(by Aaron Steffens, MASFAA President)
Six MASFAA members attended a NASFAA Board Meeting in New Orleans on November 17-18. These six members included Dan Mann (IL), NASFAA Chair-Elect; Lori Vedder (MI), Treasurer; Craig Slaughter (IN), Representative at Large; Paula Luff (IL), Representative at Large; Sara Beth Holman (WI), MASFAA Regional Representative and Aaron Steffens (IA), MASFAA Observer. The board heard updates from National Chair Eileen O’Leary as well as NASFAA President Justin Draeger. It was reported that the rollout of the Ethics and Code of Conduct information has been fairly well received at conferences. A lively discussion took place as it related to moving board tenure from two to three years for the regional representatives. While no decisions were made, many points of view were shared and it appears that conversation on this topic will be on-going.
A highlight of the board meeting included a conversation with Lynn Mahaffie, Acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. Items of interest that were discussed with Assistant Secretary Mahaffie included the future of the Perkins Loan program, Gainful Employment regulations, changes to credit standards in the PLUS program, PAYE regulations and the President’s College Ratings System. The Department is well aware of the fact that schools need guidance on how to proceed with packaging Perkins Loans for 2015-16 in light of the fact that this program could end. Look for more information on the formula for the College Ratings System to be released in a December Federal Register.
Attending this meeting did give us an opportunity to preview the location for the 2015 NASFAA Conference. The Hyatt Regency in New Orleans is a beautiful facility that should be able to accommodate the conference nicely. While the brisk thirty degree temperatures made a walk down to the French Quarter seem endless, the walk is only about ten blocks. The 2015 NASFAA Conference promises to be special as it serves as the kick-off point to NASFAA’s 50th Anniversary year.
As the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving this week, I would like to wish you and yours all the best in the upcoming weeks.