Presidential Perspective: Leadership and learning

It is hard to believe that this is my last Presidential Perspective article; this past year has flown by! As I write this on July 7, there are only 89 days until the NACAS Annual Conference in Montréal. I hope you are able to join us!


It is hard to believe that this is my last Presidential Perspective article; this past year has flown by! As I write this on July 7, there are only 89 days until the NACAS Annual Conference in Montréal. I hope you are able to join us!

I have been honored to serve as your president and to lead this Association this year. I have also learned a great deal about our profession, NACAS, and myself. As John F. Kennedy wrote, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

Some of the things I’ve learned:

  1. There are many similarities amongst our institutions of higher education … and many differences.
  2. My auxiliary/ancillary colleagues are dealing with many of the same issues that I’m dealing with on my campus. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel (a great reason to use the online NACAS Lounge).
  3. NACAS has a large group of devoted volunteers who serve on national and regional boards and committees, write articles, and make presentations. They are more than willing to share their time and knowledge.
  4. NACAS has a dedicated staff in the National Office. They work hard to ease the load on the volunteers, and they make us look good by handling all the details!
  5. NACAS’ CEO, Ron Campbell, CASP, has accomplished a great deal in his short time with our Association. I’ve enjoyed working with him, and I know his dedication will improve the future of auxiliaries.
  6. I’ve learned that I can accomplish a great deal with my iPad and phone when I’m stuck in an airport for 8 hours due to flight delays. Ah, the joys of travel!

As the NACAS president, I had the opportunity to attend all four regional conferences this year, which spanned the United States: Clearwater Beach, Florida, for the NACAS South Regional Conference; Portland, Oregon, for the NACAS West Regional Conference; Virginia Beach, Virginia, for the NACAS East Regional Conference; and Chicago, Illinois, for the NACAS Central Regional Conference. Although each region has different traditions and offered a different venue, they all provided top-notch education sessions, networking opportunities for NACAS colleagues and business partners, and some social events, too! Some of the professional development topics discussed were: Leveraging Mobile Technology to Enhance Campus Life, Higher Education Trends that Enlighten & Frighten and Their Impact on Auxiliaries, Demystifying the Millennial, The Rise of the Non-Traditional Student, The Path to a Lean Culture, The Art & Science of Negotiation, Assessment & Marketing, iPhone Zombies, and What’s in the Bookstore’s Future? Many of the presentation slides and handouts from these sessions are available on the regional conference websites in case you missed them.

I have always thought that the regional conferences were similar to the national conference but on a more intimate scale. If you haven’t attended a regional conference before, they are definitely worth your time. You don’t have to attend just your regional conference — you are welcome to attend any of them. The 2015 regional conferences will be in Sandestin, Florida; San Diego, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Indianapolis, Indiana.

The NACAS national board will be gather later this month for our annual “face-to-face” meeting. We have a full agenda of items to discuss, including: the status of our 2014 Action Steps, the NACAS Strategic Plan for 2015-19, the updated Bylaws & Constitution, the slate of officers for 2014-15, the 2015 budget, NACAS membership, the certification program, and other services for our members. We also invited the four regional presidents to meet with us for a day to talk about regional issues and ways we can work together to improve our Association. If you have any concerns, issues, or ideas you’d like to share, please forward them to me at kwatersk@uwosh.edu. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for the honor of serving as your NACAS president. I look forward to working with our incoming president-elect, Kathryn LeGros, CASP from Camosun College, as I move into my new role as past-president of the board. I hope to see you in Montréal!

jean-kwaterski-signature


Jean Kwaterski, CASP
Jean was the 2013 - 2014 NACAS President.

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