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Minutes - January 16, 2009

Minutes of the NJCA Executive Board Meeting

January 16, 2009, Kean University, NJ 

Present: Chad Dell, Kate Dunsmore, Mike Echols, Fred Fitch, Katheen Haspel, Todd Kelshaw, Hui-Min Kuo, Anastacia Kurylo, Sheila McAllister-Spooner, Andrea Pampaloni, Gary Redford, Jack Sargent, Gina Serafin, Wenli Yuan, and Carol Stavraka (instructor of the Event Planning class at Kean University)  

1.   Call to Order.  First Vice President Fred Fitch called the meeting to order at 10:10am. 

2.  Approval of Minutes.  Minutes from the July 2008 meeting were approved with two minor   revisions: 1) Treasurer Hui-Min’s last name should be Kuo; 2) Internet Relations Director, Sheila’s last name should be McAllister-Spooner.

3.   First Vice President’s Report.  1) Fred Fitch reported that the 13th annual NJCA conferencecall is available at the NJCA Web site.  2) Dr. Sandra Petronio will be the keynote speaker.  She will talk about how to make communication into practice.  Fred said anyone is welcome to have dinner with Dr. Petronio on March 27 (Friday).  He also asked for ideas to promote the keynote speech.  Sheila McAllister-Spooner said we can advertise the event in the local media.  3) Fred also reported that so far 9 rooms in the CAS (Center for Academic Success) building have been secured and he will try his best to secure all the rooms in this building.  4) Fred contacted some publishing companies to see if they will set up tables at the conference and contribute to the conference.  Chad Dell said that if we figure out the history from the book sellers, then we can have a better idea about what to ask for from the publishers.  Hui-Min Kuo responded that we only collected $300 from Taylor & Francis last year, and we did not collect any rental fees from publishers.  Jack said that at the 2007 NJCA conference he charged $75 per table. 

4.   Treasurer’s Report.   1) Hui-Min Kuo reported that NJCA is in a good financial status now.

She mentioned that for the 2008 NJCA conference revenues were mainly from the registration fees.  In addition, we received $300 from Taylor & Francis and $100 from selling T-shirts.  We made it even last year.   2) Hui-Min also reported that the journal subscription fees reduced from $2000 (2007) to $1700 (2008) mainly because the number of subscribers dropped from 75 to 65.  Anastacia Kurylo said maybe it is because student members no longer get journals.   Gary Radford mentioned that the price for each issue is cheaper.  3) Jack Sargent suggested that we need to send Hui-Min Kuo what payment has been made if incurred.  His suggestion was approved unanimously.  4)  Sheila McAllister-Spooner said that she is migrating the NJCA website to a web-based content management system.  The consultation fee will cost about $1500 to $2000.   She is also adding a News/Events Section to the Web site.


5.  Membership Director’s Report.  1) Todd Kelshaw reported that 210 people attended the 2008   NJCA conference.  He is not sure how many people registered online at present (he will check his file later).  There were 65 journal subscriptions, including institutional subscriptions.  Todd will work with Fred to arrange technology, and work with Carol Stavraka to set up registration.  2) Anastacia said she is not in favor of the “guest category” for registration.  We still need to decide the fees and procedure for that.  She also mentioned that last year we changed the procedure of institutional membership registration.  Before, people did not provide individual names, just the institution’s name.   Starting last year, institutional membership registration needs to provide names of people included and it worked well.  Hui-Min said that institutions just sent checks to her, and she did not know which student is included in the institutional membership.  She asked Todd to inform her in the future about the members’ names.  Todd stated that last year we had 5 institutional members.  We will no longer be able to accommodate institutions who wish to substitute regular members for student members or student members for regular members.  Todd also reached out to schools that have low attendance, and asked us to encourage attendance from these schools.  3) Todd also talked about the January to January membership.  He noted that we rarely had new membership until the March conference, and very few people registered in Fall.  Since the membership starts in January, we need to make sure people won’t double pay at the registration.  Anastacia said January membership was implemented because some people registered early, and we had notes about how long the membership will last and inclusion of the conference registration.  Jack wondered if we could implement March to March membership.  Anastacia doesn’t think NJCA should be conference based.  Hui-Min noted that we had a few people registered early.  For those who pay through paypal, she can’t refund.  For checks, she can refund.  Todd suggested to clarify this issue on the Web site. 

6.  Journal Editor’s Report.  Gary Radford reported that the Atlantic Journal of   Communication will be printed annually.  Four issues will be published online.  The one print issue (including all four issues) will be sent out in December.  He said the publisher Taylor & Francis is pleased with the progress of the journal.  The subscription is stable and increasing.  Starting next year, we will use the web management review system.  Gary also addressed concerns raised in the last business meeting: 1) There were only 3 articles in one issue because he had to conform to the page limit.  The journal was only assigned 256 pages per year.   We have to pay for additional pages.  He paid out of his stipend to cover additional issues.  Next year, the publisher will increase the page limit to 64 pages per issue, 4 issues, plus one special issue every year.  2) The publisher wants our journal to be an international journal.  He is going to meet with the board to discuss how to promote the journal internationally.  3) During the winter break, he processed 22 submissions, and 3 were accepted.  The acceptance rate is approximately 13%.  Anastacia said that at last year’s National Communication Association convention she attended a panel about state associations, the Atlantic Journal of Communication was highly praised and considered as the model for state journals. 


