Professional Development Committee Posts

Distinguished Service Award Call

The Professional Development and Support Committee of the AFA would like to invite nominations for the AMERICAN FORENSIC ASSOCIATION Distinguished Service Award   AFA will present the award at the annual convention in Chicago in 2009.  The  Distinguished Service Award recognizes long-term service to the American forensics community.  The recipient of the award typically comes from within the forensics community (active or retired).  Nominations do not need to be elaborate.  When possible, however, a nomination file may include a letter of nomination and the candidate’s vita, indicating service and supporting items.  Areas of interest to the committee might include items such as: positive impact on the field in terms of current research practices, educational practices, community development, and consideration of career as a model for AFA professionals.

Nominations should be sent to:

David Gaer
Laramie County Community College
1400 E. College Dr. Cheyenne, WY 82001

1999 report, professional development committee

Presented to the AFA National Council and the AFA Business Meeting,  American Forensic Association Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois, November 3, 1999

The AFA Professional Development and Support Committee has been active during the last year, engaging in several projects intended to serve the discipline.

1. 1999 American Forensic Association Distinguished Service Award

Effective with the 1997 award, the chair of the Professional Development and Support Committee has been charged with the responsibility of initiating a formal call for nominations in the AFA Newsletter, and for presenting these nominations to the committee during the annual meeting to enable the selection of a winner. In response to this year's duly published call, the committee is very pleased to report that the nomination process has culminated in the selection of Professor Joseph W. Wenzel, Professor Emeritus of Speech Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the 1999 recipient of the AFA Distinguished Service Award.

2. Ongoing Call for Innovations and Professional Development Materials Pertinent to the Forensics Professional

At the 1998 annual meeting, the Professional Development and Support Committee approved the initiation of an ongoing call to be published in the AFA Newsletter soliciting the submission of short informative articles regarding innovations, tenure and promotion issues, or state-of-the-forensics-arts issues of interest to the forensics community. Initiation of the publication of this regular call is the responsibility of the committee chair.

3. New Committee Website,

Due to the work of AFA webmaster and President, James Klumpp, the new website is available for use. The committee has been charged with the responsibility of identifying information and services which should be included as this website is developed further. A motion passed at the November 3, 1999 meeting specified the prompt inclusion of the "Quail Roost" materials; additional input from the committee is planned.

4. New Committee Bylaws

In response to President Klumpp's 1998 charge to develop formal committee Bylaws, a Bylaws document was composed by the committee chair; after discussion and modification, the Professional Development and Support committee approved the Bylaws document in an unanimous vote at the annual meeting held on November 3, 1999.

5. Update on Research and Assessment Report on Diversity in Forensics

In keeping with its responsibility to the forensics community, and in response to a request from President Klumpp for an assessment report centering on diversity in the discipline, the committee formally proposed at the 1998 annual meeting that the AFA allocate $1,000 to fund an assessment project involving primary research. Subsequently, the committee chair placed an advertisement calling for applications for the position of primary researcher in the AFA Newsletter. I am very pleased to report that this call has drawn a successful response, leading to the selection of Professor Mike Allen of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee as our primary researcher. We feel confident that his expertise will insure the production of a useful study.

The chair has appointed an ad hoc committee to facilitate this important project; members are: Dr. Michael Bartanen, ad hoc committee chair; Dr. Mike Allen, primary researcher, Dr. Anthony Schroeder, and Dr. Mary Trejo. The ad hoc committee has been communicating by email and fax, and will meet on Saturday, November 6 during the Chicago convention to finalize plans for the assessment.

Dr. Allen has designed a survey to be mailed to persons affiliated with the following organizations:

  • American Forensic Association
  • Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha
  • Pi Kappa Delta
  • American Mock Trial Association
  • Cross Examination Debate Association
  • National Educational Debate Association
  • Phi Rho Pi

At the November 3, 1999 annual meeting, committee members suggested inclusion of the following organizations to Dr. Allen's initial list: NPDA, NDT, APDA, ADA, and NFA.

Further, Dr. Allen has proposed this timetable:

Diversity in Forensics: ACTION PLAN AND SCHEDULE

1. Final approval of survey and letter--November 10, 1999
2. Approval, Internal Review Board for Use of Human Subjects--December 3, 1999
3. Duplication of materials for mailing and envelope stuffing--Dec. and Jan, 1999
4. Mail out all surveys, January 15, 2000
5. Data entry--February to April, 2000
6. Data analysis--May, 2000
7. Report Writing--June and July, 2000
8. Distribution of initial report for editing and feedback--August, 2000
9. Editing and final report--September, 2000
10. Presentation of report to AFA, NCA in Seattle, November, 2000

Therefore, the committee requests the inclusion of a report on this primary research project contributing to an assessment of diversity in forensics on the agenda at the 2000 convention.

