Ralph Johnson, Ph.D. shares his final president's message.
August is such an exciting time in American higher education! If your campus is anything like mine, you are either already into the beginning of another academic year or in the throes of preparing to open. As we all launch another academic year, our hopes and dreams for an exciting and eventful year loom large as we welcome new students and welcome back those returning. It is in that context I write my final message to you as the CAS President. Indeed, it is a message of mixed emotions as I prepare to transition out of this role. Having had the opportunity to serve the student affairs profession by assisting CAS with the development and promulgation of standards of good practice has been an honor. Knowing that these standards will impact student learning, development and success is quite rewarding.
Over the course of my tenure as CAS President, we experienced several successes that were realized through the cooperative work of all members of the CAS Governing Board, the CAS Council and all of the member associations. It is through this collaborative relationship that CAS was able to develop or update myriad sets of standards that has resulted in fifty sets of standards. That is a laudable milestone! Moreover, we successfully transitioned from a printed book to an electronic one with the release of the 11th version. This makes the book much more user-friendly. Concomitantly, we updated the CAS General Standards and Self-assessment guides. Combined, these resources greatly enhance the program review and self- assessment processes. By the first part of September, we will introduce a brand-new CAS website that will have multiple new features. This was a huge task that has been in the works for months. In addition to these more tangible advances, we have worked hard over the last two years strengthening the infrastructure of CAS and streamlining our internal operations in order to make interfacing with CAS much more seamless. Additionally, the CAS presidency has given me a platform to offer my perspectives on many salient issues affecting higher education, particularly as they relate of diversity, equity and inclusion. I only hope that I have wisely used this privilege and have been true to the call of servant leadership that I embrace passionately.
I am proud of the work that has been done over the last two years. It is reassuring to know that hundreds of colleagues will benefit from our work and hundreds of thousands of students will be supported in their co-curricular and curricula involvement and that their learning environments will be enriched by the standards of good practice that CAS develops and promotes. Cheers and kudos to all the colleagues with whom I’ve worked and who also embrace the mission and values espoused by CAS. Once again, I offer my deepest gratitude for your partnership. I extend my best wishes to Dr. Gayle Spencer, to whom I pass the torch and who will accept it and begin her sprint for the next two years. May she experience the same level of success in this most worthy endeavor and indeed surpass it as she moves CAS to the next point along its continuum of development.
Ralph Johnson, Ph.D.
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education
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