A Message from NCECA President

I hope this finds you in the midst of popsicles, puppy dogs and BBQ grills, onto a new body of work in the studio or planning some exotic travel in the remainder of this summer season (even if that exotic travel is the next block over to go fishing or to sit in some sand). I’ve enjoyed keeping up with everyone’s summer festivities on Facebook and I’m living vicariously through most of you! Patsy-JulyThis last couple of weeks has brought a whirlwind of national landmark decisions on some controversial issues that will prove to have an international impact. Heroes and villains have emerged, depending on what side of the fence you sit, but what one must remember is that decisions like these are arrived at after much discussion and consultation by folks who step forward with passion to challenge or champion issues that impact our every day lives.

When we face compelling issues that impact our lives, the call to service can be challenging but also uniquely beautiful and fulfilling. Because like many of you, I feel deeply about ceramic art and education, I made a decision some time ago to become more involved with how NCECA was governed. I had no idea when I ran for a Director-at-Large position that I would one day serve as your President. Right now, NCECA is once again seeking qualified folks to come forward and to be involved in decisions that will have an impact on all things NCECA. We’ve got board positions opening in March 2014 that include Director-at-Large, Student-Director-At-Large, Secretary and President-Elect and NCECA asks for your help in identifying individuals well suited to these positions.

NCECA’s members ratified bylaws amendments in March 2013 that now permit implementation of a long requested and much desired e-ballot system. We are currently working to develop our e-balloting technology platform and anticipate being able to implement it for this next round of elections. Electronic voting will allow NCECA members to cast votes without having to be present at the Second Member’s Business meeting on the Saturday after the closing lecture of the 2014 conference. Previously, you had to have your fanny in a chair DURING that meeting to cast a vote for your leadership. As with all progress dependent on technology, implementation of e-voting requires us to make some procedural changes that you will need to be aware of.

The first and most notable change will be that all nominations for open board positions must be made electronically by October 2nd 2013. This will allow us to share candidates’ information with our membership before the polls are opened. This process change means that NCECA will no longer be accepting nominations from the floor during the first business members meeting on the Thursday morning of the conference… again, we will no longer be accepting nominations from the floor on Thursday of the conference. We will say this often with the hopes that we reach everyone with the news before we’re sitting in the room together and you are waiting to make your nomination for a particular board position only to be notified that the October 2nd deadline has passed.

We invite peer nominations or self-nominations for all open board positions.  With the exception of President Elect, the above listed open board positions are subject to a vote of the membership. The board’s explicit desire and message in the most recently adopted set of bylaws changes was to engage members in helping to identify qualified individuals to be considered for the President-Elect position through a nominations process. The Nominations Committee reviewing and recommending candidates to the board now includes a member at large. In the coming months NCECA’s board will undertake the approval of a new President-Elect, which is also a board-approved appointment to a six year cycle of service. Additionally, last year we sent out a call for Exhibitions Director nominations. This is also a board-approved appointment that we expect to be filled and announced in the very near future.

Enjoy your Fourth of July holiday, celebrate your inner pyromaniac by taking in your local firework festivities and expect to hear some programming updates from us soon. As always, send us an email for any clarifications on the nominations process or the new e-voting protocols or any other concern you’d like to share.

Patsy Cox
NCECA President


The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts has advanced the stature and quality of our field by recognizing select individuals for their service, teaching, creative achievement and/ or extraordinary accomplishments through awards of excellence in ceramic art and education. Nominations are now open for 2014 NCECA Fellows, Honors, Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Achievement Awards. NCECA members that want to help identity worthy recipients of this recognition, please consider completing a nomination. NCECA’s Nominations Committee will review submissions and recommend their leading candidates for approval by NCECA’s board at the autumn meeting. Awardees will be recognized at the 2014 conference in Milwaukee.
You can find the detailed descriptions and eligibility requirements and nominations procedures here…


NCECA is pleased to announce that thanks to bylaws amendments passed by the membership in 2013, upcoming board elections will be able to take place by e-ballot for the first time in the organization’s history. E-voting will make it possible for active NCECA members to cast ballots over a longer period of time, whether they attend the conference or choose not to be there. The hoped for outcome will be increased member participation in board elections, a goal that NCECA has sought after for several years. Now NCECA is finally approaching this important evolution in governance process, it is critical that members note that the implementation of a cost-effective e-ballot system will precipitate a number of changes in nominations and elections procedures.

The first of these to note is that nominations for board positions must now all be made electronically by October 2, 2013. This includes self-nominations and peer-initiated nominations of people interested in service who possess leadership capacities that could benefit NCECA’s sustainability and evolution. Self-nominations and nominations from the floor will no longer be accepted at the first members business meeting at the annual conference.

NCECA is presently seeking highly qualified candidates for three distinct positions on its Board of Directors that will come open in Spring 2014. These positions are Director at LargeStudent Director at Large and Secretary of the Council. NCECA invites its membership to review the roles and responsibilities below. If you consider yourself a highly qualified leader or know someone you think could make outstanding contributions as a member of NCECA’s leadership team, please consider submitting a nomination form by October 2, 2013.

Read more about roles, responsibilities and of qualifications for board service here…


Following the 2013 Houston Conference, NCECA created a survey to investigate perceptions on a variety of topics about the conference and the organization itself. There were over one thousand respondents, with 730 from conference registrants. The total number of respondents represent just over 20% of the total conference attendance at the conference, making the findings statistically representative of the whole within a 3% margin of error. NCECA’s board reviewed and discussed a complete report of the survey, including eighty pages of charts, graphs and comments, which offered a lot of information to digest and ideas to investigate.  As a member-driven organization, NCECA felt it important to share the findings of the survey with you. Data including a sampling of representative and sometimes conflicting comments have been summarized and synthesized in a 6-minute video now available at blog.nceca.net.

In the year ahead, look for follow-up on additional comments, ideas and suggestions from the survey on the blog.  NCECA appreciates the input of everyone who took the survey and we remain open to suggestions for improvement.  If you have any thoughts you would like to share with us, please use the contact form directly below the video, or leave a public comment on the blog.


NCECA’s office will be closed on July 4th and 5th. During this time period and over the weekend, NCECA will be migrating email communications data to a new, nonprofit email license that will provide more robust service while reducing monthly costs.  Please understand that phones will not be answered and emails sent to any users with name@nceca.net email addresses will bounce back to senders. All systems should be operational again on Monday, July 8. Thank you all for your patience during this time. Best wishes for a safe and happy Fourth!