Minutes from the February 8, 1997
The meeting was held at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
Arnie Madsen Chaired the Meeting.
Sherry Hall served as secretary.
The meeting was attended by the following:
District One Rep: None
District Two Rep: None
District Three Rep: John Fritch
District Four Rep: David Hingstman
District Five Rep: Brent Brossman
District Six Rep: Ross Smith
District Seven Rep: Neil Butt for Warren Decker
District Eight Rep: Ken Strange
District Nine Rep: Becky Bjork
Western Rep: Matt Taylor for Tom Jewell
Midwestern Rep: Arnie Madsen
Southern Rep: Paul Skiermont for Ede Warner
Eastern Rep: Brett O'Donnell for Bob Frank
Tournament Director: Donn Parson
Board of Trustees Rep: Bill Balthrop
Approval of Minutes
The meeting was called to order at 2:00 pm by Arnie Madsen. The first order of business was the approval of the minutes from the SCA meeting. A motion to approve was made by Ross Smith seconded by Brent Brossman. Becky Bjork asked for clarification on whether of not the suggestion in the minutes to have Hingstman become a part of the CEDA topic committee had been done. Madsen said he didn't know whether or not Hingstman was involved yet but that Tuna Snyder had been contacted and indicated it would be no problem to work with Hingstman on the topic. The minutes passed unanimously.
REPORT OF THE COMMTTE CHAIR: DISTRICT TWO UPDATE (Madsen)
Madsen reported on the letter he sent out last fall which outlined a three step process for District II to rejoin the NDT. First, schools in District II must subscribe to the NDT. Second, they must reformulate the district and it's rules. Third, once a reformulated district has been created, District II will receive qualifying slots. Dumas of Gonzaga reported to Madsen that the schools interested in NDT debate in District II had recently met and are reforming the district. No district rules have yet been promulgated however, since they are having difficulty locating the old rules. Dumas has been elected chair of the district, and he indicated that they are interested in participating in the bid allocation process.
Madsen noted that in addition to the paid subscribers as of the SCA meeting, Alaska Anchorage and Williamette had joined. Gonazaga will soon subscribe.
A discussion arose about the necessity of obtaining an e-mail address and/or fax number for Dumas and distributing it to schools submitting for first and second rounds since Dumas will now have a vote on the at-large bids. Ross suggested posting Dumas' address and a messages that all bids must be sent to him as well to effectively communicate this change to those wishing to submit bids. It was also suggested that Ken Strange forward all the e-mail bid applications that he receives to Dumas to make sure that Dumas gets them all. Madsen said that he would make sure to get Dumas' e-mail address to Strange. Scott Deathrage asked what the thinking was behind the decision to revise the bid allocation process so that everyone had to apply either by e-mail or fax. Madsen answered that the shortened time between the second rounds and the NDT necessitated speeding up the second round application process.
TOURNAMENT HOST REPORT (O'Donnell)
Brett O'Donnell said that the preparations and plans are progressing. He reminded people to make hotel reservations immediately as the hotel has run out of double rooms. He also reminded people who are interested in playing golf to let him know so he can make the reservations. He also needs to know if anyone is interested in using some of the workrooms that are set aside at the hotel for Wednesday. The rooms are available but must be reserved. Jack Kemp will be speaking at the Thursday night banquet which will be covered by C-Span. Security for the speech will be tight and banquet tickets will be required for admission. Brett also said that he had spoken with Kemp's speech writer to make sure that the speech would be of interest to the debaters. Brett also reminded everyone of the rule passed at last year's NDT meeting banning alcohol in all competition rooms, both on campus and at the hotel. A room for an all night, post- tournament party will be made available at the hotel, but no alcoholic beverages can be brought into any of the competition rooms at the hotel. Free copying will be available both at the hotel and at the school. Two copiers will be set up in the media room which has a spot with a modem hookup for all participating schools.
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR'S REPORT (Parson)
1ST/2ND Round Bid Application Process
Parson expressed some concern about the new process of sending the bid applications via fax and/or e-mail instead of overnight shipping them. On Wednesday, February 12, after 3:00 pm CST Parson will put a list of the applications that he has received on the Director's page of the web. Any committee member missing any of the applications should call Parson and he will then fax them. The Second Round At-Large Bids will be posted on the Director's page by 3:30 pm on March 4th. Parson also gave the phone numbers and times for people to call with their votes. If all the votes for the First Rounds are in by Friday night (February 14), then he will put the list of teams on his answering machine that night, otherwise they will be on the machine by noon Saturday. The Second Rounds should be posted by noon on Wednesday, March 5. The address for the NDT web page is: www.uni.edu/NDT.
