From One Dupont Circle: Quarterly Update

From One Dupont Circle: Quarterly Update

Gregory Roberts
ACPA Executive Director

Greetings from One Dupont Circle:

The summer of 2012 has been one of excitement and joy following a very successful year of programs and activities. The Louisville Convention was a resounding success as this was the first time ACPA has been held in Louisville, Kentucky. We are working diligently with the 2013 Las Vegas Planning team to make this special convention, being held in conjunction with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation, a significant professional development experience.

Since my last conversation with you, I have had the pleasure of representing our Association at several international meetings: ACPA/NASPA Gulf Coast Conference in Doha, Qatar, the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services (CACUSS) in St. Catherine’s, Canada, and a special visit with our members and colleagues in Hong Kong, Zhuhai, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing, China. In China, we were extremely pleased with a warm reception around the country and with the outstanding host and interpreter, Professor Johnston Huang, from the United International College (UIC, a “branch” of Hong Kong Baptist University).

The results of our Association’s initiatives on the global front are yet to be realized, but given the global similarities and needs of students, the essentials of college student educators are similar to those of us in the United States. The difference comes in our unique cultural traditions, customs, and unique ethnic experiences. There are many opportunities ahead as we continue to cultivate meaningful partnerships and learning opportunities around the globe.

Next Steps for ACPA and its Membership:

  • Continue to work with the ACPA Globalization Committee and stay in touch by visiting the ACPA Global Initiatives webpage on a regular basis
  • Encourage our international colleagues to join us in Las Vegas to continue the conversation about collaborations, partnerships, and meaningful exchanges for both groups. We continue seeking opportunities to challenge our preconceived beliefs and attitudes (many unfounded) as we learn how to educate our students to prepare them as they inherit a global society
  • Identify new, and reallocate existing, resources to support moving our global initiatives forward
  • Encourage ACPA members to apply for, and maintain a current passport, thus being able to take advantage of short term and unexpected opportunities that might surface

Pending Issues of Note:

  • U.S. Supreme Court decision to hear the Texas college admission question (affirmative action)
  • Special programs to enhance collegiate treatment of returning veterans, who are taking advantage of their GI privileges in greater numbers
  • Republican and Democratic National Conventions (GOP in Tampa and DNC in Charlotte)

In addition to our progressive international agenda, we continue to monitor U. S. Congressional activities of interest to higher education and college students. Currently, the “press” is on for Congress and the White House to pass an extension of the student loan rate proposal. This is a critical decision by the Congress to continue, for one more year, the current 3.4% interest rate rather than the proposed 6.8% interest rate agreed to by Congress five years ago. Given our slow economic recovery, it will be beneficial to extend this benefit to nearly 7 million students currently holding federally supported loans.

As the heat of summer is upon us, it doesn’t mean less work or fewer priorities for our profession. What it does mean is that we use this time to remain focused on improving collegiate education for students. Thank you for the work you do to accomplish this challenge. The future is bright and full of opportunities that enhance the mission, vision, and core values of our Association.

Happy 89th Birthday ACPA!

Until next time,

Greg

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