2002 COPAA Annual Meeting Minutes

March 5, 2002 Atlanta, Georgia
(in conjunction with meetings of SfAA)

Kerry D. Feldman, Secretary


  • Andreatta, Susan University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Bennett, Linda University of Memphis, Memphis (Chair)
  • Chrisman, Noel University of Washington (Guest, President of SfAA)
  • Feldman, Kerry University of Alaska, Anchorage (Secretary)
  • Friedenberg, Judith University of Maryland, College Park
  • Harman, Bob California State University, Long Beach
  • Jordan, Ann University of North Texas, Denton
  • Price, Laurie J. California State University, Hayward
  • Sanchez, Gina E. Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (Treasurer)
  • Whiteford, Linda University of South Florida, Tampa

The meeting occurred from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., March 5 (Tuesday) at the Sheraton Colony Square Hotel prior to the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology.


  1. Discussion of original proposal agenda
  2. Report by Chair Bennett regarding last year’s work
  3. Open discussion regarding various topics
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. New Business
  6. Discussion with Tom May of SfAA
  7. Organization structure of COPAA and new member departments
  8. New member departments of COPAA
  9. Open Forum topics at this year’s SfAA meetings
  10. Standing Committees of COPAA
  11. COPAA Advisory Board
  12. Professional Exchanges Committee
  13. COPAA Website Committee
  14. External Review for Tenure and Promotion Committee
  15. Internship and Practicum Website Bulletin Board Committee
  16. Guidelines for Training Programs
  17. Funding Committee
  18. Continuing Education Committee
  19. Certification Discussion
  20. COPAA Officers and Relations with SfAA
  21. The role of COPAA for Community Colleges and small Liberal Arts colleges
  22. Alumni of applied programs and skills needed by applied anthropologists
  23. W. Motion to hold Departmental-based meeting in Flagstaff, Arizona, May 2003

Morning session

Items In Order of Discussion

A. Discussion of original proposed agenda distributed by Chair Linda Bennett

Linda wanted to include additional agenda items:

  • the need for research on where graduates of MA/PhD programs in applied anthropology;
  • Bob Harman’s interest in identifying funding sources for the work of COPAA; and,
  • the need for a definition of what it means to be an applied anthropologist faculty which would inform major university programs regarding training needed by their graduates who intend to apply for applied faculty positions.

Bob Harman explained that the survey he completed in 2000 has been re-written, now numbering 15 pages. Linda Bennett asked him to send a copy of the revised version to her and COPAA members. This report identifies the skills recent graduates from applied programs are using in their work and what aspects of these skills were or were not included in their graduate and undergraduate training in anthropology (not many of these needed skills were taught in graduate anthropology programs). Linda Bennett hoped that the skills identified in the Harman report could be folded into the COPAAwork and goals.

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B. Report by Chair Bennett regarding last year’s work

  • Logo and stationary completed;
  • Essay by Nancy Rosenberger and Paul Shackel on postmodernism published inSfAA Newsletter;
  • Collected some dues (5 institutions paid up);
  • Open Forum held at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, fall 2001 to discuss the goals of COPAA. At that Forum, it was recommended that an Advisory Board be established for COPAA comprised of non-academic organizations (previously agreed to in principle by COPAA) and that COPAA give attention to the possible role of small liberal arts and community colleges in COPAA (agreed to in principle);
  • Two workshops were arranged for this current SfAA meeting as well as an Open Forum;
  • We should, she said, also try to meet during May 2003 in Flagstaff, as our annual departmental visitation meeting. COPAA members should inform Linda Bennett when their May graduation dates occur, then COPAA can set the date for the Flagstaff meeting. Both suggestions were accepted. Linda Bennett will check with Bob Trotter from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff to see if the May 2003 departmental visitation meeting could occur in Flagstaff (as was suggested some time ago by Bob Trotter). Otherwise, the spring 2003 meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., hosted by University of Maryland and American University (and possibly George Washington University).
  • Identified four new schools/programs to be added to the COPAA Steering Committee: University of Arizona, Georgia State University, George Washington University, and Montclair State University.

