Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome Address from our ACA President Theresa Thomas

Sharing Our Voice
Good morning, everyone!  Since Powers gets to say his piece this afternoon, I thought it was only fair if I got to say a few words, too.
It’s the first ACA meeting of the year and the start of avery exciting and busy year for me and all of the executive committee officers.  Thanks to all the hard work of the past officers, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us and a lot of meetings to go to.  I’ve already attended an Ed Policy meeting, a Provost’s Council meeting, and a Revision of Student Records Committee meeting.  The other officers will be attending other campus-wide meetings like JAD and CASPA.  And of course, we’ll be giving you updates throughout the year about what we’re talking about in these meetings. 
Continuing issues are things like budget, possible changes in the core curriculum, moving to online grade changes, and who knows what other changes are just on the horizon for us?
One of the biggest things on our plate right now is four-year graduation rates – I think you all got an email from me last week asking for your opinions on this?  By the way, thanks so much to all of you who responded – I got some really great and helpful feedback!  I don’t know about all of you, but it’s a discussion that keeps coming up in our staff meetings, and as advisor accountability continues to be a hot topic, we are tied very closely to the issue, like it or not. 
Within the next few weeks, Advisory Council will be sending out a survey of some sort asking for help with this topic.  I hope that all of you will share your opinions and/or data with us so that we can share it with all of these committees that are asking what we, ACA, think about the four-year graduation rate issue.
That brings me to our theme for this year.  It’s become kind of  a tradition over the years for each executive committee to come up with a theme….last year’s was Building relationships –and, wow, did last year’s group do a fantastic job of building relationships!  Because of the past leadership and volunteerism all over campus from within this amazing organization, ACA really has a seat at the table where we can Share Our Voice with the UT administration.  And that’s our theme for this year – “Sharing Our Voice.”  We are dependent on you, the membership of ACA, to share your voice with us so that we can share it with the campus community.  As an organization, we’ve been waiting a long time for this - our voice matters!
The other officers and I are excited to carry on this new tradition for ACA and are looking forward to the year ahead.   Thank you so much for trusting in us to represent ACA and for giving us the opportunity to give back to such an amazing organization.  And thanks most of all, for sharing your voice!

Theresa C. Thomas
ACA President, 2011-2012

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