A Message from the Executive Director | Moody

written by: Chris Moody

Dear ACPA member,

Happy 100th Anniversary and congratulations on making it through (or nearly through for some) another academic year! This year, particularly the spring term has been challenging on many campuses and for many of our members. I hope and trust you have taken the important time of attending to your health, safety, and wellness, and the well-being of those within your circle of professional care and responsibility. 

For this issue of Developments, the ACPA Standard Operating Procedures requires a record of the business transacted by the Association to be shared with you in at least one issue of this publication annually. Highlights of the past year were shared at the ACPA24 Convention Annual Business Meeting, yet we know that some of our members may not have been able to be present with us for those updates. A year in our work can be defined in many ways: Calendar years, academic years, and fiscal years, just to name a few. Because ACPA members typically think about their professional involvement and connection from convention to convention each year, I offer this reflection on ACPA’s most recent year as a summary of the business actions and decisions taken by ACPA governance and International Office for the period between the 2023 Annual Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana through the ACPA24 Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois, held this past 18-21 March 2024. 

March 2023

    • The 2023 Annual Convention was held March 26-29 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and welcomed 2,052 attendees. 
    • At the 2023 Annual Business Meeting, the members in attendance accepted two Bylaws proposals: The first pre-approved new Bylaws to take effect on March 20, 2024, and the second pre-approved another set of Bylaws revisions to take effect on February 18, 2025. The focus of both proposals was the phased introduction of a new governance model, previously known as the Governing Board and now to be known as the Leadership Council. 
    • Also, during the 2023 Annual Business Meeting, members in attendance approved a third Bylaws change renaming the Emeritum membership type and clarifying eligibility criteria for that type.

April 2023

    • In early 2023, the American Council on Education (ACE) offered ACPA the opportunity to relocate offices within One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC due to the increasing remote nature of International Office staff work. During the April 2023 meeting, the ACPA Governing Board authorized the Executive Director to sign the lease transfer to relocate the ACPA office suite within One Dupont Circle through June 2030. From April through June 2023, the ACPA International Office organized to execute the internal building relocation. 
    • Continuing the work of preparing for the new Leadership Council governance structure approved by members to begin on March 20, 2024, the Governing Board approved new position descriptions for all Leadership Council positions during the April 2023 meeting. This timing was important to have position descriptions prepared in advance of the start of the Leadership Council Nominations & Elections Process. 
    • Director of Equity & Inclusion, Jasmine Lee, provided the annual summary of bias incident reports received to the Governing Board. No submissions were received between the ACPA22 and ACPA23 Conventions.

May 2023

    • Considering the increase in failures of regional banking centers, the ACPA Governing Board approved the opening of a second operating bank account with Bank of America and the transfer of funds from PNC Bank to create a more balanced portfolio of financial accounts. 
    • Aligning with the International Office relocation within One Dupont Circle, the ACPA Governing Board approved the selling, donating, and/or discarding of material assets located in the former suite. 
    • With the support of the Governing Board, the ACPA President appointed the Association’s chairperson (Kathy Guthrie) and members (Lena Crain, Steven Herndon, Alex Lange, Patty Perillo, and Kevin Wright) of the 2025 ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies Review Task Force. 
    • Director of Research & Scholarship, Flo Guido, proposed a policy addition to the ACPA Standard Operating Procedures related to how to update previously published Association documents when new information or contexts are requested or introduced. The Governing Board approved this update to the Standard Operating Procedures. 
    • The Governing Board approved the proposal from the Commission for Professional Preparation to change their name to the Commission for Faculty & Graduate Programs. 

