September 12, 2005
AJHA — Michael Sweeney, Utah State University
AEJMC — Mary Alice Shaver, University of Central Florida; Jennifer McGill, Executive Director ASJMC — Russ Shain, Arkansas State University; Charles Self, University of Oklahoma
BCCA — Jan Dates, Howard University
BEA — David Byland, Oklahoma State University; Louisa Nielsen, Executive Director
ICA — Jon Nussbaum, Penn State University; Ron Rice, University of California-Santa Barbara; Michael Haley, Executive Director
NCA — Roger Smitter, Executive Director; Sherry Morreale, Associate Director
Guests: Ann Rosenthal and Tyrone Adams of the American Communication Association
The meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. by Roger Smitter filling in for CCA President Martha Watson of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who was unable to attend.
Motion: To approve the minutes as presented from the March 2005 meeting.
Moved by: Charles Self
Seconded by: Mary Alice Shaver
Motion passed unanimously.
Michael Haley provided some brief background on the American Communication Association in the absence of the two representatives. (They arrived a short time later).
Charles Self provided a brief update on the NRC survey from Linda Putnam who was unable to attend the meeting. The big news is that the NRC has dropped the reputational portion of the survey. The main reason was due to the cost. The current timetable calls for the institutional survey to go out in spring 2006, and the student/faculty survey to go out in summer/fall 2006. The survey itself does not yet have all its funding, but the group is moving forward.
Discussion followed. The suggestion was made that CCA should send another round of letters to the deans of the graduate schools (as well as the graduate directors) about the upcoming survey. It can be the same letter that was sent before, but we need to put this issue back on their radar screens. Putman coordinated those letters back in 2004. McGill will contact her about sending these out again in early 2006.
Self also updated the group on the task force work on nominating communication journals for inclusion in the ISI listing. So far the task force has proposed 37 journals and only one has been accepted. Nine have been rejected, three do not have enough issues for consideration and 24 are still pending. He said that the citation impact score ISI uses is based only on citations from journals already in the ISI listing. Much discussion followed.
There is a need to spread the visibility of the communication journals outside the discipline and with journals already in ISI. A list of ISI journals is on the CCA website at http://www.councilcomm.org. The group needs to encourage the “core journals” in ISI to cite our journals. Discussion followed. Self will ask Putnam to do an article for the associations’ newsletters, encouraging members to cite journals. The suggestion was also made to send a couple of CCA representatives to visit ISI headquarters and make face-to-face contact with someone.
The group thought the process used to help the NRC recognize communication could also be used to help other groups get to know who/what we are. Some groups suggested were academic publishers and other disciplines. General discussion followed.
Motion: To form a new CCA task force to develop strategies for promoting the field of communication with other groups to increase the impact and reach of the discipline.
Moved by: Charles Self
Seconded by: Jan Dates
Discussion followed on appointing the task force members. Each association should send at least one name for the task force to Smitter. Then the CCA president will create the task force this fall from those names, adding others that would be appropriate. Ideally the task force should include a mix of strong researchers as well as people who know something about the politics of ISI and the listing. The group wanted to include a task force core with 3 members who are also reps on CCA this coming year. Jon Nussbaum volunteered to be a member. Each group should get names to Smitter as soon as possible. The group should have a conference call this fall to get started.
Motion passed unanimously
Smitter welcomed Tyrone Adams and Ann Rosenthal of ACA to the meeting.
Michael Haley reported that he encountered some problems as he tried to develop a list of potential speakers from NSF. The speakers would change depending on what topic someone wanted to have addressed. He suggested that associations use the NSF website and go there once a topic is identified, and then look on the site to see who might be a good fit for the topic. The group suggested that each association make convention planners aware of this resource. Each agency’s website is structured differently so that can be a challenge. The suggestion was made that there did need to be some type of overview document that provides guidance on how to use the sites and find things/people. It is very confusing to try and find things/people on the site, and there may be other agencies’ sites that are more appropriate to look on for different topics.
Discussion followed on how best to create such an overview document. The suggestion was made that a graduate student should be able to develop something on this for the CCA website, say a document and a presentation. Discussion followed.
Motion: To hire a graduate student to develop a handout and presentation on how to navigate the different agencies and their websites to locate speakers and resources. The materials would be posted on the CCA site.
Moved by: Ron Rice
Seconded by: Charles Self
Discussion on what this type of project would cost, basically to create text and a visual. The group agreed to provide up to $1,000 of CCA funds for this work. NCA and ICA agreed to develop project guidelines and define the scope of the project since both are already familiar with these agencies.
