Dr. Cindi Love opens her tenure as the new Executive Director of ACPA with a challenge to ACPA members to not sit on the back row during the intense debates in higher education. She paints a vision of ACPA members participating in and leading the intentional institutional efforts that create the kind of tensions that catalyze culture-bending and mind-bending changes in campus life as higher education is subjected to the extreme heat of external regulation, decreased funding and new demands for persistence and completion, accessibility, accountability and affordability.
Good morning. I want to invite you to do something first if you have a phone in your hand and this card in your chair. This is in your chair because it lists our strategic priorities. I’d like for you to take your phone, because I know it’s how you will actually hold on to it (laughter) and photograph both sides.
Then, when you are going home in your car or on the plane, take the back that has the lengthy descriptions of each of our goals and being the incredible ACPAers that you are, condense those into two words in terms of what they actually mean to you. Then, this year as you are thinking about our leadership in higher education I hope whatever you come up with you will Tweet to me because these are the things that I want to be saying to the world about who and what ACPA is.
I am so blessed that I have no report to deliver (laughter). The quote that I am sharing with you this morning that you see behind us was a reflection really on my life when I was called by ACPA in December about this job.
I had about a week to decide whether or not to accept my destiny with you. And, as he says, it was enough. I’m here. I’m not naive about the work we have to do together over the next decade to get to that amazing day when ACPA celebrates 100 years of our impact in the lives of college students and the professionals who serve them.
I will always be grateful to Greg for creating the kind of foundation and the economic health that will be so essential during this period of time. Without reserves, when you go into a forest fire, you run out of water. And, you’ve made it possible for us to have what we need to go forward, so thank you.
I do expect this decade by the way to be a series of crown fires. That is the word for the day by the way if you are tweeting (#CROWNFIRES). Crown fires are the hottest fires of all--greater than 1000 degrees. They literally leap from the top of a tree to the next tree without ever actually touching one another. They are the only fires hot enough to break open lodge pole pine cones. The beginning and ending of a lodge pole pine is with a crown fire. They are typically a century to two centuries old. And the wonderful thing about them is that in this combustible event is new life comes from old life. I think that is what we are in for the next decade. New life coming out of old life, through a series of what will likely be combustions. Things leaping from one place to another without necessarily going through a systematic process. And we prefer systematic don’t we? As human beings, we’d rather know all the steps, everything that’s going to happen, have an outline, have our PowerPoint ready. In this case it may not be that way and that’s ok.