Minutes from the November 17, 1995
The meeting was held during the Speech Communication Association Convention, in the Cavalier Room of the Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas.
Committee Chair Arnie Madsen called the meeting to order at 12:20 pm. Brett O'Donnell serving as Secretary. David Hingstman serving as Parliamentarian.
Present: Gass for District One, Backus for District Three, Hingstman for District Four, Hinck for District Five, Smith for District Six, O'Donnell for District Seven, Strange for District Eight, Pickering for District Nine, Katsulas as AFA Eastern Representative, Panetta as AFA Southern Representative, Madsen as AFA Central Representative, Jewell as AFA Western Representative, Parson as Tournament Director, Louden (ex-officio) as Tournament Host. Polk was present representing the Board of Trustees.
The minutes from the NDT Committee meetings at The West Georgia National Debate Tournament and at the University of Northern Iowa Debate Tournament were approved without objection (Gass motion, Jewell second, passed unanimously).
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE CHAIR
The Chair announced that the University of Northern Iowa has volunteered to create an Internet Home Page for NDT debate. A UNI student will create the home page with links to other programs. Links to topic resources may be added at a later time. Initially, the NDT home page will contain information concerning NDT debate and NDT debate programs. Strange requested that DEBATENET be a part of this home page.
The Chair reported that the idea for publishing a NDT brochure to publicize NDT debate was presented to the Board of Trustees. The board returned the idea to the committee for further clarification. The board proposed that the AFA carry out the project and include all of college forensics. Hollihan, President of the AFA, indicated that the AFA might be interested in publishing a general college forensics brochure. The board indicated that it might be interested in placing an advertisement in the Rostrum. The board preferred that Internet publicity be explored.
Muir indicated that he is currently working on publicity materials for NDT debate. He suggested that the committee should publicize NDT debate specifically and separately from other forms of college debate and forensics. Muir will forward a copy of his materials to Madsen.
Strange clarified that the audience for such materials should be high school debaters and that the materials should act as a recruiting device to attract high school debaters to NDT debate generally and to specific programs.
Muir clarified that his materials are for promoting NDT debate at colleges and universities.
Gass indicated that the Policy Caucus may be the appropriate body to promote NDT debate. Muir noted that funding precludes the Policy Caucus from the kind of publicity the committee has suggested.
Smith clarified the intent of his idea presented at the UNI meeting as an attempt to create a directory of NDT programs to increase awareness and recruiting for all schools.
Panetta suggested that the directory be put on the World Wide Web and published in a letter.
The Chair reported that the committee investigating a possible merger between CEDA and NDT has taken no action. The members of the committee are Fritch, Genco, Breshears, and Louden.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES (Polk)
The Chair of the Board reported that the Trustees are seeking some consensus from the NDT Committee concerning what the committee wishes the board to do about the Lexis/Nexis service. One question the board has is how much programs are willing to pay for the service. The chair believes that commercial accounts are available for $7,500.00 a year. The board needs to assess what programs can pay. The board is also concerned that current users may feel threatened by the board opening negotiations with Lexis/Nexis.
Madsen requested feedback from the committee and reported that other forensic organizations are considering the Lexis/Nexis issue.
Katsulas inquired as to how many schools currently have the service. Madsen indicated that approximately one half of the NDT schools have access to Lexis/Nexis.
Gass asked why more schools do not have Lexis/Nexis and why the inequity in Lexis/Nexis availability is different than any other resource inequity in debate.
Madsen indicated that other services provide much of the data that is available on Lexis/Nexis.
Parson reported that there were comments made on the NDT survey concerning this issue. One comment was that attempts to share the service did not work.
Whalen indicated that negotiating with Lexis/Nexis would not affect other schools that had legal access to Lexis/Nexis.
Breshears suggested that the AFA should negotiate with Lexis/Nexis.
Polk requested direction from the committee.
Parson agreed that the AFA should consider this issue.
Madsen indicated that he will raise the issue at the AFA business meeting and requested that district representatives discuss it with their districts.
Muir indicated that the AFA Educational Practices Committee discussed the Lexis/Nexis issue. The committee has formulated recommendations that will be discussed in the AFA business meeting.