6. Proposal to Fund a Researcher to Complete an Annotated Bibliography of Tenure and Promotion Materials to be Posted on the Committee Webpage

Aware of its responsibility to represent the professional interests, development and support of forensics professionals, the following motion was passed unanimously by the committee at its November 3, 1999 annual meeting:

"...that the AFA Professional Development and Support committee request $750.00 in funding for a researcher to complete an annotated bibliography relating to tenure and promotion in Forensics, with the product being posted on the AFA Professional Development and Support webpage." Given AFA approval of the research project, the chair will publish a call for a researcher in the AFA Newsletter. It is intended that research and creation of the annotated bibliography will be completed, posted on the webpage, and available to be included as a report in time for the 2000 convention.

Therefore, the committee requests that this item be included on the agenda of the AFA Business Meeting, November 3, 1999, and also requests that this item be included in the AFA budget.

7. Election of 1999-2000 Professional Development and Support Committee Chair

Mary Trejo was elected to serve a second 1-year term as Professional Development and Support Committee chair by unanimous vote on November 3, 1999.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Trejo, Ph.D.
Chair, AFA Professional Development and Support Committee


Researcher to prepare a bibliography for website posting on tenure and promotion in forensics

Approved by the Professional Development and Support Committee of the AFA and reported at the 11/99 AFA Business Meeting, for inclusion in the AFA Newsletter.

             In keeping with its responsibilities to the forensics community, and in response to a request by AFA President James F. Klumpp for enhancement of the new committee website, the AFA Professional Development and Support Committee calls for applications for a researcher to complete a comprehensive annotated bibliography relating to tenure and promotion in Forensics.  The committee has proposed that AFA allocate $750.00 to fund the costs of this project.  Establishment of the committee website affords an unparalleled opportunity for the Professional Development and Support Committee to fulfill its purpose as stated in AFA Bylaws.  Website posting of the projected bibliography is intended to provide a readily accessible source of information central to the development and support of the professional interests of AFA members.

             The individual selected as researcher on this project will accomplish the following:

1.                  Gather extant literature on tenure and promotion in forensics;

2.                  Compose a brief, informative annotation based on content assessment to accompany each item;

3.                  Prepare a preliminary report and bibliography for presentation to the 11/2000 Professional Development and Support Committee meeting;

4.                  Edit and finalize the completed annotated bibliography for posting on the AFA Professional Development and Support Committee website in 2001.

The Professional Development and Support Committee plans to use the above to enhance its website beginning in 2000-2001; it is anticipated that additions to this annotated bibliography will be made periodically, pending committee approval and subsequent renewal of funding.  The Committee encourages graduate students and others skilled in research to apply through a self-nomination or application process.  Materials submitted should ideally include a statement of applicable interests and background, a resume or vita, a list of references with email/telephone data, and any other applicable information that would be helpful to the committee in its selection of a researcher.

For full consideration, materials should be received no later than September 10, with the selection process to be completed and the researcher named by September 30, 2000.

Faxed or emailed applications are welcome.  Please submit applications to:

Mary Trejo, Chair, AFA Professional Development and Support Committee
Director of Forensics, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968-0550

Fax: (915) 747-8634; email:


Call for Summit and Developmental Conference


A Debate Summit and Development Conference

Sponsored by

American Forensics Association (AFA)
National Debate Tournament (NDT)
Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA)
American Debate Association (ADA)


Wake Forest University • Winston-Salem, NC

June 5-7, 2009, following the CEDA Summer Meetings (June 2-5) at WFU

The initiative for a national development conference for policy debate emerged from the National Debate Tournament (NDT) Board of Trustees through conversations with the NDT Committee and the leadership of the Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA). This conference will mark the third national development conference for intercollegiate debate in the last half century. Previously, college debate educators have convened in Sedalia, CO at the Sedalia Retreat House in 1974 and in Evanston, IL at Northwestern University in 1984.

The conference is a forum for active coaches and directors to examine commonality on a host of issues related to intercollegiate policy debate and the coaching profession. One of the primary goals of the conference is to draft and publish a "State of the Debate Vocation" which addresses the following themes:

  • Professional Development, Research, and Advancement
  • Innovation, Practice, and the State of the Art
  • Community and Organization Building
  • The Rationale and Agenda for Policy Debate in the 21st Century

A productive conference will require the energetic participation of all members of the debate community-present and past-who find virtue in the power of a debate education.  If you are interested in chairing or serving as a member of the working groups which emerge from these themes send an email of self nomination to by January 15th, 2008. 

