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Business Officer Magazine

Make History in D.C.

As our association turns 50, what better venue than the nation’s capital to honor the milestone? The NACUBO 2012 Annual Meeting, July 28–31, promises to surpass all others, paying tribute to people and progress—and preparing us all for an unpredictable future.

Edited by Carole Schweitzer

*Who would have thought that flip-flops, first introduced by Brazil in 1962 as beachwear, would become de rigueur footwear on college campuses 50 years later? Or that Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (first published in serial form in the New Yorker in 1962) might help inspire an environmental movement that many higher education leaders and students strongly embrace today? And what about a year-end Dow Jones Industrial Average sitting at 652? The annual tuition at Harvard University hovering just above $1,500? Or James Meredith enrolling as the first African-American student at the University of Mississippi?

Among these memorable movements and milestones of 50 years past was the formal founding of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). This national organization, to be established in Washington, D.C., sought to bring together chief business officers, find solutions to common problems, and help higher education leaders respond to emerging opportunities. The regional associations for business officers played an integral role in that progression, having formed in 1950 a loose national alliance they called a federation.

In the years that followed, NACUBO has become an ever-stronger voice in Washington, established key relationships with many D.C.-based associations and organizations, and, in a number of cases, made its own history in terms of critical industry research, key legislation, and critical policy.

To honor our profession and the people who have led it through many a challenge, we'll gather at the NACUBO 2012 Annual Meeting, July 28-31, at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel and Conference Center. Here, on the banks of the Potomac, with a stunning view of the monuments, we'll toast a half-century of historic work. At the same time, on-target programming, rich networking opportunities, and insightful general session speakers will be on hand to help prepare us all for a future in which rapid, complex change is a given. As Kent Chabotar, president of Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina, writes in an upcoming Business Officer article, “taking charge of change” is what it's all about. Join us in the D.C. metropolitan area to energize your take-charge efforts.

Roll Up Your Sleeves

There's nothing like a volunteer project to start things on a positive note. On Saturday morning, July 28, consider participating in NACUBO's sixth annual “Serving the Community” project, developed in partnership with TIAA-CREF and American University, Washington, D.C. Small teams of volunteers will work together on a project that addresses a worthwhile community need. Tasks include assembling furniture, painting, and creating a teachers' resource center. All tools, materials, transportation, and snacks will be provided to volunteers on site—just remember to bring clothing that can stand up to dirt, sweat, and paint.

To participate, plan to arrive in National Harbor, Maryland, on Friday evening, as the project begins early on Saturday morning!

Learn From Gatherings With Peers

Check the final program to see a list of options for targeted learning opportunities in small group meetings.

Earn CPE Credits

NACUBO's annual conference meets several of your professional education needs. You can earn an estimated 18 credits, as you attend sessions.

Roundtables and forums. These events are designed for those who perform similar roles or functions within the higher education community. Sessions offer unique opportunities to network and learn, as participants offer ideas on issues of mutual concern. For example, the Community Colleges Issues Roundtable participants will discuss the importance of finding innovative ways to meet today's challenges and anticipating what the future will bring for their institutions. In an era of ever-growing demand and scarce resources, community college leaders will find value in discussing current issues, sharing best practices and strategies, and identifying upcoming trends.

Executive exchange for research universities. This is a select one-day event for senior business officers at research universities to engage in strategic, executive-level discussions about higher education and the evolving role of the CBO in this shifting environment. Advance sign-up is required.

Create Your Own Curriculum

Customize your learning program by choosing from concurrent 75-minute sessions during which peers and experts discuss new approaches, showcase solutions, and share tried-and-true strategies. A large portfolio of presentations targets the needs of NACUBO's primary member segments: small institutions, comprehensive and doctoral institutions, research universities, and community colleges. Councils representing each constituency guide the collection of sessions, designed to provide insight into topics and ideas within the framework of the overall annual meeting program.

Following are some examples of the sessions you'll select from:

Preconference for New Business Officers

Resources for those new to the chief business officer role just got better. The updated and enhanced New Business Officers Program (NBO),
July 26-28, is an intensive two-day workshop designed to orient new CBOs and sharpen their skills.

Designed to provide resources, information, and guidance, the program agenda encourages participants in examining the current complexities of the CBO role while learning from experienced CBOs, presidents, provosts, NACUBO experts, and other pivotal higher education representatives. Key issues for the effectiveness of every new business officer will be described, and attendees will have numerous opportunities to network with colleagues and discuss the challenges facing business officers today.

