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Business Officer Magazine

Hit a Home Run in Boston

Learn how facing up to Fenway Park's Green Monster can apply to your most daunting challenges. Here's a preview of the lineup at the NACUBO Annual Meeting, June 27-30.

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Edited by Apryl Motley

It's the bottom of the ninth inning. The bases are loaded, and you're up at bat. Your teammates are counting on you to bring them home. Given the economic and financial curveballs that have been coming your way, this scenario might well describe a typical day at your higher education business office. Attend the NACUBO 2009 Annual Meeting in Boston, June 27-30, to learn how to handle the challenges that loom on the horizon, much as baseball players do when they stare down Fenway Park's famous Green Monster—the daunting 37-foot wall in left field. Take a time-out and gather with colleagues to share successful game plans. With their support and some insights from general session speakers and scores of presenters, you'll be well on your way to taming your own green monsters.

Warm Up With Preconference Programs

The National Conference on Campus Safety and Security, June 27

Colleges and universities today face a wide range of risks to human, physical, and cyber assets. Attend this special program designed to share insights and tools that you can use to create effective plans in response to these threats. Higher education administrators from across campus will benefit from learning how best to protect people and facilities that are at risk during emergencies ranging from natural disasters to acts of violence.

The conference is organized around four key themes for successful engagement: student involvement; organizational structures, and the roles and responsibilities for emergency preparedness; approaches to communication; and presidential involvement. Attend this conference to learn what the critical elements are for building effective prevention and response programs. Join others from institutions like yours to discuss how best to meet these challenges.

Special preconference programs can make the most of your travel to Boston and jump-start your leadership development. These workshops require an additional registration fee to cover program costs. You do not need to attend the annual meeting to register for these events. (Go to for further details.)

Taking the Next Step: Career Advancement in Higher Education (June 26-27) is designed for business office staff—assistant and associate vice presidents, senior business and financial officers, controllers, budget directors, accounting directors, and planning directors—who are interested in preparing for career advancement. Do you want to position yourself to be among the next generation of chief business officers? If you're eager to gain the leadership skills and organizational perspectives necessary to become a CBO, this intermediate- to advanced-level program is for you.

With emphasis on active learning, the two-day program explores the complex role of the CBO, including taking the strategic view, building relationships in the higher education environment, communicating effectively, and honing critical thinking and decision-making skills. Working with experienced chief business officers and leadership and organizational experts, you'll leave the program with your personal plan of action to prepare for a move to your next career level.

New Business Officers Program (June 26-27), with some 500 alumni in the past decade, has established itself as a valuable experience for those new to the role of chief business officer. Participants explore the wide range of issues that CBOs face and examine the complexities of higher education leadership. This intensive advanced-level two-day workshop is designed specifically for chief business and financial officers.

Content areas include leadership styles, planning, board relationships, and emerging issues. You'll be challenged to evaluate your current practices and strategies while networking and exchanging ideas with colleagues. Leading higher education consultants Larry Goldstein and Pat Sanaghan facilitate the program. In addition, special topics are covered by a college president, a provost, and experienced chief business officers.

Attendance at the New Business Officers Program, by application only, is limited to chief business and financial officers who report directly to the president and who have been in their current positions for less than three years. For more information or to submit an application, visit

Add Concurrent Sessions to Your Roster

The annual meeting has always allowed attendees to customize their learning experiences by self-selecting from a rich menu of presentations that target the needs of NACUBO's primary member segments: community colleges, small institutions, research universities, and comprehensive and doctoral institutions. This year is no different; the guidance of NACUBO's four constituent councils has resulted in a collection of concurrent sessions designed to provide insight into focused topics and ideas within the framework of the comprehensive annual meeting program.

Here is a brief sampling of the programs in store:

  • The Changing Role of the Business Officer. The CBO role continues to grow and evolve. Once viewed as the job of business manager, the position now is an essential part of an institution's leadership team. In this session, experienced chief business officers will share insights into the evolution of their role, new trends on the horizon, and ways to prepare for future changes.
  • Sustainability: Enacting Change With Limited Resources. What are the challenges facing public institutions committed to sustainability? Hear from three presenters with differing vantage points: administrators dealing with these issues on a daily basis, staff at a state agency trying to enact change at a system level, and a consultant with national experience in working with institutions committed to environmentally friendly practices.
  • Taming the Portfolio After a Worldwide Wild Ride. Review the impact that the financial markets have had on college and university portfolios in the past year. Gain insight into investment strategies and come away with actionable advice about the proper positioning of portfolios to meet your institution's long-term financial objectives.
  • Financial Aid for the Business Officer: What You Need to Know Now. Examine your institution's stance on a variety of current topics related to the administration of financial aid. What critical questions should you be asking your president and chief financial aid officer to help work through today's financial aid mirrors and smoke screens? Learn how best to use FAFSA information and institutional data to analyze the market and influence cash flow.
  • Creating a Risk Discipline. Reputation is everything. Important constituencies will not forgive mismanagement of risks that could derail your institution's mission and goals. The era of ad hoc or reactive risk analysis is no longer in place. Learn how to create an institutional discipline for considering risks and integrate that process into the institution's strategic planning.

