Sunday, January 10, 2010

ACPA and NASPA Approve Similar Resolutions - Subcommittees Next
by Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., ACPA President 2009-10

It was Desi Arnaz saying to Lucille Ball, “Now you went and did it!” As for consolidation, yep, both ACPA and NASPA took one more small step as we continue on the path toward consolidation.

When I was a graduate student I heard the question: what is the difference between ACPA and NASPA? I won’t tell you what I was told at that time but I will tell you that the following year I joined both associations and have remained a member of both associations ever since. Where those differences I was told true at the time? In hindsight I honestly think they were exaggerated. Some were true but all in all, at least for my career, ACPA and NASPA have been much more alike than they have been different. I acknowledge these sentiments may not be true for everyone, and certainly the many before me. However, a big part of the message we have heard this past semester within the states has been that ACPA and NASPA are much more alike than they are not. In part for this reason, both of our memberships favor ACPA and NASPA having these discussions. They have for many years. And, to your Governing Boards credit, they are listening to you.

During the December board meetings for both ACPA and NASPA, both boards acted on a resolution to continue the process toward consolidation. There still is a great amount of work to do, but the boards committed themselves to a process that now involves each board directly, as well as many leaders and members within the associations. This is an amazing and very positive step. For many, many years this conversation did not make it to the respective boards, and therefore never made it officially to the members. This past year not only has your ACPA Governing Board acted on this topic twice, but the NASPA Board of Directors has done so as well. This is historic.

The resolutions that were passed contain mostly the same language. However, the versions voted on and passed also have subtle differences. Most importantly, however, is that both versions commit to a process of involving association leaders in co-chairing joint subcommittees that will define many elements of a new organization. What occurs after this work is completed remains the only significant difference between the two resolutions. There have been some members who wanted a more detailed picture of what a combined association might look like in the future. This is an opportunity for some of this work to be developed. It really is exciting.

In late January the “consolidation steering team” consisting of the ACPA and NASPA president, ACPA and NASPA past president, ACPA and NASPA Vice President/President-Elect, and the two Executive Directors will meet in Washington, D.C. This will be the historic 3rd meeting of this group. During the meeting the group will work with our consultant in reconciling the resolutions, determining our next steps, revising our timeline, transitioning our leadership, and slotting co-chairs for the different subcommittees.

The collegiality within your ACPA Governing Board, and the shared collegiality between our two associations, has been very present these past several months. As we contemplate the larger question of what is best for our profession, there has been no doubt that we all share a commitment to our profession and respective associations. It is my belief you, as a member, would be proud of this Governing Board.

No matter where this consolidation path takes us collectively, it is gratifying that you have allowed the members of this ACPA Governing Board to be the leaders of our profession at this moment in time. They are a talented group of colleagues who have already proven themselves worthy of your confidence and support. Weeeee.

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