  • Varied and relevant content. Current and veteran CBOs will share experiences with regard to emerging issues, leadership challenges, and campus operations, with a focus on lessons learned. Other programming will highlight ways to develop board relationships, mitigate risk, communicate effectively with institutional constituents, and other issues offered up by participants.
  • Participant criteria. Attendance at the New Business Officers Program 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. You do not have to attend the annual meeting to register and participate in the NBO program.
  • Optional session. On Thursday, July 26, a session will be available from 4-6 p.m. that is designed for CFOs who are new to the field of higher education. The two-hour orientation will introduce the higher education culture, along with topics and concepts found in higher education that are not typically part of the corporate or nonprofit world.
  • Registration. Attendance at the New Business Officers Program is by registration only. For more information, visit
  • CPE Credits. When you participate in the New Business Officers Program, you'll earn approximately 15 CPE credits.
  • What You Need to Know About Program Integrity Rules. Colleges and universities face continuing challenges in implementing U.S. Department of Education “program integrity” rules—in particular, those related to state authorization, incentive payment, and gainful employment. The presenters will address these and other provisions. Attendees will also receive an update on several new and pending rules under Title IV of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Find out how other institutions are implementing the new rules and what role business officers are playing in that effort.
  • Risks on Campus: 25 Years of Lessons Learned. Twenty-five years ago, a small cadre of business officers from campuses across the country gathered at NACUBO to address the widespread crisis in obtaining liability insurance. From that meeting, United Educators, a risk-management and insurance company focusing solely on education, was born. Explore the lessons that have been learned in insuring higher education: how the risk profile has changed, what emerging risks are on the horizon, and how business officers can lead forward by looking back at liability trends. Discover the areas where risk not only is predictable, but also preventable, and discuss unexpected liability issues through an evaluation of 36,000 claims that have been handled since 1987.
  • The Impact of Mobile Computing on Campus Computing. Increasingly, mobile computing is affecting university system access, application design, and data security. Students, faculty, and staff look at smart phones, tablets, and other mobile devices as the preferred interface for accessing and working with university data. Discover the opportunities and challenges presented by this growing trend and their potential impact on the institution's bottom line.
  • The Future of Bookstores, Course Materials, and Retail Revenue Generation. Campus bookstores and the course materials they sell are experiencing dramatic change. What does the future hold and how can you best leverage your campus store? College store experts present the latest findings from a recent Collegiate Retailing Industry Futures Think Tank event. Gain perspective on what to expect from campus stores and the revenue potential from retailing in the next decade.
  • The Relentless Pursuit of Institutional Effectiveness. When considering a 25-year strategic vision to define the technological research university of the 21st century, what principles should guide your operations, actions, and strategic investments? Find out how one higher education institution is incorporating a long-term culture of continuous improvement, an ambitious strategic plan, and an integrated academic/administrative partnership into a widely accepted strategic business and operations framework. Hear about the process undertaken to define institutional effectiveness in full partnership with the academic, research, and administrative communities. Learn how to develop and apply a shared framework that guides decisions in both the short and long term.
  • A Progression of Cost-Savings Initiatives. It's not just large universities that need to be efficient. Learn how officials at a midsize institution used a series of increasingly sophisticated initiatives to become more resourceful. Hear about the steps taken toward successful resource allocation and assess the results achieved. Identify the pros and cons of multiple approaches, including three methods of reallocation planning that the university's administrators attempted. Review the steps required to create a committee tasked with collecting ideas on how to change the way business is done on campus.
  • The Carrot and the Stick: Post-Issuance Compliance for Tax-Exempt Bonds. The IRS has stepped up enforcement efforts related to tax-exempt bonds, including distributing post-issuance compliance questionnaires, requiring section 501(c)(3) organizations to complete Schedule K of Form 990, and doubling the number of tax-exempt bond audits. In addition, the IRS has indicated that all borrowers should have written post-issuance policies and procedures designed to ensure compliance with applicable federal tax law. Discuss the latest in IRS enforcement, including the steps you should take to ensure compliance long after the bond is issued.
  • Supply Chain Impacts—Understanding How to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint. Colleges and universities have established plans to measure and manage the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their operations, equipment, and electricity use. Yet very few academic administrators have looked at the impacts associated with the goods and services they purchase. With the more complete understanding of their supply chain, administrators can fully measure and manage the impact of their institutions, much as larger public companies are doing. Find out how to identify important collaboration opportunities by quantifying supply-chain emissions to increase efficiencies, lower costs, and reduce emissions. Discover how to publicly demonstrate environmental leadership to staff, faculty, alumni, students, and other stakeholders.
  • The Changing Financial Model of Public Universities. As state funding for public higher education is in relentless decline, some institutions are moving in the direction of a semiprivate-institution model. Such a model must balance higher tuition and increased financial aid against political risks, price concerns, and the perception of reduced access. What might tuition pricing changes mean for public policy and university strategy and planning? How can university leaders navigate these complex challenges? Gain insights on pricing and aid strategy, and get the perspectives of presidents and CFOs with different experiences at public universities.
  • Where Will Future Endowment Growth Come From? College and university endowments have relied on a 9 percent equity market return for decades, but that is about to change. The U.S. economy is entering a new phase of slower growth and lower returns. The emerging markets (India, China, and Brazil) and frontier markets (Middle East, Africa, and Latin America) will be the new engines for equity growth. Gain insight on how protracted growth in the United States will have important ramifications for endowment asset allocations. Examine the advantages of moving investments from large developed markets to emerging and frontier markets.

