The NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs is a foundational faculty-led, learning and networking experience that prepares new VPSAs to be strategic decision-makers, highly effective managers, and transformational leaders. This professional development opportunity is designed for first-time VPSAs (and other highest-ranking senior student affairs officers on campus such as vice chancellors and deans of students depending on organizational structure) who have not assumed office or are in the first two years of their first VPSA position. Participants must be the highest-ranking student affairs officer on their campus. (VPSAs in interim roles are eligible to attend.)
Join us in Alexandria, Virginia in October for this faculty-led, cohort experience to hone your executive-level competencies and to develop your go-to peer network.
Accomplished vice presidents for student affairs representing a variety of institutional types will serve as the institute faculty and guide the highly interactive learning experience for the cohort.
This exclusive professional development program is an institute. Unlike conferences where participants choose to participate (or not) in concurrent sessions, during this institute all attendees will participate in the same cohort experience and are expected to engage fully in all aspects of the program including meals and offsite activities. It is a very intensive experience, and the program will run into the evening each day.
The schedule presented here is subject to changes.
9:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Grand Ballroom Foyer
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Pre-institute Session for New VPSAs Who Are Relatively New to Student Affairs
One of the Institute's strengths is that it draws participants from remarkably diverse backgrounds and experiences including some who are relatively new to the field of student affairs. Please join the Institute faculty and other new-to-student-affairs VPSAs for some informal discussion about the opportunities and challenges connected with assuming the VPSA role without a deep student affairs background and anything else that’s on your mind! (Registration is required for this optional (but highly encouraged!) session.)
1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Institute Welcome and Participant Introductions
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Your Moment is Now! Unfolding into the Vice Presidency
During this opening session, the Institute faculty will share how they have transitioned into institutional leaders through their VPSA roles. The faculty will offer insight based on challenging circumstances–both personally and professionally–and how they overcame those challenges to advance to positive and successful outomes for themselves, their divisions, and their institutions. In this session, participants will be encouraged to consider the tensions that come with who they are as institutional leaders, who the institution needs them to be, and how they can create the moments that matter for their students and communities.
2:45 PM - 3:05 PM
Make that quick call to the office or respond to that urgent email. Better yet, enjoy a light snack and connect with a new colleague!
3:05 PM - 4:20 PM
Excelling as an Institution and Division Leader in the Flux Pandemic and Beyond
This session is intended to get you “out of the weeds” and thinking as a higher-level institutional leader. We will use this time as a “reset” so that you can carry on with your strategic vision while leading in new ways upon your return to campus. Prepare yourself for mindshifts, trust building,creating your “first team” and embracing the frequent pivot as keys to succeed in these dual leadership roles.
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Introduction of Coaching Teams
Each day during the Institute, participants will gather with the same small group facilitated by one of the Institute faculty members. Please refer to the participant list in your institute materials for your group assignment. Group locations:
Brandi Hephner LaBanc: Grand Ballroom
Flapp Cockrell: Madison (Plaza Level – 2nd Floor)
Shannon Ellis: Jefferson (Plaza Level – 2nd Floor)
Baishakhi Taylor: Washington (Plaza Level – 2nd Floor)
Houston Dougharty: Potomac A (Lobby Level)
Felicia Patterson: Potomac B (Lobby Level)
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
6:15 PM - 7:00 PM
Dozens of new colleagues, tasty hors d’oeuvres, and a friendly bartender…what could be better at the end of the day? The Courtyard is accessible from the plaza level/second floor of the hotel near the fitness center. In the event of inclement weather, the mixer will be held in the Grand Ballroom Foyer.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Institute Dinner with Featured Speaker
This Sunday evening dinner is an institute tradition! Dr. Paul Markham, managing partner of Sova, will offer an engaging and data-informed talk.
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM
Fuel up for the day with a hot breakfast with fellow institute participants. Consider joining one of the pre-determined table discussions.
8:55 AM - 9:05 AM
Introduction to Day 2
9:05 AM - 10:35 AM
Authentically Me! Living and Leading from My Core
During this session, faculty will share their own personal experiences in obtaining and serving in an SSAO role, highlighting ways in which their personal identities have significantly shaped those experiences. Utilizing Bill George’s Authentic Leadership model as a guide, the participants will explore the intersectionality between the five qualities and their identities and how they show-up inside/outside the workplace.
10:35 AM - 10:55 AM
10:55 AM - 12:10 PM
The Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) as Equity Champion: Dedication vs. Distraction
While the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is ever evolving, one aspect that remains constant is the role of the VPSA as equity champion. Equity champions have a growth mindset. They are knowledgeable, studied, vocal, creative, and focused on results that benefit all. Yet, along the journey, the equity champion must be cognizant of their role in creating equity detours and unintended distractions. During this session, faculty and participants will discuss navigating the waters of JEDI as dedicated advocates for students, parents, families, colleagues, and the community at large.
