Greetings to RUSA! It is a great honor to serve the organization this year. It promises to be a year of new beginnings. There are many things I could talk about, but I have chosen three:
New ASCLA-RUSA Executive Director
Past-president Alesia McManus, Christina Shutt and myself are serving on the ASCLA-RUSA Executive Director search committee. By late August, we hope to be interviewing candidates in Chicago. With luck by fall, we should have a director on the job. There will be much for our director to learn about our organizations. Meanwhile I am truly grateful to our RUSA office staff, Jennifer Cross, Melissa Tracy and Leighann Wood, for keeping us on an even keel for the past several months. Please take a minute to become familiar with our talented staff
New RUSA Structure
It is hard to miss the fact that RUSA is in the middle of an organizational restructuring. Our Organization and Planning Committee (acknowledgements below), chaired by Beth German, spent months last year tackling our committee structure, examining long-standing charges, looking at productivity, considering committee inter-relationships and desired outcomes. They studied models from other divisions. They reworked RUSA’s structure, keeping what worked, and discarding what had outlived its usefulness. Past-president Alesia McManus spent the better part of her presidential year moving the restructuring plans through the board for approval.
Our task this year is to firm up the committee charges and put the plan into action. The plan calls for a new RUSA Leadership Council composed of the board, RUSA level committee chairs, interest group chairs, RUSA liaisons, the RUSQ and RUSA Update editor, and ALA liaisons. We will tweak the structure and charges as necessary. By early September, our website and ALA Connect should reflect the changes.
My foremost goal for the next 11 months is to focus on members and member engagement. While the association has challenges with membership and funding levels, we have a core of loyal and active volunteers working diligently to bring peer-based webinars, courses, standards, competencies and conference programming to the membership and beyond. RUSA also offers its members a national network of professional contacts who help each other grow professionally. If you have new ideas for ways to enhance our community’s collegial network, we would like to hear from you.
We have a beautiful website, RUSA Update (http://www.rusaupdate.org/), and you are invited to share news on this platform.
I welcome the opportunity to serve the membership this coming year. I have many wonderful colleagues among you whom I consider friends. I look forward to working with the RUSA leadership and our committed, new vice-president, Ann Brown.
Many thanks to the 2016-2017 Organization and Planning Committee:
Beth German, Tina Baich, Bobray J. Bordelon, JR. , Ann K. G. Brown, Chris LeBeau, Erin Rushton, Arlene McFarlin Weismantel, Donna J. Brearcliffe, Jennifer Marjorie Jacobs , Jenny L. Presnell, Colleen Seale, Matthew J. Wayman.