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San Diego, California, Friday November 21 - Monday November 24, 2008

The 2008 theme, "unCONVENTIONal," is designed to promote innovation, creativity, and imagination in program planning. Moreover, it underscores and reinforces our association's efforts at outreach and reflects the fact that we are now on the radar of important and powerful associations in Washington, DC and throughout the country, and are being sought out to offer expertise at the national level.

To reinforce and extend our presence on the national scene, each unit is challenged to engage in unCONVENTIONal behavior and bring representatives from an allied association (of national prominence) to San Diego to:

  1. Participate in a working panel where plans for collaboration between NCA and the allied association are articulated and tasks for carrying out the plan are assigned;
  2. Host and escort members from allied associations to NCA events so they can learn more about us to report back to their home associations; and
  3. Participate in a Division panel discussing how their work might be of benefit to NCA members.

For example, members of either the Community College or Instructional Development Division might wish to collaborate with NCTE (the National Council of Teachers of English) to develop and refine the basic course requirements in both speaking and writing; the Rhetorical and Communication Theory Division might invite representatives from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the like. To encourage these collaborative efforts, $5,000 has been set aside in the convention budget to defray travel costs and convention registration for invited guests from other associations asked to participate in ways described above. Requests for funding and panel proposals should be sent directly to the unCONVENTIONal program planner.

To further promote innovation and creativity, proposals for intradivisional activities and collaboration across NCA units are also solicited. Special consideration will be given to creative collaboration between Divisions (such as the joint meeting of the Small Group and Interpersonal Divisions to discuss collaborative research projects that was held in Boston), but also more opportunities for individuals of similar "circumstances" to meet and talk. As such, each NCA unit is challenged to co-sponsor at least one panel with another unit where members would discuss venues for joint research and collaboration. Members of divisions and caucuses who rarely interact are encouraged to meet together, and units are encouraged to develop panels to meet the needs of, for example, adjunct faculty, retired faculty, or non-tenured faculty. Extra program slots will be allocated to units engaging in this unCONVENTIONal behavior.

Program planners are strongly encouraged to try unCONVENTIONal and creative formats for their panels. While some programming constraints are inevitable in planning a convention of this size, every effort will be made to accommodate innovative formats.

The National Communication Association is a vibrant and respected learned society. For the 2008 annual meeting, members are encouraged to share our intellectual wealth and richness with members of other learned societies, as well as with our own membership.

Primary Program Planner
Betsy W. Bach, First Vice President