Executive Director Report June 2017

June 8, 2017

This has been a year of many changes for CACUSS. Here are some of the highlights:

  • As approved by the Board of Directors in June 2016, we have implemented a new staffing model. This investment was precipitated by the recommendations of the consultant team hired to present a Professional Development Framework for CACUSS and our ability to invest in human resources for the next 2 years using our retained earnings. This includes a full-time Manager of Professional Development & Member Engagement, a Coordinator of Digital Communications and Technology (50%), and a Conference Manager who reports directly to the Executive Director rather than to a Management Company.
  • We also renegotiated our contract with a new association management company who manages our operations, membership, and accounting. Redstone Agency has been contracted to serve as our secretariat, front line and operations/accounting.
  • As mentioned in Pat’s President Report, we did a major review of our Membership Structure and revised our structure to make it easier to administer in the long run, giving opportunities for new members who want to try out a Community of Practice to access an Associate Membership, and to give incentives for more institutions to join.
  • We made a new investment in technology including a new membership system (which is still a work in progress), website, and Community Engagement Platform. This platform will build into a key place for student affairs professionals across Canada to connect, engage, and share resources.
  • CACUSS has recently signed a partnership agreement with ARUCC for CACUSS 2018. We hope bringing these two organizations together will bring new opportunities for learning and sharing of evidence based practices that impact the success of students.
  • We have also recently negotiated hotels and convention centre contracts for CACUSS 2019 and
  • Other highlights of our year included
  • Participation in the Global Summit on Student Affairs in South Africa in October 2016.
  • Some outreach to engaging Senior Student Affairs Officers and this will be a continued priority for 2017-
  • Completing our new 5 year strategic plan.
  • Continuing and expanding partnerships and outreach with ASCA, ACPA, ARUCC, ANSZZA, AMOSSHE, IASAS to name a few.


Upcoming this year.

  • As mentioned in President Pardo’s report, the Board approved our new 5 year strategic plan in May. We are just finalizing our priorities for 2017-18 in the operational plan and will be using the plan to guide where our resources will be directed moving forward
  • We are really excited to launch new professional development initiatives including the New Professionals Institute and Senior Student Affairs Officer Forum in early November 2017 in London, Ontario
  • Continued work on engaging our communities of practice and providing more resources to support their work. We are confident that our new Community Engagement Platform will be a lively place for discussion and community.  We also will be building a robust resource directory that will support members work and help share key documents.
  • Continuing to build the competencies into our PD offerings and the PD offerings of the Communities of Practice.
  • We will be developing a member recruitment and retention strategy to engage new members and increase our membership renewals year after year.
  • Finally, we will be reviewing feedback gathered by the Research and Awards Committee to finalize decisions about how to best direct our Research Agenda for the future. Our goal is to create a culture of inquiry within Canadian Student Affairs and have CACUSS share robust and current resources within our capacity to be useful for your work.


Thanks and Appreciation

One thing that I will ask your indulgence for a moment. As a small organization who has undergone a lot of changes over the last few years, we have had a number of individuals who have made a significant difference to the organization in many ways.  I would like to thank them here.

  • Redstone Agency, in particular Maddy Marchildon for helping us through transition and supporting our work.
  • Mitchell Miller, both in his role as Program Chair this year but also as editor of Communique Magazine
  • Our two new staff Megan MacKenzie and Jon Elias, who I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the last few months and who have been a stellar addition to the CACUSS family.
  • Pat Pardo and the Board of Directors for their support of me personally but also for their dedication to CACUSS.
  • Allison Girardin, who is our amazing Conference Manager. We are lucky to have you. If you look up Allison’s contact information in my phone, I have her title listed as “Event Goddess”
  • And finally, to David Newman, who is past-president and is sadly leaving the Board at the end of this meeting. When you sit around a Board table with someone for over 12 years, like it or not, you become good friends. I was President of the former division of SASA in 2005 when I met David. David you have made significant contributions to CACUSS and it has been so great to work with you. I can’t imagine the Board without you there, but I know that you will still stay connected and involved. Thank you for our travel together to conferences and events, your support of me personally, and for your friendship.

Submitted May 1, 2017

Jennifer Hamilton