Mar 14, 2020
Below is a message from NASPA President Kevin Kruger.
We write to share news that the place-based NASPA Annual Conference, The Placement Exchange, and the NASPA Connected Conference in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California have been cancelled due to the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and its designation as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. We have spent the past few days working through the process outlined by the City of Austin for events greater than 2,500, which has both taken longer and been more complicated than the news has reported. The health and safety of our members has always been our first priority, however we have also been working to assess the long-term impact of canceling the conference on our ability to continue serving and supporting our community. We appreciate your patience as we thoroughly reviewed all of our contractual obligations to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Association. The official decision was made to cancel the Annual Conference by a vote of the NASPA Board of Directors today, March 12, 2020.
Our Association’s gathering to reconnect, network, learn, and discuss research and practice that support student success has taken place annually for the last 101 years. (The only other time we did not hold an Association-wide meeting was during World War II.) From celebrating the achievements of our colleagues to participating in informal reunions with those who have become our chosen family, these moments away from day-to-day work are good for our own mental health and often sustain us throughout the year until the next time that we are all together.
While we will not hold a place-based event, we are working to develop a free virtual, live-streaming option for keynotes, featured educational sessions, and our constituent group business meetings, including the NASPA Annual Business Meeting. We also will recognize our NASPA Annual Award winners, the NASPA Pillars of the Profession, and the countless others who have given so much to our Association this past year. We plan to make the virtual option available to participants from Monday, March 30, 2020 – Wednesday, April 10, 2020.
Although we would like to engage the nearly 1,600 presenters who committed to sharing knowledge at the NASPA Annual Conference, it will be challenging to recreate the experience of 700 sessions at the in-person event. We know that each of you who submitted program proposals and were selected have worked hard to prepare content that is engaging for your colleagues and the field at-large. We are working on an alternative method for content to be shared for those who would like to do so. We will be in touch with all presenters next week.
Additionally, we are working with our partners at ACUHO-I to proceed with a virtual option for TPE that still allows employers and candidates to participate in interviews using our scheduling tools and online platform as a resource. We encourage you to continue to schedule interviews through the TPE website, with more information and details about next steps and refund options shared in the coming days with TPE registrants.
We will refund registration in full and without fees to those who are registered for the NASPA Annual Conference. If you would like your registration fee to be transferred to the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference, you may also do this. Any registration fees that are not cancelled by April 3, 2020 will be automatically transferred to the 2021 event. If you are unsure if you will attend the conference in 2021, please know that you contact us to receive a full refund by cancelling no later than January 9, 2021. Please visit our COVID-19 FAQs page for specific instructions.
Hotel reservations made through NASPA’s room block will be automatically cancelled. Attendees will receive a cancellation confirmation email from the hotel directly. Attendees made their own housing reservations must cancel directly with the properties. As noted in our conference registration policies, NASPA cannot control flight cancellation/change fees for participants.
NASPA Connected Conference registrants will receive a separate email with information about refunds and hotel cancellations