The conference highlights for me included a keynote address by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., having the chance to hear Dr. Susan Komives share her research on student leadership and to hear Dr. Gwendolyn Dungy speak on trends in the education sector.
The business meeting provided a glimpse into some of the activities that the association has focused on over the past year. The following are noteworthy for me:
- Global Housing Summit & China Study Tour - Nearly 100 people gathered in Hong Kong to explore student housing issues and find ways of expand the association's reach beyond North America. Chinese higher education is expanding rapidly, with enrolment having increased 100% in four years to 26 million, so this is a crucial area for ACUHO-I to focus its growth.
- Strategic Planning - The Executive Board spends a significant amount of its time on strategic planning activities (likely 1/4 to 1/3 of its time) and this year their efforts were expanded to include a Knowledge Summit and Strategic Planning Summit so input could be gathered from a larger number of people.
- Fiscal Responsibility - The Executive Board & Central Office managed to find ways to cut more than $300,000 from the budget. No easy feat when the association has been pushing in so many directions and must continue to do so to remain current.
Moving forward the work of the Credentialing Task Force on developing courses on assessment for student housing professionals will provide a depth of knowledge not previously available. In addition, the first Business Operations Conference in October will bring together staff in areas of student housing departments that have never had this type of opportunity to gather together before.