Dr. Steve Tyrell, vice president for Student Affairs at Alfred State College, recently co-authored an article in the CSPA-NYS Journal of Student Affairs. Tyrell, along with his co-author, Dr. Charlie Fey, vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Akron, discusses the future of student affairs in higher education. Titled “The Future of Student Affairs is Dependent on Choosing Roads Less Traveled,” the article is a critique of how student affairs’ professional associations, national conventions, and academic journals have changed over two decades and how these changes may no longer prepare student affairs professionals with the core skill sets and competencies necessary to serve college students and their publics.
The authors call for their national associations and journals to move away from current conventions for delivering professional development and to recommit to teaching critical skill sets such as fiscal management, leadership skills, communication skills, and managing the politics of everyday work in higher education. The authors claim that as research-focused agendas push professional development activities toward the fringe of work interests and needs, professionals in higher education are not exhibiting those essential skills required of managing effectively in the higher education setting.
“We can choose to do as we have always done for professional development programs and fall further behind” attests Tyrell, “or we can walk down a different path toward better serving our profession, our institutions, and more importantly our publics!”
The article can be viewed online at http://www.libraryinnovation.org/index.php/CSPANY/article/view/131.
Tyrell has served at Alfred State College since 2004. Previously, he worked at MIT, Michigan Tech, and SUNY The College at New Paltz.