2017 Penn GSE-NASPA Institute for Higher Education’s Future

January 05 – January 07, 2017

Session I:  January 5 - 7, 2017  |  Philadelphia, PA
Session II:  June 4 - 5, 2017  |  Washington, DC

Session III:  September 15 - 16, 2017  |  Chicago, IL

The future of higher education is uncertain, and vice presidents for student affairs are being called on to lead in contexts more challenging than ever before.  NASPA and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education have joined forces to present this three-session, vice president for student affairs-exclusive executive education program. Join other seasoned VPSAs (or the equivalent) as they explore and develop solutions for the big challenges facing student affairs and higher education.

Register Online


What to Expect

You will join an exclusive cohort of 25 colleagues who gather three times in 2017 (Jan/June/Sept) for facilitated discussions, theory-to-practice applications, and thought-provoking speakers.  Together, participants will:

  • Explore problem-solving strategies from afield of student affairs and higher education;
  • Translate those strategies to the student affairs context; and
  • Apply those strategies to address higher education's seemingly intractable problems.

The Opportunity

The Institute is designed to provide an executive leadership opportunity which will:

  • Bring new thinking and fresh ideas to ongoing and emerging challenges;
  • Develop knowledge and insight to lead more effectively on campus;
  • Advance the student affairs profession to meet the needs of the evolving postsecondary environment; and
  • Create a strong peer network across institutional types.

Leveraging ideas from leading businesses and non-profit organizations and borrowing from fields such as economics and psychology, the program will also tap the deep wisdom of the experienced VPSA participants. Participants will leave the Institute with an actionable agenda to move ahead on big picture challenges by calling upon, testing, and applying ideas from both within and outside of higher education.

The Focus

Student affairs leaders are witnessing higher education and their profession shift, if not transform, more quickly than they could have ever imagined. The Institute will provide the structure and space to implement new ideas and promising practices to influence the seismic changes occurring in higher education including:

  • Student activism and campus unrest
  • College access and affordability
  • Alcohol and other drug misuse/abuse
  • Sexual violence on campus
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Student mental health concerns
  • College completion
  • Employability of college graduates
  • Social inequities perpetuated by higher education
  • Market disruption by new higher education providers
  • Higher education’s unsustainable business model
  • Demographic shifts

The Approach: An Outside-In Framework

The Institute will rely heavily on ideas and knowledge from outside of student affairs to provide participants the means of getting beyond their day-to-day work. The program’s presenters and facilitators will leverage ideas from business and non-profit organizations, and tap fields such as economics, psychology, and other relevant areas.

About the Institute Model

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.


Presented By


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • Vice President for Student Affairs


Let others know you are coming!


Session I
January 5-7, 2017
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

During this first of three sessions, participants will frame the most pressing problems facing student affairs and higher education and explore together new ways of looking at and addressing these challenges.  The session will intrroduce concepts from fields outside of higher education such as health care, government, and policy development.

Session II
June 4-5, 2017
Washington, D.C.

During this second session, participants will continue to work on the most vexing challenges identified in Session I, introducing concepts from international studies, the media, and the hospitality industry.

Session III
September 15-16, 2017
Chicago, Illinois

During this final session, new concepts will be introduced from the fields of higher education and the arts, and participants will synthesize these and concepts from earlier sessions into the institute work product they will collectively develop to advance their own institutions and the field.

The schedule presented here is subject to changes.

Thu, Jan 05

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Institute Check-in
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lunch and Institute Introduction
2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Framing the (Real) Most Pressing Problems
4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Re-thinking Fresh Problems
4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Organizing for Action: Working Groups
6:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Institute Reception and Dinner

Fri, Jan 06

8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Transformational (Live) Case Study: Penn and West Philadelphia
Anthony Sorrentino, Executive Director, Office of the Senior Vice President, University of Pennsylvania
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Health Care and Higher Education
Darrell Kirch, President, Association of American Medical Colleges
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Institute Luncheon
1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
It’s the Government, Stupid
Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President, American Council on Education
2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Imagination: A Critical Part of Learning
Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific Director, Science of Imagination Project , Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
3T: Translate, Transfer, Test
7:00 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Institute Reception and Dinner

Sat, Jan 07

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Collective Impact: Advancing the Profession
10:30 a.m. – 11:30a.m.
Making Collective Sense of What We’ve Heard: Cross-Working Group Conversations
11:30a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Moving Ahead Collectively
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch and Adjournment

