Proposing a New Section or SIG

The processes for proposing new Sections and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are similar, with the key difference being that a new Section must have begun as a Special Interest Group. 

To receive approval, a proposed SIG or Section must show 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.
  • It represents a distinct and unique topic/area of interest that is unable to find a place in an already established Section or SIG and
    therefore 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.
  • The interested individuals, or SIG, submit their proposal to the chair of the ADEA Council of Sections (COS) Administrative Board, copying the ADEA COS staff liaison. The chair distributes the proposal to the full ADEA COS Administrative Board.
  • At its next meeting or conference call, the ADEA COS Administrative Board determines whether all of the submission requirements have been met and reviews the proposal. If approved, the proposal is forwarded to the ADEA Board of Directors (BOD) with a recommendation for establishment.
  • At its January meeting, the ADEA BOD considers the proposal. If approved, a resolution is prepared for the ADEA House of Delegates at the following ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition; if the ADEA BOD does not approve the proposal, the submitter may choose to take an additional year to modify the proposal while ensuring that its original intent is retained.
  • At the ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in March, the ADEA House of Delegates considers the resolution for establishing the new SIG or Section. If it passes, the Section or SIG begins operations immediately upon notification by the ADEA COS Administrative Board. Each SIG is assigned a liaison from the ADEA COS Administrative Board to serve as a resource and to provide guidance.
  • For the two years following approval, new SIGs and Sections are on probationary status. They are then evaluated by the ADEA COS Administrative Board.

The detailed proposal must include information about the submitter, a cover letter, evidence of support for the establishment of the proposed SIG or Section, a plan for meeting the minimal criteria for operating and maintaining an SIG and a description of the planned organizational structure.

Submitter information:
The person submitting the proposal should include his or her:

  • Name.
  • ADEA member number.
  • Institution/organization.
  • Contact number.
  • Email address.
  • Biographical sketch (including any previous activities with ADEA).

Cover letter:

The cover letter must include the following information: 

  • SIG/Section name (e.g., ADEA Special Interest Group on “XXXXX”).
  • An explanation of how the proposed SIG or Section fits within the mission, vision and strategic plan of ADEA.
  • Evidence that there is a core group of ADEA members representing an active and fully functional unitary interest.
  • An explanation of the need/rationale for the new SIG or Section, including:
    • A statement of goals and objectives of the proposed SIG or Section, with a plan of action for meeting the goals and objectives.
    • A statement outlining the themes and topics that the proposed SIG or Section will address and its expected outcomes (e.g., scholarly research or a white paper).
    • Evidence that the subject area exists at a majority of the member institutions involved in the general area that the subject falls under.
    • Evidence that no other Section or SIG already meets the needs to be addressed by the proposed SIG or Section. Specifically, the proposal should explain why the establishment of an SIG or Section—rather than the creation of a study group within an existing Section or SIG—is needed. In other words, is its scope broad enough to warrant a separate group?
    • Confirmation that the establishment of this new SIG or Section will not threaten the existence of an existing Section or SIG.


Evidence of support for the establishment of the proposed SIG:
A minimum of 25 signatures from ADEA Members are required on the petition. 

The petition must include a statement indicating that signatories intend to join and request affiliation with the proposed Section or SIG; that they accept membership if the Section or SIG is established; and that they intend to be active, participating members who contribute to the goals and success of the Section or SIG. 

Each signatory must provide his or her name, title, institution and ADEA membership number and expiration date.

Plan for meeting minimum criteria and maintaining a Section or SIG:
The proposal should include plans to: 

  • 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, (e.g. Listserv, social media, newsletter).
  • Submit an annual report of activities.
  • Ensure that 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 an SIG typically includes a chair only; however, if the SIG chooses, it may include the positions of chair-elect and secretary in their organizational structure as well.

A Section’s organizational structure includes a councilor, chair, chair-elect and secretary.

The proposed organizational structure should include a description of the pool of individuals available to fulfill the leadership requirements of the SIG or Section, including the names of individuals who are willing and able, if called upon, to fulfill the identified roles and responsibilities.