Seattle, Washington - 2001

From the moment the Annual Meeting began last year, I felt a sense of commitment and excitement that had been absent in recent years. Professional Activities Committees were here in full force and hard at work before the conference began, the program committee was developing creative ideas for the Seattle conference and thinking ahead to Minneapolis, the Seattle LAC was proposing ideas for local speakers and generating enthusiasm for Seattle, the Role of the Registrar workshop was offered for the first time, the meeting was flawless thanks to a very dedicated local arrangements committee, and AACRAO had been awarded a major contract from the United Negro College Fund to administer the selection process for the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Since I had identified member collaboration as one of my goals for the year, I felt we were off to a great start.

At the end of the last fiscal year, Jerry Sullivan's two-year contract was coming to an end. The Board approved a new contract and at the end of June, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief when I opened the mail and saw Jerry's signature on the new three-year contract. Jerry's contributions to AACRAO in his first two years were beyond our expectations and we are both pleased and fortunate that Jerry agreed to continue as the Association's Executive Director.

In July we learned that Val Mead, AACRAO Vice President for Registration, Records and Information Technology, had accepted a position with Cars Information Solutions as an Implementation Specialist. In her two years on the Board, Val led Group III in program and project planning, was a member of the Inter-Association Task Force on disciplinary dismissals and was the first project leader of the Role of the Registrar team that led to the design and implementation of the very successful workshop. For this we are forever grateful to her.

Upon receipt of Val's resignation, the Nominations and Elections Committee reacted quickly and effectively in recommending the appointment of Linda Finley as Interim VP for Registration, Records and Information Technology. Linda with just two weeks notice joined us for the July Board meeting and crammed about six weeks of reading into two. Mike Allen simultaneously agreed to keep the momentum going on the Role of the Registrar project and took on the role of Project Leader. We are deeply grateful to both Linda and Mike for their extraordinary service this year.

During last year's Annual Meeting I began to hear some of the past presidents talk about AACRAO's Centennial in 2010 and I asked Stan Henderson to put his ideas in writing. His enthusiasm for this project was evident in his two-page proposal, rich with ideas like Centennial projects, oral and written histories of the Association, a Centennial logo, and AACRAO Centennial moments. I subsequently asked Stan to chair a Centennial Task Force and I'm very pleased that he agreed to do so. The task force was formed and is already at work researching documents, planning activities and developing a timeline.

In recent years, outsourcing has played a key role in helping many of us to operate more efficiently and effectively. As a result of a recommendation from the AAU Registrars, interest in an Outsourcing Task Force was solicited in the fall via the Data Dispenser and a committee was formed to address issues related to the feasibility and the management of outsourcing services such as certification of enrollment and graduation, financial advisement and accepting transcript requests. Ken Servis from the University of Southern California is chairing that Task Force, which met in February. The task force has already generated a significant amount of content and we look forward to the written paper that will provide guidelines for all of us as we consider outsourcing selected services. Thanks to Ken Servis and the task force for undertaking this important work.

In September I invited a group of small college leaders including former chairs and members of the Small College Issues Committee, to attend a meeting at the AACRAO Office in Washington to exchange ideas and discuss the unique needs of small colleges. The Board is made up of members from medium and large institutions yet 54 percent of our institutional membership represents colleges with enrollments of less than 2500. The group discussed AACRAO membership benefits, volunteerism, leadership, networking, member recruitment, non-dues revenue opportunities, training designed for small colleges, and the challenges that would be faced by small colleges in the years ahead. An action plan was developed and published in the Data Dispenser.

In October during the meeting of the administrative and finance subcommittee of the Board, a day of Strategic Planning was held. During this session the group, which included four members of the association examined trends in association governance, brainstormed the strategic issues faced by the association, reviewed AACRAO's current programs and selected the key issues that will help to determine where new programs and services are developed in upcoming years. I want to thank Eliott Baker, Stan Henderson, Christin Kerlin, and Glenn Munson who gave up a fall weekend and joined us in our strategic planning session. The Board has since developed three hours at each of its board meetings to continue strategic planning and develop strategic initiatives such as the proposed change in the bylaws for a Vice President for Information Technology.

On the International front, I attended Canada's ARUCC annual meeting in June in New Brunswick, Canada. AACRAO has also formed an affiliation with the Association of Tertiary Education Management representing Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea and Asia and continues its affiliation with the Association of University Administrators in Great Britain. We welcome the representatives of those groups as well as the representatives from the Russian Project and from Arab AACRAO to this Annual Meeting.

The Data Dispenser has undergone significant change in recent years and now offers monthly updates from the Executive Director and the president, synopses of recent course cases, industry updates and regulatory initiatives.

Continuing on the theme of member collaboration, two inter-association appointments were approved in December. Harold Pace, University of Notre Dame, will be AACRAO's NCAA Division I Inter-Association rep and Jeff vonMunkwitz-Smith, University of Connecticut, will be AACRAO's Inter-association rep to Educause and CUMREC.

In February the incoming committee chairs were invited to Washington for the third annual leadership conference. Attendees heard about AACRAO accomplishments, initiatives, goals and finances. They began to develop plans for projects, publications and programs for the upcoming year. At this meeting Eliott Baker suggested the appointment of a task force of recent Nominations and Elections chairs to review the Nominations and Elections process. Thanks to Beverly Lewis from the University of California at Santa Barbara, who has agreed to chair this task force.

In February a charge was developed for a Task Force to revise the Academic Records and Transcript Guide. Patrick Miller will chair a task force to revise the Academic Records and Transcripts Guide.

Steve Gawkoski has been our College and University editor for the past four years. Upon receipt of Steve's resignation, Betty Huff, University of California at Santa Barbara was asked to accept the position as Interim Editor. C&U will continue to print refereed articles and will be enhanced with additional content

In conclusion, I would like to thank my colleagues at Boston College for their patience, support and assistance and thank all of your for giving me this opportunity. It's been the highlight of my professional career, an opportunity for professional growth and a chance to work with some extraordinary people.

It's now my pleasure to turn the podium over the Jerry Sullivan for the Executive Director's update.