The following message was sent to all NACAC members on Dec. 1, 2016.
As promised last week, I want to give you an update on our NACAC Board of Directors meeting week before last in Arlington (VA). As I write this letter, I am following CEO Joyce Smith’s inspiring words to the membership on Nov. 18, recommitting to our values and to continuing “to serve as an unwavering advocate on behalf of the profession and the diverse families we serve.” Also, in the Nov. 16 Bulletin, I detailed what I think are the important challenges before us now. I hope you have read both of those pieces.
Each November, the Board of Directors gathers at NACAC headquarters to orient new members and to delve into the work at hand. This year, we operated a bit differently, conducting much of the orientation in a pre-meeting conference telephone call so that we could have more time for meaningful work on the new strategic plan, the efforts to approve specific board goals and a balanced budget, and extensive dialogue with each other and invited guests. It was the first full meeting for our President-elect David Burge and new members Bob Bardwell, Ramon Blakley, Janet Marling, Chris Reeves, and Tara LeBar.
We are excited to report that much progress was made in moving us closer to finalizing the strategic plan that should carry us forward for at least the next several years. We will continue to seek feedback from the membership before presenting our final product in early 2017.
While we were engaging in our efforts, a subgroup of the Steering Committee on Admission Practices had just finished making serious headway in its review of the Statement of Principles of Good Practice. This followed a meeting of the full committee at the national conference that included an engaging presentation and exchange with Donald Hubin, director of the Institute for Ethics and Human Values at The Ohio State University about ways to continue to pursue an ethical framework for NACAC in the 21st century world in which we do our work.
We are excited to report additional events during our time together: Joyce Smith, Phil Trout, and I met with Jenny Rickard, the new CEO of The Common Application, and Scott Anderson, senior director of education and partnerships, at their headquarters. The entire board then met with Stephen Smith, president and chief product officer, and Mary Docken, vice president of association partnerships at Hobsons, and an afternoon was spent on a fascinating presentation and discussion about multiple facets of understanding bias in our world today. I think all of us came away from that event understanding much more about the complexities of the issues with which we are dealing on the board, in NACAC, in the day-to-day work that we all do, and in our personal lives. These discussions will lead to other efforts to help all of us figure out best practices for caring for our students and for relating in important ways to all.
Phil, David, and I met with Joyce while in Virginia and are happy to announce that she has been offered and has signed a new contract for the next three years, the normal length for such renewals. Her leadership continues to be vital to the success that NACAC experiences. Her support for the new Council of National School Counseling and College Access Organizations, her continued work with the Secretariat in Washington, and the numerous other contacts and relationships she has are tremendously important, and we are grateful to her in so many ways. She and Deputy CEO John McGrath manage a staff of over 60 employees, who work tirelessly on our behalf.
We also approved assignments for board members and staff to attend affiliate conferences, a highlight every year of the work we do since we come away with a much greater understanding and appreciation for the tremendous efforts and accomplishments by so many. Finally, everyone is hard at work in planning for our winter board meeting, which will end with advocacy work on the Hill. While much about upcoming governmental policy is currently unknown, this year is a very important one for our efforts locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. We would love to see every affiliate represented with as many members as possible when we convene March 5-6 for Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.
I’ll end with emphasizing how much we appreciate your thoughts and suggestions as the year progresses about what is important to you as members. As I meet with each of you, read the Exchange and social media posts, and hear of the work being done by all, I am in awe of the commitment and dedication you demonstrate every day.
Thanks for the opportunity to serve you.
Nancy T. Beane
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