Minutes - November 5, 2010

Minutes of the NJCA Executive Board Meeting

November 5, 2010, Bergen Community College, NJ 

Present: Robert Coles, Chad Dell, Mike Echols, Gina Herrmann, Todd Kelshaw, Hui-Min Kuo, Christine Lemesianou, Sheila McAllister-Spooner, Gary Radford, Marie Radford, Gina Serafin-Persson, & Wenli Yuan. 

1.   Call to Order.  President Gina Serafin-Persson called the meeting to order at 1:15pm. 

2.   Approval of Minutes.  Minutes of the May 21st  meeting were approved unanimously. 

3.   President’s Report.  Gina Serafin-Persson stated that the 2010 NJCA conference went well and she thanked people who provided help and support.  

4.   First Vice President’s Report.  Mike Echols reminded that the 2011 NJCA conference will be held on March 19, 2011 (Saturday) at the Bergen Community College.  The West Hall will be the primary site for the conference; the welcoming remarks will be delivered in the theater across the West Hall, and lunch will be served in the cafeteria.  In addition, attendees discussed conference planning, as summarized below: 

  •  Anastacia suggested to having a respondent for each panel.  Chad noted that considering the NJCA conference is more nurturing to student research and work in progress, a panel respondent may not be necessary.  Christine said that panel respondents in the past had received positive feedback.
  •  Marie suggested to provide specific guidelines for panel chairs.  She volunteered to work on an instructional folder for each panel chair.
  • To address Mike’s inquiry about when he should ask for fund, Hui-Min said it can be done in multiple ways, such as pre-order or reimbursement, although reimbursement (after the conference) was the most frequently used method.  Hui-Min also noted that in the past we never had problems with this kind of financial transactions.
  • Gina Serafin-Persson said last year she asked a person in her college to format and print the conference program, which was done in a relatively short time period.  Thus, she suggested to setting up the program template in advance.  Sheila mentioned that a software “EasyChair” can help people do the scheduling and program organization.
  • Upon discussion, Roman Oben, NY giant, was identified as a possible keynote speaker.
  • Attendees also suggested to revise the “Call for Papers” in order to include more contexts rather than just focus on students.  

5.   Treasurer’s Report.   Hui-Min Kuo reported that the total expense for the 2010 conference was only $1,782.32 (including $200 for student rewards).  The income for the 2010 conference was $6,450.  According to the past records, the income for each year tends to fall between $6,000 and $7,000.  We are currently in a good financial status.  Hui-Min noted that Wachovia started to charge $2 each month (beginning July) for keeping a business account. Since NJCA is a non-profit organization, she will double check with the bank to see if they will still charge us the service fees.


6.   Membership Director’s Report.  Todd Kelshaw reported that: 1) the total number of participants for the 2010 conference was 136, including 61 regular members, 57 student members (24 graduate, 18 undergraduate, and 15 unspecified), and 18 guests (volunteers and administrators affiliated with the College of St. Elizabeth).  In a few cases, people from traditionally non-participating institutions came to the conference assuming there is no registration fee.  Todd allowed them to register as a student member in hope to encourage wider participation from those institutions in the future.  2) The five institutional memberships included Mercer County Community College, Montclair State University, Rutgers University (Communication), Rutgers University (MCIS), and The College of St. Elizabeth.  3) The number of participants was 29 less than that of last year’s conference.  Chad said that personal connection is more effective in reaching out to people.  In particular, department chairs could play a key role in bringing more people to the conference.

7.      Journal Editor’s Report.  Gary Radford reported that the Atlantic Journal of Communication (AJC) is doing great and the manuscript central is working smoothly.  AJC is now having 5 issues each year (the 5th issue is a special issue).  The next issue will be out in February and the theme will be “Communication and Race.”  Another special issue will focus on communication and health issues.  The journal acceptance rate is around 14%.  Gary will meet with the representatives of Taylor & Francis at the National Communication Association convention in November to discuss the future development of the journal.  Our goal is to have AJC listed in the “Social Science Index.”  Gary also invited more people to serve as reviewers for the journal.  Christine further suggested to create a panel on “how to publish in AJC.” 

8.      NJCA Website.  Bob Coles talked about the progress of the web committee from several aspects: planning, strategy, design and developers. Currently the NJCA website is hosted by Rutgers.  Bob suggested a few vendors for designing and hosting solutions.  In particular, he pointed out that a content management system, Joomla, is easy to manage and make changes.  Bob also suggested to add more contents to the NJCA web site, such as membership benefits, and information for practitioners.  In terms of website re-design, he said that we should be clear about our goals and what we want from the vendors.  Upon discussion, attendees agreed on the following to-do list (rank ordered in terms of priority): 1) add conference tools (e.g., EasyChair); 2) select a clean and professional template; 3) find a new host for the website.  If the new template is not ready by January, we’ll link the conference tools to the current template.  Expense (e.g., designing, monthly maintenance fees) for web developers was also discussed.  Bob said we need to provide web developers specific items and ask for a quote.  Christine said she will investigate the software “EasyChair.”  Chad proposed a motion that we spend maximum $500 on EasyChair.  Todd seconded the motion, and all attendees were in favor.

9.      2011 Conference Submission.  Christine urged to send out the conference call early.  Mike said he will send the “Call for Papers” to Bob, who will distribute it to the NJCA listserv.  The submission deadline will be January 28, 2011.  By February 19, we should be able to review all the papers.  Christine also said we need to develop a database that will include all the previous conference programs, so that we may use the same template for future programs.   

10.   Student Volunteers.  Carol Stavraka stated in a memo that she should be able to get enough volunteers from Kean University.  Mike will also try to get some volunteers from his school.

11.  Marie proposed to expand the number of top student paper rewards from 2 to 4 (including 2 top graduate papers and 2 top undergraduate papers).  Todd seconded her motion.  Attendees agreed that this expansion is valid only for the upcoming conference (2011) and will be contingent upon budget situation in future years.  Information of the top paper rewards will be put in the conference call.

12.  Adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 3:30pm.

Respectfully submitted, Wenli Yuan, Secretary