2011 in Review: One Incredible Year

As we approach the beginning of a new year, let's take a moment to celebrate an incredible 2011.

Thousands of HEUG members -- from 25 countries around the world -- met in Denver in March for the annual Alliance conference, which was a huge success. We saw continued growth in HEUG membership throughout the year, now standing at over 25,000 individuals from over 900 campuses in 33 countries on six continents. It is exciting to watch the HEUG continue to develop as a robust global community of practice for Oracle users in the higher education and research industry. As we grow, we continue to focus on how to best advance our core mission: to provide educational opportunities for member institutions and advocate on their behalf. One new mechanism to expand these efforts this year was the establishment of six very successful regional conferences here in the Unites States. These conferences, along with Alliance and our regional events outside of the US, have enabled an increased level of interaction throughout our community. Another initiative started this year to extend our education and advocacy efforts is our new focus on executive engagement. All of these new developments are in addition to our already successful core activities, including our advisory group community of over 175 representatives from over 100 member institutions. What a fantastic year!

Of course, with the growth of our membership and associated activities comes a recognition that we need to ensure that our organization is sustainable. The successful implementation of our new membership model in 2010 was the first crucial step toward this goal. Over the past year we have worked hard to finalize our strategic plan, which provides us a road map for the next stages of our organizational development. We have taken the additional steps this year of expanding our staff to five full time staff members reporting to our tireless Executive Director Lew Conner and engaging the services of a financial services firm to help with the operational aspects of running a global organization. The HEUG remains a volunteer-run organization, so our outreach efforts to recruit the next generations of leaders are also well underway. Please look for more details about our organization in our Annual Report, published in advance of the Alliance conference each year.

After such a year of wonders, what should we expect in 2012? Certainly we are looking forward to another successful Alliance conference in Nashville in March -- we hope to see you all there. We anticipate continued growth in our membership, which will be more manageable thanks to the maturation of our regional community organizations around the world. We will see increased educational programming in the forms of enhanced online offerings and additional events throughout the year. We will see new efforts to ensure that our global advisory group community is representing our entire membership. We will likely see an expansion and maturation of regional conferences as a function of our regional community organizations. We will see increased activity around executive engagement, including a fantastic Executive Forum at the Alliance conference. We will see all of this happen over the next year with the knowledge that we are all part of an extraordinary organization. Many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who make this happen.

So, as we go into the holiday season, allow me to extend the most sincere best wishes to you all and your loved ones. I am looking forward to seeing you all at one of our events in what will hopefully be a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

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