Historian and Pundit Predictions

General session speakers for NACUBO's celebratory year reflect on the many ways that the past can inform the future. Authors and journalists Sylvia Nasar and Bob Woodward bring economics, worldviews, and voluminous research to the party. Political prognosticators Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg will share their insider observations about the 2012 elections in an exciting point-counterpoint conversation.

Sylvia NasarEconomist, business journalist, and best-selling author. Known for the elegance of her prose in A Beautiful Mind (Simon and Schuster, 1998), about Nobel Prize-winning economist and mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., Sylvia Nasar has applied her research and storytelling skills to another epic story. In Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius in Modern Times (Simon and Schuster, 2011), she presents an uplifting account of the making of modern economics and how the insights of various thinkers transformed the world.

Nasar, whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Newsweek, Fast Company, and other publications, traces the development of a revolution in human thinking that was unimaginable 200 years ago—the notion that the bottom nine-tenths of humanity could escape the age-old sentence of endless poverty and that nations could shape their own destiny.

At Columbia University, Nasar codirects the master's program in business journalism and teaches a graduate seminar in economics reporting that focuses on globalization, growth, living standards, and business cycles. She'll bring higher education and economic perspectives to the opening keynote address at the annual meeting.

Bob WoodwardLegendary investigative journalist and political reporter. Since 1971, Bob Woodward has worked for the Washington Post, where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal, for which the Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward was the lead reporter for the Post's articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”

Woodward has authored or coauthored 16 books, all of which have been nonfiction bestsellers. Twelve have been No. 1 national bestsellers—more than any other contemporary nonfiction author. Some of the more well-known titles: All the President's Men, (Simon and Schuster, 1974), with Carl Bernstein; Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987 (Simon and Schuster, 1987); State of Denial: Bush at War Part III (Simon and Schuster, 2006); and Obama's Wars (Simon and Schuster, 2010). A graduate of Yale University in 1965, Woodward served for five years as a communications officer in the U. S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland.

The most famous political investigative reporter in America, Bob Woodward is sure to provide a clear and inside look at the inner workings of our government and its political leaders, in his general session keynote address on Tuesday, July 31.

Charlie CookPolitical prognosticators with credibility. If past performance is an indicator of future results, Charlie Cook and Stuart “Stu” Rothenberg can be considered Washington's two most reliable prognosticators. The entertaining duo will provide insightful commentary about voter sentiment, hot-button political issues, and other insider observations in an exciting point-counterpoint conversation.

Stu RothenbergNo matter what Cook and Rothenberg predict for the November election results, the White House and the next Congress will surely continue to tackle deficit reduction and economic growth, with profound implications for higher education.

Time to Rejuvenate, Celebrate

As NACUBO goes gold, the annual meeting's entertainment and networking opportunities are richer than ever. Be sure to review the final program schedule so that you take advantage of the wealth of options.

  • Hospitality in the Heart of the Newsroom. We'll open the meeting with an evening at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C., on Saturday, July 28. This unique venue combines five centuries of news history with cutting-edge technology and hands-on exhibits. Take the opportunity to meet other attendees while experiencing one of the city's most interactive museums.
  • NACUBO Fitness and 5K. Keep up your exercise routine, or experience something new, in twice-daily fitness sessions on Sunday, July 29, and Monday, July 30. On Tuesday morning, join your colleagues for a 5K run along the picturesque banks of the Potomac River.
  • First-Time Attendees Breakfast.This special breakfast for all first-timers at the annual meeting will provide an introduction to the conference and a chance to meet others who are exploring the conference for the first time. Advance sign-up is not required.
  • Happy Hour in the Expo. Another first-time happening: refreshments in the exhibit hall from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 29. Learn more about exhibitors while mingling with other attendees.
  • NACUBO's Golden Anniversary. It only happens every 25 years or so—a festive gathering of higher education leaders, paying tribute to greats of the industry and the profession. Details are still under wraps for the Tuesday, July 31, event, so consider it a surprise party!

