Association for Academic Administrators (AAA) Conference 2024
Association for Academic Administrators 2024 Conference

Meeting conference participants still chatting with animation during their refreshment break at the tail end of a jam-packed, two-day conference is not to be taken for granted! Their energy is a clear sign that the conference themes and proceedings were matching expectations and more.ย 

The ๐—”๐˜€๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—”๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—”๐—ฑ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜€ (๐—”๐—”๐—”), formed in 2018, counts 521 members from public and private universities, TVET colleges and other higher education organisations, from inside as well as outside South Africa. Their 5th Conference and AGM took place on 16 โ€“ 17 May 2024 at Port Elizabeth/Gqeberhaโ€™s Boardwalk International Convention Centre and I had the privilege to round off their sessions with a motivational talk.ย 

This yearโ€™s conference agenda โ€“ โ€˜The past, present and future of academic administration in higher and further educationโ€™ โ€“ packed the Boardwalk venue to the full.ย ย 

Particularly the conference perspective on planning the future โ€“ given technology, research and innovation โ€“ resonates with my own passion for maintaining, restoring and reinventing the vibrance and standards of academia. I have observed all too well, and experienced at various institutions, how crucial the backstage leadership and service of the administrative contingent is. I have the greatest respect for the countless women and men who persevere, fulfilling their roles, often with enormous workloads and little appreciation. They are the real โ€˜worker beesโ€™ who keep the academic hive buzzing!ย 

Presenting Multiple Mysterious Motivators (MMM) and their ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ conveyed my recognition for the participantsโ€™ commitment and hopefully sparked extra enthusiasm to take home. ย ย