Ethical Dialogue and Responsible Stewardship

This has been a very busy conference season for me, having had the opportunity to attend three student affairs conferences in a three-week period. In addition to NASPA and ACPA, I was also privileged to speak at the Caribbean Tertiary Level Personnel Association (CTLPA) meeting in Kingston, Jamaica. Participating in these meetings gave me the opportunity to compare the culture, values, and purposes of all of the groups and also to observe the similarities in our collective mission in higher education. Our common goal seems to be the preparation of students for their future as citizens of the global community, contributing members of their local community, responsible and caring family members and individuals with a sense of their own vocation and value in the world. Although the emphasis may vary from place to place, the purposes are consistent. Our profession contributes to student learning within a larger context of post-secondary education. Students in our institutions are expected to acquire academic knowledge, technical knowledge and skill as well as interpersonal and meaning making skills. All of this skill and knowledge must be balanced in student lives for any of us to consider our work successful.

It is clear that we in student affairs and services have created a profession that makes significant contributions to the education of college students as they prepare for their place in the world. This common purpose for all of us, regardless of specialty, type of institution or geographical area raises a key question for the ethics of our profession — Where is our common set of ethical standards? Why do we have several different and overlapping statements issued by the different associations to which we belong? Do our colleagues and students, people with whom we work on a daily basis, care what professional association we belong to or are they more concerned with the quality of our work and service, our ability to meet the needs of students, faculty and our institutions in our areas of expertise? It is time to deepen our dialogue on this topic.

Yankelovich (1999) identified dialogue as a missing skill in most problem solving conversations. A true dialogue has these elements: collaboration, active listening, re-examining all positions and assumptions, searching for strengths and values in others’ positions and exploring new options. It does not include voting, searching for weaknesses in other’s ideas competition or self-defense (pp. 39-40). Dialogue has three distinctive features; Equality and the absence of coercive influences, listening with empathy, and bringing assumptions into the open (pp. 42-44).

One of the key ethical concerns that all student affairs professionals must address is of responsible stewardship of resources (Fried, 2003). In a climate of fiscal constraint we are ethically obligated to use our limited resources efficiently and effectively in order to maintain the trust of all of our stakeholders. At the association level, we have a similar question — How much duplication of services and functions among associations can we afford? Does the current structure of two different umbrella associations for our profession continue to make sense or is there a possibility that a new kind of structure and relationship might improve our ability to function effectively? In informal conversations I have had with new professionals, there is a continuing question- why do we have two associations and what are the differences between them? After graduation from our preparation programs when membership costs are relatively low, few new or mid-level professionals feel able to spend the money to belong to both. In financially constrained circumstances they believe that they must choose and they are not clear about the criteria on which to make the choice. Common purposes are more obvious than historical differences. We are in a new era. As we forge a vision for the 21st century similarities are more important than differences although careful analysis will allow for consideration of both and dynamic interplay between them.

The concept of merging our two national associations is very complex and requires a great deal of dialogue. One good place to begin examining the idea of responsible stewardship and knitting our associations together might be in dialogue about ethics. We face many common ethical concerns ranging from issues of professional preparation standards and competence to questions about editorial policy and publication processes in both journals. There are debates about access, professional roles, freedom of speech and student behavior going on throughout the country. Much of our recent national discourse has been confined to dualistic ways of framing issues, particularly in the political domain. We are concerned about drawing lines between friends and enemies, knowing which side people are on. On our campuses, we should be able to conduct more sophisticated and nuanced conversations about complexity, particularly in discussion of ethics. The first step in the process of opening dialogue might be to ask what ethical issues need to be discussed within our own profession and how well do our ethical statements address them? Another step would be to raise the topic of creating communities of ethical discourse on our own campuses so that we can include our colleagues and students in the conversation and in the process of thinking about ethical dilemmas.

All of us need to be reminded that dialogues for purposes of mutual understanding are very valuable and certainly can co-exist with the occasional search for the right answer in any area from mathematics, to religion, to the definition of plagiarism. Those who have achieved higher levels of cognitive complexity as described by Kegan’s 4th position (1994) or Baxter Magolda’s level 4 (1992), should serve as role models to those who still see the world from level 2 in either of those schemes. The problems that face us as professionals, individuals, family members and global citizens certainly demand complex thinking. We can learn this level of skill and perception in conversation with each other and use it to address all kinds of ethical issues including the question about the appropriate arrangement of professional associations for the 21st century. Adversarial debates will not advance our understanding of the many issues we face including unprecedented ethical dilemmas. It is time to continue our dialogue and follow the evolving process toward increased collaboration in our profession and on our campuses.

Most dichotomies are fundamentally misleading. Simplicities are reassuring but complexities are usually more accurate. Chickens and eggs are mutually interactive. (Fried handout for student development theory course, 2003)


  • Baxter Magolda, M. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Fried, J. (2003). Ethical standards and principles. In S. R. Komives, D. B. Woodard, Jr. & Associates (Eds.),Student services: A handbook for the profession. (pp. 107-127). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Yankelovich, D. (1999). The magic of dialogue: Transforming conflict into cooperation. New York: Simon & Schuster.

