Amelia Parnell Named President of NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

March 20, 2024 NASPA

Washington, DC (MARCH 20, 2024) — Dr. Amelia Parnell, vice president for research and policy at NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education was named the organization’s president today. Parnell begins her term on July 1, 2024, succeeding Kevin Kruger, who has held the post since 2012.

Parnell has been with the organization since 2015 and will bring deep industry and organizational knowledge to her new role. She directed the association’s research, policy, and publications portfolio that provide critical insight and support to the nearly 15,000 student affairs professionals who comprise NASPA’s membership. In this position, she oversaw multi-million dollar budgets, represented NASPA globally in speaking engagements and the media, and led analysis of applicable federal and state legislation and regulatory developments.

Over the past eight years, Parnell secured over $22M in grant funding, represented NASPA through service to over 20 organizations including the U.S. Department of Education, and served as the chair of the governing board for the Higher Ed Equity Network and chair of the finance and investment committee for the EDUCAUSE board of directors. Additionally, she led an 18-month examination of the future of student affairs, overseeing a large volunteer and staff task force and engaging in listening sessions with NASPA members.

Prior to NASPA, Parnell was director of research initiatives at the Association for Institutional Research and director of national survey research for the Association for Institutional Research. From 2005 through 2012, she served as education policy analyst for the Florida Legislature.

“Dr. Parnell is poised to lead NASPA as an impactful driver of change in higher education,“ said Chicora Martin, past chair of the NASPA board of directors and vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Agnes Scott College. “Anna Gonzalez, the current NASPA board chair, and I have no doubt that she will continue to build on Kevin’s successes of the past 12 years while at the same time charting a new course to meet the many challenges we know lie ahead for colleges and universities. Her experience, her national profile, and her collegial leadership style have prepared her well for success in this role and on behalf of the board, we look forward to working with her in this new capacity.” 

“I am honored to serve in this new role and to support our members in their critical work,” said Parnell. “NASPA is well-positioned to advocate for student affairs professionals around the world and, by doing so, we can demonstrate our commitment to student success and the association’s vision for fulfilling the promise of higher education.”

“As institutions across the United States strive to support and sustain their workforce and provide high-quality resources to students, this is a pivotal time for collaboration”, she continued. “As president, I look forward to strengthening relationships across the industry, promoting the value and impact of student affairs for key audiences, and pursuing strategies that enhance the college student experience.”

“On behalf of my fellow search committee co-chair, Pat Whitely, senior vice president for student affairs and alumni engagement, University of Miami, NASPA is thrilled to have Dr. Parnell as its new president,” said Bette Simmons, search committee co-chair and retired vice president of student development and enrollment management, County College of Morris. “Among the things that most impressed the search committee was Dr. Parnell’s passion for providing student affairs professionals the resources and support they need to best do their jobs in an evolving higher education landscape. We are excited by her vision for the future of NASPA and of higher education more broadly, and know that her leadership will be key to ensuring our members will face that future with confidence.”

Parnell has authored numerous scholarly articles and has been regularly quoted in national and trade publications. She is the author of the recent book, You Are a Data Person: Strategies for Using Analytics on Campus, which has sold over 3,000 copies to date and is widely used by institutions across the country. She is also a faculty mentor for the Institute on ePortfolios of the American Association of Colleges & Universities. She holds a B.S. and MBA in business administration from Florida A&M University, and a PhD in higher education from Florida State University.

The search was assisted by Korn Ferry.


NASPA is the professional home for the field of student affairs. It is dedicated to fulfilling the promise of higher education through the guiding principles of Integrity, Innovation, Inclusion, and Inquiry. Students are at the center of its work, serving the field through exceptional professional development, research to take on our biggest challenges, advocacy for inclusive and equitable practices and communities, and nurturing networks and pipelines to mentor, rejuvenate, and support. As the leading voice of student affairs, NASPA drives innovation and evidence-based, student-centered practice throughout higher education, nationally and globally.

Erin A. Hennessy
[email protected]
(202) 664-4205