A Message from TACAC's President

In 1980 Frankie Beverly and Maze recorded the timeless classic Joy and Pain. Commonly heard at family reunions, barbeques, and get-togethers, this rhythm and blues standard describes the balance of life, the sunshine and rain that is required for growth. This song comes to mind as we prepare for the next school year and recruitment season. When I think of the many challenges we’ve collectively faced up to this point, I am grateful for the team that we have in place that is dedicated to getting it right for our membership. To that end, this has been a busy summer for the Executive Board and I wanted to take an opportunity to share and celebrate some of the progress that is currently underway.

Houston in September!
We are preparing to welcome the college admissions world to the great state of Texas! Our local arrangements team, led by Jeff Fuller and Diana Porter has been working tirelessly to ensure that our colleagues feel welcomed in a very special way! If you haven’t already, make sure that you and your team registered plugged in and ready to get engaged with all that will be going down in Houston Sept. 22-24.

Governance and Single Slate Elections
In the spirit of transparency, we are in the process of pulling together an ad hoc committee to explore how we elect our executive officers. In addition, with NACAC beginning to reimagine the role of delegates we are also having some initial conversations on the future of delegates and if NACAC bylaw changes pass, we will be ready to move forward with a proposal.

Site Selection
After having a successful in-person Admission and College Counseling Institute on the campus of the University of the Incarnate Word and an inspirational Leadership Development Institute at UT Austin, we have convened an ad hoc to review and explore our site selection process that will help us continue this momentum by making suggestions on how we decide where to host these events in the future.

Safety, Well-Being, and TACAC Statements
Our mission is clear, serving professionals who serve students. Still we are often called on to make statements and provide support in areas that aren’t directly related to that mission. Some call this mission creep, and others even call it a distraction. However, the fact is that we are helping professionals who have to bring our entire selves to the critical work we do in supporting our students. It’s complex and we must avoid being political or divisive. However, it’s not complex, political, or divisive to say that we need to do everything we can to end mass shootings, including those that continue to impact our places of learning. This has to end.  

Immediately following the massacre in Uvalde, our IDEA and Communications teams convened a safe space that allowed members to be transparent and express their hurt and pain. During that call, several support groups were also shared for our members and those directly impacted by this tragedy. We then put together an ad hoc committee on statements to determine how TACAC should respond and when we should respond. Members of this amazing committee included Sean Whitten, April Marroquin, Nicholas Howell, and Dr. Lauren Parish. These volunteers drafted a strong and bold statement that challenged our thinking and gave our executive board a framework for the future. We will be sharing more on this framework once it is codified by our executive board.

In the meantime, as an organization focused on supporting you, we will do just that. That’s our lane, and that’s our mission. We encourage you to make your voice heard and stay politically engaged on the issues you care about.  Also, please remember to educate yourself; here are some resources that you might find helpful.

In closing, as our members prepare to face the excitement of the new year with both the opportunities and challenges, the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling will continue to support you and the college admissions profession. We are in this together!

Ramon Blakley, President 2022-2023