Washington, DC - 2003

In the past few days and weeks, I have found myself looking at the calendar to check if the year is really 2003 or 1973. Based on the recent events and news accounts regarding peace marches, war reports, and the Supreme Court hearing a case regarding college admissions and affirmative action; one must wonder or stop to think about how far have we really come. There are days that I ask the same question regarding how far our profession has come, beginning with recruitment and admissions to registration, grading, transfer credit evaluation, and international education. We continue to find better ways to assist students, faculty, staff, and administrations we serve at our institutions. As we all know, we are often doing more with less while our students and institutions continue to have to find continued funding and support for their endeavors.

To me, it seems like a few short days ago that we were in Minneapolis and I expressed to you what I hoped to accomplish in the upcoming year. During my first board meeting, we discussed what we hope to achieve over the course of the year in four short meetings. Were those goals ambitious? Yes! Over zealous? Yes! I'm happy to report that AACRAO has accomplished a great deal this year; it is not through the efforts of one, but through the efforts of many. I have the privilege to report to you on those efforts.


This year there has been a number of hard working Taskforces. Their role is to develop and review procedural and ethical standards in various areas of the profession.

The Admissions Taxonomy Taskforce “ Reporting to VP Angie Peterson Chaired by Beth Triplet “ This group added to AACRAO's resource centers knowledge base in areas of enrollment management, admissions, retention, and financial aid.

The Academic Record Transcript Guide Update Taskforce “ Reporting to VP Mike Allen Chaired by Patrick Miller “ This group's efforts have resulted in the newly revised guide that is available at this meeting.

The Public Policy Taskforce “ Facilitated by Barmak Nassirian and Chaired by Donald Hossler “ Resulted in AACRAO first Public Policy Statement. This will assist the government relation's staff of AACRAO to articulate AACRAO's stance on issues in higher education.

The Transfer Articulation Taskforce “ Facilitated by Barmak Nassirian and Chaired by myself. This taskforce acted as an advisory and test group to the new TCP online and will be developing the transfer best practice knowledge base, as well as developing transfer standards and guidelines.


Under the watchful eyes of VP for Finance Joe Roof and Executive Director Jerry Sullivan, AACRAO's financial resources are closely monitored. One of their roles is continuing to educate the board regarding AACRAO's revenues and expenditures and their fiduciary responsibility. They have recommended and the Board has implemented a number of good business practices and policies. Similar to many of our campuses, AACRAO struggles with offering more services to our current members with the minimal increase in cost. We continue to look for alternative revenue sources that will help minimize the reliance on dues to offer continued and increasing services.

I want to take a moment and thank Betty Huff for all her work as C&U editor over the past two years. AACRAO's College and University Journal is an outstanding publication. I expect that same excellence and professionalism will continue with our new editor Louise Lonabocker, which brings me to my next point.

AACRAO needs to document the existence of the profession through publications, workshops, and conferences. Successful meetings such as SEM and EDI, now the technology conference and workshops like Registration 101, and publications like C&U and the Academic Transcript Guide and Millennial go to college all contribute the knowledge base of our profession. I ask you to write and thank all of you who have contributed this year.

Strategic Plan

The Board has been working and developing AACRAO strategic plan over the past 3 years. The Board's working mission statement is:

The mission of AACRAO is to engage its members in the collaborative pursuit of excellence in admissions, records, and enrollment services.

The Board has identified a number of major Strategic Issues that effect our profession. A sample of these issues include:

  1. Advances in Information Technology impacting our current business practices.
  2. Our Core Professional Competences are changing and being redefined often outside our profession.
  3. AACRAO needs to develop diversified revenue streams.
  4. Student mobility and effects both domestic and International Education affects transfer articulation.
  5. Economic crisis at the intuitional, State, and National have major impact on our institutions and the association.

This current strategic plan is one of the best I have ever seen, or worked with, because it is a working living breathing document. This ties issues to goals, and plans to address these issues to the AACRAO operating plan and budget.

Other Initiatives

This year AACRAO has had a number of new initiatives.

SEM Monthly “ is a new subscription magazine. If you haven't seen it go to the AACRAO booth. It is first class.

The government relation's weekly transcript continues to keep us up to date and aware of the issues that affect us.

Workshops for new admissions professionals are being developed. Discussions have begun for the development of workshops for those of us that are or want to advance further in the profession and higher education.

The AACRAO office has done an extraordinary job in developing new Web services for the membership. These services include TCP online Web Services for the state and regional associations and many more.


AACRAO continues to have a number of challenges.

Volunteerism is a major concern. As we are asked to do more with less we have less volunteers.

Leadership and diversity “ includes not just ethnicity and gender issues but, seasoned or experienced member, new member, areas of expertise admissions, enrollment management, records, information technology as well as type of institutions represented need to be addressed.