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C. Open Discussion Regarding Various Topics

  1. Linda Whiteford responded to a concern expressed by Susan Andreatta regarding the need for creating a tenure and promotion criteria package for colleges and universities for faculty who do not know how to evaluate the work of applied anthropologists. Susan noted that faculty in her department view her applied work as “service,” not scholarship. A discussion ensued that included the recommendation by Ann Jordan that Susan read and give to her colleagues the book by Ernest Boyer, “Scholarship Revisited.” In addition, the American Association on Higher Education (AAHE) emphasizes the Boyer approach to the scholarship of teaching. Yolanda Moses, past President of the American Anthropological Association, is the current President of AAHE. Linda Whiteford suggested that Dr. Moses be invited to a future COPAA meeting to discuss related issues.
  2. It was noted that many alumni of applied anthropology training programs claim that they are “not really doing applied anthropology.” It was agreed that COPAAneeded to track the graduates of applied anthropology programs. They are not usually going to university positions. A problem exists in that, as Laurie Price noted, many graduates of traditional anthropology programs at major universities apply for applied anthropology positions, seemingly oblivious to the specialized training and experience now expected of applicants for such positions. How can major anthropology programs be notified of the courses and training required if their graduates are going to be competitive for applied anthropology positions?
  3. Noel Chrisman noted that he, representing SfAA, will be on the program of the 2002 meetings of the American Anthropological Association. Departments will be invited to a breakfast meeting at which time they will be told what they need to include in the training of their students if they wish to be qualified for applied positions.
  4. It was noted that our graduate students also need to know how to write CVs and how to interview for positions. NAPA has offered training on CV preparation. Kerry Feldman noted that some graduate programs nationwide have 1 credit modules for students regarding how to become a professional, including CVpreparation, interviewing for a position, etc.

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D. Treasurer’s Report

Gina Sanchez reported that currently there is $560.02 in the budget. Five departments have paid their current dues. Gina was reimbursed $50 for setting up the COPAAaccount and Linda Bennett was reimbursed for the printing of COPAA stationary. The fiscal year for COPAA will be August to August. Gina will send the new fiscal year membership bill to departments in August 2002 and request a September 1st payment deadline.

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E. New Business

Items to be discussed (not necessarily in order of importance)

  1. Faculty exchanges (agreed to, two years ago, at Memphis meeting) – short term
  2. Student internships
  3. Developing continuing education for alumni of our programs & faculty
  4. Grants (for COPAA work)
  5. How to assist new applied academic programs
  6. Mentoring applied anthropology faculty who are up for tenure & promotion
  7. Recruiting and retaining students to applied anthropology programs
  8. Establishing academic program reviews of applied anthropology programs

Discussion of E.8: Linda Bennett thought there might be informal evaluations of applied programs, by establishing a fund to send members of COPAA to evaluate program informally. COPAA is not an accrediting body, however, and should not become one, she noted.

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F. Discussion with Tom May of SfAA

There were three things Tom May wanted to discuss with COPAA:

  1. Peter New award – the prize for student papers. The number of students entering the Peter New award contest was down, however the quality was quite good this year. Less than 50% of the applicants have been student members ofSfAA. Tom would like to see more student members of SfAA apply for the award.
  2. What could a professional organization provide for a department or training program in applied anthropology?

    1. A list of applied anthropologists regionally who might assist a local program;
    2. Tom May suggested a “traveling scientist”, such as is found in other organizations such as the American Historical Association Speakers Bureau, to be part of an applied anthropology “speaker’s bureau”;
    3. There could be a COPAA link on the SfAA website, for free.
      Discussion of the above speaker’s bureau:
      the American Historical Association paid part and the local history department paid part. The”Speakers” would explain how to set up an intern program, for example. Linda Bennett suggested we could have a job market as part of theSfAA meetings, with workshops on how to prepare CVs, putting employers/applicants for positions together, or a web listing of jobs that are available. Tom May noted it might be more advantageous to post job market information online or having skilled applied anthropologists at the workshops giving advice on how to interview for a job.
      Linda Bennett agreed, adding that we could have potential employers from outside the university at these sessions. The Job Listings would be done through SfAA which would be a sign to us that the employer knew what they were doing and what they needed.
  3. Education and training Poster session at SfAA meetings. At the Portland 2003 meetings of SfAA there could be an enhanced Education Poster session, involving other applied social sciences. There could be a one-fourth page listing in the 2003 SfAA meeting program of each department/program in the Poster session. This information could be put on the Education page of the SfAAwebpage. The latter webpage would allow potential graduate students to see where to apply for graduate school, with links to those programs.

