Important Organizational Updates

A message from the President 

As summer draws to a close, I want to take the opportunity to reach out and provide a general update on the CAATE, and to welcome your observations, questions or concerns as we begin a new academic year.

It goes without saying, for the past 18 months we have all been challenged in unprecedented ways—both in our personal lives and as educators and athletic training professionals. During this time, the CAATE also has experienced significant planned and unplanned change and transition, while navigating the impact of the pandemic on both the organization and athletic training education programs we serve.

It has now been over a year since the CAATE Board of Commissioners engaged a specialized consulting firm to evaluate our organizational needs and operating model, and the Board’s subsequent decision to engage and transition CAATE operations to an association management partner—SmithBucklin.

We completed the operational and staff transition under the direction of Chris Murphy Peck, a Senior Director at SmithBucklin, who was appointed Interim Executive Director to lead the transition process. Recently, we welcomed Todd Neuharth as our Director of Accreditation, and Todd has quickly integrated into the CAATE headquarters operation in Washington, D.C.

As one element of our transition process, the CAATE Board of Commissioners has committed a great deal of time and energy to strategic planning. That work enabled us to begin clearly communicating our vision and future-focused goals with our stakeholders.

Significant work to advance the strategic plan execution took place during the Executive Committee’s first in-person visit to our new Washington, D.C. headquarters in late July. This foundation will enable the Board of Commissioners to roll-up our sleeves and complete our multi-year implementation planning when we meet in together during our open face-to-face meeting in September at our D.C. headquarters. With prioritization, focus, clarity and alignment, we can continue to make informed decisions on priorities, investments and resource utilization as our accreditation of athletic training education continues to evolve in the coming years.

As the Board of Commissioners has reflected on the progress we’ve made, and the challenges ahead of us, we also stepped back to evaluate the CAATE executive director role based on our vision and strategic priorities, and have identified the required competencies and qualifications for leadership within our new association partnership model to achieve our goals and objectives.

This evaluation process provided us an opportunity to take a fresh look at the CAATE executive director role and consider the added capabilities we now have at our disposal through our association management partnership. As an outcome of this evaluation process, and considering our progress in the overall transition, the Board of Commissioners recently decided to begin an external search to identify our permanent executive director. A Board Search Committee has been formed, and we expect to have our new leader in the role by the end of 2021.

Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, and the uncertainty that remains, I am proud of our Board, staff, and volunteers for their ability to stay focused on the future of athletic training education. I also am proud of the CAATE’s accomplishments as an organization, and the resilience demonstrated by all of you within our accredited programs.

Thank you for your commitment—and I look forward to continue working with all of you to advance the care and services provided by athletic trainers through quality assurance and improvement in education. 

Should you have any comments or questions regarding this update, please feel free to contact me directly.

All the best.

Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA