April 29, 2013
Among the priorities this year for the SUNYCUAD Board of Directors is to improve communications with the membership it serves. This goal was set by the Board at its 2012 annual retreat upon acceptance of the findings and recommendations of the SUNYCUAD Strategic Visioning Initiative, which has been detailed in previous issues of DIRECT.
One of the most critical items to realizing this goal is to ensure that our membership information is accurate and up-to-date. Unfortunately through the years, the 800-plus member list has grown to be quite unwieldy and the manual processes required to keep it timely have become too labor-intensive for our all-volunteer board to maintain.
As I reported in January, the SUNYCUAD Board entered into an agreement with Computer SOS, a firm located in Buffalo, to computerize our member database and to provide simpler self-service options for campuses to maintain their member information. Considerable progress was made this spring, and we will be launching the new member interface in July. The introduction of the interface will be guided by a plan to communicate its implementation and maintenance with campuses and members.
At the same time, the Board approved at the April board meeting a change to the membership dues. For several years, SUNYCUAD has had in place a structure of individual memberships and institutional memberships, which allow for an unlimited number of individuals from a campus to be members. An “audit” of the membership database revealed that we had some campuses with both individual memberships and an institutional membership, and some campuses with enough individual members that the institutional membership level would actually be a cost savings to the campus.
In order to address these issues, effective July 1, 2013, SUNYCUAD membership will be restructured to offer one institutional membership level and to eliminate the individual membership option. This will help to simplify record-keeping for our all-volunteer organization and in some cases, will result in a cost-savings for campuses. At the same time, the improved membership database will allow campuses to update their information on a regular basis – with periodic automated reminders – to ensure that our database contains current names and contact information for advancement professionals on member campuses. The cost of the institutional membership will not change for 2013-14 and will remain at $200 per campus with an unlimited number of members.
With a more current and accurate listing of members and simplified record-keeping, the SUNYCUAD Board will be in a much better position to improve communication and to focus on the priorities that we know matter to the membership: providing high-quality, affordable professional development and networking opportunities. At such a critical juncture in SUNY’s evolution, where greater connections and bridges are being built between and among campuses to strengthen our SUNY System, SUNYCUAD is poised to play a critical role in supporting and advancing this top priority.
As I complete my term of service as SUNYCUAD President, I would like to recognize and extend my great appreciation to the SUNYCUAD Board of Directors for their leadership in advancing these priorities over the past two years. While much work remains to be done, I am extremely confident in our progress and optimistic for our very bright future.
SUNYCUAD President 2011-13