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Letter from the Board Chair, February 2022

Dear NACAC Members,

With the relative quiet of year-end well in our rearview mirror, the first month of 2022 brought us many new and unforeseen challenges. From bomb threats to student mental health, to gun violence, to legal battles across the country, NACAC members are the front line against some of the most difficult issues facing secondary and postsecondary education and institutions today. NACAC stands with our members in this work and continues to advocate on your behalf with our federal legislators.

While the steady drumbeat of news and current events holds our attention, the NACAC Board of Directors convened for its winter meeting to address ongoing association business. The NACAC board is committed to creating greater opportunities for information-sharing with you, and you can expect an update from us following each board meeting.

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, the board held a regular meeting with an agenda that blended both standard business and strategic conversations. NACAC CEO Angel Pérez shared organizational updates related to topics of great interest and importance, and in the spirit of transparency, this is what the board learned:

  • Technology Infrastructure. Internally, work is underway to begin a website redesign and the implementation of a new online member engagement platform. These goals are critical to NACAC’s work as an association, responding to the needs of members and enabling engagement with staff, the board, and one another.

  • Policy & Advocacy. NACAC will conduct independent and joint advocacy with the Access & Diversity Collaborative to support Harvard University and the University of North Carolina in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a case about race-conscious admissions. In the weeks ahead, NACAC will host a webinar for members to learn more about the case and how to create dialogue at your respective institutions. Members of Congress also approached NACAC for expertise on issues related to banning admissions preferences, indexing the Pell Grant to inflation, and supporting National School Counseling Week.

  • Grants & Partnerships. In 2022, NACAC hopes to build upon its success with grant-funded research and activities, seeking out new philanthropic opportunities and strategic partnerships. A recent example is the Lumina Foundation-funded report, “Toward a More Equitable Future for Postsecondary Access,” drafted in partnership with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. NACAC looks forward to announcing more good news soon!

  • National College Fairs. There are six in-person college fairs planned for spring 2022, the first of which will take place in Miami on March 13. The first virtual college fair of 2022 took place on Jan. 30. NACAC staff looks forward to building upon the strong momentum of these signature events. To learn more, visit the National College Fairs website.

  • Ad Hoc Committees. The ad hoc committees created last year took on some of the most pressing topics facing the college admission counseling profession and its professionals: Engaging Public High School CounselorsServing Next-Generation College Counseling and Admission ProfessionalsDeveloping Programs and Services for College Counseling and Admissions Professionals at Rural and Small-Town Schools and Colleges, and Reimagining the NACAC-Affiliate Partnership. The ad hoc committees will submit their final reports and recommendations to the Board of Directors at the end of February. NACAC staff and the board eagerly await this information and hope to align the association’s internal strategy and plans with the reports and recommendations. The board is also in the process of considering topics for future ad hoc committees and plans to announce them later this spring.

  • DEI Director Search. Later this month, NACAC will launch a national search for a director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. A member advisory group will offer expertise regarding how NACAC can uplift DEI principles in its member offerings and across the organization.

  • Global Strategy. NACAC serves an international membership and aspires to engage with this group more deeply and intentionally in the years ahead. The association recently consulted with a recognized expert in the field, Clay Hensley, who developed a comprehensive report and recommendations for a global strategy. The board also created a working group to assess and operationalize this strategy. This exciting initiative will be underway throughout the spring, and we will have more important updates and information to share with you later this year.

It would be remiss of me if I did not to mention that recruitment for the Board of Directors is underway. The only requirement for board service is that a candidate must have been a voting member for five years. NACAC values the broad spectrum of experience that comes from serving your institution, students, and families, as well as the skills gained from other volunteer leadership activities—perhaps with a community-based or non-profit organization. There is no required or prescribed path to becoming a board member. Each of us bring distinct and exceptional skills and characteristics to the role.

Indeed, NACAC board service has been one of the most rewarding professional opportunities of my career. I know that my colleagues on the board agree. I hope that you will consider the talents and treasures that you would bring to the NACAC Board of Directors and consider applying today. If you have specific questions, please contact governance@nacacnet.org.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you for all that you do to uplift the college admission counseling profession and transform the lives of students in their pursuit of higher education. Best wishes to you, your families, and institutions for good health and a wonderful February.

Sincerely,

Ffiona Rees
Chair of the Board

 

Previous Letters from Ffiona Rees

December 2021

November 2021

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