From ATHE President Josh Abrams
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Dear ATHE Members,
I hope this finds you doing well and either into the new academic year or preparing for its start. (My term system is more akin to the quarter system, so classes don’t start for a little while yet, but much work is already in full swing). In speaking with members during the Orlando conference, a number of people asked for more details about the health and state of the organization in this period of transition. It’s no secret that we’ve faced a number of challenges with our previous Association Management Arrangements, and I hope that you, as I am, are already seeing differences on the website and in communications. I’ve asked each of the members of the Governing Council to contribute to ATHENews regularly throughout their term, and I plan to include something in each month’s issue, just letting you know what’s going on organizationally. But this new update is also, as ATHE is, for and by our members and Focus Groups. Please continue to contribute your own important announcements.
As I write this, we’re in the midst of the transition to our new Executive Director, Aimee Zygmonski. As you might imagine, we’re spending a great deal of time figuring out new operational policies and practices, while ensuring that all our details are up-to-date, including mailing lists and membership documents, as well as doing things like changing signatories on bank accounts so that we can continue to fulfill our financial obligations and pay our taxes! We’re looking at some modes of communication we have for the membership (for instance, the website portal for focus groups) to see if we’re using these efficiently. We also want to ensure that focus groups have up-to-date information on membership rosters, and we have up-to-date information on both membership and focus group leadership.We have big plans for this year and the future, working to ensure that ATHE fulfills its mission and serves as a year-round organization, advocating for our members and for the field. I’ve asked President-Elect Chase Bringardner to convene a working group to look at organizational structures and the relationships between the focus groups and the broader organization, ensuring that we’re all working together as well as possible. For the moment, much of what we are doing is ensuring that our T’s are crossed and our I’s dotted. We’re editing and updating the Operations Manual, which is rather out-of-date in many places, to ensure that we can do the things members need and hope for from ATHE as an organization. We will be asking for your assistance with some of these things over the coming year, whether it’s looking at ways to reduce some of the costs of the conference, shifting our membership models, or contributing your ideas. I look forward to hearing from you with your ideas for ATHE as an organization and the ways that we can support you and the field. Please feel free to write to me at president@ATHE.org.
All my best,