News from NCHC | April 2022

In This Issue...

From the ED

From the Conference Chair

NCHC22: Call for BHAP

BHAP Videos 2021

National Volunteer Week

2023 Board Nominations

Free Virtual Roundtables

2022 Events: Summer Institutes


NCHC's Shared Principles & Practices

Dates and Deadlines

JNCHC Call for Submissions


From the ED

Thoughts on containers and the transfer of wealth 

Bucket list. Think outside the box. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You can’t fill from an empty bucket. Bucket brigades. Life is like a box of chocolates. Fruit basket upset. Don’t be a basket case. Pandora’s box. 

In a recent report from the Nebraska Community Foundation, they led with this attention-grabbing fact: in the next twenty years, more wealth will leave the state with the transfer of land and inheritances, than will be built here. As a native, I was shocked by the numbers, and it gave me pause to think about what will happen when businesses and missions lose that support, and it leaves for areas with no direct ties to the people and land that initially generated it. What happens to small towns? Fire and medical facilities? Food and retail services? 

So what do containers and the NCF report mean for NCHC, you ask?  

I think there’s a great deal to tie together. 

As the world shakes off the ongoing and immediate demands of health directives and isolate-in-place directives, it is still a little wobbly as the rehab for the economy impacts our finances, our priorities, and our vision. Most of us are faced with additional factors in our decision-making processes, which now include the emotional well-being of everyone impacted by almost any decision, and questions of ethics and morality. We are reminded daily (via email, social media, the news) of our shortcomings and how far we must go to make headway on so many fronts. 

You can’t fill others’ buckets from your own empty bucket. But don’t be a basket case. 

And as the new wave continues, project deadlines and traditional events are redesigned to better facilitate the new social and technological options and opportunities. Change is inevitable. What worked might still work, but the likelihood for guideline adjustments, leadership transitions, or shifts in schedules are built into the project management. Changes to banking and shopping, how we experience health care, and how our families and neighbors communicate all seem to require more strategic and pre-planning than before. 

Fruit basket upset. Life is like a box of chocolates. But don’t open Pandora’s box. 

Since everyone around us is doing the same, proactively planning when possible, and reacting when no one saw that coming, there are more options and other resources emerging. Experts, decision-makers, authors, philosophers, and visionaries are in high demand. The voices that are working to impact and persuade are pulled in many directions, lured by personal and professional validations. Requests for our time, donations, empathy, and, and, and seem to come from all parts of our lives, directly and indirectly. 

Bucket brigades and bucket lists and thinking outside the box. 

Let me reassure you, NCHC isn’t on fire. Finances are stable. We have more professional activities on the calendar this summer than ever before. Publications are in the pipeline. Diverse and innovative ideas are generating from almost every committee. Conference planning is well underway with some new projects. 

But there remain so many other tasks, stakeholders, meetings, social campaigns, and political concerns to divert our attentions away from our own priorities. Our whiteboards are full of potential connections. Our emails are full of additional options for new projects and visions for expanding and preserving honors education. And, unfortunately, the number of stories is also growing about honors programs not just facing financial shortfalls but losing footholds on campuses. The number of NCHC volunteers, consumed by work and personal obligations like never before, are facing the difficult choice of limiting their time to facilitate and lead. Our own office is short-staffed, facing the same labor shortage as everyone else.  

Our vessels are at or past capacity. 

Circling back to the NCF report, I’ll share that their staff is advising donors to consider leaving 5% of their wealth to the local community. There’s an acceptance of the fact that the transfer out will happen. But there’s an even bigger message being built on a county-by-county basis for the impact that 5% will mean to those who remain in the area.  

NCHC’s wealth management is much bigger than the consideration of our financial investments. Our “bucket brigade” often looks more like consultant time and shared documents than scholarship and grant funds.  Our wealth lies in the expertise and people who are building the visibility of honors on campuses, contributing to research and articles about the value of honors education, and a national office staff who continue to provide support to governance and projects daily.  

