Sunday, May 25, 2008

Attending CHEMA & Getting Great Quality Time with Other Officers
by Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., ACPA Vice President 2008-09

Last week, May 23-25, 2008 I attended the Council for Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA). This is an organization that consists of several groups that are similar to ACPA. You may be familiar with a few of them: NASPA, NIRSA, ACUHO-I, NACE, ASJA, and many others.

What was so wonderful was the opportunity to have valuable quality time to converse and share ideas with other officers within other organizations. Many of the Executive Directors of these associations were also at CHEMA. I learn a great deal about many organizations and gained many ideas on how to help advance ACPA.

What was also impressive was the overall effort by the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Through their efforts they encouraged several major hotels to complimentary provide the hotel rooms for the events. Each meal was incredible, the hospitality was amazing, and we simply had a lot of fun. While I live in Louisville, and have been here only 1.5 years, I learned so much about the city. This really is a cool city with a lot to offer. Obviously one of the goals for hosting an event like this was to encourage organizations to consider Louisville. It is hard to imagine too many other cities being so supportive of our type of higher education associations. There really is a lot to offer, a lot to do, and many attributes to see. Even the Mayor came out to speak to us. This in a town of 1,000,000. You gotta love it.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Emails and Organization
by Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., ACPA Vice President 2008-09

A few weeks ago I was meeting with a member of my staff who I asked to assist me while I serve as VP, President, and Past President. Michael Anthony coordinates our leadership programs at the University of Louisville and one day I might be working for him. But this time I asked him to serve as my "assistant to" person. You know, the person that makes the calls, sets up the meetings, and follows through with items. Put another way, he is the opposite of all my limitations.

I have learned as Vice President of a division at a large research university, and a place where I have a Chief of Staff and Assistant to the VPSA, that having a person like this is invaluable. I am spoiled. As I thought about my limitations, and the expectations many ACPA members would have of me as their VP or President, I just knew I needed more help. Michael and talked about our roles and some of the additional support people we may bring onboard. These would be folks like graduate and undergraduate students that we truly want to have a meaningful experience.

I have also learned about the email. Now I already get more than a hundred emails in a day (and probably write that many, too). But since I have been the ACPA VP that number seems to have grown a bit. Gone are the days of waiting a week to get to some of these items. ACPA moves faster behind the scenes then we know and there always is a flurry of activity going on. Keeping up with it, while trying to move your own division along can be challenging -- and I say this as someone that has always prided themselves on being in balance.

I know we have many good initiatives going on right now. Some of these might not even make a headline right now but they are laying a foundation for many big things to come. As practitioners in Student Affairs we know the importance of process and solid foundations. I feel good about our leadership and what we are trying to do. More later.