From the President: When One Door Closes

From the President: When One Door Closes

Keith B. Humphrey
ACPA President
The University of Arizona

Happy summer to my student affairs family!

If your campus is like mine, the joy of commencement has come and gone and you are focused on welcoming the newest students to your academic community. For me, both moments are always emotional.

When I look back on the accomplishments of my students at graduation paired so closely with seeing the promise and optimism of a new class, the juxtaposition always gives me pause. I watch the incoming first-year students and wonder what purposeful change they will bring to our campus and world. This orientation season is especially poignant for me as our oldest son, Owen, is starting his first year of higher education. We watched him process in cap and gown at high school graduation a few weeks ago, stunned that he has become an 18-year-old adult. And I mean stunned (the parents out there know what I mean).

This is my first opportunity to write to you as your ACPA President and I feel like an incoming first-year student going through orientation right now: lots of optimism, energy, and enthusiasm mixed with anxiety, caution, and humility. I have more questions than answers, but luckily my parents are not hovering over me to embarrass me in front of my new classmates.

Owen is going to be a first-year student at my home institution, the University of Arizona, where there are dozens of ACPA members creating the experiences that will change his life. I appreciate their daily effort for our students and the efforts of our thousands of other ACPA members around the world, who are putting the same level of care into their new students’ experiences.

Last month, I held my Presidential Symposium at Kingsborough Community College in New York City, where we focused on amplifying the factors that promote student success rather than dwelling on why students fail. We concentrated on our partnerships with academic affairs administrators, knowing that a focused organization is one that is ultimately the most successful. If you were not able to join us at this wonderful event hosted by Kingsborough’s Dean of Students, Dr. Paulette Dalpes, and the excellent College Student Personnel Association of New York (CSPA-NYS), you will get a chance to continue this dialogue at the ACPA Annual Convention in Las Vegas in March 2013.

The Presidential Symposium highlights why I love ACPA and why, no matter what position I hold, ACPA will always be my professional home. I love our size: we are big enough to bring together professionals from all aspects of student affairs yet small enough to ensure that opportunities for involvement, leadership, and presentations at annual or state conventions are plentiful. I love our prominent history of bringing together faculty scholars and practitioners to solve the challenges students and campuses face.

As your summer continues, I hope you take moments to honor your incoming class of students by reflecting on what made your most recent class of graduates so successful. Be sure to tell us about your successes by submitting a program proposal for the ACPA Annual Convention in 2013!

Most importantly, make sure you take time for yourself so that you have the energy to do your good work all over again for another year.

Please e-mail inquiries to Keith Humphrey.

Follow Keith on twitter @keithbhumphrey and @acpaprez

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