Minutes - June 17, 2011

Present:Sheila McAllister, Chad Dell, Bob Coles, Gina Marcello, Mike Echols, Christine Lemesianou, Mary Nagy   

Officer reports:

President: Mike Echols reported that the conference at Bergen Community College was very successful. He attributed the low attendance rate to the fact that colleges that regularly participated (including Rutgers University) were on spring break. He also praised Carol for training and providing the student ambassadors that were instrumental in ensuring the day’s events ran smoothly.  He also commented that having secretarial support was also very helpful, particularly to resolve last minute registration issues.   

First Vice-President: Sheila McAllister discussed the plans for the 2011 conference which will be held at Monmouth University. The first choice date for the conference is April 14; second choice is March 24. Sheila will confirm the date and what support the university can offer. Easy Chair software will be used for paper submissions. Undergraduate & graduate Event Planning classes will assist in publicizing – the goal of the undergrad class will be to increase participation at the undergrad level, and the grad class will focus on increasing attendance at the graduate level. Members of the PRSSA Chapter will serve as student ambassadors.  The group discussed possible themes. The goal of the conference is to link theory to practice.

Possible themes include:

·         The Future of Work: Communication in Action

·         Returning to our Roots: Communication in Action

·         Getting to the Core: Communication in Action 

The keynote speaker has not been selected yet. The format of the conference will be:

·         Registration

·         Two panel sessions in the morning

·         Lunch with key note followed by business meeting

·     One or Two sessions in the afternoon, perhaps including a panel of professionals that are members of professional associations talking about the state of the field (PRSA, IABC…)

·         Also discussed offering a best practices workshop which would include: Faculty & graduate student Gifts panel (Mary Nagy agreed to organize); Undergraduate resume/interview prep; Graduate: Emerging careers;

·         Also discussed having undergraduate and graduate poster session panel To increase attendance in the afternoon, the group discussed saving the Top paper awards for the end of the day. The program would put asterisks by the names of the top 10 nominees.  Also discussed giving prizes (such as gift certificates to Applebees) to Award-winning presentation, most attended session, etc., and providing raffle prizes (each college donate a gift). Sheila will send out Save the Date cards in September. The Call for Papers will be sent out in November and a reminder will be sent out in January, with the deadline for submissions set at January 31. The call should remind students to indicate whether they are undergraduate or graduate students.

Treasurer: The current balance is $12,163.37. Because the association is so healthy financially, the board voted to authorize Bob Coles to spend up to $1,000.00 to improve the Web site. The group also discussed adding a secure network so people and institutions can pay via credit cards.  

Membership: The 2010 conference had 136 attendees, with 61 regular attendees, 57 students (24 graduate, 18 undergraduate, 15 unspecified).There were 4 institutional memberships (St. Peters, The College of New Jersey, Rutgers [communication and MCIS], 20 guests and friends (including volunteers). It was decided to leave membership fees unchanged.  The group agreed to reach out to Todd to see if the additional method of payment (credit cards via a secure network) would cause logistical registration problems. It was decided to increase efforts to reach out to low-participating institutions. It was decided that individual phone calls be made to 3-5 colleges by each of the executive board members. The members would first contact the chair of the department and get the name of the key contact person to submit regular communications to. Gina Marcello will organize this.  

New Media: As mentioned above, the board agreed to allocate 1,000 dollars to redesign the Web site. Bob Coles will work with Andy on developing templates and handing technical back-end tasks. Three templates will be presented to the board. A majority vote will determine which template will be deployed.  The board created a subcommittee tasked with acting as a sounding board for Bob’s work – Sheila and Chad agreed to serve, and we hope Aaron (as PR Rep.) will join them.  

Community College: A report was not issued 

New Business: With regard to conference planning, it was decided to approach publishers about sponsoring the keynote speaker.  Various kinds of sponsorship or support will be sought such as bags, water, snacks, and raffle donations. The group agreed to contact Gary Radford to request sponsorships from Taylor & Francis. Kate Dunsmore will be working to develop outreach plans to professionals. The date for the next meeting of the executive board was scheduled for Friday, 11/4 from 11-2 at Monmouth University. Conference call capabilities will be provided for more executive board members to participate. The meeting adjourned at 2 pm.