March 2013 Cover
Volume 81 | Issue 2
March 2013

Strategic Plan Update

Effective strategic plans provide valuable direction for multifaceted, dynamic organizations like ACUI. Consistent with the Association’s mission to “support members in the development of community through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services,” the 2011–2015 Strategic Plan provides a solid framework that guides ACUI’s actions. The overarching strategic vision that frames the current plan speaks to intentional efforts “to be the primary resource for innovative and progressive education, training, and research in the college unions and student activities to impact student learning and enhance campus communities.”

Divided into six strategic directions, the current plan outlines objectives and timelines that are tracked and monitored through a matrix tool developed by past board member Jerry Mann and the 2011 Strategic Direction Committee of the Board of Trustees. The following highlights provide a glimpse into the significant progress that has been made by the committed professionals and student members of the International Education Council, regional directors, Board of Trustees, Central Office staff, and other special appointments.

Strategic Direction 1:
ACUI will be the leading association for growing and supporting the college union and student activities profession.

  • After two years of surveys and Association-wide discussions, the final report from the Regional Audit Task Force was submitted to the Board of Trustees in December and approved in January. The Regional Restructuring Task Force met in January to begin their work on this important initiative.
  • Suzi Halpin and the International Education Council created Core 11, a card game featuring the core competencies and their descriptions. Several copies of the game and core competency training modules were shared for use at 2012 regional conferences.
  • After three successful events in 2012, the International Job Shadow Program application process for this year garnered 28 responses for the traveling delegate positions and four responses for the host institutions. Final placements are made based on learning outcomes, timing, and overall application matches.
  • The collaborative Women’s Leadership Institute and Student Organizations Institute continue to attract large numbers and positively impact attendees.
  • Rich Steele has been appointed to assist in the development of a successful transition plan in preparation for the 2015 retirement of ACUI Executive Director Marsha Herman-Betzen.
  • The 100th Anniversary Task Force is planning a celebration that will highlight the Association’s rich history and longstanding commitment to community building in 2014. As an element of this anniversary, the PBS television series Visionaries will feature the unions, programs, and campus communities of the University of Vermont, the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Davidson College, and California State University–Northridge.

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.

  • The International Education Council and the ACUI Education and Research Fund developed and awarded the first Dissertation of the Year Award and research grant at the 2012 annual conference. Amy Wilson, University at Buffalo, received the award for her work on “Transforming the Role of the Leadership Educator: The Relationship between Multicultural Competence and the Use of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development.” A committee has been formed to review submissions for the 2013 award.
  • Board of Trustees member Tamara Yakaboski shared the results of the member survey conducted on research in the May 2012 Bulletin.
  • A Research Task Force was formed to define research within ACUI, create a research agenda, and implement and execute a communication plan for effective information sharing with student affairs faculty and relevant graduate programs.

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.”

  • ACUI President Dave Barnes asked each Leadership Team component group to make this strategic goal a priority in 2012, identify accomplishments, and actively seek additional ways to address this area.
  • Diversity has been added as an Association core value. The core values are now unconditional human worth, joy, learning, caring community, innovation, diversity, and integrity.
  • A case study on Intercultural Proficiency was shared with the regional education coordinators for use at regional conference case study competititons. Additionally, an Intercultural Proficiency training module was added to the existing six modules available.

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

  • The Exchange, an online collection of resources for college union and student activities professionals, launched in December 2012. This searchable repository allows ACUI members
  • to share documents and access Bulletin articles, Commons and ACUI Forum posts, conference session materials, and other information through the ACUI website.
  • The Association published its first Online Engagement Report, assessing the current
  • state of progress toward this strategic
  • direction and providing baseline data that
  • can be used to set goals for staff and
  • volunteers to enhance engagement and
  • deliver content.
  • Proposals have been collected for an ACUI mobile application, which will be launched this year to provide news, event details, articles, and other information.

Strategic Direction 5:
ACUI will provide its members with an enriched volunteer engagement experience at all levels of the Association.

  • Joe Gutowski and the Volunteer Development Team presented an educational session focused on volunteering and ACUI involvement at the 2012 annual conference. A session template was developed and shared for use at regional conferences.
  • The 2012 annual conference featured the first Association-wide volunteer session. This session provided members with the opportunity to meet and share information with colleagues outside of their region or component groups. This program was enhanced for St. Louis.

Strategic Direction 6:
ACUI will be financially secure and stable to provide the highest quality programs and services at the greatest value to members.

  • The Education and Research Fund developed an annual advertising plan, leveraging online and print outlets to increase awareness and strengthen the donor base. Efforts are also underway to explore and benchmark giving through peer organizations.
  • A new online giving option was launched at the 2012 annual conference in Boston.
  • The Board of Trustees continues to work toward increased transparency related to financial activities.
  • The board is actively working to maintain the financial health of the Association through monthly budget discussions.

Critical progress is being made in regional restructuring, research, the volunteer experience, and in our collaborative initiatives with college union and student activities professionals and associations outside of the United States. These highlights reflect the hard work and dedication of ACUI’s volunteers.