The Program Committee consists of a varying number of members of the Association. The number of committee members varies depending on the appointments to this committee which are made by the President-elect and the Program Committee Chair. Usually the committee consists of between 18 and 24 members chosen with respect to region (North, South, Central), type of institutional affiliation - community college, college, university, and nonacademic, and areas of specialization and interest. The idea is to get a representative committee. The PSA Vice-President is always a member of the committee.
note: references to attachments refer to printed sheets available from the association office
The role of Program Committee chair is crucial to the success of the PSA annual meeting. The chair of this committee has many responsibilities and duties, too many to go into detail about in this Handbook. The Chair works closely with the President-elect, the Program Committee Members, and the Secretary/Treasurer of the Association. When the Chair has questions or concerns, the Executive Director or President should be contacted for information and advice. The Executive Director will keep the Chair informed of deadlines, duties, and responsibilities as the calendar unfolds.
Procedures, duties, responsibilities, calendar and the role of the chair
Below is an overview of the duties, responsibilities, and calendar of the program committee and the role of the chair. The deadlines and tasks listed are the core ones that need to be followed. Others not listed may come up depending on developments. But this schedule is one that will work well.
The dates below refer to months in the calendar year TWO years before the year in which the annual meeting you are responsible for will be held. For example, if the annual program you are responsible for will be held in 1999, then the December lst deadline below refers to December lst of 1997.
- By December 1st. The Executive Director needs to receive by December 1st if possible a brief statement on the annual meeting. This statement will announce the Call for Sessions, the theme, where the meetings are scheduled to be held, who to contact for more information, and who to contact if someone is interested in organizing a session for the meeting. For a model, consult the January PSA Newsletter (See exhibit #1.) The article should be brief, about one column, since the January Newsletter is mostly devoted to the meeting that year.
- By December lst. The membership of the Program Committee should be finalized by early December as well and they should be informed of important dates and responsibilities. (See exhibit #2.) The Program Committee is appointed by the President-elect and the Program Chair. If you have the Program Committee in place, each member can be given instructions to find four persons who are willing to organize a session for the annual meeting. Thus, if you have 20 members of the Program Committee and each finds four session organizers, you have a good start at having a robust program. In addition, many additional session organizers are found simply by having the Session Organizer Proposal Form in hand and encountering people at the annual meeting. See the Session Organizer's Proposal Form enclosed (exhibit #3). In addition, several PSA Committees--Teaching, COFRAT, Race and Ethnicity, etc.--sponsor and organize sessions. The Chairs of the relevant PSA committees will be forwarding Session Proposal Forms to the you.
The dates below refer to months in the calendar year ONE year before the year in which the annual meeting you are responsible for will be held. For example, if the annual program you are responsible for will be held in 1999, then the February lst deadline below refers to February lst of 1998.
- By February lst. Members of the Program Committee should be sent a letter announcing a luncheon meeting at the annual meeting to plan for the next year's meeting the committee is responsible for. The Secretary/Treasurer will mail the letter to the members of the Program Committee and will locate a suitable restaurant near the annual PSA meeting site. The PSA will pay for the luncheon. The luncheon serves as an opportunity for the Program Committee to discuss the annual program a year in advance and to receive information about their duties and responsibilities.
- By April lst. Decide if a local host should be appointed. What this means is that someone from a campus in the area in which the annual meeting will be held will serve as a local arrangements person. All this means is that the PSA Office will ask that person if he or she can provide some student help at registration. Students who volunteer will be given free registration and free membership, plus a small honorarium, depending on how long they work. We will need several students. If you want the local host to do others things, such as a restaurant guide, please inform them. If you don't want to appoint a local host, that is acceptable as well. The PSA Office can announce a call for student volunteers at registration in the January Newsletter. A restaurant guide is usually available over the internet.
