About the Institute
The NASPA Institute for Aspiring Vice President for Student Affairs Officers provides an engaging and supportive environment for you to learn and reflect on your personal goals and aspirations. It is an application-based program offered every other year and allows time for in-depth discussions and small, faculty-led coaching sessions. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with experienced VPSA faculty members as well as participate in content sessions on topics such as transitioning from being a divisional actor to an institutional leader; effectively navigating institutional politics; leading change with a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion lens; bringing your full self to the role; assessing institutional fit during your VPSA search; demonstrating readiness for the VPSA role; managing up, down, and across; and more.
You should apply if:
- You hold a master’s degree and/or a terminal degree.
- You hold a mid-level manager position or higher in student affairs.
- Your responsibilities include staff supervision, budget management, and designing and implementing programs.
Through presentations, small group discussion, and one-on-one meetings with faculty, participants will:
- Explore a variety of career paths, objectives, and strategies among a diverse group of participants and VPSA coaches;
- Gain relevant insights and knowledge into different institutional types and demands when applying for and assuming a VPSA position;
- Develop skills related to practical issues such application materials preparation, working with a search firm, managing resources, supervising at the executive level, and navigating institutional politics; and
- Learn how to build and maintain relationships as the VPSA with cabinet-level peers, the president, and governing board members.
Accomplished vice presidents for student affairs from a variety of institutional types will serve as the Institute's faculty.
This exclusive professional development program is an institute. Unlike conferences where participants choose to participate (or not) in concurrent sessions, during this institute all attendees will participate in the same cohort experience and are expected to engage fully in all aspects of the program including meals. It is a very intensive experience, and the program will run into the evening each day. Please plan your travel so that you are able to participate in the entire institute.
The institute faculty team is hard at work designing an outstanding program for the selected cohort. The institute will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 and will conclude at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 22, 2022. Please check back soon for more details about the full institute schedule.
9:00 AM - 12:45 PM
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Institute Welcome and Introductions
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
2:45 PM - 3:15 PM
3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
"Get a Life(style), Not a Job – Thriving in the VPSA Role "
During this session, the faculty will present the importance of viewing the VPSA role as a lifestyle. Specific reflection and discussion topics will include defining the concept of “lifestyle” in this executive role, integrating new institutional and community roles in the VPSA position, the impact on family and community, and strategies to help integrate this lifestyle and thrive in the first year.
4:15 PM - 4:30 PM
4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
Introduction of Coaching Teams
Each day during the Institute, participants will gather with the same small group facilitated by one of the Institute faculty members.
5:15 PM - 6:00 PM
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Institute Outing: Dinner (no-host) with Institute Participants
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Introduction to Day 2
9:15 AM - 10:30 AM
Bringing Your Whole, Authentic Self to the VPSA Role
Almost every aspect of your identity has contributed to your professional success thus far. In this session, participants will have an opportunity to consider the aspects of their identities that will be valuable in a VPSA leadership role as well as the aspects that may be more challenging. We will explore the role that identity plays in the VPSA position and engage in conversation about balancing the expectations of others and self as one navigates the role.
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Concurrent Crowdsourcing Conversations
11:45 AM - 12:00 PM
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:10 PM - 2:10 PM
It’s Not Just about Students. The University Cabinet as Your First Responsibility
Congratulations on your new role as VP. It’s now critical that you begin to work across the campus, potentially creating bridges that your predecessor destroyed. Finding your place and your way within this new dynamic is fraught with challenges, but also great opportunities. During this session, the faculty will talk about the different models of a university cabinet and how one finds their place in that work. We will discuss the value of doing the work versus making a statement and the importance of searching for mutual wins.
2:10 PM - 2:30 PM
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
More People, More Problems (and More Opportunities!)