But the strain on the brigade is starting to show. I’ve been thinking about how we might consider a “5% campaign” as we move into 2023. Should we adjust deadlines by 5% of the year (20-day swings, by the way)? Reduce our expectations? Reduce outputs by 5%? Encourage and recognize volunteers who increase investments by 5% - or repetitively?  Increase social media followers by 5%? What might any of that look like and mean for the members of NCHC and honors education as a whole? 

What would my 5% increased contribution look like? What would a combined, across-the-network 5% increase look like? 

The bucket list starts now. 

Mary Beth


From the Conference Chair

Community Building at NCHC22

The month of April is underway, and at NCHC that means submissions are submitted, reviewers are reviewing, planners are planning, and registration is now OPEN for the 57th Annual Conference! 

With our theme of “Centering Community” in 2022, we’re taking a deep dive into the connections at the core of honors education that create and sustain community. 

  • Our plenary speaker, Brian Broome, will bring us keen insight for examining the values of the communities to which we belong and creating community where none can be found. This powerful speaker and author advocates for the many kids growing up, like himself, Black and gay and without communities that support them.
  • We invite you back to participate in a City as Text™ or Partners in the Parks exploration at this year’s event, observing the communities that reside within our host city. Step into history at Dealey Plaza and the Grassy Knoll, explore the urban green spaces of Downtown, soak up local culture in Deep Ellum or the Arts District, or one of the many other locations being planned. Then bring your new observations back to the conference space and enjoy debriefing with your groups.
  • Over our several days together, we will spend time intentionally building community with new colleagues. I challenge you to seek out a way to grow your own community during our time together. Join a committee, participate in a roundtable, swap contact info at a networking event – there are so many ways to connect and widen our circles as we bring together honors colleagues from all corners. 

As I hope you’ve already noticed, we’re continuing our theme of community connection by highlighting service projects planned and carried out by honors groups throughout 2022. NCHC’s 100 Acts of Service project will shine a light on the good work being done in so many local communities, and we’re planning a wonderful capstone to that project in Dallas. Conference registrants are invited to take part in a Student Service Project to leave our mark in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area: 100 NCHC volunteers painting a mural alongside the students of Kirkpatrick Elementary School. Kirkpatrick is a very unique and special school, serving for many years as an English language immersion school for the refugee students it serves and creating community for those who have immigrated to the United States recently. The school serves as the heart of an ever-changing neighborhood and provides the much-needed support, learning, and love that many of these children are needing as they immerse themselves into their new home. To be a part of the 100 volunteer crew, we ask you to indicate your interest during registration, and we’ll confirm in the fall after the conference schedule is solidified so that you can be sure your participation will work in your travel schedule. Alongside this culminating event, please continue to submit the service projects happening on your campus for the 100 Acts of Service project. We’ve seen fantastic submissions so far, and we want to feature your honors program or college among them. Your contribution is vital to this growing list of ideas to give back and center community in impactful and meaningful ways – and your project will be featured at the end of the year on all of NCHC’s channels.

More to come on NCHC22 as it draws closer. I look forward to greeting you there! 

Susan Dinan, Adelphi University
NCHC22 Conference Chair  


Call for BHAP Proposals - It's Your Time to Shine on the Main Stage!

In light of this year’s conference theme Centering Community, we invite proposals for one of NCHC’s oldest signature programs, Best Honors Administrative Practices – BHAP.  
BHAP was reimagined at NCHC21 in Orlando into a series of TED Talk-like presentations. Continuing that format for NCHC22 in Dallas, we seek presenters and topics that would engage the audience on specific strategies for generating community in an honors program, or larger philosophical arguments for how to conceptualize what community means within the honors context.   
These 10-minute presentations will be conducted live in Dallas, with recordings circulated following the conference. The audience will have the opportunity to engage with speakers after the presentations to ask questions and continue the conversation.  
We invite individuals to propose examples, experiments, innovative ideas, or research that highlight the future of honors administrative practices for an engaged community. To propose a BHAP presentation, please submit a 300-word or less abstract. The abstract should describe what you plan to present and how it fits the 2022 BHAP theme of theory and practice of community in honors.   
Individuals selected to present as part of the BHAP series will be invited to a planning and training session in order to help prepare speakers for the format and recording.      
Proposal submissions will close Friday, May 13. Notifications of acceptance will be mid-June 2022.  
Please reach out to the NCHC Office at or 402-472-9150 for any questions.  
Thank you,  
Thomas Spencer and Niels Christensen  
Best Honors Administrative Practices, co-chairs  


Submit Your BHAP Proposal Here


BHAP 2021

Click here to view the BHAP Presentations from 2021!