From the Editor

From the Editor

I take great pleasure in welcoming a new look for Developments with this issue. Developments has evolved over the years, and this issue will be our first fully web-based and accessible issue. The national office has worked with me over the past two years to make this happen. The content will continue to be similar, but the document will now be more integrated with other ACPA web pages and resources. Please feel free to give feedback on the format.

As always, we are always looking for new writers for any topics important to the profession and the ACPA membership. If you have something you want to submit, please do. If you feel a topic or area is missing from the pages of Developments, please submit those suggestions and the editorial team will seek to find a writer to fill that request. Specifically, at this time as Annette Gibbs transitions from her role with Developments, Robert Henrickson, legal issues author, and I are seeking a second legal issues writer to share the responsibility with Robert for the four yearly issues. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please submit information to me.

Not Such a World Apart: What an Other-Worldly Convention Can Tell Us About Ours

The scene: December 2002, the first ACPA 2004 convention planning committee meeting in Philadelphia. As I walk to our meeting room, a person with a latex mask and a long billowing black cloak strolls casually towards me. Moments later, I see a shirtless man in leather pants, green body paint, dark sunglasses, nipple rings, and fright wig talking to someone with rainbow suspenders and 25 buttons that say things such as, “Purr if you like cats!” Is this my committee? No, we were here at the same time as PhilCon 2002, the annual meeting of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society.

Because our two groups shared the closest bathroom, we were afforded many occasions to observe this curious gathering. Periodically, members of the planning team would come back from our breaks shaking their heads and comment on some of the strange things they had just witnessed. I must say that, at first, the attendees of PhilCon were a very easy target for good-natured ribbing. Things started falling into place when I realized that we were at the beginning of what must be the Sci-Fi high holy days: Star Trek Nemesis was released that evening and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was coming out the following Wednesday.

However, over the course of the weekend, I was aware that I was making light of something that I did not understand. Admitting my own myopia, I picked up a program book to see what I could learn about this earnest and spirited group. I also spoke with a woman named Carol, a member of the PhilCon planning team.

At first, Carol talked more about the nuts and the bolts of the convention, how it was organized and some of its defining characteristics. The more we talked, the more I realized that despite my first impressions, ACPA and PhilCon had a lot more in common than I imagined. For example:

  • Hot Topics/Activism: We have issues related to affirmative action and FERPA. They have concerns about the impending cancellation of Farscape and the state of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Exhibit Halls: We have indestructible furniture and for-profit internship programs. They have sci-fi art and memorabilia.
  • Featured Guests: We have experts speaking about issues such as academic dishonesty and spirituality in the academy. They have guests speaking about sci-fi art and writing.
  • Committees/Sub-Organization: We have affinity groups related to LGBT, disabilities, and residence life. They have affinity groups for Goth/Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gaming (role playing), Television, Books, Film, Hard/Plausible Science, and Anime.
  • Multiple Organizational Connections: We have advertising related to higher education organizations and institutes (e.g. AAHE, ACUHO-I, NACA, etc.). They have advertising for gatherings such as Penguicon (combination Science Fiction Convention and Linux Expo).
  • Social: We have Carnival and Cabaret. They have the Masquerade Hallway Costume Contest and “filking” (performing inventive and humorous spins on popular songs such as Little Dead Smurfette sung to the tune of Little Red Corvette). We have smaller parties for members with ties to specific graduate programs. They have smaller parties for members with more specific interests such as “Furry Fans” (i.e. individuals who adopt characteristics of animals that they admire such as tails, ears, etc.).

When I was thumbing through the PhilCon program, I was also struck by many similar programming characteristics to our own:

  • Current Issues: Science Fiction Promoting Alternate Sexual Lifestyles (A discussion of the way science fiction can lead us to living and loving differently), Changing Prejudices in Sci-Fi (With the demonization of Arabs and Muslims in current American Culture, would Dune be publishable today?), Was Tolkien a Racist? (What would the Orc Anti-Defamation League say?), and Security Leaks from the Future.
  • Research/Scholarship: The Physics of Time Travel, Mommy, Where Do New SF Writers Come From?, How Do You Change History Assuming You Have the Chance? (Does the time traveler shoot Napoleon, give Leonardo Da Vinci a laptop or publish just the right ad in the New York Times?), and Magical Objects (A ring is as commonplace as a toothbrush but a story about a quest for an enchanted toothbrush would make us snicker. What sort of objects work in this context and why?).
  • Practical Issues: Monsters, Aliens and Spirit Gum, Klingon Language For Beginners, Hey! I’m Not Dead Any More! (The implications of suspended animation: moral, religious, legal, social and biological. Will the revived dead be second class citizens or (in an unhappier future) a source of cheap protein?), How to Pass When You’re Over 150 (Vampires and other immortals need to conceal their nature. What are the legal, practical and emotional issues involved in outliving everyone you know and passing yourself off as your own heir?).
  • Honoring Their Own: A Tribute to Vincent Price.
  • Open Meeting: Gripe Session.

