Music, meetings and more make SACRAO 2018 memorable

by Andy Green, director of community engagement, Jacksonville State University, and SACRAO President

The members of SACRAO (Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers) met in Nashville/Murfreesboro, TN, February 11-14, for their Annual Meeting and Conference. Themed “Meet Me in Music City” this meeting was SACRAOs 71st annual conference and was filled with Southern hospitality. Bookended with keynotes from author, actor and motivational speaker Chad J. Willett and Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Mike Krause, attendees learned the importance of “ripping off the rearview mirror” to focus on what’s happening right now and what higher education can look like for students when we reduce barriers to entry.

SROC visitors to SACRAO

A few years ago, members of the Student Records Officers’ Conference (SROC) from the United Kingdom attended the SACRAO annual meeting. Since then, we’ve had a mutually beneficial relationship sending delegates to and from both organization’s annual meetings. Janine Downs (3MBIC/University of Huddersfield), Maggie New (Northumbria University) and Mick Norman (University of Kent) represented the UK with Mick developing a Twitter following after tagging his tweets with #MickGoesToSACRAO.

On point plenary and program sessions

One of the most popular plenaries offered at SACARO was AACRAO Senior Fellow LeRoy Rooker.  His ever popular discussions regarding FERPA provide important information and guidance to how both new to the profession and those with years of experience can provide excellence in service while respecting the rights of students. This year, Mr. Rooker participated in an additional session “FERPA Jeopardy” by teaming up with SACRAO 2017 Outstanding Presenters Emily White, Registrar, and Tori Gaddy, Assistant Registrar, both from Jacksonville State University. SACRAO was also fortunate to welcome AACRAO Executive Director Michael Reilly as a plenary speaker giving federal updates to attendees. Seats in both plenary sessions came at a premium and all left with an abundance of knowledge.

With nearly 100 program sessions across four days, conference attendees were informed on topics such as: “Traveling the Road of Middle Management” by Kayla Larsen, University of Texas San Antonio; “Using Excel Pivot Tables to Analyze Student Data” by Scott Harvey, Tri-County Technical College, and; “7 Habits for Registrars” by Texas Ruegg, LeTourneau University. (Don't miss Tex at AACRAO 2018 with his "Social media and donuts" session.)

Texas Ruegg, foreground, takes a selfie with his session’s attendees.

Past presidents on parade

Within any great organization, there are those who have constantly given of themselves to create what members today enjoy. This year, SACRAO welcomed eighteen individuals with the latest addition of Louis Hunt, North Carolina State University, to this passionate group of past presidents. With more than 700 years of service to higher education, the past presidents who attended SACRAO 2018 reconnected with colleagues, provided guidance to newly elected officers, and were recognized at the opening meeting on Sunday, February 11.

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Past presidents in attendance in alphabetical order: DeAnna Adams, Susie Archer, Amy Barber, Timothy Culhan, John Fletcher, John Hall, Louis Hunt, Mary Kincannon, Rock McCaskill, Carol Medders, Joe Papari, Joe Roof, Rick Skeel, Jerry Smith, Shelby Stanfield, David Stones, Paul Taylor, & James Vaillancourt. Photo Credit – Andy Green

Missed the meeting?

A new opportunity for SACRAO presented itself this year with five program sessions being recorded to share with our members who could not attend the annual conference. SACRAO is excited about all our members and is working to creating ways to engage everyone.  In addition to these videos, we also have a Facebook group where members can interact all year long.

A behind-the-scenes look at Lance Poston and Brian Buford’s presentation

Interested in SACRAO 2019?

The 2019 conference will be held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana February 3-6.  If you are interested in being a presenter we invite you to complete the “I’m Available” form.  

We also invite you to consider being an author in The SACRAO Journal.  Articles are accepted for the 2019 publication through August 1, 2018.  More information about the journal can be found here.