Section President meeting

Section President meeting 06.09.2001 in Budapest

Present at the meeting were (in alphabetical order):

  • Howard Frederick (International Communication - assisted by Peter A. Thompson)
  • Mohd. Safar Hasim (Professional Education)
  • Klaus Bruhn Jensen (Audience and Reception Studies)
  • Philippe Maarek (representing David Paletz, Political Communication)
  • Terhi Rantanen (History)
  • Karin Wahl-Jørgensen (Junior Scholars Network).
Since the agenda of our Budapest meetings proved so full, and since, in addition, I was unable to attend the additional lunch meeting on Saturday to report, this mail will serve as the report of the section presidents' meeting on Thursday Sept. 6, 2001.
The section presidents identified four issues for consideration:
1. Since no separate funding is available for section activities, it is essential that the association provide services which support section activities, also between conferences. As noted both in and outside of council, these activities are the life blood of the association. In particular, the section presidents requested that the association website be developed accordingly to include an automatically updated membership database, perhaps online publications, a dialogue or conference system, and other facilities. It was emphasized that turnkey software is available for these purposes at a reasonable price.
2. The section presidents requested that planning for the 2002 Barcelona conference include an early contact to section presidents regarding the number of anticipated papers and panels, so that sufficient rooms may be booked. A reasonable time frame for consultation of all sections would seem to be 1 month following the Budapest conference.
3. The section presidents suggested the introduction of specific thematic panels as a regular feature in conference planning, including panels that are not affiliated with particular sections. The view was that the membership should be given the opportunity to address both research themes and emerging research traditions in this manner, thus continuously developing the profile of the association and, in time, its working groups and sections.

Finally, the section presidents expressed concern about the level of information to them. Several had received no documents for the Budapest meetings. A simple solution would be e-mail and other electronic communication, and even better web-based communication which does not pose problems of incompatible software and computer latforms. A password-protected segment of the association website would solve many such problems, to be supplemented with mailings to those who request it.