COVID-19 Update - Annual Conference

16 Apr 2020 2:06 PM | Jonathan Gates (Administrator)

Hello OTC Colleague,

We hope you are all well and have been able to take some time away from your temporary offices to rest and refresh yourselves.  Perhaps you celebrated Passover or Easter.  Perhaps you are preparing for Ramadan.  Whatever your faith tradition, including none at all, we trust you’ve found time to process the liminal space in which we find ourselves.

This is certainly a spring unlike any we’ve experienced in higher education.  All of our institutions have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by changing the way we do things.  It seems that one transition has led to another as we plan for short- and longer-term challenges.  It has been no different at the Ohio Transfer Council (OTC).  We value the work of OTC even as we acknowledge that we must accomplish that good work in different ways from those we have used before.

Last month the OTC Executive Board made the difficult but necessary decision to not offer an in-person version of our annual conference.  We promised we’d research alternative options and get back to you with more information.  After much discussion, we made a few decisions, some easier than others.  Let’s start with the easy decision.  In recognition of the financial challenges that our institutions are concerned with and acknowledging that OTC is only as strong as its membership, we will extend everyone’s membership by one year at no charge.  Whether you attended the 2019 Conference (which included a one-year membership) or paid separately for a one-year membership, that membership will now extend through June 30, 2021.   We’ve set up a link where we ask that you confirm your one-year extension and, if necessary, update your contact information.  Please confirm your membership extension no later than June 30, 2020 so that our roster is accurate.

We realize that some individuals who were not members for the 2019-2020 year might want to join OTC now, and we welcome them.  We are offering those individuals a free one-year individual membership that will allow access to our upcoming professional development sessions.  Their institutions will not automatically receive institutional membership nor will their students be eligible for the 2020 David Gall Memorial Scholarship.  Additionally, our traditional one-year membership will still be available for $25.00.  That will include institutional membership and the opportunity for their students to be considered for the 2020 David Gall Memorial Scholarship.

The annual conference has always been OTC’s primary event with members gathering from across the state to network, to learn, and to grow.  Our By-Laws require annual meetings which were a part of the annual conferences.   It was a difficult decision to make but, after much research, discussion, and deliberation, the executive board decided to completely cancel this year’s annual conference.  There simply isn’t enough time to change gears and offer a fully-online version of our conference at the level of quality we insist upon.  Instead, we will combine our annual meeting with a brief professional development opportunity.  All members are encouraged to attend this free event. The annual meeting will be held online on Friday, June 5, the same day we had planned for the conference (in the hope that you have already reserved this date on your calendars).  Additionally, we are planning to offer a robust schedule of online professional development sessions throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.  It is our hope that gathering online throughout the year will help us all to adapt to the changes and challenges coming our way due to the COVID-19 crisis.  Even as we are all coping with a higher than normal amount of uncertainty, the executive committee remains confident that the annual conference will be back next year, stronger and more vibrant than ever. 

One last thing - - elections are coming up for the 2020-2021 academic year.  More details on that will be coming soon, but please consider running for office or getting involved with a committee.  We need you.

Stay safe, and stay healthy,

OTC Executive Board

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