2003 COPAA Annual Meeting Minutes

March 18, 2003 Portland, Oregon
(in conjunction with meetings of SfAA)

Kerry D. Feldman, Secretary


  • Linda Bennett: University of Memphis
  • Noel Chrisman: University of Washington
    (President, SfAA; ex-officio member, COPAA)
  • John Young: Oregon State University
  • Laurie Price: California State University, Hayward
  • Linda Whiteford: University of South Florida
  • Judith Freidenberg: University of Maryland, CP
  • Barbara Miller: George Washington University
  • Nancy Rosenberger: Oregon State University
  • Jeanette Dickerson-Putnam: IUPUI
  • Willie L. Baber: University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Ben Blount: University of Georgia
  • Jean Gilbert (representing Bob Harmon): California State University, Long Beach
  • Ed Liebow: President, NAPA (Invited Guest)
  • Sue Lurie (representing Ann Jordan): University of North Texas
  • Kerry Feldman: University of Alaska Anchorage

The meeting was called to order by Chair Linda Bennett at 9:00 am.


  1. Approval of agenda.
  2. Approval of minutes from Atlanta meetings, 2002.
  3. Treasurer’s report. Discussion of procedure for “excusing dues payment.”
  4. Chair’s review of work accomplished the previous year and vision for upcoming year.
  5. Approval of current organizational structure, including officers and committees and suggestions for additional committee members.
  6. Consideration of new departmental member.
  7. Committee report.
  8. Web site; need for a moderator for Bulletin Board.
  9. New business: Advisory Board.
  10. New business: collaboration with SfAA to develop a web based directory of applied anthropology departments as a possibility.
  11. New business: NAPA Councilor Program (Ed Liebow).
  12. New business: COPAA’s leadership in tenure and promotion and external review activities to support “engaged scholarship” work of faculty in member departments and other departments and programs.

Items In Order of Discussion

1. The agenda for the meeting proposed by Chair Bennett was approved.

2. Approval of minutes from Atlanta meetings, 2002.

The minutes submitted to members via email prior to the meeting were approved as submitted. The minutes are posted on the COPAA website. (Chair Bennett noted that in the future the minutes will be posted as UNAPPROVED until after the annual meeting when they can be formally approved or amended.)

3. Treasurer’s report. Discussion of procedure for “excusing dues payment.”

Description Amount
Beginning Balance 2/1/03 $2,906.41
Receipts $150.00
Membership dues (1)
Expenses $0.00
End Balance, 2/28/03 $3,056.41
Current debt:

  • Balance due website

Submitted by co-Treasurer, Jeanette Dickerson-Putnam

Treasurer’s report approved.

Discussion of Dues Structure

A discussion followed regarding member departments who are unable to pay dues (15 of 21 member departments paid annual dues). The options discussed were: 1) one year grace period with the understanding dues will be paid next year; 2) establish a sliding scale (time unspecified) for such departments, with ca. $50 good faith payment now being required, 3) lower dues for all members to $100; 4) Send an email query to all member departments asking for suggestions on how to handle the problem; 5) officers of COPAA make a decision regarding dues non-payment requests on a department by department basis.

Approved: dues remain at $150 per member department per year due to fixed costs of website and other anticipated expenses, re-evaluate dues amount at COPAA meeting next year, officers of COPAA consider requests from departments this year to be excused from paying dues, including the option of establishing a sliding scale for them, do not publish information on unpaid dues.

It was pointed out that the range of benefits to departments for belonging to COPAAare not clear to everyone. Chair Bennett noted that we will expand upon the explanation of benefits from belonging to COPAA on the website. Typically departments that are represented at the annual meetings have a clearer sense of the current and future benefits.

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4. Chair Bennett summarized the accomplishments of COPAA this year:

  • Website is up and running, ready for information on the bulletin board;
  • Governance structure established; posted on the website; and described in theSfAA Newsletter;
  • 2003 SfAA meetings panel discussion on criteria for tenure and promotion related to applied anthropology work will be featured at the Friday session in which Ken Brooks’ data based on departmental responses will be presented;
  • Linkage established between American Anthropological Association, Society for Applied Anthropology Commission and COPAA;
  • Three new departmental members invited into COPAA: George Washington University, Georgia State University and University of Arizona;
  • One new member department will be considered today;
  • COPAA committees have completed a year of work;
  • Treasury of COPAA is in good shape;
  • Minutes of the last meeting were well developed and distributed to members.
Issues for this coming year: Chair Bennett
  • How we would like to relate to the 2004 SfAA meeting in Dallas
  • Further development of COPAA website
  • Identify a moderator for bulletin board on the website
  • Establish more linkages with other organizations
  • Develop the website Bulletin Board
  • Develop COPAA Advisory Board of Practitioners
  • Identify the ways in which we can work most effectively with departments and programs
  • Develop materials related to tenure and promotion guidelines that will be supportive for departments and programs
Other COPAA members contributed other “vision” items for the upcoming year:
  • How to develop the exchange of faculty between departments?
  • Develop Workshops at SfAA meetings on curricular issues in applied anthropology such as sharing syllabi for courses offered at undergraduate and graduate levels on applied anthropology, how to structure internships in applied anthropology?
Decisions related to the above discussion:

