Friday, May 3, 2013

Catalysts for Change!

I want to thank Adam Ortiz and the other leaders from MRN and CMA who took time to talk with me, Kathy Obear, Chris Moody, and Eleanor Mower earlier this week about their concerns (  ACPA is an organization that truly values social justice and strives to be inclusive in all ways, and it is incredibly helpful to have members and leaders willing to share with us and problem solve with us when we can do better. How we ask our members about themselves via surveys and assessment instruments is one area where we can do better.  I appreciate that the leadership of MRN and CMA are catalysts for change.  This change will result in our Association being stronger, and our policies and practices being more aligned with our espoused values.

The activity of revising how we ask member demographic questions has been underway since June of 2011, but is still not complete. Identifying a standard set of questions is incredibly challenging as we do not believe one “best” practice exists.  We have and continue to review standards from other Associations, campuses, and even federal and state guidelines.  That being said, the ACPA Governing Board is committed to completing this work in the coming months, so that going forward we are in agreement about how to best ask these questions of our diverse membership.

Specifically, here are the “next steps” we will take:

·         The subcommittee working on the standard questions document will continue to collect input from Association leaders and entity groups (May-June)

·         A final document will be brought before the Governing Board for review and approval

·         Once approved:

o   A senior staff member in the ACPA International Office will be identified to review all centrally distributed surveys and assessment instruments to make sure that they consistently adhere to the approved standards.

o   Other Association leaders, International Office staff members, and Convention Planning Team members will be made aware of the adopted standards and expectations for their use.

o   ACPA membership will be informed of the adopted standard questions, including the importance, value, and context of this work via an article in Developments.

o   Entity groups that distribute surveys independent of the International Office will be provided with the standard questions, applicable contexts, and their rationale.


Again thanks to the leaders of the MRN for helping us move forward with this very important work!



Monday, April 22, 2013

Springtime in Delaware

Spring has sprung in Delaware, USA.  I realize some of you may not be in a part of the world that experiences a spring season like we have here in the Mid-Atlantic United States, and I am sorry.  The beauty of the trees, literally dripping with flowers, is always a breathtaking site. On my campus, the University of Delaware, spring (April and May) also corresponds with the ending of another academic year, which we celebrate with Commencement.  It is an ending celebrated with an event that means “the beginning.”  So the symbolic rebirth that spring brings corresponds nicely with our collegiate “beginning” as we send our graduates off to begin the rest of their lives – be that careers, graduate programs, world travel, etc. Often it is sad to see many of them leave but it is a sweet sadness, knowing that we have played a role in their accomplishments and hopefully made their path at the University a bit more engaging, educational, inspiring, and at the right times, a bit smoother.

As I watch our graduates head off to what is next for them, spring inspires me to think about what’s next for me.  The coming academic year is within sight and I begin planning both personally and professionally.  Of course, ACPA plays a big part in that.  We know from our membership survey that most members highly value the professional development opportunities offered by ACPA.  As an Association we work hard to make these opportunities diverse, affordable, accessible, and relevant.  Most are directly related to the professional competencies and are planned by experts in our field who are committed to engaging experiences that allow participants to both learn and network with other colleagues.

I hope you will take some time to visit the ACPA calendar of events, and consider how we might help you enhance your April, May or June. 

Dr. Kathleen G. Kerr

ACPA President

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Thinking About Boston...

Hello good ACPA Colleagues,

I had intended to write a post about the end of the academic year and spring in the Mind-Atlantic USA, but given recent events I must instead post a note about Boston and the tragedy that occurred on Monday, April 15th at the Boston Marathon.  My thoughts and condolences go out to the families who lost loved ones.  I can only imagine the pain and struggle that is now being faced by the injured and their loved ones and families.  The impact of Monday’s events is wide-reaching; in fact it spans the globe.  We learned yesterday that one of the deceased was a Boston University graduate student from China.  Many, many colleges and Universities in the New England area have been and will continue to feel the reverberations of this tragedy.  My thoughts are with colleagues at those schools as they work with their students to try to understand, and to comprehend what occurred and begin the process of moving forward and healing. 

I’ll save my thoughts about spring for another day.

Dr. Kathleen G. Kerr
ACPA President