By Katie Brown, Registrar, Aspen University
On Sunday morning, members from various State & Regional organizations met to discuss best practices and share ideas related to leadership development, membership engagement, and conference planning. The workshop was facilitated by:
Philip Hunt, Special Assistant to the President & University Registrar, North Dakota State University (AACRAO Vice President for Leadership and Management Development)
Chris Huang, Associate Vice Chancellor and Registrar, Purdue University Fort Wayne (AACRAO incoming Vice President for Information Technology)
Amber Cellotti, Associate Director, Office of the Registrar, University of Minnesota (AACRAO State & Regional Relations Committee Chair)
Katie Brown, Assistant Vice President of Student Success and University Registrar, Aspen University (AACRAO State & Regional Relations Committee member)
The workshop opened with the AACRAO Board of Directors meeting with the group to introduce themselves and their roles on the board. Afterward, the attendees broke into groups and discussed how their State & Regional organizations were handling hot topics that impact State & Regional associations. Some key takeaways from the discussions included:
State & Regionals face challenges with annual leadership turnover- most positions on state & regional boards have a term of one or two years. New leadership brings new visions, requires board member training, and may lead to changes in strategic direction.
Strategic planning is a need for many State & Regionals- many State & Regionals are trying to find cohesiveness through leadership changes by developing a strategic plan.
Position handbooks with descriptions of each board position and term length will help with succession planning- State & Regionals are improving transparency around board positions, which in turn helps candidates for those positions have a more holistic picture of the duties and requirements of the role.
Creating content adds value for the membership- State & Regionals are developing new content to help reach their members beyond their annual conference. Many organizations are creating webinars or holding regularly scheduled chat sessions to allow members to engage with each other, ask questions, and professionally develop beyond the annual meeting.
Expanding beyond admissions and registrar roles helps to create holistic engagement- many topics that are of benefit to AACRAO members are also of benefit to other departments, like Financial Aid. Promoting sharing State & Regional resources with those other departments will expand the organization’s reach and improve holistic & systemic thinking.
Asking members for feedback helps to improve the conference program- end-of-conference surveys and polls that allow members to give feedback on sessions they liked and sessions they’d like to see in the future. This data helps State & Regionals develop future content, both at the conference and beyond.
Focus on professional development- State & Regionals are focusing on developing their members, particularly those who are newer to the profession. Many are developing content specifically geared toward young professionals or those new to the admissions and registrar professions. This will help State & Regionals continue a cycle of leadership and growth within AACRAO.
For more information about State & Regional Organizations, check out AACRAO’s State and Regional Website.