2019 Wrap-Up from SAAL Board Chair

2019 Wrap-Up from SAAL Board Chair

Photo by Richard Felix on Unsplash


SAALutations, Members of Student Affairs Assessment Leaders!

As the second decade of the 21st Century comes to a close, SAAL is 11 years old. Thank you for volunteering to serve on committees or workgroups, to run for positions on the board, and to sponsor some aspect of our operations like our website, our domain name, our listserv, our online course, our use of Campus Labs Baseline, or our journal. We continue to operate as an all-volunteer organization with no charge for membership. As a result, we rely on sponsorships for some of our operations, and we rely on you, our members, to volunteer to make sure we fulfill our mission.

Here are some of the highlights of what you have helped SAAL to accomplish this year in our mission to enhance the practice of inquiry (including assessment) in Student Affairs:

  • Participated in CAS Council meetings as an invited guest association represented by our Member-at-Large Nicole Long;
  • Accepted invitation to participate in the Grand Challenges in Assessment project in collaboration with AALHE, AAC&U, ACPA, AIR, CAS, IUPUI Assessment Institute, and NASPA; and appointed our Member-at-Large (Elect) Ciji Ann Heiser to represent us;
  • Negotiated a new annual agreement with Campus Labs to continue our use of Baseline, support our landscape survey, provide webinars and structured conversation content, and sponsor our member networking social at NASPA 2020;
  • Negotiated a new agreement with National Louis University to host our online course;
  • Secured sponsorship from Kent State University for our website for another three years;
  • Launched the 2019 iteration of the student affairs assessment landscape survey with results anticipated in the first quarter of 2020;
  • Fielded a request from Benchmarking Institute to engage members of SAAL in developing national benchmarks related to assessing student affairs programs and services;
  • Welcomed a new editor to the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry and thanked the inaugural editor for his extraordinary service;
  • Produced volume 5 of the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry—with special thanks to Oregon State University for sponsoring the journal since its inception in 2014;
  • Exceeded 1,000 followers on Twitter (1,049, net gain of 72 from last year);
  • Reached 1,094 followers on LinkedIn;
  • Gained 115 followers on Facebook to reach 919 followers;
  • Posted 68 Tweets which were viewed 41,942 times;
  • Posted 44 Facebook posts which were viewed 11,043 times;
  • Saw 121,298 unique visits to our website since December 2018, more than half of its unique visits since it began (52%)—largely attributed to the blog;
  • Posted 26 blogs, as of November, and scheduled another three to appear before the end of December;
  • Hosted nine structured conversations throughout the year which were distributed via YouTube with 6,602 views and 619 total watch hours;
  • Saw 1,271 students enrolled in the open course this year (up from 1,202 last year) with 19.83% of them completing it (up from 16.06% last year);
  • Compiled a draft of a guiding document for critical assessment which, once finalized early next year, may offer ideas for conference presentations and future blog posts from SAAL; and
  • Received more than one nominee for each open position on the board, and for all races except one, the ballot offered members at least two candidates to choose from—including 10 candidates to choose from in the race for Member at Large (Elect).

What are some opportunities for you in the coming year? SAAL has plenty of options, and on behalf of the 2019 Board, I invite you to engage according to your talents, skills, competencies, and interests.

Thank you for helping us wrap up this second decade of the 21st Century so impressively. In closing, I want to thank the members of the 2019 Board of Directors for their commitment, creativity, and engagement throughout the year. In addition to the achievements listed above (and fulfilling our day jobs), we also welcomed a few new humans to the planet, and maybe some of them will be among a future generation of SAAL members, volunteers, or board members.

Thank you for permitting me to serve you this year as the Chair of your Board of Directors. I look forward to my year as past-chair and all of the accomplishments coming during Aimee's year in the big seat.

With warmest wishes for the new year,



J. Judd Harbin, SAAL Board Chair 2019


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