by AACRAO President Jim Bouse, Director of Enrollment Management Technology, University of Oregon (pictured here with the Nashville Sounds (triple A baseball) mascot “Booster the Hot Chicken”)
Setting the strategic direction of the association has always been one of the primary duties of the Board. In mid-June 2017 members of the AACRAO Board of Directors and national office gathered in Nashville, TN, for a strategic planning retreat. Luckily the Country Music Awards were wrapped up and the Nashville Predators Stanley Cup (NHL) playoffs had ended, letting the city return to a less frenzied pace.
Strategic planning for us revolves around the most effective alignment of your association resources with our overarching mission and values. We are striving to find a balance between lock-step directives that allow no flexibility or creative thinking, and that of an open, free range environment that may find many initiatives pulling in opposite directions. If you imagine a compass rose, we want all of our efforts pointed toward the same quadrant, say Northwest, which keeps us moving forward in the same general direction with some freedom of movement and license to take advantage of creativity and opportunities.
The AACRAO strategic plan provides the framework and directions for all our association’s efforts. Within that framework we have worked toward the establishment of three broad strategic priorities that cut across the goals and objectives it contains. Those three are as follows:
We want to think beyond any buzzwords and get to core goals that assist our members in delivering student centered strategic enrollment management practices that align the success of our institutions with the success of our students. We have an incredibly wide variety of member institutions and definitions of “success” will often differ. Within that context we are working to help members translate how they provide value to the institution’s success of their students.
Access, Equity, Inclusion and Diversity
Another far reaching and sweeping landscape that spans beyond our association. We have member work groups that are currently involved with initiatives such as “Student Identity,” but there is a great deal more we can tackle in this area and we are working toward a more defined set of goals.
State and Regional Support
With this priority we are developing ways to better collaborate with and support our affiliated organizations. Some have very robust members, resources and structures while others would benefit from some more direct assistance. We are in beta with a few state organizations utilizing the Memberclicks association management software. Are there other services the national office can provide? Are there more direct collaborations that can benefit state, regional and national level organizations?
We look forward to working with our national office, our members, committees, task forces, work groups, advisory groups, instructors, writers, and volunteers in any capacity to continue the work of translating and implementing these strategic priorities.…moving ideas to actions!