How to Establish an ADEA Special Interest Group

What is an ADEA SIG?

An ADEA Special Interest Group (SIG) is a group of ADEA members with similar professional specialties who come together to exchange ideas and keep themselves informed about current and discrete developments in the field of dental education. The activities of an ADEA SIG are planned by their members and elected officers and provide a clear indication of the diverse interests and needs of its members. Through participation in an ADEA SIG, you can help design what, in essence, are small professional organizations within the association. Only ADEA members can belong to an ADEA SIG, though each member can belong to as many SIGs as desired. Current SIGs and their chairs and a brief description of each SIG's activities are listed on the ADEA website. You can join SIGS by logging into your ADEA membership profile. For more information about a particular SIG, contact the SIG's chair.

Proposing a New ADEA Special Interest Group

The process of forming a new ADEA Special Interest Group (ADEA SIG) begins with the submission of a formal proposal to the ADEA Council of Sections (ADEA COS) Administrative Board. The proposal is then reviewed by the ADEA COS Administrative Board who makes a recommendation to the ADEA Board of Directors (ADEA BOD). A proposal to form a new ADEA SIG must conform to the criteria described for establishment of SIGs.

Proposal Content

The detailed proposal must include the following:

  • Submitter Information
  • A cover letter
  • Support for establishment of the proposed SIG
  • A plan for meeting minimal criteria for operating and maintaining a SIG
  • Organizational Structure

Submitter Information

  • Name of Submitter
  • ADEA Member Number
  • Submitter Institution/Organization
  • Contact Number
  • Email Address
  • Bio sketch (including any previous activities with ADEA)

Cover Letter

The cover letter must include the following information:

  • SIG Name (ADEA Special Interest Group on “XXXXX”)
  • Explanation of how the proposed SIG fits within the mission, vision, and strategic plan of ADEA
  • Evidence that there is a core group of ADEA members to represent an active and fully functional unitary interest.
  • Explanation of need/rationale for the new SIG including
    • A statement of goals and objectives of the proposed SIG with a plan of action of how the goals and objectives will be met.
    • A statement outlining the themes and topics that the proposed SIG will address and expected outcomes (i.e. scholarly research or white paper).
    • Evidence that the subject area exists at a majority of the member institutions involved in the general area of which the subject is a component.
    • Evidence that no other ADEA Section or SIG meets the needs to be addressed by the proposed SIG, specifically why the establishment of a SIG is needed, rather than a study group within an existing ADEA Section or SIG. (For example, Is the scope broad enough to warrant a separate group?)
    • Confirmation that the establishment of this new SIG will not threaten the existence of a current section or SIG.

Support for Establishment of the Proposed SIG

A minimum of 25 signatures from ADEA Members are required.

The petition must include the following information:

  • A statement indicating that the signatory:
    • Intends to join and requests affiliation with the proposed SIG
    • Accepts membership, if the SIG is established
    • Intends to be an active, participating member and contribute to the goals and success of the section
  • Signatory Information:
    • Name of Signatory
    • ADEA Member #
    • Institution
    • Title
    • Membership Expiration Date.

Process to form a SIG

New SIGs begin operations immediately upon notification by the ADEA Council of Sections Administrative Board, once approval is received from the ADEA Board of Directors. New SIGs are on probationary status for two years following approval, and are then evaluated by the Council of Sections Administrative Board. Each SIG is assigned a liaison from the ADEA COS Administrative Board to serve as a resource and seek guidance for leadership.

A Plan for Meeting Minimal Criteria and Maintaining a SIG

  • Plan and conduct an annual Members’ Forum at the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition
  • Work toward supporting ADEA's strategic plan and other programs, as appropriate Establish an effective communication mechanism with SIG members, (i.e. Listserv, Social Media, Newsletter)
  • Submit an annual report of activities using criteria established by the ADEA COS located on the ADEA website.
  • Leadership attends the ADEA COS Interim Meeting during the ADEA Fall Meetings (typically held in October) and ADEA COS meetings during the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition (typically held in March)

Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of a SIG typically includes a Chair only. However, the ADEA COS Administrative Board recognizes that additional leadership may be necessary to manage the operations of a SIG. Therefore, if the SIG chooses, it may include the positions of Chair-elect and Secretary in their organizational structure as well.

A description of the potential leadership pool that is available to fulfill the leadership requirements of the SIG including the names of individuals who are willing, if called upon, to serve and are able to fulfill the roles and responsibilities.

Review Process

The detailed proposal is addressed and submitted to the Chair of the ADEA COS Administrative Board (with copy to the ADEA Staff Liaison) who will distribute the proposal to the full ADEA COS Administrative Board for review.

Review by ADEA COS

The ADEA COS Administrative Board will review and determine if the proposal satisfies all requirements for the submission process. At its next meeting or conference call, the ADEA COS Administrative Board reviews the application and provides feedback and requests follow-up information, if necessary.

After review and discussion, the ADEA COS Administrative Board determines if the application should be accepted. If accepted, the proposal is forwarded and recommended for establishment to the ADEA BOD.

Review by ADEA BOD

If approved by the ADEA BOD, a resolution is prepared for the ADEA House of delegates at following ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition.

If the ADEA BOD’s recommendation is unfavorable, the submitter may choose to take an additional year to modify the proposal while ensuring that its original intent is retained.

A SIG will be assigned to an ADEA COS Administrative Board Member for mentorship.

Criteria for Approval

Approval for establishment of a new Section may be given, provided that:

  • It represents an active and unitary interest of a group of ADEA members.
  • The proposed objectives are aligned with the goals and strategic directions of the association.
  • The proposed SIG represents a distinct and unique topic/area of interest that is unable to find a place in an already established Section or SIG and proves that a new group is necessary.
  • It represents an established and reasonably extensive area of professional interest within dental education as a whole.
  • It is financially sustainable.