Smith raised the concern that the NDT Committee should not be left out of the discussion concerning Lexis/Nexis.
Madsen suggested that the AFA be approached with the issue and that district representatives gather information.
Parson volunteered the NDT Newsletter to conduct a survey on the issue.
Keele discussed NDT membership (see attached). There are currently sixty-eight subscriptions to the NDT. There were eighty-eight in 1994-95. Madsen suggested that district representatives solicit subscriptions. Keele requested invoices for services from the Topic Committee, Judge Philosophy Booklet, and the Rankings Director.
Keele reported that entry fees for the 1996 National Debate Tournament will be $275.00 per team.
REPORT OF THE 1996 TOURNAMENT HOST (Louden)
The Host reported that he is planning with two agendas in mind for the 50th NDT, competition and history. The goal is to make both complimentary. The increase in entry fees is to cover extra meals. The Host reported that the hotel is secured. Debates will occur at the hotel on Friday and on campus on Saturday and Sunday. Monday elimination rounds will be held at the hotel. The big board will be on campus. Dates for the tournament are March 28-April 1, 1996. Louden requested assistance in locating NDT alumni. A tournament booklet will be compiled. Potential speakers were announced. Former President, Jimmy Carter has been invited and George McGovern has been invited. A Lexis/Nexis room with forty telephone lines will be available.
REPORT OF THE 1997 TOURNAMENT HOST (O'Donnell)
The 1997 Host announced that the dates for the 1997 NDT will be March 21-24. A member of the board has yet to visit Lynchburg, but the hotel has been tentatively secured. There will be a special van rental rate through a local company and other arrangements are in process. Hingstman requested that van rental rates through Dulles Airport rental agencies be pursued.
REPORT OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR (Parson)
The Tournament Director reported on the surveys from the 1995 NDT (see attached). He reported specifically on pairing problems with the tournament. He suggested that the number of high-low rounds be changed or the assumption of the definition of a bracket be changed to avoid the high number of mismatches in round eight. He solicited input from the committee.
A considerable discussion occurred on this issue. Specifically a debate about whether teams on the "bubble" should debate and other skews in pairing should be allowed occurred.
Side equalization was also discussed.
Parson moved the due dates for first and second round bid applications. Hingstman second. First round bid applications must be postmarked by February 13 and received by February 14, 1996 and second round applications must be postmarked by March 5 and received by March 6, 1996. The motion passed unanimously.
The deadline for district chairs to inform the Bid Allocation Committee of teams desiring to attend the NDT was set for February 20, 1996.
REPORT OF THE RANKINGS DIRECTOR (Backus)
The Rankings Director reported that the first rankings will be released either Monday or Tuesday of next week.
REPORT OF THE TOPIC COMMITTEE (Hingstman)
Hingstman reported that the Topic Committee had generated a list of potential topics emphasizing legal and domestic topics (see attached) and that the list was released for survey at the Northwestern Debate Tournament.
REPORT OF THE JUDGE PHILOSOPHY BOOKLET DIRECTOR (Berry)
Berry asked for the assistance of district representatives in collecting judge philosophies for the 1996 NDT.
The Chair reintroduced the Patterson amendment to Standing Rule II C 2 c (4) that passed by a majority vote at the West Georgia NDT Committee meeting and must be passed by a second majority vote to change the rule. The proposal would amend the rule to read:
"Participation in the district process shall be a prerequisite for receipt of a Second Round At-Large selection."
O'Donnell clarified the nature of the rule change per the minutes of the West Georgia NDT Committee meeting that this language strikes "unless that District permits only one or two teams from a school to enter" from the rule. However, "participation in the district process" can include, but does not require all of the following: participation in a pre-district tournament ranking process, the district tournament, a district ranking process for selecting that district's qualifying teams.
Smith spoke in defense of the change to prevent teams from holding out their first or second teams in order to increase the chances of receiving a third team selection for the NDT.
The motion passed with a majority on a voice vote with one nay vote and all others voting aye.
