VSU’s Carl Cates completes term with Southern States Communication Association


VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University’s Carl Cates, associate dean of the College of the Arts, has completed his five-year term as executive director of Southern States Communication Association (SSCA). Established in 1930, SSCA is among the world’s oldest associations dedicated to the advancement of study and instruction in communication.

“Carl was an exceptional executive director,” said Jerold Hale, dean of the school of humanities and social sciences at the College of Charleston. “Under his management and leadership the Southern States Communication Association greatly increased its financial reserve and now enjoys financial security that will protect it in the face of an unforeseen catastrophe.   The membership of the association owes him a debt of gratitude that is immeasurable.”

That financial security was one of two major initiatives completed under Cates’ tenure as executive director. In addition, a new membership tool and website, SSCA.net, was launched under his direction. The site’s improved functionality, design, and navigation provides association members with the tools necessary to remain up-to-date and engaged with the organization.

“Carl has done an amazing job of managing all of the association’s business,” said Sam Houston State University’s Frances Brandau-Brown. “He was an invaluable resource when revamping SSCA’s web presence. That transition went smoothly because of his attention to detail. Carl is a great guy and a good friend. I feel lucky that I was able to work with him during my presidency with SSCA.”

In addition to increasing the association’s financial reserve and improving the website, Cates managed the SSCA conventions from 2011-2015 in the cities of Little Rock, AK; San Antonio, TX; Louisville, KY; New Orleans, LA; and Tampa, FL. He handled all treasurer and secretarial functions for the association as well.

“Dr. Carl Cates led SSCA with integrity and passion,” said University of Tennessee’s John Haas, SSCA’s president during the last year of Cates’ tenure. “He is among the most effective leaders I have ever met.”

In order to serve as SSCA’s executive director, one must have had prior service to the association, been nominated by a search committee, approved by the executive council and have had that approval ratified by the membership.

“While I am honored to be SSCA’s newest executive director, it is a lot like being the guy who follows the legendary coach,” Dean Hale continued.  “Carl has set the bar awfully high.  He has also been very helpful as we have made the transition.  I’m honored to be able to say that he is my colleague and friend.”

SSCA in a not-for-profit organization that promotes the study, criticism, research, teaching and application of the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication. With members across the United States and Canada, SSCA’s leadership team is made up of faculty members at some of the top academic institutions in North America. For more information on the organization, visit www.SSCA.net.