January 19, 2021
Dear NACAC Colleagues:
I hope you and your families remain safe, healthy, and optimistic during these difficult moments in our history.
Despite the many challenges around the globe, NACAC continues to be laser-focused on strengthening the association and responding to member needs. In fact, I write today with exciting news. In an effort to ensure more inclusion and transparency in NACAC’s governance, the Board of Directors is proposing amendments to our bylaws that would enable ALL eligible voting members to elect board officers and directors—a privilege currently granted only to Assembly delegates.
Why the change? The board noted several reasons to support this move:
To align with member preferences.
The Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership in College Admission calls for NACAC’s governance to better reflect its members, saying, “An agile organization is best served by governance systems in which members see themselves represented, the collective voice of the membership is heard, and leaders are empowered to make important and timely decisions….” I heard the same message during my 2020 Listening Tour. As one member put it, “NACAC must strive to make sure everyone feels represented and connected in the organization.”
To make the voting process more inclusive.
Our association has more than 14,000 members (and growing), but the total number of delegates allowed to vote for the board is 215. (Many of our members equate this to our own version of the US Electoral College and would like to see us become more inclusive.)
To align with our peer associations.
NACAC staff researched how our governance compares with 20 other national higher education associations. We learned many of our practices are outdated, including the fact that only one of them chose board leaders via an assembly.
To promote greater leadership diversity.
Opening board elections to all eligible members is likely to create a more diverse pool of candidates. As one member told me during the listening tour, “If members are aware that a broader cross-section of the association is voting, more people might step up to leadership.”
We understand that the Assembly has played an important role in NACAC’s governance and has been a critical leadership experience for delegates. If the proposed changes are approved, we will immediately launch an ad hoc committee to develop recommendations for new ways to take advantage of the collective wisdom and energy of the Assembly delegates and give them a new way to meaningfully contribute to NACAC. The ad hoc committee will be chaired by Mark Steinlage, current board director and a former coordinator of the Affiliate Presidents Council, and members will be announced in March.
This change to NACAC’s bylaws requires a special membership vote.
NACAC President Todd Rinehart and I invite you to a webinar on Monday, Jan. 25, 12 – 1 pm EST. We will share more information on the proposal and voting process, and answer questions. (We will record the conversation for those who can’t attend.) Please register here for the webinar. To submit questions ahead of time, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Online voting will begin on Thursday, Jan. 28 and continue through Friday, Mar. 26. Watch your email for more details and instructions!
For more information, please review the FAQ, sample ballot, and more at nacacnet.org/specialmembervote.
I hope you share my excitement about this proposed change that will move us closer to becoming the stronger, more inclusive association we aspire to be.
Angel B. Pérez
CEO, National Association for College Admission Counseling
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