As the 21st annual CSU Academic Resources Conference (ARC) kicks off its three-day gathering in Monterey Bay, a familiar face can be found among the organizers: Patrick Bungard, of the Office of Academic Programs and president of CSU Academic Resources Conference, is leading ARC for the third consecutive year.

Each year ARC unites academic professionals from across the 23 California State University campuses, bringing together admins, analysts, assistants, coordinators and specialists from Humboldt to San Diego at a multi-day conference to attend a variety of diversified educational and skill building sessions while networking with CSU professionals and colleagues in similar positions. This year’s conference began with a pre-conference gathering on May 30, with the main sessions running May 31-June 2.

Bungard, an administrative analyst/specialist, academic scheduling and curriculum, joined ARC’s Board of Directors in 2019 and helped plan the 2020 conference before the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation. The group quickly noticed his leadership and organization skills, and upon the retirement of its president, Gina Pierce, Bungard was asked to succeed her. With the help of the board, a traditionally in-person conference pivoted to an online conference in 2021, with Bungard at the helm. As pandemic restrictions were eased in 2022, the conference returned to in-person, which resulted with the most registrations in the conference history. This year, the conference broke that record again with just under 400 registrations.

The 2023 conference features four tracks: budget, human resources, professional development and student success, with a pilot curriculum track. The new track offers two sessions: catalog design and curriculum best practices. This year’s theme for the conference is “Bridging Connections: Building a Team One Bridge at a Time.”

Bungard not only helps lead the planning for the conference, he also is one of its many presenters. In 2022 he presented a session on career advancement that incorporated tips and best practices on application preparation including cover letters, résumés, and follow-up communication. This year, he has a session that shares his knowledge and expertise, “Catalog Design with DEI in Mind.” The program will introduce DEI and focus on inclusive language, highlighting CourseLeaf’s Inclusive Language Style Guide.

Bungard’s duties don’t end with the conference. Some of the things the president is responsible for include holding regular meetings with the ARC board, working directly with a consultant and the venue, assigning with the solicitation of speakers and sponsors and any matters that need presidential attention.

In addition, Bungard created and maintains the ARC website and sends out all communication to the conference’s various mailing lists.

He continues to elevate ARC by formalizing policies and standard business practices. A current project for the president is to generate some bylaws to help the organization forge ahead in the future as the founder, Robin Pollock, departs to enjoy retirement and her grandchildren.