11 Apr RMASFAA Update!
Greetings from RMASFAA, CAFAA Friends!
Can you believe that it’s been nearly six months since RMASFAA and CAFAA got hitched? A few of us were looking through the “wedding/conference” pictures during the winter board meeting earlier in March and decided that they look like prizewinners from awkwardfamilyphotos.com. While Tom and I look about as nonplussed as all get-out in these wedding snapshots, believe me when I say that I’m totally still in the honeymoon phase… because it has been an absolutely incredible experience so far this year as President of RMASFAA!
For RMASFAA, programming and planning hit critical mass in the spring. With a newly-adopted Strategic Long Range Plan (SLRP) as our roadmap through 2018, the Board of Directors and Committees are fully engaged in mobilizing all of our activities in intentional ways that tie to the directives of the SLRP. These directives include:
Strategically leveraging RMASFAA’s strengths across all areas of the association.
Enhancing support, engagement, and service to our RMASFAA states and the membership at large.
Comprehensively reviewing financial policies and revenue streams of the association.
Improving association governance and board structure to meet the current and projected needs of RMASFAA to ensure long-term viability of the association.
I’ve tasked the regional board to think in “transformational” terms this year – every aspect of how we do business is up for enhancement, re-alignment, or re-imagination if it means RMASFAA can more effectively deliver on its mission to the membership. Several of these initiatives are dependent upon vetting and feedback from the membership, so please stay tuned to the RMASFAA listserv as these announcements are broadcast. You can also keep tabs on our Board activities and all things RMASFAA by being a subscriber to the Exchange Blog and accessing our Board minutes on the RMASFAA website.
Once again, our state has the opportunity to showcase RMASFAA’s Annual Summer Institute – widely regarded as the best boot-camp training in the nation for new and seasoned aid administrators. Mark your calendars June 12-17 for “Winning the Financial Aid Game” as we gather on the beautiful Colorado School of Mines campus in Golden. In addition to neophyte and intermediate/advanced training, we are partnering with NASFAA to extend credentialing opportunities to interested participants with select NASFAA University-credentialed teaching faculty! For those professionals looking to broaden career horizons, we are again offering RMASFAA’s very successful “New and Aspiring Aid Directors” track. Nobody does Summer Institute like RMASFAA and I am proud that we can continue to host that event here in Colorado. Look for registration to open mid-April!
Remember to make plans now to join your regional colleagues at RMASFAA’s 2016 Annual Conference this October 23-26 in Rapid City, SD. With the stunning Black Hills as our backdrop, the conference committee is planning a phenomenal program which will kick off Sunday evening with transportation for all to a private dinner at the Mount Rushmore Visitor Center! The monument will be illuminated for our group and we’ll have National Park staff on hand exclusively for RMASFAA. It will be an absolutely spectacular fall evening and I can’t imagine a better way to usher in our conference week of training, networking, and connecting.
While in Rapid City, our award-winning Leadership Pipeline will also be launching its next class for 2016-2017, using a completely redesigned format that intertwines the curriculum throughout the conference program. New for this year, accepted participants will be asked to remain in Rapid City for an additional day to attend a post-conference symposium featuring regional speakers, NASFAA staff, and others with topical/practical discussions on professional association involvement, becoming a leader on campus, navigating campus politics, managing financial aid staff, and how to be an effective student advocate. The group will conclude their time together in Rapid City and embark on a year-long mentoring and leadership development program that will culminate with a capstone and graduation at the RMASFAA 2017 Annual Conference in Wichita, KS. This is an exciting new “take” on the Leadership Pipeline program and we hope to select one participant from each of the eight RMASFAA states! Look for application details later this summer.
As I write this message, I am preparing to begin my travel to each of the state conferences within RMASFAA and look forward to wrapping-up my state visits here at home with CAFAA friends and colleagues in Crested Butte. I’ve asked the conference committee to allow me some speaking time while we’re all together in May so that I may recognize the tremendous number of CAFAA members who volunteer their time and exceptional talent to the regional association. You should know that the RMASFAA Board has taken note of our state association and how CAFAA is modeling some very innovative approaches to training, outreach, and partnership among professionals who have a mutual interest in the administration of financial aid programs. From the regional – and national perspective, CAFAA should be exceedingly proud of the great work being accomplished on behalf of Colorado students.
Cheers, CAFAA! And see you in a few short weeks!
Joe Donlay, RMASFAA President
Colorado State University