Propose two sessions for 2004 AAA meetings (April 1, 2003 deadline for proposal/abstracts): a) a workshop on how to develop programs in applied anthropology at the undergraduate and graduate levels; and, b) a panel discussion on how to establish a faculty exchange program among applied programs, including seeking funding.

Chair Bennett suggested gathering names of faculty members and their departments who would be good candidates for the exchange program. Linda Whiteford agreed, but said COPAA should identify programs/departments (which is the COPAA emphasis) and from those departments select individual faculty.

Kerry Feldman proposed that COPAA member departments write a brief summary of the accomplishments of their programs that would be placed on the COPAA website to serve as instructional material for departments interested in knowing what applied programs actually do (Feldman will solicit these summaries based on a template for reporting this information).

Chair Bennett proposed that a workshop or open forum be established at the 2004 AAA meetings on Program Development in applied anthropology. Jeanette Dickerson-Putnam and Nancy Rosenberger will write the Abstract for an Workshop at the 2004 AAA meetings regarding how to establish an applied anthropology program at the undergraduate and graduate levels with no new resources. Information on this same topic could be published on the COPAA website, including syllabi for courses on applied anthropology.

Barbara Miller, Ann Jordan, Ben Blount, and Linda Bennett are recommended to organize and host the Open Forum on faculty exchanges, picking up on an earlier forum held at the AAA meetings in 2001.

It was proposed to gather information regarding (1) the kinds of anthropological positions at institutions of higher education that are being advertised for applied anthropologists and (2) where the new PhDs from programs with applied anthropology—especially those in the COPAA but not limited to the Consortium—are taking positions after graduation. M. Baba was nominated, along with Kerry Feldman, to gather the information and prepare a paper for presentation at AAA 2004, perhaps titled “Where the Jobs Are”. Linda Whiteford suggested that this paper also include information on the graduates and new hires of COPAA department members during the past year. Laurie Price will chair the committee that will gather this information; anticipated committee members might include Kerry Feldman, M. Baba, Jean Schenshul. The committee should check with AAA to see if they have information about employment of anthropologists this past year.

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5. Current Organizational Structure:

The current officers of the Consortium were approved to continue for the coming year: Chair, Linda Bennett; co-Treasurers, Jeanette Dickerson-Putnam & Gina Sanchez; Secretary, Kerry Feldman.

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Organizational structure of COPAA:

Chair Bennett asked if the current organization structure of COPAA was acceptable. She noted that we probably needed more people on each committee (in case tasks are not completed by current members). There were no comments regarding the current structure of COPAA, but additional members were added to some committees, as indicated elsewhere in the minutes.

6. New Department Members

Linda Whiteford moved that COPAA accept as a new departmental member the Anthropology/Sociology Department at Santa Clara State University, a small (Jesuit) liberal arts school with an applied anthropology emphasis at the undergraduate level. Linda Whiteford had spent time on their campus with that department as a visiting scholar. Laurie Price seconded the motion. It was unanimously approved. Chair Bennett will write a letter to that department informing them of their acceptance intoCOPAA.

A discussion followed regarding possible international departmental membership inCOPAA. It was noted that there are applied anthropologists in Australia, in the London School of Economics, and in Beijing, among other possible locations. With the IUAES Congress being held this coming summer in Florence, this would be a good time to explore the possibility of broadening our membership to include international members. Linda Bennett, John Young and Barbara Miller will explore international university connections. Other members of COPAA should send information regarding international programs of which they are aware that might desire involvement inCOPAA.

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7,9. Committee Reports

COPAA Advisory Board committee report:

New members will be added to work with John Young to get this board established. Kerry Feldman suggested Penelope Cordes, a medical anthropologist in Alaska working with the State Department of Health; other practitioners suggested were Corinne Cecilia (in Toronto), Ed Liebow (NAPA President), Niel Tashima (owns private company), Cathleen Crain and Jean Schenshul (owns private company).

Advisory Board Planning Committee:

John Young reported that the committee has not functioned this year and needs new members. Willy Baber volunteered to serve with John Young on the committee. The committee has two tasks: 1) identify the criteria for approving nominees to serve on the Advisory Board, and, 2) identify functions that the committee members would perform. This committee would dissolve after the Advisory Board Committee is established. John Young and Willy Baber will forward names of potential Advisory Board members to Chair Bennett. Kerry Feldman suggested that COPAA will need a liaison on the Advisory Board; Chair Bennett will appoint one member to work with the Advisory Board.

