PRESIDENT’S REPORT ANNUAL MEETING APRIL 3, 2009 WELCOME TO PROVIDENCE I want to welcome you to the 68th annual meeting of the NJCAA. This year we meet in Providence, Rhode Island to conduct the meetings that will guide us for the next year. Rhode Island has had a long athletic history dating back to the late 1800’s. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is located at the Newport Casino which was the site of the first U. S. National Championships in 1881. The Providence Grays won the first World Championship in baseball history in 1884. The Grays played in the National League from 1878-1885. Rhode Island is home to four Division I NCAA schools and is also the home of the Community College of Rhode Island, one of our sister colleges. WHY ARE WE HERE We all know why we are here this week. The bulk of our work will be done in the sport committees and in the general sessions. Your participation in the sport committee meetings is vital to the success of our organization. All of our sports are important and deserve the attention of all of the membership. REVIEW OF HANDBOOK PROPOSALS Please review the legislative proposals before you this week. This process began in January when the Eligibility Committee held its midwinter meetings to review proposals from the Executive Committee and those proposed to the Eligibility Committee. Please be informed about these proposals and the ones coming from the sport committees. We need to understand the implications of all proposals and vote in the best interest of the organization. ECONOMY I don’t need to tell you that we need to be aware of the economic climate on each of our campuses. I can tell you from personal experience that we walk a fine line between having properly funded programs and having budgets cut drastically. Please be prepared to talk frankly with the decision makers on your campus as we walk a fine line between having support and being neglected. Be prepared to justify your programs by using the NJCAA program review format or one of your own design. I can tell you from personal experience that it does not take long to dismantle a successful program. MEMBERSHIP SURVEY Last year I was charged with developing a membership survey so that we can determine how the organization is doing. That survey, covering a wide range of topics, is now ready and will be sent out in the near future. Please help us by urging all colleges in your Regions to complete and return the survey. This is the only way that we can tell what is important to all of you. The survey attempts to gather information about member satisfaction while collecting demographic information that will be a useful tool for planning. I am encouraging you and your colleagues to participate so that we can gather the information that we need. CONGRATULATIONS I want to congratulate our basketball champions for this year. Rochester Community and Technical College in Division III, Kirkwood CC in Division II and Central Arizona College in Division I were the champions is women’s basketball. In men’s basketball Richland College in Division III, Johnson County CC in Division II and Salt Lake Community College in Division I were all champions. I had the pleasure of visiting Hutch, Salina and Danville and saw some really outstanding basketball. THE FUTURE What does the future hold for the NJCAA? I see a future of possibilities for the organization. No doubt we have issues to overcome. We, in athletics, will need to see our way through the economic mine fields that are out there. The organization will need to replace Wayne Baker as Executive Director after his resignation during the winter. We must be diligent in working for the best of the organization as a whole rather than our own self interest. I see a healthy organization; one that is aggressive in the market place and one that is technologically savvy.