Sunday, July 25, 2010

Meetings, meetings, meetings

Friday and Saturday of this week were the 'official' reasons for me to come to North Carolina - despite the fact that everyone knows I really came here to see Jay, Dori and Riley.

On Friday and Saturday the DPE National Executive Board met at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT). Two of our Board members, Lisa Gueldenzoph Snyder and Beryl McEwen are faculty members at NCAT. The other members of the Board are Glenn Bailey from Illinois State University and our executive Director Robert Mitchell from The University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

I belong to a number of professional organizations but I enjoy DPE the most. It seems to be small, accessible and focused on the ideas and issues I am concerned with in the Business Education arena. There isn't quite enough attention paid to Business Teacher Education but overall DPE is a good organization. The National Association for Business Teacher Education (NABTE) should be where I look for Business Teacher Education ideas but despite the best efforts of a number of good people, Wayne Moore for one, NABTE just hasn't gotten good traction over the years.

Our meetings over the last two days dealt with the basic business of the organization but throughout the meetings three issues kept surfacing. First as we transition into our relationship with NBEA we need to clearly and firmly identify what our organizational purpose, focus and mission. Research needs to be at the heart of our organization but it can't there as an intimidating or excluding notion.

Second we need to attract more members - no organization can survive without a critical mass of members. Our membership is fine now but we need to be careful that we don't lose members while we transition. We are taking steps to ensure that we stay in contact with all of our members.

The last but probably the most important issue that we face is attracting active members. In my opinion we need to encourage newer, younger members to take active leadership roles - first on committees and then on the national level. We need new energy, fresh ideas and stimulating and provocative ideas, programs and conferences.

Overall the people at the meetings are pleasant, we accomplished a lot and I feel like we have advanced the organization in positive ways.

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