2018 National Conference Highlights
Some 6,100 college admission professionals attended the 74th National Conference in Salt Lake City last week to learn, collaborate, and network with one another.
The annual conference kicked off Thursday with Danielle Yepa Gunderson, a member of the Chickasaw Nation and a NACAC member, offering a land acknowledgement to honor and respect the people who resided on the land before us.
Now-Immediate Past President David Burge then spoke about the current climate in higher education, encouraging members to work together to change the conversation about the value of a college degree and the role of transfer students.
The 2018 National Conference included multiple sessions on college access in every educational session block. On Thursday, featured speaker Carrie Billy, president and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), used success stories from America’s Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) to illustrate some of the ways all colleges can better serve Native students. On Friday, keynote speaker Nick Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner from The New York Times, used his time at the microphone to highlight the consequences of America’s growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.
Attendees also participated in more than 20 Special Interest Group meetings, the Counselors’ College Fair, and the Access College Fair.
Report of the 2018 Assembly
In addition to electing new President-Elect Jayne Caflin Fonash, director of school counseling at The Academies of Loudon (VA), and two new board directors, Sara Brookshire, director of admissions at Brandeis University (MA), and Stephen Pultz, assistant vice president for enrollment at the University of San Diego (CA), the Assembly approved the following motions.
- In a special action, the Assembly agreed not to amend the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP) for one year or until the investigation by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division is resolved. This is effective immediately.
- Delegates agreed to a moratorium of enforcement for Section II. A-Application Plans for First Time Undergraduates in the United States: Guiding Principles and Rationale; Section II. B-Admission Cycle Dates, Deadlines, and Procedures for First-Time Fall Entry Undergraduates: Guiding Principles and Rationale; and Section II. D Transfer Admission: Guiding Principles and Rationale for one year or until the investigation by the Department of Justice has been resolved.
- The Assembly was advised to submit concerns or suggestions about the CEPP to Governance@nacacnet.org for review by the Admission Practices Committee.
The Assembly also passed several motions, including:
- A motion from Tim Gallen, Pennsylvania ACAC, asking the Board of Directors to consider postponing the implementation of the new membership model until 2021.
- A motion from Jennifer Melton, International ACAC, asking the Board of Directors to consider modifying the way Admission Practices complaints are handled, specifically to refer complaints to the affiliate where the institution is located as well as to any affiliate chairs whose students may be impacted by the alleged violation.
- A motion from Kim Wiley, Illinois ACAC, asking the Board of Directors to review the language being used by colleges when requesting final transcripts and consider establishing an appropriate timeline for these requests.
- A motion from Andrew Rosabianca, New England ACAC, asking the Board of Directors to consider establishing a working group to review institutions’ policies on self-reported test scores. The motion suggested that best practices for communicating policies for self-reported scores could be established and that NACAC could create a database of institutions that allow self-reported scores.
- A motion from Elisabeth Marksteiner, International ACAC, proposing that the NACAC Board create a commission on testing to examine testing inequalities and barriers to access for international students and US citizens residing outside the United States.
Report from the NACAC Annual Membership Meeting
NACAC members took action on the following Bylaws amendments:
- Article III, Membership Sections 5, 6, and 7. The NACAC Board of Directors withdrew the motion to consider who is eligible for association membership and voting status under the new membership model. The board will gather additional input from members regarding NACAC membership.
The membership approved amending:
- Article III, Membership Section 4, changing the name of the Statement of Principles of Good Practice: Code of Ethics and Professional Practices to the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP) throughout the document, effective immediately.
- Article VII, Affiliated Associations, sections 3.a., 5, and 8 to more clearly define the requirements for creating and maintaining affiliate status and the Board of Directors’ role in approving the formation of new affiliates. These practices will take effect in 2019.
- Article VIII, The Presidents Council, sections 1, 2, and 4. After a friendly amendment to change the gender specific “his/her” language to “their and they,” members approved changing the name of the Affiliate Presidents Council, adding the affiliate past presidents to the Council, and changing the term of office of the Affiliate Presidents Council Coordinator and Coordinator-elect. This will be effective in 2019.
- Article IX, The Assembly, sections 1, 2, and 4, removing the reference to the Best Practice section of the SPGP, as it is no longer part of the CEPP. Members also approved allowing incumbent Assembly delegates 180 days of eligibility if they no longer work for a member-eligible institution. This will be effective immediately.
- Article XI, The Board of Directors’ Eligibility, Nomination, and Election process to allow incumbent members of the Board of Directors 180 days of eligibility to serve on the board after they leave a member-eligible institution. This will be effective immediately.
- Article XII, The Executive Committee to include the Affiliate Presidents Council Coordinator as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. This change is effective immediately.
NACAC members also approved several motions from the floor at the meeting. They include:
- A motion from Danielle Yepa Gunderson, Sandia Preparatory School (NM), to consider including a land acknowledgement statement at the opening of every NACAC conference.
- A motion from Brandi Smith, Marietta High School (GA), to retract from the minutes inappropriate remarks made during the meeting. (See below for statement from President Stefanie Niles on this issue.)
- A motion from Elisabeth Marksteiner, independent educational consultant (UK), that the presidential and CEO reports be posted on the NACAC website, as they were postponed due to time limitations.
Update from NACAC President Stefanie Niles
"The NACAC Board of Directors, senior leadership, and staff are committed to ensuring all members feel a sense of inclusion in our organization, its bedrock principles, and its messaging. In response to several comments made from the floor at the Annual Membership Meeting last week in Salt Lake City — and on social media and other platforms in the hours since — the NACAC staff will be giving our website a comprehensive read in the coming days to ensure the pronouns used are inclusive, and to make edits to those that are not.*
We’ll also be giving the Bylaws and Code of Ethics and Professional Practices a similar read, for a similar purpose, and reporting back to the Assembly and the membership regarding the steps these bodies can take to approve any necessary edits. Going forward, our board remains committed to engaging in additional discussion of this important issue and will be in communication with the membership."
*To clarify this comment, the review itself will begin in the next few days and will be ongoing over several weeks as there are thousands of pages to search and potentially update. A thorough review of all web material will be completed as quickly as possible.
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