Redlands Round Robin Issue
Madsen said there was still confusion over how to treat the Redlands tournament on the bid application. He reiterated the position of the committee from last year. It can be treated as either a round-robin or a regular tournament. The committee members agreed that no one would be penalized for treating it as a round-robin.
District Bid Allocation Dates
By February 12, 1997, teams that intend to participate in the allocation process need to submit the relevant information to the respective district chairs. The bid allocation will be announced by Fritch on February 18, 1997. For purposes of bid allocation all names of all teams wishing to attend the NDT must be submitted to John Fritch, including First Rounds. Ross Smith asked if the district chairs could have more time to get the names to Fritch. Fritch said it was OK with him for the information to come as late as Monday, February 17, 1997.
Likely Dates/Sites for Districts
Matt Taylor said that District I originally intended to have a large tournament that would have included a lot of CEDA teams, but a conflict with the CEDA Regional Championship tournament would prevent many CEDA teams from participating in the District tournament. Smith told Taylor that the District qualifying tournament could include teams that did not intend to go to the NDT and that the District VI tournament often did. Taylor said that he would go back and see if there was interest in merging the CEDA tournament with Districts. Given this uncertainty his estimate of the number of teams attending the District I tournament is between 7 and 20. District II is planning on ranking with 4-6 teams in the allocation process. District III will have a hybrid tournament/ranking process with 11 teams participating. The top 40% of the teams will receive a bye, the rest will debate. District IV will have a tournament with 7-9 teams. District V will have a tournament with 12-16 teams. District VI will have a tournament with 11-16 teams. District VII will have a tournament with 16-18 teams. District VIII will rank between 6-9 teams. District IX will have a tournament with 8-13 teams.
Madsen moved to accept February 17 as the deadline for reporting to Fritch with bid allocation information. It passed unanimously.
The tab room will be the same as last year: Chuck Kaufman, Rich Edwards, Pat Ganor, Neil Phillips, and Eric Doxtader.
Smith asked if a hired judge could judge for less than a full tournament commitment as the rules now require. Parson said that it was OK especially if the judge was volunteering and not to be compensated. He said that there had been plenty of good judges beyond the quarterfinals for the last few years and that he didn't see a problem with releasing judges early. O' Donnell asked whether or not he was responsible for housing guest judges hired by the tournament and was told that he was not.
REPORT OF THE RANKING DIRECTOR (Cheshier)
The second report will be released within the week. It is not yet ready because of the large number of tournaments that had to be added. All schools attending any tournament debating the NDT topic will be counted in the next report. The third report will drop off any schools not subscribing to the NDT.
REPORT OF THE BID ALLOCATION COMMITTEE
No report given.
REPORT OF JUDGE PHILOSOPHY COMMITTEE
Mike Berry was not present, but it was noted that he had complained about the large number of philosophies arriving at the last minute via the fax machine. He does not have easy and continual access to the fax machine and requests that last minute philosophies come by e-mail. The same judging philosophy form will be used. Ross moved to establish March 10, 1997 as the deadline for sending Berry the judge philosophies, Fritch seconded, and it passed unanimously.
AD HOC COMMITTEE ON TOURNAMENT PROCEDURES
The subcommittee consisting of Ross Smith, Brent Brossman, Ede Warner, Arnie Madsen, Rich Edwards, and Gary Larson has been formed but has not met yet. No report was given.
REPORT OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES (Balthrop)
Balthrop responded to recent criticism of the Board by admitting that the Board might not be as open as some people would like. He said that the meetings were open, and that the minutes from the Board's meeting at SCA would be made available to the community as soon as possible. He addressed the question of the budget and tournament fees by saying that he made the decision to keep the tournament fees set at $275.00 out of fiscal responsibility. He noted that he had only been in the position of treasurer of 6 months, and that he was unaware of any promise that the tournament fees would be reduced to pre-Wake Forest NDT levels. He said that the financial status of the NDT necessitated this fee. He also noted that nothing had changed in the overall financial considerations from last year to warrant reducing the fees. He said that the NDT was operating on the border now and that the Board may lose money on the NDT this year. The current budget, which includes the Ford Foundation money that just came in, shows a $1700.00 net surplus for the NDT. However, that number assumes 110 subscribers of which we now have 80. He recommended that if we in fact ended the NDT with a surplus this year, that money should be contributed to the reserve fund which was nearly depleted paying the $7000.00 deficit from last year's NDT, or it should be carried forward as an operating surplus for next year. This might allow the fees to the tournament to be lowered next year. He said that he did not see any way to lower the costs or the fees, and that the Board would welcome any feedback from the community on ways to save money or amenities that could be cut.
