Robert Mitchell, SASA President (1980-1981)

The Beginnings of the Association

The Southwest Administrative Services Association (SASA) was organized in the late 1970’s.  The organization was envisioned by Ruth Anderson, Irol Balsley, Reba Neal, and H. G. Shepard (Shep).  The purpose of the organization was to provide a professional home within the South-Western Federation of Administrative Disciplines (S-WFAD) for business faculty in the administrative services area.

In this era business education faculty in colleges of business were shifting their teaching and research interests from teacher education to “business administration” or education for business; no professional organization existed to support this changing focus.   H. G. Shepard, a strong supporter of business educators through his job as a representative of South-Western Publishing Company, had a clear vision of how the proposed organization could help business educators in colleges of business more fully integrate with business faculty of other disciplines and become an integral part of the business administration field.    SASA was to become the first professional organization designed to meet this growing and extremely important need.

The SASA leadership was given permission to participate in the SWFAD conference first on a provisional basis; after the first SASA conference, the S-WFAD board voted to admit SASA as a member of the federation.

The first organizational meeting and conference planning session was held at the office of South-Western Publishing Company in Dallas, Texas, hosted by H. G. Shepard.  In attendance were representatives of business programs throughout the region:  Ruth Anderson, Irol Balsley, Robert Mitchell, Reba Neal, Patricia Robbins, and others.  Officers were proposed and an “invited” program was developed.  The first keynote speaker was Dr. Irol Balsley, who spoke on “Satyrs in Our Midst.”

The first conference was a very exciting event, with support from business faculty and deans throughout the region.  Over the next few years a strong foundation for growth was developed.  To provide continuity in leadership, Reba Neal served two terms as president.  Submitting paper proposals, participating in a conference such as SWFAD, and designing a conference proceedings were all very different activities from what most business educators had experienced in the past.  Members rose quickly to the occasion to become an integral part of S-WFAD.

The early presidents of SASA represented varied schools in the region:

  • 1978-1979, Reba Neal, Louisiana Tech University.
  • 1980, Robert Mitchell, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
  • 1981, Eugene Jones, Northeast Louisiana University.
  • 1982 Patricia Robbins, Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Note:  Under Robert Mitchell’s reign as President the first SASA Proceedings was distributed on March 5-8, 1981, when the meeting was held at the Fairmont-Hotel.  Here are comments from the proceedings Editor Sam Murphy, Secretary, of the Department of Administrative Services at the School of Business in West Texas State University in Canyon, TX.


These proceedings were compiled from information provided by the presenters.  No material was received from Dr. Floyd Langford or Mr. Danny Murphy for inclusion.

In order to conserve paper, postage, etc., pages were duplicated on both sides where possible.  This resulted in some smearing and we did not have sufficient time to remake any copies.  Please accept my apologies and blame the mimeograph machine.

SASA provided payment for binding and postage.  All other costs of duplicating and mailing these proceedings were provided by the Model Word Processing Center, West Texas State University.

This is the first time SASA has distributed proceedings of our meetings.  We hope in the future to ask each participant to submit 100 copies of an abstract of his/her presentation which will be distributed to the membership.  Complete copies of the presentation should then be available from the author.

Contributed on March 6, 2015