Welcome from New Editor-in-Chief Kurt Snyder

Kurt Snyder.jpgWelcome! This is my first letter to readers as the editor-in-chief of the Almanac! I am excited about this opportunity and honored to be entrusted with such an awesome responsibility. The Almanac has a proud history of serving the members of the Alliance, and it is important to note that I will stand on the shoulders of all the editors and writers who came before for me. A special thank you to Jacob Coverstone, the outgoing editor-in-chief, since it was his passion for the Almanac and the profession that inspired me to accept the appointment.

About Me

First, a little bit about myself. I am the Director of Continuing Medical Education at the Indiana University School of Medicine, which is the largest medical school in the United States based on enrollment. We are a massive provider of CME, and our activities come in all shapes and sizes ranging from a multitude of RSSs to multi-day conferences. I tend to think we do it all, from QI projects to pursing commercial support and everything in between.

Like many of you, my career path to CME has been a long and winding road. I am often reminded by the thought that no one starts college thinking they will someday be a CME professional. With that said, I have deep roots in compliance, accreditation, technology and continuing education.

I have extensive technology, marketing and process improvement experience as the principal owner of Xsimple and formerly as a consultant for Xplane. Xsimple is a small marketing and technology consulting firm that specializes in assisting professional-related disciplines such as law, healthcare and nonprofits. Projects typically revolve around web and iPhone development. Xplane is one of the world’s leading visual design and communication firms that specializes in making complex business issues easier to understand. Xplane’s client list is a who’s who of corporate America ranging from Microsoft to Anheuser-Busch. As a consultant for Xplane, I was involved in large marketing initiatives for clients such as Motorola and British Petroleum.

Prior to being a principal at Xsimple, I was the Director and Counsel of Trial Court Technology for the State of Indiana’s judicial branch of government. In this capacity, I acted as the chief information officer and principal staff person for the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) and the state’s presence on the internet. During that time, the Indiana Judiciary’s website was recognized as the best court website in the world by the National Center for State Courts. While managing a multimillion-dollar budget, I was a key leader and driving force in court technology initiatives, bringing internet access and email to judges statewide; offering free computer training and online legal research access to all judicial employees; and coordinating the judiciary’s efforts to modernize.

Prior to working for the court, I was the Assistant Consultant on Legal Education to the American Bar Association; as such, I carried out the work of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar relating to legal education and bar admission matters, including the law school accreditation process. An avid proponent of technology, I took the Section of Legal Education’s internet presence from a single web page to the most often visited website on the ABA network in less than two years. I was also the driving force in the creation of several publications and books on law schools and bar admissions, including the “Official American Bar Association Guide to Law Schools” and the “Law School for Dummies Guide.”

Finally, I also serve on occasion as an adjunct professor for the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University teaching courses on business law and business computer applications.

What do I hope to accomplish with the Almanac?

The purpose of the Almanac is to:

  • Inform the readership about the latest ideas and innovations available to CE professionals.
  • Involve the Alliance members in the organization.

As the new editor-in-chief of the Almanac, I have three initial goals.

  1. I want to get organized and develop a standard set of features that would be available to readers on a regular basis just like what is common in many publications.
  2. I want to focus on best practices. Specifically, I want to see more templates, how tos, checklists and the like. The Almanac is not intended to compete with JCEHP; rather, they are two publications with distinct purposes that can feed off of each other and support the CE community.
  3. I want to take advantage of the online platform. As you probably know, the Almanac has historically been a print publication. It has only recently become an online-only publication. We need to embrace that and take advantage of the power of the web with adding things like audio, video and social media. You may have already noticed some changes to the Almanac For example, articles are now available to the public! More changes are coming.

All these will take time, but I am looking forward to the journey. Moreover, I want to hear from you. What do you want from the Almanac? Do you have specific suggestions on best practices you would like to hear about? Specific checklists, templates or how tos you would like to see created? If you do, please contact me at ksnyder@iu.edu.

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