12:10 PM - 1:20 PM
Quickly respond to that urgent email from campus, but hurry to lunch. It’s plated! Also, why not sit with someone you haven’t met yet?
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
VPSAs and Legal Counsel: Developing a Partnership to Face Campus Challenges
Whether you have regular access to in-house attorneys on campus or more limited access to outside counsel, this session is designed to help you think about how to maximize the value counsel can add to supporting your efforts as a student affairs leader. Although we often think of a lawyer’s role as limited to providing technical legal advice, learn how, by partnering with your legal counsel, experienced counsel can provide a wide range of assistance and support that can help you be more effective. You will also see how the valuable insights you provide can help your legal counsel tailor advice that will reflect your campus culture and help student affairs meet its goals. By working through the problems together, you will see how the goals of the legal counsel can align with your own and how to respond when misalignment appears to exist.
3:00 PM - 3:20 PM
3:20 PM - 4:30 PM
See Sunday, 4:30 p.m. for locations.
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM
Networking Opportunity (optional)
Institute participants are encouraged to gather in the hotel bar prior to heading out at 6:15 p.m. for dinner with your colleagues.
6:15 PM - 8:00 PM
Dinner (no-host) with Institute Participants
It’s been a long day, and you’re tired. You’re thinking, “I do not want to have dinner with people I barely know.” Yes, you do! Don’t miss this opportunity to continue to build your network and to continue the big conversations that began earlier. Meet in the lobby of the Hilton Alexandria Old Town at 6:15 p.m. sharp to stroll to a nearby restaurant for your 6:30 p.m. reservation. (Please refer to the “Monday Night Dinner Groups” handout for information about your designated group and restaurant; dinner will be at your own expense.)
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Fuel up for another intense day with a hot breakfast with fellow institute participants. Consider joining one of the pre-determined table discussions.
9:10 AM - 9:20 AM
Introduction to Day 3
9:20 AM - 10:25 AM
“You Better Get Ready!”—Embracing Power, Influence, and Politics
A successful VPSA develops a political mindset and leverages it for impact within their division and across campus. Learn how to get what your students and staff need through astute observation of your political landscape; tapping into the three sources of power; expanding your circle of influence to achieve the goal; and always finding the common ground to work with your many colleagues and constituencies…even the toxic ones!
10:25 AM - 10:55 AM
You've been meaning to follow-up with a faculty member about something they shared during an earlier session. Seize this opportunity!
10:55 AM - 12:00 PM
"It's a promotion...it's a huge job...it's a vocation...IT'S A LIFESTYLE!"
Being the senior student affairs officer on campus is, for many of us, a longtime professional aspiration. Now that we have arrived in this position, how do we successfully establish an effective lifestyle that blends our many responsibilities with our values, passions, commitments, and families — while also leading us to well-being? In many ways, this is a new starting line for a new marathon. Being the VPSA you aspire to be is about sustaining yourself over the long haul. This session will help you to consider the lifestyle demands, adjustments, and rewards that lie ahead as an institutional leader and to effectively prepare you to be both successful and well.
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Lunch with Coaching Teams
Grab some lunch in the Grand Ballroom Foyer and then join your coaching team for some more great discussion and insights. See Sunday, 4:30 p.m. for locations.
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Evolving Competencies: Success as a VPSA
As a senior leader in higher education, serving as a vice president for student affairs will require new skills and the ability to be nimble to meet the expanding demands of the role. While you can build on past successes, your mindset for your VPSA responsibilities will need to evolve. Additionally, working in a pandemic has changed the context of our work and your leadership will require a new level of ongoing learning and strategic thinking to thrive in your new position.
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Change into your walking shoes, grab a jacket, and meet the cohort in the hotel lobby at 3:00 p.m. sharp to begin an adventurous afternoon in Washington, D.C. or Old Town Alexandria. #comfyshoes
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Networking time in Washington, D.C. or Old Town Alexandria
This afternoon, you’ll have a break to explore some of what Washington, D.C. or Old Town Alexandria has to offer. When you checked in for the Institute, you were provided with a SmarTrip card, which will support your Metrorail ride to Washington, DC and back to Alexandria. See the "Tuesday Afternoon Outing" section of the institute app for infomation about outing options and directions. If you will join a group outing, please meet in the hotel lobby at 3:00 p.m. sharp.
7:45 AM - 8:30 AM
The hotel check-out time is 12:00 p.m. You should check out before breakfast (or request a late check-out time). You may leave your luggage with the bell desk or in our meeting space.
8:40 AM - 8:50 AM
Introduction to Day 4
8:50 AM - 9:50 AM
Helping Your Organization Be the “A” Team
Organizational health in student affairs is one's division’s capacity to adapt in a world that is constantly changing. This workshop will highlight characteristics every VPSA should strive to develop in their people to ensure a high-performance workplace culture. From building a cohesive leadership team to embracing “the great retention” of staff and cultivating elements of resilience, this session is designed to prepare you for the road ahead. During our time together, we will use your responses to the five frames of organizational health that can help your “A” team emerge: Aspire, Assess, Architect, Act and Advance.
