health issues. Soloski said the University of Georgia is working with CDC on that now. He said that CDC is very interested in this issue and willing to work with people on this. The center wants to improve its communication outreach. Soloski suggested that this might be another major initiative for CCA, similar to the NRC work. A subcommittee of Soloski, Jon Nussenbaum and Charles Self will discuss this further and see if this is something CCA might pursue.

The council will not issue a letter in reference to the request from Michael Slater.

There being no additional business, the meeting adjourned at 3:18 p.m.