Volume 80 | Issue 5
September 2012

Updates from the ACUI Communities of Practice

ACUI’s communities of practice support the mission of the Association in several ways, allowing members to engage with information and resources in a specific area of interest, to participate in the creation of best practices and knowledge around particular issues, and to build a network of colleagues with similar passions.

The role of communities within ACUI has evolved throughout the organization’s history, and even under the current structure, they continue to adapt, change focus, and introduce new initiatives to meet the needs of members. Following the 2012 annual conference, the current slate of leaders demonstrated a heightened energy to support community building within these groups, to explore the interests of members, to collaborate on projects, and to bring issues impacting community members to the Association’s attention.
To keep the membership aware of the activities of the communities of practice, below is a snapshot of each group.

Administration, Finance, and Auxiliaries Management

After the recent merge of the Administration, Finance, and Management and the Auxiliary Services communities of practice, leaders Allen Flanagan (West Virginia University) and Z. Paul Reynolds (formerly of Illinois State University) are planning to introduce a community meal at the 2013 annual conference for additional networking opportunities, as well as addressing issues related to functionality and privacy of the ACUI Forum.

Campus Life and Program Management
Leaders Daniel Gray (University of Houston) and Amy Liss (University of Massachusetts–Lowell) have conducted a needs survey of community members, and based on these results, they plan to coordinate quarterly webinars on topics of interest and to bring the community together for a meal at the 2013 annual conference.

Community of Scholars
Based on conversations at the 2011 annual conference, the
former Graduate Student Community of Practice evolved into the Community of Scholars to meet the needs of professionals pursuing doctorates and conducting research. More recent feedback does include considering ways to connect this community
better to the programs and activities for graduate students during the
annual conference.

Facilities and Operations
Leader Ryan Willerton (University of Notre Dame) collected feedback from members of this community about the types of topics and activities that would be useful for them, as well as further exploring improvements to the ACUI Forum and community document exchanges, as these are important resources to this group.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender
Coming together for a community meal and social night during the annual conference continues to be a tradition for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community of Practice, which is led by Scott Maas (formerly of Iowa State University).

Late Night Programs
This community came together for a successful meeting and meal at the 2012 annual conference to share practices and will continue to consider educational and networking opportunities in St. Louis under the leadership of Jessica Ettell (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) and Josh Fegley (SUNY–Brockport).

Marketing for the Campus
Leaders Frank Ameka (James Madison University), Tiffany Spurlock (University of Houston), and Kate Strotmeyer (University of Vermont) had a great meeting in Boston with community members, were excited with the success of the first year of online submissions for ACUI’s Steal this Idea marketing competition, and are interested in ensuring that ACUI’s online tools will allow community members to share items with a variety of file types.

Multi-Ethnic Professionals and Allies
One of the longest standing communities, the Community of Practice for Multi-Ethnic Professionals and Allies (COMP), led by Carole Desgroppes (California State University–Dominguez Hills) and Tari Wimbley (California State University–San Bernardino), is working to ensure that the online tools and networking opportunities available during the 2013 annual conference will support the needs and interests of their members.

On-Campus Bowling Centers
After two years of hosting dinners and bowling nights for community members during the annual conference, the On-Campus Bowling Centers Community of Practice looks forward to continuing to provide networking offerings for its members through potential opportunities in St. Louis, led by Donna Wargo (University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign).

Small School
Scheduled opportunities for facilitated discussions and peer-to-peer sharing remain important to small school professionals, another of ACUI’s communities rich in history. After years of leadership under Bob Rodda (College of Wooster), the group’s new leader Timothy Butler (Philadelphia University) has collected topics of interest and is working to provide educational and networking activities both at the conferences and beyond.

Student Employee Supervisors
Leaders Samantha Brandenburg (Vanderbilt University), Clifton Johnson (American University), and Mike Wuest (Florida State University) have introduced two new initiatives in support of this group’s goal of feeling more like a true community: The Scoop, a monthly newsletter that includes community spotlights submitted by members, reminders of upcoming opportunities, and other community announcements; and a monthly conference call for members to share ideas and discuss various topics throughout the year.

Student Organization Advisors
The demand for resources and networking for student organization advisors has grown greatly within the ACUI membership over the past several years, and under the leadership of Judith Rowles (University of North Carolina–Charlotte), this community has coordinated several webinars and conference educational sessions, has presented new ideas related to community needs at the 2013 annual conference, and has supported ACUI’s partnership on the Student Organizations Institute program, which took place in June of this year.

This community transitioned last year from the Social Media Community of Practice to address additional topics and competencies of interest to members, and the leadership has been involved in developing flash technology webinars, supporting forums for practical discussion and learning about technology at the annual conference, and engaging members organically through tools such as Twitter. The current leader of this community of practice is Michael Coleman (New York University).

Women’s Leadership
During the community meeting at this year’s annual conference, it was clear that there was interest among attendees to build a culture of mentorship and support for women within the Association, and Megan Bell (University of Colorado–Colorado Springs), Whitney Comer (Coastal Carolina University), Cheryl Grew-Gillen (University of Houston), Dana Sample (University of Alaska–Anchorage), and Amy White (Northwestern University) stepped on as leaders to collect areas of interest and develop a plan for activities in St. Louis.

If you are interested in learning more about or getting involved with any of ACUI’s communities of practice, visit to explore the websites and resources for each group, or contact Justin Rudisille at