2007 COPAA Annual Meeting Minutes

March 29, 2007, Tampa, Florida

Prepared by Linda Bennett, Chair, COPAA


  • Lisa Henry (UNT)
  • Gina Gibau (IUPUI)
  • Wolf Gumerman (NAU)
  • Sue Hyatt (IUPUI)
  • Ruthbeth Finerman (U Memphis)
  • Linda Bennett (U Memphis)
  • Elizabeth Briody (GM)
  • Kathryn Kozaitis (Georgia State U)
  • Jacqueline Messing (USF)
  • Ron Loewe (Cal S Long Beach)
  • Sherylyn Briller (Wayne S)
  • Allen Batteau (Wayne S)
  • Christina Wasson (UNT)
  • Tony Whitehead (U Md)
  • Art Murphy (UNCG)
  • Liz Pulver (U Memphis)
  • Patricia Delaney (St. Michael’s Burlington, VT)
  • Laurie Price (Cal S East Bay)
  • Sunil Khanna (Oregon S)
  • Jan English-Leuck (San Jose S)

Linda Bennett opened the meeting shortly after 10:00 and passed out a list of COPAA organized sessions at the SfAA:

Wednesday: Preparing Applied Anthropologists for the 21st Century, Satish Kedia and John van Willigen, Organizers and Chairs. Panelists: Linda Bennett, Gina Sanchez Gibau, Ann Jordan, and Sunil Khanna.

Wednesday: Applied Anthropology Skills Education and Training: Perspectives from the Field and Workplace. Tracy Tessman, Chair and Organizer. Panelists: Joan Tucker, Iraida Carrion, Liz Pulver, Chad Morris, and Christine Miller.

Friday: Tenure and Promotion for Applied Anthropologists: Deans’ and Chairs’ Perspectives. Sherylyn Briller, Sunil Khanna, and Nancy Romero-Daza, Organizers and Chairs. Panelists: Elizabeth Bird, Allan Burns, and Linda Bennett.

Friday: Institutional Review Boards and Applied Research. Chair and Organizers, Susan Hyatt. Participants: Wolf Gumerman, Ron Loewe, Satish Kedia, and Merrill Singer.

Saturday: Skills Education and Training for Applied Anthropologists. Chair and Organizer: Lisa Henry. Panelists: Barbara Miller, Ed Liebow, Jan English-Leuck, Ron Loewe, Rhoda Halperin, Wolf Gumerman, and Lisa Henry.

By organizing five sessions in addition to the annual COPAA business meeting, COPAA qualifies as a co-sponsor of the SfAA meetings.

Everyone introduced themselves and passed around an “attendance sheet.”

Meeting Items:

1. COPAA has established a practitioners advisory committee with three members: Elizabeth Brody (General Motors), T.J. Ferguson and Susan Squires. Elizabeth Briody (General Motors) was introduced. Members agreed that COPAA needs to discuss how we want to work with this group. All three members anticipate attending the meeting next year.

2. Last year we invited two new departments and they agreed to join. They are San Jose State and UTSA. We now have 24 member departments. Last year we said that we wanted to invite an international department. Linda asked for ideas. We would like the idea of gradual expansion to continue so that our group stays meaningful.

3. We held an open forum at the AAA 2006 meetings to talk about accomplishments and plans. We have submitted a request to be on the program at this year’s AAA meetings as well. The topic for that forum will be the use of the COPAA website and Yahoo group for effective communication in COPAA. We were encouraged to use the Yahoo group and website as communication tools.

4. We discussed the desire to have a distinguished lecture at the Memphis meetings in 2008. We will be celebrating our 9th anniversary in Memphis (where COPAA first started!) Later in the meeting Susan Wright’s name was suggested to invite for next year.

5. At the AAA 2006 at the open forum we discussed updating the website. We would like each department to update their accomplishments and new events.

6. Christina Wasson (webmaster) gave her report. She explained the new design of the website and that she conducted research with faculty, students, and practitioners on their views, use, and suggestions regarding the website. She redesigned the website from this research. Christina asked for any updates from departments to be sent to her by May 1st.

7. Gina Sanchez Gibau gave the treasury report. As of 2.28.07 we have $6712.70. We are in a good position to spend some money on some of our ideas, such as the faculty practitioner exchange.

9. Sunil Khanna gave a report on the Wednesday session titled, “Preparing Applied Anthropologists for the 21st Century.” This led to a lively discussion on revisiting the 1994 Guidelines for Training Practicing Anthropologists. This brought us discussion of the Robert Harman, Jim Hess and Amir Shafe report titled Report on Survey of Alumni of Master’s Level Applied Anthropology Training Programs. Linda Bennett suggested that we take Bob et al.’s report, the SfAA-NAPA guidelines, and this year’s discussion at the SfAA meetings and synthesize it. Perhaps new guidelines would emerge. Ron Loewe and Sunil Khanna will develop a status report on what we want to do with all of this information and to make suggestions on how we want to move forward. We could use this as a basis for a panel discussion next year.

11. Sunil Khanna summarized the goal for the tenure and promotion session. Last year there was a tenure and promotion session with seven faculty members at different stages in the tenure process. This year’s the panel consist of deans and chairs.

12. There are two more sessions at the SfAA meetings – the IRB session and the Skill Education and Training session.

13. We agreed that we want to co-sponsor the SfAA meetings again next year. Ruthbeth Finerman suggested we have a session on the external department review process, emphasizing the need to bring in practitioners as external reviewers. Sherri Briller suggested a session on partnerships. Allan Batteau suggested a session on an external industry board or community advisory board. Allan agreed to organize this session. Linda will entertain more session ideas in the coming months. Elizabeth Brody suggested for a session in which practitioners (as clients) and interns (students) present their perspectives and views on how the experience was…and then have a discussant. Sunil thought a new session for next year’s meetings would emerge from this year’s tenure and promotion session.

14. Linda asked for recommendations for international departments. Susan Hyatt said she has an idea she will pass on. Christina Wasson recommended that we consider Latin American universities.

15. Linda asked for recommendations on inviting an international speaker for next year’s meetings. Sue Hyatt recommended Susan Wright, an educational anthropologist in England/Denmark.

16. Linda suggested that we start to develop plans for a short-term faculty/practitioner exchange program. Ramona Ortega would be a good practitioner to include. Gina S. Gibau suggested that we develop a list of willing practitioners. Sherri Briller suggested a short application process and to have do a session at the SfAA meetings. Linda suggested we use our Practitioner Advisory Board to think about this and develop a basic plan for discussion over the upcoming year.

17. Ruthbeth Finerman suggested that we develop a set us guidelines for programs about the client/student (practitioner/intern) relationship and what is expected. Christina Wasson said that these resources be available on the NAPA website and linked from the COPAA website. Kathryn Kozaitis agrees that we need guidelines. Christina suggested that we collect these documents from each university that has them already. Linda suggested we create a status report and have a session on the practicum guidelines. Christina said that she will send an email recommending that departments share these guidelines. There was no decision made as to who would be responsible for collecting them and organizing the session.

The meeting adjourned at 12:00, followed by lunch for those who could attend.