I also asked Carol about the deeper aspects of their convention–who attends and why, and what this convention does for its members. Carol noted that many fans (“mundanes” are those who do not enjoy science fiction/fantasy) come primarily for the opportunity to be with people like themselves in terms of interests and background. Fans find PhilCon to be a very supportive, encouraging and accepting environment. Carol said that many people attend for the “smiles and hugs” because PhilCon “is like coming home to a family.” Most people come here to renew old acquaintances, meet new people with similar interests, and even find romance (Carol met her husband and “soul mate” here). The unconditional acceptance and shared understanding allows fans to put their guards down. Some participants get to explore aspects of their real and idealized selves more fully – a meek woman might come to PhilCon in the character of Princess Yaya, all-powerful and confident. Some find this is the only place where they can openly explore issues of sexuality and transcend gender roles safely and without judgment. Others find that this is one of the only places they don’t need to explain themselves.

As I boarded the plane home, I tried to make sense of this collision of two convention cultures and what it said about each of us. This interaction certainly made the strange familiar and the familiar strange. Not surprisingly, I ended up learning more about ACPA than PhilCon. Given that I had just walked out of a very intense and protracted discussion about our role and responsibility as an ACPA convention planning committee member, it was clear that underneath the costumes, we had much more in common with PhilCon than I had originally thought. However you dress it up, both our conventions fulfill a need for our members to gather in a welcoming place for our shared communion, rejuvenation, and development. PhilCon may be more of a social gathering whereas ACPA’s convention supports the core work of the student affairs profession, but attendees want similar things our own members have repeatedly identified in our annual convention evaluations and surveys: meaningful connections, personal enrichment, and professional development.

This experience also has had a profound effect on my recent role as the ACPA 2005 Nashville convention chair. It has challenged me to frame the convention as something deeper. What is this annual gathering that draws thousands of people, rebirthed in different cities for less than a week, borne by the work of innumerable volunteer hours, with immeasurable commitment? What does the convention really mean for our members, and how has that shaped the way we have come to consistently organize it? What do we value and privilege and why?

The ACPA annual convention is arguably the most meaning-laden expression of our association’s core values, performed publicly on such a large scale. The convention serves the expressed and unexpressed needs of our association to ultimately help us to help our students. For a profession that knows the value of deep and sustained reflection, it is important for us to reflect on ourselves. Every artifact related to the convention serves as spoken and unspoken signifiers of our association’s culture, communicating what we value through our governance, organization, dress, buttons and badges.

Our convention is important because we do important and difficult work on our campuses. We must negotiate multiple and often competing priorities in institutional environments that don’t always appreciate our work. Thus, the convention is both a mirror and a lamp, reflecting our best and most true selves and illuminating our most cherished ideals. The convention inspires, enables and emboldens us to go back on our own campuses with renewed commitment to do our important work.

For many years I have wondered what people from the outside must think if they stumbled into our convention. Anthropologically speaking, we must seem like we are from a different land. I imagine that if any PhilCon members stumbled onto ACPA’s annual convention, they might say, “why do they do that —-that’s just so…weird.”

ACPA Books and Media Call for Proposals

ACPA Books and Media Call for Proposals

Do you have a good idea for a book? ACPA Books and Media, the book-publishing arm of ACPA, is soliciting proposals for book-length manuscripts. While we welcome proposals on any topic in line with the mission and goals of ACPA, we have a particular interest in receiving proposals on the following topics:

  • Racial/ethnic identity development
  • Issues facing men in college
  • Student affairs work in community colleges
  • Student affairs work in religiously-affiliated colleges
  • Student affairs work in HBCU’s
  • Student affairs work in Tribal colleges
  • Student affairs work in international settings
  • Study abroad
  • International student services
  • Native American college students
  • Muslim college students
  • Evangelical Christian students
  • Addressing students’ psychological/psychiatric issues in student affairs
  • Counseling issues in student affairs

If you have an idea for a book, please contact the Books and Media Editor, Nancy Evans, at [email protected] with a brief outline of your interests. She will be happy to respond to inquiries and to provide further information about the process for submitting a proposal.

ACPA Awards Call for Nominations

Celebrating Our Accomplishments – Comemorando Nossas Realizações – Adhimisha Wetu Ukamili – Célébration de Nos Accomplissements – gkKPT DgkWscpd – празднать наши выполнения – Firande Vår Utförandena – Celebrating Nostrum Factum – εορτασμóς των ολοκληρώσεών μας – Noj tsiab hauj lwm

Whether in English, Portuguese, Swahili, French, Cherokee, Russian, Swedish, Latin, Greek, or Hmong, as a higher education community we are called to be “celebrative,” where there is rejoicing in what we accomplish and where we can be publicly proud of those accomplishments. At our recent convention in Nashville, over 130 individuals were recognized through our awards program for significant achievements within and contributions to the higher education community, the student affairs profession and to ACPA, its commissions, state divisions and standing committees.

It’s time, once again, to celebrate those individuals whose efforts and contributions advance the goals of ACPA and our profession. All members of ACPA are eligible to nominate or be nominated for these awards. As a member of ACPA, you are encouraged to review the award categories listed below and consider nominating your colleagues and other members of ACPA whose work and contributions have been significant to your practice and to our profession.

