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President’s Corner
December 12, 2017

In my final column for the 2017 calendar year, I wanted to provide a quick update on activities at the fall board of directors meeting, which was held at the NAB building in Washington, DC the weekend before Thanksgiving. This annual two-day fall board meeting is when the bulk of the board’s work is handled.

The board heard from the 2018 and 2019 Convention Program Chairs. Jen Meadows, 2018 Convention Program Chair, provided an overview of her planning for the conference. Once again, the April 7-10, 2018 conference will have a Saturday afternoon start and conclude on Tuesday evening. A number of changes have been planned to improve participation and flow of the conference including shorter session times, new structures for division and district business meetings, screenings for some creative content, and additional opportunities for digital research presentations. Marilyn Terzic, 2019 Convention Program Chair, also provided an overview of her preliminary planning for the 2019 conference.

A number of committees are working on initiatives for this year—e.g. Diversity and Inclusion, Membership, Research, Publications and Festival, to name a few—which they reported on. I don’t have space to highlight all the work that these committees are tasked with, but I will briefly mention a few highlights. The Membership Committee is working on ides to recruit new faculty and graduate student members to the organization. The Research Committee and Research Enhancement Committee are working on ways to increase the amount and rigor of research presented at the annual conference. The Festival Committee and Festival Advisory Committee will be announcing new student and faculty categories for the 2019 Festival of Media Arts. In the coming months, these committees will also unveil plans to showcase more faculty work during the 2019 Festival, while preserving the sanctity of the acceptance rates.

Finally, the board handled a number of administrative responsibilities. The board reviewed the 2017 financials and approved the 2018 budget. I am pleased to report that BEA is in solid financial health. However, the board is diligently seeking to expand funding for scholarships, and other programs to benefit students and faculty members. Heather Birks and the Executive Committee will provide a full report of BEA’s finances—following completion of the annual audit—at the conference in April.

The board also elected the 5-member 2018-2019 Executive Committee of the board of directors. The newly elected executive committee members are: President, Greg Luft, Colorado State University; Vice-President for Academic Relations, Tony DeMars, Texas A&M University Commerce; Vice-President for Industry Relations, Christine Merritt, Ohio Association of Broadcasters; Secretary/Treasurer, Vic Costello, Elon University; and I will serve as past-president. In addition, the board elected/re-elected Larry Patrick, Patrick Communications; Nancy Robinson, Television Academy Foundation; and Heidi Raphael, Beasley Media Group as industry professionals to the board.

I would characterize our fall board meeting as collegial and highly productive. I am thankful to each member of staff and the board for bringing positive and helpful attitudes and a willingness to contribute new ideas for the growth and development of a better BEA to the meeting.  If you have specific questions about the board’s actions, please feel free to contact myself or your district representative to the board.

Finally, while we at the meeting in DC, Vic Costello created a short video featuring each member of the board. You can find it posted in the BEA group on Facebook.

I wish you all the best this holiday season.

Michael Bruce