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August 30, 2021

Early Registration Deadline

September 20, 2021

Regular Registration Deadline

October 1, 2021

Last Day to Register

NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs

In-Person Faculty-led Institutes Supporting the Profession VP for Student Affairs

The NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs is a foundational faculty-led, three-day learning and networking experience that prepares new VPSAs to be strategic decision-makers, highly-effective managers, and transformational leaders.


Presented By

James E. Scott Academy


The NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs is a foundational faculty-led, learning and networking experience that prepares new VPSAs to be strategic decision-makers, highly-effective managers, and transformational leaders. This professional development opportunity is designed for first-time VPSAs (and other highest-ranking senior student affairs officers on campus such as vice chancellors and deans of students depending on organizational structure) who have not assumed office or are in the first two years of their first VPSA position. Participants must be the highest-ranking student affairs officer on their campus. (VPSAs in interim roles are eligibile to attend.)

Join us in Alexandria, Virginia in October for this faculty-led, cohort experience to hone your executive-level competencies and to develop your go-to peer network.

Institute Faculty

Accomplished vice presidents for student affairs representing a variety of institutional types will serve as the
institute faculty and guide the highly interactive learning experience for the cohort.

Featured Speakers


About the Institute Model

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 and offsite activities. It is a very intensive experience, and the program will run into the evening each day.

As details of the schedule become available, they will be added here. The schedule presented here is subject to changes.


October 10
October 11
October 12
October 13
9:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Institute Check-in

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Pre-Institute Session for New VPSAs Who Are Relatively New to Student Affairs


One of the Institute's strengths is that it draws participants from remarkably diverse backgrounds and experiences including some who are relatively new to the field of student affairs. Please join the Institute faculty and other new-to-student-affairs VPSAs for some informal discussion about the opportunities and challenges connected with assuming the VPSA role without a deep student affairs background and anything else that’s on your mind! (Registration is required for this optional (but highly encouraged!) session.)

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Institute Welcome and Participant Introductions

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Your Moment is Now! Unfolding into the Vice Presidency


During this opening session, the Institute faculty will share how they have transitioned into institutional leaders through their VPSA roles. The faculty will offer insight based on moments that they anticipated, moments that surprised them, and moments that brought them internal conflict. In this session, participants will be encouraged to consider the tensions that come with who they are as institutional leaders, who the institution needs them to be, and how they can create the moments that matter for their students and communities.

2:45 PM - 3:05 PM


3:05 PM - 4:20 PM

Preparing Yourself for An Institutional Leadership Role


This session is intended to get you “out of the weeds” and thinking as a higher-level institutional leader. We will use this time as a “reset” so that you can return to your strategic vision and articulate how you will lead differently upon your return to campus. Prepare yourself for mind shifts, new approaches to leadership, and most of all, inspiring yourself and others with hope.

4:20 PM - 5:00 PM

Semi-structured Networking Break

5:00 PM - 5:45 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.

5:45 PM - 6:15 PM


6:15 PM - 7:00 PM

Institute Mixer


Dozens of new colleagues, tasty hors d’oeuvres, and a friendly bartender…what could be better at the end of the day?

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Institute Dinner with Keynote Address


This Sunday evening dinner is an institute tradition! NASPA Vice President for Research and Policy Amelia Parnell will offer an engaging and provocative keynote address about the future of student affairs.

8:00 AM - 9:15 AM


9:25 AM - 9:35 AM

Introduction to Day 2

9:05 AM - 11:00 AM

Authentically Leading with Your Whole Self


Who you are as a leader matters. Authenticity is when you can bring your whole self to work and when your behaviors match your intentions. Authenticity has been linked to higher engagement, higher work-life satisfaction, better performance, and better overall well-being. This session will allow us to discuss how we show up and how our various identities influence our work and how we are perceived. We hope this session will allow you to be intentional about how you show up.

11:05 AM - 11:25 AM


11:25 AM - 12:15 PM

Advancing the Institutional Mission and Personal Brand Through Digital Engagement


In this era of higher education, educators must embrace the significance of digital engagement. Within this session, the facilitators will discuss the importance of institutional and personal brand building, networking, and advancement through digital engagement. Participants will be provided tips, tools, and strategies on how to establish and advance their institutional and personal brands.

12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Institute Luncheon

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Your Dream Team: Target Strategies for Building a Leadership Team


A high performing leadership team for the division of student affairs is the single most critical strategic goal that a senior leader can have for the institution. This session will focus on how to strategically think about your talents, experiences, skills, and role as the vice president of student affairs and how to build a team of professionals that not only support the work of the institution but support your vision and the direction for the division. This session will touch on recruiting a diverse candidate pool, ensuring an equitable hiring process, assessing difficult hiring situations, and the inclusive on-boarding and engagement of new hires.

