One of the things the HEUG board has been working on lately is a revision of our strategic plan. As we have rapidly grown from a volunteer, peer-to-peer organization to a very large, worldwide networking Group the need for a renewed plan has become clear as the HEUG looks forward to continued growth both domestic and internationally.
Looking back, it has only been since 2001 that the HEUG name was officially founded, and since 2006 that Alliance became the umbrella for the Higher Education, Public Sector and Federal Users Network conference. The complexity has grown; the HEUG still builds on all those volunteers that participate in the PAG´s, listservs, forums etc. Where the work becomes too specialized or time-consuming, professional organizations are hired. The big question that the HEUG Board is constantly trying to answer is: how can we provide the needs of our membership, institutions, as well as the supporting vendors, and make sure that we keep influencing the product(s) in an ever tighter economical situation? And what is exactly the meaning of the HEUG, what do we stand for?
We can think of many nice, long mission statements and ways to support the needs of members and vendors, but I would like to refer to the current version ´to advocate and to educate," and as our Conference Chair, Doug Roberts suggested: to "Communicate". I think that is what it actually boils down to. Right on the spot. We advocate with Oracle, who is willing to engage in an open conversation with us on a strategic level and across their product lines. We advocate with consultants and implementation partners to make sure their offer adds up to our Higher Ed needs. We educate, by offering tailor-made sessions at the biggest educational event for Higher Education Oracle apps users, and additionally, the education series which has grown exponentially this year.
But the personal contacts that the community creates and grows, via the PAG listserv, forums and by meeting peers at the Alliance and regional conferences, are the backbone to this organization. So we communicate to have access to, and offer a knowledge base at any time and any place in the world. And hey, it is fun, too. So let´s keep in touch....