Motion passed unanimously
Sherry Morreale passed out some guidelines for communication scholars who want to review grant proposals for agencies (Appendix I). These guidelines will be posted on the CCA website. Discussion followed. Morreale volunteered to provide some beginning information to the student working on the above project.
Jennifer McGill reported that the association executive directors discussed the current CCA dues structure, in light of the amount of money in the CCA account (Appendix II). The recommendation is to keep the current four-tier structure based on the size of the association (number of members). While none of the members thought that dues were to high, there was a suggestion to do a slight reduction in dues. Discussion followed. The group agreed to leave the dues as they are.
Self reported on the draft description of the discipline the group discussed in March (Appendix III). This will serve as a brief description that would serve as an overview of the discipline to outside groups and will be used on the CCA website. The idea is that each association will take this definition to its Executive Committee or wherever it is appropriate and discuss it. The idea is to get input for any needed fine-tuning of the definition, while keeping in mind that the goal is a broad, comprehensive definition rather than trying to name every facet of the discipline. But the council will entertain additions/changes to the document. CCA is looking for endorsement of the definition by each group. McGill will send this out digitally to each group’s executive director later this week. Each group will report back at the next meeting.
Once the definition is in final form and adopted, then CCA will develop a mechanism by which we can create a full white paper on the depth of the communication discipline. This would be very detailed, even including some of the history and evolution of the discipline.
At the last meeting Smitter offered to develop a list of guidelines for groups looking at outside publishers and journals online. He presented it to the group (Appendix IV). It will also be added to the CCA website.
McGill presented a report from Joe Misiewicz. Misiewicz spoke with a faculty member at Ball State who was a media attorney about fair use guidelines for classroom materials, particularly broadcast materials. He suggested several websites with clear, easy-to-use guidelines for this (Appendix V). CCA will also add this to the website.
At the last meeting the council decided it did want to look at creation of a database of communication doctoral programs and approved creation of a task force to set this up. AEJMC just completed a survey of the JMC doctoral programs this summer. Mary Alice Shaver, who worked on that survey, provided a copy of the final report and the survey questionnaire, that may be used as a starting point for the database project (Appendix VI). The AEJMC survey process took about three years from start to finish. This is simply provided for information. The task force would first need to identify any information that already exists.
Volunteers for the database task force were Shaver, Morreale, Bob Craig, Linda Putnam and Russ Shain (none was willing to chair). Lee Becker of the University of Georgia also offered to work as a resource for the project. Watson will need to finish appointing the task force so its work can begin. McGill said that CCA could set up and cover the cost of a conference call this fall to get the group going. Each association can also recommend other people who might be good to serve on this task force. Those names need to go to Watson as soon as possible.
Discussion followed on whether CCA should work with U.S. News & World Report to have communication included as part of its graduate school rankings report (Appendix VII). There was concern that the rankings are not really respected, and are often not created through a rigorous process. The reports have even ranked a program highly that no longer exists. There was also concern whether it was appropriate to endorse such a ranking that was done for a commercial purpose – to sell magazines. Several people also thought it is important for the discipline to be part of such rankings. Much discussion followed.
The group decided to invite a representative from the magazine to the next CCA meeting to discuss this. That way the group can find out the process and criteria that are used to ensure the process is fair and accurate. The suggestion was made to also invite other publications that rank like this, including Washington Monthly. The proposed letter is a bit premature. The letter should simply invite a representative of the publication to come to the meeting, which would also serve to help him/her get to know a bit more about the discipline. Ron Rice will follow up on this item and write the letters inviting the groups. Let him know of any other groups that should be invited as well.
Each association provided a brief update on its current projects and activities. The representatives from ACA also provided some background on that association. It began 10 years ago as a virtual association. It covers the Americas — North, Central and South.
Roger Smitter and Louisa Nielsen were appointed by acclamation as the next CCA co-executive directors. They will serve a three-year term (Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2008).
The group decided to defer action on naming a vice president since many people present are rolling off the council this fall and new people will start at the next meeting. It would also be better if the president and vice president have the same term of office. Both a president and vice president will be elected at the end of the next meeting.
Dates suggested for the next CCA meeting are Monday, March 20 or Monday, March 27. The location will be Washington, DC. McGill will put these dates out to the association executive directors and see which date works best for the incoming reps. NCA is willing to host the next meeting. Each group should also send email addresses for the new council reps to be added to the CCA listserve directly to Morreale.
The meeting adjourned at 1:20 p.m.