As a professional membership association, AFA’s priority is to produce the most qualified, thoughtful, and informed professionals. By having strategic priorities, we identify the most pressing needs of our association and develop a roadmap as to how we spend our time and our resources. Having an overarching framework provides the flexibility to be nimble as we meet the ever-changing needs of our members while identifying top priorities aimed at strengthening the profession. We will periodically update our successes and look forward to continual feedback as to how we can best serve you as an association.
Efficient operations and resource management is a component of every part of the board’s decision-making and the staff’s management of the association. As such, there will be components of this reflected in each of the other four priorities. Making sure our members get the most value for their money and we are making the best decisions to position AFA to be financially sound both now and for the future influences everything we do.
- Continue to strategically position the Association within higher education as the subject-matter expert on fraternity/sorority life.
- Appointed members that broaden our fraternal and higher education knowledge to the board of directors;
- Actively participated in the NASPA Fraternity/Sorority Knowledge Community Leadership Team and ongoing specific programs with vice presidents to engage in conversations with SSAO’s;
- Participated in FSPAC Hill Visits to further understand the public policy landscape;
- Facilitated interactions with peer higher education and fraternal associations to discuss common challenges, as well as potential partnerships;
- Unveiled the updated and comprehensive iteration of the professional core competencies as well as a robust self-assessment to gauge individual competency;
- Launched a campus-based survey that assesses information about our industry. This will assist in determining best practice in staffing size, budgets, resource allocation, and programmatic responsibilities. Results will be published in late spring 2019.
- Continue to work with partners (including FEA, ACUHO-I and ASCA) on specific programming initiatives to meet with multi-faceted needs of our members;
- Participate in (as well as host) meaningful opportunities for interactions with groups such as NASPA, NIC, NPC, NPHC, NALFO, NAPA, and NMGC;
- Continue to utilize the new Core Competencies as a way to demonstrate that fraternity/sorority professionals are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be primary decision makers.
- Engage scholars and researchers in the advancement of knowledge and practical application related to the following areas:
- Chapter transformation
- Preparing fraternity/sorority members for the post-graduate world
- Benefits of culturally-based fraternities and sororities, particularly at predominantly white institutions
- Programming and leadership development initiatives focused on long-standing issues
- Transgender membership conversations
- Fraternity/sorority life as a profession
- Fraternities/sororities within the larger “academy”
- How membership in a fraternity or sorority influences one’s beliefs and actions
- Corollaries and consequences of student engagement in fraternity/sorority life
- Longitudinal analyses
- Faculty attitudes, beliefs and dispositions
- Educate fraternity/sorority professional on best practices regarding leveraging student involvement data and analytics.
- Developed research priorities that are reflected in the solicitation of applications for research grants;
- Implemented a consistent process for submission, review, and awarding of research grants in which 6 out of 9 proposals received full or partial funding in spring 2018;
- Implemented the online research journal tool Scholastica to assist with the review process and consistent publishing of Oracle resulting in a more efficient and thorough process;
- Funded a pilot program designed to teach and enhance research writing skills, with the goal of facilitating more interest and submissions to Oracle with a total of 4 participants in the summer 2018;
- Continued regular conversations and participation in board meetings with the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research (CFSR) to determine the best partnership between the two groups.
- Increase the awareness of the research grant process, particularly in areas of our stated research priorities;
- Utilize partnerships with peer higher education associations to maximize the use of student data being collected on college campuses to tell the story of student satisfaction and success;
- Continue the Oracle writer’s retreat;
- Become a clearinghouse for relevant research on fraternal issues.
- Develop and deliver quality educational programming and resources grounded in the Association’s Core Competencies.
- Develop programming and resources that support the development of mid-career professionals.
- Develop programming and resources that cultivate a culture of professional mentorship within the Association.
- Unveiled the updated and comprehensive iteration of the Association’s Core Competencies and the accompanying self-assessment – these Core Competencies will assist the selection process of Annual Meeting programs as well as programs such as AdvanceU to ensure a seamless progression from graduate student to seasoned professional;
- Renamed and refocused the Graduate Training Track with 34 participants during the 2018 Annual Meeting. The curriculum was refreshed with the goal of a broader rewrite and refocus;
- Piloted a mid-level career track at the 2018 Annual Meeting with 40 participants – this will help shape the future direction of planning in that area;
- Continued to adapt current programs such as AdvanceU to meet the changing needs of our members, with 330 people participating in the program from September, 2018 through January, 2019.
- Continue The Collective with modifications based on initial feedback;
- Develop a system to store and easily search for examples of programs relevant to our members;
- Utilize the aggregate results of the Core Competency self-assessment to determine additional program offerings and help members determine a professional development plan;
- Utilize features of our new website to enhance the member experience.
- Create engaging content that is relevant and easily consumable by the membership.
- Effectively utilize technology to improve the creation and delivery of communication products, including the AFA website.
- Asked the membership to complete a branding survey and shared the results at the Annual Meeting – this information continues to power decision making regarding AFA’s look and feel;
- Finished the process of rebranding AFA and the AFA Foundation;
- Diversified our use of social media to help tell AFA’s story;
- Won multiple recognitions at the Fraternity Communications Association Annual Conference. 2018 awards include outstanding single-page design/cover category for Perspectives and a Critic's Choice for the 2017 AFA Annual Meeting logo. 2017 awards include outstanding two-page spread for Perspectives and outstanding e-newsletter for Essentials.
- Unveil our new website to maintain a cutting edge visual representation and resource share of the Association in late spring of 2019;
- Analyze clicks/views/shares/downloads for patterns and trends of member usage to improve the member experience and continually improve our virtual presence;
- Continue to work with the editors of Essentials, Perspectives, and Oracle to define the purpose of each and ensure the highest quality with the most relevant information.
Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019.