by TASFAA President Beverly Cottingham
This has been a wonderful and exciting year so far. I have had the opportunity to work closely with, and for, some very special friends and colleagues to carry out the mission of this amazing organization known as the Texas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Working with your Board of Directors to maintain our forward direction and safeguard the fiscal integrity of our Association while working for each and every one of you has been a great experience. Approximately half of this year is now behind us so I am going to take this opportunity to let you know where we are and how we are doing:
Communications: Chair, Kathy Williams
TASFAA signed a contract with ATAC to upgrade the web site & the membership database. The contract provides for some very attractive enhancements that will make the web site much more interactive for the membership. The Board recently adopted a listserv policy that limits messages to those that are related to the administration of financial aid. Kathy is doing a good job of managing TASFAA's transition into the electronic era.
Constitution and By-Laws: Chair, Karen Krause
The Board approved an emergency action to ask the membership to approve an amendment to the By-laws, which will allow for the electronic election of officers. This change would be effective immediately if approved. Karen Krause and Lupe Valdez will be notifying the membership of the proposed changes to be voted on. Following the 30-day period required for the membership to discuss the changes via the listserv, the voting members will cast their vote by a mail ballot. If approved, this will bring TASFAA one step closer to implementing and securing its electronic future.
Nominations: Chair, Lupe Valdez
The request for nominations for the 2002 election will be coming out soon on the web site and in the newsletter. Lupe is working through the intricate details to make electronic elections a reality if the membership approves the necessary changes in the By-Laws. It is a tedious job to make this all possible, but Lupe is working through the problems like a pro.
Membership: Chair, Sherri Henry
The membership drive is underway. This is the first year that the TASFAA Directory will be made available for downloading from the web (and, hopefully, able to be downloaded into a PDA for an added convenience). The directory will no longer be printed and mailed. Since the members will be able to update their own information as changes occur, the electronic Directory will always have accurate, reliable membership information. Please remember to list all of those who are involved in financial aid administration at your institution in the Directory when you pay your annual dues. There is no extra charge for listing those folks. The membership year is from Nov. 1 to Oct 31. Hint: If you wait to pay your 01-02 dues with your conference registration this October, your membership will expire on October 31, 2002.
Newsletter: Chair, Joe Wilcox
The TASFAA newsletter is officially electronic beginning with this issue. The newsletter is now available to everyone at your institution by viewing it on the web site. Joe has invested hours of planning and research into making this work for the members of TASFAA and I am sure he will be interested in your feedback, as will your Board of Directors. Remember the deadline to submit your article for the next issue is May 1, 2002.
Regional Rallies: Chair, Jolyn Sprole
JoLyn is working with the contact person for each regional rally to help ensure a successful round of meetings. The rally information is on the web under Conference/Training. This is "on your doorstep" type training for those who would like to be able to interact with representatives from the THECB, TGSLC and the Department of Education.
Legislative Issues: Chair, Jim Parker
TASFAA and the Association of Texas Lenders for Education (ATLE) are joining forces to compile a list of legislative issues by conducting a session at each Regional Rally. Based on those issues, this committee will conduct a legislative symposium in Austin next August and then gear up for reauthorization. Please assist Jimmy and his committee in this endeavor by being prepared for frank and open discussion at your rally.
New Aid Officer's Workshop (NAOW): Chair, Kim Koch
TASFAA will conduct another NAOW May 19th - 23rd, on St. Mary's campus in San Antonio again this year. Registration materials and information were on the web and in the mail the first part of March. This is an excellent training opportunity for your new aid administrators. Please remember to contact Terry Bazan for a Mack Adams Scholarship application.
Scholarship: Chair, Terry Bazan
Terry's committee will soon be awarding the Mack Adams Scholarships to make it financially easier, or possible, for several TASFAA members to send their new aid administrators to the NAOW in May. When you see the announcement, don't delay submitting your application or you will miss out. For several years now, Terry has been doing an excellent job of helping many novice aid officers receive a Mack Adams Scholarship.
Regional Training Committee: Claire (Micki) Roemer
Micki and her committee brought the NASFAA training module Policies and Procedures to us last fall. Due to Micki's expert planning, TASFAA did not end up with a large inventory of excess training modules at the end of the series. Her committee is offering to schedule workshops around Texas this summer for groups of at least 25 people using the NASFAA spring modules on FERPA in the Financial Aid Office, Verification, Need Analysis 2002-2003, and Filling out the FAFSA. Contact Micki Roemer for more information.
Sponsor Relations: Chair, Sarah Holland
The TASFAA Sponsorship Opportunity Form is on the web site and much easier to find. Click on the tab named Online Forms for easy access. Sarah put a lot of effort into containing the sponsorship category levels by only increasing each by $55. The $55 difference is actually the hotel's charge that TASFAA will now pay as a courtesy to save our exhibitors the hassle of individual payment. She requested that the forms be returned or submitted by March 1st if possible.
Site Selection: Chair, Cheri Whitten
Working with the International Network rep. Don Taylor, Cheri and her committee have been viewing sites and reviewing contracts to ensure successful conferences for '05 and '06. El Paso is a strong contender for the 2005 TASFAA Conference. The Austin Hilton opens in October '03, and they are negotiating an introductory rate for 2006. (FYI: The 2003 conference will be in Wichita Falls and 2004 will be in Corpus Christi.)
Fall Conference: Chair, Patrick Reyna
October 16 - 18th at the beautiful Moody Gardens in Galveston TASFAA will be celebrating its 35th anniversary so DON'T MISS IT! Patrick is planning a special conference this year and soon will be rolling out hints about what his committee is planning.
Public Relations: Chair, Karen Chambless
Karen has asked all committee chairs to keep her informed of their activity so she can issue press releases giving TASFAA the recognition it deserves. Karen's committee is also assisting the Fall Conference Committee with TASFAA's 35th anniversary celebration in Galveston.
Early Awareness: Chair, Verna LaStrapes
Verna and her committee are working with the High School Counselor Workshop Committee to implement a program that will assist students in junior high begin preparing for higher education. This program will be designed to help students and parents realize what it takes to become a "college student" and how to make better choices when selecting a school (i.e., community college, technical college or university).
High School Counselors Workshop: Chair, Joyce Eldridge
Joyce coordinated another successful series of TASFAA High School Counselor Training Workshops this past fall. TASFAA is fortunate to have members who volunteer to host training that is vital to meeting needs of parents and students where it counts - in familiar surroundings, their own high school, and when it counts - in plenty of time for deadlines. The site coordinators for each of the workshops are to be congratulated for volunteering their time and effort for this worthwhile endeavor.
Multicultural Committee: Chair, Debbie Adams
Debbie will be distributing the new Mentor/Protege Guide to everyone who volunteers to be a mentor this year. This committee has continued implementing the Mentor/Protégé Guide, which was completed last summer under the guidance of Mona Osborne. The Board plans to submit the Mentor/Protégé Guide as an entry in the NASFAA State Award competition in February '03. Please contact Debbie to find out how to enlist as a mentor as soon as possible so you can be a part of this wonderful activity.
It is thrilling to me to be involved with such wonderful, hardworking people as your Board, the Committee Chairs and all of the committee members who are making this activity possible. I encourage your input and participation to secure the future of our association.