This year MMEE underwent AEJMC’s five-year assessment. The assessment, which consisted of a thirty minute session with the Council of Divisions (COD), took place the Wednesday before the conference officially started. The division was represented at the session by the head, Charlene Simmons, and the vice-head, Amy Jo Coffey. 

Prior to the meeting COD representatives reviewed the division’s annual reports from the last five years. During the meeting they asked several questions being asked of all divisions as well as several questions specific to our division. They also suggested ways for the division to move forward. 

Questions Asked of All Divisions

The COD asked all divisions undergoing assessment this year about two topics, diversity and acceptance rates. 

Diversity: The panel asked how the division was attempting to address the issue of diversity, something that was not addressed in this year’s annual report. We discussed how the division has been attempting to increase diversity by expanding our reach internationally. The panel was pleased with these efforts and asked that a brief summary of recent efforts be submitted as an adendeum to our annual report. 

The panel also asked for the division to increase its efforts to support gender and racial diversity within the division. It was pointed out that our invited panels have recently lack significant female presence. It was also suggested that in the annual report we document attempts to support diversity through panel proposals we’ve submitted that do not end up in the conference schedule because of a lack of co-sponsorship. The council takes into account attempts even if they do not result in success.

Acceptance Rates: The panel asked about the division’s acceptance rates at the annual conference. It was pointed out that twice in the last five years the division’s rate rose above 60%. The division was asked to work towards consistently maintaining a 50% acceptance rate. 

Questions Specific to MMEE

Midwinter Conference: Given the division only had five paper submissions for this year’s conference, the division was asked if it planned to continue participating in the event. We explained that this has been an ongoing discussion within the division and that we have continued to participate as a means to support graduate student development. It was suggested that, if the division continues to participate, we should look at ways to increase submission rates. 

PF&R and Out of Convention Activities: It was noted that this year we conducted no out of convention activities related to PF&R. It was suggested that we use our blog to support PF&R activities throughout the year. 

Awards: It was noted that we rarely hand out our PF&R award (only twice in five years) and that even the awarding of teaching and monograph awards has been a bit sporadic. The panel suggested that we either look at broadening the language of the awards to allow more submissions or consider eliminating the award(s).

Name Change: The board officially approved the division’s name change. It was suggested that the division explore ways to do something at next year’s conference to build on the name change. 

Takeaways 

Diversity

  • Need to increase diversity on invited research, teaching, and PF&R panels. 
  • Need to submit an addendum to this year’s annual report discussing how the division is addressing diversity. Future annual reports need to include a similar statement (beyond reporting of the numbers). Include summary of attempts, even if they fail, in future annual reports. 

Acceptance Rates

  • Strive for 50% acceptance rate for annual convention. 

Midwinter

  • Increase submission rates or consider withdrawing from conference. 

Awards

  • Consider broadening language to be more inclusive. 
  • If an award is not regularly handed out consider eliminating the award. 

PF&R 

  • Need to conduct out of convention activities. Use blog to address PF&R throughout the year. 

2016 Conference

  • Build on name change. 

Next Assessment

The division will undergo it’s next assessment at the 2020 conference. 

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