The beginning of a new year brings out the anticipatory
nature in all of us. Following last year’s historic and emotionally charged presidential election, there appears to be
a greater sense of hope and expectation about the future.
The excitement surrounding a new president is not going
unnoticed on college campuses, and student affairs professionals around the
country eagerly await Barack Obama’s actions with regard to higher education. Numerous issues
are of great interest to the profession, and initiatives related to veterans’ affairs and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act are just two topics on the front burner.
In 2008, it was reported that greater numbers of young people actively engaged in political
campaigning and voting—more than any other time in history. As was evidenced on most of
our campuses during the presidential campaign, heightened political and social consciousnesses
are notable qualities of this current generation of college students.
The defined opinions and unique perspectives of Millennial students, like other generations
before them, present new challenges for higher education in general and for student affairs
in particular. The feature articles in this issue of Leadership Exchange address matters related
to multigenerational and multicultural approaches to work and values. Strategies for providing greater opportunities for engaging different generations on the job are highlighted, as well
as recommendations for successful collaboration. This issue also features an interview with
Johnetta Cross Brazzell, vice president for student affairs at the University of Arkansas and a
long-time supporter of and mentor in the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP).
The potential strategies and actions of our new president are not all that’s anticipated these
days. The 2009 NASPA Annual Conference in Seattle is just around the corner, March 7–11.
The highly popular Placement Exchange is set for March 5–8. With a variety of timely themes,
the conference is full of exciting programs, opportunities, and activities to keep us on the cutting edge of our profession throughout the new year.
Carefully selected pre-conference programs include Places in Partnership, an innovative activity showcasing dynamic Seattle campuses that reflect the diversity of the city and exemplify partnerships and sustainability at their best. Program participants will visit Cascadia Community
College, the University of Washington-Bothell, Seattle University, and the University of
Washington. With 379 general interest sessions, 14 roundtable sessions, and 19 poster sessions,
the Annual Conference will provide something to meet the professional development needs of
every attendee. In addition, the conference offers five mini-institutes aligned with each of the
five conference themes: aspire, balance, innovate, partnership, and sustainability.
A presidential panel will give us a glimpse of “A View From The Top: It’s Not Business As
Usual,” and the University of Oregon’s Veterans and Family Student Association will present
“Telling,” a moving, not-to-be-missed production developed from the real-life experiences of
recent veterans and their families. Noted sociologist and award-winning lecturer Bertice Berry
will inspire us to think more creatively utilizing compassion and humor.
Don’t forget to make time to connect with old friends and new colleagues. The Skybridge
Lounge provides the ideal setting for sharing ideas, concepts, and strategies, as well as renewing
friendships or making new contacts. Finally, be sure to attend the annual NASPA Talent Show,
spotlighting our most creative members. If you have not yet registered to attend the conference,
just visit www.naspa.org/conference to get started.
I look forward to seeing you in Seattle! LE
Administrators in Higher Education
Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy
Nancy E. Grund
Leah Ewing Ross
James E. Scott National Academy for
Leadership and Executive Effectiveness
Cynthia Cherrey, Chair
James F. Conneely
Gary L. McGrath
Eliseo “Cheo” Torres
Barry L. Wells
James F. Vick
Leadership Exchange is published
four times a year for senior student
affairs officers in higher education.
Letters to the editor are welcome.
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