President’s Update

Hello, RMASFAA friends!

It’s hard to believe that two months have already passed since my last blog post. I hope that each of you had a restful and happy holiday break, and that the new year, as well as the new semester, have started off successfully for you and your loved ones. Speaking of holidays, some neighbors on my street had a big Groundhog Day party on Monday night. To be honest, I thought it was a little unusual at first, but after getting used to the idea, I’ve decided to celebrate as many holidays as possible in 2015 (if nothing else, it’s a good reason to eat!). Here are a few favorites:

  • Tomorrow is ‘Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.’ I’m pretty sure this one needs no further explanation. Best. Holiday. Ever.
  • The first Friday the 13th of every year (which happens to be next week for 2015) is officially ‘Blame Someone Else Day.’ I have been unknowingly celebrating this holiday for years. Joe Donlay will be very relieved to know that my rampant blaming must now be limited to only one day per year (although I’m not making any promises on that one).
  • ‘No Brainer Day’ falls on February 27, followed closely by ‘Public Sleeping Day’ on the 28th. These also happen to be the dates for our RMASFAA winter Board meeting. For the record, this is entirely coincidental, although it does serve as a great excuse in case we accomplish absolutely nothing. We are excited that Justin Draeger (NASFAA President & CEO) will be with us to discuss partnerships between RMASFAA and NASFAA. Please feel free to reach out to me or any other Board member if you have items to add to the agenda.

As a follow-up, the Association Governance Committee, led by the very capable Jeff Jacobs, has been working hard to update RMASFAA’s Policy & Procedures Manual with the changes voted on at our last Board meeting. These include:

  1. Clarifying that RMASFAA does not pay for conference call services (many free options for phone conferencing are available).
  2. Adding specific instructions for conference planning and hotel contracts. Going forward, contracts will be reviewed by conference planning experts who can help protect RMASFAA’s interests during negotiations.
  3. Clearly stating RMASFAA’s continued support of interregional visits for our Presidents-Elect, even though the program is no longer sponsored or organized by NASFAA.
  4. Updating our room policies to cover single rooms for those attending the annual Board of Directors meeting, which precedes the Annual Conference. Although RMASFAA still encourages double occupancy where possible, this change allows more flexibility and opportunities for those with budget constraints.
  • March 15th, the Ides of March, commemorates the assassination of Julius Caesar and marks the first day of spring in the Roman calendar. This is also the final day to pay RMASFAA membership dues for 2015 without losing member privileges (including website access and voting rights). If you haven’t already renewed your institution’s RMASFAA membership, do it today! Believe me, you don’t want to see Kelly Svenkesen (Membership Committee Chair) angry. She makes Brutus look like a lightweight.
  • On March 23, 1903, the Wright brothers filed the first patent for their ‘Flying Machine,’ which they would successfully fly on December 17 of that same year. Appropriately, March 23rd kicks off a busy few weeks of travel for me, including a trip to Portland for the spring meeting of the NASFAA Board of Directors and visiting seven state conferences by the end of April! (Thanks, Orville and Wilbur; I couldn’t do this without you!) I’m looking forward to seeing many of you and once again invite you to share your experiences and best ideas during the RMASFAA feedback/listening sessions, which I will be moderating. I’m also excited to announce that members of the RMASFAA Training Committee will present at each state conference on the topic ‘Communicating with 21st-Century Students: #SayWhat?’.
  • Be sure to mark your calendars for ‘National Chocolate Ice Cream Day,’ June 7, which also kicks off a week of top-notch training at RMASFAA’s own Summer Institute in Golden, CO. This year’s theme throws us back to the Awesome 80s: ‘Financial Aid’s Totally Tubular Mix Tape!’ So break out your Trapper Keeper and your best big hairdo—registration will go live next month! I’m putting in my order now for some gnarly training to the max, along with a nice big dish of ice cream with Magic Shell on the top (remember that radical stuff?!).

Thanks for reading, and for your many contributions to RMASFAA. I am continually encouraged and strengthened by the wonderful colleagues and friends who make our Association great.

Gotta run: today is ‘Lame Duck Day’ and I’ve got some serious slacking off to do!

Art

SAAS Photo

2 thoughts on “President’s Update

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