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President’s Column: Board Goals Provide Direction for 2019-20 and Beyond

By Jayne Caflin Fonash, NACAC President

The NACAC Board of Directors came together last week, mindful of our duty to act with care and in the best interest of the organization, and to remain loyal to the association’s mission.

We began our work with a conversation about our board goals for the current year and identified several ongoing priorities that will inform the work of the board for years to come in support of NACAC’s long-term mission.

Our ongoing work will include a continued focus on the board’s fiduciary responsibility. We also set a goal of leading NACAC’s existing efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the membership and the college admission profession. As a membership organization, we see a vital need to provide leadership in this area, particularly as the world around us changes. We must ensure that voices representing all perspectives are heard and acted on. And we vowed to continue to strengthen the relationship between NACAC and the affiliates to advance our shared goals.  

In addition, we set specific goals for this year that speak to the changes we need to address as an organization and as a profession. We see this year as a time of transition:

  • We will select and onboard a new CEO, with the work of the CEO Search Committee informing the Board of Directors in their final decision regarding the appointment of a successful candidate.

  • We will support and monitor the implementation of a newly approved membership model, with particular attention to the value proposition of membership.

  • We will provide guidance to three ad hoc committees established to help identify bold, timely, and effective solutions to the key challenges confronting college admission officers and counselors.

  • And we will guide NACAC to a satisfactory conclusion to the current phase of the US Department of Justice investigation into the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

As I mentioned earlier, this year will be a time of transition, and member input has never been more important. The Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Restructuring will meet in December for further discussions about changes needed in the association’s governance model. Over the course of the past year, the committee has offered recommendations for engaging more members in planning, implementation, and evaluation of association programs, policies, and services. 

Later this spring, you should expect to see changes in the call for committee service. The Planning Committee of the Board of Directors, along with the current standing committee chairs, have been working to establish a new committee structure which will focus on addressing the needs of the profession in a more inclusive and nimble format. More engagement and inclusion are at the heart of other important changes now underway, such as the membership model approved at the 2019 National Conference that will go into effect with membership renewal in the fall, and some innovative ideas for the scheduling of the 2020 Assembly and Annual Membership Meeting to be announced soon.   

These efforts will enable NACAC to involve more members in the process and bring a greater diversity of voices to the table, enabling the association to make progress in completing the goals of our current strategic plan while laying the groundwork to create new priorities.

As you review the board goals and priorities below, I encourage each of you to consider your role in this work and the opportunities for involvement and leadership.

Board Goals and Priorities for 2019-20

Ongoing Priorities

  • Focus on the board’s fiduciary responsibility, including conducting appropriate oversight and identifying effective solutions to NACAC’s short- and long-term challenges.
  • Identify potential new revenue sources and explore ways to improve fundraising.
  • Provide leadership on NACAC’s ongoing efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within the membership and the college admission profession.
  • Continue to strengthen the relationship between NACAC and the affiliates to advance our shared goals.  

Goals for the Current Board Year

  • Complete the selection and hiring process for the new NACAC Chief Executive Officer and effectively support the successful candidate’s transition.
  • Support and monitor the implementation of NACAC’s new membership model, providing guidance to staff and continuing to listen to members’ concerns.
  • Strategize and initiate a campaign to explain and promote the value proposition of NACAC membership.
  • Guide NACAC to a satisfactory conclusion to the current phase of the US Department of Justice investigation into the Code of Ethics and Professional Practices, supporting staff and member efforts to comply with any new DOJ requirements, and supporting efforts for NACAC to continue to be a trusted source for ethical college admission.
  • Provide guidance to the new Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership in College Admission, the Ad Hoc Committee on Governance Restructuring, and the Task Force on Standardized Admission Testing for International and US Students to help identify bold, timely, and effective solutions to the key challenges confronting college admission officers and counselors. 
  • Monitor NACAC’s progress in achieving the goals of the interim NACAC strategic plan and begin the deliberative process for creating a new plan for 2021-2025. 

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