[eDebate] A way forward on the NDT rules discussion

Gordon Stables stables
Mon Apr 24 14:56:31 CDT 2006

Forgive me for cross-posting this to edebate and ceda-l. There has been 
a reasonable amount of discussion and although I am not going to 
directly engage the merits of the controversy, I wanted to provide a way 
to encourage further deliberation that reached a large segment of our 

As much as some decry lack of transparency, from the standpoint of those 
involved in these decisions, we often suffer from lack of input. The 
recent controversy about the NDT worker rule is a great example of how 
for a period of time there is quite a dust-up about an issue, but as 
personal responsibilities (finals, grading, other jobs, families, etc) 
take over the issue disappears. This can be especially troubling when 
the calendar of events requires certain actions at certain times. As 
productive as this conversation has been, I would invite everyone to pay 
close attention to the topic process because it is the immediate action 
item facing our community. Without attempting to ignore the very real 
discussion on the rules issue, the CEDA topic ballots are due in exactly 
two weeks. Please read the topic papers and ask questions and provide 
your perspectives. We need your input.

In the context of the worker rule we need a way to move forward. I would 
like to encourage everyone who feels passionately about the NDT worker 
rule to make their voice heard to their representative. Before we voted 
at the NDT, the chair asked for a sense of the committee, that is, what 
their districts had encouraged them to support or reject. This effort 
produced a great deal of support for change. I am confident that at 
least three of the four no votes supported other reform legislation. 
This should give you a sense that the discussion in this forum has been 
only partially representative of the discussion we considered. I 
appreciate the effort by Eber and others who recently began a line of 
conversation that specifically relate to making the reform best match 
community preference. We need that next stage of community input before 
we move ahead.

The next stage in the process is the November meeting at the National 
Communication Association conference. This may seem like a long way off, 
but it gives every school and every region time to meet at tournaments 
in the fall and conduct electronic correspondence about this matter. It 
is also the transparent process by which we function. I am including 
below the same template that I am going to be using for feedback among 
my district. This can certainly be improved, but something along these 
lines can help us learn from you.

1) Do you support the general principle of regulating who performs 
research related tasks at the NDT?
2) Do you support the current rule as passed at the March 06 meeting?
3) Do you support restricting the number of coaches and staff who 
research at the NDT?
4) Do you support allowing non-competing students to research at the NDT?
5) Do you favor numerical limits on the number of people (all 
participants) who can research at the NDT?
    a) Do you favor limits on staff researchers?
    b) Do you favor limits on student researchers?
6) If you answered yes to any part of question 5, what limits do you prefer?
    a) for staff?
    b) for students?

You each have two people that are responsible to hear your concerns. The 
first group below are the committee members who represent the American 
Forensics Association. They divide the country into four regions that 
represent you.

Karla Leeper, Baylor University, Chair, AFA Western 
<mailto:partsara at isu.EDU>Karla_Leeper at baylor.edu 
<mailto:Karla_Leeper at baylor.edu>
Tim O'Donnell, Mary Washington College, AFA Eastern todonnel at mwc.edu
<mailto:todonnel at mwc.edu>Joe Zompetti, Mercer University, AFA Midwest, 
Zompetti at aol.com
<mailto:Zompetti at aol.com>Ed Lee, University of Alabama, AFA South, 
bamadebate at yahoo.com <mailto:bamadebate at yahoo.com>
<mailto:Zompetti at aol.com> <mailto:Zompetti at aol.com>
You also each have a regional representative. We are elected to two-year 
terms so you always have the chance to find someone else if you don't 
like how we do our jobs.

Gordon Stables, District 1 stables at usc.edu <mailto:stables at usc.edu>
Glen Frappier, Gonzaga Univ., District II frappier at calvin.gonzaga.edu
<mailto:frappier at calvin.gonzaga.edu>Joel Rollins, Univ. Texas-Austin, 
District III jd.rollins at mail.utexas.edu
<mailto:jd.rollins at mail.utexas.edu>Fred Sternhagen, Concordia College 
sternhag at CORD.EDU <mailto:sternhag at CORD.EDU>
Dick Lesicko, Macalester College, District IV lesicko at macalester.edu
<mailto:lesicko at macalester.edu>Mike Eber , Michigan State University, 
District V eber at msu.edu <mailto:eber at msu.edu>
<mailto:Bbrossmann at jcu.edu>Ryan Galloway, Samford University, District VI
<mailto:smithr at wfu.edu>Warren Decker, George Mason University, District 
VII wdecker at OSF1.GMU.EDU <mailto:wdecker at OSF1.GMU.EDU>
<mailto:parcherj at mindspring.com>Dallas Perkins, Harvard University, 
District VIII dperkins at fas.harvard.edu
<mailto:dperkins at fas.harvard.edu>Omar Guevara, Weber State University, 
District IX, oguevara at weber.edu <mailto:oguevara at weber.edu>
<mailto:stannardmatt at hotmail.com>
I am excited that this gives us the chance to hear more from you and 
that you can better be involved in the process.

In the interim, please read the topic papers and provide feedback.



Gordon Stables, Ph.D.

Director of Debate

Annenberg School for Communication

University of Southern California

Office: 213 740 2759               Fax: 213 740 3913


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