June 2023

    • The Governing Board reviewed and approved revisions to the 2024 Annual Convention schedule.
    • Following the May 2023 approval of a second operating bank account, the Governing Board reviewed and voted to accept an addition to the ACPA Standard Operating Procedures related to approval protocol for conducting financial transfers between the Association’s operating bank accounts.
    • In addition to the monthly Zoom meeting of governance leaders, the ACPA Governing Board convened in-person in Chicago, Illinois from June 25-27, 2023. During this meeting, the board approved revisions to the Nominations & Elections section of the Standard Operating Procedures in advance of the launch of the 2023 Leadership Council Nominations & Elections Process. The Governing Board also discussed plans and intentions for honoring and celebrating the 100th Anniversary year in 2024 and ways the board might leverage their authorities in marking this important milestone. The discussions around the 100th Anniversary continued during the August virtual meeting of the board, and results of these discussions and decisions were announced later in the year.

July 2023

    • The Governing Board did not meet in July 2023 in lieu of hosting an Association-wide virtual leadership summit on July 21 to share and discuss topics including the 100th anniversary in 2024, proposed changes to the governance model, and equity and inclusion training for leaders. Entity leaders, Convention team members, Senior Scholars, and ACPA Foundation Trustees were among those invited to participate in the virtual summit.
    • Sponsored by the ACPA Foundation, the first Faculty Institute on Racial Justice and Decolonization was held 11-14 July 2024 in Chicago, Illinois, welcoming 36 participating registrants and faculty.

August 2023

    • Following the closing of the financial transactions associated with the 2023 Annual Convention, the Governing Board approved a mid-year, restated budget for fiscal year 2023, reducing a projected deficit from $350,722 to an anticipated net profit of $2,447 due to the success of the ACPA23 Convention in New Orleans.
    • As the Audit & Finance Committee of the Governing Board began finalizing the FY2024 Association Budget proposal, the Governing Board endorsed a multi-year plan proposing a future strategy for International Office staff recruitment and retention that was used to inform the development of the budget. 
    • The Audit & Finance Committee also approved rates and registration policies for the 2025 Annual Convention in Long Beach, California in August 2023, and then approved modifications to the rate structure by adding a non-member International Attendee registration type in November 2023.

September 2023

    • Following nearly a year of extensive discussion and proposal development, the Governing Board accepted and adopted the recommended guidelines from the Future Conventions Task Force related to Future Convention Site Selection. These guidelines were used to begin sourcing future sites for the ACPA27 and ACPA28 Conventions and were subsequently revised again in December 2023 following the rescinding of the California Attorney General’s Travel Ban.
    • Director and Director-Elect of External Relations, Molly Springer and Ray Plaza, presented a proposed Association position statement on Electoral Participation, which was approved by the Governing Board and added to the list of ACPA Position Statements on the website. 
    • Assembly Coordinator for Coalitions & Networks, Monique Atherley, presented a draft Memorandum of Understanding between ACPA and the Coalition for Disability related to documenting expectations for coordination of accessibility-related items within the Association. The Governing Board approved this Memorandum of Understanding and authorized the Executive Director to sign the MOU on their behalf. 

October 2023

    • Director of Professional Development, Kelvin Rutledge, presented a second proposal from the Future Conventions Task Force recommending a set of guidelines for considering future convention site relocation. The recommended guidelines were approved by the Governing Board during the October 2023 meeting.
    • Director and Director-Elect of External Relations, Molly Springer and Ray Plaza, again proposed a new Association position statement on Affirming Access and Accessibility, which was approved by the Governing Board and added to the list of ACPA Position Statements on the website. 
    • 2023-2024 President Heather Shea appointed a new Task Force on Labor Commitments to continue the board’s work and imagining of related opportunities within the Association and appointed Jasmine Lee as Task Force Chair.
    • The Governing Board approved the 2022 fiscal year 990 and 990-T U.S. Federal Tax Forms, as well as the first financial audit of Association records since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • As part of the 2023 Nominations & Elections Process the Governing Board made the following appointments to the 2024-2025 Leadership Council: Kellie Dixon as Assessment & Innovation Chair, Da’Shaun Scott as Member Recruitment Chair, and Bernie Liang as Member Retention Chair.

November 2023

    • During the November Governing Board meeting, leaders approved the fiscal year 2024 Association Budget, with significant resources dedicated to activities related to celebrating ACPA’s 100th anniversary in 2024. 
    • The Governing Board authorized the International Office to negotiate and sign contracts with Toronto for hosting the ACPA27 Annual Convention and with Atlanta for the ACPA28 Annual Convention. 

