Affiliation Decision with ACPA

Dear CSPA-NYS Colleague,
You may be aware that the executive board of CSPA-NYS has been working since late summer to respond to required changes in our relationship with ACPA, College Student Educators International.  In the months since, we engaged in a thoughtful and inclusive process in order to make a decision that best serves the needs of our membership and our association in accordance with the December 31, 2014 deadline set by ACPA.  Our process concluded on December 8, 2014, when the CSPA-NYS executive board voted unanimously to disaffiliate with ACPA at this time.  The purpose of this letter is to share with you the steps that we took, communicate our decision-making process, and discuss our vision for the future.
If you recall, this process was due to new government regulations on taxation that necessitated changes in the way we do business with ACPA.  We were presented with three options, each with its own requirements and potential benefits and drawbacks to the association.  CSPA-NYS has existed as a chartered state division of ACPA since our incorporation in 1967, and our first two options were to remain affiliated with ACPA as either an internal or an external chapter.  Our third option was to disaffiliate from ACPA altogether.
The executive board spent significant time discussing the chapter agreement options at our summer retreat in June, our board meetings in October, and in several recent phone meetings.  While at our annual conference, we engaged in informal conversations with members and paved the way for a formal communication about this process.  We also spent time with the current executive director of ACPA, Dr. Cindi Love, and received answers to many of the questions that related to the three options.
In early November, we sent a message to our association’s current membership outlining the three options and presenting the potential individual and organizational benefits and drawbacks of each of the options.  This message also included a survey for members to complete and provide general feedback.  We also sought input from past presidents of CSPA-NYS whose service goes back to the 1980s.  This information was analyzed and shared with the executive board for consideration, leading to the Board vote. 
The collective themes that emerged highlighted the small percentage of our membership currently affiliated with ACPA, uncertainty about the long-term benefits to CSPA-NYS, and the long history of our Association’s autonomy.  CSPA-NYS is proud to be a financially strong and independent association, separate from our prior affiliation with ACPA.  As of October 2014, we hold our own status as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.  We maintain our own bylaws and charter, and hold the overall independence necessary to stand on our own.
We truly believe that this is the best decision for our members.  By choosing not to affiliate with ACPA, we can keep our current low membership rates available to all, which provide discounted conference registration rates and free attendance at other educational events.  It allows us to stay true to our mission of serving professionals across New York State and providing access particularly to graduate students and new professionals for whom cost is a frequent concern.  This decision also allows us the ability to build on existing partnerships and create new ones with a wide variety of professional associations, institutions, and other educational partners. Part of our confidence in this decision rests on the fact that we do not believe that our relationship with ACPA ends here.
This is an exciting time for CSPA-NYS.  You may not notice drastic changes immediately, as some of our first steps regarding this decision require adjustment of internal processes and documents.  You will still be able to access information about CSPA-NYS on our website at and update or renew your membership information there.  You will still receive these e-lert messages at least once a month from our communications team with information about our upcoming events and opportunities.  The makeup of the executive board will remain the same, and we welcome your feedback or questions on this decision.
In 2015, look for the following things:

  • New CSPA-NYS website
  • 4 CSPA-NYS On the Road events
  • 2 Coffee Talk events
  • Opportunities to connect with CSPA-NYS at ACPA’s convention
  • NYLEC Drive-In Conference
  • CCI Drive-In Conference
  • A new vision for our Annual Conference in Syracuse, NY

We appreciate the input of all who contributed to this process and the time and energy invested by our board members and other volunteers in helping our Association.  We look forward to the bright future of CSPA-NYS and the opportunity to include you in the process as we move ahead.
Doreen Hettich-Atkins, President
Ithaca College
Eileen Merberg, Past-President
SUNY Buffalo State
Chris Diggs, President-Elect
Baruch College