Happy (belated) Fourth of July, RMASFAA!
It’s a gorgeous summer day here in Northern Colorado and the firecrackers have been blasting full-force in my neighborhood since about 8 o’clock this morning. Apart from the fact that the neighbor kids are working their way through a case of holiday mortars which are making my dog Macie want to crawl inside my t-shirt, it’s shaping up to be an awesome 4th! My wish is that each of you take a moment to step away from the craziness of summertime in the aid office and enjoy with family and good friends.
Before heading out to partake in Fort Collins Independence Day festivities, I wanted to take a second to provide you with a quick summertime blog update on RMASFAA “happenings”. There have been so many wonderful things going on within the Rocky Mountain region, and I can’t help but smile as I think about the incredible RMASFAA members who work so hard on behalf of our great association.
- A hearty congratulations to Summer Institute Chair Cristi Millard, Past Chair Rob Drybread, Vice Chair Jenny Leigh Adler and the entire team (of nearly 30 RMASFAA’ers…!) for yet another absolutely fantastic week of training and professional development. Over 120 attendees convened on the Colorado School of Mines campus last month for “Winning the Financial Aid Game”! This year’s institute was a turning point for RMASFAA as we implemented the NASFAA University Study Guides for our curriculum, provided NASFAA University credentialing opportunities, and went PAPERLESS with our materials for the first-time ever. Initial feedback from Summer Institute Faculty and Participants indicates that this was an extremely successful transition. RMASFAA was also honored to host NASFAA 2015-16 National Chair Dan Mann and NASFAA Vice President Megan McClean-Coval for the week and enjoyed their participation in our training and networking activities!
- If you haven’t done so, I would encourage each of you (particularly if you have non-degree Title IV-eligible programs!) to watch the RMASFAA Training Committee’s Gainful Employment podcast! My sincere thanks to Training Chair Katie Nettel, Vice Chair Janet Dodson, and the entire committee for providing input, direction, and the creation of much-needed and very well-developed content on a challenging topic! The podcast is available on-demand and is accessible here. Check it out!
- The RMASFAA Leadership Pipeline Committee, led by Chair Shauna Savage and Vice Chair Janet Riis, has been working to create yet another outstanding experience for those selected to the incoming 2016-17 Leadership Pipeline class. With a new webpage highlighting the program, alumni, and the application, we are excited to kick off RMASFAA’s 5th Leadership Pipeline class this October at the annual conference in Rapid City. Selected applicants will be notified very soon!
- The Board of Directors voted to approve Jenny Leigh Adler as Interim RMASFAA Vice President through October 2016. The interim appointment was due to the recent resignation of our friend and colleague Starla Russell. Jenny Leigh held the position of Vice President in 2013-14 and is well-equipped to serve out the duration of this Board’s tenure.
- Earlier today, I communicated to the RMASFAA listserv the results of a Board-level vote to adopt a new tiered membership dues structure, beginning in 2017. This action was taken after a mandatory 30-day membership-wide comment period on the proposal. Effective January 2017, RMASFAA’s institutional membership dues structure will reflect an IPEDS-based enrollment configuration which will assess dues based on your institutional enrollment tier:
- $150 for institutions with 1-5,000 total students reported in IPEDS (including all campuses in the RMASFAA region)—increase of $50 over current dues
- $200 for institutions with 5,001-10,000 total students reported in IPEDS (including all campuses in the RMASFAA region)—increase of $100 over current dues
- $250 for institutions with 10,001 or more total students as reported in IPEDS (including all campuses in the RMASFAA region)—increase of $150 over current dues
- $250 for associate membership—increase of $150 over current dues
The new membership dues model serves to advance key directives charged to the Board of Directors within the 2015-2018 Strategic Long Range Plan, by helping to more closely approximate operational expenses with operational revenues.
- My enthusiastic compliments to President-Elect Vicki Kucera and the members of the Nominations and Elections Committee for their development of a top-flight ballot of RMASFAA members in this year’s officer election. RMASFAA is beyond fortunate to have incredible people who are always willing to share their time and talent with our association. Congratulations to all of the incoming RMASFAA Officers, including President-Elect Ken Kocer, Vice President Stephanie Covington, Treasurer-Elect Becca Dobry, Secretary Erin Richards, and Associate Member Delegate Natalie Engelbrecht!
- The final meeting of the 2015-16 NASFAA Board of Directors will happen this week, in advance of the NASFAA National Conference in Washington D.C. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Past-President Art Young for his exceptional leadership on the national board this past year. As Art concludes his board tenure, I look forward to assuming the position of regional voting representative on the national board for 2016-17 with President-Elect Vicki Kucera as regional observer. Art, Vicki, and I hope to see many of you at the NASFAA Conference and 50th Anniversary Celebration next week in our nation’s capital!
I’ve always believed that by surrounding oneself with great people, great things will happen. There are so many GREAT student aid administrators who work tirelessly on behalf of our Rocky Mountain region and we’ve had a spectacularly productive year. I continue to be humbled and honored to serve as your RMASFAA President. Please take care – and here’s to a relaxing, energizing, and fun-filled summer!
-Joe Donlay, RMASFAA President