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> Momemtous Events, What is the future of USAD?
The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 20 2015, 03:58 PM
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The state directors all just received the following email. This is really, really big.

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Dear USAD Colleagues:

It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation from USAD effective January 31, 2015.

I firmly believe that the decisions and actions being made by the USAD Administrator are moving the organization in a direction that runs counter to the purpose of the United States Academic Decathlon®. Morally and ethically, I can no longer support those decisions and actions.

To facilitate my transition out of the organization, I will work reservedly with the USAD Board President, Dave Mikkalson.

I will miss working with the USAD staff and state directors. I will also miss the interaction with the students and coaches from across the country.

My twenty-year association with USAD has been spiritually rewarding and I thank you for the opportunities that I have been given. I wish all the best for USAD.

Sincerely,

Mylene Chafe
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Guest_raconteur_*
post Jan 20 2015, 04:34 PM
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Chris, I am so glad you posted this info. We have no state director so I would not have known this until much later. I have no idea how this will affect us since everything we do for state is online. I know Joyce does most of the online setup so maybe Mylene's absence will not be as difficult as I imagine. I will certainly miss her.
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Guest_kdarrow_*
post Jan 20 2015, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jan 20 2015, 09:58 AM) *
The state directors all just received the following email. This is really, really big.

QUOTE
Dear USAD Colleagues:

It is with a heavy heart that I submit my resignation from USAD effective January 31, 2015.

I firmly believe that the decisions and actions being made by the USAD Administrator are moving the organization in a direction that runs counter to the purpose of the United States Academic Decathlon®. Morally and ethically, I can no longer support those decisions and actions.

To facilitate my transition out of the organization, I will work reservedly with the USAD Board President, Dave Mikkalson.

I will miss working with the USAD staff and state directors. I will also miss the interaction with the students and coaches from across the country.

My twenty-year association with USAD has been spiritually rewarding and I thank you for the opportunities that I have been given. I wish all the best for USAD.

Sincerely,

Mylene Chafe



Ouch, this hurts. For those of you who have worked with Mylene, this is a big deal. She has been the one voice for us over the years. Whatever stupid decisions USAD made, Mylene was there to try and put the pieces back together. I am sick of this. I am mad. As of right now, I plan on bringing to our state board (I know we are Iowa and do not carry much weight) a proposition to leave decathlon, as a state. Why can't we begin our own competition? Any takers? I am ready to throw out the baby with the bath water.
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TinDefacto
post Jan 21 2015, 05:26 AM
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What. Whaaaaaaaaaat. NononononononoNO.

This is beyond sad. Having talked to numerous Decathletes at Nationals last year, it seemed like she was the only one on the board capable of fixing the Super Quiz scoring mishap. She was their one anchor to actually keeping in mind what their constituents want at all. Without her... they don't care about us at all.

"Morally and ethically"... is this due to the international spread of AcDec (which I actually think is pretty cool)? Or other recent things? Or, scarily, some new changes that are coming but which have yet to be announced...
*shudders*

The end is coming.

QUOTE (kdarrow @ Jan 20 2015, 03:40 PM) *
Ouch, this hurts. For those of you who have worked with Mylene, this is a big deal. She has been the one voice for us over the years. Whatever stupid decisions USAD made, Mylene was there to try and put the pieces back together. I am sick of this. I am mad. As of right now, I plan on bringing to our state board (I know we are Iowa and do not carry much weight) a proposition to leave decathlon, as a state. Why can't we begin our own competition? Any takers? I am ready to throw out the baby with the bath water.

Well-put. I don't think there's much of an issue with how the competition is being done for the moment (other than the ridiculously expensive barriers to entry/continuation), though. However, it appears that this may be subject to change...

I certainly hope not.

If USAD pushes themselves into the ground as they've shown their tendency to work toward, we are starting a new Academic Decathlon. This is a thing that will happen if need be, and hopefully it won't, but if it does...

Thanks for putting the SAD back in USAD you guys.
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Guest_the_crazy_honors_*
post Jan 21 2015, 07:12 PM
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QUOTE (TinDefacto @ Jan 20 2015, 11:26 PM) *
What. Whaaaaaaaaaat. NononononononoNO.

This is beyond sad. Having talked to numerous Decathletes at Nationals last year, it seemed like she was the only one on the board capable of fixing the Super Quiz scoring mishap. She was their one anchor to actually keeping in mind what their constituents want at all. Without her... they don't care about us at all.

"Morally and ethically"... is this due to the international spread of AcDec (which I actually think is pretty cool)? Or other recent things? Or, scarily, some new changes that are coming but which have yet to be announced...
*shudders*

The end is coming.

QUOTE (kdarrow @ Jan 20 2015, 03:40 PM) *
Ouch, this hurts. For those of you who have worked with Mylene, this is a big deal. She has been the one voice for us over the years. Whatever stupid decisions USAD made, Mylene was there to try and put the pieces back together. I am sick of this. I am mad. As of right now, I plan on bringing to our state board (I know we are Iowa and do not carry much weight) a proposition to leave decathlon, as a state. Why can't we begin our own competition? Any takers? I am ready to throw out the baby with the bath water.

Well-put. I don't think there's much of an issue with how the competition is being done for the moment (other than the ridiculously expensive barriers to entry/continuation), though. However, it appears that this may be subject to change...