Showcasing Corporate Partner Solutions

Seven corporate showcases will highlight the kinds of solutions that you may be looking for at your institution. These events, focused on a variety of relevant topics, will be integrated into the conference so that you'll be able to include a few in your learning program. Advance sign-up is not necessary. Check the final on-site program for dates and times for the following sessions:

  • Citi Global Transactions—Overcoming the Challenges of Expanding Globally.
  • Crowe Horwath LLP—Alternative Investments: What's Your True Rate of Return?
  • Datatel+SGHE—Ready, Set, SaaS: Game-Changing Success Stories of SaaS in Action.
  • Edge Capital Partners LLC—Managing Working Capital Liquidity.
  • Prime Buchholz—Navigating the Interrelated Markets.
  • TIAA-CREF—Assessing Reasonableness of 403(b) Retirement Plan Fees.
  • Tuition Management Systems—Making a Commitment to Affordability: Helping Your Students Develop a Personal Payment Strategy.

Be Sure and RSVP

Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime event, register now. For more information on housing, registration, and programming for the NACUBO 2012 Annual Meeting, visit

CAROLE SCHWEITZER is senior editor for Business Officer.

Give Yourself a Break on Monday

On the afternoon of July 30, you'll have the option of an introspective journey or an outward-bound adventure.

To enhance this very special NACUBO annual meeting, you'll be encouraged to “take off” on Monday afternoon. You'll have the option of participating in personal enrichment sessions, a campus tour, or one of a selection of special “Discover DC” tours.

Plan some personal enrichment. The 90-minute sessions and forums offered on Monday afternoon will provide attendees with in-depth, interactive learning opportunities on a variety of topics such as communication skills, succession planning, career development, and fundraising. These sessions, unlike the tours, will be eligible for CPE credit. A complete schedule and estimated CPEs will be available on the annual meeting Web site at

Tour a green campus. Visit one of the most sustainable campuses in the D.C. area—American University. Committed to climate neutrality by 2020, AU is host to the largest solar array in the region. The campus is a registered arboretum, and seven of its buildings have green roofs. Meet with campus leaders and learn about their commitment to the pursuit of sustainability for the university. There is no additional fee to participate, but advance sign-up is required.

Discover the District. To secure seats for you and your guests on one of the Discover DC tour buses, a nonrefundable ticket price will be included in your registration summary; the ticket will be among your registration materials upon check-in. Select from the following:

  • The Distinctive District City Tour: A Tour of Washington's Monuments and Landmarks (four hours; moderate walking). A city of history, innovation, and intrigue, Washington offers an unrivaled combination of museums and cultural institutions, monuments and memorials, parks and gardens, and diverse neighborhoods. Experience the most exciting and distinctive sites that define the District, learning fascinating little-known facts and stories about the sites along the way.
  • Honoring Our Nation's Memorials (four hours; moderate to heavy walking). Get an up close look at Washington's major monuments and learn the history behind each. Visit one of the nation's most sacred sites, Arlington National Cemetery, and gain an understanding of the significance of such monuments, not only to D.C., but to Americans' hearts and minds.
  • In the Footsteps of Our Forefather: A Tour of George Washington's Estate at Mount Vernon (three hours; heavy walking). As the residence of our nation's first president, Mount Vernon is the most popular historic estate in America. It was the beloved home of George and Martha Washington from the time of their marriage in 1759 until General Washington's death in 1799. Step into the past as you tour the stately mansion, more than a dozen original structures, and Washington's tomb. Take in scenic vistas, as you walk the restored grounds of the plantation, which rests on the banks of the Potomac River.
  • Secrets and Symbols Tour (four hours; moderate walking). Uncover the exciting mysteries and secrets hidden or embedded in the landmarks and streets of Washington, D.C. Learn about the symbolism of the Freemasons and other secret societies, and explore some of the most iconic sites in the American imagination, including the U.S. Capitol and Freedom Plaza, which features Pierre L'Enfant's original design of the city.
  • An Afternoon of Elegance: Walking Tour of Historical Georgetown, With Shopping (four hours; heavy walking). This tour, beginning with a walk through Washington's Georgetown neighborhood, is a venture through time—of 200-year-old mansions and their eccentric owners; of fortunes in trade won and lost; of marvelous architecture from Federal to Victorian; and of political intrigue, green preservation, and urban renewal. Following the tour, explore the upscale shops, boutiques, and restaurants of Georgetown.
  • Crime, Espionage, and Intrigue: An Afternoon at the Museum of Crime and Punishment, or the International Spy Museum (heavy walking involved). Spend the afternoon immersed in secrets and scandals at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment or the International Spy Museum. Explore the secrets behind the world's most notorious spies, or go behind the scenes of real “CSI” investigations. Either museum will intrigue you with the darker sides of life.