Our people are our greatest resource. Managing, supervising, and leading your team (and supporting your teams’ teams) are critical in your role as a VPSA. Our staff deliver programs, services, and activities on our campuses every day. They help us fulfill our mission and support our students' success. But with any team or organization, there are complex dynamics between and among staff that can impact our work. The VPSA must navigate the challenges that arise, while maintaining morale, keeping staff engaged in our work, and advancing a sustained vision for our work.
3:30 PM - 3:40 PM
3:40 PM - 4:55 PM
4:55 PM - 5:20 PM
Content Session: [topic: the cabinet as one's first team]
5:20 PM - 7:00 PM
Individual Consultations with the Institute Faculty | Personal Reflection Period
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Breakfast Available | Individual Consultations | Personal Reflection Period
9:00 AM - 9:10 AM
9:10 AM - 9:25 AM
Introduction to Day 3
9:25 AM - 10:55 AM
The VPSA Search Process: Search Consultants Share Wisdom and Tips
10:55 AM - 11:15 AM
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
The Art and Science of Finding Your Next Professional Home
In this session, participants will have an opportunity to assess preferences for institutional type, culture, region, and more. But moving beyond these traditional ideas of "fit" is also important. Facilitators will lead participants through discussions about how to dig deeper into a position announcement, pose probing questions, and use their networks to understand the unspoken expectations.
12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Individual Consultations | Personal Reflection Period
1:40 PM - 2:25 PM
Concurrent Crowdsourcing Conversations
2:35 PM - 3:35 PM
The VPSA's Gambit: Reconciling Strategy and Culture in Navigating Institutional Politics
The game of chess is one of strategy and sequencing. To successfully navigate the game board, you need to focus and act with deliberation as you move each piece -- sometimes thinking several steps ahead. Similarly, when navigating institutional politics, we must understand who has power and what you do with our own power. How can we avoid feeling like a pawn in the institution while finding our own political voice? This session will explore strategies to understand institutional and cabinet-level power dynamics, how we maintain our own mental composure while fine-tuning our strategy, and how we can lead effectively while remaining true to our authentic selves.
3:35 PM - 4:00 PM
4:00 PM - 5:10 PM
5:20 PM - 6:00 PM
Individual Consultations | Personal Reflection Period
7:45 AM - 8:30 AM
8:40 PM - 8:50 PM
Introduction to Day 4
8:50 PM - 9:50 PM
Change Is Inevitable. Choose Your Response.
Change is a natural part of our lives as higher education professionals. As institutional leaders, we must not only accept and manage change, we must also encourage and nourish our teams and our students as we move through it. Participants in this session will examine change management models with an eye toward identifying an approach that supports them and their institution.
9:50 AM - 10:05 AM
10:05 AM - 10:55 AM
Navigating and Leading as the VPSA in a Community Ecosystem
Using the framework of a community ecosystem, participants will explore the multiple facets of community engagement present within the community beyond the campus. During this session, the faculty will use reflection, group discussion, and case studies to explore with participants the way the institution impacts the community and the way in which the community impacts the VPSA role. Participants will build skills to identify key players, influencers and relationships in your first year in the role.
11:05 AM - 11:50 AM
12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
The deadline to submit an application was October 22, 2021. Applicants will be notified not later than November 15, 2021 of the status of their applications.
A Note for AVPs/"Number Twos" Considering Applying for This Institute
If you are an AVP (or the equivalent) who is in the first two years of your first AVP (or equivalent) role, NASPA recommends you to attend the 2022 NASPA Institute for New AVPs instead of this institute. This program is offered every other year, and your application for the 2024 institute will be encouraged.
Registration as a member is based on individual membership status at the time of the event. If your current membership will expire prior to the event, you will have the option to renew at the time of registration to receive the member rate.
If you are not a current member and are employed by a college or university that is an institutional member, you can join as a professional affiliate member for $75. If your institution is NOT a member, you can join as an associate affiliate member for $242. Both membership types provide access to the individual member rate for the event. Please visit the membership section of the NASPA website to learn more about membership types and benefits. We hope you’ll consider joining today!