Please note that the various awards have different deadlines and different contact persons, so read the material carefully. For information on the awards, visit the ACPA website at

Our members play a pivotal role in this process as we honor the work of those who help to shape our profession and to recognize the generations that have come before and will follow after us. You are invited into that tradition and journey. Let the celebration begin!


You may nominate yourself or another individual. To nominate someone, send a nomination letter including the nominee’s telephone number, and e-mail address. The nomination letter should be accompanied by supporting materials, which include an outline of the person’s, or group’s contributions based on the criteria for the award. Nominees may be contacted for additional information. You are strongly advised to contact the person listed for the award prior to mailing your nomination to get accurate mailing information (USPS or email). The contact person may also be able to help you with any nomination materials that are required.

In addition to this general nomination process, the Core Council for Member Services and Interests annually convenes a Nominating Committee, comprised of a broad representation of previous award winners and leaders within the association, which will generate a list of nominations for the first five award categories listed below. The association’s Awards Selection Committee will consider nominations from both the general process and nominating committee.


This award recognizes someone who has advanced a higher education agenda through work at the institutional, regional, and/or national level. The recipient would be someone who has worked outside the association to contribute to the higher education landscape and has, in a meaningful way, enhanced the work done on college campuses and/or with college students. The recipient of this award can be (but is not limited to) a college president, another association leader, a higher education scholar/researcher, someone from the corporate world, or a political leader.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact John Mueller at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the profession’s body of knowledge through publications, films, speeches, instructions, tapes, and other forms of communication.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact John Mueller at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


This award honors the life and work of one of the earliest pioneers and shapers of our profession, Esther Lloyd-Jones. The award recipient exemplifies the profession’s commitment to service through significant, continued, and unselfish service/leadership activities that have benefited the profession, ACPA and the profession’s practice on the state and national level.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact John Mueller at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


This award is presented to practitioners whose designs and program implementations as well as services for their campus are based on the best national practices in student affairs. The association intends to honor practitioners who have been responsible for achievements that impact a campus for a sustained period of time (five to ten years).

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact John Mueller at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


Recognizes individuals who have a minimum of two decades or other exhibited long-term involvement and service to the field of student affairs over an extended period of time; recognized level of scholarly productivity; and/or leadership at one or more institutions of higher learning as a Student Affairs staff member, administrator, or faculty member.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact John Mueller at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.



These awards recognize individuals and exemplary campus-based programs in the field of higher education and student affairs that have in some way contributed to making their campus communities a welcoming environment for all.

Individual Award:

To qualify for the individual award, an individual must have been employed professionally in the field of student affairs for a minimum of five years and must have provided leadership to several initiatives that support diversity and multiculturalism on their home campus.

Exemplary Program:

The following program criteria are used in considering exemplary program recipients: program should respond to an assessed or measured need in the areas of multiculturalism and diversity; achieve an expressed outcome; have a well-developed and creative design; translate to other institutional environments; and include an evaluation process that demonstrates its impact.


Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact Vernon A. Wall at [email protected] for additional information or to submit a nomination.


Each year up to three Senior Professionals and up to five Emerging Professionals are accepted. These individuals are honored for their contributions to the fields of administration, teaching, research, and publications. Service to ACPA and leadership are also factors that should be considered. This award celebrates the lives of Philip A. Tripp and Ursula Delworth, who dearly loved to challenge their contemporaries and junior colleagues in a spirit of personal and professional sharing, good humor, and intellectual debates. The Latin phrase, “annuit coeptis,” reflects Professor Tripp’s optimism for the future by suggesting that “He has smiled upon that which we have begun.”

Deadline: December 6, 2005. Please contact Delight Champagne at [email protected]. for more information or to submit a nomination.


Established in 2001, the Senior Student Affairs Practitioner Program Award recognizes senior level professionals who exemplify good practice in student affairs and who have made outstanding contributions to their institutions and the student affairs profession. Individuals selected for this honor become members of the program for a four year term and are involved in many aspects of the Association including working with the Executive Director and Association leaders to provide professional development opportunities, participating in research related to SSAO positions; developing ways for SSAOs to network and collaborate; mentoring younger professionals; and forming liaison relationships with a variety of constituencies within and beyond ACPA.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact Christine Strong at [email protected] for more information regarding the nomination process.


Implemented in 1984, the ACPA Senior Scholars Program provides scholars with a continuing opportunity to share their scholarship their the presentation of a program of their own choosing at each national convention and, upon the request of the ACPA President, to serve the association on projects related to their field of interest. Nominees are typically senior members of the profession, such as full professors or senior student affairs officers. A maximum of twelve members can hold active membership. To nominate an individual, please submit a letter of nomination describing qualifications and the candidate’s vita.

