NASPA Right Now - January 2017
The start of a new year often brings an opportunity for renewal, growth, and new beginnings. While there have been significant challenges in this academic year, I am optimistic about the future because of the passion, commitment, and energy I feel from our community. NASPA continues to engage in the integral aspects of student learning, closing the achievement gap, access and equity, and many other issues that have an impact on our students. I look forward to continuing an action-oriented and collaborative student affairs agenda that will provide meaningful support to our students, our colleagues, and our profession.
From the anticipated changes with the new presidential administration and Congressional leadership to the proposed discriminatory federal and state legislation, we must continue to engage in dialogue and action about creating socially just and diverse communities. As I mentioned in my Inside Higher Ed opinion column, our work is so important to student success and we have much left to do. We shared this blog on January 10th as a response to the recently proposed Texas legislation, including information about what the NASPActs committee has planned for the NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio. We will not simply meet in San Antonio, we will engage the community, demonstrate our support of traditionally underrepresented people, and educate our conference participants on what they can do at their own institutions and in their own states.
Finally, I have sad news to share about a pioneer of the student affairs profession. Shortly after the New Year, we were sad to learn that Dr. Alice Manicur passed away. Alice served NASPA as our first woman president from 1976 – 1977. She also served on the NASPA executive committee from 1975 through 1980 at a time when the Association’s leadership was entirely comprised of men and the organization looked very different than it does today. Alice has been connected to NASPA for more than 50 years and I’m pleased to share with you a reflection on Alice’s life from Lucy Fort, who works with me in the NASPA office. Please read the reflection and then share your own photos and stories about Alice Manicur so we may continue to recognize Alice’s legacy. Instructions for how to participate are included with the reflection.
We look forward to working together over this next year to impact current and future generations of students. We stand on the shoulders of fierce supporters of student success and social justice, like Alice, and we must continue to support the well-being of our students, our colleagues, our communities, and ourselves.
With gratitude for all you do,
Kevin Kruger, Ph.D.