Dallas Perkins asked Balthrop if he felt that he or someone else on the Board of Trustees was sufficiently in touch with the budget that he (or they) could say that the money was being spent efficiently and that we were getting the best deal for our money. He asked if $6,000 for trophies was the best we can do. He said that he hosted a tournament that gave away 4 times as many trophies with a budget close to $6,000.00. Balthrop said he did not know who made the decisions about the trophies. Perkins said that he had spoken to Lee Polk who said "I have no idea what a good deal would be." Polk did check with a trophy person in Waco who said he could not offer a better deal. Perkins said he asked John Gossett about the trophy budget and was told that he did not know the details either.
Perkins again asked Balthrop if he could say whether the trophy money was carefully spent. Balthrop said no. He asked if any of the money was carefully spent. Balthrop replied "such as..." Perkins said "The size of the tab room." Balthrop said that the Board of Trustees followed the recommendations of the Tournament Director on the size of the tab room. Perkins said that CEDA had cut its mailing costs by 75% by using electronic distribution and asked if we had tried that. Parson said that the bulk of the NDT mailing expense was the post-tournament booklet.
Perkins said that he had researched two line items in the budget. The first was trophies. He said that the trophies could be done for $2,000 to $3,000 less with better quality awards. He also said that he runs a very large speech and debate tournament with a much smaller tab room and asked why we needed to spend so much money flying in the tab room. Parson said that there are in fact two tab rooms running at the same time to provide a double check on each other. He explained that all the ballots are entered in each of the tab rooms, then before the next round is paired a list is printed out on each computer and compared to make sure there were no entry errors. He said Rich Edwards was needed in case something went wrong with the computer. He also said that his staff had been cut back from the previous director's staff of nine. He said there would have been three errors last year had it not been for the double check system. Perkins said the error would only effect one round and could then be fixed. Many people at the table said they felt an error for one round was bad and to be avoided. Matt Taylor said that CEDA picked the tab room staff out of people who were already flying to the tournament and no additional travel/housing expenses were incurred. Parson said that he wants people he has confidence in. The stakes are high and we should have a professional tab room. Perkins asked if he would oppose having the host provide people to do the data entry. Parson replied that he already uses host people, and that the host usually does not have a lot of spare people around. He reiterated the desire to have a professional tab room with people he has confidence in.
Balthrop said that he would check into the trophies. Brett O'Donnell asked if they had been ordered yet. Balthrop said that the transition from one treasurer to the next was not always smooth. Perkins said that a lot of people in the community were concerned that many of the line items in the budget were not justified. He said that he was not completely persuaded about the tab room but would bow to community consensus on that. He said that Ron Wastyn was particularly upset about the fees. Perkins said that one could run a couple of debate programs for what we spend on running this one debate tournament. Perkins also said that he wanted to apologize for some of his recent e- mail comments. He said that he did not think that the Board of Trustees should resign; he did not think Jerry Falwell was a facist; and that he counted Balthrop and Gossett among his friends. He also said that the NDT needs a Board of Trustees that is carefully managing the money and that we do not appear to be getting the best deal for our money now. Balthrop said that he will look into the budget more carefully and either defend or change the line items. Strange said he thought the trophy problem was really one of inertia.
Perkins showed a collection of trophies to the Committee. He said that he had put together a trophy proposal for the NDT with the quality of trophies that he was showing for $3,000 without the plaques and $4,000 with them. He also asked if we really needed to spend $5,000.00 on the big board.
