Lisbeth Lipari 0


284 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
Lisbeth Lipari 0 Comments
284 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

Dear Colleagues,

As outlined in NCA President Steven Beebe’s December 13, 2013 email to the membership, we are being asked in January to vote on a proposal “to replace the current constitution and bylaws with a single new bylaws document.”[1]

We the undersigned members of NCA encourage you to vote no on the proposed bylaw change. We acknowledge the need to address genuine concerns about our governing documents and structure, but as the discussion during the Legislative Assembly meeting in 2013 made clear, the proposed changes go too far in curtailing the powers of the membership. We strongly believe that the proposed bylaws would do more harm than good and implore the NCA to engage the full membership in a public and transparent process to produce a new bylaws document that will preserve the key functions of the Legislative Assembly and its broad representation of membership.

By removing nearly all legislative power from the Legislative Assembly, the proposed bylaws run contrary to the history and spirit of NCA as an association governed by its broad and diverse membership. Likewise, by making the Legislative Assembly essentially an advisory body rather than a legislating body, it violates the association’s commitments to ethical communication and deliberative democracy as articulated in the NCA Ethical Credo[2] its current constitution and bylaws,[3] as well as the principles of academic freedom as articulated in NCA and the AAUP statement on governance.[4] The proposed bylaws governance structure will severely curtail the power of the legislative assembly to directly legislate on matters such as:

a. the creation and dissolution of divisions, caucuses, and sections;

b. the ratification of future bylaws and amendments;

c. the authorization of rights, privileges, services and obligations of members;

d. the designation of dues, fees and oversight of the allocation of funds;

e. the approval of the annual LA meeting agenda;

f. the election of the Executive Director;

g. the establishment of policies and the ability to direct the executive committee to implement these policies;

h. the establishment of boards, ad hoc, and standing committees and the ability to direct the boards to implement these policies;

i. the right to instruct the Resolutions Committee to prepare motions for the next

annual meeting;

j. the right to elect or establish a nomination and election procedure to replace incapacitated officers;

k. the right to grant affiliation status to other organizations.

By diminishing the power of the Legislative Assembly, the proposed bylaws governance structure furthers the distance between members and the leadership. For example, as described in the association’s documents, “the Legislative Assembly serves a key liaison function between the leadership and the broader membership.”[5] Given that members of the LA serve on behalf of their divisions, sections, and caucuses, their participation in NCA governance guarantees a truly representative degree of plurality in terms of the voice and vote of the membership.

In recent years the power of the Legislative Assembly has been a vital force in the preservation of academic freedom and the protection of the membership. The power of the Legislative Assembly not merely to advise but to legislate has protected members from a recent attempt to censor program and paper titles at the annual convention as well as ensured that publication contracts contain key provisions for authors’ use of their own works. Without the capacity of the Legislative Assembly to make policy, the members of NCA would likely never have benefited from those protections.

Given the ease with which academic freedom is lost whenever broad faculty governance is diminished, as well as the importance of the LA’s ability to exercise the will of the membership, we urge you to vote no on the proposed new bylaws. Let us then take the coming year to engage the whole of the membership and produce a document that can resolve the critical issues with our existing bylaws without reducing the Legislative Assembly to a merely advisory body.

Sincerely yours,

Lisbeth Lipari, Past Chair, Communication Ethics

Melissa Cook, Immediate Past Chair, Communication Ethics

Pat J. Gehrke, Past Chair, Communication Ethics

Annette Holba; Vice Chair, Philosophy of Communication, Past Chair Communication Ethics

Chris Poulous, Immediate Past Chair, Ethnography ; Past Chair, Communication Ethics Division

Melba Hoffer, Vice-Chair, Communication Ethics

Bert Ballard, Chair, Communication Ethics Division

Amanda McKendree, Treasurer, Communication Ethics

Spoma Jovanovic, Past Chair, Communication Ethics

Janie Harden Fritz, Past President, Eastern Communication Association

Ronald C. Arnett, Past Chair, Communication Ethics

Ken Chase, Past Chair, Communication Ethics

LeAnne Bell McManus, Vice-Chair Elect, Communication Ethics

Michelle Leavitt, Communication Ethics

Michael J. Hyde, Communication Ethics

Belle A. Edson, Feminist and Women's Studies

Jack Daiel, Black Cacucus

Justin P. Boren, Legislative Assembly Representative and former Chair, Caucus on LGBTQ Concerns

David Oh, A/PA Caucus & Division, Critical/Cultural Studies

Margaret Mullan, Communication Ethics

Cem Zeytinoglu, Communication Ethics, Philosophy of Communication, Rhetorical and Communication Theory

Christy Mesaros Winckles, Religious Communication

Anastacia Kurylo, Social Construction

David Weiss, Mass Comm, Political Comm

Betsy Brunner, Critical Cultural

Toniesha Taylor, Asia-Pacific American Communication Studies, Black Caucus

Mariko Izumi, Asia-Pacific American Division & Caucus

Kristen Lynn Majocha, Religious Communication

Radhika Gajjala, Immediate Past Chair, Critical Cultural Studies

Andrew R. Smith, Philosophy of Communication; Communication Ethics; Freedom of Speech

Jenny Korn, Graduate Students

Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Critical and Cultural Studies

