BEST PRACTICES FOR REGIONAL GROUPS OF ECEDHA
ECEDHA's regional groups are very important to the overall strength of the organization and to each of its member universities. The regions convene independently throughout the year to focus on state and local funding, technology stimulus and development, regional economic initiatives, and other issues pertinent to their region.
A survey of the various groups and members' experiences over a number of years showed some of the things that well-functioning groups have in common. These are as follows:
- The most active regional groups are the ones that regularly hoold their own regional meeting at least once a year. The networking among the members is very strong at these meetings, and the close interaction has been cited as a key benefit of the meeting. It is easier to network in a smaller group setting than the large annual meeting of ECEDHA. The Southeast region hosts its annual regional meeting in a static location that is convenient for all of the attendees for transportation purposes (e.g., Atlanta). The Southwest and Central States regions meet at various universities on a systematic rotational basis. The Canadian region has two meetings, one in the spring and one in the fall of each year. The spring meeting is in connection with the Canadian Conference on ECE, and the fall meeting is at one of their universities. Some regions will use meetings on the same day of the week each year, and others will vary them based on dates available.
- It is very important to have designated leaders or officers each year on some type of systematic selection well known to every member university. Some have several officers on an elected basis, and others will use the host university chair or head to lead the regional meetings.
- IT is also very helpful to have a published agenda well in advance of the regional meeting. This helps the members prepare in advance and contributes to the overall benefits of having the regional meeting.
- Regionally supported Web sites also help make the region function better. It helps keep members informed and promotes interaction. Contact information for the regional leader and members should be updated regularly.