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you may qualify for a NASPA Foundation Membership Scholarship or NASPA Foundation Professional Development Access Scholarship, which can be used for this event.
For a comprehensive listing of NASPA registration policies, please visit this page.
The last day to register is January 9, 2022.
12/4/2021 through 12/19/2021
12/20/2021 through 1/9/2022
Accepted applicants will receive information regarding how to register for the institute.
If you would like to sponsor the NASPA Institute for Aspiring Vice Presidents for Student Affairs, please contact Fred Comparato at 614-204-5994 or at [email protected]
Thank you to our institute sponsor
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
All Institute activities will take place at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.
NASPA has arranged special room rates for Institute attendees at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa at $195/night (not including 10.5% state and local taxes). The cut-off date to receive the conference room rate is Tuesday, December 28, 2021. Rooms in the conference block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.
Reserving a room within our block by using the hotel's dedicated meeting website or toll-free telephone number not only benefits you; it also helps to support the conference. When you book within our conference block, you help NASPA keep meeting costs as low as possible and enable us to provide some of the important features meeting attendees have come to enjoy, such as networking receptions, exhibit area coffee breaks, and off-site transportation.
We expect that some institute participants who are AVPs (or the equivalent) will choose to attend also the NASPA AVP Symposium, which will take place in the same location immediately following the institute. The room block linked below is available only for the institute; if you will stay for the symposium, you will need to make a second reservation using the link available on the symposium website. For example, you may make a reservation using the link below for the institute with an arrival date of January 18 and a departure date of January 22. Then, you may make a second reservation for the symposium using the link available on the symposium website with an arrival date of January 22 and a departure date of January 24. The hotel will keep you in the same room, but two reservations are necessary because the room blocks are distinct.
Hotel booking information:
|Hotel||Room Rate / Night|
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
|$195 - Single/ Double
$215 - Triple
Hotel Cancelation Policy
Reservations can be canceled up to 72 hours prior to arrival without any charge. Any reservations canceled inside that 72 hour window, will incur a 1 night room and tax charge.
About Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
We are thrilled to bring this event to the beautiful city of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. We hope you will take some time to experience the great things the city has to offer. Visit this website for more information on all that Ponte Vedra Beach has to offer during your visit.
The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is serviced by the Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). The hotel is approximately 34 miles from the airport. Visit JAX airport website for more information.
This hotel does not provide shuttle service. Here are a couple alternate options:
- East Coast Transportation: Fee is $132 (one way). Reservations are required
- Estimated taxi fare: Approximately $75 (one way)
Take I-95 South to second exit. The sign will say I-295 & Blount Island (Exit 362A). Follow I-295 to Butler Boulevard, SR 202, and go East on Butler Boulevard East until it ends at A1A. Veer right onto A1A (South) and follow 3.5 miles to the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa. Turn right on PGA Tour Blvd. The hotel is on the left.
- On-site parking fee: $10 daily for attendees
- Valet parking fee: $28 daily
The average temperatures in Porte Vedra Beach in January are around 64 degrees F during the day and 45 degrees F in the evening. As the conference gets closer, please visit the Weather Channel for more information.
Please note, the hotel and meeting areas may be colder temperatures. A sweater or jacket is recommended.
COVID-19 Event Safety
COVID Protocols Summary
All participants at NASPA in-person conferences, whether a faculty member/presenter, attendee, sponsor/exhibitor, staff, guest, or vendor will be required to be fully vaccinated. Individuals who require a vaccination exemption must provide documentation of a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to arrival to any event. All participants at NASPA events will be required to wear masks. Please see the NASPA COVID Event Safety and Responsibility webpage for complete information about NASPA's policy.
Ponte Vedra Beach Area COVID Information
- COVID-19 information from St Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau
- State of Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Updates and Information
- Find a COVID-19 Testing Site in Ponte Vedra Beach
- Taking Care of You: Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa COVID-19 protocols