WACUHO Updates: Live Feed Transcript (Oct. 2017)

Original Broadcast: October 12, 2017 via the WACUHO Friends and Family Page (Facebook)

Presenter: On behalf of the Executive Committee, WACUHO President Tyler Miller

I want to start by addressing what is happening in California right now and the impact at one of our member institutions today.  As most of you are in your offices, our colleagues in Sonoma are dealing with a campus shut down.  Professional live-in staff are displaced from the comfort of their homes. Students are in shelters waiting to know when they can return to their homes.  I want to take a moment to recognize the challenge of doing our work in the middle of a significant crisis.  WACUHO has already reached out to Sonoma to offer any kind of support needed.

In addition, we recognize that students, faculty, and staff on each of our campuses may be impacted by what is happening in the Northern Bay Area. Their homes, families, loved ones, friends are all working through this in real time as they themselves are trying to navigate classes, midterms, programming, policy enforcement, conduct meetings, supervision.  We need to look on our own campuses and ensure people are taken care of.  If you need assistance, please reach out and let us know how we can support you as a professional organization.

As we transition into discussing our Association, we need to remember the real life happening around us. At our heart, WACUHO exists to support one another and the work we do.  WACUHO is about family.  We recognize at times we struggle to include everyone in that family, but at the same time, our heart is for one another.  It is in this spirit of expanding our family and welcoming more members in our Association and our family that I share with you updates on what the executive committee has been working on and the progress we have made over the past three months:

In July, I shared 10 initiatives that the executive committee was working on. I want to start by giving you updates on those ten initiatives to increase transparency and accountability:

  • Task Force on Equity and Inclusion is up and running.
  • Crystal Lay, who is the Chair of the Task Force on Equity and Inclusion has been serving on the executive committee this year and has been a valuable resource and voice as we discuss and engage on issues of social justice.

We are excited for the work being done by Crystal Lay and her team.  Here are some of the things they are working on:


