A Triumphant Neighborhood Summit: National Center Hosts Annual Gathering
Board Recharges in Midst of Full Summer Meeting's Agenda
Nearly fifty NIRSA Members, administrators and staff teammates came together in a sunny Corvallis, OR, park for the Fourth Annual Neighborhood Summit, an event that coincides with the Summer Meeting of the Board of Directors at the NIRSA National Center (NNC).
NIRSA's new Regional Student Representatives attended the gathering for the first time, instituting the Board's new policy of providing an internship to prepare the students for their year of recruitment and representation for NIRSA.
The late afternoon Summit convened immediately after another new standard in NIRSA administration took effect: the recently approved bylaws amendment, which specifies that the newly elected vice presidents and the national student representative will assume office during the Summer Meeting. As the amendment stipulates, outgoing vice presidents formally transferred office to the new Board members before proceedings adjourned prior to the Summit: outgoing Region I Vice President Steve Young, CRSS (Temple University), to Sev-Ira' Brown (Syracuse University), outgoing Region III Vice President Stan Shingles, CRSS (Central Michigan University), to Therese Kennedy, CRSS (University of WisconsinWhitewater), outgoing Region V Vice President Jim Langel, CRSS (University of Northern Iowa), to Vicki Highstreet, CRSS (University of NebraskaLincoln), and outgoing National Student Representative Tiffany Lundy (University of Oregon) to Linda Clauss (Clemson University).
Members and guests in attendance at the Summit represented Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, Portland State University, University of Washington, and Washington State University. Several retired Professional Members also joined the assembly, including former NIRSA Executive Director (1973-97) Will Holsberry, who lives in Corvallis.
Summit attendees discussed a wide variety of topics, some closely linked to the Board's proceedings and current events within NIRSA. On the subject of NIRSA's Strategic Map, which has been intensively refined over the last year, President Greg Jordan announced the availability of a newly published edition, and assured the audience that the document will continue to come under scrutiny at each face-to-face meeting of the board.
Having sent ahead his topic for the agenda, Alex Accetta, Campus Recreation Coordinator at Portland State University, facilitated a discussion of "Less Alcohol, More Recreation" at NIRSA events, eliciting many diverse comments from attendees.
In the broad category of financial support for extramural and sports club events, Greg, Executive Director Kent Blumenthal, Marketing Director Barry Brown, and the Director and Assistant Director of National Sports Programs, Mary Callender and Valerie McCutcheon, respectively, updated progress on the establishment of an umbrella identity, "National Campus Championship Series," for all sponsored and endorsed sports events. Tim Gray of College Connect, NIRSA's marketing representative, was introduced, and the anticipated Sports Illustrated on Campus magazine distribution pilot program for Fall 2005 was detailed.
Accounting Manager & IT Specialist George Looney and Membership Director Mary E. Martin summarized their research on a new Web-based database management system for the Association. George and Mary described a plan to select a database that enables members to self-manage some of their NIRSA records and expedite online registration and e-commerce for all events.
Greg and Kent delivered a progress report on NIRSA's partnership with The Ohio State University's National Research Institute for College Recreational Sports & Wellness. The Summit agenda wrapped with an overview of new site selection guidelines for the Annual Conference, the evolving agreement between NIRSA and publishing partner Human Kinetics, Inc. to publish and distribute internationally the Recreational Sports Journal and the Recreational Sports Directory, and a summary of NIRSA's role in higher education via membership in the Council of Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA).
After enjoying a delicious buffet, attendees took advantage of the fine weather and friendly company to visit, toss Frisbees, and investigate the park's team of sociable ducks.
Complete minutes for the Board of Directors' Summer Meetings and New Board Meeting will be archived soon on NIRSA's Web site.