AACRAO’s new president Jack Miner takes the helm as the association—and the world—head into uncharted waters. Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at University of Cincinnati, Miner stepped into the role in April as 2019-2020 President
moved into the Past President role. This leadership transition normally happens at the Annual Meeting, however, this year’s meeting, slated for the first week of April in New Orleans, was cancelled as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe.
In a brief interview, Miner offered his thoughts on the biggest issues currently facing AACRAO members, including how COVID-19 will affect higher education, the development of AACRAO’s new strategic plan, and AACRAO’s search for a new Executive
How is AACRAO responding to the COVID-19 crisis?
This will be a challenging year for AACRAO, it is a challenge we are equal to. Though we offer a variety of membership benefits and remote training opportunities through the year, our identity has been centered around our Annual Meeting and conferences.
Cancelling the Annual Meeting and Tech & Transfer Conference was challenging, but clearly the right answer for the safety of our members and the stability of the organization.
This will be a great opportunity for AACRAO to reach an even larger portion of our members through online training and engagement. We have already seen that as our webinars on COVID-19 have been highly attended and our Coffee Breaks will allow us to present
the essential content from the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. [Discover AACRAO's COVID-19 resources and practitioner guidance.]
What considerations will guide the development of AACRAO’s new strategic plan?
Even before COVID-19, the Board of Directors had planned to focus the coming year on developing a new strategic plan for the organization. As we position ourselves for the next 10 years, our focus is on the evolving nature of our profession.
I anticipate that we will see a plan that isn’t just about our organization but the role we play in influencing the profession and higher education. In the process of developing a new strategic plan we will engage leaders and members throughout
the organization. We will kick off that work in June with the Program Committee, Content Coordinators, PAC Chairs, committee chairs, task force chairs, and leaders of the state and regional organization. As we move through the year, there will be
more opportunities for members to have their voices heard.
When will AACRAO begin its search for a new Executive Director?
The Board of Directors will be kicking off the search for the Next Executive Director over the summer. (Join AACRAO Board of Directors today at 2 PM eastern for an interactive discussion on the upcoming search.*)
A search committee with broad representation will be working with a search firm to build a strong and diverse pool of candidates. Our goal is to name a new Executive Director who is able to begin engaging with our members at the 2021 Annual Meeting
in National Harbor.
Outgoing ED Mike Reilly has made such an incredible impact on the organization. Under his leadership, we have greatly expanded the benefits and connection to our membership and positioned ourselves as a leader among higher ed organizations.
How did you get involved at AACRAO, and how can others do the same?
I am a prime example of the advice that we give every new member: just volunteer. At my first AACRAO, I volunteered for a committee and within a year was presenting sessions and within a couple of years was serving as chair of the LGBTQ caucus.
Through the years I kept volunteering and became more and more involved with AACRAO, eventually serving on the Program Committee and as chair during the Phoenix Annual Meeting, as Vice Chair of the Nominations Committee, and Vice President
of Finance for the Board. One of the most valuable roles was serving as treasurer and president of the board for Ohio AACRAO.
My advice for someone who wants to get involved with AACRAO is to find the right fit. (Learn more here.) There are so many different opportunities to serve and lead beyond the obvious board or committee chair roles. You can write articles for AACRAO Connect, C&U,
or for an AACRAO publication. You can serve on a committee, research board, caucus, work group, or task-force that helps develop best practice guidelines. You can serve with AACRAO Consulting and lend your expertise to others in the field. Or, you can share your experiences
through presentations or panels either at one of our conferences or meetings or online. Raise your hand and we will help you find your place in AACRAO.
Why is being an AACRAO member important to you?
AACRAO’s value and strength has always been the sharing of information and knowledge. Whether that takes the form of training, publications, or just informal networking and sharing of best practices, this collegiality is what makes AACRAO
such a valuable organization.
I also really value that AACRAO is a voice for our profession. We have been able to position ourselves as a great partner with House and Senate leadership and with the Department of Education. Advocating for our institutions, our professions,
and our students is invaluable.