2021-2022 the Year in Review

It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the SACUBO president for two years. Early in SACUBO’s history, there was one or two Presidents who served for two years. Because of COVID – which felt more like 5 or more years – I am self-proclaiming that I have been the longest serving President in SACUBO history! Seriously, we have accomplished so much as an organization thanks to all of you and our volunteers who serve on Committees and the Board.

Congratulations on getting your institutions through the pandemic! The role of the business officer moved from a finance leader to truly becoming a strategic partner to our institutions. Our teams – from Facilities to IT to Finance to HR – found creative ways to address the evolving changes created by COVID. We invested and supported remote learning, managed millions of dollars in PPP loans and HEERF and CARES Act funds, balanced budget deficits from lower enrollments and increased costs due to COVID, preserved jobs, managed remote workers, and addressed mental health and other related crises. SACUBO supported its member institutions through all of this.

SACUBO’s mission is to contribute to superior higher education financial and administrative services by providing relevant professional development, thought leadership, and issue advocacy. We INNOVATE – EDUCATE – ADVOCATE – LEAD. I believe we have definitely delivered on our mission.

2021-2022 kicked off with a Planning Meeting. Committees and the Board met in late May 2021 to outline initiatives and to begin planning for the year.

SACUBO continued its long-term partnership with the University of Kentucky for the College Business Management Institute (CBMI). Around 530 attended the College Business Management Institute (CBMI) held on a virtual platform in July 2021. With around 50 courses offered, attendees were able to earn 26 hours of CPE. CBMI recognized 110 third-year participants who completed the program and earned their Certificate of Completion. For the first time since 2019, CBMI attendees will return to Lexington to the campus of the University of Kentucky for this program in July 2022.

The strategic plan was updated in 2021 with a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. At the Fall Board Retreat, the Board really focused on this topic. The first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator was appointed to the Board for 2022-2023, and a new ad hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee will become active.

In November 2021, SACUBO hosted its first in-person conference since March 2020. The Fall Workshop was held in Charleston, SC, and was sold old. The response from sponsors and attendees was tremendous. The theme for the 2021 Fall Workshop was Historic Innovations. Attendees enjoyed the opening reception on the USS Yorktown, one of the 24 Essex class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. Dr. Ivan Joseph, an award-winning performance coach and expert in leadership and cultural transformation, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk “The Skill of Self Confidence” has almost 25 million views, and Forbes named it one of the “Ten Best TED Talks About the Meaning of Life.” A panel of chief business officers discussed their shifting role. Concurrent sessions addressing relevant topics, as well as the popular accounting track, were offered for a total of 15 hours of CPE.

SACUBO hosted the 7th annual Women’s Leadership Forum in March 2022 in Atlanta, GA, to another sold-out crowd. The theme for the 2022 Women’s Leadership Forum was Stronger Together. Speakers included Dr. Susanna Baxter (President of LaGrange College), Dr. Marjorie Hass (President of the Council for Independent Colleges), and Rachel Druckenmiller (Speaker and Facilitator, Unmuted). Rachel Druckenmiller is on a mission to humanize the workplace by igniting resilience, connection, engagement, and compassion in organizations, associations, and their leaders and teams. The engagement at the Women’s Leadership Forum was tangible, and the audience really embraced connecting with each other about real issues women face every day at home and work. Women working together to support each other translates to success. Many attendees said this was the best conference they have ever attended.

For the first time since April 2019, the Annual Meeting was held in person in May 2022 in San Antonio, TX. The theme for the 2022 Annual Meeting was Facing the Future–Together. Attendees traveled by riverboats to the Buckhorn Saloon for the opening reception. The general session speaker on Monday was Shayla Rivera, an aerospace engineer and former rocket scientist with NASA turned corporate trainer, international speaker, TEDx speaker, tv & radio host, emcee/host, comedian, actor, writer, seminar facilitator, panel moderator, and awareness expert. On Tuesday, attendees heard from Ginny Clarke, CEO of Ginny Clarke, LLC, her own talent and leadership consulting business, as well as the host of Fifth Dimensional Leadership, a podcast for leaders, thinkers, and future-makers covering topics like power, personal branding, self-awareness, networking, fear, and career management.

Over 40 concurrent sessions were offered at the Annual Meeting, and 15 hours of CPE were available. The exhibit hall was full as participants had the opportunity to discuss and learn about new products and services from SACUBO’s business partners. There were plenty of opportunities to connect with colleagues at happy hours and the tequila tasting nightcap reception.

Congratulations to Debra Ross, University of Kentucky, who was the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award. Also, congratulations to the 2022 Best Practice Finalists: University of Alabama, Baylor University, Spartanburg Methodist College, and Texas A&M University – San Antonio. The Grand Finalist was Baylor University.

I personally want to thank the SACUBO Board members and Chris Martin (SACUBO Administrative Director) for your dedication to excellence and your commitment to advancing higher education. Thank you to our members for hanging with us during the pandemic and returning strong this year. The theme for the 2022 Annual Meeting – Facing the Future–Together – was so appropriate. As an industry and an organization, we are here to support each other and move forward together.

Susan Maddux

SACUBO President (2020-2022)

May 10, 2022