As always, the recent meeting of the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators (NABCA) was well worth attending. We met in Orlando, hosted by Central Florida University, from April 11-14. This was the 15th annual conference, which I believe includes the first several years, when we met as the Western Association. Next year’s conference will be hosted by Brookdale Community College, in Long Branch, New Jersey, April 10-13.
I have participated in NABCA for at least 10 of the 15 years, and I was honored to serve as president, several years ago. I appreciate the effort made by a large number of individuals over the years to make the NABCA conference so valuable, as well as to encourage research on branch campuses, through our very active research committee. Personally, I suspect that the opportunity to meet and develop friendships with people working in our too-often-overlooked sector of higher education provides the single greatest value of the conference. However, participants always indicate that the formal sessions are of real benefit, and they take home at least a few good ideas for exploration. Check out www.nabca.net for more information about the organization.
You might also want to check out the Regional and Branch Campus Administrators (RBCA) conference, which will meet on Longboat Key, June 17-20. RBCA is somewhat smaller, but allows even more opportunity to network, in a beautiful venue. RBCA is a single-track conference that typically concentrates on the interests of branch campus chief administrators, although it is not at all restricted to those individuals. The web site is at www.outreach.ohio.edu/rbca/. If it isn’t obvious, RBCA is organized these days by Ohio University. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this year, but it’s definitely my loss.
Here’s a tip: Awhile back, I created a “Google Alerts” item for “branch campus.” If you have a Google account, it is easy to set up, and I receive a daily message from Google, with a list of online/internet items that referred to branch campuses. (If you don’t know how to do this, get someone to help you find the right tab. Be sure to put quotes around “branch campus” or you’ll get far too many irrelevant items.) I can’t say the alerts are stunning or surprising, but it is a simple way to keep an eye on relevant stories or announcements. I find it useful, at least, and it takes virtually no time to review, each day.