- By May lst. Shortly after the annual meeting, you should have all the Session Organizer Forms returned to you or to the PSA Office and you should have a complete idea of what the preliminary call for papers will look like. Also note that most sessions generated will go in the Call for Papers that will be mailed to members in the May PSA Newsletter. However, other sessions (those being organized independently of the Call for Papers--behind the scenes so to speak) should NOT GO IN THE CALL FOR PAPERS. These sessions might include plenaries, special workshops, etc. The organizers are asked to indicate on the Session Organizer's Proposal form whether they want their session in the Call for Papers or not (See exhibit #3).
You will also need to write a short statement on the annual meeting you are responsible for, announcing the theme again and any special sessions, e.g., plenaries, workshops, etc. you and the President have planned, and most importantly providing the deadline date for submission of ideas, abstracts, outlines, and papers to session organizers. This deadline will be October 15th. Session organizers, however, will have until November 15th to send their final paper work to you for the session listing in the preliminary program which will be published in the January Newsletter. In addition, you must supply the PSA office with the complete Call for Papers on diskette. Please see the May issue of the Newsletter for an example of what this should look like (See exhibit #4). The Call for Papers will go in the May Newsletter.
- By June 15th. Send each organizer a letter informing them of procedures, etc. Note there are separate letters for organizers whose sessions will be in the Call for Papers. (See exhibit #5.) and for organizers who have indicated that they don't want their session listed in the Call (See exhibit #6.) It is important to communicate with session organizers about details, not only in June, but also in September and October. These and other letters can be sent from the PSA Office.
- By August lst. A second call for papers will be published in the Sept. PSA Newsletter. This second Call will include any changes and additions that have occurred in the Call for Papers since the initial call published in May. Changes will involve addresses, phone numbers, etc. as well as titles. Some session organizers may drop out, and you may pick others up who missed the deadline for the May call.
- By Sept. 10. Soon after the second call is mailed to members in the Sept. Newsletter, each session organizer (that includes session organizers who are listed in the call for papers as well as those who are organizing sessions NOT listed in the call) should be sent a form to complete for each session they are organizing (See exhibit #7). On this form they will enter the details of their session. This form should be returned to you by November 15th. Note, the deadline for the Call for Papers is Oct. 15, but session organizers have an additional four weeks to firm up their sessions.
- By October 15. A second letter to session organizers should be sent, reminding them to firm up the details of their sessions and to send their completed session forms to you by the November 15 deadline.
- Between Oct. 15 and November 15, things can get tricky. Some session organizers by late October may only have one or two papers. Hence, the session won't make. But you will want to "save" the papers for presentation. This can be done by redirecting the presenters to a roundtable or to other sessions. You have to keep organizers informed during this time, and they must keep you informed. Thus it is a good idea to be on top of this shuffling around. There may be a good deal of it. Presenters need to know what is occurring too. Some session organizers won't inform their presenters of details and changes. This is the hardest thing to be on top of so that everyone knows what is happening. Some session organizers will have too many papers for one session and ask for an additional session. This is possible providing there are enough meeting rooms available at the hotel. The Secretary/Treasurer will inform you of the number of meeting rooms.
- November 15th. This is a concrete deadline; you must make it so. It has to be in concrete! All session organizers need to have the paper work to you by this time. (See exhibit #7). From this paper work, the final preliminary program is formed. HENCE IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT FOR EVERY SESSION, NO MATTER WHAT TYPE, THERE IS A FORM FILLED OUT FOR THAT SESSION. Between November 15 and December 15, the program has to be put together. Sessions are formed, given numbers, and slotted into times on the program and into rooms at the Hotel. All sessions that need AV equipment (which session organizers will have indicated on their form) need to be slotted into as few rooms as possible to save on equipment costs. If you wish, the Executive Director can travel to your office and help with this. It takes a good deal of time to set up the preliminary program, several days. As the forms come in, you will want to immediately check them to see if they are readable, if they have been filled out properly, if additional information is needed. It is a great mistake to sit on all the forms and then start to go through them all at once. Most forms will arrive near the November 15th deadline and a few after that!
