2024 ACUI Annual Business Meeting, State of the Association Highlights

Finances and Fundraising

An external accounting firm, Blue & Co., reported the Association received a clean review of finances for Fiscal Year 2022; the audited financial statement can be found on the Board of Trustees page on the ACUI website. 

Overall, the Association’s annual operating budget is $4 million, down from $4.8 million pre-pandemic in 2019. ACUI has over $1 million in reserves, and collectively the regional funds, Education and Research Fund, and primary ACUI fund have net assets of just over $2 million. After the 2023 audit is completed and accepted by the Board of Trustees, a summary will be published in The Bulletin, and the full financial statement will be available on the ACUI website. 

The Investing in Our Profession campaign is designated to support the Student Affairs & College Union Certification Program, including educational scholarships toward ACUI programs that support participants learning and preparation for the certification program. ACUI has received $167,750 in pledges and contributions toward a $200,000 campaign goal, making this the largest single fundraising campaign in ACUI’s history. The Education and Research Fund also raised $7,478 from the Silent Auction, $6,119 from the Legacy Leader program, and $12,169 from the Day of Giving raised throughout 2023. 

Additionally, since its inception in 2020, $69,000 in donations to the Financial Assistance Fund have funded 19 institutions to maintain their membership and 37 individuals to attend ACUI conferences and programs. 

Strategic Planning

The 2020–24 Strategic Plan focused on three guideposts: Empowerment and Social Justice, Member Engagement, and Financial Stability. Below are some highlights from each guidepost; a full article showcasing the impact of the 2020–24 Strategic Plan will be available in the next Bulletin issue. 

  • Empowerment and Social Justice Guidepost Highlights: The Social Justice Seminar resulted in the development of a tool for assessing social justice & equity in college unions; ACUI partnered with experts, such as Social Responsibility Speaks, to provide members the opportunity to attend workshops and take a deep dive into social justice; and the Association continued the Closing the Gap program.
  • Member Engagement Guidepost Highlights: ACUI updated its membership model for the first time in over two decades to expand benefits; the ACUI Adventure offered at the Annual Conference provided members a different and robust engagement opportunity in the host city. 
  • Financial Sustainability Guidepost Highlights: ACUI sought sources for non-dues revenue opportunities, such as the virtual events business that was created during the pandemic and expansion of association management services; ACUI’s financial investment policies were revised to make sure its portfolio emphasizes companies that operate with high environmental, social, and governance standards; and the Association received pandemic-relief funds available through the United States Government. 

ACUI Conferences and Programs

ACUI event attendance continues to rebound following the pandemic. The 2022 Annual Conference in Chicago had about 66% of typical attendance for professional members; last year, in Boston, attendance was up to 78%. The 2024 Annual Conference in Denver was up to 86% of typical attendance. Attendance at other traditional programs like IPDS: New Professionals Orientation and the Aspiring Directors varied, but all broke even or met budget goals. 

At the regional level, Region II had a successful drive-in at Texas State University and Region 7 saw strong participation in their Grad & Grow program, but Regions V and VI had to cancel conferences due to low registration numbers. A report and recommendations from a task force that examined regional engagement was received by the Board of Trustees in August, and since then, the board and regional directors have been discussing next steps for moving forward.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Work done over the past year began at the 2023 Annual Conference in Boston when senior diversity officers shared their perspectives on the challenges and opportunities around diversity, equity, and inclusion. This was followed by a post-conference webinar to gain greater insights into this work. Additionally, the non-profit Social Responsibility Speaks hosted in-person sessions at two 2023 Regional Conferences, workshops on empathetic leadership and tools to advance campus community for DACA students were offered, and ACUI saw participation double in Closing the Gap, a program designed for mid-level and senior-level BIPOC professionals focused on career advancement, with 14 professionals engaging in the sessions. 

Student Affairs Certification

Participation in the Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification completed its second year, with ACUI partnering with six other higher education associations. Designed to enhance career pathways and mobility for aspiring leaders, and elevate the credibility, integrity, and visibility of the profession, the program has provided certification to 24 ACUI members in the College Unions Specialty certification. To date, 100% of the ACUI members who have taken the ACUI preparation course have passed the student affairs and college union certification exams.


ACUI transitioned to a new Association Management System and launched a refreshed website in 2023. Also, the Central Office moved to a different physical office, still in the city of Bloomington, Indiana, with fewer office spaces and a larger footprint for storing program and service materials.


  • Steve Chaplin

    Steve Chaplin is managing editor of ACUI’s The Bulletin and manager of the ACUI College Union and Student Activities (CUSA) Evaluation Program. A former newspaper writer, editor, and manager, he has volunteered as a student mentor as a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and received awards for his writing and reporting from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Kentucky Education Association, and the Kentucky Press Association.

    View all posts