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President's Message April 2016
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 April 2016  


Dear Colleagues,

As we look forward to spring, I am pleased to share with you a quick update about the Association for Consortium Leadership.

The ACL Board has met twice since my last report, in November 2015 immediately preceding the annual conference in Atlanta and again in March in Washington, DC. The names of the current board members are listed below and are on the ACL website

Strategic Priorities: The November and March ACL Board meetings focused on identifying strategic priorities for the organization. Going forward our work will be framed by four overarching goals: Increasing our National Voice and Visibility; Strengthening the Organizational Infrastructure; Articulating our Impact; and Providing Quality Professional Development. As with our own individual consortia and centers, clearly understanding our strategic priorities is critical for allocating our time and resources to ensure the success of the organization.

Each member of the board is working on specific objectives that will move us forward. We have made good progress with our new administrative structure with support from Tracy Thompson at NELLCO and Amanda Fore of Next Peak Strategy; both have agreed to a one-year contract extension. Our new dues structure will go a long way to ensuring our financial viability while addressing the fiscal constraints of smaller consortia. Irene Burgess is chairing the Membership Committee and that group has also started dialogue for new consortia directors. One of our objectives is to make more use of all the features of our new website, including the discussion feature. Be on the lookout for more information about this in the coming months. We would also like to start a marketing communications initiative, so if you are interested in working on this, please let me know.

Annual Conference: It was great connecting with those of you who attended our Annual Conference in Atlanta. Thank you to Sherry Turner, executive director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium, who hosted the conference. The participants gave high praise to all the presentations. We were especially fortunate to hear from Belle Whelan, President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC) and Beverly Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College. Plans are well underway for the 2016 Annual Conference, which will be in Amherst (Northampton), Massachusetts. Five Colleges, Inc. is hosting the conference in conjunction with their 50th Anniversary. FCI is a leader and model for many of us and we look forward to recognizing their achievements and celebrating with them. Make sure October 26 - 28, 2016 is saved for this important meeting.

ACL Board Membership Update: In November we welcomed three new board members: Sherry Turner from the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Irene Burgess from the Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts, and Chris Welna from the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Chris took over the seat vacated by Carole Chabries when the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities moved to a model of distributed collaboration and closed their central office. Carole was a valued contributor to ACL, hosting our 2014 annual conference in Minnesota, participating in and then helping lead the Summer Institute, and serving on several conference committees. We wish her and the ACTA staff well as they head in new directions.

ACL Board Nominations: In accordance with our bylaws, the board has appointed the nominating committee to manage the 2016 board elections. Committee members include Cristin Toutsi (Chair) from the Association of Governing Boards, Susan Palmer from the Five Colleges of Ohio, Larry Dotolo from the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education, and Tom Horgan from the New Hampshire College and University Council. Nominations are now open for two seats, each for a one-year term. Our goal is to have the board reflect the breadth and depth of the membership in terms of types of organizations, locations, and size. If you are interested in nominating someone to be on the ACL Board or in serving yourself, please reach out to any member of the nominating committee and look for the call for nominations which will go out shortly.

2016 Summer Institute: Registration is now open for the ACL Summer Institute in Chicago, June 26 – 29, 2016. Each summer institute has built on the success of those preceding it; we now have over 100 alumni of this program. If you know of someone who would benefit from this experience, let us know. While most Institute participants are employees of consortia, some attendees work on smaller collaborative projects; all report that their participation has been equally valuable to their work. If you have questions about the institute, contact Barb Allen or Chris Welna The board is considering whether there is value in offering an advanced Summer Institute II to further the professional development of consortium staff. We would love to hear your thoughts.

CLAIRE RAMSBOTTOM, Colleges of the Fenway, President
BARBARA MCFADDEN ALLEN, Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Vice President
SUSAN PALMER, Five Colleges of Ohio, Inc., Secretary
NEAL ABRAHAM, Five Colleges, Incorporated, Treasurer
TOM HORGAN, New Hampshire College & University Council, Past President
IRENE BURGESS, Pennsylvania Consortium for the Liberal Arts
PHIL DICHIARA, The Boston Consortium for Higher Education
LARRY DOTOLO, Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education
ELIZABETH MOY, Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education
TRACY L. THOMPSON, NELLCO Law Library Consortium, Inc.
CRISTIN TOUTSI, Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges
SHERRY TURNER, Atlanta University Center Consortium
CHRISTOPHER WELNA, Associated Colleges of the Midwest
AMANDA ADOLPH FORE, Next Peak Strategy, Board Support

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago at the Summer Institute or hearing from you. Please contact me at

Claire Ramsbottom

President, ACL 

more Calendar

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