9:50 AM - 10:15 AM
Make sure you take this final opportunity during the Institute to connect with people you may have missed until now.
10:15 AM - 11:20 AM
See Sunday, 4:30 p.m. for locations.
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Returning to Campus with Vital and Effective Action Items
Let’s go back to where we started. You identified what it takes to be an exemplary leader. You examined ways to recognize and flex formal and informal power to advance divisionals and institutional priorities. You explored executive-level strategies related to building and leading a team and leveraging identities to impact leadership. You developed strategies to sustain your professional and personal success and well-being. And, you have developed friendships with colleagues sharing the same roles on whom you can rely as the need arises. This closing session will ask you to consider how you will put all of this together to be the exemplary leader that you and your institution require.
Pre-Institute Session for New VPSAs Who Are Relatively New to Student Affairs
Sunday, October 9, 2022 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
One of the Institute's strengths is that it draws participants from remarkably diverse backgrounds and experiences including some who are relatively new to the field of student affairs such as VPSAs who come from the ranks of faculty or academic administration. Please join the Institute faculty and other new-to-student-affairs VPSAs for some informal discussion about the opportunities and challenges connected with assuming the VPSA role without a deep student affairs background and anything else that’s on your mind! Registration is required for this optional (but highly encouraged!) session.
Registration as a member is based on individual membership status at the time of the event. If your current membership will expire prior to the event, you will have the option to renew at the time of registration to receive the member rate.
If you are not a current member and are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as a professional affiliate member for $80. If your institution is NOT a member, you can join as an associate affiliate member for $250. Both membership types provide access to the individual member rate for the event. Please visit the membership section of the NASPA website to learn more about membership types and benefits. We hope you’ll consider joining today!
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may qualify for a NASPA Foundation Membership Scholarship or NASPA Foundation Professional Development Access Scholarship, which can be used for this event.
For a comprehensive listing of NASPA registration policies, please visit this page.
The last day to register is September 30, 2022.
8/27/2022 through 9/16/2022
9/17/2022 through 9/30/2022
Pre-Institute Session for New VPSAs Who Are Relatively New to Student Affairs
COVID-19 Event Safety
COVID Protocols Summary
All participants at NASPA in-person conferences, whether a faculty member/presenter, attendee, sponsor/exhibitor, staff, guest, or vendor will be required to be fully vaccinated. Individuals who require a vaccination exemption must provide documentation of a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to arrival to any event. All participants at NASPA events will be required to wear masks. Please see the NASPA COVID Event Safety and Responsibility webpage for complete information about NASPA's policy.
Alexandria Area COVID Information
Hilton Alexandria Old Town
Most institute activities will take place at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town.
NASPA has arranged special room rates for institute attendees at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town starting at $233/night (not including taxes and fees). The cut-off date to receive the institute room rate is September 26, 2022. Rooms in the institute block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.
Reserving a room within the NASPA block by using the hotel's dedicated meeting website or toll-free telephone number not only benefits you, it also helps to support the institute. When you book within our block, you help NASPA keep meeting costs as low as possible and enable us to provide some of the important features meeting attendees have come to enjoy, such as networking receptions, coffee breaks, and off-site transportation.
Hotel booking information:
|Hotel||Room Rate / Night|
Hilton Alexandria Old Town
$233 - Single/Double
$243 - Triple
$253 - Quad
Hotel Cancellation Policy
Cancellation policies may vary depending on the rate or dates of your reservation. Please refer to your reservation confirmation to verify your cancellation policy. If you need further assistance, call the hotel directly or contact customer service. Alternatively, you can cancel your reservation online.
About Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
We are thrilled to bring this event to the beautiful city of Old Town Alexandria, VA. We hope you will take some time to experience the great things the city has to offer. Visit this website for more information on all that Old Town Alexandria has to offer during your visit.
The Hilton Alexandria Old Town is serviced by the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The hotel is approximately 4 miles from the airport. Visit DCA airport website for more information.
This hotel does not provide shuttle service. Here are a couple alternate options:
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: Fee is $2.15 (one way). SmarTrip Metro funds are required.
- Estimated taxi fare: Approximately $19 (one way)
- On-site parking fee: $29 daily for attendees
The average temperatures in Alexandria, VA in October are around 68 degrees F during the day and 49 degrees F in the evening. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.
Please note, the hotel and meeting areas may be colder temperatures. A sweater or jacket is recommended.
Past Participant Testimonials
See what past participants had to say about their experiences at the Insititute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs:
To learn about sponsorship opportunities for the 2022 NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Students Affairs, please contact Fred Comparato at 614-204-5994 or by clicking the button below.