Friday, May 28, 2010

Welcome to Global Student Affairs Inquiry blog

By creating the "Global Student Affairs" blog I hope to find colleagues who are interested in, or are, working abroad in higher education student affairs. There are communities that already exist in North American organizations (i.e. ACPA and NASPA) and there is the new IASAS (International Association of Student Affairs and Services); this blog is intended as a complement to these formal student affairs initiatives. This is an inquiry blog open to those wishing to join in conversation - meaning all comments should demonstrate appreciation for others' points of view. The simplest way to think about this is to always respond to someone else by noting what you understand their point to be and then proceeding with "and." "But" is not a word that is helpful in this context.

It is hard to tell where the "Global Student Affairs" blog might go but some possible topics could include:
1. How well is student affairs understood in higher education outside of North America? How is the understanding that others have helping or hindering progress toward establishing these programs?
2. How does the local context (political, economic, religious, social, organizational, and familial) influence the practice of student affairs? What needs to be considered if adaptation appears necessary?
3. Does it matter if those advocating for student affairs have professional training in the area? How can knowledge of, and credentialing related to, student affairs be expanded abroad?
4. What do those working outside of North America in student affairs have to offer to each other and to those in North America? What new ideas are being created abroad that would benefit North American student affairs programs?
5. What areas of present student affairs focus in research, theory, and program development are most promising for those working abroad? What areas of focus have little value?
6. What ultimately brings you to work every day and how do you maintain a depth of commitment and energy that allows you to be effective in student affairs?

There could be many more. I will invite a few colleagues to join (and I hope they will invite others) and then I look forward to seeing the first and subsequent posts that help to create the connections around the globe. We need each others' wisdom and support and perhaps this blog can get some of that started.