Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 2016 National Association of Branch Campus Administrators Conference

The 19th meeting of the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators (NABCA) was held in Delaware last week, and as usual, it was a fine success.  The meeting was hosted by Wilmington University, with attendance approaching 100 individuals.  Special credit goes to our extraordinary executive director, joyce gilley gossum, as well as to President Faimous Harrison, Conference Chair Rebecca Burton, Vice Chair Ali Crane, and site hosts Melanie Baldwin and Tom Hurd.

The program was excellent, as we’ve come to expect.  In particular, the two keynote addresses were both entertaining and inspiring.  On Thursday, educator Scott Paine spoke on “Where the Story Begins,” and on Friday, we heard from adventurer Matt McFadyen,  “Journey to the End of the Earth.”  Neither speaker was specifically addressing branch campuses or their issues, but they gave us a lot to think about.  Good decisions by the program committee!

I continue to urge branch administrators to learn more about NABCA.  It seems that people only realize the value of associating with branch colleagues after they attend NABCA or the Regional and Branch Campus Administrators conference in June.  NABCA, specifically, provides access to helpful information through its web site,, on Facebook, and through the annual conference.  However, as I’ve said before, the greatest value may be the opportunity to meet and talk with other branch administrators, and almost any attendee will tell you that the conference is highly therapeutic!

Branch campuses represent a unique and critical delivery form of higher education, yet each institution seems to invent its own wheel, instead of taking advantage of those who have gone before.  There are best practices to be learned, and NABCA is a great place to learn them.

Being the senior attendee at NABCA these days, I feel that I should stress once again that the founders of NABCA would be immensely proud of the organization it has become.  In a world where so much seems to be random, NABCA’s founders were quite intentional about their vision for its development.  I was not a founder, but have attended for 16 of the 19 years, having first visited in 2001, I believe.  When I think of the years that I served on the executive committee, including as president, I can say that we knew where we wanted to go, and the recent leadership has taken us farther and faster than I could have imagined.  Well done!

Finally, I want to publicly (to the extent that people read this blog) thank President Harrison and the executive committee for the distinct honor of receiving the Presidential Service Award.  My time in the leadership of NABCA is long past, but it was a special experience to receive this recognition.  Thank you so much!

Once again, please consider visiting the NABCA web site, becoming a member, and attending next year’s conference in Tulsa, OK.  You won’t regret the decision, and you might make some new friends who understand your daily challenges at work.  You’ll find NABCA’s members to be friendly, concerned, helpful, and fun.

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