WASFAA Ethnic Diversity Action Committee 1. Welcome

WASFAA Ethnic Diversity Action Committee
Minutes: Conference Call Meeting
June 11, 2015 9 a.m. PDT
1. Welcome
a. Present: Helen Faith, Jena Greenwood, Leo Vogel, Christy Jones,
Dewayne Barnes
b. Absent: Robbie Richards, Jodie Kuba, Rachel Martinez
2. Goals
 Increase number of applicants for EDAC scholarships
o Email membership to promote the scholarship
 Mention how many applications we have received in
the past versus how many scholarships were offered
 Ask Leo to provide a brief testimonial on his
experience as a scholarship applicant/recipient to
encourage more members to apply
 Select EDAC scholarship recipients:
o Summer Institute
o Management & Leadership Institute
o Annual Conference
 Provide feedback to WASFAA on issues impacting aid administrators
and students from ethnic minority groups
 Present a session at the Annual Conference
 Provide an article for each WASFAA newsletter
o Helen will write the summer article about the work we’ve
 Mention that we’ll be reaching out to WASFAA
members for their feedback
o Future issues: Helen can write the articles, or another member
of the group can volunteer to write an article if they are
interested in doing so
 Produce a promotional publication about EDAC and scholarships
o Example: trifold brochure or bookmark/buck-slip
o Can be handed out at events, mailed to members, and posted
on website
 Respond to questions from WASFAA’s Executive Council
3. Expectations
 Attend all phone meetings (within reason—don’t call in when you’re
sick or on vacation)
 Respond to emails within 5 business days
o We will conduct a significant amount of our work over email
Participate in reviewing and scoring scholarship applications
o If the scholarship application period presents challenges for a
particular membership due to workload at their institution,
this shouldn’t present a major challenge as long as we’re able
to have most members participate in the review
o Prior year: 10-12 applicants per event
 With increased scholarship budget and efforts to
encourage more members to apply, we will likely see
an increase in volume
o Applications are pretty brief—a few paragraphs each. Each
application doesn’t take long to review—just a few minutes.
Contribute to an atmosphere of trust, respect, and collaboration
Actively contribute your expertise, opinions, ideas, and experience
toward the conference presentation and other projects
4. Timelines
 Scholarship applications (planning on about 6-8 weeks before each
event, though we may be reviewing applications a little later than
estimated below, depending on timing of applications):
o February: Annual Conference
o April: Summer Institute
o September: Management & Leadership Institute
 Presentation:
o January: proposal ready to submit
 This gives us several months to solidify our ideas and
zero in on a topic/theme
o March: presentation materials prepared
 i.e., PowerPoint and any handouts ready to go,
allowing plenty of time to get ready to present in April
o April: present at conference
 Ideally, we should have two or more EDAC members
co-presenting. Leo, Jenna, and Christy are willing to
help present, contingent upon whether or not they are
able to attend the conference.
5. Next steps
 Other discussion issues
o Question: what is EDAC’s scholarship funding source? Answer:
WASFAA’s budget includes multiple income streams and
expense categories. Income sources include membership
dues, event fees, vendor donations, interest/investment
income, etc. Then there are several different expense
categories. There aren’t specific expenses tied to specific
income sources—everything goes into an income or expense
bucket, so to speak. EDAC scholarships are funded by the
overall WASFAA budget. WASFAA’s been in a very strong
financial position for a number of years, and rather than just
building asset reserves, the EC may choose to allocate funds
strategically to meet WASFAA’s goals. This helps to explain
why our scholarship budget will increase for 2015-16 over
prior years.
o EDAC scholarship application: currently, there are just broad,
general questions listed: your reason for applying for the
scholarship, responsibilities in your current position, your
career goals in the field, and to describe what you hope to
learn [at the event] and how you would use this knowledge to
help others. Members agreed that we should add a question
that focuses on diversity.
 Action item: we will circulate ideas by email for use
during the next scholarship application cycle.
o Question from WASFAA as sparked by inquiries from NASFAA:
should EDAC continue to focus on ethnic diversity, or should
we broaden our focus to include additional diversity factors,
such as sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability,
 Historical perspective: EDAC came into existence
shortly after the Rodney King incident, and there are
very strong opinions among WASFAA’s long-standing
members that historically have supported staying the
course in terms of the focus on ethnic diversity. Some
WASFAA members have expressed strong reservations
with respect to diluting our mission.
 Several members agreed that we should consider a
wider array of underrepresented and marginalized
populations. These different groups generally have a
shared experience in terms of barriers and challenges
 State perspective: CASFAA board changed its
committee from “Ethnic Diversity Committee” to
“Access & Diversity Committee” to reflect change in
goals/mission. They had to go out to the membership
to change the bylaws. This change did not meet with
any controversy or resistance. CASFAA’s diversity
committee had different roots—a focus from the
outset was to increase Native American representation
and participation as an important underrepresented
and marginalized group.
Should weigh the pros and cons of broadening the
mission of this committee versus having a separate
committee to focus on other diversity issues
 No need to make a hasty decision; we can engage with
WASFAA membership for their thoughts, and discuss
with WASFAA EC in the coming EC year
 Action item: Helen will do some research before our
next meeting to see what other regional associations
are doing and we’ll talk about this again next time—
this will likely be an ongoing conversation that may
even extend into our EDAC session at the annual
o Brochure/marketing materials: Leo has experience in
marketing and with relevant software. He can help with
layout of brochure; everyone can contribute to content
 We can work on content via email
o Reaching out to our membership more effectively: survey the
membership directly? EDAC could send out an email to our
membership; alternately, we could include questions in a
general WASFAA membership survey, but then we would be
constrained by their timelines and selection bias (i.e., only
those who respond to the survey would be represented in the
answers, potentially distorting the results). Questions to ask:
 What are their experiences in their offices?
 What sort of support or advice do they need?
 What feedback would they like us to share with
WASFAA’s leadership?
 Are there state-specific issues we should be aware of?
 What are financial aid offices doing to support
underrepresented students and staff?
 This question was the topic planned for EDAC’s
session for the 2015 conference, but it never
came to fruition; EDAC members reportedly
had difficulty getting feedback they needed
from WASFAA members to get this off the
o Should we have an EDAC reception/gathering at the
conference? (Can they fit anything else into the conference
program realistically?)
 Helen received an invitation to NASFAA’s Diversity
Caucus at the 2013 Conference that she will forward to
the committee. WASFAA could model this after
newcomers’ session, wherein everyone is invited, but
the emphasis is on members from racial and ethnic
minority groups
Day and time for monthly meetings
o Forgotten detail: Hawaii time! We have a committee member
who couldn’t call in today because 9 a.m. PDT is 6 a.m. for her
(3 hours behind PDT and 4 hours behind PST). 4 hours behind
MDT and 5 hours behind MST. This means that we shouldn’t
plan future meetings that start earlier than 12:30 Pacific Time.
 The group agreed that we should have future phone
meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 2 p.m.
Pacific Time.
 Future dates/times (all at 2 p.m. Pacific Time):
 Thursday, July 9
 Thursday, August 13
 Thursday, September 10
 Thursday, October 8
 Thursday, November 12
 Thursday, December 10
 Thursday, January 14
 Thursday, February 11
 Thursday, March 10
 Thursday, April 14