  • Climate assessment on equity and inclusion should be launching very soon.  Exec has seen the first draft and we are very excited for the final version to make its way to everyone and for us to start collecting data.
  • Task Force will present their findings and data at the Annual Business Meeting.
  • Dave Keller will be using this data to set an agenda for 2018-2019.
  • We explored the presidential apprenticeship, and at this point we have decided that financially we could not make this work for this year.  We will be exploring the possibility of doing it for 2018-2019.
  • Erica Sherese Little (our new Jr. Tech Coordinator) has been finalizing the Anonymous Bias Response Protocols and we have seen final drafts and are close to launching.
  • We are still soliciting and open to receiving new proposals for professional networks within WACUHO.  So far we have not received any official proposals.
  • Kate Hsieh (our Member at Large South) has been reaching out directly to Hawaii schools to see how we can better meet your needs.  So far, we are still looking at ways in which to further engage with our colleagues there and provide resources and networks.
  • Jen Novotny (our Vice President) is working on by law changes:
    • Cementing the role of the Task Force on Equity and Inclusion
    • Defining what a “member” of WACUHO is and bringing clarity
    • Training the executive committee on issues of equity and inclusion
  • In addition, Emily Sandoval (our Chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force) has been working with her team on the following tasks:
    • Updating the WACUHO Mission, Values and Goals to include the importance of equity and inclusion
    • Developing a long term Assessment/Research committee
    • Exploring (with the Task Force on Equity and Inclusion) a restructure of the executive committee
    • Developing an onboarding plan for committee chairs and executive committee members
    • In addition, we are moving forward with our plans for WACE.  Michaële and Maggie and their teams have been hard at work! Here’s some updates:
  • We are excited about the plans coming together for a one-day drive in conference on the Sunday before WACE.  Even if you cannot attend the entire WACE, this one day workshop will be an option for you.  Becca Hammond-Cahill and the Equity and Diversity Awareness committee will be coordinating this day of training in which we look at dismantling systems of white power and privilege, among other topic.
  • The WACUHO Marketing and Registration committee has led efforts to prioritize putting gender pronounce of nametags at the WACUHO Annual Conference and Exposition.  In addition, the executive committee has had an extensive discussion on ensuring guidance is given for future annual conference planning committees, building off the foundation of this year’s team.  The WACE Marketing and Registration committee (led by Matthew Soto and Mel deVivar) are working with exec (and the Task Force on Equity and Inclusion, and The Equity and Diversity Awareness committee) to creating procedures for WACE 2018 and beyond to standardize our practice.  The goal will be to allow a multitude of options for guests at WACE to select, AND the option to have a blank space for professionals to write in their pronouns for their nametag if none of the choices we provide are applicable.  These pronouns would then be listed on the nametags.
  • We have confirmed gender inclusive restrooms in the programming space at WACE 2018.
  • We have confirmed blocks of ADA rooms for our members who require special needs.
  • We are excited that plans to provide a bus are coming together.  We have a deadline of 32 days before the trip happens to cancel with our bus vendor with no financial penalty.  A lot of work has gone into this project – Corporate Relations committee, the WACE Host committee, and Marketing and Registration have all laid some terrific foundation to make this a go.  Justin Vacca is now our “champion” in charge of the bus and working with various WACE committees to make this a reality.  We did an initial interest survey, and already received 50 responses.  If you are interested in getting on the bus (for free or reduced cost – still working on funding) please comment below or send me an email and we will make sure you get connected.
  • In addition, WACE Host Committee is working on a roommate matching service to make sure there are affordable options for professionals to attend. The truth is, this is going to be an important reality moving forward as hotels are starting to price themselves above $200.  We anticipate starting in 2020 or 2021, we may be unable to hold hotels below $200 per night.
  • We are bringing back the Faculty in Residence Programs.  We are still confirming our faculty, but I anticipate an announcement soon.
  • Program proposals will start to be solicited shortly.  Our goal was October, and our hope is by the end of this month or very early in November we will be pushing out the form for professionals to submit workshops for WACE 2018.
  • We are hoping to launch registration on December 1st – more to come on thatI also want to take a moment to talk about WACE and ways in which you can support WACUHO.  We know for many folx, professional development funds are in short supply.  One of the ways we recognize professionals save money is by staying off-site for WACE.  AirBnB is a strong competitor to the conference hotel.  One of the things we want to make sure you are aware of is the impact that has on our ability to negotiate with the hotels to keep costs down.  One of the things many professionals don’t think about is the concept of “room block.”  If WACUHO doesn’t make room block, there are financial penalties associated with missing the mark.  One of the areas this is most salient is with our meeting rooms.  If we make our room block, we get our meeting rooms for free.  If we do not make room block, we get charged for those rooms.  We try every year to hit that mark, and have been successful.  However, we want to ensure this keeps happening as it often comes close to not happening.  For this year, we really want you to consider staying at the Hilton on Mission Bay. 


For many new professionals, this is the best way for you to give back to WACUHO.  Our executive committee has been discussing this year how critical this is to us.  Again – if you need to stay off site, we welcome you doing that for your own personal needs and accommodations.  We recognize not every is able to stay at the hotel, but we wanted to make the ask so that people knew what was happening behind the scenes.  We are also exploring a small “thank you” for staying in the hotel (like an extra raffle ticket for our raffles).  Nothing is confirmed here, but we would ask you to consider staying at the Hilton.  Your decision to stay helps pay for the expense of the conference.  Thank you. In addition, one of the things we’ve been discussing is access to WACE.  We really want to be in a place to say to professionals “if your only reason for not going to WACE is cost, let’s find a way to make that happen for you.”  One of the things we are exploring or maybe asking folx – if you would sponsor a hotel night (or 3 nights) that the host committee could provide to new professionals for their use, we would welcome that!  Again, the goal should be getting as many professionals to WACE as possible.  For 2018, we aren’t sure this is feasible, but it is something we are exploring for 2019.  If there is enough excitement from people to “sponsor” a hotel room to get people to WACE who wouldn’t normally be able to attend, we would love to do something like that. As you can see, it has been a busy first quarter for our executive committee. 