Deadline: November 15, 2005. Please contact Sue Saunders at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


The Emerging Scholars program was implemented by the ACPA Senior Scholars in 1999 to provide promising new scholars with mentorship and support to enhance research skills and pursue research initiatives in areas of interest to ACPA. Emerging Scholars serve a two-year term which begins with the ACPA convention immediately following their selection. In their first year as Emerging Scholars, successful applicants will attend a day-long research institute with the Senior Scholars prior to the beginning of the ACPA convention. For the next 2 years Emerging Scholars may choose to work with one or more Senior Scholars on research projects and, as a culmination of their work, will present their research at the Emerging Scholar Research Symposium held at the annual convention.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Please contact C. Carney Strange at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination. Nomination letters should address the nominee’s research experience and potential to benefit from participation in the Emerging Scholars program.


Commission Awards for Excellence are given in the following areas: Membership, Professional, Programming, Publications, and Research. In addition, the Overall Distinguished Accomplishment Award is given to the Commission that demonstrates, through the breadth of its achievements, outstanding progress toward attaining ACPA’s and Commission goals.

Deadline: November 7, 2005. Contact Heidi Levine at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


These awards include: Outstanding State & International Division Award; Outstanding State & International Division Leader Award; and Outstanding State & International Division Award for Innovation.

Deadline: November 5, 2005. Please contact Ann Groves Lloyd at [email protected] for more information or to submit a nomination.


Award information for individual Commissions, State & International Divisions, and Standing Committees is available by contacting the appropriate Presidents or Chairpersons. Please check the ACPA web site for the appropriate contact persons and deadlines.If you have any questions about the above awards information or this year’s awards program, please contact T. Todd Masman, Bemidji State University, at [email protected] or 218.755.3760.

Student Affairs Study Tour to Australia

From Washington, DC, Australia is over 10,000 miles away; from Los Angeles, it’s only a mere 7,800 miles. No matter the point of departure, the trek to Australia, affectionately know as “The Land Down Under,” by 40 participants and 5 faculty members was well worth the time and effort. From May 16-31, 2005 ACPA, ACUI and NASPA co-sponsored a student affairs study tour for the first time. The participants represented close to thirty different colleges and universities; most were graduate students while others were full-time student affairs professionals.

With a curricular focus, the study tour was designed to do several things:

  1. Develop an understanding of the structure and practice of Australian higher education;
  2. Learn about the structure and practice of student services in the context of Australian higher education; and
  3. Gain insight into the issues and strategic directions for Australian higher education and student services.

Participants had the option to earn three semester hours of course credit or receive a program study certificate from the University of Arizona Center for the Study of Higher Education. All participants were required to participate in large and small group discussions and do readings of articles published on Australian higher education. Dr. Doug Woodard, faculty member at the University of Arizona and past president of NASPA, created the study tour curriculum and conducted lectures throughout the two-week visit.

The study tour included visits to eight Australian universities: University of Sydney, University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong, LaTrobe University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, Victoria University, and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT). Student services representatives at each university conducted presentations to the study tour group about their programs and services for students. There were also many opportunities to network with Australian colleagues and compare and contrast student services in the U.S. and Australia, as well as national higher education policies. While there were similarities in a few typical functional areas associated with student services, the study tour group also discovered fundamental differences.

The group learned that there are no professional preparation programs for those who wish to pursue a career in student services. Instead, most entered the field through the faculty ranks, from other academic offices, or did related work in social service or non-profit organizations. Unlike the U.S. where graduate preparation programs teach student development theory and this theory is applied in the work setting, the Australian counterparts were not very familiar with psychosocial development for college students, although a few knew the U.S. student affairs field widely used developmental theory in their work with students. Even the names of particular functional areas did not always reflect the same intent or focus in the U.S. For example, instead of using “Housing/Residence Life,” this service is known as “Accommodations.” And in Australia, the staff primarily assist students with finding housing, with little or no attention given to residence education.

A much larger issue for Australian universities is the recruitment and retention of indigenous students or those of Aboriginal ancestry. Most of the institutions visited had a program designated to the academic and personal/social support of this student population. When asked about overall retention and graduation rates, representatives admitted that the rates were poor (e.g. retention at one university was less than 50%). Relations between the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples remain somewhat constrained; however, leaders are working towards national reconciliation to better group relations and enhance the quality of life for Aboriginal peoples. Known as the “Traditional Welcome,” it is expected that higher education institutions officially acknowledge to campus visitors that the grounds on which the university is located must be attributed to its original Aboriginal owners.

The Australian higher education policies for federal support and student fees were very much in the forefront of national news during the group’s visit. Over the last ten years or so, the Australian government has dramatically reduced its funding of higher education institutions. In the past, education was basically free for those who were privileged to be accepted into one of the 32 Australian universities, but today most students must pay for most of their educational costs. Students can apply for a payment program which will allow them to defer the costs; however, following graduation, the student is required to pay back the government. An unusual twist to this arrangement is the student must make at least $32,000 (USD) to be required to make these payments.

Another fiercely divisive issue is the federal government’s plan to dissolve mandatory student fees for student unions. These fees are a major source for staffing, both professionals and student staff wages and organizational activities and services funding. Pegged by the government as “voluntary student unions,” staff at all of the universities visited expressed great anxiety about the significant implications the fee removal could have if the policy is adopted by the government. Many student union leaders and student services staff feared that programs and services would be dramatically reduced, if not disappear, due to lack of adequate funding.

