Note: Information is for 2020 programs and for reference only. 2021 program details will be updated during the spring semester as plans develop.
Also, please note that former program coordinator Eric Lanning is no longer with the UTNIF. For program information please contact Prof. Brendon Bankey for questions about debate, or Prof. Randy Cox for questions about speech categories.
Why do so many students choose UTNIF for the summer forensic education programs? Check out our staff listings or the extraordinary national record of our students to see why!
UTNIF 2020 goes digital!
The University of Texas National Institute in Forensics will be a digital distance-based experience for 2020. We will continue to offer a curriculum that has fostered student success for over 25 years in service to the speech and debate community. Here are a few details:
-Curriculum and Programming: Our staff is already hard at work deploying our curriculum for the digital environment. The UTNIF will make maximum use of UT Austin's extensive digital resources for courseware and video capabilities, primarily through the Canvas web-based course platform. Our Digital Curriculum Manager comes to the UTNIF having directed multiple divisions of the camp in previous years, and with 25 years of experience working with digital platforming and content design in educational publishing. Our staff is well-equipped to help students navigate today's challenging educational climate while helping to extend what has already been a superior track record of successes for students at every level of forensic activity.
-Savings: The UTNIF has always been one of the lowest priced institutes of its kind. We have always been committed to doing what we can to make sure that summer camp opportunities are affordable, and this year is no different. One silver lining of the digital experience is the ability for us to reduce our costs even more and pass those savings directly on to our students and their families. We know that the UTNIF is a public service and are honored for the opportunity to support the speech and debate community.
-Safety: Participation in competitive speech and debate is a proven and reliable method for personal development and growth and represents a unique means to cultivate skills in self-expression, critical thinking, logical reasoning, persuasive speaking, as well as academic research and writing from across the disciplines. Safety remains our first priority and we are working diligently with the Youth Protection Program at the University of Texas to ensure that the Online UTNIF has procedures and policies in place to guarantee student safety, appropriate oversight, professional behavior, and absolute transparency. We will continue to update our website as we make important programming decisions to keep students and staff safe. The updated UTNIF Online Code of Conduct, Student Manual, and Guidance for Parents will be available soon and can be found here: http://utdebatecamp.com/administration/
-Technology Needs: Students should be expected to have access to a computer with steady connection to the internet. We recommend at least a Windows 8 computer with 8 GB RAM and a 120 GB hard drive for storage or most 2014+ models of apple computers. Headphones and a microphone are also required so students can give speeches and participate in lab/group discussion. Some activities will be based on video submission, and performance coaching will require video interaction, so access to digital video is highly recommended (either through computer or through cellular options).
Click to Apply!
We continue to follow the news and CDC guidelines in reference to the emerging COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. For guidance on University of Texas procedures related to the disease, please go to:
Individual Events & Congress Program Dates:
Main Session: June 24-July 8, 2020
Extended Session: June 24-July 12, 2020
Information and FAQ's for parents: UTNIF Admin Information Page
The UT National Institute in Forensics was established in 1994, though the University of Texas forensic programs have been operating summer programs and short courses for high school students since the University Interscholastic League was formed out of the Debating League of Texas High Schools in 1913.
One of the oldest student programs at the University of Texas, the forensic program was organized on October 5, 1883 as the Athenaeum Literary Society, which established as its ultimate goal the “training and developing of its members in forensics” through “the awakening of a vital interest in cultural and literary pursuits and the discussion and explanation of current problems.” By 1909, the program expanded to pursue national intercollegiate contests by joining the Delta Sigma Rho National Forensic Honorary Society. Archival records show a continuing involvement in collegiate and high school competitions since the 1920’s.
We are immensely proud of our faculty and student alumni of the UTNIF!