Volume 79 | Issue 1
January 2011

President's Column: Time flies when you are having fun

Meg O'Sullivan

It is hard to believe that it is almost a year since I assumed the ACUI presidency. Just in case any of you are wondering, my optimistic spirit is still alive and well. It has been a great year serving as your president with an absolutely gifted team of dedicated individuals who always had the membership’s best interest in mind. I could not have asked to work with a better Board of Trustees. I would be remiss if I didn’t express my personal thanks to Don Luse. He was an incredible role model and provided me with everything I needed to be prepared to take on the responsibility. If you know Don, he also provided some much needed levity with his sense of humor. Another person that needs special recognition is Executive Director Marsha Herman-Betzen. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her leadership and friendship over the past year. The collaborative partnership we shared was essential in moving the Association forward. She and her phenomenal staff did an outstanding job handling the operational aspects of what we do. I so appreciate the incredible talent we have to support all of our initiatives.

Despite the fact that the economy is still wreaking havoc on many of our institutions and us personally, ACUI has managed to accomplish a great deal and exceed our financial projections for the year. As a result, I believe the Association is actually in a better place now than it was a year ago. It has not been easy. We did benefit this year from 2009’s tough decisions, and as a result there was no second guessing ourselves. My campus is now benefiting big time from Procure Promos, ACUI’s new imprinted item service. Other decisions such as increasing our pool of participants for our Women’s Leadership Institute were also a home run. Not only were numbers increased, but participants also were able to meet and network with other areas of campus to build alliances.

Overall, if I had to pick one word to sum up the year, it would have to be “strategic.” Usually it is just the board’s role to think and act strategically, but this year we asked all of you to join us. Thanks to the input from hundreds of members, leadership, and Central Office staff, we now have a strategic plan that will ensure the future viability of our organization. We learned a great deal during the process. During the next phase of our strategic plan, we will be celebrating our 100th anniversary and at the same time planning for our brilliant future. As one of the oldest professional associations in higher education, we are in a position to continue to be the role models for building community on our campuses. I am certain that because of all of your support, ACUI will continue to flourish. One of the reasons I am feeling so optimistic about our future is due in large part to the confidence I have in our next president, Thomas Lane. He and the Strategic Planning Core Team took us all on the journey to create our strategic plan, and looking back I would have to say that selecting them was by far the best decision I made as president. Thank you, Thomas!

Under the leadership of Sarah Aikman, the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees also accomplished a great deal. In an attempt to increase the board’s effectiveness, we have proposed an appointment process for the student on the Board of Trustees. The information for the campus voting is happening now, and we are optimistic that the membership will agree with the board and support the proposed bylaw changes needed to make it happen.

I know ACUI accomplished many things this year. We have continued to serve our membership by providing resources to help us do our jobs more effectively on our campus.

  • ACUI has continued to support and award scholarships.
  • ACUI has continued to grow the profession.
  • ACUI has maintained and added to the reserve fund so we remain viable during the lean years.
  • ACUI has continued to keep up with technology and offer alternative service delivery methods.
  • ACUI has continued to provide valuable volunteer opportunities for all constituents.ACUI is always striving to build a better association.

As we move closer to our 100th anniversary I believe the best is still yet to be and that we need ACUI more now than ever before. I hope all of you will continue to challenge the Association and allow it to help you do your jobs better. Participate, step up, and volunteer! Take advantage of all it has to offer—our future is full!