Sun, Jun 04

7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast, Reconnecting (and Disconnecting)
8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Transforming the Media Industry (or Is It Upheaval?)
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
3T: Translate, Transfer, Test
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Working Session
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
1:15p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
3T: Translate, Transfer, Test
2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Participant-generated Topics
3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Collective Impact: Advancing the Profession
6:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Institute Reception and Dinner

Mon, Jun 05

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
The Middle East is No Cake Walk
Vali Nasr, Dean, School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Working Groups on Advancing the Profession
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Working Lunch and Adjournment

Fri, Sep 15

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast, Reconnecting (and Disconnecting)
9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Strategy, not Strategic Planning
Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, President, DePaul University
10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
3T: Translate, Transfer, Test
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Working Session
12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Working Lunch: 3T: Translate, Transfer, Test
1:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Field Trip: Changing World of the Arts
6:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.

Sat, Sep 16

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Working Groups on Advancing the Profession
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Leadership Compact
12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Institute Closing Luncheon


This professional development program is designed for seasoned vice presidents for student affairs (and other most senior student affairs officers) who have served in any VPSA role(s) for at least five years.

Your registration fee for this unique NASPA program includes all Institute materials, all meals that fall within the Institute schedule, and seven nights of hotel accommodations acoss the three institute sessions.

Registration rates are based on your NASPA membership. If you are not a member, please visit the NASPA Membership page for more information.

Register Online

Registration Fees

before 11/24/2016
before 12/15/2016
before 12/29/2016
NASPA Member


Tonya Murphy
Member Services Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202-265-7500 ext.1183

James Stascavage
Senior Director of Leadership and Senior Student Affairs Officers Initiatives
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202-719-1172


View Registration Policies

Cancellation:  The cancellation deadline to receive a refund is November 23, 2016, less a $50.00 administrative fee.  No refunds will be given after the deadline for any reason.  All requests for cancellation and refunds must be in writing and sent to [email protected].

Group Registration Discount: NASPA offers a discount for members registering in groups of two or more individuals from a single institution. To apply for this discount send a request in writing to [email protected] prior to applying payment to registration orders. Please include all registrants’ full names, the institution name, and the title of the event. The membership department will follow up for any additional information required and provide a personalized discount code each member of your group can use when processing payment.

Purchase Orders: NASPA does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment. For registrants requiring an invoice to have a check payment processed, please use the Bill Me payment method to complete your registration. The resulting invoice can be found and downloaded under the My NASPA section of the website (must be logged-in), by selecting theView Invoices link from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, email a request to Membership to have a PDF of your invoice sent to you. Bill Me registrations are considered complete and will hold your place in an event, however the balance due must be settled prior to attending.

Click here to view NASPA’s complete Payment Policies and Procedures.

Additional Questions? Please contact the NASPA office at 202-265-7500 or via e-mail to [email protected].


  • Peter Eckel, Institute Co-Director

    Peter Eckel, Institute Co-Director

    Senior Fellow and Director of Leadership Programs
    Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

    Faculty Bio

  • Kevin Kruger, Institute Co-Director

    Kevin Kruger, Institute Co-Director

    NASPA - Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education

    Faculty Bio


  • Muriel Howard

    Muriel Howard

    American Association of State Colleges and Universities

    Speaker Bio

  • Dennis Holtschneider

    Dennis Holtschneider

    DePaul University

    Speaker Bio

  • Scott Jaschik

    Scott Jaschik

    Inside Higher Ed

    Speaker Bio

  • Teresa Samala de Guzman

    Teresa Samala de Guzman

    Chief Operating Officer
    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

    Speaker Bio

  • Darrell Kirch

    Darrell Kirch

    Association of American Medical Colleges

    Speaker Bio

  • Terry Hartle

    Terry Hartle

    Senior Vice President
    American Council on Education

    Speaker Bio

  • Scott Barry Kaufman

    Scott Barry Kaufman

    Scientific Director, Science of Imagination Project
    Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania

    Speaker Bio

  • Anthony Sorrentino

    Anthony Sorrentino

    Assistant Vice President, Office of the Executive Vice President
    University of Pennsylvania

    Speaker Bio


The Inn at Penn

The Inn at Penn
Philadelphia, PA

W Washington DC

W Washington DC
Washington, DC

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