Happy National Volunteer Week

April 17-23, 2022 is National Volunteer Week! Is your honors program or college participating in a service project to commemorate it? 

Share details of that service project with NCHC to help us celebrate 100 Acts of Service in recognition of 100 Years of Honors!

We are collecting and promoting the many service projects your honors programs and colleges are creating in 2022 - and will highlight 100 of these projects both at the Annual Conference in Dallas and online. This collective will serve as inspiration for successful service projects to be developed in the future, and a tapestry of the beautiful ways honors education inspires students to connect with their peers and the world around them. We're already seeing amazing projects roll in, and can't wait to see yours added to the mix!

To participate, simply fill out the short form at the link below to tell us about your service project - what you're doing and who it benefits, along with a photo or two of your event.

Wishing you a wonderful National Volunteer Week - thank you for being a volunteer! Let's shout from the rooftops in 2022 about all the good work honors does on our campuses and beyond!

Submit Your Service Project


2023 NCHC Board Nominations

Want to make a difference in honors? Run for the NCHC Board of Directors!

Board service provides NCHC members the opportunity to get involved in the governance of an organization that represents the full spectrum of honors colleges and programs, nationally and internationally. In order to ensure an inclusive perspective, NCHC seeks a board that reflects the full diversity of our organization, including race, ethnicity, gender orientation and personal background; type of and geographic location of institution represented; and role in honors. Board members, however, do not just represent their own institutions, Carnegie designation, or geographic location; rather, they are called to consider what is in the best interest of NCHC, and the honors community as a whole.
Nominations are now open for several board positions to serve in 2023, including:

  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • three Professional Board Members 
  • four Student Board Members 
    • two 2-year terms
    • two 1-year terms

Deadlines for self-nomination are June 1, 2022; if you plan to nominate a colleague, you only have until May 1, 2022. The Nominating Committee will consider those whose names have been put forward and then shape a slate that fills the current needs of the board in terms of expertise, personal identities and experiences, institutional characteristics, and geographic distribution.

Click here for requirements and details on how to run!

NCHC Events: Virtual Roundtables

Sign up for a free Virtual Roundtable in 2022 to dive deep with your NCHC Community!

These free virtual events are presented by NCHC Committees, and available for all in the honors community to participate in! Add these to your calendar today:


NCHC Events: Summer Institutes

2022 Summer Institute Series: At Home and Away!

NCHC is bringing you an expanded series of Professional Development options for 2022 that includes both in-person and virtual options. Grow your skills and your honors cohort this summer, no matter your travel situation! Whether you are new to honors or an experienced director or staff member, you can find creative approaches and best practices from NCHC's expert facilitators.



Register for a Summer Institute Today!


NCHC Shared Principles & Practices

Phase I of the Shared Principles & Practices transition has begun!

At the February 2022 meeting, the NCHC Board of Directors voted to accept the report of the appointed committee, chaired by Richard Badenhausen, Jim Buss, and Carrie Pritchett, and adopt the NCHC Shared Principles and Practices of Honors Education.

More work will be done as NCHC continues to promote both this report and the anticipated contributions shared by members for each category. The authors of the work have suggested the following additional steps to be considered for implementation:

  • Share the abridged version with a wide audience, both in and out of the honors community
  • Examine the Definition of Honors Education
  • Develop committee and internal collection of practices that can be used as tools for each category
  • Maintain and edit the document to assure relevance in the dynamic environment of academia once the processes have been well established

The Basic Characteristics documents have been replaced on the NCHC website with the newly released Shared Principles and Practices documents, in their same location on the Definition of Honors page.

