New Orleans, Louisiana - 2000

What a year! Seems like only yesterday that we were standing on this platform in Charlotte and Paul Anderson was passing the AACRAO gavel to me. The year of an AACRAO president is both long and short. The work, the planning, the meetings, and the issues seem never to end. Yet, in reality the time is over so quickly and the script is written for the gavel to pass again. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute of the past year as your AACRAO president. But I can also say that it would not have been possible to serve in this position without the tremendous support of many people. I am very indebted to the staff of AACRAO for their dedication and responsiveness, and to the Board Of Directors for their commitment and participation with me on all of our work this year. Both groups are exceptional in their quality and a joy to work with.

I must also give acknowledgement to my new employer, Colorado State University, for their willingness to hire me in the middle of my presidency and to provide enthusiastic support for my continued role on the board next year. I'd like to acknowledge my new staff and colleagues from CSU who are present.

But, the core of my support during my terms on the Board Of Directors has come from my former institution, University of Colorado. Supervisors and staff, I was privileged to work with the best people I have known. I would like to acknowledge my former staff and loyal friends from CU who are present.

Of course, I have enjoyed the support of many friends and colleagues this year and throughout my career who have encouraged me and stood by me. There are too many of you to even try and name, but please know that I appreciate each of you.

Finally though, you know that there is only one person who day in and day out is my reason for living, my anchor in every storm, my joy and delight, my friend and my lover, the mother of my children, my partner in life, the one who knows the real me, the one who stands beside me whether I'm right or wrong, my best and closest friend, Ms. Joan Haid.

This has been one of the greatest years of my life. Serving as AACRAO president has been the ultimate professional experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity and very thankful to have had a year of relative calm and success. AACRAO has been rebuilding for the past two years after going through some very difficult and challenging times. I appreciate the leadership that preceded me who faced the challenges and set the course for AACRAO's recovery. This year we have been able to focus on rebuilding from a new base of strength. The finances of AACRAO are much more stable now and the reserves are returning to their former levels. The staff of AACRAO are the best I have worked with. They have been very directly responsible for the return of many basic and new services to members. The Board of Directors has been another source of strength for the association. Everyone is taking his or her governance and leadership roles seriously. All of these are the reasons I feel we have had successes this year.

For my part, I feel that accomplishing the steps to incorporate AACRAO was a major contribution to further strengthening our association. The board, the task force, the staff, and members who have expressed interest have all done a credible job of getting us to the point of incorporation. Working with the task force on reviewing the bylaws was the highlight of the year! We are seeking the general membership approval of these steps at the annual meeting.

At the beginning of my presidency I made a pledge to improve and increase communication to members. I personally have initiated communication to members in the form of my president's journal, the president's corner in the Data Dispenser, e-mail blasts about the incorporation process, the establishment of an informal advisors network, and much individual communication to members as the opportunities arose. The AACRAO office has initiated several new communication devices that are being well received by members; specifically the weekly Federal Relations Update and the members only section of the website. The Data Dispenser itself has become a substantial newsletter to members with regular content and special inserts from data collected from members. The website has also undergone extensive enhancements, and information requested by members has been added and regularly maintained. I have received good feedback from members about our communications.

I also pledged to make AACRAO membership valuable to our members by focusing on the services desired and investigating ways to make membership meaningful to all members, especially those from small colleges. This year we have conducted several surveys to discover and evaluate our core services. The results have been reported in special inserts in Data Dispensers this year. These have been used to prioritize the services delivered. We have instituted new workshops and programs, such as the new Registrar 101, designed to meet the needs of individuals new to their role as registrar. We have also investigated alternative methods of assessing dues to find a more equitable way for small colleges to belong to AACRAO. There is no easy answer to this, but the work of the membership subcommittee of the board continues in this area.

Finally, I pledged to improve the performance of the board and the office in our work and the delivery of services and programs. I have organized the board into subcommittees, which has proven to be an effective way to accomplish the work of the board. We have also spent dedicated time to board development and understanding of our governing roles as board members. We have set performance standards for the Executive Director as part of his contract and annual evaluation.

As I traveled to state and regional meetings this year, it was a privilege to represent AACRAO. I met many members and had the opportunity to hear their concerns and issues. Members are telling me that they are glad to see AACRAO providing the services they need and want. They are also happy to see AACRAO not only coming out of the woods from a few years ago but becoming a stronger association in the process. The Board and the Staff are encouraged by this, but also realize that there is much more to be done for AACRAO.

Our services still need to be directed to the needs of our members and constantly reviewed for currency and value. Our work needs to be of the highest quality and guided by our mission and modeled by and for our members. Our relationships with other associations, agencies, and corporate partners need to be built on our strengths and for our mutual benefit. We are AACRAO and we are proud of our heritage and our promise.

I believe AACRAO today is positioned to march into this new millennium and toward its own centennial birthday as a leading association of higher education in this country. We have the basis for defining our profession, the skill needed to help each other, and the talent to lead where others will follow. AACRAO is indeed a vital association for our future. Happy 90th birthday, AACRAO. Here's to a strong run to 100 years of AACRAO!