I want to inform you about a variety of changes that will take place at ACAE at the end of the year.
First, I will be stepping down as ACAE’s executive director on December 31, 2017, after close to 15 years. Hard to believe—because it seems like yesterday that I assumed my responsibilities. Even though the road was arduous, it was filled with energy, excitement, and a true sense of purpose. I had incredible support from thoughtful, intelligent, and totally committed ACAE board members over the years. We worked non-stop to promote the quality and rigor that has been the hallmark of ACAE. I was deeply pleased to participate with countless audiology educators and practicing clinicians in raising the bar in educational standards.
To you, the ACAE Corner readers, I thoroughly appreciated the attention you gave to our column, was always eager to hear your comments, and find out what you wanted to read in the future. To the volunteer authors who wrote the ACAE Corner articles, I was grateful for the time, effort, and interest you had in conveying your ideas about higher education accreditation and audiology’s future. To one and all, it has been my great pleasure to know such a special group of professionals and I thank you for the privilege of working with you side by side.
As I also reflect on highlights accomplished since January 2003 when we incorporated:
- Maintained a 501(c)(3) status,
- Wrote two sets of doctoral standards,
- Developed the first web-based integrated system for accreditation in the United States and possibly globally,
- Accredited strong doctoral programs in audiology,
- Were and continue to be recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA),
- Developed the first stakeholder survey about audiology education,
- Published ACAE Corner in Audiology Today since 2009,
- Presented annually at audiology conferences and external organizations,
- Traveled to South Korea to consult with Hallym University’s audiology program,
- Developed the annual Clinical Education Forum at the AAA annual conference…
- and… enjoyed every minute.
Second, there is an exciting succession plan for ACAE and I am extraordinarily pleased to be part of making it happen. From the executive director and Board leadership of the Academy, there has been demonstrable and renewed commitment to supporting ACAE. As a result, the ACAE is moving its operations to the American Academy of Audiology (the Academy) in Reston, Virginia, as of October 1, 2017.
ACAE will maintain its 501(c)(3) status and independence, meaning that all accreditation functions and programmatic decisions will be handled by the ACAE Board of Directors, as it has been since 2003. The new Director of Accreditation will be Meggan Olek, a professional who has been with the Academy for more than 18 years in a variety of positions related to education. She will be responsible for the daily operations of ACAE. Kitty Werner, vice president for Public Affairs at the Academy, will oversee the ACAE. Kitty came to the Academy in 2016 with extensive experience as an executive director in a nurse practitioner organization based in Washington.
The transition of staff leadership in ACAE is currently taking place and will continue through the end of the year. The ACAE Board of Directors are involved in the transition and look forward to taking ACAE to a new level.
As I recall why ACAE began, I think about the leaders in the profession who were passionate about audiology being in control of its own destiny, such as, being in charge of its educational standards and accreditation. The amazing ACAE chairs, Angela Loavenbruck, Ian M. Windmill, Lisa H. Hunter, and the soon-to-be chair Jay W. Hall, have been and continue to be strong leaders and role models for audiology education and the profession. I was honored to have been a part of their efforts. As I leave, I foresee a great strength in ACAE as it continues to grow its programs and promotes further integration of the didactic and clinical aspects of the AuD.
Au revoir, and I anticipate hearing about the success that will be ACAE’s future.