Beyond the campus visits, hosted receptions and dinners, and formal group discussions the group participated in tours to various historic and scenic sites including beaches and mountains and a visit to Parliament to observe the House representatives’ Q&A session with the Prime Minister. Kangaroos hopping through the wild during the group’s sojourn from Sydney to Melbourne; and learning the “Aussie lingo” made the trip wondrous, exciting, and intellectually stimulating.

ACPA plans to continue sponsoring future student affairs study tours and will explore other international opportunities for its members including global internships and colloquia.

Research Opportunity

Research Opportunity

A research study designed to examine attrition from the student affairs profession is underway. Current student affairs professionals are being asked to help identify potential participants by providing the research team with the names and contact information of former student affairs professionals who left the field within the past 10 years; no longer work for a college or university; or have left student affairs but work in another division of a university or college. These participants will be asked to complete a brief online survey. Your contact information will only be used for the purpose of this study.

If you or someone you know meets the criteria for this study, please provide the study team with the name, current e-mail address, phone number and mailing address. This information should be forwarded to:

Ute Lowery
South University

[email protected]

(The study is sponsored by a subcommittee of NASPA’s Center for Women)

Project 3R Ends after Three Successful Years

Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) college students face different challenges today than in years past. Because of the passage of laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, those students are allowed to attend practically any school they want, with the right to equal communication access. That has resulted in a wide dispersion of students into schools that have never worked with the D/HH before. Often, conflicts will arise because the school has limited knowledge and experience in the area of deafness, and does not accommodate the D/HH student properly. This is also complicated by the fact that students aren’t always aware of their rights and options and how to negotiate effectively. The big question is, how can we educate both students and schools, and avoid those conflicts?

Project 3R (Role, Rights, and Responsibilities of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students) can answer that question! This project’s purpose is to develop a curriculum for educating and training college students to become leaders in the future and advocates for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Educating those students will result in a ripple effect, where each teacher and staff they come in contact with will learn something from the experience and be better prepared the next time they encounter a D/HH student. Project 3R recently completed the development of this curriculum, which is now ready for distribution. The curriculum includes two phases:

  • Phase I: This comprehensive training program covers topics ranging from legal issues, advocacy, effective writing, and problem solving. These topics are separated into a series of 11 modules, including pre and post tests, writing exercises, and informative readings. The students participating in the training will first complete the 11 modules online then undergo on-site training lasting two days. The on-site training provides them with an opportunity to discuss in depth the information included in the modules, and perform role playing exercises.
  • Phase II: After participating in the on-site training, the students will be ready to conduct a series of one-hour training sessions upon request at both their own institution and at other postsecondary institutions. Specialized materials are available for three different possible audiences: faculty, administrators, and students.

The curriculum was developed based on input from faculty, administrators, and students from around the country, along with feedback from hands-on testing. Fifty students, mostly from the “big three” – California State University, Northridge, Gallaudet University, and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology participated in Phase I testing. They provided valuable input in how to improve the training of student leadersprogram. During Phase II, a number of those students went to a variety of postsecondary institutions to test the one-hour training sessions. One interesting observation made during Phase II was that faculty and administrators reacted enthusiastically to our students, and took advantage of the opportunity to get input directly from the students on how to resolve a variety of issues they’ve encountered with D/HH students.

The curriculum is available on paper, multimedia CD-ROM, and online. The paper copy and CD-ROM are available free of charge. To obtain your copy, contact us via email or phone and we’ll be more than happy to send you one!


Until December 16, 2005:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (866) 621-2933 (V/TTY)



After December 16, 2005:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (818) 677-2099 (V/TTY)


The 3R website has information specifically for faculty and administrators who are new to working with D/HH students. It includes a quick reference guide with a compendium of tips, strategies, and other relevant information. Go to our website at, and click on either the Faculty or the Administrator link.

The Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Project is a three year federal grant funded by the US Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. The grant expires December 31, 2005. If you’re interested in finding out more about the 3R project, check out our website at or call (818) 677-2099 (V/TTY).

California State University, Northridge (CSUN) has the largest mainstream program for deaf and hard of hearing students in the western U.S. Over 32,000 students attend CSUN and more than 200 of them are deaf or hard of hearing. Founded in 1962, the National Center on Deafness has provided student services, outreach and research facilities to and for deaf and hard of hearing CSUN students successfully for over forty years. NCOD strives to help meet the educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing students by making all university programs and services fully accessible. For more information on NCOD, check or call (818) 677-2611 (V/TTY).

Project 3R would like to thank the following institutions for hosting training sessions and for their assistance and input: Camden County Community College (NJ), Johnson County Community College (KS), Los Angeles Pierce College (CA), Montgomery College (MD), Ohlone College (CA), Santa Rosa College (CA), The University of Minnesota, and Utah Valley State College.

When does a Collegiate Newspaper Adviser have First Amendment Rights?