Brett O'Donnell said that the host pays for the Big Board not the Board of Trustees. O'Donnell said he thought it was important that everyone understand exactly what come out to the $275 entry fee. He said that the two banquets were the only things that the host was compensated for. Balthrop said that these are the kinds of things that need to be discussed. Frank Harrison said that the total amount of money he put up for the 1991 NDT was $5,500. He did not understand how the Big Board could cost so much. Smith said that Wake spent over $2,000 on the signs alone. Fritch said that the real issue was not the $275.00 entry fee, but the huge expenses borne by the hosts. What we really need to focus on is how to control the costs for the host. Deathrage said that we need to not only ask how to save money on the items in the budget, but also to question weather or not we want to continue to do all the same things. Parson said that this was the appropriate time to reassess what amenities should be provided. He also said that he was persuaded by the trophies that Perkins had passed around. Brent Brossman suggested that we reconsider hosting the tournament at schools and consider other sites such as convention centers. O'Donnell said that would drive the costs up. Fritch asked if this was the appropriate time for him to present his motion. Madsen said that Balthrop should finish the Board of Trustees Report first. Balthrop said he had nothing else. Deathrage suggested focusing on raising money as well as cutting costs. Balthrop said that the Board had initiated various fundraising efforts for years. JW Patterson said that he was concerned about the low levels in the reserve account. He also said that he thought the Committee needed to revise how it treated the hosts. Instead of presenting the hosts with a list of expectations, the host should tell the Committee what he/she could do.
O'Donnell said that the large entry fee placed enormous pressure on the host to spend a lot of money. He said that most people don't understand that very little of the entry fee goes to pay for the things the host provides. He said that people felt they were not getting their money's worth if all the meals were not provided, even though the money was not going to pay for many of the meals. He said that the Board and the NDT Committee need to get together about what the host does. He said that the Committee cost him an additional $3000.00 at the SCA meeting when it was decided he would print the pre-tournament book. He urged better communication channels between the Board, the Committee and the community.
Harrison said he was concerned about our ability to find hosts in the future. He referred to the infamous "Tom Preston" letter whereby it is said that Tom Preston upon offering to host the NDT was told that unless he had $20,000 up front we were not interested. He said this was a communication problem. He said that the leaks about the Utah bid to host the NDT and its dates were another example of ineffective communication. He said that the committee must be more host-friendly. Cori Dauber said that there was a certain amount of naivete about the costs of running a tournament from people who do not run them. She suggested that more information be communicated to the community about the tournament expenses and budget. Deathrage reiterated Harrison's comment about being host friendly. He said that Northwestern is considering putting in a bid for the 1999 NDT, but that it would have to be held one week later than most people want. If the committee could not be flexible on the date, then Northwestern would not make a bid. He urged flexibility especially in the post merger world.
John Fritch offered the following motion on behalf of District III: "The NDT Committee be asked to explore the financial necessities of hosting the NDT in light of the difficulty of finding hosts and available dates." Becky Bjork seconded.
Bjork asked that the community do this sooner rather than later as she was starting to plan the 1998 NDT next Tuesday. O'Donnell distributed the budget for the Liberty NDT. Perkins said that there should be a sense of the NDT resolution that the host not be responsible for providing all the meals. Steve Mancuso said that the proposed savings in the Board of Trustees budget were nickel and dime issues compared with the amount of money the host spends. He said this community has to decide what the tournament will be and who is going to pay for it. Arnie Madsen said he thought it was obscene that the host had to pay for the Board of Trustee's dinner. Perkins said that it was not economically efficient for the host to provide all the meals because they were dealing with food service monopolies who could surely be undercut by fast food. Matt Taylor asked if the meals were provided to facilitate the tournament schedule. Several people responded that it was an amenity not driven by schedule considerations. Taylor said that when he hosted CEDA nationals they did not provide any banquets or any lunches. They did provide breakfast each morning, a registration reception and a coach's reception.
O'Donnell said that he did not want to go too much the other way, that he wanted this to be a nice tournament. He suggested if we want to continue to offer the same amenities that we consider scaling back the size of the tournament. He also said that he thought providing lunch did facilitate the tournament schedule. Deathrage agreed and said we should not be so quick to scrap things like the banquet and lunch without thinking how it will effect tournament schedule. O'Donnell added that he did not pass the budget around to complain about the money Liberty was spending. He said that he and Liberty were happy to host, but that he wanted the community to understand the full extent of the budget issues. Brossman said the host could save $8000 by cutting the lunches. Deathrage said we should time the down time this year to see whether or not it would hurt the schedule. Dauber said the question was not whether or not there should be amenities and meals provided, but instead how the things that are provided interact with the flow of the tournament. If lunch makes the day go smoother keep it. She said that many consider the AFA reception to be a waste of time. It takes people away in the middle of the day when they do not want to go, and does not contribute to the efficient flow of the tournament. Deathrage said we needed to be sure that we did not tell a host that he/she could not do what they want. He said he wants to put on a big show and was going to do a lot of things regardless of whether the committee thought he had to.
