Tina DeNeen, former University Registrar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will join AACRAO’s executive staff on May 1, upon the retirement of long-time Associate Executive Director Janie Barnett.
“I’ve admired Janie for a long time,” DeNeen said. “She has a way with people that’s very impressive. My diverse experience in higher ed will help me in this new role, but I’ll also be asking myself ‘WWJD: What would Janie do?’”
DeNeen’s laudable professional and association accomplishments, as well as her friendly personal style, should help to make this major transition a smooth one for AACRAO, as DeNeen takes over as AED of Meetings and Partnerships.
"Tina brings a wealth of experience to this position both as a registrar and as an active member of AACRAO," said Michael Reilly, AACRAO Executive Director. "She has big shoes to fill but I am confident she will have no difficulty doing so."
On her new role: Making the work ‘invisible’
One of DeNeen’s biggest responsibilities will be to direct AACRAO’s three yearly on-site professional development conferences, as well as exploring new avenues of content delivery through the newly restructured professional activities committee (PAC). Her former volunteer work on the PAC, as well as her experience as a conference presenter, a member of the program committee, and chair of the nominations and elections committee and of the black caucus, all will serve her well as she guides the future of AACRAO meetings.
“AACRAO is more than an annual meeting -- it’s an experience,” DeNeen said. “As an attendee at the meeting, I always returned to campus refreshed and armed with new information. When we show up at the meetings, we don’t always understand the work that goes into making that entire experience happen. My job will be to continue to make that work invisible, so members can focus on their learning experience.”
The road to D.C.: Collaboration, communication, compassion
DeNeen’s professional and personal touchstones are collaboration, communication, and compassion.
“These three things I try to live by personally and professionally, and it’s how I want to treat people I work with on a daily basis,” DeNeen said. “I want the membership and staff to know I’m willing and excited to be as transparent as possible so they know what’s going on and also to listen to what they have to say.”
These values DeNeen has cultivated ever since she started her career in athletics at Austin Peay State University. From there she moved into the registrar’s office, where she had a great mentor who sent her to her first AACRAO conference 25 years ago.
In addition to Austin Peay, DeNeen has worked in higher education institutions of different sizes, types and missions, such as Southern Illinois University, the University of North Texas at Dallas, Murray State University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also worked at The University of Alabama in research compliance while working on her doctoral degree.
“One of the good things about my experience is that it is so diverse,” DeNeen said. That has served me well over the years and will serve me well at AACRAO, as I can think more broadly and apply that knowledge when it’s needed.”
DeNeen is completing her dissertation, which leaves little time for outside interests. When she can find the time, however, she loves to read, travel, go to concerts, and -- no surprise -- watch sports with her husband Lou, who is the strength and conditioning coach with the men’s basketball team at The University of Alabama. The DeNeens' daughter Talea works “in the family business” as an academic advisor at Pace University in New York City, and they also have a four-year old dog, Bella.
“I always knew I would maintain my commitment to the association, and it’s a blessing to have a hand in the progression of an organization that I’ve spent a great deal of my life involved in,” DeNeen said.
“AACRAO is the go-to association and day-to-day resource for registrars, admissions officers, enrollment managers and many others in higher education professions,” she added. “I love the idea of being able to work at the association level -- not only to have a voice in the direction of AACRAO but also to help both individuals and member institutions develop and reach their goals.”