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Articles > Community Comment > Community Comment: Q&A with Ray Rottman, Executive Director of AMCSUS

Community Comment: Q&A with Ray Rottman, Executive Director of AMCSUS

Perspectives on the post-pandemic advancement & development landscape

ToucanTech's Community Comment series provides a view of how community management is evolving, from a range of experts around the world.

 

What is your role at AMCSUS, and what does a typical day look like for you?

As Executive Director for the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS) my role is to promote the Association’s member schools and the military education model, coordinate annual professional development gatherings and competitions, and facilitate the sharing of best practices.

 

The past year

 

How has your community responded to the challenges caused by the global pandemic? 

AMCSUS schools have worked together to get through the challenges of Covid by openly sharing best practices and other helpful ideas (e.g. vendors, procedures, etc.). The Association started monthly “Check-ins” where members come together to discuss what is and what is not working on their campuses.

 

Have you seen community members band together online, for support or other purposes?

The 2020-2021 academic year was significantly impacted by Covid. AMCSUS schools were able to adapt their programs to accommodate the many restrictions (e.g. distancing, masks, testing, etc.) and continue in-person classroom education. Many were able to continue sports programs as well which was a big draw for many families. Most schools incorporated some version of hybrid learning where in-class and remote learning options were available.  This flexibility proved beneficial to cadets and faculty alike.

 

The here and now

 

What is the atmosphere like at the moment within your network? 

Without exception, AMCSUS schools are ready to return to in-person learning and full-up sports programs. The many challenges faced and overcome during Covid have made the schools stronger and optimistic about the future. Previously unrecognized opportunities to harness the benefits of on-line learning are now being considered by schools as they seek ways to expand their reach and audience.

 

Have you seen examples of people taking the opportunity to change their ways of working? 

One benefit of the Covid restrictions was it forced all faculty members to become proficient with various on-line and remote learning technologies and capabilities. Prior to Covid, many older faculty members were resistant to learning the nuances of on-line delivery. The new skills they have learned over the past 12-18 months will definitely benefit them as they move beyond Covid to whatever becomes the ‘new normal’. 

 

In the future

 

Do you think that working patterns could change permanently, and could this be challenging from a community management perspective?

There is little doubt that the lessons learned through Covid will have a lasting impact on our schools and education at large. Customers will expect greater flexibility when it comes to the delivery of their educational needs. Schools will need to continue to think of new approaches to how they reach and entice future students.

 

What kind of message would you like to send to your peers and professional network in the coming months? 

Overcoming adversity enhances resilience and a willingness to explore new ways of doing business. Coming out on the other side of a challenge like Covid brings a team closer and ultimately makes them stronger. The future is bright for those who are willing to lean into it! 

 

ToucanTech is an all-in-one community software, combining data management, member engagement, and public or private online platforms. Connect your network and consolidate administration using a customisable and easy-to-use solution, built for community managers. 

Get in touch to find out more.

 

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