posted on August 27, 2018 01:02
Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
I know that speed of time has much to do with my age, but for NACADA it has more to do with all the outstanding work that has been completed in one short year. We continue to move NACADA into the future as the premier association for academic advising and student success and work to ensure that NACADA has a strong role in enhancing higher education and student success globally.
So much has been accomplished since this time last year, and so much is in the planning stages because of the outstanding leadership of our 2017-2018 president Amy Sannes and the Board of Directors. NACADA has a powerful history as a member-driven association, and the outstanding work of President Sannes and the Board has focused on achieving our strategic goals and leading our members in making great strides for the future of our association! While I run the risk of leaving something out, I want to take this opportunity to outline just a few of those accomplishments and progress toward future achievements.
NACADA has hosted a very successful series of Virtual Town Hall Meetings this year after the Board of Directors noted the value of the information gathered at the Town Hall meeting that took place during our 2017 Annual Conference in St. Louis last October and recognized that many members were not able to be at that meeting.
President Sannes, the Board of Directors, and the Finance Committee have recently approved the funding to hire an outside consultant to conduct a diversity/inclusion study of our association. This has occurred directly because of President Sannes’s and the Board’s careful analysis of the information gathered at the Town Hall meeting in St. Louis. The Board has spent this year working on a variety of initiatives to encourage underrepresented members to become involved in NACADA leadership, as well as other issues regarding the inclusiveness that were voiced at the Town Hall. This issue is of utmost importance to the future of the association, and the Board has decided that an independent study is needed. I applaud President Sannes and the Board of Directors for their hard work, determination, and courage in moving purposefully on this very important opportunity. It will create solutions that have long term-impact on the association.
With the Board’s focus on research in the field of academic advising and student success as a key to the future of our profession and association, the following steps were taken this year:
- The Grand Opening of the NACADA Center for Research was held in early spring after extensive renovation to a space procured by Debbie Mercer, Kansas State University College of Education Dean. Renovations were supported financially by the Dean and the Board of Directors. The NACADA Research Center director, Dr. Wendy Troxel, coordinated the grand opening, which was video streamed live on Facebook. I am extremely honored that NACADA President Amy Sannes took time from her busy schedule at Arizona State University to attend the event and officially cut the ribbon to open the center.
- The NACADA Center for Research will be hosting a series of Writing Support Group Sessions in fall of 2018 and spring of 2019. We presently have over 150 advising professionals who have registered for these sessions for the fall. For more information on these outstanding opportunities go to the Support for Writers webpage.
- A new electronic journal, the NACADA Review: Academic Advising Praxis and Perspectives, will debut this fall.
The Board of Directors is deeply committed to ensuring the most comprehensive and inclusive professional development for our members and the academic advising profession. Therefore, President Sannes charged the Professional Development Committee with creating a plan for a comprehensive analysis of any gaps in professional development. The committee has submitted that plan which the Board will review during Annual Conference meetings in Phoenix this October, and it will be a part of this year’s Town Hall meeting discussions in Phoenix.
As the Board is deeply committed to our Strategic Goal to develop and sustain effective association leadership, they have worked closely with the NACADA Sustainable Leadership Committee on the creation of a strong leadership training and development program for potential leaders, incoming elected and appointed leaders, and present leaders. This new program, the NACADA Leadership Engagement Program (NLEP), will be approved and implemented this year.
The Board of Directors and the Executive Office are deeply committed to expanding our partnerships with other higher education associations, both to make a significant impact on student success in higher education globally and to have a seat at the table for important conversations that will impact higher education. The partnerships supported by the Board of Directors include but are not limited to the following:
- our partnership with the Gardner Institute for the new EAA – Excellence in Academic Advising – program, which is an aspirational two-year self-study process developed by NACADA and the Gardner Institute. The first 12 charter institutions have been selected and work with this cohort will begin this fall.
- our partnership with NASPA for the Academic Advising Solutions Network project.
- our continued partnership with Complete College America on their game-changers and the role academic advising plays in those important initiatives.
- our continued partnership with the Reinvention Collaborative in reaching out to Research 1 & Tier 2 institutions and their administrators on the important role academic advising plays at their institutions.
- a new partnership with the Assocation of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) on developing training material for new faculty at higher education institutions who have academic advising responsibilities.
The Board continues its deep commitment to our globalization efforts which has resulted in the very successful NACADA International Conference in Dublin, Ireland, as well as team of NACADA members led by President Sannes who were invited to speak at the Beijing Institute of Technology. This team addressed representatives from across China on the role academic advising plays in various countries and gave an introduction to NACADA and our role in excellence in academic advising across the world.
There are many more accomplishments this year and many efforts that will continue into the future. It is a joy to continue to work with such a strong, member-driven and member-led association, and the role that President Sannes and our Board of Directors have played this year in moving so much forward has truly been exciting and invigorating for our future.
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Cite this article using APA style as: Nutt, C. (2018, September). From the executive director: NACADA continues moving forward for the future. Academic Advising Today, 41(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]