I certainly hope not.

If USAD pushes themselves into the ground as they've shown their tendency to work toward, we are starting a new Academic Decathlon. This is a thing that will happen if need be, and hopefully it won't, but if it does...

Thanks for putting the SAD back in USAD you guys.

Count me in. Depending on when (not if) USAD fails, I'd love to help, if only in an advisory capacity.
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Guest_kdarrow_*
post Jan 21 2015, 08:12 PM
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"Many years ago, the Board of Directors of USAD refused to remove an Executive Director who was destroying the Academic Decathlon Program. When an ever increasing number of State Directors called for his removal and the Board did not respond, I was approached by another State Director who wanted me to join him in developing a new academic program. After we launched the process and developed several dimensions of the new program, the Board of Directors of USAD finally saw the errors of their collective thinking and lack of decision-making acumen relative to the Executive Director. They removed him from his position. At that point, the development of the new program stopped.

Are there any State Directors who are interested in restarting the development of a new program? While many of the dimensions are still viable, there would have to be changes in other dimensions. Personally, I would like to have a replacement for Nebraska if the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Academic Decathlon Program approves my motion to cease operations on June 30, 2015."

This!

Iowa will be voting on this as well. As a member of the board, my vote is to leave.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 23 2015, 02:20 AM
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Well, I want to emphasize a few things. First of all, the state directors are a very capable bunch. I have been privileged to meet and work with many of them. I know they're not going to let this event allow this activity, that we all treasure so much, to die. I'm sure they'll step up, as they have many times in the past, to make sure that Nationals goes off with a minimum of problems. Secondly, nothing is dead yet. While Mylene was a very important part of the system, I believe that other people can step in to complete the numerous tasks that she was responsible form. Sometimes crises such as these are the catalysts for positive change. I know that I, as well as most of the people that post on this board, will be working to make sure that the Academic Decathlon survives and improves.
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Guest_AK_WDB_*
post Jan 23 2015, 08:39 AM
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I too would ask whether anyone here knows what "decisions and actions" Mylene refers to. The main changes in AD that I recall in recent years are the back-and-forth about whether two teams per state can come to nationals and the new curricular theme this year. While there is spirited debate on both matters, it's hard to see how they quite rise to be immoral or unethical.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 23 2015, 01:17 PM
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I do not know for sure, but I suspect the issues may involve USAD's expansion into China, which is happening even as their US participation is shrinking noticeably.
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Abuelo
post Jan 23 2015, 03:26 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jan 23 2015, 02:20 AM) *
Well, I want to emphasize a few things. First of all, the state directors are a very capable bunch. I have been privileged to meet and work with many of them. I know they're not going to let this event allow this activity, that we all treasure so much, to die. I'm sure they'll step up, as they have many times in the past, to make sure that Nationals goes off with a minimum of problems. Secondly, nothing is dead yet. While Mylene was a very important part of the system, I believe that other people can step in to complete the numerous tasks that she was responsible form. Sometimes crises such as these are the catalysts for positive change. I know that I, as well as most of the people that post on this board, will be working to make sure that the Academic Decathlon survives and improves.



You can count on all of us in California to make sure that this program survives and improves.

cool.gif
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Jan 23 2015, 07:27 PM
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QUOTE (Abuelo @ Jan 23 2015, 08:26 AM) *
You can count on all of us in California to make sure that this program survives and improves.

cool.gif


I approve of this message. smile.gif
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Abuelo
post Jan 23 2015, 10:32 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Jan 23 2015, 08:27 PM) *
QUOTE (Abuelo @ Jan 23 2015, 08:26 AM) *
You can count on all of us in California to make sure that this program survives and improves.

cool.gif


I approve of this message. smile.gif



cool.gif
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Guest_Kort Jackson_*
post Jan 24 2015, 11:16 PM
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Well, it would take something of this magnitude to bring me back to DDT to talk. I saw this after just passing through on a looksee of how AD as a whole was doing, and figured I'd come back and offer my two cents.

I never personally interacted with Mylene, nor know her well, but from what I gather on the FB group as well as the commentary here, she was quite a critical component in keeping the many moving parts of USAD held together.

Although I've been out of the AD program for almost nine years (my last contest was 2006 State in Texas), and my last contact with my alma mater's team was in '07, I couldn't shake the notion that something was amiss with the overall direction of Decathlon as a program.

I for one hope that AD as we know it continues, and gets better. It was (thus far) three of the busiest years of my life, but I enjoyed (mostly) every minute of it, and happy to be on three consecutive top ten teams in Large School competition at State (and the latter two being top three finishers as well). I'd be quite devastated if that went away because of the supposed machinations of a few.

I concur with EDC that the state directors are a good bunch. If I recall, Sue Edwards is still the director in TX, and she was quite cordial in her (albeit brief) correspondence with me regarding scores a while back.

And I know Abuelo... if he still wants to fight for AD... it's not over yet. After all, USAD started as a local program that then expanded to CA, then to the US. That may be what has to happen to make the positive changes happen again: look at the original models and see where at the national level things are goofing up.

I may not be of much help, but I'm all ears (or in the case on an online board, eyes) here.

This post has been edited by Kort Jackson: Jan 25 2015, 03:26 AM
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Guest_Phil Cerami_*
post Feb 16 2015, 06:32 PM
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Count me in to bring my organization along.
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