Tuesday, October 31, 2017

#4C18 Brief Update - The New Wait List


I woke up this morning to find lots of discussions on social media concerning the new wait list policy that we are using this year in our convention acceptance process. It is new this year, and I do not know if it will be used next year. Let me explain why we are using it this year. And thank you for your patience in this unsual Cs year.

Because we were unsure about how many folks would accept or decline their invitations to be on the program and join us in Kansas City, I opted to use the wait list. I wanted to make the program as open to as many folks as possible who wanted to and could go to the annual convention.

As folks accept and decline their invitations over the next few weeks, we'll batch together those who can now be placed on the program (those on the wait list), and emails or new invitations will be sent to those folks. This is a more complicated acceptance process, but I felt it necessary given our situation this year. I didn't want to exclude anyone who could go to KC but just couldn't get on the program. Part of the reason for the smaller program this year is the emphasis on activism and local work, which will happen in part during the all-convention activity on Thursday, March 15 at 1:45-3:00 PM. By blocking off a prime time slot for this activity, a time slot that we could most guarantee that everyone would be available, as recommended by the Social Justice and Activism Task Force, we lost a number of sessions. So this added an additional reason to try the wait list.

If you are on the wait list, this means that you might still be on the program with the session or presentation that you proposed, depending on how many folks decide to accept their invitations. Those placed on the wait list can do one of the following:

  • sign up to facilitate the all-convention event and have your name listed on the program (I'm not sure how many people we will need, but there is a good chance we will need some);
  • wait to find out if you've been accepted once we know who is declining their invitations to be on the program;
  • do both of the above -- that is, sign up to help facilitate the all-convention activity and wait to find out if your original proposal is accepted. 

So please, it is very important that you follow the links in your acceptance email and notify NCTE/CCCC as to your decision (accept or decline) so that we can begin putting together panels or finding slots for those who are currently on the wait list as soon as possible. The sooner the better for your waiting colleagues. 

I hope this helps. My apologies for not making this wait list option clearer before acceptances went out, but there has been an unusually large number of moving parts to this year's annual convention planning. Please forgive me.

Peace

8 comments:

  1. I like this idea. Hope it works well and can be continued for future conferences. With a conference as selective as 4Cs is now, so many good ideas don't fit in, and then it's frustrating to see spots go empty.Good luck with this!

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    1. Indeed. Thank you for the encouragement. I'll tell Vershawn. He may decided to do it next year too.

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    2. Me too. Other competitive conferences I apply to (TESOL and the American Association of Applied Linguistics) do something similar. It maximizes the opportunity for those interested to be able to present.

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  2. I don’t think a waitlist is a good idea this year or in the future. In terms of this year, if a chunk of the program Thursday is now dedicated to activism (which is appropriate) then people should have been able to propose papers and panels to participate in that conversation. People tailored their proposals in good faith to the CFP, and tried to write to a general composition audience (whatever that means), but now they have learned that the program and selection criteria have been changed at the last minute. This process needs to be reviewed so that this kind of mess never happens again.

    Scot Barnett

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    1. Let's hope states stop passing racist laws that necessitate our organizations to take a stand like this. I'm glad they're including an time for everyone to focus on anti-racist activism. BTW, the selection criteria wasn't changed.

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    2. I appreciate your comments, Scot. I do want to note that selection criteria did not change. What changed because of what happened in the summer was a few priorities that affected how many rooms, and thus proposals to be accepted, were available for presenters. yes, it would have been ideal to have folks propose to be a part of the all-convention event, but I was not able to foresee that happening. So while activism elements have been added to the program, the theme, and proposal criteria for rating and selection did not change. I hope this helps, Scot.

      Peace to you.

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  3. Waitlists put people in very difficult positions regarding funding, especially in these lean budget years. It's especially hard on would-be first-time presenters.

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    1. Agreed, but I think, the same is true for a rejection right out of the gate. Our attempt this year was to let those who likely would have gotten on the program if we didn't have the all-convention event know, and since there was a good chance that several folks may opt to decline their invitations, we wanted to offer those slots to those who could go but were initially wait listed. It isn't ideal, but I was trying to be as helpful and accommodating as possible.

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