Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
– George S. Patton
Volume 75 | Issue 6
November 2007

New Orleans: 2008 annual conference preview

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

Join professional colleagues and fellow students at ACUI’s 88th annual conference, March 16–19, 2008, in New Orleans. See how this vibrant city is rebuilding after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Learn about the rich cultural heritage thriving in the Crescent City. Take away lessons of diversity appreciation, emergency preparedness, and building campus community. Participate in the Association’s first-ever conference-wide service project. From beignets to bayous, learn what it means to have an unforgettable conference experience.

You would be remiss not to attend.

New Orleans will host ACUI’s first-ever conference wide community service project

Monday, March 17, will mark a first for an ACUI annual conference. Not only will delegates be able to gain new ideas and information from the conference, but also will have a change to give back to the New Orleans community.

This year, with conference registration, delegates will be asked to choose one of seven possible community service projects.

“The Conference Program Team interviewed and selected those that could benefit the most from 1,200 volunteers servicing the community,” said Michelle Smith, ACUI director of educational programs and services. “The projects are of varying physical need and time spent on site, so there is something for everyone.”

On that Monday morning, delegates will meet to be grouped by service project. Each project will have its own designated bracelet color. Participants will board the bus, go to their respective destination, and get to work. Most of the service projects will last from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., except the Habitat for Humanity group, which will last until 3 p.m.

A box lunch and bottled water will be provided during the project. And all delegates will be returned to the hotel in time to shower before the educational sessions later that afternoon.
“The agencies are really excited about our willingness to help,” Smith said. “We feel like we are reaching different areas of need by not only doing housing projects, but also helping areas that need assistance even after the houses are built.”
For more information on the individual community services organizations, please visit their Web sites:

Do you know what it means to contribute through participation?

This year, the ACUI Education and Research Fund Program Team is working with the New Orleans Conference Program Team to create unique events that serve the Association at the 2008 annual conference.

“Our goals for the ERF and Conference Program Team are to work together to increase promotion, engage more members to participate, and ensure a successful event this year,” said Daniel Maxwell, ACUI Education and Research Fund Program Team leader.

The ERF is focusing on sponsorships and the benefits of being involved in events such as the ERF Golf Outing, the FUNd Run/Walk, and the Silent Auction, during the conference.

“Some of our membership only has a chance to contribute to the Education and Research Fund through participation during the programs that are held at the annual conference. The bigger and better these programs are the more our members will gain both personally and professionally,” Maxwell said. 

Exciting changes to the upcoming conference will include a best ball format for the Golf Outing. Stonebridge Golf Club of New Orleans will be the site of this year’s tournament. This course features a 27-hole layout that showcases the canals and bayous, along with reptiles and waterfowl that characterize New Orleans. Stonebridge exhibits a links-style course design, featuring more than 100 sand traps that protect the pristine fairways and large, undulating greens. While water hazards can come into play on most holes, there are very few forced carries, which further highlights the playability of Stonebridge for golfers of all skill levels. Another change for the tournament will be a shotgun start to allow for better use of time during the day. 

The FUNd Run/Walk will handle the collection of money differently this year.  Participants will be able to submit their collection forms and donation during the Silent Auction, allowing for participants to hit the course—a route through the French Quarter—first thing Tuesday morning. Members are encouraged to start collecting pledges early this year. Collection forms are on the New Orleans Web site now, providing more members a chance to give back and support their region even if they are not able to go to New Orleans. 

Finally, the Silent Auction will be full of great items once again this year, with a focus on broadening the types of items available beyond team apparel and insignia gifts. The committee is working hard to secure art, specialized gift packs, and autographed merchandise from individuals and institutions as well as electronics, vacation packages, and gift certificates from entertainers and corporate partners.

Make plans now to participate and be a supporter of the Education and Research Fund activities during the annual conference. More information is available at http://www.acui.org/neworleans.

Educational Program: Keynotes

Sean O’Keefe
Chancellor, Louisiana State University

With more than 20 years of government service, O’Keefe served as deputy assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush during Sept. 11. Later, O’Keefe served as the 10th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster. Six months into his tenure as chancellor at LSU, O’Keefe led one of the greatest recovery efforts in the history of the United States during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. O’Keefe will share his stories of disaster management, preparedness and flexibility––as not all disasters take place where the disaster immediately occurs.

Caryl M. Stern
President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF

As a former dean, civil rights activist, and child advocate, Caryl M. Stern is critically aware that college campuses are ideal for inculcating a discipline of gratitude and for extending a call to action that can motivate students into a movement committed to ensuring child survival around the globe. During the ACUI annual conference, Stern will offer a brief but passionate call to action to students and to those who advise and educate them. She also will share how the U.S. Fund for UNICEF played, and continues to play, a critical funding role in the emergency response to the children of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Steve Uzzell

Using his own photographs as illustrations of possibility and creativity, photographer Steve Uzzell will inspire conference delegates to make any venture an adventure. His approach to his photographic work will serve as a blueprint to clearly see that solutions are sometimes found in unexpected places. As Uzzell emphasizes, the open road never fails to open people’s minds, and once their minds are open, the power of their imagination is released. His mind-stretching photos will bring the open road alive and show it is full of possibilities. Uzzell will encourage delegates to put this perspective to work every day in problem solving, in the creative process and in life.

Student Network

The Student Network is designed to provide students with a meaningful conference experience through educational sessions, community service, and small-group interaction and facilitation with peers and professionals.

The Conference Program Team is recruiting professionals to serve as small-group facilitators for this year’s student network. Through an opening reception, service reflection, network dinner, and conference wrap-up, these facilitators will help students:

  • Connect with the conference and the Association
  • Learn the resources and educational opportunities available at the conference
  • Understand what it means to be a college union professional
  • Consider what it means to be a student leader
  • Reflect on their conference experiences
  • Synthesize what they have learned throughout the conference
  • Set goals for action for when they return to their home campuses

Facilitators will be provided with resources in advance to prepare for their involvement. They should anticipate dedicating approximately one hour each day to this role. From new professionals to union directors, if you are interested—or know of anyone at your institution or in your region who would be interested in making a difference in a student’s conference experience—please e-mail both Justin Rudisille (jrudisi@bgsu.edu) and Tari Wimbley (twimbley@gsu.edu).

Senior Management Professional Program

Do you know what it means ... to be in a city that can offer so many diverse and unique learning opportunities for ACUI’s senior-level professionals? 

This year the Senior Management Professional Program (SMPP) will take advantage of the city of New Orleans while listening to and learning from a variety of unique experiences. Although we are all aware of the many challenges that New Orleans faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we may not all be aware of the heroic role the higher education institutions have played in bringing the city back to life. 

The SMPP will focus on crisis management, volunteerism, construction and renovation, and the responsibility of senior-level leaders in managing these job-related challenges. We will explore these engaging topics through a series of private discussions with keynote speakers, a panel discussion with fellow senior-level union professionals who have experienced crisis management issues on their campus, college union tours of Tulane, Loyola, and Louisiana State universities. All of this will occur while learning from our colleagues in an informal and collegial atmosphere.