In addition, the information on the session forms, which the session organizers have returned to the Program Chair, needs to be entered on diskette in the following ways:
- by name in alpha order and session number of everyone on the preliminary program, for example:
- program participants
- session number
- Arvidson, David
- Dorn, Dean S.
- by name of the session organizer in alpha order and session number, for example. You can put in title of session too, but it really isn't necessary.
- title of session
- session number
- Arvidson, David
- Dorn, Dean S.
llama shearing for fun and profit
- Turner, Jon
- by session number and details of the session, beginning with session #1 and running to the last session number in consecutive order. In other words, exactly as they will appear in the Preliminary program that will be sent to the membership in the January newsletter. See January's PSA Newsletter for an example of how to set these up and for an example see below. (See exhibit #8 too)
Important: Using the above information, you need to check and double check that you have NOT slotted the same participant into two different sessions that meet at the same time. In order words, some folks on the program are involved with more than one session. We can't have them at two places at the same time.
Example Below of How the Diskette Version of Each Session Should be Formatted.
- Thursday, April 17 12:00-1:30 pm
- 1. HOW TO BE A PROGRAM CHAIR
- Organizer and Presider: Roberta Lessor, Chapman University
- Dean S. Dorn, California State University: Why One Should Never Become a Program Chair
- Rudy Alvarez, UCLA: Why One Should Always Become a Program Chair
- Roberta Lessor, Chapman University: Why One Should Not Take Advice About Being a Program Chair
- etc., etc.,
Please note, that the PSA office can enter all the information from the paper forms if you can't. On the other hand, if you can, it helps ease our burden here in the PSA Office, between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15. If you need to hire a competent person to do this, PSA may be able to pay the individual. We have to enter the names and addresses of every participant in our files anyway in order to send participants information on membership dues, etc. The PSA office will take care of informing those on the program of preregistration fees and membership dues. You don't have to worry about that.
- By December 15th: This is also a deadline that has to be met. The January newsletter must go out in January and it takes the PSA office about two to three weeks to get the final camera ready copy done and the printer to get the copies printed and labels to be stuck on, etc. So by December 15, the PSA office will need a file with all the information for the preliminary program so that it can be placed in the January newsletter. The newsletter is published out of the PSA office.
- Also, see exhibit #8 for an example of another short statement about the annual meeting that needs to accompany the preliminary program in the January Newsletter. This statement forms the cover of the January Newsletter.
The dates below refer to months in the same calendar year in which the annual meeting you are responsible for will be held.
- By March 10: Between the publication of the January Newsletter and March 1, you will receive corrections and additions to the preliminary program that was published in the January Newsletter. There will be changes in titles, names of presenters (some will drop out and others will be added) and these will continue to come in. Some of these changes will come to you and some may be sent to the PSA office, so there is a need to keep each other informed of these. March 10 will probably be about the last date changes and additions can be received.
- By March 20: Most of the details of the meeting should be arranged; everything should be in place. All the changes in the preliminary program published in the January Newsletter should have been made so that the final program can go to the printers.
- During the PSA Meeting: You will need to be available during the meeting to help events run smoothly. For example, for roundtable sessions, you or someone you appoint should attend all of them to see that presenters and participants find the right tables. Other "problems" may arise as the event unfolds as well. The Secretary/Treasurer will help with these details.
- By May 1: After the annual meeting, "thank yous" to all who helped if you want to send them.
This gives you a good idea of what needs to be done and how it can be done. This procedure with these deadlines is working extraordinarily well for the PSA meetings, so you are strongly requested to follow it with , of course, changes as seem appropriate.
Of course, the PSA Office will help you and the Program Committee throughout this process.
- Dennis Downey, CSU Channel Islands, Chair
Past Committee Reports
We are in the process of making all committee reports accessible through the web.
In the meantime, for information on past meeting programs, please contact the PSA Executive Office.
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