Madsen asked if there was any further discussion of the motion of the table. Balthrop asked if the resolution had a date in it. Could the committee meet between now and the NDT so as to report back at the NDT with suggestions that would be helpful to the planning of the 1998 NDT at Utah. Madsen said if it passed he would appoint a subcommittee to report at Liberty. Smith asked if anyone could be on the subcommittee. Madsen said yes. The motion passed unanimously.
The subcommittee members will be: Cori Dauber, Dallas Perkins, Frank Harrison, Scott Deathrage, and Steve Mancuso. Brett said he would provide information to the subcommittee.
A five minute break was taken.
1998 NDT Site
Becky Bjork said that the facilities at Utah are outstanding. The union has five or six big ballrooms that could hold functions. Downstairs from those rooms is a collection of fast- food outlets. A classroom with 45 rooms in it is a five minute walk from the union. The hotels in Utah will be a little more costly given the popularity of the city with skiers. Bjork estimates the rates will be between $75.00 and $90.00. She said that she has commitments from the College of Humanities and the Vice President's office to put on a good tournament. She said that she had presented a budget proposal to the Board of Trustees, but after today's discussion she may scale back some on that budget.
Smith moved to accept the Utah bid, Brossman seconded and it passed unanimously.
1998 NDT Dates
Bjork explained that Utah was on a quarter system and that their spring break begins on the week of March 22. Her first choice of dates for the tournament is to have the opening banquet on Thursday, February 26, 1998 with eliminations rounds concluding on Monday, March 30, 1998. She said that if we wanted to move to the next weekend, she would not be able to get classrooms at the school for the Friday rounds. She would be prepared to look into obtaining rooms for the rounds either at the hotel or the Salt Palace convention center.
Madsen said that both proposed dates are within the NDT standing rules. He also said that we had tentatively committed to the March 26 date at SCA and that CEDA was relying on that to schedule their National Championship Tournament. He said that Tuna Snyder said that CEDA did not yet have a host and either weekend would be acceptable. Snyder did not want CEDA's tournament date choice to impose extra costs on Becky and Utah. Perkins said that the CEDA community expressed a preference for the third weekend in March at their business meeting at SCA. Smith said that the sense of the CEDA meeting was that they wanted their national tournament to be first. He also said that having the two tournaments back to back was not really optimum because it did not give people enough time to recover form the first and attend both tournaments. Sherry Hall asked if the March date would squeeze the second semester tournament schedule. After a mass consultation of calendars it was agreed that the March date left time for all the tournaments in February and March.
Fritch moved to accept the March 26-30 dates, Hingstman seconded, and it passed unanimously.
Clarification of Eligibility Grandfather Clause
Madsen said that there was still some confusion over the eligibility question as far as CEDA debate participation was concerned. He recited his understanding of the history of this issue. At the Michigan NDT meeting the committee voted to count CEDA participation toward NDT eligibility. At that meeting Hingstman offered an amendment to grandfather in current debaters, which died for a lack of a second. At the Wake Forest meeting a concern was raised about students who had relied on the former rule that CEDA participation did not count in making decisions about where to debate. Ken Strange then offered a motion to start counting the CEDA participation toward NDT eligibility in the Fall of 1996. It passed by a voice vote.
Strange said that the purpose of the grandfather clause was to avoid students debating 4 years in CEDA then 4 years in NDT. He said that all NDT tournaments counted, and that from the Fall of 1996 onward all CEDA tournaments counted. Madsen said that some people thought that CEDA did not count toward eligibility and based decisions on that.
Frank Harrison suggested an amendment that would say starting in the Fall of 1997 CEDA and NDT count for everyone with no grandfather clause. Ken said that was the intention of the motion passed at the Wake meeting. Perkins suggested an amendment that would say starting at the 1998 NDT, no none is eligible to compete if they debated for more than eight semesters, count all types of debate with no grandfather clause. Fritch said this was ridiculous. The committee's intention was clear and that trying to clarify the intention would only create more problems. He proposed leaving it alone.
Madsen asked if there was a motion to clarify. Strange said he thought it should be left alone. Many heads at the table nodded in agreement.
Smith moved to adjourn, multiple seconds.
The next meeting will be held at the Liberty NDT on Thursday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Ballroom BC at the tournament hotel.