For some of our members the erosion or delusion of stature of positions and the changing and roles and skills required on some college and university campuses are a challenge we need to address to assist our members in their career progression.

Financial diversification is a challenge AACRAO will continue to have to address.

Thank You

In closing I would be very remiss if I did not publicly thank some individuals.

I have had the privilege to work with and extraordinary board that has dealt with many high charged issues. They have done it with dedication, professionalism, and good humor. I thank them for all their efforts.

AACRAO is blessed with an outstanding Executive Director and AACRAO office staff in which they strive everyday to meet the needs of the AACRAO members. They truly are dedicated professionals. I thank them for all their efforts.

One could not make such a commitment to a professional organization without the commitment of their institution. I am proud and privileged to be associated with Community College of Rhode Island, the institution, my Vice President of Student Affairs, Joseph DiMaria, my colleagues and all those that I worked for and who have helped to make this year possible.

Last but certainly not least is my husband Mark Smith. Fortunately he has been able to travel with me to many of the meetings and he considers the board and especially their spouses as his good friends and colleagues. I cannot thank him enough for his love and support. Some would say two of the most difficult positions to be in would be Heather Smith's boss or husband. Fortunately I have two perfect guys that fit the bill for me.

Finally one of the accomplishments and highlights of this year was when our executive director signed a new five-year contract. It gives me great pleasure to introduce Jerry Sullivan AACRAO executive Director to give his annual meeting remarks.

Recognition of Service

Would the Washington, DC LAC Co-Chairs Eliot Baker, Slippery Rock University and David Clawson, Thomas Jefferson University please come forward.

On behalf of the entire AACRAO membership, Board of Directors and AACRAO staff, thank you for all your efforts.

Joan Shields - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Nursing, Hospitality
Eric Lampe “ University of Maryland “ Baltimore County, Communications and Publicity
Dennis Geyer “ George Washington University, Physical Arrangements
Sam Conte “ University of Pittsburgh, Registration

Would the Annual Meeting Program Chair
Richard Yount “ University of South Carolina “ Charlotte please come forward.

On behalf of the entire AACRAO membership, Board of Directors and AACRAO staff, thank you for all your efforts.

Mary Baxton “ California State University “ Northridge
Edwin Johnson “ Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Gerald Kiel “ Cleveland State University
Nora McLaughlin “ Reed College
Doreen Root “ Central Michigan University
Laura Spaulding “ University of Notre Dame
Jeffery v “ vonMunkwitz “ Smith “ University of Connecticut
Paul Kyle “ Butler County Community College “ Evaluations Committee

Exiting Board Members

Gloria Nathanson “ Vice President for International Education. She is a world traveler and can keep up with the best of them. She not only understands the international educational scene but she is one of the sages of the international education scene. During her tenure as Vice President, she re-organized and strengthened the AACRAO committee structure and inters association relations and councils. At board meetings Gloria's thoughtful comments and understanding of the international arena have both educated board members to the issues as well as contributed greatly to our deliberations and discussions.

Will Corprew “ Vice President of Professional Development and Publications. Will evaluated his role through the boards strategic planning process and recommended the restructing of this vice president. He has dealt with some of the more difficult decisions in eliminating certain committees and revitalizing others. From Seattle, to Minneapolis and Baltimore, Will has shared his passion for baseball with board by organizing baseball outings at all these cities. Will also known for some very interesting t-shirts.

Gene Schuster “ While Gene was the AACRAO Treasurer, he used the analogy of learning to turn an aircraft carrier around was the same as trying to turn AACRAO around. Gene in his strong, quiet way greatly influenced that turn around. At board meetings Gene is often the one with a marker in his hand drawing and diagramming the process of organizational structure to assist us to get a vision or clarity. That vision and clarity resulted in the addition of a New Vice President of Information Technology being added to the board. He has an ability to ask the most insightful questions of anyone I know and often forced us to look at topics differently. His wife Saunie is very articulate in telling us how important the AACRAO experience has been to Gene. Gene, thank you for your outstanding and distinguished service.


While preparing for this meeting one gets to reflect on the last years activities. Many of you that have served on similar boards know of the wonderful comradery and collegiality that comes with such and opportunity. At the same time, the time, the energy, and the intensity that is required, there is good reason for term limits. The issues although very important will slip from ones memory but the friendships and networks, forged shall go on. I look forward to becoming the sage of the board as past president. I have had great role models in Bill Haid, Louise Lonabocker and Gene Schuster.

Paul Taylor has become a friend and colleague. His energy, sense of purpose, and intensity needed to lead this association will continue to move AACRAO on its course to strengthen our profession. It gives me great pleasure to introduce your next AACRAO president, Paul Taylor.