How's the water?
During a conversation on October 18, a colleague mentioned that the Annual Conference was exactly six months away. It was a complete surprise to realize I’d already reached the halfway point of my term. Immediate thoughts were conflicting: disappointment there wasn’t more time to make a bigger impact; gratitude to have made it this far without any mention of impeachment. But as Mick Deluca told me at the Region VI Conference, it is not whether the glass is half-full or half-empty, it is what you do with the water that is important. There is still NIRSA work to be done and there is still time to do it, so the BOD will continue to work. Here is a sampling of some new projects and plans, and current works-in-progress:
- The Student Learning Knowledge Community has been appointed and is planning their first meeting. Members include Dr. Julie Wallace Carr (chair), Dr. Sarah Hardin, Alex Accetta, Dr. Jeanne Steffes, and Dr. Larry Roper. The Sustainability and Health/Wellness KC appointments are in progress.
- The Executive Committee met in Chicago for three days in early December to discuss strategic plans for our organization.
- A work team is developing an evaluation tool for our regional vice presidents. Another work team is defining eligibility requirements for emeritus membership. Another work team has been appointed to develop a comprehensive plan for recruiting professional members from community/junior colleges. And a selection team has been identified to choose the Program Committee Chair for the 2009 Annual Conference.
- The Student Leadership Team has been working to develop or revise regional selection guidelines for the Lead On workshops. The Bylaws Committee has been conducting a thorough review of our bylaws. The Wellness Committee is analyzing results of their survey. The Sport Club committee is developing a thorough fundraising resource manual and developing a comprehensive listing of all National Governing Bodies.
- Outside organizations continue to seek collaborations with NIRSA. Mike Giles Sr. has been appointed as the NIRSA liaison to the United States Lifeguard Standards Coalition. David Gaskins will succeed Steve Rey as the NIRSA liaison to the National Association of Sports Officials’ Officiating Development Alliance. Ed Morford is representing NIRSA on the University Risk Management & Insurance Association’s Inter-Association Alliance committee. And the BOD has approved the establishment of an “Affiliate Status” for those organizations seeking affiliation with NIRSA.
There are always people to thank in NIRSA, because so many of our members are making a difference. Every conference I’ve participated in this fall has been valuable for the quality educational sessions and networking opportunities, and each workshop offered unique touches that made it memorable. There was an incredible meal at Brazzaz for the IIRSA state workshop (kudos to the University of Illinois at Chicago staff). There were fun and creative team games at the IRSA state workshop (kudos to the Indiana University South Bend staff). There was outstanding entertainment a steel drum band and an a cappella group -- at the Region IV/Big 12 and Friends Conference (kudos to the University of Texas at Austin staff). And there was a great Lead On workshop, and great weather, at the Region VI Conference (kudos to the University of California, San Diego staff).
And a special thanks to a valued colleague, a friend, and someone who has made a difference to NIRSA, Brian Carswell. Brian, after 23 years of service in our field, is leaving the University of Arizona.