In addition, the executive committee recently met at UC Santa Cruz, and engaged in other discussions:

  • We have appointed Todd McGregor from UCSF as our new Marketing and Communications Coordinator.  He will serve through June 30, 2019.
  • We have been working through “Teaching to Transgress” by bell hooks each month as an executive committee.  This has been a valuable discussion as we do the work leading our Association.  We are currently working through chapter 6 for our next meeting.
  • In addition, we are going to explore standardizing processes for appointing executive positions when we have execs who need to step down in the middle of their term.
  • We are exploring best practices around length of time we put out to the members we have an open position and what the application should look like.
  • Given the issue around DACA, we are working with the Task Force on Equity and Inclusion to draft a letter to our senators and representatives to send out and then encourage members to do the same.  More on this to come.
  • Continuing to explore our transition to the Central Office.  We already have been relying heavily on the central office as we discovered our non-profit paperwork hadn’t been filed.  The Central Office took care of that for us quickly!  In addition, we are working to get our membership database up and running, and our event registration software as well.
  • Our Finance Advisory Committee with Jenna (our treasurer) is working on a five year fiscal plan to make sure we can pay for the Central Office.  Basically they will be drafting a five year budget for us to present at the annual business meeting.
  • We are making changes to our web platforms.  We recognize not much has been done with our website over the past 5 years, and its time for us to move forward.  Chris and Erica are working on developing a new website, and we are hoping to launch in the new year.
  • Creating a task force to look at our drive in conferences (including the RAPs), and the processes around those committees and hosting.  Our hope is to streamline the process and working with schools earlier to make sure we have host sites dialed in early.  We are also exploring having the RAP chair positions being longer than a year so that there is some overlap, and we have smoother transitions.  In addition, if you are interested in hosting a RAP for the 2018-2019 year, please let us know – we’d love to work with your campus! One major discussion we are engaged in is how our Association defines various subgroups in our Association.  We have struggled year in and year out around the definition of “new professional” and where graduate students fit.  For our scholarships, they disqualify anyone who is registered as a full time student. 


The real question for us is where we draw the line between para-professional and professional.


  • Full time new professional at a member institution, not a student
  • Full time Professional at a member institution and full time student
  • Full time Professional at a member institution and part time student
  • Part time professional at a member institution and student (full or part time)
  • Grad Assistant at a member institution working on their grad degree
  • Anyone in a grad program at a member institution who is not working.


The further down on the list we go, the more cloudy it gets.  Our hope would be all of those individuals above feel welcome in WACUHO. And we’d love to provide scholarships in the future for all of those groups, and our hope is to do that, but that is not our current reality.  For now the execs decided that we will set a cap – that once you have more than 3 years of professional experience, you will not be eligible for the new professional scholarships.  We have decided that we will leave it to the new professionals committee to figure out who should get the awards to allow for anyone of the people. Another discussion centered on the definition of “Mid-Level Manager.”  A starting point tends to center around professionals who supervise full time professionals.  In thinking about this, concerns are raised for professionals who are not new professionals, but also are NOT supervising professionals, and the gap that gets created by creating a definition around supervision.  We also want to recognize the unique needs around professionals who supervise other professionals (or those who desire to be in a position to supervise professionals).  Once we land on a definition, if a new gap is created, WACUHO needs to fill that gap and find ways to welcome and engage long time professionals or emerging professionals who are no longer new, but aren’t yet supervising staff.  We are excited because the Mid-Level Manager’s network is engaging in work to help define and explore what a mid-level manager is.  One of their efforts is going to be engaging you as members of our Association through a survey launching next week.  Please make sure to respond to it when you see it!

Finally, we are looking at ways of being more welcoming to professionals who are new to the region, but not new to the field.  In the past, we often push these professionals to the New Pros committee, but this tends to push long time professionals away because we treat them like a new pro.  We are working on ways to better engage professionals who move into our region and get them connected to our Association.  If you are new to our region, or know someone in your department who is new to our region, please have them email our Vice President, Jen Novotny at vicepresident@wacuho.org and we will make sure you get plugged in. As you can see, it has been a tremendously busy quarter.  A lot to report on.  And we are excited for what is to come. 


I’ll now take some time for questions….

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