Volume 79 | Issue 1
January 2011

ACUI's 2011–15 Strategic Plan approved

The ACUI Board of Trustees passed the Association’s 2011–15 strategic plan on Dec. 14, 2010. The process began in 2009 and included focus groups, sessions at regional conferences, virtual town hall meetings, and online discussion forums to both develop and review this new plan. This plan will set the strategic direction for ACUI programs, services, and activities through the end of 2015. The plan is presented here in its final form. The Board of Trustees wishes to thank everyone who participated in the strategic planning process for contributing to this essential piece of ACUI’s future.

ACUI Mission Statement:
The Association of College Unions International supports its members in the development of community through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services.

ACUI Core Purpose:
To be the leader in advancing campus community builders.

ACUI Core Values:
Unconditional human worth, joy, learning, caring community, innovation, communication, and integrity.

ACUI Overarching Strategic Vision: 

ACUI will be the primary resource for innovative and progressive education, training, and research in college unions and student activities to impact student learning and enhance campus communities.

The following themes informed the strategic plan’s goals and action steps.  For our association’s strategic vision to be realized, we must:

  • Grow and support the college union/student activities profession;
  • Build the ACUI brand by providing relevant programs, services, and resources to attract and retain members;
  • Tell the college union/activities “story” by promoting research within ACUI and sharing findings externally;
  • Strengthen inclusivity within ACUI and create a more diverse association and profession;
  • Effectively harness technology within ACUI and for community building efforts;
  • Engage the association’s workforce by enhancing the ACUI volunteer and staff experience, and;
  • Ensure a sound financial future for ACUI.

The six strategic directions and action steps that follow reflect the strategic priorities necessary to realize our vision:

Strategic Direction 1:

ACUI will be the leading association for growing and supporting the college union and student activities profession.

  • Incorporate the ACUI core competencies into the framework of all programs and services the Association offers to its membership.
  • Clarify and strengthen the ACUI brand and its emphasis on campus community building throughout all levels the Association’s programs and services (including, but not limited to, publications, social media, annual and regional conferences, website, etc.).
  • Implement ways to grow and support the college union and student activities profession through such programs as professional certification and summer internships.
  • Build upon ACUI’s content expertise in such areas as campus community building, renovation and construction, sustainability, campus activities, and
  • student employee training.
  • Investigate and expand collaborative opportunities between ACUI and non-U.S. college union and student activities professionals and associations.
  • Develop a transition strategy in preparation for the executive director’s retirement.
  • Develop plans for celebrating the Association’s 100th anniversary in 2014.
  • Conduct an audit of regional structures to ensure current practices effectively meet member needs.

Strategic Direction 2:

ACUI will assemble and disseminate a body of knowledge about the college union and student activities profession through research, assessment, publication, and outreach.

  • Develop an ACUI research agenda and create processes/mechanisms for its implementation.
  • Identify and develop avenues for members to engage in college unions and student activities research and share findings.
  • Enhance opportunities for sharing research and engaging in collaborative efforts with other higher education and professional organizations.
  • Develop and implement a communication plan for reaching out to student affairs faculty and graduate programs to share information regarding opportunities and current research activity within the profession.
  • Develop and implement ways to broadly share results of learning outcome assessments related to ACUI program and services.

Strategic Direction 3:

ACUI will be recognized by our members as a multicultural organization, which it defines as “one which is genuinely committed to a diverse representation of its membership; is sensitive to maintaining an open, supportive, and responsive environment; is working toward and purposefully including elements of diverse cultures in its ongoing operations; and … is authentic in its responses to issues confronting it.”

  • Adopt standards to assess ACUI programs, services, and membership as elements of a multicultural organization.
  • Enhance members’ skills sets associated with the Association’s intercultural proficiency core competency.
  • Assess current Association programs, services, and data as they relate to a multicultural organization.
  • Develop short- and long-term plans to implement and fund new strategies for strengthening inclusivity within ACUI.

Strategic Direction 4:
ACUI will be the leader among student affairs associations in using online technology to advance community building and the college union and student activities profession.

  • Assess and improve the ACUI website to provide content in the most useful format to our members.
  • Improve ACUI’s online presence and use of social media technologies to further enhance member and volunteer engagement.
  • Develop short- and long-term plans to efficiently implement and fund new technologies.
  • Develop and deliver programs designed to assist members in taking full advantage of current and emerging technologies relevant to the college union and student activities profession.

Strategic Direction 5:

ACUI will provide its members with an enriched volunteer engagement experience at all levels of the Association.

  • Assess and improve programs and opportunities for potential and current volunteers to address training, motivation, satisfaction, retention, and recognition.
  • Design and execute a plan to engage a stronger and more diverse base of volunteers who will encourage the participation of undergraduate, graduate students, new and seasoned professional staff members, and retirees.
  • Continue to review the volunteer and staff roles to ensure a balanced mode in leading the Association.

Strategic Direction 6:

ACUI will be financially secure and stable to provide the highest quality programs and services at the greatest value to members.

  • Heighten the visibility of and increase resources dedicated to the ACUI Education and Research Fund to support additional research, awards and scholarships, and new programs and services.
  • Develop effective ways of communicating financial decision making and outcomes to increase transparency.
  • Explore and capitalize on new and existing revenue sources including corporate partnerships and member services options consistent with ACUI’s mission.
  • Increase the number of members who utilize ACUI’s revenue-generating programs and services.
  • Maximize the annual contribution to the contingency reserve fund.