What a great day for UPCEA!

Greetings from the UPCEA Annual Conference in Toronto. We are off to a great start due to the hard work of many and with special thanks to our president Judy Ashcroft and the 2011 program chair Jenny Stine.

It is a great day for our association because we kicked off our strategic planning process for the association at the special preconference session this morning “Mapping the Future of UPCEA: A Special Leadership Summit.”
This Summit was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us, the members of UPCEA, to reinvent our Association and in the process, strengthen the profession itself. Under the leadership of our CEO Bob Hansen, Tania Galarza from McKinley Marketing, and Nelson Baker from Georgia Institute of Technology, the membership had the opportunity to review and discuss the implications of results from the “Discovery Phase” of the strategic planning process for the Association and to shape the strategic goals and directions that will focus and guide the work of the Association for the next few years.

From the “Discovery Phase” of the strategic planning process that included interviews of UPCEA leadership, interviews of leaders from other associations, and a survey of UPCEA members, seven critical challenges and opportunities emerged for the Association. Nearly 100 members joined together this morning to provide input on these seven items and to suggest next steps for the Association.

As part of the process, participants self selected themselves into the following groups:
Core identity
Professional development
Organizational development
Research and information
Advocacy and thought leadership
Running UPCEA like a business
Building Membership Value & Engagement

Each group then broke into small groups and discuss and provided input as to the future steps the Association should take/consider in addressing the need of the membership. Following presentations from each small group, participants were asked to vote for what they felt were the most important issues the Association should concentrate its efforts upon. This blog post provides an advanced view of the major directions suggested this morning:
Core Identity
UPCEA should provide greater access to actionable information
Professional development
UPCEA should use technology for just in time training
UPCEA should consider developing member experts pool
Organizational structure
UPCEA should consider a restructure based on other models that enhance transparency and access
UPCEA should strengthen the role of regions with national office
UPCEA should consider becoming a research clearinghouse
Advocacy and thought leadership
UPCEA should strive to be relevant nationally, institutionally, and in our careers
UPCEA should define its focus
Running UPCEA like a business
UPCEA should engage in a strategic analysis of membership services and and benchmark itself with other associations
Membership value
UPCEA should strive for clear communication and transparent communication with members
UPCEA should strive for organizational transparency—helping members understand how to navigate the organization

While what I’ve provided the above as simply an overview of our conversations today, I’ve copied below a more elaborate and specific overview of our discussions provided by our Association’s COO Lori Derkay. Thanks Lori. Please note that the numbers in parenthesis represent the number of people who voted for the specific item.
It truly was a great day for UPCEA, for our Association. Today we took important steps in our Association’s strategic planning process that will result in an even more responsive and transparent Association. Please join us in this important process.
Many thanks to everyone.

UPCEA Annual Conference
Mapping the Future
Leadership Summit Group Discussion Summary
Toronto, Canada, April 6, 2011

Group 1 – Core Identity

1. The source of information about the forefront of higher education nationally and internationally (innovative models, modes, structures, breakthrough concepts for access & engagement). (25)

2. The source of best information about emerging economy, advanced professional education and workforce education (models, modes, structures, data trends – national and global – focus on access and engagement). (34)

3. Developing leadership that is able to move institutions forward (innovative, strategic, practical and effective in institutional context). (6)

4. The source for best modes on outcomes measures and impact measures (data, analysis, models, measures) (2)

Group 2 – Professional Development

1. Develop member-experts pool (19)
• Cadre of speakers/consultants/reviewers
• Grants from UPCEA to fund
• Mentors

2. Use technology to provide just-in-time assistance – al low cost and high level of access (44)
• Blogs for just-in-time assistance
• Listserv to push information
• Abstract journal for trends & research
• Webinars & archiving – specialized topics, formal sessions
• Wikinomies – specialized topics & sharing

3. Face-to-Face Professional Development (F2F PD) (0)
• More focused events
• Bundling events
• Minimize overlap of event content
• Regions – for new professionals
• National – for senior level
• Content & takeaways
• Articulate objectives and levels

4. Knowledge based courses/modules (11)
• Focus is on teaching/training, rather than sharing
• Certification from UPCEA
• Proficiency based
• Helps to build common standards in the field
• By topic
• By level (beginner/experienced/advanced)

Group 3 – Organizational Structure

1. Transparency in communication & expectations (2)

2. Restructure based on benchmarking of other models towards leveling hierarchy to increase accessibility, inclusiveness and connectivity across the organization (41)

3. Clearly define purpose & structure of organizational components to create linkages to ensure sustainability and add value to membership (10)

4. Strengthen role of regions within national structure (16)

Group 4 – Research & Information

1. Create a research network & frame the research questions & content. Network needs to extend beyond UPCEA membership (7)

2. Become a research clearing house (51)
• Easy access
• Member white papers-substantive research
• Collect existing & emerging research
• Link to existing data bases

3. CE IPEDS (6)
• Member data
• Data dictionary/standards

4. Be The Source (19)
• Decision making within institutions, and for state and federal decision makers
• Information for the media & public
• Data based advocacy
• Push information on content out to members (ex: RSS feeds/newsletter)

Group 5 – Advocacy & Thought Leadership

1. Make us relevant (38)
• National, institutional & career
• Define one space – keep missing the “seat at the table” on key topics

2. Choose direction – define focal points (34)
• What are we going to be known for?
• What will we advocate?
• For whom (students/learners)?

3. Advocate strategically – create toolkits (3)
• Shape value in minds of key audiences
• Better equip membership to advocate locally
• Create appropriate leadership opportunities for UPCEA membership with associations


Group 6 – Running UPCEA Like a Business

1. Strategic analysis of membership structure, pricing, packages of subset products & services (including expansion of services and professional credential skill set and dissemination of data) (37)

2. Data analysis of membership – demographics (ie: trending) and cost/benefit analysis (8)

3. Building closer vendor arrangements that are transparent & revenue positive (ie: also look at other higher education associations) (1)

4. Strategic analysis of collaboration opportunities (ie: competing organizations, grant opportunities, facilitate consortium (26)

Group 7 – Building Membership Value & Engagement

1. Develop multi-level member communication plan/strategy (39)
Inclusive of appropriate technology:
• Welcome
• Meeting dates
• How to be involved
• Who officers are

2. Define intentional and realistic engagement (21)
• Activities: plan at regional and national level (CoPs/Commissions)
• Paths to involvement with the organization, success plan (include professional development)

3. Investigate possibility of cross-pollinate memberships between professional development organizations (11)

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One Response to What a great day for UPCEA!

  1. Pingback: UPCEA Strategic Planning Process: Maximizing Member Input | Shaeffer's Forays

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