NEHA President’s Message – Spring 2017

Dear Colleagues,

In the aftermath of an immensely successful conference at Rivier University this past October, and in anticipation of our convening at Salem State University in April, I am pleased to report that the state of NEHA as an association is healthy, vibrant, and advancing. Although you may expect to learn more fully about the range of initiatives and activities undertaken when we assemble next month, suffice it to say we have recently been able to progress in certain key areas with uncommon speed, and that this advancement is particularly evident in the realm of technology. With thanks especially to Tona Hangen, you will find many helpful upgraded features on the NEHA website. One key example of these changes is that you will now discover that you can register (and ideally preregister) for the upcoming and all future NEHA conferences electronically. For this long-deferred convenience, our heartfelt and unreserved thanks goes to Martin Menke, whose tireless efforts have made it all possible. We hope that as many of you as possible elect to avail yourselves of this new and relatively painless means of registering. Your doing so will greatly assist all parties logistically in preparing for the stimulating conference program at Salem State that Troy Paddock as chair has assembled for us as well as for those yet to come.

In light of the current national political climate, I also want to communicate that NEHA has been anything but hesitant in staking out a policy position in the face of unanticipated and potentially threatening forces from which we can neither insulate nor inoculate ourselves. As an AHA-affiliate, and as a sharer of its views, we have unanimously endorsed such AHA-sponsored measures as its condemnation of the recent executive order restricting entry to the United States. Please know that, in the interest of intellectual openness across borders and the unfettered exchange of ideas among peoples of all cultures, as and when the need arises, we remain poised and prepared to endorse any similar statements of dissent, as and when the need arises.

Finally, permit me to conclude on an earnest invitational note by appealing to each of you to consider contributing your talents to NEHA in the most lasting way through service. As an association premised on democratic self-governance, NEHA will best thrive by maximizing to the fullest the participation of its members. I therefore implore you not simply to assume that our nominating committee, which is presently chaired by Kristen Petersen, will eventually contact you. Self-identification is oftentimes the very best form of nomination and, in the belief that all parties can only profit from it, I urge you to be forthcoming in making your interest in serving NEHA known.

Don Wyatt, NEHA President (2016-17)
Middlebury College