7.  Other Issues.   1) Anastacia said that the President and Vice President of NJCA were mainly concerned about the conference and did not think much about the future of the association.  She urged everyone to think about their position in the association, and look forward beyond the present.  Some issues to think about include neo-postman award, practitioner award, logo, and letterhead.  Gina Serafin said her college is very supportive with the 2010 NJCA conference.  She asked Anastacia to put a list of important issues and she will see if she can accomplish them next year.  2) Anastacia also asked us to get involved with the State Advising Council (SAC), a group that aims to foster state associations.  SAC is affiliated with NCA, and has panels and business meetings at NCA conventions.  3) Anastacia made a folder of the history of NJCA and passed it to Fred.  She asked us to continue this tradition and contribute additional material to the folder.  

8.  Conference Submission.  Fred said submissions came slowly.  To date he has received 5 papers and 3 panel proposals.  Jack said he extended the deadline in 2007.  Anastacia suggested Fred to send out the call by mail.  Fred also mentioned the necessity of special panels.  Some people volunteered to organize the following panels: Mike Echols,  community college panels; Anstacia Kurylo, GIFT; Todd Kelshaw, LPE; Katheen Haspel, panel for student media; Jack Sargent, graduate school.  There are also some other panels to consider: chairs’ panel, resume or interview panels.  

9.  Conference Questions for Discussion.  1) Carol Stravaka said about 22 students from her Event Planning class will serve as volunteers for the March conference.  She asked how students were used in the past.  Anastacia responded that different student groups were responsible for different duties.  For instance, her students were assigned to do logo, T-shirt, technology, room coordinator, signage, greeter, registration (it needs the best students to do the job), record keeping, photographer, survey staff (design, distribution, & collection).  Prior to the conference, she had PR and marketing groups.  Students worked on different shifts. Anastacia will send related documents she had last year to Carol.  Based on her previous experience, Hui-Min stated that students can be effective fund-raisers and ambassadors.  2)  Gina asked whether the luncheon was done by the school staff or NJCA paid for them.  Jack said in 2007 Kean University went through the menu and charged $30 per head.  3) Sheila mentioned that we usually lost students after the lunch.  To solve this problem, she suggested to add some incentives to the conference, such as resume building workshops or mock interviews.  Hui-Min said we can reach out to student chapters, such as LPE, AWC, PRSSA, or IBC.  Gina suggested to set up a facebook page for NJCA.  This suggestion triggered discussion about privacy and attendees expressed different opinions.   Mike said we need to think about how many students come back to the conference.

(lunch break)

 4) Fred asked when the keynote speech should be scheduled.  Some attendees prefer lunch time, and some prefer the beginning of the day.  Fred will make the decision later.  He also asked about the necessity of the reception.  Anastacia said she is in favor of it; the attendance was low last year because we did not do much to promote it.  She suggested to put the reception and conference panels in the same building.  Jack asked if we can end the conference early.  Sheila said we can arrange a big panel at the end of the conference and the reception will follow it.  Kate said maybe we can think of a more attractive name for the reception. 


10.  Practitioners’ Award.  Gina Serafin talked about the selection criteria, but there was no agreement yet.  Fred asked the selection committee to put something concrete ideas together.  This issue will be discussed at the next business meeting. 

11.  Membership Database/Application.  Todd asked about the guest status.  He wondered if registration is required for people who just come to the conference for one session.  Sheila said guests still need to register, so that we can count the number of attendance.  Anastacia said we should take security into consideration because although those people do not register, they still wander around.  Chad said if guests stay for lunch, they need to pay for certain portions.  Based on the discussions, Fred asked for a motion to put these exact words in the minutes: “Guest(s) of a presenter need to contact the membership director in advance of the conference and on site registration is required: $30 (including lunch).”   The motion was seconded.  Todd also suggested to add one sentence to the NJCA website: “Membership runs from January 1st to December 31.” 

12.  Nominations committee.  The second Vice President Gina Serafin will chair the nomination committee and select the committee members.  Jack and Anastacia volunteered to be on this committee.  In March two positions will be vacant: Treasurer and Membership Director. 

13.  Other Business.  1) There were discussions about a possible meeting before the March conference.  Friday afternoon seems to be a good choice.  Fred will notify the executive board members about this meeting.  2) Chad Dell made two propositions: A. Formalize Anastacia as the State Advisory Council representative; B. The executive board reimburses Gary Radford for the $1,024 ($256/per issue, 4 issues total) he paid for extra journal pages.  Both propositions were approved.  Anastacia reminded that this is a onetime reimbursement.  Hui-Min asked Gary to send her relevant documents in order to get the reimbursement.  3) Relating to Anastacia’s previous comments about the future of NJCA, Sheila McAllister-Spooner suggested that we need to have sub-committees to think about issues other than the conference. 

14.  Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 1:25pm.   

Respectfully submitted, Wenli Yuan, Secretary  



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