Marianne Pabis, Communication Ethics

Kevin T. Jones, Rhetoric and Public Address

Anthony M. Wachs, Philosophy of Communication

Bob Glenn, Community College, Political Comm

Mark Hickson, Applied Communication

Richard L Lanigan, Philosophy of Communication

Richard Rock,

Laura Russell, Communication Ethics

Susan Drucker, Freedom of Expression

Donnetrice Allison, Black Caucus

Donyale Padgett, AACCD/Black Caucus

Pat Arneson, Communication Ethics

Sandra Faulkner, Ethnography/IP/Feminist

Reslie Cortes, US Japan Communication

Lynda Dixon, ethnography

James R. Pickett, Communication Ethics, Philosophy of Communication, Public Relations

Hazel Cole, Black Caucus

Mindy Fenske, Performance Studies

Christine Davis, CASC, Ethnography

Jennifer Tyburczy, Performance Studies/LGBTQ/Critical Cultural

E. Tristan Booth, GLBTQ Communication Studies

Ken Sherwood, Forensics and Argument

Elizabeth McLaughlin,

Elvera Berry, Phil Com; Rhetoric; K. Burke

Jodi Nimmo,

Dana L. Cloud, Rhetoric and Communication Theory, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies

Kathleen Feyh, RCT

Stephen K. Boss,

Paul Mabrey, Argumentation & Forensics

stephanie houston grey, Rhetoric

Karma R. Chavez, GLBTQ, FWSD, Latin@

Lisa Corrigan, Public Address, Black Caucus, Women's Caucus, PoliComm

Ragan Fox, Performance Studies

Brianna Abate, Critical/Cultural Studies

Alyssa Reid, American Forensic Association

Kristen Blinne, Chair, Spiritual Communication Division

Ben Krueger Winona, Rhetorical and Communication Theory

Valerie Thatcher, Environmental

William Keith, Rhetorical and Communication Theory

Eleanor Amy Lockhart, Rhetoric and Public Affairs

Matthew May, Rhetoric and Communication Theory

Brittany Peterson, Org com

Roy Schwartzman, Past President, Association for the Rhetoric of Science & Technology

Karen Lovaas, American Studies, GLBTQ

Daniel Wildeson,

Christy-Dale Sims, CCSD, RCT, FWSD

Diana Tucker, PR and Org Comm Division

Benny LeMaster, Performance studies

Amy Darnell, Performance Studies

Sarah McGhee, Ethnogrpahy

Jason Del Gandio, Rhetoric and Communication Theory

Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, Performance Studies

Amber Kelsie,

Heather Curry, Philosophy of Communication

Jonathan Gray, Environmental Communication, Performance Studies

Robert Carlsen, International/Intercultural

Richard L. Johannesen, Past Chair Communication Ethics Division

Rebecca M. Kennerly, Performance Studies

Bruce Swain, Mass Communication

Valerie V. Peterson, Communication Ethics, American Studies

Karen Lollar, Ethics

Emily Cripe, Health Communication

Karen Whedbee, Communication Ethics Division

Deborah Eicher-Catt, Past Chair, Philosophy of Communication

Elizabeth Jeter, Ethnography

Carl Burgchardt, Public Address; Mass Media

Wendy Anderson, Rhetoric

Sandy Pensoneau-Conway, Basic Course

T. Randahl Morris, Vice Chair, VisComm Division

Christopher L. Johnstone, Assoc. Prof. Emeritus, Penn State University, Communication Ethics Greg Hummel, LGBTQ Division

Brent Northup, Past chair, Communication Ethics Division Past chair, Communication Ethics

Craig Maier, Communication Ethics

Lindsay Greer, Performance Studies

Jennifer Tuder, Performance Studies Division

Stephanie Martinez, Ethnography, Organizational

Joel S Ward, Philosophy of Communication

Jonathan Crist, Communication Ethics Division

Lori Peterson, Ethnography

Rod Carveth, Public Relations

Corinne Weisgerber, Human Communication & Technology

Shannan Butler, Visual Communication

Lisa Barry, Mass Communication

Jennifer L. Freitag, Performance Studies

Shawn D. Long, African American Communication and Culture Division and the Intercaucus Committee

Brent C Sleasman, Communication Ethics

Steve Macek, Critical/Cultural Studies

Adria Battaglia, Freedom of Expression Division

Constance Gordon,

Calvin L. Troup, Philosophy of Communication

Mark Meister, Ethics

Paula Tompkins, Past Chair Communication Ethics

Julie W. Morgan, Comm Ethics

Star Muir, HCTD and Rhetoric

Jessica Sturgess, Philosophy of Communication

Tammy Swenson Lepper, Communication Ethics (Past Chair)

michael kaplan, critical/cultural communication

fran hassencahl, Feminist and Women's Studies

William Kinsella, Environmental, Org, Peace & Conflict

Michele Ramsey,

Charles E. Morris III,

Kenneth Bohl, Comm Ethics

Richard Paine, National Forensic Association

Jill Burk, Communication Ethics Division,

Kevin J. Ayotte, Critical and Cultural Studies Division

[1] Beebe, S. A. (2013, December 13). NCA Special Announcement email sent to NCA membership.

[2] “Freedom of expression, diversity of perspective, tolerance of dissent to achieve the informed and responsible decision making fundamental to a civil society.” NCA Credo.

[3] As articulated in the NCA constitution and bylaws statements on parliamentary procedure.

[4] “Sound governance practice and the exercise of academic freedom are closely connected, arguably inextricably linked. While no governance system can serve to guarantee that academic freedom will always prevail, an inadequate governance system—one in which the faculty is not accorded primacy in academic matters—compromises the conditions in which academic freedom is likely to thrive.” AAUP Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities.

[5] Meeting of the 2012 Legislative Assembly minutes, p, 26.

Share for Success