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Voices of the Global Community

Jennifer L. Bloom, NACADA President 

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There are many reasons why I think that NACADA is the best professional organization on the planet, but the Annual Conference is certainly one of the top ones. The opportunity to get together with over 3,000 people who share the same passion for student success and appreciation for the important role that advisors play on college campuses throughout the country is reinvigorating and inspiring. The 2007 Annual Conference in Baltimore was outstanding, and I want to thank Stacey Woycheck and her planning committee for their efforts to ensure its success. The keynote speakers, Patrick Terenzini and Sharon Fries-Britt, both highlighted the importance of the work that we do and inspired us to continue to grow and expand our horizons. The Conference also gave attendees the opportunity to congratulate Charlie Nutt on his selection as Executive Director of NACADA. Congratulations, Charlie!

Another highlight of the Conference for me was the opportunity to meet the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders from the new Emerging Leaders Program. This program is designed to increase the diversity of our leadership ranks in NACADA. This impressive group of nine new Emerging Leaders had the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops and to select a Mentor to partner with during the next two years. As one of the Emerging Leader Mentors, I am looking forward to working together with my Emerging Leader, Cornelius Gilbert, of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

I want to thank Susan Campbell for her leadership as President of the NACADA Board this past year. Susan led the Board through a thorough review and update of the by-laws, oversaw the creation of a set of written policies for the Board and the entire leadership team, and much, much more. Most importantly, she accomplished these important tasks by collegially leading with integrity, passion, and determination to make NACADA the best organization it can become. On behalf of everyone in the organization and the Executive Office, I want to publicly thank Susan and her Vice President, Nancy Walburn, for all they did to make 2006-07 a successful year.

B. Joseph White is the President of the University of Illinois and he said, “Education is the most powerful means of increasing individual opportunity and creating more prosperous, fairer, and more just societies. So to have the privilege of participating in that mission is as much as anybody could hope for in life.” It is important for all of us to remember what a blessing it is that we have the privilege of working in higher education. I also feel privileged and honored to be elected to serve as President of NACADA – an organization that has meant so much to me personally and professionally over the past 17 years. Having just moved two months ago from my Associate Dean position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to the position of Clinical Associate Professor of the Higher Education & Student Affairs Program at the University of South Carolina, I can honestly say that I would not have had this opportunity were it not for the experiences that I gained through my association with NACADA. NACADA gave me the opportunity to not only hone my presentation and writing skills, it has also afforded me the opportunity to meet, work with, and become friends with some of the best people I know. Serving as your President gives me a multitude of ways to “Pay it Forward.”

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Vice President Casey Self (Arizona State University) and I inherit the leadership reins of an organization that is at an all time high in terms of number of members (9,903), number and variety of programs offered, and the amount of money we have in reserve. However, our pledge to you is to not settle for good enough. As B. Joseph White also said, “I don’t think that we’re put into leadership jobs to maintain the status quo. I don’t think we’re put into leadership jobs to preside. I think we’re put into leadership jobs to set high aspirations for the future and to achieve those aspirations.” So, Casey Self, the Board of Directors, the Executive Office, and the rest of the leadership team are going to be working together to advance the field of academic advising and to better serve you so that you can better serve your students. First, the Board is going to continue our work on building a solid infrastructure for the organization, by continuing to formulate policies and by designing concrete goals for fulfilling the strategic plan we recently passed. We made excellent progress toward this goal at our Board meeting after the Conference. We adopted 13 new policies and established a new Board Policy Subcommittee to be chaired by Board member Phil Christman to further consider 33 more policies for Board approval. Second, as part of the strategic plan, I believe that we need to focus on advancing the scholarship and research agenda on academic advising and measuring the impact we are having on our students and our institutions. Third, we must continue to proactively replenish our leadership ranks by involving more of you in the organization’s leadership structure, and we must ensure that that we have representation from our entire and diverse constituency. I will keep you updated on our progress through this column throughout the year. In order to accomplish these goals, we need your support and your involvement. There will be a member of the Board of Directors at every Regional Conference this spring, and I personally plan to attend 6 of the Regional Conferences myself. We want and need to hear your input. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the Board members if you have a need that you think NACADA can fulfill.

Jennifer L. Bloom, President
National Academic Advising Association
jenny.bloom@sc.edu

Cite this article using APA style as: Bloom, J. (2007, December). From the president: Building on the successes of the past and setting high expectations for the future . Academic Advising Today, 30(4). Retrieved from [insert url here]

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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.

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