Complete Story


CSCA Convention - March 13 Update

Dear CSCA Members and Attendees:

After carefully assessing the benefits and costs, the CSCA leadership and Executive Committee have decided not to have a virtual conference for CSCA this year.

This difficult decision was made for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to):

  • About 50% of our submissions are discussion panels and not conducive to a virtual format
  • Given the number of institutions around the country who are moving to online instruction, faculty and student energies should be focused on this work rather than creating online presentations that others may not have time to view and discuss
  • There is not sufficient time and person power to work with companies to adequately prepare for a virtual conference

While CSCA could keep registration revenue if we went to an online, virtual conference format, we do not believe this financial benefit to the organization is enough reason to pursue this option.

We also recognize that a virtual conference might benefit members and attendees by providing an outlet for feedback of your work and your CV for considerations related to merit pay, rank and tenure, and various hiring/application processes. To address these possible detriments to our members, we will offer the following resources and suggestions:

  • While we cannot do a full virtual conference, Tiffany Wang (incoming Executive Director) has agreed to create a CSCA YouTube channel where she can post your presentation of your work for possible comments/discussions from members, should you choose. (This is entirely voluntary; we just wanted to provide an outlet for you to receive feedback on your work should you choose.)
  • Chad McBride has written a statement as President of CSCA that you can include in dossiers or other materials asking relevant decision bodies at your college or university to view your acceptance into the 2020 CSCA Conference as the equivalent of a face-to-face presentation. You can list your presentations as accepted on your CV with an asterisk and include this statement, if it is helpful. CSCA COVID-19 Letter
  • Alternatively, you could choose to pull your submission and submit to the upcoming NCA (or other conference) deadlines. However, if you take this option, we ask that you follow traditional disciplinary ethical guidelines and remove your CSCA presentation from your CV.

Kathie Cesa will work on issuing refunds to those who have already registered for the conference. Please be patient during this time as there is not a process to issue mass refunds, and they each must be processed individually.

Related, as noted in our previous message FAQs, if you bought an ad (other than banner ads, which will be featured on our social media) or provided money to support an event, we can provide a refund to your institution. We would, of course, also be willing to transfer your support to an ad for next year’s program.

Canceling a conference requires almost as much work as planning a conference, with no policies or procedures for guidance. There are many decisions to be made (e.g., how to elect new officers for interest groups), and we will develop game plans for all of these issues in the coming weeks. As soon as we have plans in place, we will provide complete information through appropriate channels.

Thank you in advance for your patience during these trying times and as we navigate our way forward. As always, do your best to stay healthy and communicate your love and appreciation for your loved ones. And we look forward to seeing you all in Cincinnati in 2021, where we will have lots of reasons to celebrate each other’s work and reconvene as a CSCA family.

Chad McBride, President

Chad C. Edwards, Executive Director

What about my registration fee? 

Kathie Cesa is the only person who can handle these refunds and will be processing them ASAP. Please do not email her. 

What about schools/organizations that paid for an ad or donation?

Please consider letting us “hold” your ad or donation until next year. This would help the organization spread the cost out over two years. Chad Edwards will reach out to you for ideas. At any rate, you will be given a refund if you ask. For banner ads, we will not refund these as they will cost CSCA a lot in fees to process. Instead, we will feature your banner ad on social media. Thanks for your understanding regarding banner ads.

What about my hotel?

You will need to cancel with your hotel.

What about my flight?

When you call your airline, be sure to tell them that your conference was canceled. Some airlines have been lenient due to COVID-19. You could always hold on to your ticket for a few weeks and see if the airlines cancel.   

How will interest groups elect new leaders?

We are working on this and other related issues. We will have more information in the following weeks as we work through these issues.

How much will this decision cost the organization?

This is a good question. At this time, we have a rough idea and know that we can afford this action. After we sort out the complexities of this year, we will have a transparent financial accounting for the membership. 

What steps did CSCA take before this action?

CSCA leadership has been discussing COVID-19 for the last few weeks nearly every day. We have been in contact with our hotel consultants, emergency management experts, and insurance providers. In addition to the hotel procedures that were going in place, we purchased our own hand sanitizer stations which will become a part of future CSCA conferences.  

Why was the decision made now?

With the CDC recommendations, the State of Illinois declaration, and many members deciding not to attend, we thought it was wise to make the decision now to give members time to change flights, hotels, car rentals, etc.

Will my paper or panel still count on my CV?

Yes. To be transparent, we ask that you list your presentations as accepted (rather than “presented”).

We have provided a statement available on our website here encouraging your merit, rank and tenure, and hiring committees to be generous here given the global pandemic.

If, however, you submit this work to another conference, we ask that you remove this acceptance to CSCA from your CV.

What if I would like to submit a video presentation of my accepted CSCA paper to the CSCA YouTube channel?

If you are interested in sharing a video of your presentation to the CSCA YouTube channel, you can select and upload a video file directly from your computer to without having a Dropbox account. Please label your file with the first author's full name. Incoming Executive Director Tiffany Wang will post your video publicly to our CSCA YouTube Channel which can be found at Please contact her at if you have any questions about the upload process.

What if I want to submit my paper or panel to another conference?

If you remove your paper or panel from your CV, please feel free to submit to another conference. 

My paper or panel won an award. Do I still get the check or plaque? 

Yes. It will take us a while to process these as they are last priority at this point. The awards this year are still being given. Or, please consider donating your award check to one of the endowed awards. 

Finally, what can I do to help?

Great question! First, please be patient as we sort out the issues of canceling the best communication conference in the world. With the exception of our amazing member services person, Kathie Cesa, CSCA is an all-volunteer association. Second, promote your CSCA connection. This organization is strong because of the members. Third, send emails and notes to your friends and family. Tell them how much they mean to you. Finally, wash your hands and stay home if you are sick! We want to see all of you next year in Ohio! We will have much to celebrate next year. Much love to all.

Printer-Friendly Version