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G. Organization structure of COPAA and new member departments

  1. There are four new potential member departments in COPAA to consider, which would bring the departmental members of COPAA to 21. The latter is too unwieldy in size for a “steering committee.” It was suggested and agreed to that the masthead of COPAA would list “Department Members,” not “Steering Committee” members. Departments would send whomever they wished toCOPAA meetings
    Linda Whiteford thought there was a need for COPAA “Standing Committees,” the Chairs of which would comprise a COPAA Executive Board/Committee. This Executive Board/Committee would each take responsibility for one of the eight topics suggested earlier by Linda Bennett.
    Linda Bennett suggested that the “Executive Committee” would just be Committee Chairs for the eight topics. The Committee of the Whole would also meet – comprised of whatever member departments send representatives to meetings. These committees would be set up today, Chairs of each committee appointed, and committee tasks assigned. A motion was made and seconded to accept Linda Bennett’s suggestion for the creation of an Executive Committee, with tasks as described above. Approved by the members

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H. New member departments of COPAA

The four suggested new members of COPAA are:

  • Montclair State University (Ken Brook, contact) – BA/MA in Practical Anthropology;
  • Georgia State University (Kathryn Kozaitis, contact) – MA Anthropology;
  • George Washington University (Barbara Miller, contact, Dean, International Studies?) – BA/MA with a focus on development; and
  • University of Arizona (John Olsen, Tim Finan (BARA), and Andrew Gardner, contacts)—M.A. and Ph.D. programs.


How will a department become a member of COPAA? Linda Whiteford asked: when we send a letter of invitation to a department, what does the letter say? Linda Whiteford noted that COPAA would want the invitation brought up at a faculty meeting, not just something a department Chair determines. She thought COPAA should send formal invitations to departments to see if the department wants to belong to COPAA.

Motion was made and seconded to send formal invitations to the four departments. The letter should identify who/what COPAA is, what is expected of departments who belong to COPAA, the requirement to pay dues ($150 year), what committees exist in COPAA, indicating that active participation is required. The motion was unanimously approved.

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Lunch Break occurred: 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Afternoon session

I. Open Forum topics at this year’s SfAA meetings

The questions was raised regarding what should be reported on and discussed at theCOPAA Open Forum during this year’s SfAA meeting. It was suggested that we clarify the Mission of COPAA and hold an open discussion regarding problems departments might be having regarding any aspect of applied anthropology programs, including student issues. Also to be discussed should be perceived skills that organizations need in applied anthropologists.

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J. Standing Committees of COPAA

(Chairs of these committees will comprise the Executive Committee/Board of COPAA):

  1. COPAA Web Site
  2. Internship Practicum COPAA Web site Bulletin Board
  3. Professional Exchanges and Short Term faculty visits
  4. External Review for Tenure and Promotion
  5. Advisory Board – to advise COPAA
  6. Guidelines for applied anthropology Training Programs
  7. Continuing Education, especially for Practitioners and Alumni of member programs
  8. Funding – for COPAA activities.

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K. COPAA Advisory Board

It was suggested that John Young serve as Chair, and include Erve Chambers and John Van Willigen as members. The goals and tasks of the Advisory Board would need to be established.

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L. Professional Exchanges Committee

Chair, Ann Jordan; Ken Brook and Ben Blount members.

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M. COPAA Web Site Committee

Chair, Judith Friendenberg. Paul Shackel will continue to work on it, as well as D. Jones (Center for Heritage Studies).

A discussion ensued regarding costs/fees to charge departments who use it (?). Laurie Price will check with Eliot Lee of the High Plains Applied Anthropology group for comparison costs regarding web site matters.

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N. External Review for Tenure and Promotion Committee

Committee members will be Linda Bennett, Linda Whiteford and Willy Baber. (Note: a Chair of this committee should be established by the committee).

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O. Internship and Practicum Web Site Bulletin Board Committee

Chair, Gina Sanchez, with Kerry Feldman as a member

This committee would begin work six months down the road after the Web Site committee has the website up and running, then this committee would decide on how to structure/operate the bulletin board. The Web Site Committee might work on it later, also. The bulletin board would not be just a listing of internship and practicum openings. There would need to be secure access, open only to COPAA member departments. The High Plains Applied Anthropology group has something like this, sending around email notices of internships.

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P. Guidelines for Training Programs

Chair, Linda Whiteford

Members suggested:

  • Bob Trotter of Northern Arizona University and
  • Tony Oliver Smith of the University of Florida, Gainesville.

