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News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
Research a Big Part of
USITT Commissions

Dennis Dorn
VP for Commissions

By now you have returned home from Long Beach if your schedule permitted your attendance. We hope you enjoyed the programming generated by our ten Commissions. If you did and you have some ideas for future subjects to be explored or an industry notable you would like to see honored by USITT, connect with the Commission network and make your thoughts known to Commission leadership.

You can go directly to page 24 of the 2004 Membership Directory & Resource Guide where you will find the contact information for Commissioners and Vice-Commissioners for programming.

Keep in mind that Conference programming is just one aspect of what the Commissions are designed to do. In fact they were established “to promote, recognize, and provide assistance to research activities in the various subject areas.”

The By-Laws go on to say that each Commission “shall endorse specific research projects and appoint Project Directors.” Those familiar with current project activities will probably recognize this is an area that needs substantial revitalization.

Some Commissions are currently turning out interesting research that should have broad appeal to both Commission members and non-members. The sorry truth, however, is that most Commissions are either without significant research activity or have projects that have lingered for years and, according to the By-Laws, should not continue to receive USITT endorsement since they have not shown “satisfactory progress and productivity.”

Okay, that's a summary of the current situation, but the happy news is that the milieu can easily turn around. USITT, and the Commissions, through the Commissioners Fund, has money available to help underwrite the cost of research.

Grant requests are welcome if the subject matter has sufficient breadth to be of interest to a cross-section of USITT members and not focused just on the needs of a specific institution. Requests for sums ranging from $300 to $1,250 would be appropriate; larger requests need to be directed to the Grants & Fellowships Program for which there are more stringent requirements.

Have a research idea? Need some seed money? Get on the phone and call either your Commission leadership or Dennis Dorn, VP for Commissions at 608-263-3359, and start moving ahead.

More and more, academic communities are expecting faculty to have produced evidence of publication when being considered for tenure and promotion. Many businesses also find publication a useful way to promote their endeavors and to get the word out.

USITT can, and will, aid members in both academic and non-academic sectors to promote new ideas, historical perspectives, or creative research including exhibits. Article VII, Section 1 of the By-Laws states it quite clearly: “It shall be the objective of USITT to encourage, promote, and assist its members in the conduct of such research activities in accordance with the purposes of the Institute.”

Don't be a wallflower, merely sitting on the sidelines, perhaps even in the peanut-gallery, commenting on what others have done or should have done. Resolve to be a doer who, along with support and guidance from your friends and representatives at USITT, attempts to bring your research ideas to life. Call soon and find out how to get started.

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Light Lab was again featured at the 2004 Conference, as it was in 2003. This and other Commission projects can lead to or benefit from research assistance.