President’s Column: Board Priorities for the Year Ahead

By Stefanie Niles, NACAC President

The holiday season is upon us. This is the time for giving thanks and celebrating with family and friends – and enjoying that those early decision deadlines are largely behind us! As we look ahead to the next set of responsibilities in our daily jobs, the NACAC Board of Directors has also taken some time to think about our priorities for the year.

The responsibility of the Board of Directors is largely fiduciary; we offer guidance and direction to staff to ensure NACAC’s funds support those activities that best align with the mission of the association. To that end, we have committed to the following priorities for the upcoming year:

  • Provide guidance to the NACAC senior leadership team and staff on prioritizing both revenue-producing programming and expense-cutting efforts in alignment with the 2017-2020 strategic plan.
  • Provide legal and fiduciary oversight to the NACAC senior leadership team and staff regarding the resolution of the Department of Justice’s inquiry into the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP).
  • Gather feedback and disseminate information on the development of a new membership model and reach a decision on the optimal course of action.
  • Offer support and guidance to the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Restructuring to produce a more nimble, responsive, and effective system of association governance that better serves NACAC members. 
  • Define and develop more effective engagement channels between the board and affiliate leadership, and with membership in general.
  • Support efforts that promote diversity, inclusion, and effective dialogue among members to affirm the shared values of the organization and what unites us as members. 
  • Define the role and responsibilities of the board relative to fundraising. 

During our November meeting, we discussed all of the topics listed above. NACAC, like most organizations, must continually assess our offerings to ensure that we are able to provide the best services to our members while meeting our financial obligations. This concept guided most of our discussions, including those related to membership, the Department of Justice investigation, and how we, as a board, might enhance efforts to raise funds in support of NACAC’s core mission.

The board is particularly invested in continued engagement with the affiliates, and discussed how we might best demonstrate that support through our actions and initiatives. In particular, we anticipate that we will be working with affiliate leadership and members to gather additional insights on the membership model, making sure that all understand the original intention behind the potential change and the goals we hope to achieve on behalf of the association through its implementation. Interwoven throughout our conversation during our multi-day meeting was a focus on diversity, inclusion, and effective dialogue among our members. A highlight of our time together was a productive session on social media and how we might most effectively engage NACAC’s members through a variety of platforms.  

The board meeting, held at NACAC’s headquarters near Washington, DC, also coincided in time with in-person planning sessions for the chairs of the association’s 11 national committees, also held in DC. Board members were thrilled to have the chance to engage in dialogue with the chairs regarding their goals and tasks for the upcoming year.

The NACAC Board of Directors has a full agenda for the months ahead, and we look forward to our ongoing interactions with you as we continue to support the good work of the association.

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