James E. Scott Academy

VP for Student Affairs

The James E. Scott Academy is led by a board comprised of 30 accomplished vice presidents for student affairs (or the equivalent) who lead divisions at a wide variety of institutional types throughout NASPAs seven regions. The primary role of the Board is to provide advice and thought leadership on critical issues in student affairs and higher education and to advise the NASPA president and staff regarding these issues.  Additionally, the Board plays a key role in identifying principles of effective student affairs practice for recognizing and responding to the trends and challenges present in the field and in higher education more broadly.  Lastly, the Academy sponsors programs that provide opportunities for VPSAs to dialogue and learn with other vice presidents.

Message from the Academy Board Chair

Navigating through the ever-changing landscape of higher education is most effective when diverse voices, experiences, and expertise gather to collectively work through the challenges. The James E. Scott Academy board serves as an opportunity for vice presidents for student affairs to gather, share, listen, and learn in ways that help support NASPA as it serves the student affairs profession around the globe. Coretta Scott King is quoted as saying “Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation”, apropos for our roles as student advocates in this day and time. With students at the center of our work, we will continue to advocate for a student experience that provides access for all who seek it, makes available opportunities that lead to student success, and affirms the diverse identities and life experiences all of our community members bring to our campuses. It is truly a privilege to serve NASPA alongside the talented group of colleagues that make up the James E. Scott Academy Board.
– Leonard Brown Jr., Vice President for Student Affairs, Norfolk State University and Chair, James E. Scott Academy Board


The Academy was established in response to NASPA's initiative to provide continued professional education and development to meet the needs of vice presidents for student affairs, offering skill development in the areas of leadership and executive effectiveness.

In 1994, NASPA President James E. Scott appointed the Committee on Future Skills and Knowledge for Student Affairs Leaders, charging the committee with examining how VPSAs develop and refine professional skills throughout their careers and making recommendations on a deliberate process for continual professional development. The committee, consisting of VPSAs conducted a review of relevant theoretical constructs and applications affecting the future work of VPSAs and assessed pressing leadership effectiveness needs through extensive research and dialogue with VPSAs across the country.

By the end of 1997, the NASPA Board transformed the Committee on Future Skills and Knowledge into the National Academy for Leadership and Executive Effectiveness. On January 9, 1999, the Academy launched its first national Institute. In March 2003, the Academy was renamed in honor of past president James E. Scott.


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.


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Board Membership

The James E. Scott Academy Board is comprised of accomplished chief student affairs officers from throughout  all of NASPA's seven regions.  Board members serve at institutions that reflect a diversity of institutional types including public and private, two-year and four-year, and large and small colleges and universities.

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