Wise Words from the VP, March 2018

March 1, 2018

Universities across the nation are facing unparalleled challenges, finding the balance between serving a growing and changing student body, who expect more from us than ever before, all while our resources are becoming tighter. However, through this evolution is an opportunity for student affairs professionals to lead through innovation, and I am proud to say we are successfully at the forefront of this new reality.

Many of you continue to rethink the traditional ways we have supported students by finding innovations in your work. These innovations are being recognized nationally.

For example, NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education will honor the Office of the Dean of Students ProjectLEAD with a NASPA Excellence Award at its annual conference this month. Many of our staff are also sharing their innovations at national conferences including the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting, the NASPA Strategies Conference and the annual NASPA Conference. Others are collaborating with our academic partners on book chapters or sharing showcasing thought leadership in national publications.

In the book “Leading Innovation and Change,” the authors share steps to revolutionize student affairs work through innovation and change. That includes five guiding values that foster innovation:

  • Curiosity: Where innovation begins.
  • Imagination: It is important that your imagination emerge from your curiosity.
  • Courage: Be willing to be wrong in the pursuit of what’s right.
  • Patience: Getting people involved takes time but will yield better results.
  • Persistence: Making innovation a long-term priority.

Do these values resonate with you? How are you using them to help make student affairs the hub of innovation? I’d love to hear how you are incorporating these values into your daily work and what innovation is taking place. Feel free to send me an email to share.

Hook ‘em,

Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students