Minutes Teleconference Oct 30 2014

NJCA Executive Board Phone Conference
Wednesday, October 30, 2014 – 6:00pm

In attendance: Christopher Caldiero; Barna Donovan; Laura Farrell; Sheena C Howard;  Todd Kelshaw; Christine Lemesianou; Christopher Lynch; Bob Mann; Evelyn Plummer; John Pollock;  Gary Radford

1. Board Membership: Chris Lynch welcomed Bob Mann of Caldwell University who has been elected to the position of second vice-president. He mentioned some preliminary ideas for the 2016 NJCA conference to be held at Caldwell (university status awarded as of 7/1/2014). Bob and Chris L. will begin strategizing ways to maximize the association’s visibility in various ways, including via Bob’s Public Affairs radio program on WFDU.

2. Conference Updates:

a. Planning – Barna reported that the details of conference planning are proceeding successfully and he continues to enjoy strong support from his administration, fellow faculty, and graduate students. In addition to securing space in the student center, we will have 6 additional classrooms in adjacent buildings. He will continue to explore financial underwriting for supplying pens, bags, etc to conference attendees

Chris L. is beginning promotion of our esteemed Keynote speaker and he asked that we start encouraging paper submissions among our students and our colleagues Reminder:

- Location: St Peter’s University on Saturday, April 11, 2015

- Theme:  A VIRTUAL REVOLUTION –  Technology & Teaching & Change

Keynote Speaker: Doug Rushkoff

b. Programming –

Several people expressed a belief that faculty are unlikely to be motivated to attend a conference heavily consisting of student papers. However, students are likely to be attracted to (and will benefit from) exposure to high level research and researchers from institutions other than their own.

Despite perspectives uttered by some which discouraged a heavy focus on pedagogy, Chris L reiterated the idea of attracting adjunct faculty through the development of a “certificate” series of pedagogy sessions (about four per series)    

3.  Association Matters: Chris L. advocates face-to-face board meetings at least twice a year. This rationale has led to a meeting at Kean University at 10am-12:30pm on Saturday 11/15/14 to be followed by a pay-your-own lunch at a local restaurant. Laura will consult with Gina about sending out an email invitation to the lunch to the entire membership. A meeting agenda will be distributed by email. Preliminary areas mentioned for further discussion included:

a. Financial Health -   - Chris L reiterated that his conversations with Shawn Kildea revealed a current budget of approximately $3800. Overall revenue has been affected because of the high proportion of student attendees. Should the student fee be revised?  The new treasurer, Sheena Howard will contact Shawn to verify the amount the association expends in publishing the journal. In the meantime, John Pollock observed that the AJC may be an untapped resource and he cited an instance of a mass communication journal generating enough revenue to funnel funds back to the home association.  

b. Website -  - Chris L. & Laura Farrell reiterated that our current website is antiquated and cannot support such modern functionality such as appropriate security, an adjunct database and efficient updates of information. Some current links are irrelevant and even navigate to non-NJ colleges. The cost of an upgrade could be as much as $ 6000. —somewhat more than originally thought.  In the short term, Laura will attempt a workaround by uploading a WordPress template (for approximately $100.)

. c.  Our Mission &  our “Branding”   -  - Anecdotal evidence continues to indicate that in the current academic climate, fulltime faculty are highly selective and NJCA participation is not perceived with the same degree of  prestige as other associations and/or conferences. Much of today’s brainstorming supported returning to an emphasis on scholarship and faculty submissions and to revise the targeting of the association and the conference.  Christine suggested instituting a “best papers” session.  In addition, Gary Radford offered some ways of strategizing the association’s connection with the Atlantic Journal of Communication (e.g. inviting published authors to participate in panel discussions on key topics, in the spirit of “bringing in back home”). (Kelly Steuber [interpersonal] and Betsy Bach [organizational] were mentioned as examples of such established scholars).

Because he will be unable to attend on the 15th, Gary will talk further with Chris.

d.  Recruitment: strategies for increasing engagement: Chris L. is reaching out to formerly active board members to encourage involvement. In addition, he plans to contact Communication department chairs throughout the state, and particularly would like to increase involvement with institutions in the southern areas of the state. Christine L. volunteered to use Chris’s list of chairs for contact in compiling a database of adjuncts. In particular, Chris L would like to revive involvement from Rutgers; Montclair students also have participated less in the last few years, although this may have been due to scheduling conflicts with MSU’s own student research presentation day.

e.  Committees & Projects

- Chris L would like to follow up with the Statewide Faculty Award committee which was creates last spring at the “Board to Board” meeting.

- Chris L.  would like to set up additional committees as needed.

- It was suggested that we survey former members {using past datalists] in order to get a better sense of why members have faded away,

The next Board meeting will occur on 11/15/14 at 10:00am at Kean University (Union, NJ) to be followed by a cash lunch at 12:30 at a local restaurant.   Via a separate email, the entire association membership will be invited to join the lunch gathering.

Respectfully submitted by Evelyn Plummer, Recording Secretary, 11/2/14