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Q. Funding Committee

Chair, Robert Harman

Ideas discussed included contacting Stu Plattner, the Turner Foundation and the Tinker Foundation.

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R. Continuing Education Committee

Susan Andreatti will serve on the committee (as Chair?)

Susan should ask Kathryn Kozaitis fromom Georgia State, and Nancy Rosenberger at Oregon State to be members. Bob Harman will ask Jean Gilbert in his department to work on the continuing education committee, also.


Noel Chrisman noted that COPAA might to invite Portland State University to joinCOPAA.

It was suggested that there be summer workshops on topics such as medical anthropology for Practitioners. It was suggested that we apply to the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) for funds for a methods training camp (to train graduate students for applied research).

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S. Certification Discussion

A discussion ensued regarding applied anthropology certification issues. Ann Jordan suggested that COPAA might certify individuals, not programs, using a person’s portfolio as one basis for certification. Linda Whiteford noted that archeologists do it, using specific courses and a portfolio as criteria. Noel Chrisman noted that there would still be “politics” involved in any kind of certification.

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T. COPAA Officers and Relations with SfAA

It was agreed that COPAA Chair, Linda Bennett, would serve as the COPAA liaison with SfAA, but COPAA will remain a separate entity. Linda Bennett agreed to serve as Chair of COPAA for another three years (until the annual SfAA meeting in 2005). The structure of COPAA that emerged at this meeting: a COPAA Chair, with Officers and Standing Committee Chairs serving as an Executive Board. The officers of COPAA until the annual SfAA meetings, 2005, are: Linda Bennett, Chair; Kerry Feldman, Secretary and Gina Sanchez, Co-Treasurer. The Committees and Chairs/members are noted above.

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U. The role of COPAA for Community Colleges and small Liberal Arts colleges with applied anthropology programs

Ann Jordan thought that a broader topic for consideration should be the obligations ofCOPAA to undergraduate programs in general. Laurie Price noted that several people had contacted her regarding whether it was feasible to have a practitioner degree at the undergraduate level. It was noted that Sandy Irwin will begin an undergraduate discussion group for SfAA. In addition, the University of Maryland anthropology department publishes “Careers In Anthropology” for undergraduates.

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V. Alumni of applied programs and skills needed by applied anthropologists

Noel Chrisman thought we needed a better understanding of what our applied anthropology alumni do after receiving their degrees. He suggested that COPAAdepartments be encouraged to monitor where their MA and PhD applied anthropology graduates go after graduation. Such information could be used to identify both the demand for applied anthropologists and the gaps in the demand.

Bob Harman researched the skills needed in employment, as part of his questionnaire study sent to alumni of applied programs (noted earlier), and said he would see that Noel Chrisman received that information. Bob Harman will send the results of his study to COPAA members after this year’s SfAA meetings.

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W. It was moved that COPAA would hold its departmental-based meeting in Flagstaff, Arizona at Northern Arizona University, 2003, in May due to the possible problem with snow there in February and March. The alternative site for the 2003 meeting would be Washington, D.C. The motion was approved (one abstention).

COPAA members should inform Linda Bennett when their May graduation dates occur, then COPAA can set the date for the Flagstaff meeting. Both suggestions were accepted. Linda Bennett will check with Bob Trotter from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff to see if the May 2003 departmental visitation meeting could occur in Flagstaff (as was suggested some time ago by Bob Trotter). Otherwise, the spring 2003 meeting will take place in Washington, D.C. The above meeting would be in addition to the COPAA meeting in Portland, March 19-23, in conjunction with the annual meetings of SfAA. Linda Whiteford suggested, and it was accepted, that COPAAmeet in Portland on Tuesday afternoon, before the SfAA meetings.


Linda Whiteford asked whether COPAA should have department visitation meetings every 18 months instead of every 12 months, as at present. There was no decision regarding this topic.

The COPAA meeting in Portland, 2003, in conjunction with the SfAA meetings, will involve the Committee of the Whole (all COPAA members). In addition, there is a need for an Advisory Committee of non-academic groups & resource groups, including practitioners, to advise us. An Executive Committee of COPAA could meet a day in advance of the SfAA meetings to set work tasks. Policy decisions of COPAA would be made by the Committee of the Whole, however (all members).

Respectfully submitted by

Kerry D. Feldman, Secretary

(today’s date: April 5, 2002)