Brad Patterson, NASPA IV-W SAPAA KC Representative
September 29, 2016
I hope that the semester has gone well for you and that this blog post finds you enjoying some beautiful fall weather.
My involvement with the Knowledge Community for Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs has led me to reflect on our efforts to include faculty colleagues in Student Affairs programs and projects. The general consensus on my campus was that faculty were just too busy or not interested in joining us in co- and extracurricular activities. What my experience has taught me is that small partnerships lead to bigger partnerships and that the more we can learn about what faculty are engaged in on a daily basis, the more opportunities we will have to invite them to join us outside of the classroom.
Over the past two years the Student Affairs team at my institution has been included in university wide initiatives to develop a comprehensive student success plan, new internationalization efforts, grant proposals, and student development programming that included faculty, staff, and administration. These opportunities were created through an intentional strategic planning process that each department created. When creating their plans, each office was charged with identifying two to three new ways that they could partner with faculty. I have been amazed with the outcomes of this one small goal that my colleagues created.
So what are the lessons learned? It was clear that our professional staff have great ideas to get faculty involved in their programs. They just needed to set some goals and timelines to bring them to fruition. I encourage you to give this a try at your institution as well. Our faculty members had great new ideas and have been champions for Student Affairs across the university. It has definitely been worth the effort.
Since I joined NASPA IV-West as the KC rep for SAPAA I have had the opportunity to learn from colleagues around the country who are creating new pathways with their colleagues in Academic Affairs to support students both inside and outside of the classroom. These conversations have informed my efforts and have started new initiatives on my campus. I would encourage you to get involved with SAPAA as well. You can find us on social media at:
LinkedIn: Student Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs (SAPAA)
Dr. Brad Patterson is the Vice Provost for Student Affairs at the University of Arkansa at Little Rock and currently serves as the KC Coordinator for Stuent Affairs Partnering with Academic Affairs for NASPA Region IV-West. Brad can be reached at [email protected].
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