Freedom of the press rights of student publications were established in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. For example, the Courts have made clear that the editorial content of student newspapers is protected by the First Amendment.Dickey v. Alabama (1967) established that the editor of the school newspaper could not be suspended for the content of an editorial criticizing the Governor of the State (Henrickson, 1999). Joyner v. Whiting (1973) set the precedent that that school official could not control the content of school newspapers unless the content falls under the narrow guidelines defining obscenity. Other decisions found that while an institution is not obligated to fund student publications, the school cannot withdraw funds because it objects to the editorial content of the student newspaper (Henrickson). As a result of these cases, public colleges and universities and some private institutions formed a separate and independent corporation for the campus newspaper and many of these student newspapers became financially self supporting entities. Usually these student publishing companies had an employee of the institution who served as the adviser to the editors of the student newspaper.

Since the establishment of incorporated student newspapers, there has been a paucity of case law on freedom of the press issues. The exception was a 1990’s case involving student fees and separation of church and state issues based on the Christian editorial content of a student publication. The Court ruled that if student fees were used to fund student publications, a publication with a content orientation as a Christian publication could not be denied funding (Henrickson; Rosenburger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 1992/1994).

In 2005 a new issue involving freedom of press and content emerged. This new case Lane v. Simon et al. (2005) concerns the issue of what rights under freedom of press an adviser to a student newspaper possess. The Kansas State University (KSU) had established a corporation, Student Publications Inc. (SPI), to finance and govern its student newspaper the Collegian. For the past 15 years Professor Rolland Johnson held a joint appointment as a tenured professor in the School of Journalism and a yearly renewable contract as Treasurer and Director of SPI. In his capacity as Director he served as the advisor to the editors of the Collegian. However, the student editors had complete and ultimate authority over the editorial content of the newspaper.

During the spring of 2004 some students became dissatisfied with the selection of news items covered by the Collegian. Specifically, some students claimed that the newspaper failed to adequately cover diversity and other campus issues. Meetings were held among administrators, faculty and students and a student protest demanded that Professor Johnson be removed from his position at SPI. The Chairman of the Board of SPI, without consulting the SPI Board members, sent a recommendation to the Dean of the College of Arts and Science that Mr. Johnson not be reappointed to his position at SPI. He based his recommendation on a “content analysis,” a research methodology used in the social sciences, to compare the breadth and quality of news coverage in the Collegian to six other institutions’ campus newspapers. He found that news content had fallen below standards set by both professional and campus newspapers; that sub par scope and quality of news coverage had been the case consistently over the past four years; the Collegian’s content was more like a general interest newspaper than a campus publication; and news story content had developed a culture of mediocrity when compared to other campus newspapers where the standards where much higher. He also noted that Johnson’s behavior when working with others was detrimental to SPI. The Dean by letter in May of 2004 notified Johnson that he would not be reappointed. The 2003-2004 Co-Editors of the Collegian and Johnson filed suit in the Federal District Court of Kansas claiming their First Amendment freedom of press rights had been violated. KSU filed a motion with the court asking that the case be dismissed.

The Lane court noted that “content analysis” is a social science technique typically used in mass communications with precision that “measures specific aspects and characteristics of media content.” The court noted:

In this instance, Simon compared the total bylined items, the number of news stories, the number of feature stories, the percentage of campus stories, the number of sources per story, the number of sports stories, the number of bylined opinion items, and the number of diversity items in six campus newspapers comparable to the Collegian (Lane v. Simon et al., 2005, p. 12).

The Court also noted that Johnson was dismissed because of his failure to be a role model and by fostering conflict among the newspaper staff.

The Court agreed with the University’s motion to dismiss the claim, reasoning that Professor Johnson had no control over the editorial content of the paper. Judge Robinson argued that the “content analysis” findings were a measure of the quality of the campus newspaper and not the content of specific articles in the paper. The removal of the Director of SPI did not violate the freedom of press rights of the editors of the Collegian since the editors maintained control over the editorial content of the paper. The court noted that the failure to consult the Board of SPI as outlined in its by-laws could yield a state claim by the editors. In addition, Johnson’s contract may have been breached. The court noted that such state claims were not under its jurisdiction.

Some legal scholars have raised serious questions about this decision, noting that the court’s “content analysis” position of the Collegian “had nothing to do with particular stories appearing” in the newspaper and was an error (Hoover, 2005). This could serve as the basis for an appeal of this decision. Such an argument would hinge on whether the analysis conformed to the appropriate procedure required in a content analysis. Normally this technique does not consider and comment on the content of specific stories but rather is a comparative measure of the quality and overall coverage of news item across several newspapers. If “content analysis”, as a research methodology, was conducted appropriately it is difficult to determine how such an analysis would affect the content of individual stories and editorials.

While some may argue that this case will not withstand the scrutiny of an appeal, there are some things that student affairs administrators can learn from this case:

  • Institutions and their administrators should not challenge the editorial content of student publications unless this content violates a narrowly prescribed definition of obscenity.
  • Where control of editorial content is specifically designated to the student publication editor(s), the faculty/staff adviser may not have access to claims under freedom of press.
  • Administrators need to strictly follow the proscribed procedures involved in the employment or removal of a director or adviser to a student group.
  • When student groups complain about the editorial content of student newspapers, administrators should facilitate dialogue between the parties rather than taking sides or commenting on the issue.
  • There is an attitude within the public both from the left and the right that universities are being taken over by ideologies that are intolerant of others’ views. Institutional officials need to continue to work toward a campus environment where there is a free exchange of ideas and where diversity of thought and intellectual debate is fostered, not stifled.