December 2023

    • As part of the 2023 Nominations & Elections Process the Governing Board appointed George McClellan as Decolonization Strategies Chair on the 2024-2025 Leadership Council.
    • The Governing Board approved the proposal from the Task Force for Fat Folx/Identities to become the Coalition for Fat Identities.

January 2024

    • The ACPA Governing Board, ACPA @ 100 Planning Committee, and International Office launched the 100th Anniversary celebration on January 3, 2024, by email by sharing exciting plans and resources for this milestone year. This announcement included the offering of 100 complimentary Individual memberships for graduate students, new professionals, and individuals working in U.S. states with discriminatory laws or restrictive practices/policies related to diversity, equity, and inclusion work on college campuses. 
    • In early 2024, the Governing Board announced three renamings in honor of prior leaders of the Association: the Anne Pruitt-Logan Presidential Citation Award, the Nancy J. Evans Voices of Inclusion Award, and the Paul Shang Institute for Aspiring SSAOs. 
    • Following new Bylaws approved by members in March 2023, a task force of leaders, led by 2021-2022 ACPA President Danielle Morgan Acosta, worked throughout 2023 to propose a rewrite of the ACPA Standard Operating Procedures to align with the new Leadership Council governance model. The final SOP proposal in support of implementation of the first phase of the new structure was presented by the task force and approved by the Governing Board during the January 2024 meeting. This approved version of the Standard Operating was approved to be effective as of March 20, 2024, when the new model was to be implemented. In February 2024, the Governing Board also approved the proposed version of the Standard Operating Procedures to be in effect for phase 2 of the new governance structure as of February 18, 2025.
    • The Governing Board approved the proposal from the Multiracial Network (MRN) to be the Multiracial and Transracial Adoptee Network (MTAN). 

February 2024

    • Director and Director-Elect of External Relations, Molly Springer and Ray Plaza, proposed an addition to the ACPA Standard Operating Procedures for when and how the Association would consider making public comments or statements. The proposal was approved during the February 2024 meeting to be effective as of March 20, 2024. 
    • The Governing Board approved the proposal from the Task Force for Online Experiences & Engagement to become the Commission for Online Experiences & Engagement. 
    • The ACPA Foundation proposed a set of Bylaws changes for consideration to the ACPA Governing Board as the formal voting member of the ACPA Foundation. The proposed changes to the ACPA Foundation Bylaws were approved. 
    • In February 2024, the Governing Board also received and endorsed a report from the ACPA @ 100 Committee imagining the future of higher education/student affairs and the Association. 
    • During the February 2024 meeting of the Audit & Finance Committee of the Governing Board, the Committee approved the recommendation from the International Office to refrain from conducting a full financial audit of fiscal year 2023 in calendar year 2024 to refocus cash resources on strategic and anniversary related requests during the 100th anniversary year.
    • Also in February 2024, the Governing Board appointed Robert Reason, Iowa State University, as the 2024-2029 Editor of the Journal of College Student Development. Dr. Reason’s appointment to this role follows a four-year editorship by Vasti Torres, Indiana University. 

While the past year has been both exciting and busy with so much time and attention focused on celebrating ACPA’s 100th Anniversary, I am even more enthusiastic about what is yet to come as we conclude this centennial year and begin our 101st cycle. If you have not already done so, I invite you to watch the recording of this year’s Presidential Address by 2024-2025 ACPA President Dr. Rachel Aho from this year’s Annual Business Meeting to learn more about her aspirations for the year ahead.

Question or feedback on any of these decisions or updates may be sent to [email protected]. A summary of the highlights from 2024 since the ACPA24 Convention will be shared at the 2025 Annual Business Meeting in Long Beach, California on 18 February 2025, and I hope you will join us there as we celebrate ACPA entering our second century of bold transformation in higher education.  

Chris Moody, Ed.D.
ACPA Executive Director