AVP Steering Committee

Supporting the Profession AVP or "Number Two" Mid-Level Senior Level VP for Student Affairs

NASPA’s AVP Steering Committee strives to encourage excellence in the number two position (e.g., assistant/associate vice presidents, deans of students). The AVP Steering Committee accomplishes this through professional development, knowledge dissemination, networking opportunities, and recognition aimed at the unique role of AVPs. The Steering Committee seeks to address the diverse needs of all AVPs, from those new to the role to those seeking to advance to their next position as well as those student affairs professionals who aspire to the AVP role.

Message from the AVP Steering Committee Chair

I am excited to be serving as the Chair of the AVP Steering Committee as it has been my experience that our efforts have helped create a network and valuable opportunities for the AVP/#2 community. The AVP Steering Committee continues to be committed to offering programs and initiatives aimed at developing and supporting AVPs and the equivalent, and we are always looking for ideas to help us better serve you. We welcome all who serve in a #2 student affairs position, and we recognize the wide diversity of our titles and roles! We serve in unique and often challenging roles on our campuses, and it’s vital that we connect with one another to provide support and share and build best practices. I hope that you are able to join us by participating in our online and in-person programs. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @NASPAavp.
     - Todd Smith-Bergollo, Chair, AVP Steering Committee

Signature Initiatives

AVP Cohort Connections

The NASPA AVP Steering Committee is excited to again offer an opportunity to bring together members of the AVP community to help foster and strengthen our peer network. In response to requests for additional opportunities for AVPs to be able to connect and learn from each other, the AVP Steering Committee developed a new initiative that was piloted in Fall 2019.

Our goals are two-fold:

  1. Bring together and foster supportive connections between AVPs within the NASPA community.
  2. Create sustainable and ongoing virtual communities that meet at least twice a semester to discuss current trends and topics that are directly impacting the ways in which AVPs do their work and serve students.

The work of the AVP is dynamic and ever changing. As such, there has been a regular call for AVPs to be able to network and find supportive spaces where they can learn from peers and find ways to help navigate the increasingly volatile issues that crop up on college campuses. Our hope is that AVP Cohort Connections will meet this need by offering small group virtual communities that will meet at least twice a semester to discuss current trends and topics that are directly impacting the ways in which AVPs do their work. When possible, cohorts will be arranged geographically and by institution size. Additionally, each cohort will consist of an AVP Cohort Facilitator who will be responsible for organizing the cohort and helping to ensure its success.

Facilitated topics could include:

  • Free Speech/open expression/media
  • Assessment (e.g. culture of, doing it well, making the time)
  • Student conduct/crisis management
  • Navigating mental health through the lens of university policies and protocols.
  • Defining your role/balancing
  • Supervision up, down, and across
  • Working with HR
  • Working and operating with labor relations/collective bargaining
  • Collaborating with academic affairs
  • Navigating politics
  • New laws and policies
  • Mental health of students/staff

...And much more.

Sign up here if you would like to join a cohort and/or become a Cohort Facilitator. We are accepting registrants until Friday, September 10 and will be back in touch with registered individuals following this date.

AVP Dialogue Series

The NASPA AVP Steering Committee established the AVP Dialogue Series to provide additional opportunities to AVPs (and the equivalent) for professional discourse on topics that impact our institutions, our students, and the profession. Each topic-specific dialogue is facilitated by one or more of your AVP peers who kicks off the discussion and provides enough structure for attendees to get the most out of the opportunity to engage virtually in a community of similarly professionally situated colleagues.

Since April 2020, the Steering Committee has hosted these Dialogues:

AVP Dialogue: Mental Health and Well-being
Thursday, April 30, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Facilitators: Amy Pennington, associate vice president for student affairs/dean of students & Title IX coordinator at Arkansas Tech University and Danette Saylor, assistant vice president and dean of student success at Dillard University

AVP Dialogue: Free Speech and Political Expression
Thursday, May 7, 1:00-2:00pm ET
Facilitators: Adam Sterritt, assistant vice president for student life at The University of Alabama and Terrence Frazier, assistant vice president for student affairs at Michigan State University

AVP Dialogue: Organizational Change and Leadership Transitions
Thursday, May 14, 12:00-1:00pm ET
Facilitators: Daniel Maxwell, associate vice chancellor for student affairs for the University of Houston System/associate vice president for student affairs at University of Houston and Jeff Orgera, associate vice provost at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

More Dialogues will be scheduled soon!

NASPA Annual Conference Initiatives

Each year during the NASPA Annual Conference, the AVP Steering Committee coordinates several inititives designed to enrich the conference experience for AVPs (and the equivalent) and student affairs professionals who aspire to the AVP role. They include

  • Pre-conference workshop for sitting AVPs
  • Pre-conference workshop for aspiring AVPs
  • Series of topic-specific "AVP Dialogues"
  • NASPA AVP initiatives update and caucus
  • AVP mixer and reunions for past attendees of the NASPA AVP Institute, NASPA Institute for New AVPs, and NASPA AVP Symposium

Expect more specific information about these AVP-oriented offerings as the 2021 NASPA Annual Conference approaches.

AVP-oriented Online Professional Development Offerings

Due to the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the ability for student affairs professionals to gather in person for professional development experiences, the AVP Steering Committee is committing effort to build online offerings that meet the professional development needs and interests of AVPs (and the equivalent). Check out the NASPA Events webpage for current information about scheduled programs. Also, do you have an idea about an online offering? If so, please contact James Stascavage, senior director of leadership and senior student affairs officers initiatives at [email protected]

NASPA Institute for New AVPs

The AVP Steering Committee has been instrumental in the conceptualization and ongoing evolution of the NASPA Institute for New AVPs. The Institute is a foundational two-day learning and networking experience designed to support and develop AVPs in their unique and challenging roles on campus. The Institute is appropriate for AVPs and other senior-level "number twos" who report to the highest-ranking student affairs officer and who have been serving in their first AVP/"number two" position for not longer than two years. The next iteration of the program will be offered in an online format in January 2021.

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One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.


Get Involved

If you would like more information about NASPA's AVP Steering Committee including how to get involved with its initiatives, please contact Shadia Sachedina, AVP Steering Committee Chair at [email protected] or James Stascavage, Senior Director of Leadership and Senior Student Affairs Officers Initiatives at [email protected].

Steering Committee Membership

The AVP Steering Committee is comprised of accomplished AVPs from a variety of institutional types. They are eager to hear from you regarding the Steering Committee and its initiatives.