View them here:


Colleagues who contributed to the document:

* Richard Badenhausen, Westminster College
* Jim Buss, Northern Kentucky University
* Carrie Pritchett, Brazosport College
Ryan Diehl, Hutchinson Community College
Leslie Donovan, University of New Mexico
Kevin Gooding, West Virginia University
Mary Kay Mulvaney, Elmhurst University
Karen Olmstead, Salisbury University
Sandra Perez, California State University, Long Beach
Sara Quay, Endicott College
Sylvia Torti, University of Utah
Adrianne Washington, Community College of Baltimore County


Dates and Deadlines

Take note of these upcoming important dates for NCHC members!

April 1 NCHC22 Registration Opens
April 1

NCHC Student Awards & Scholarships open

April 27 Administrative Professionals Day
May 1 Close of Nominations for Board of Directors (self-nominations remain open until June 1)
May 13 Close of BHAP Submissions for NCHC22


Call for JNCHC Submissions

The next issue of JNCHC (deadline: September 1, 2022) invites research essays on any topic of interest to the honors community.

The issue will also include a Forum focused on the theme “Honors Beyond the Liberal Arts,” in which we invite honors educators to examine the NCHC’s exclusion and inclusion of preprofessional honors programs within its community. We invite essays of roughly 1000-2000 words that consider this theme in a practical and/or theoretical context. 
The lead essay for the Forum is by K. Patrick Fazioli of Mercy College. In “Who Owns Honors?” Fazioli points out the historical role of the liberal arts as the cornerstone of honors, starting with the introduction of honors into the United States in the early twentieth century and continuing through and beyond its statement of the Basic Characteristics of a Fully Developed Honors Program. He cites evidence in NCHC publications and conference sessions of the minor role within the organization of preprofessional honors programs, and he advocates strategies to increase outreach to such programs. Fazioli acknowledges the arguments that have prevailed over the years for privileging the liberal arts, and he respects the value and often the validity of such arguments. Nevertheless, given the NCHC’s emphasis on inclusion and diversity, the absence of professional programs seems antithetical to its mission. Further, now that the number of preprofessional students is far outnumbering liberal arts majors in American higher education, excluding the professions seems especially short-sighted. He concludes by suggesting strategies for outreach to preprofessional honors programs and students.
Contributors to the Forum on “Honors Beyond the Liberal Arts” may, but are not obliged to, respond directly to Fazioli’s essay. Questions that Forum contributors might consider include:

  • What would be the advantages and/or disadvantages of including a preprofessional track (or tracks) at NCHC conferences?
  • What strategies have your (or other) liberal arts/college-wide honors programs adopted to better serve the unique needs of their preprofessional students?
  • What models have worked successfully on your campus in integrating the humanities, sciences, and professional programs in areas outside of honors, and how might these models be adapted to the context of NCHC?
  • What part, if any, is NCHC playing in how preprofessional honors programs develop their curricula and co-curricular experiences?
  • Do you agree that the NCHC should broaden its focus beyond the liberal arts and, if not, why?
  • Should the NCHC follow the lead of an organization like Phi Beta Kappa, which privileges the liberal arts as a way of awarding them prestige while the professions award status and income?
  • Given the decreasing popularity and status of the humanities in contrast to the dramatic rise of the professions in higher education, should the NCHC acknowledge and reflect this contrast?
  • Is there an inherent difference between university-wide honors programs and disciplinary (including preprofessional) honors programs that justifies a continued focus on the liberal arts in the NCHC?
  • Should honors programs expose all their students to the liberal arts, perhaps especially the humanities, as fully as possible and not dilute them through a shared focus on the professions?
  • What pedagogies and values do preprofessional honors programs share with honors programs that foreground the arts, humanities, and sciences? What are the differences?

Information about JNCHC—including the editorial policy, submission guidelines, guidelines for abstracts and keywords, and a style sheet—is available on the NCHC website.

Please send all submissions to Ada Long at

NCHC journals (JNCHC and HIP) and monographs are included in the following electronic databases: ERIC, EBSCO, Gale Cengage, and UNL Digital Commons. Both journals are listed in Cabell International's Directory of Publishing Opportunities.