Greetings from Framingham State University in Massachusetts. 2016 is upon us and the Spring semester is underway. For many, the excitement of seeing students back on campus and online has been overshadowed by financial concerns. Higher education institutions continue to find themselves financially challenged, and our continuing education units are being asked to increase their share of financial support. Alongside this, we often we see our role and value within the institution being questioned.
As a profession, we have shown ourselves to be adaptable and resilient. We excel at creative thinking and responding to business and community needs. We recognize and are responding to the expanding and diverse knowledge needs that are emerging in this era of rapid technology gains and disruptive shifts in global markets. We not only have a continuing role but a real opportunity for leadership within our institutions. However, we are not always successful at demonstrating the value and significant role that continuing education plays within our institutions in contributing to the well-being and improvement of the campus, community, state, nation, and even the world.
We need examples of best practice that our colleagues can replicate and that demonstrate our success at embracing new concepts, employing new tools, and forming partner¬ships that are appropriate for 21st century economies and societies. The theme for the 2016 ACHE Annual Conference and Meeting is Innovation, Transformation and Service in Continuing Higher Education: Creating Pathways to the Future. The conference theme is intended to demonstrate the many ways that continuing education is leading initiatives within their institutions. The 2016 Conference Call for Proposals is open and I encourage you to submit a proposal to share best practices and what is working for you with your ACHE colleagues.
Spring is also the time when the ACHE Regional meetings begin and I am excited about being able to attend all the regional meetings. I look forward to meeting you at your regional conferences to continue this conversation and to hear your thoughts on how ACHE can help you to continue to make a difference within your institutions, and to the communities and lives of those we serve.
ACHE President, 2016