President's Report
BPD Update Online, Winter 2003
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President's Report
by Spencer Zeiger

Congratulations to us all on our most successful conference ever! With over 900 attendees, our 20th Annual Conference far surpassed all previous attendance totals.

We are growing as an organization! As I write, at the end of December 2002, we have 817 members: an all-time high. We must be doing something right.

In my opening address last October (soon to be posted on I introduced our 2002-2004 Strategic Plan. We have established six goals to:

1. Provide leadership in BSW education through advocacy and program development.

2. Provide opportunities for the development and support of current and prospective baccalaureate social work program leaders.

3. Promote educational approaches that provide assistance to baccalaureate social work education programs, faculty, and students.

4. Promote research paradigms to enhance the art and science of baccalaureate social work education and practice.

5. Support diversity in baccalaureate social work education and practice from an empowerment and strengths perspective.

6. Strengthen the administrative functioning of BPD.

I believe we have a blueprint for goals, objectives, and tasks that move beyond rhetoric and can be put into action. One example, which relates to Goal 2, is the creation of a Mentorship Program for new baccalaureate social work program directors. We are in the process of matching 38 new directors with an equal number of seasoned directors who have expressed their willingness to serve a mentor for a least one year. There is still room for more participants in this project. If you are interested in serving as a mentor, or wish to be mentored, please contact me.

As previously mentioned, membership numbers are up! Final total for the year 2002 is as follows:

Regular Members (eligible to vote) = 369 (45.2%)
Associate Members (ineligible to vote*) = 444 (54.3%)
Emeritus Members = 2 (0.3%)
Life Time Members = 2 (0.3%)

Total = 817 (100.00%)

To date (December 20th), we already have the following numbers for 2003 (if you have yet to renew your membership for 2003, there's no time like the present):

Regular Members (eligible to vote) = 99 (41.8%)
Associate Members (ineligible to vote*) = 134 (56.5%)
Emeritus Members = 2 (0.8%)
Life Time Members = 2 (0.8%)

Total = 237 (100.00%)

As I have previously documented in my 2001 Presidential Address and in The Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 7 (2), xxi - xxix, there is a trend toward a higher percentage of Associate Members. This may have implications for BPD's future. We are a dynamic organization!

At our 2002 conference in Pittsburgh, the BPD Board of Directors unanimously voted to form a committee that will review membership structure and its relation to BPD's mission, goals, and objectives. The "Growth" Committee consists of the following members: Gloria Aguilar, Anita Curry-Jackson, Lorrie Greenhouse-Gardella, Grafton Hull, Mildred Joyner, Cathy Pike, Wanda Priddy, Jack Sellers, Marshall Smith, Mary Ann Suppes, and myself as an exofficio member. I urge all BPD members to contact Growth Committee members to voice their ideas and opinions.

It is my hope that this committee will tackle such issues as: extending full membership to BSW educators other than current and past directors; extending voting rights to all members of BPD; allowing former directors to run for elected positions; and consideration of one membership fee for all BPD members, directors and faculty alike. It is my fervent hope that BPD embraces the professional social work values of full participation, democratic representation, and equal opportunity for all participants.

*According to BPD By Laws, Associate Members may vote for one (and only one) of the 14 elected Board members. They are not eligible to vote for officers.

Shifting gears a bit, on December 5th - 6th, I, along with 67 leaders representing 42 national social work membership organizations participated in a Social Work Summit held in Washington D.C. The theme of the Summit was to build a positive image and greater influence for the profession through advocacy, education, practice, and research. The need for collaboration and pooling of resources was palpable. What struck me, was how fragmented we are as a profession, how little we know about each others' organizations (who they are, what they believe, and what they do), and how much more powerful we could be as a profession if we directed our energies toward energy and efficiency. One hot topic that emerged was the collaborative implementation of a national image campaign. Expect to see action. The future of our profession is at stake.

Related to collaborative efforts, the leaders of six national social work organizations (BPD, CSWE, NADD, GADE, ASWB, and NASW) have agreed to pursue a joint conference in the fall of 2006. Watch for details!

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