2020 End of Year Letter to Membership

2020 End of Year Letter to Membership

As 2020 is coming to a close, it is time for us to reflect on the past year. It has been a year of political unrest, fighting for racial justice, a national election, natural disasters, and a pandemic. And through it all, we have been working to do what we can to improve higher education and to support our students.

The Student Affairs Assessment Leaders, of which you are a valued member, strives to acknowledge the interconnectedness of inquiry and culture through curiosity, equity, justice, and intentionality. These values bind our community and our shared work in the past, through this year, and into the future. Thank you for being a part of this work. 

How can you get more involved with SAAL:

2020 SAAL Updates and Accomplishments:

  • Responded to the community's need for more racial justice resources specific to the field by curating opportunities and tools on our homepage and sending out messaging to the listserv.
  • Facilitated the 4th year of the open course, with 2000+ registrations and 641 completers (32% completion rate!).
  • The Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry:
    • Created three new roles and welcomed 16 new members to the Editorial Board: two new associate editors of manuscripts (new role), a new associate editor of publications (new role), seven new reviewers, and six new emerging practitioner-scholar reviewers (new role). The board completed two orientation/community-building sessions in November and December.
    • Developed a visual brand by creating a new logo, new article layout, and overall brand identity and style guide. Additionally, the Journal’s website moved from Scholastica to the SAAL website.
    • Expanded the types of manuscripts that can be published within the Journal to invite more voices to engage in the scholarship of inquiry.
  • Completed data collection and subsequent analysis of data from Landscape Survey of Student Affairs Professionals (report forthcoming)
  • Maintained an average two blog posts a month despite COVID-19 complications
  • We continued our participation with the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) as a public partner along with over 40 higher education associations. 
  • Successfully updated our membership list and transitioned our listserv to a new platform.
  • Reorganized and redelegated the work of the board and committees.

Our future endeavors include:

  • Conducting a strategic plan for the future of Student Affairs Assessment Leaders
  • Launching our new podcast
  • The PDC will involve, feature and represent diverse perspectives and identities in our professional development offerings
  • Some of JSAI’s aims include increasing manuscript submissions, creating opportunities to support practitioner-scholars to author papers, and providing alternative formats to enhance the accessibility and usability of JSAI articles.

SAAL has officially been in existence since December 4, 2008, and the first message was sent to the listserv on January 12, 2009. Today, we have more than 900 active members. Thank you for making the past 12 years of SAAL so amazing. In particular, I would like to thank the board. They are a cherished group of colleagues who volunteer their time, ideas, and passion to make everything possible.

Aimee Shattuck, SAAL Board Chair, 2020

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