Three months.  One quarter of a year.  That’s how long it’s been since we met together at RMASFAA in Montana.  Just sit and ruminate (my favorite new agriculture word) on that for a little bit.

I started thinking about Robert Gallagher, quotable author most famous for writing The Express as well as for saying, “Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.”

No one in the midst of finishing a fall satisfactory progress evaluation can deny that things are a little different around the woodpile.  If you have mini-sessions and students who embrace the freedom to drop and add classes on a whim, you’ve been fighting disorientation all fall.  Add to that foundational change to the size of the NASFAA board, my own staff turnover and boys who are growing faster than I can get to the store to feed them and I want to throw up my hands and scream – STOP MOVING MY CHEESE!!!!

And after I’ve calmed back down, I turn my sight inward.  I tell myself to “Suck It Up.”  And I start looking for inspiration.  And look at what I found:

“If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.”  Mark Twain

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time.  You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelango, Mother Theresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” Life’s Little Instruction Book

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.  You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” C.S. Lewis

Change happens, n’est pas?

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but one thing I think we can all count on is that it will be different.  Loans will be different, Pell Grant will be different.  TEACH will be different.  The way we hold people accountable through SAP and R2T4 will be different.  The people we work with will be different. 

But a few things remain the same.  There is and always will be a student who needs our help and expertise.  And there will always be RMASFAA colleagues to support, encourage and train you along the way.

The work of RMASFAA continues in full swing.  It is time to renew your membership for the new year….you’ve seen the notification on your state listservs, the RMASFAA notification will be around soon.  The deadline for renewal is March 15th – don’t delay, renew today! 

The Summer Institute committee, under the leadership of Pat McTee is charging forward!  SAVE THIS DATE:  June 10-15 on the beautiful Colorado School of Mines campus in Golden, Colorado.  The theme is: Bling, Bling – It’s a Summer Institute Thing! 

The Association Governance Committee and DMCI have both been meeting to discuss “big picture” changes that are partly due to budget and partly due to the newly adopted NASFAA board structure changes.  Look for and please provide feedback on ideas from these committees when it is requested.

Conference planners – RMASFAA will be coming to your conferences next spring.  Look for the RMASFAA topic provided by the Training Committee.  President Elect Jeff Jacobs will be representing us at North Dakota and South Dakota’s state Conferences, Past President Janet Riis will be traveling to Montana and Colorado this year and you will see me in Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming.

Jeff is also finalizing the preparations for nominations and elections.  I know there is a person out there who would be a great secretary, a fabulous vice president, and a wonderful president-elect.  Step up and nominate yourself, or take some time and nominate a colleague.

The world is moving forward and we are moving with it – whether we want to or not.  I’m proud to be a part of this association and friends of you all.  Thank you for what you do each and every day!

Brenda Hicks
RMASFAA President

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