Past President Annual Meeting Remarks
Thomas Bilger, New York City, New York - 2005
91ST ANNUAL AACRAO MEETING
Thank you and my home institution, Ball State
University, for this wonderful opportunity to serve as president of this
This past year as your president was filled with
surprises, some good and some not so good. It has been a joy working
with my fellow board members and all the AACRAO staff. After last year’s
meeting in Las Vegas, everything seemed to be sailing along beautifully
until my pancreatic cancer spread to my liver. Well, once again, after a
couple operations, radiation and chemotherapy, I am happy to report
that my doctor says I am back to normal. That is a word that I never
thought I would be so happy to hear. In these days of do better and
push, push, push, normal has a sweet sound to it.
I do want to thank a couple of my caregivers that have stood by me in this fight back to normal. Those
are my wife Margaret and my daughter Katy.
Prayers, attitude, and drugs are a deadly combination
when it comes to fighting cancer. Over the past twelve months I have
spend a lot of time thinking about life’s challenges and I would like to
share with you a few of the lessons learned with the help of Dave
First of all, never under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
Second, if you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved and never
will achieve, its full potential, that word would be meetings.
Third, You should not confuse your career with your life.
Forth, never lick a steak knife.
Fifth, there is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness”.
Sixth, To quote that favorite son from Indiana,Dan Quayle, “The future will be better tomorrow”.
Seventh, Nobody cares if you can’t dance well, just get up and dance.
Enough about me, now let’s focus our attention on AACRAO. This past year has been filled with great
accomplishments that all of you can take credit for in one manner or another. By that I mean you, the
members of AACRAO are the producers of knowledge—writing
publications, giving sessions, leading on-line classes, developing
seminars, working on committees, and working on task forces. You are the
blood of this association. You have made these things happen over the past 12 months:
- Revenues are up and expenses are down.
- We published and sold more publications than last year.
- We have grown in membership and dues collected.
- We have grown in Corporate Partners
- Attendance at workshops and conferences has grown.
- The dues task force is continuing to meet.
- Consulting Services continue to grow with more institutions taking advantage of the experts among us.
- International Education Services (IES) continues to increase its volume of requests for evaluation of foreign credentials.
- This morning you will be voting on AACRAO’S first Vice President for Access and Equity.
On the whole it has been a very good year for AACRAO. Even dealing with the demise of AACRAO Enrollment Services.
Next year will have its challenges such as the Re-authorization of the Higher Education Act and the
Unit Record Data Collection proposal by the National Center for Education Statistics.
It is with great relief and yet a little sadness that I
will be able to turn this gavel over to Joe Roof in a few minutes and
join the group of smiling past presidents.
Thank you all for your support and prayers this year.
It has truly been a year to remember.