Most Valuable Players

This year's general session speakers are at the top of their games. Get inspired by the tenacity and commitment with which they each pursue their respective fields.

Read an interview with general special session speaker Dan Ariely, "We Are How We Decide."

Both published authors, baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. and award-winning journalist Gwen Ifill can speak volumes about identifying challenges and overcoming them.

Team builder and philanthropist: Earning baseball's "Iron Man" title in 1995, Ripken's name has become synonymous with strength, character, endurance, and integrity. His philosophy of working hard, playing with passion, and enjoying the game has made a tremendous impact on the sport and on fans everywhere. By the time he retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, he'd played 2,632 consecutive games and was one of only 8 players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits.

Ripken continues to use the platform that baseball provided him to help grow the game at the grassroots level and to give back to the community. For example, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation focuses on providing access to baseball to disadvantaged youth and donating baseball equipment to nonprofit organizations and school systems across the country.

Ripken has written and coauthored several books. One that is likely to be of particular interest to plenary session attendees is Get in the Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference (Gotham, 2007). In his keynote presentation, Ripken will provide insight into his positive life philosophy, the spirit of winning, and some of the techniques for persevering that he highlights in his book.

Moderator and correspondent: Moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill has moderated debates in national elections, most recently the vice presidential debate during the 2008 election. Her front-row seat at such an historic time in the nation's political history may have served as inspiration for Ifill's recently released book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama (Doubleday, 2009).

Ifill joined Public Broadcasting Service's Washington Week and the NewsHour in 1999, interviewing newsmakers and reporting on issues related to foreign affairs, politics, and other news. Before coming to PBS, she spent five years at NBC News as chief congressional and political correspondent. Ifill joined NBC from the New York Times, where she covered the White House and politics.

She is the recipient of several broadcasting excellence awards, including honors from the National Press Foundation, Ebony, the Radio Television News Directors Association, and American Women in Radio and Television.

A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill serves on the boards of the Harvard University Institute of Politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Newseum, and the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

A Triple Header

Here's the pitch: Worthwhile professional meetings are enhanced by networking and cultural opportunities, and NACUBO's annual has a great lineup. Be sure to review the final program schedule so that you don't miss out on the fun and fellowship.

  • Third Annual "Serving the Community" Event. Managed in partnership with TIAA-CREF, the NACUBO service project will be held on Saturday morning, June 27. Business officers will gather to make new friends while serving the educational community. Teams of volunteers will assist one or more primary schools that are affiliated with the higher education community. If you plan to participate, you must register early; the project is limited to 100 participants and has previously filled early in the registration process. Make travel arrangements to accommodate an 8:30 a.m. starting time.There is no cost to participate in this effort—just bring clothes that will be enhanced by dirt, sweat, paint, and the satisfaction of a job well done.
  • An Evening in the Stacks. The opening event will take place Saturday,June 27, 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. at the Boston Public Library, which was the first large, free municipal library in the United States. Stay tuned to for more details.
  • NACUBO Closing Event. Dance the night away at the closing event of the 2009 annual meeting, which will take place Tuesday, June 30, at 6:30 p.m. Take a final run around the bases, and conclude your annual meeting experience, networking with colleagues, enjoying cocktails, dining, and dancing to one of Boston's favorite bands, Pulse. The event will take place at the Marriott Copley Place.

Catch Some Corporate Showcases

Nine corporate showcases will bring attendees new solutions for a variety of issues. These events, focused on a number of relevant topics, will be integrated with the rest of the conference so that it will be possible to catch several throughout the annual meeting. Advance signup is not necessary. Check the final program for the schedule for the following showcases:

Compass Knowledge Group—The Economics of Online Learning.

Datatel—Emerging Trends: Is Your Technology Keeping Pace?

Fidelity Investments—Preservation of Capital and Liquidity Risk Management.

Grant Thornton LLP—Through Turbulent Times: How Institutions Are Managing Through the Recession.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management—War Stories: Managing Liquidity and Risk through the New Market Environment.

Sallie Mae—How America Pays for College.

SAP—Implementing Risk Management Strategies at Johns Hopkins University and Health System.

State Street Corp.—Monitoring Your Investments—What To Look for Now, and How.

SunGard Higher Education—Getting Your Green Going: Strategies For Achieving Environmental and Economic Savings.

Go to Bat in Boston

For more information and to register for the NACUBO 2009 Annual Meeting, visit

Earn CPE Credits

NACUBO's annual conference meets several of your professional education needs. You can earn an estimated 19 credits as you attend sessions.

APRYL MOTLEY, Columbia, Maryland, covers higher education business issues for Business Officer.