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News: A Message from SUNYCUAD President Amy Kremenek

News: A Message from SUNYCUAD President Amy Kremenek

Dear Colleagues,

As we start the New Year,  the Board of Directors for SUNYCUAD are immersed in significant activity as we continue to advance the goals of your professional organization.  In August, the board took a major step forward as we accepted the recommendations of the Strategic Visioning Initiative, a year-long effort that was commissioned by the board to develop recommendations to enhance the strategic vision for SUNYCUAD. This work was chaired by Dr. Bruce Ryan, dean of external relations at TC3, and his committee consisting of Cynthia Cooper, Monroe Community College and past SUNYCUAD president; Cory Jacobs, Binghamton University and past SUNYCUAD treasurer; Loretta Lawrence Keane, Fashion Institute of Technology and past SUNYCUAD president; and Gary Stewart, Cornell University and current SUNYCUAD board member.

This committee conducted a series of focused interviews with nearly 30 advancement professionals representing diverse campuses, areas of expertise, career stage, length of service to SUNY, and other distinguishing characteristics. As you can imagine, responses were as diverse as those interviewed, but there were several common themes. These included areas of strength such as networking and sharing of best practices, as well as concerns such as the need for strengthened development and alumni programming and more opportunities for networking among campuses and advancement professionals. The SUNYCUAD Board is focused on addressing these findings and recommendations.

For example, SUNYCUAD and the Community College Chief Advancement Officers (CC-CAO) are collaborating on development and alumni relations programming for the SUNYCUAD annual conference, and SUNYCUAD is serving as a co-sponsor of the keynote speaker at the CC-CAO meeting on January 17, to which SUNYCUAD members are invited to attend. The SUNYCUAD board is also planning to host networking events in conjunction with its board meetings that are held four times a year throughout the state, inviting members from area SUNY campuses to attend. This includes a reception with campuses in the Capital District in January, following which the board will attend Chancellor Zimpher’s annual State of the University Address on January 15 in Albany.

The board has also heard loud and clear in the Strategic Visioning exercise that communication with the membership needs to be improved and the membership database is confusing and unwieldy. These two issues are closely connected – we rely upon the membership database for accurate contact information for members and campuses, and when the data is out-of-date or inaccurate, communication suffers. I would like to thank board member Scott Titus for leading a significant effort to identify the core issues, research options, and propose new solutions. At its October meeting, the board approved a contract with Computer SOS located in Buffalo, for a new online member database. This new functionality will be compatible with our existing website; the events office at the University at Buffalo, which handles attendee registration and other functions for the annual conference; and the UB Foundation, which holds SUNYCUAD’s funds. This new system should provide improved functionality for our all-volunteer board and ease of use for the members we serve.

In addition to these efforts, as we look forward into 2013 all eyes are on Long Island for the annual Educational Conference. Co-chaired by Kathy Coley of Farmingdale State College and Carol Leven of the Fashion Institute of Technology, along with Programming Chairs Tim Nekritz of SUNY Oswego and Frank DuRoss of Mohawk Valley Community College, this conference promises to offer outstanding programming and professional development and excellent networking opportunities with fellow SUNY professionals. The chairs are assisted by a hard-working committee that includes people responsible for securing vendors and sponsors and ensuring strong marketing and promotion. Be sure to mark your calendar for June 5-7, 2013 at the Hilton Long Island/Huntington  in Melville, New York. As they say, “Live from Long Island – it’s SUNYCUAD!” We look forward to seeing you.

Happy New Year!


Amy Kremenek
Board President