Pickering moved the following (Strange second):
"A one-year experiment will be conducted to assess the impact of an open NDT. Specifically:
A. Any school who wants to and has paid their NDT dues may bring up to two teams to the National Debate Tournament. (24 round requirement)
B. Schools must signify their intent to bring teams by indicating the teams in writing to the Tournament Director by the 15th of February.
C. Schools wishing to bring a third team may submit an at-large bid form to the NDT Committee for one of the ten third team slots.
D. Schools must cover their judging obligation with qualified judges at 12 rounds of judging per team.
E. Pairings for the first round of the NDT will be random, with regional constraints. Rounds two through eight will be power paired.
F. Schools and teams wishing to be assessed for a year long performance ranking may submit at-large bid forms to the NDT Committee within 7 days of the 15th of February. This ranking will be released after the NDT, and will form the basis for awarding the Copeland Award." (see attached)
A lengthy discussion followed the motion. Gass suggested that a ceiling for the number of teams that could attend the tournament be added to the motion.
O'Donnell inquired the Board of Trustee's position on the motion and maintaining the nature of the tournament and whether or not the NDT Committee could change to an open NDT by only amending the Standing Rules.
The Parliamentarian indicated that amending the Standing Rules would be enough to change the qualification procedure.
Strange proposed the following amendment to the motion (Gass second) to be inserted after the words "open NDT:"
"This experiment will be conducted in the first year beginning in 1997 that a host agreeable to the terms of the experiment can be secured. The board will attempt to solicit bids in consideration of the experiment."
A considerable discussion occurred on the problem of securing a host for an open NDT.
Panetta suggested that two experiments be conducted with a smaller NDT and an open NDT.
Strange amended his amendment (agreeable to the second) to add the following:
"The host in consultation with the board will be allowed to adjust the host duties and amenities."
The amendment passed on a voice vote with one nay and all others voting aye.
Jewell suggested that "B" of the motion should be amended to include a district process. The first two teams from a school should be determined by a district process.
Gass suggested that the tournament should be totally open to allow all teams from a school to participate.
Smith noted that judge qualifications should be strengthened in the motion to ensure the quality of the judging pool.
Smith moved to amend "F" to "within 7 days of the 15th of March." Panetta second. Smith altered the amendment to "14 days before the start of the NDT."
O'Donnell moved that "C" be struck from the proposal. Jewell second.
The motion failed on a voice vote with one aye and all others voting nay.
Panetta moved the following amendment:
"A one year experiment will be conducted.
A. The top twenty-four teams will be selected by a bid process and will allow a maximum of two teams per school.
B. The top twenty four programs by the NDT rankings will receive one bid per school if they have not received a bid through "A."
C. Four third teams will be selected through an at-large process."
Point of order by Jewell asking that the amendment be ruled out of order as not germane to the original motion.
The Parliamentarian ruled that the motion was not germane.
Pickering proposed name change to the original motion to "Modified NDT." Backus second.
The amendment passed unanimously.
The question was called on the motion "Modified NDT". The motion failed 7-3-2 on a recorded vote. The nays: District III, IV, VI, VIII, AFA Eastern, AFA Southern, AFA Midwest. The ayes: District I, VII, IX. Abstentions: District V, and AFA Western.
Eligibility standards were discussed. Madsen argued that the rules need to be clarified and revised to resolve several issues. Madsen explained that there may be potential problems with the eligibility standards and suggested that a committee be created to revise and write eligibility rules for the NDT.
Madsen created a subcommittee on eligibility.
Smith moved the following (O'Donnell second):
Amend Standing Rule IV F 2 to read:
"Decision confidentiality. It is up to the discretion of judges to decide if they wish to reveal their decisions. Judges desiring to reveal their decisions must wait until all white copies of ballots for that debate are delivered to a bona-fide representative of the Tournament Director. Judges must still provide a written ballot for all preliminary rounds."
Muir spoke in defense of the change using evidence gathered in a survey that he conducted at the 1995 NDT. He defended the value of immediate oral feedback.
The motion passed unanimously and will be in effect for the 1996 NDT.
The Chair announced that the next meeting will be at the University of Michigan Debate Tournament.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 pm.
Respectfully Submitted, Brett O'Donnell, Secretary