[eDebate] CEDA Amendment: End of Regions
Mon Oct 29 21:03:11 CDT 2007
I am writing to start a conversation regarding one of the proposed
amendments to the CEDA constitution: I have proposed the elimination
of the CEDA regions as an organizational structure and offered self-
selection into conferences as an alternative. This email is to
provide some background to the proposal.
You can find the paper I presented this summer on the topic online at
http://www.cedadebate.org/conferences.doc You can find the 2 page
list of amendments at http://www.cedadebate.org/conferenceamendments.doc
Before I begin, let me say two things: First, I recognize that my
vision is an ideal. I will try to comment and respond to comments,
but I'm sure I will do so in grand and idealistic terms. I'll do my
best to temper my comments, but, big ideas come with grandiose
rhetoric. Second, this is just a sketch. If you have changes,
PLEASE let them be heard. Some of the what I've proposed easily
could be amended. Deadlines and numbers are two good examples of
arbitrary provisions in the proposal.
So, to begin: I am proposing the elimination of the geographically
determined regional structure. I am proposing the creation of self-
selected conferences to serve as a replacement.
How would this work? All schools would be moved from their region
into a permanently created "Independent Conference." Any school not
joining a conference before the deadline would remain in the
Independent Conference throughout the school year. Prior to the
deadline (set as Sept 1 in the proposal), any group of schools may
self-select into a conference of their choosing. Proposals for
conferences must be accepted by the Executive Council so long as they
include (1) rules for the entry/exit of member institutions and (2)
procedure for selecting a chair of the conference.
Conferences with at least 10 member institutions will be eligible for
voting representation on the executive council. Failure to attend
two consecutive EC meetings will automatically de-activate the
conference's voting rights. The chair of the conference must request
voting rights be restarted.
Conferences with at least 8 member institutions will receive a first
place sweepstakes award at the end of the season. At least 12 member
institutions earns a second place award. At least 15 member
institutions earns a third place award. Junior college awards will
remain the same.
Member institutions can move conferences between the end of CEDA
nationals and Sept 1. No changes will be made for any school after
Sept 1. Any new program added after that date will automatically be
added to the Independent Conference.
There are three main advantages of the change:
FIRST, for the CEDA organization. Our current organizational
structure is unworkable. We force people to participate in the
national governance of the organization when that does not appeal to
every member institution. Some schools do not care about the
decisions made by the organization. Other care deeply. But, since
the council meets three times a year, we need to be governed by those
with an interest in participating. Almost every meeting we?ve held
over the past 10 years was not fully attended. Switching to
conferences will allow an improvement in governance. Conferences do
not automatically receive representation on the council. They can
select not to send a representative, they could be sufficiently small
to merit only observer status, or they could be de-activated for
SECOND, for member institutions. Our annual awards structure forces
schools to be compared to other schools who are not their peers.
Colleges and universities seem to universally prefer to set their own
peer group and compare themselves accordingly. Our structure should
follow suit. Schools can determine who they want to be compared to.
For some, they will select schools in their athletic conference.
Others will select schools with similar resources. Others will
select schools with similar pedagogical interests. Still others may
retain geographical ties. The point is that schools should be
empowered to make this determination?the organization should not
THIRD, for new member recruiting. Colleges and universities are
familiar with the language of a conference. As new member schools
are recruited, an additional attraction could be the conference they
would join. I can envision university administrators appearing more
interested knowing that their team would join a conference where a
natural point of comparison is in order. Imagine a Big 10 debate
conference....a Big 12 debate conference...a Pac 10 debate
conference....You get the idea.
This is just a brief overview. There is a more comprehensive paper
and complete list of amendments available online (it was presented at
the summer conference this year). I welcome additional feedback as
we discuss the proposal.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Mailman