Updates and Releases

Revised Strategic Plan Approved, Goals Drafted

In September, after The Bulletin had gone to print, the Board of Trustees received recommendations from the Naming ACUI Awards Working Group. Among these was a call for the Association to more clearly communicate and commit to diversity and inclusion. As part of their work in reviewing the group’s report, the board determined the 2019 strategic plan that had been drafted insufficiently addressed diversity and inclusion. This was reinforced in an open letter from the Community of Practice for Multi-Ethnic Professionals and Allies toward the end of 2018, which also expressed a need for ACUI to take action related to equity.

The revised plan will begin in July, and annual priorities relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion appear within each of the strategic guideposts—research, data, member and volunteer engagement, and active dialogue—such as:

  • Within the area of research, the “inclusive communities” aspect of the research agenda is noted as the topic to be emphasized.
  • Volunteers and staff have been asked to use data to better understand demographic representation.
  • Equity in ACUI’s volunteer recruitment and selection processes is noted as a priority for improvement.
  • To increase engagement among members who do not hold majority identities, there is a call to examine structures for communities and investigate how individuals want to interact with ACUI.
  • Additionally, active dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion will be a priority.

The next step is to identify measurable action and responsibility for achieving these and all priorities within the strategic plan. Staff and volunteers have committed to efforts, for which the Board of Trustees will hold them accountable. These include but are not limited to:

  • Disseminating the results/resources from the recent college union engagement study ACUI conducted in partnership with Indiana University
  • Providing education to help members conduct assessment, evaluation, and research in a socially just and equitable manner
  • Completing the review of the core competencies, paying critical attention to the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Growing the number of members who have filled in the demographic fields on their member profiles
  • Building the data available through ACUI Benchmarking
  • Creating self-paced volunteer training modules to increase participation and completion
  • Increasing the number of volunteers serving in short-term roles across the Association
  • Auditing volunteer procedures to identify opportunities to improve equity
  • Conducting regional assessments of desired engagement experiences for members who do not hold majority identities
  • Introducing a career advancement program for marginalized populations
  • Documenting ways in which ACUI’s student programs facilitate active dialogue
  • Collecting models of how campuses are facilitating dialogue and discourse on their campuses around diversity, equity, and inclusion

Deepti Chadee, Texas Christian University, will lead the Board of Trustees Strategic Direction Committee to oversee the accomplishment of these goals. Staff and volunteers will provide quarterly updates to the board, in addition to regularly scheduled meetings. In March 2020, new annual priorities will be identified to take effect in July 2020.

Load more comments
New code

2019 Strategic Plan

Strategic Guidepost: Research

ACUI will take a leading role in researching the impact of the college union on campus

We strive for ACUI to become the respected clearinghouse for college union and student activities research, which will assist practitioners in making informed decisions and help higher education leaders articulate the value and impact of the college union.

  • Develop and strengthen partnerships focused on research.
  • Determine how staff and component groups can best use and advance the research agenda, emphasizing the topic of inclusive communities.
  • Enhance existing and develop new structures for the Association to collect and disseminate research, especially research related to inclusive communities.
Strategic Guidepost: Data

ACUI will leverage data to enhance education and delivery of services

As more individuals expect a personalized, customized association experience, ACUI must leverage available data to inform its strategies and business decisions. We will use data intelligence to more effectively explore new markets, enhance services, recruit volunteers, define educational gaps, and create just-in-time content.


  • Determine opportunities to better personalize/customize the ACUI user experience.
  • Develop practices to make ACUI’s data gathering, analysis, and application more effective and efficient.
  • Determine how to better reach international markets amid data privacy concerns.
  • Collect and report data to better understand demographic representation.
Strategic Guidepost: Volunteer and Member Engagement

ACUI will increase the value of engagement for members and volunteers

Member and volunteer engagement are critical predictors of retention and satisfaction. We are committed to understanding members, better meeting their needs, and creating different types of engagement experiences.


  • Learn and document volunteer and member journeys through ACUI.
  • Deepen institutional commitment to ACUI.
  • Leverage structures for networking and professional development, to include communities of identity.
  • Investigate desired engagement experiences among individuals who do not hold ACUI majority identities.
  • Identify opportunities to improve equity in volunteer recruitment and selection processes.
Strategic Guidepost: Active Dialogue

ACUI will advance campus community through active dialogue

We seek, through education, tools, and resources, to position the college union to promote dialogue and understanding among people with different perspectives and to improve humanity through college students’ constructive discourse and interaction.


  • Define the value of active dialogue, in particular, about issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Define and understand the characteristics of a campus that supports active dialogue with an emphasis on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Curate existing resources and tools related to active dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion.