While the focus of this issue of College Services is dedicated to sustainability, what better time to talk about sustaining our great association as well as your own operations on your respective campuses? The simplistic definition of sustainability is the capacity to endure and how biological systems remain diverse and productive indefinitely. Isn’t that what we desire for NACAS, to remain diverse and productive indefinitely? In an effort to do just that, the leadership along with key staff from the national office plan, organize, and execute an exercise in February of each year that we simply call our “Leadership Team Meeting” or LTM. For many years that exercise was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, but for the past few it has been in more centrally accessible locations like Dallas and Las Vegas.
The 2016 LTM was just concluded in Las Vegas, and from all accounts and reviews it was extremely productive. Each year 50-60 key leaders from all across the country gather to review current processes, discuss strategic improvements, consider critical improvements, and make plans for enhancements. Participants include the board of trustees of the NACAS Education Foundation, regional boards, committee chairs, the board of directors, and key staff from the national office.
This year also included participation by some of our key business partners who volunteered their valuable time to assist with strategic planning for better utilization of business partner resources and strengthening of our partnerships. The Business Partner Task Force is working diligently to make our program one of the best in the business. Sustaining those business partner relationships is critical for both NACAS and the partners.
Over the course of the last few years there has been much discussion and chatter about how best to structure the association. An organizational review task force has been working to develop a plan for consideration by the regions and the national board to streamline some processes and take advantage of organizational relationships that might exist. You will be hearing much more about this effort to create efficiencies and better services in months to come.
And finally, we must look to sustainability of membership. Yes, it’s true that we have seen a slight dip in membership numbers in recent years. Just as it is incumbent upon all of us to maintain the financial strength of the association and the education foundation by being good stewards of monies, it is also incumbent upon all of us to identify and push for new members.
Sustaining the membership is key to sustaining the association. If each one of us will make the commitment to replace ourselves with a new member, then we double the size of the association. Our professional development offerings, our annual conference offerings, and our connections that count surely make for a package that we can sell to new members. I can find one new member. How about you?