Association Changes Name
The Southwest Administrative Services Association (SASA) was organized in the late 1970’s. Reba Neal, Louisiana Tech, was the first President. She served in that capacity for two years: 1978 and 1979. Robert Mitchell followed her in that role in 1980.
Fast forward to 1995. SASA recently approved a revision to its organizational name. It is now Southwestern Administrative Systems. The annual meeting was held in conjunction with S-WFAD (former name for FBD) at the Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas, March 1-4, 1995.
Officers for 1994-95:
- President: Betty Johnson, Stephen F. Austin State University
- Vice-President & Program Chair: Donna Redmann, Louisiana State University
- Secretary-Treasurer: Betty Rogers, University of Central Arkansas
- Past President: Wanda Stevens, Cameron University
- Proceedings Editor & Board Member: Harry Nowka, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Board Member: Marsha Bayless, Stephen F. Austin State University.
The following summary is based on data gleaned from the 1995 SWAS Proceedings and Directory, edited by Harry Nowka.
Organizational membership for 1994-95 was 58. Thirty-two institutions were represented by the membership.
Arkansas–11 members representing 8 institutions
Louisiana–14 members representing 7 institutions
Oklahoma–11 members representing 5 institutions
Texas–14 members representing 6 institutions
Other States–8 representing 6 institutions
The 1995 program consisted of 21 paper presentations (with two joint sessions between SWAS and ABC SW), a joint session coordinated by SWFAD, and a presentation by an industry specialist in information systems technology. Research topics addressed the changing face of technology in the workplace: email, the internet, and multimedia. Training and curriculum issues were also researched. The Distinguished Paper, “Development of a Comprehensive Software Management Policy,” was co-authored by Debbie D. DuFrene and Betty S. Johnson, Stephen F. Austin State University.
Of particular interest from the historical perspective was a paper reporting results of SWAS membership survey. The research, conducted by Johnson and Nowka, were compiled into the following Member Profile.
The typical member of SWAS is
- a full-time tenured faculty member with an earned doctorate who has rank of at least associate professor and is employed in a school or college of business at a university. The university is accredited by AACSB.
- 50 years of age and has been teaching more than 20 years.
- prepares at least one researched paper for presentation annually at regional, national, and local meetings, respectively. The primary organization in which members are involved besides SWAS, in SWFAD is ABC. At the national level NBEA, DPE, and ABC are the members’ choice, respectively.
- anticipate additional curriculum changes in future years, while most have experienced course or program changes and/or deletions. The typical statement of retirees is “the university eliminated the program upon my retirement.”
- list Business Communication as their primary teaching field. More than half have taught Business Communication, although only a little more than one-third of the membership has that course as a primary teaching assignment.
- indicate a degree emphasizing Administrative Systems topics is offered at their institution; however, there appears to be no general consensus on what to call that degree or which department should administratively house it.
As I reflected on the member profile and read the research presented at the 1995 meeting, I recognized that the 1990s necessitated the most significant curriculum changes that most of its members had ever experienced.
The speed at which technology revolutionized the business world necessitated many changes in educational programs including the elimination of programs and the implementation of relevant new ones. The evolution from SASA to SWAS and then to ABIS exemplifies an organization that met the challenges imposed upon it by a rapidly changing identity and the associated crisis of meeting the demands of workplace.
Betty S. Johnson
President, SWAS (Southwest Administrative Systems)
Information prepared on February 10, 2015