Conference Director
Allan D. Louden, Wake Forest University

Steering Committee
Timothy O'Donnell, University of Mary Washington (co-chair)
Gordon Stables, University of Southern California (co-chair)
Gordon Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh
Sue Peterson, California State University, Chico
Jeffrey Jarman, Wichita State University

Distinguished Advisory Committee
Robin Rowland, University of Kansas
Thomas Hollihan, University of Southern California
David Zarefsky, Northwestern University


Charge for 2002-2003


  1. Select the winner of the organization's Distinguished Service Award. This task requires publishing a solicitation of nominations in the AFA Newsletter, selecting a winner for the award and notifying the Executive Secretary in time for the proper award to be ordered.

  2. Making it easier for tenure track directors of forensics to be tenured should be a high priority for this organization. Thus, I would like this committee to think carefully about specific steps the AFA can take to contribute this process. This discussion should take into account the differing demands of community and junior colleges, liberal arts colleges, and Research I and II universities. One specific proposal that should be considered is the development of an NCA short course for directors of forensics who are on tenure tracks. Think about the content of the course, and individuals who might be approached to teach such a course. Another proposal involves the review of the Quail Roost tenure document for updating and dissemination.

  3. Jim Klumpp has received requests from several high school instructors for web-based materials about directing forensics' programs. Should the AFA participate in such efforts, and if so, how? Think about individuals or groups who might be approached for such efforts.


Materials on innovation and professional development pertinent to the forensics professional

Approved by the Professional Development and Support Committee of the AFA and reported at the AFA Business Meeting, November 20, 1998; for regular inclusion in the AFA Newsletter.

The American Forensic Association serves as an information posting and dissemination organization in addition to its other activities. This call is to announce the availability of an additional AFA service for Forensics professionals whether or not they are members of the AFA.

Depending on demand, at least two pages of the AFA Newsletter will be made available each issue to publish brief descriptions of information that could prove useful to Forensics professionals. These materials may be documents or descriptions of activities or processes produced for a single forensics program or institution, for a tournament or conference of scholars, or for any one of the various professional associations involved in forensics.

The call is for information (1-2 pages maximum for each submission) regarding innovations, tenure and promotion processes or documents, or state-of-the-forensics-arts issues that would be of concern or interest to the larger community of Forensics professionals.

Examples follow:

  • Brief descriptions of upcoming tournaments or festivals that feature experimental events or attempts to try unusual (non-convention) formats for debate, speech, or performance studies;

  • Brief descriptions of programs involving or available to Forensics professionals and their development as teachers/scholars/coaches;

  • Brief descriptions of upcoming research projects including especially those that could benefit from collaboration with colleagues from around the forensics community;

  • Brief descriptions of departmental or institutional or professional organizational documents that have been prepared to provide criteria or describe processes involving the hiring, yearly evaluation, promotion, or tenure of Forensics professionals.

Any items you wish to publish in the AFA Newsletter should be sent to the editor:

James W. Pratt, Executive Secretary
American Forensic Association
Box 256
River Falls, WI 54022-0256

via fax to715/425-9533

via email to


2010 AFA Meeting Rooms

AFA Meetings at the 2010 convention (All meetings are at the Parc 55 Hotel)

AFA Educational Development and Practices Committee Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm Park 55 Hotel / Stockton
NDT Board of Trustees Meeting Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm Park 55 Hotel / Davidson
AFA Research Committee Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Parc 55 Hotel / Fillmore
AFA Publications Committee Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm Parc 55 Hotel / Mission II

AFA Professional Development and Practices Committee

Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm 
Parc 55 Hotel / Lombard
AFA Nominating Committee Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm Parc 55 Hotel / Hearst
AFA Finance Committee Sat, Nov 13 - 10:00am - 12:00pm Parc 55 Hotel / Mission I
AFA National Council Sat, Nov 13 - 12:00pm - 3:45pm Parc 55 Hotel / Hearst
AFA-NIET Committee Meeting     
Sat, Nov 13 - 12:00pm - 3:45pm
Parc 55 Hotel / Mission I
AFA-NDT Committee Meeting Sat, Nov 13 - 12:00pm - 3:45pm
Parc 55 Hotel / Stockton
AFA Business Meeting Sat, Nov 13 - 4:00pm - 7:00pm Parc 55 Hotel / Market Street
American Forensic Association Reception Sat, Nov 13 - 7:00pm - 10:00pm Parc 55 Hotel / Embarcadero

National Parliamentary Debate Association Business Meeting

Mon, Nov 15 - 3:30pm - 4:45pm 
Parc 55 Hotel / Divisadero