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Voices of the Global Community

Joshua S. Smith, NACADA President

My year as NACADA president is nearing completion, though it seems like just yesterday we were in Nashville “whooping it up” at the Annual Conference. Recently, I took a long jog to reflect on the accomplishments of the members and leaders of The Global Community for Academic Advising.  As I jogged, I came to a realization that really is no surprise: Much of what was accomplished this year was directly connected to the Strategic Plan and years of hard work. That is one of the many beauties of NACADA – it enjoys a consistency of direction coupled with a commitment to improve and support effective advising in a changing landscape.

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My writing, speeches, and presentations this year focused on professionalism and the role of advisors in crafting the future of higher education. This was not a novel idea as it was very much in response to years of debate in the NACADA Journal, presentations, and heated discussions in campuses all over the world. The take-away message is quite simple. There are numerous opportunities for the voices of academic advisors and advising administrators to be heard within and outside of the campus despite  rampant, not-so-veiled and well-funded attacks on public and private education P-20.  We are well-positioned and well-informed about the value of higher education, particularly a high-quality, student-centered educational experience that takes into account the needs and desires of individuals at various institution types and settings. Please get involved and take a stand for what you know is right and just for students and professionals in higher education. Advocate for academic advising as an integral component of the transition to college, the college experience, and obtaining a college degree.

At the beginning of this year, I appointed two task forces: the International Task Force and the Leadership Development Task Force. The former was necessary to continue our efforts to truly become the Global Community for Academic Advising. The work of the task force focused on solidifying the goals relating to globalization, collecting information from our global partners, and making plans for future international conferences and other professional development opportunities.  The Leadership Development Task Force arose from a need to cultivate and support future leaders of NACADA. It was generated in direct response to data gleaned from members who attended town hall meetings and regional meetings with NACADA leaders. Although we thought we were doing a good job providing information and conduits for involvement, members told us that they didn’t know whom to talk to or how to go about securing a leadership role within the region or at the organizational level. Both task forces will share recommendations that will be reviewed by the Board of Directors at the annual meeting in Salt Lake City.

As Charlie Nutt reported in his June AAT article, the Board of Directors spent considerable time creating a vision statement, revising our mission statement, and crafting seven strategic goals for NACADA. I was very impressed by the depth of the discussion, the careful construction of wording, and the thoughtful consideration of the merits of inclusion or exclusion of each  particular goal. The intellect and professionalism displayed by Board and Council members throughout the process was both humbling and inspiring. Now current and future members of NACADA have a renewed charge and it is up to all of us to take intentional steps to make progress toward meeting the stated goals.

I am so pleased that Joanne Damminger and JP Regalado will serve as president and vice president respectively. I have truly enjoyed collaborating with Joanne, JP, the Board of Directors, and the Council as we continue the great trajectory of NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. Serving as president of NACADA is the highlight of my career, and I want to thank each and every member of NACADA for an amazing personal and professional experience as well. I look forward to serving in other capacities in the future, and I hope to see you in Salt Lake City and/or at one of the many outstanding professional development opportunities throughout the coming year and beyond.

Joshua S. Smith, President, 2012-2013
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Dean, School of Education, Loyola University Maryland
410-617-5343
jssmith2@loyola.edu

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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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