Issues such as this one get at the very crux of the purpose of higher education institutions, where students, faculty and staff have the freedom to inquire and investigate in search of understanding. In order to insure the freedom of inquiry, student affairs administrators need to achieve a balance between what is considered politically correct and the rights of the individual to inquire and debate freely. Promoting an environment that embraces First Amendment Rights and Academic Freedom should guide administrators in policy development and behavior.


  • Dickey v. Alabama, 273F. Sup. 613 (M.D. Ala. 1967).
  • Hendrickson, R. M. (1999) The Colleges, Their Constituencies and the Court (2nd Ed), Education Law Association, Dayton, OH, p. 189.
  • Hoover Eric, (2005) Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit by Former Newspaper Adviser at Kansas State University. The Chronicle of Higher Education: Today’s News
  • Joyner v. Whiting, 477 F.2d 456 (4th Cir. 1973).
  • Lane v. Simon et al., 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexus 11330 (D. Kan. 2005).
  • Rosenburger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia., 795 F. Supp. 176 (W.D. Va. 1992) aff’d. 18 F.3d 269(4th Cir. 1994).


As Annette Gibbs retires from the University of Virginia, and as a co-author of this column in Developments, I wanted to publicly thank her for her contributions to the column, ACPA, and the field of student affairs. Dr. Gibbs has mentored a significant number of professionals in the field including me. Like others, I have benefited from her knowledge, scholarship, intellectual capacity and integrity. I am sure those who have had the opportunity to work with her join me in wishing Annette the best as she moves to a new phase in her journey.

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From One Dupont Circle

Welcome back to the beginning of another exciting academic year on the thousands of campuses and virtual networks across the globe. Our more than 8,000 members are once again ready and eager to assist students with their learning objectives for the coming year.

Here in the nation’s capital, all has not been slow over the summer. Let me highlight a few important issues:

  • Congress is still debating the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Given the diversion of attention to the nomination of a new justice of the Supreme Court, it is not clear if the HEA will be a topic of consideration in the Senate. The House is schedule to bring it to the floor of the full House sometime in September. The Act…“Which provided to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance to students in postsecondary and higher education”
  • The NCAA Executive Committee banned 18 Colleges from holding postseason events unless they discard American Indian nicknames and mascots. This has been an issue of high school and college sports for many years. We applaud the action of the NCAA in support of dignity and respect of all peoples.
  • The Association of Governing Boards has issued their top ten public policy issues facing higher education for the coming year. You will find them listed later in this issue of Developments. These are the issues that should receive attention from Presidents and Governing Boards as they plan for the future.

The Association’s leadership remained focused on five major areas for this year:

  • The Certification Task Force continues to review the feasibility of developing a certification program for our profession.
  • The Governance Task Force continues to examine the current governing structure and recommending a more “nimble” structure to carry the Association into the next decade.
  • The Generation and Dissemination of Knowledge Core Council continues to strategize on improving research in the field.
  • The Professional Development Core Council and the Educational Leadership Foundation are looking at the multicultural competencies needed in our profession.
  • The State and International Divisions continue efforts to strengthen and expand our divisions throughout North America and beyond.

There are many other programs underway that are designed to enhance your learning and knowledge of the profession and the field of higher education around us. Please check the website periodically for updated and new information.

In addition, our Convention Planning teams for 2006 and 2007 are well underway for the next two annual conventions. The 2006 Convention Planning team, under the leadership of Boyd Yarbrough is doing an excellent job creating a wonderful professional development experience in NEW Indianapolis! The Summer Leadership Meeting 2005 was held in Indianapolis, and you are in store for a truly exciting experience. In addition to outstanding speakers and programs, a lot has changed in Indianapolis since our last convention ten years ago!

The 2007 Joint Meeting between ACPA and NASPA is also underway for their planning in Orlando, Florida. Jill Carnaghi (ACPA/NASPA) and Michael Segawa (NASPA/ACPA) are leading this “every decade” event. We are proud that our two associations will be celebrating this forty year old tradition (1977, 1987, 1997, and 2007). If you are interested in assisting with this monumental undertaking, please contact either Jill or Mike.

Our national office has several personnel changes and I would like to share those with you:

  • Peter Brown has been promoted from Assistant Executive Director to Associate Executive Director.
  • Rita Bowers has been hired to replace Drew Williams as Coordinator of Marketing and Public Relations.
  • Ron Campbell has been retained as Director of Corporate Relations.
  • Michael Hernandez has been hired to replace Ramanand Nukala as Coordinator of Web Development and Technical Services.
  • Shilo Lillis joined the office as Administrative Assistant.

I want to thank Anthony Kraft for serving as our talented undergraduate intern in the national office this past summer. Tony worked on a variety of research projects, primarily targeted at Senior Student Affairs Officers.

We hope you enjoy the new format of this publication and many thanks go to Richard Stevens as Editor for this progress. Thank you Richie!

Until next time,


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