San Diego, California - 2006

Last year as I began my year as President, I outlined five goals I hoped AACRAO could achieve over the next twelve months. I indicated in my April 2005 message to the membership that I would be reporting on the significant progress made on each one of them during the Annual Meeting in San Diego. The five goals were as follows:

  • Improve the communications process between the Board/AACRAO Staff and the membership.
  • Continue the process of modifying and implementing a Strategic Plan that includes member input and support.
  • Develop a five-year financial plan that establishes a goal that AACRAO's Reserve Fund value will be 50% of the Annual Operating Expenses.
  • Maximize the effectiveness of the Board of Directors by utilizing individual Board member's strengths while striving for consensus and teamwork in governance.
  • Establish member dues at a rate that provides significant and meaningful value for the services provided.
I am pleased to be able to report to you that significant progress was made on all five goals. I would like to summarize the progress for you.

My highest priority for the year was to improve communications between the Board/Staff and the membership. If there was one thing I learned as the VP of Finance, it was that members appreciated an honest and frank dialogue on the issues that face AACRAO. In that spirit, your Board of Directors agreed to open the Board meetings to you, our members, meaning any AACRAO member could attend a Board Meeting. In addition, members were given opportunities to address the Board any AACRAO related issue. We were very pleased that members attended each of our Board Meetings this past year. We will continue to refine this process and it is my desire that next year the Board agendas with all handouts will be available for your viewing prior to the Board Meeting.

Some of the most important Board communications include the minutes of Board Meetings. I would like to commend Paul Wiley in his efforts to provide timely, accurate and succinct minutes of all our Board Meetings. I believe you will all agree with me that our minutes are much improved this year. Also, Paul has modified our financial reporting, by providing very meaningful, yet succinct financial performance information.

Continuing on the communications theme, the AACRAO staff implemented an entirely new AACRAO web site. The site is much improved in appearance and content from the former site. AACRAO.org is comprised of four major sections, one of which is dedicated to Association News or news that would be of interest to AACRAO members. In order to have timely information for this Association News section, I attempted to write more articles and letters to you, our members. In nearly every article or letter I wrote, I requested input from you and many of you responded, to which I am very appreciative.

The strategic planning process was explained in a recent article for the membership. As I explained in the article, the Strategic Plan is shared each year with the State and Regional Officers and the AACRAO Leadership team comprised of all committee and task force chairs. The current edition of the strategic plan was approved by the Board last Fall and is available on the AACRAO website. I encourage all of you to review the plan and provide your ideas and thoughts to any member of the AACRAO Board. This plan must serve as a road map for our Association as we attempt to confront the challenges and realize the opportunities that await us. As a way of implementing and monitoring the Strategic Plan, we organized the Board Committees based on the plan.

A five year financial plan has been completed in draft form. Paul Wiley, VP of Finance continues to work with Jerry Sullivan and staff to finalize this plan. The preliminary plan was discussed with the Board Finance Committee in February. This financial plan is crucial to the Board as we plan for the future.

Paul Wiley presented a new "reserve plan" to the Board Finance Committee last December. This plan redefines the Board's different funds and their purposes, plus creates a true reserve fund that will serve as a financial cushion for the Association. For the past seven years, the Board has been very focused on building a reserve fund that is equal to 50% of the Association's operating budget. Paul's proposal clearly articulates that vision plus allows for financial planning in the areas of infrastructure needs and investments in new programs, services or projects.

Serving on a Board of Directors is often a new experience for most members. Over the past year, I have attempted to provide some learning experiences at each of our Board Meetings. At each formal Board Meeting, a consultant was utilized to provide Board professional development. At the Summer meeting, we focused on strategic planning, in December our focus was on communications and message development, and in February, the activity was on parliamentary procedure.

Finally, in an attempt to measure the Board's effectiveness, the Board developed an evaluation. Under the leadership of Betty Huff, the Board Committee on Association Issues reviewed several evaluation instruments and created a Board Evaluation. The evaluation was conducted in March and the results and comments were tabulated by Scott Dittman, Chair of the 2006-07 Nominations and Elections Committee. Scott led a discussion of the results of the evaluation with the Board this past Tuesday. I believe this process will allow the Board to continue to improve and to become more effective.

The final goal was the Dues Task Force. The Board accepted the report from the Dues Task Force in February. The Administrative and Finance Committee reviewed the Task Force's results and recommendations over the past two months. Based on the Task Force's research and recommendations, the Board has begun to take action. While there are many recommendations in the report, the most significant recommendation was "¦that AACRAO shift from its current headcount model to an FTE model used by other similar professional associations." After discussing this specific recommendation for a lengthy period of time on Saturday, your Board approved a motion to begin the process of developing an amendment to the Bylaws that would implement this change. As the process moves forward, I encourage each of you to review the Dues Task Force extensive report and be prepared to debate the issue at the 2007 Annual Meeting in Boston.

And now it's time to say thank you. Thank you to all of you, AACRAO's members, for providing me the opportunity of a lifetime. Without a doubt, this has been one of the greatest professional experiences of my life. I would like to specifically thank Daytona Beach Community College for supporting me in my service to AACRAO, including my supervisor, Michael Elam and for all the support provided to me by my administrative assistant, Catherine Caughie.

Many thanks go to the Board for their support this year. Any success we had this year was due in a large part to the work of the Board. A big thank you also goes to the AACRAO Office. This is one of the greatest groups of people I have had the opportunity in which to be associated during my career. I have commented often, that Executive Director Jerry Sullivan has assembled a team that any of us would welcome on our campuses. I would like to specifically recognize Janie Barnett and Barmak Nassirian who have been so supportive of me during this year as President.

And finally, I extend my sincerest appreciation to my wife Glenna and our children, Brian, Kelsey and Matthew, for all their support over the past six years. Serving on the AACRAO Board does require absences from home. Without the loving support of Glenna and her willingness to sometimes serve as Mom and Dad, this opportunity would not have been possible. I can now spend more time at a role that I cherish, doting Dad and loving husband.

Thank You.