A discussion ensued regarding whether representatives of organizations or individual anthropologists would be on the Advisory Board. John Young favored individuals. Chair Bennett suggested that individuals would be invited to serve on the Advisory Board who might be from an organization (a public, private or NGO organization). A variety of kinds of members will be sought: six committee members total, serving staggered terms – two would serve two year terms and four would serve three year terms of office). They should be from a variety of kinds of organizations, as noted above. They must hold an advanced degree in anthropology.

The functions of Advisory Board members would be: 1) to advise COPAA, especially regarding the interface needed between training needed for students and employment opportunities; 2) the Chair (or designee) of the Advisory Board would attend COPAAmeetings, and would be paid a $300 honorarium (find out how to pay the honorarium such that taxes on it are avoided); 3) advise COPAA regarding the training of applied anthropologists that is currently lacking; 4) identify internship links; 5) set up Faculty-Practitioner exchanges if desired, which would allow practitioners to lecture at COPAAmembers’ programs; 6) nominate new Advisory Board members subject to approval byCOPAA; and, 7) contribute to the COPAA website.

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8. The COPAA website

Now that the website has been created (www.COPAA.info), we need to identify a Bulletin Board moderator. To do so, the position needs a job description. It would be a volunteer position to moderate the Bulletin Board and Discussions, checking on this at least weekly to keep the discussions on target. Kerry Feldman suggested David Natcher (faculty member U of Alaska Anchorage) and Linda Whiteford suggested Niel Tashima (someone in his office). Judith Freidenberg and Kerry Feldman will work on getting a moderator and a Discussion Group under way.

Suggested Discussion Topic: hiring and retaining applied anthropologists in academic departments. The topics posted for discussion could be used to gather information for the AAA session in the fall. State on the website that by signing on to the Discussion, permission would be given to use one’s comments for data gathering purposes. Linda Bennett suggested that the website moderator contact Mark Nichter regarding ideas regarding effective use of the website.

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9. New business: Advisory Board.

Discussed how open/closed the website should be. “Junk” is not wanted on it but we want it to be a useful site. It was decided that the Internship exchange link would be closed (it was noted that NAPA has been wrestling with the same issue). Linda Bennett will explore how we can have an open site, with the Moderator of the Discussion Groups keeping track of appropriate entries and getting a discussion back on track if it wanders. Judith Freidenberg will ask Dr. Jones at U of Maryland about the issues related to open/closed discussions.

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10. New business: Collaboration with SfAA to develop a web-based directory of applied anthropology departments.

Kerry Feldman suggested that we list the web-sites of applied programs belong toCOPAA. Chair Bennett noted that we had requested a linkage on the SfAA website. Kerry and Judith Freidenberg will work on a summary of COPAA 22 departments for posting on our website.

Ed Leibow noted that NAPA is coming out soon with a new website. Ed also noted that Hugh Davis at SUNY, Buffalo is developing a world email directory of anthropology that includes the anthropologist’s name and institution.

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11.New business: NAPA Councilor Program.

Ed Leibow, President of NAPA, made a presentation regarding the Councilor Program/Mentor Program. They match anthropologists who are beginning their careers with more experienced anthropologists. They have a pilot program to match academic faculty with practitioners. Currently the latter pilot program is ongoing at California State University at Long Beach, the University of North Texas, Northern Arizona University; and Central Washington University. NAPA assists students to find Practicum and Internship experiences, provides resource persons for faculty at academic institutions as wells as applied anthropology course materials, and gives advice on curriculum design and applied anthropology methods. In addition, guest speakers are provided and career talks given as requested by campuses. The Student Mentor Program had 78 inquiries and 57 matches in the U.S. and elsewhere (e.g., one in Pakistan).

It was suggested that COPAA could provide potential names of Councilors to NAPA, which Ed said he would appreciate. Linda Whiteford suggested that COPAA member departments could be available to NAPA for training needs. COPAA should request the names of practitioners in their areas that could be provided to NAPA. It was moved and seconded that the above be a distinctive role of COPAA; the motion passed. Linda Whiteford will be the point person to interface with NAPA on the above task.

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12. Next year’s COPAA meeting.

Dallas was proposed as the site for next year’s SfAA meeting by Ann Jordan. It was moved, seconded and approved that COPAA would meet the day prior to the SfAAmeetings in Dallas, 2004. It was suggested that the COPAA meetings run from noon – 6 pm so members can fly in on that day for the COPAA meeting. Committees could meet at other times during the meetings.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00.