Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ACPA Votes Yes, NASPA Votes No

ACPA Proudly chose to unite our profession, and NASPA did not.

Over two years ago, the ACPA Governing Board and the NASPA Board of Directors committed to explore the possibility of a new comprehensive international student affairs association that combined the strengths and resources of both associations. We have just concluded an historic vote by members of ACPA and NASPA on whether to move forward with the proposed consolidation plan.  We learned today that ACPA members voted in favor of uniting the profession and our NASPA colleagues chose not to consolidate. 

While this news comes as a disappointment to the majority of ACPA members, ACPA has always been and will continue to be the association for our profession’s leading scholars, administrators, student development educators, graduate students and corporate partners.  You have our continued commitment to unparalleled leadership in the areas that matter most to our members. With your involvement, ACPA will:

  • Lead the profession in generating knowledge;
  • Advance social justice on our campuses;
  • Identify and disseminate best practices to promote student learning and development;
  • Build upon and extend scholarly and practitioner expertise;
  • Partner with the ACPA Foundation to support research and professional development;
  • Maximize our relationships with higher education associations to influence and shape the higher education agenda;
  • Engage our members in the work and leadership of our association; and
  • Collaborate with NASPA when appropriate, and compete with NASPA when appropriate.

Thank you for participating with us in this important dialogue and for continuing to make ACPA your professional home.  We look forward to working with all of our members and partners as we continue to offer outstanding leadership, scholarship and commitment to our students, profession and the greater higher education community.


Monday, April 18, 2011

The Journey Continues

The voting is over. Thank you to all the members who participated in this historic process. Soon we’ll know the answer to whether ACPA and NASPA are going to consolidate into a single, comprehensive association.
Both associations have members who opted to vote by paper ballot, and our polling firms need time to receive, certify and add the votes to those cast on-line. It will take around 7 business days to complete the tabulation and determine the results. Each of us who has been involved in shepherding this process agrees it is essential  that all of our members learn these results at the same time.

So on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 6:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time members of ACPA and NASPA will receive an email letter from me and NASPA president Patricia Telles-Irvin sharing the outcome of the vote. One announcement, the same initial message, to all. And then, whatever the outcome, we start the work of moving into our future.

What an exciting time this is! Thank you for being on the journey with me!


Monday, April 11, 2011


Folks who attended one of the consolidation discussions at the ACPA convention got to hear my “soapbox speech” about the importance of voting on the question of whether ACPA and NASPA should consolidate into a single, unified professional association. With apologies to those readers who were at one of those sessions, I am climbing back up on that same soapbox again now!

Conversations about consolidation (or unification, merger… the term has varied) with NASPA have taken place over the past 30 years, but this is the first time we have ever formulated an actual plan or been at the point of a member vote. While there are certainly more important issues facing higher education than whether ACPA and NASPA should consolidate, I can’t think of a more important question for the two associations. The plan is not perfect (what plan ever is?), and there are many details still to be fleshed out, but it gives us a basic framework of what a new association would look like. The question that each of us must answer is whether we think this framework looks like one that will best serve our profession as we move into the future – if so, vote “yes;” if not, vote “no.” The most important thing to do is to vote. We’ve waited a long time to get to the place where we can finally voice our perspectives on this issue – it’s too important for anyone to sit this out.

If you’ve already voted – great! If you have not yet voted you should have received a follow-up email with voting information from our polling firm last week. Please make yourself familiar with all of the information about the proposal and plan and cast your vote by 11:59 p.m. (EDT), Friday April 15. Remember – Voice = Vote!