Watercolor World Map

High School Membership

Connect to the world of higher education

As a high school member, you'll be connected to more than 11,000 members from institutions around the world. Facilitate your professional development by attending discounted meetings, gaining complimentary subscriptions to our College & University journal and more.

Why should you join? From professional development opportunities to forging connections that will help you in setting down career stones, there's more than one reason. 

Annual Membership Price: $302


Develop Professionally

High School Hallways

Professional Competencies

Work on your skills like leadership and management, technical knowledge, and upping your professional contributions to the field. We have the tools for you.

Online Learning

From free webinars to self-paced on-demand learning, AACRAO's online learning covers a variety of subjects—technology, strategic enrollment management, admissions, FERPA, transfer, credential evaluation, and international education—and allow you to engage with the presenters and instructors.

Take the next step in your career

High School to University Registrar? It can happen. AACRAO's Career Navigator is a wealth of job postings and resources for training.

Gain Recognition

High School Teacher with Student

Get Published

AACRAO's professional journals College & University and SEM Quarterly are always accepting articles and have a wide circulation base.

Research Opportunities

Leverage the expertise of our over 11,000 members and contribute to one of the premier sources of practice related research within the global higher education community. 

Join a committee

Do work you're passionate about, with support and mentoring from fellow members. From Caucuses to specialized topics, it's all one community, no matter where in the world your institution is located. 


AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter

No Apologies: An Asian American Leadership Blindspot

May 15, 2023, 14:35 PM
legacy id :
Summary : Understand how varied approaches, viewpoints, and methods can be effective leadership tools, even when they go against common advice.
Url :

By Christopher Huang, AACRAO Vice President for Information Technology

My registrar career started in 2006. Since that time, I’ve served at five institutions and led teams of various sizes. I would describe myself as humble and meek, a servant leader. My personality may fit some general perceptions people have about Asian Americans, that we are passive and not overly aggressive. 


Looking Inward

In a recent engagement with a consultant about team effectiveness and office morale, I had an ‘aha’ moment. Ahead of an all-team meeting where we would review a report about concerns with my leadership, the consultant’s recommendation was that I try not to apologize during the meeting. What?! Apologizing is what Asians do best. It’s part of the fabric of our culture (a sign of humility) that was instilled in me by my parents. The Asian and Asian American culture is one that emphasizes humility and conformity, over assertiveness. As a humble and contrite leader, apologizing seemed like an appropriate response to me, in order to help soothe office tensions and for our team to move forward.

The consultant shared that apologizing too much can be viewed by others as a sign of weakness, and that others could think less of me. Really? As a leader, this was a paradigm shift for me. The consultant had lived in Japan for several years, and was familiar with the behavior of leading with an apology and its place in Asian culture. Apologizing is so common, that it’s almost like the American equivalent of saying, “Hello.”

There is a saying that “perception is reality.” A quick Google search on Asian American perceptions, I came across an eye-opening article: A cultural clue as to why East Asians are kept from C-suites, from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, which “reveals inequality fostered by an American focus on assertiveness.” In short, East Asians are not in as many leadership positions, compared to South Asians, which is attributed to our lack of assertiveness. I encourage you to read the full article.

Appreciating Diversity

As leaders and administrators on your campuses, I am sharing my experience to increase cultural awareness and cultural competence. I hope that sharing this nugget of information might change how you perceive Asian Americans as leaders on your team and understand their behavior, hopefully in a positive light, instead of as a sign of weakness. Additionally, perhaps this might prompt you to start a conversation to know more about their experience.

As a leader, I have blind spots and I am thankful that the consultant provided this feedback about my behavior. I want to be viewed as a competent leader, we all do.  I hope my experience gives you another tool in your leadership toolbelt, and increases your cultural awareness about Asian Americans and our experience.

Categories :
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
Tags :
  • DEI
Illustration of an individual watering a bar graph.
Related people

Build Connections

High School - Build Connections

Attend a event

Our meetings, workshops, and institutes are designed instruct, educate and foster collaboration between professionals and institutions. Find one that works for you.

Learn More

Become an Advocate

Are you more civically minded? Advocate for higher education policies that you're passionate about on Capitol Hill. Meet your Congressional reps and state peers while exercising your political voice.

Learn More

Member Only Benefits


AACRAO's weekly e-newsletter delivering policy and industry news

Member Login Required

Questions? Contact us at membership@aacrao.org or (202) 355-1040