Its debatable…Speak Up!

October 11, 2007

University administrators: Do they value speech and debate? 16 years later…

Filed under: Debate,Forensics - General,Funding issues,Research — bk2nocal @ 11:05 pm

An article in the 1991 edition of the National Forensic Journal by Robert Littlefield looked at the results of surveys sent to each school listed as a member of the Speech Communication Association, gathering information including: “demographic information about the institution, the status of forensic activities on the campus, and the levels of support for forensic programs.”  I found this particular study to be something that would provide valuable information to those of us currently participating in forensics.  The support area of the survey asked administrators to identify barriers to maintaining/expanding forensic programs as well as what THEY see as the benefits of the program to their schools and universities.  This would not only provide some interesting information, but may finally give us some more straightforward and meaningful answers to the age old question of why programs die.  There have been a number of claims made – from budgets, to lack of interest due to the difficulty inherent in the activity, to the topic or speed of talking in policy debate.  It would be great to hear directly from administrators, what drives them to support or not support the programs on their campuses. 

So – someone looking to do some survey research and contribute valuable information to the speech and debate community, this could be the research for you!  The original 1991 article is available at: http://cas.bethel.edu/dept/comm/nfa/journal/vol9no2-1.pdf

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