President’s Corner: Why Does BEA Need Another Conference?
As the deadlines approach for October’s “Super Regional” conference at the University of South Carolina, many people have asked me why BEA is sponsoring a second national conference this year. There are many answers to this question, but they all boil down to a single theme: The BEA Board of Directors and Executive Committee is trying to find more ways to serve you and other BEA members.
Here is a quick list of reasons I gave the Board when I proposed this meeting:
- Our members need more opportunities to have creative work go through a peer-review process.
- Our members need more opportunities to present creative works.
- Some members (especially those on the east coast) need a less expensive option to attend a national conference to present their research and creative work.
- Many BEA members have requested software and other training that we can’t easily do at the April convention in Las Vegas, but which can be easily done on a university campus.
- Our field is changing so often that a second opportunity to attend panels (as well as presenting our work on panels) will help us better keep up with these changes.
- (This one is more selfish:) This conference offers the opportunity for the host university to “show off” its new facilities, focusing attention on our facilities as well as on curricula, research, and creative work.
We won’t know until later this summer how much demand there is for a second conference. The deadline for the Call for Papers, Panels, and Research in Progress is tomorrow, June 15, and the deadline for submitting creative works is August 1. (The complete call can be found at: bit.ly/bea-fall2016 )
The other question I’ve been asked is whether having a fall Super Regional BEA conference is going to become an annual event. That answer depends upon two things: The success of this year’s conference and the willingness of a school to step up to volunteer to host such a conference in 2017 or 2018. Based upon the feedback and the number of submissions, I’m guessing that we have the demand from the members. What we need now is to find out whether any other schools are interested in hosting another Super Regional conference in 2017 or 2018. If you are, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to share information with you about the conference and to answer any questions you have about the process.
In the meantime, please keep watching your email for news about other initiatives. The goal of everyone on the Board of Directors is to find new ways to help you in your teaching, production, research, and even your role in administration. If there is something you want, let us know so that we can respond. As a member organization, BEA can’t do anything without the involvement of you and other members. So keep in mind that BEA is always here to help, but more importantly, it is always here to help you make your mark on the field.