One of the top questions I got the last few months, and throughout the ACPA 2022 Convention is: am I excited to be ACPA President?
In full honesty I struggled to answer that question. Usually, I tell folks that I have been so focused on the logistical transition– the committees, convention meeting schedule, onboarding, etc. that I haven’t had much time to consider the emotional transition. I also struggle to answer this question because I cannot quite get behind the word “excited.”
One of the feelings I am holding overall is WEARY, specifically about the state of higher education. The dynamics of COVID-19 along with ongoing violence toward people of color, divisive politics, climate change, just to name a few have exacerbated existing challenges for students, faculty and staff generally and specifically for those navigating historically and systemically marginalized social identities. In addition, my inbox, social media feeds and conversations with colleagues tend to focus on the following: “The Great Resignation,” “Burnout,” and a “Return to Normalcy.” On a personal note, I also felt a mixture of anxiety, curiosity and grief leading up to Convention 2022. I knew this gathering would require us to engage differently and that some members would not be joining us
Despite these feelings, I believe fully in ACPA’s resiliency and knew no matter what dynamics our first in-person event would bring, our attendees, members and leaders would face them with intentionality and strength. And that’s exactly how our attendees showed up! I felt the excitement from first-time attendees and the sense of homecoming from our returning and members truly energized me. I am in AWE with how we gathered in St. Louis and in deep gratitude for the ways Convention instilled a sense of love and possibility for me and our Association.
Now returning to my opening question: Am I excited to be your next ACPA President? Perhaps the most authentic answer I can offer is that I am INSPIRED to be your President!
During this upcoming year, I am eager to lead the Association in partnership with our members and leaders on the following strategic priorities:
- Continue our momentum on our Strategic Plan while implementing Universal Design and Accessibility
- Rev up our planning and communication for ACPA at 100 Years Celebration
- Launch a Presidential Task Force on Campus Expectations for Navigating COVID-19
- Explore ways to critically evaluate “Higher Education Employment in the 21st Century”
- Continue to serve as a leader in research and scholarship through Association collaborations and new publication mediums
- Advancing the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization through skill building and action planning.
- Strengthening our efforts to return to in-person professional development events with specific focus on ACPA Convention 2023 in New Orleans
I believe fully that ACPA is uniquely aligned as an Association to address tough sociopolitical issues currently facing the field of higher education. I extend an invitation and hope that you join us as we continue to boldly transform higher education!
Andrea D. Domingue, Ed.D.
2022-2023 ACPA President