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Semi-structured Networking Break

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Coaching Teams

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM


6:15 PM - 8:00 PM

Dinner (no-host) with Institute Participants

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM


9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Introduction to Day 3

9:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Innovating for Impact: Tips and Tools for Institutional Transformation


Innovation and change have always been essential components of a successful VPSA’s work. Now, as we reimagine the work of our profession in the wake of significant disruption, we will explore ways to cultivate the culture and create the framework for “what’s next.” This session is designed to prod you and your student affairs organization on a new path toward powerful ideas that will have significant impact. Tools and strategies to be applied back on your own campuses will include elements from the Baldrige Award winning Alamo College and from the Alliance For Innovation and Transformation (AFIT).

10:15 AM - 10:35 AM


10:35 AM - 11:35 AM

Evolving Competencies: Success as a VPSA


As a senior leader in higher education, serving as a vice president for student affairs will require new skills and the ability to be nimble to meet the expanding demands of the role. While you can build on past successes, your mindset for your VPSA responsibilities will need to evolve. Additionally, working in a pandemic has changed the context of our work and your leadership will require a new level of ongoing learning and strategic thinking to thrive in your new position.

11:35 AM - 12:50 PM

Lunch with Coaching Teams

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

VPSAs and Legal Counsel: Developing a Partnership to Face Campus Challenges


Whether you have regular access to in-house attorneys on campus or more limited access to outside counsel, this session is designed to help you think about how to maximize the value counsel can add to supporting your efforts as a student affairs leader. Although we often think of a lawyer’s role as limited to providing technical legal advice, learn how, by partnering with your legal counsel, experienced counsel can provide a wide range of assistance and support that can help you be more effective. You will also see how the valuable insights you provide can help your legal counsel tailor advice that will reflect your campus culture and help student affairs meet its goals. By working through the problems together, you will see how the goals of the legal counsel can align with your own and how to respond when misalignment appears to exist.

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM

Networking time in Washington, D.C. or Old Town Alexandria

7:45 AM - 9:15 AM


8:30 AM - 8:40 AM

Introduction to Day 4

8:40 AM - 9:40 AM

Intergenerational Diversity – Leading and Optimizing Work Teams


This interactive workshop focuses on the realities of purposefully organizing and managing work teams that consist of individuals with vastly different years of work and life experience. Participants will use case studies, social media, memes, and current events to discuss who brings what to the table and what are the ways to value this type of diversity. Participants will share experiences, best practices and the factors to consider when identifying and maximizing work team generational differences.

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM


10:30 AM - 11:20 AM

Coaching Teams

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Returning to Campus with Vital and Effective Action Items


Let’s go back to where we started. You identified what it takes to be an exemplary leader. You considered strategies to affect innovation and change. You discussed how you can work effectively with your colleagues and other institutional stakeholders. You explored executive-level strategies related to building and leading a team and leveraging identities to impact leadership. You learned new ways of thinking and doing and expressed a vision for the future on your campus. And, you have developed friendships with colleagues sharing the same roles on whom you can rely as the need arises. This closing session will ask you to consider how you will put all of this together to be the exemplary leader that you and your institution require.

Pre-Institute Offering

Pre-Institute Session for New VPSAs Who Are Relatively New to Student Affairs
Sunday, October 10, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

One of the Institute's strengths is that it draws participants from remarkably diverse backgrounds and experiences including some who are relatively new to the field of student affairs such as VPSAs who come from the ranks of faculty or academic administration. Please join the Institute faculty and other new-to-student-affairs VPSAs for some informal discussion about the opportunities and challenges connected with assuming the VPSA role without a deep student affairs background and anything else that’s on your mind! Registration is required for this optional (but highly encouraged!) session.


Hilton Alexandria Old Town

Alexandria, VA

Most institute activities will take place at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town.

NASPA has arranged special room rates for institute attendees at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town starting at $229/night (not including taxes and fees). The cut-off date to receive the institute room rate is September 27, 2021. Rooms in the institute block may sell out prior to the cut-off date, so please make your reservation as soon as possible.

Reserving a room within the NASPA block by using the hotel's dedicated meeting website or toll-free telephone number not only benefits you, it also helps to support the institute. When you book within our 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, coffee breaks, and off-site transportation.

Reserve Your Room Today!

Hotel booking information:

Hotel Room Rate / Night

Hilton Alexandria Old Town
1767 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 837-0440

$229 - Single/Double

$239 - Triple

$249 - Quad


Hotel Cancellation Policy

Cancellation policies may vary depending on the rate or dates of your reservation. Please refer to your reservation confirmation to verify your cancellation policy. If you need further assistance, call the hotel directly or contact customer service. Alternatively, you can cancel your reservation online.

About Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

We are thrilled to bring this event to the beautiful city of Old Town Alexandria, VA. 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 Old Town Alexandria has to offer during your visit. 


The Hilton Alexandria Old Town is serviced by the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). The hotel is approximately 4 miles from the airport. Visit DCA airport website for more information. 

This hotel does not provide shuttle service. Here are a couple alternate options:

  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: Fee is $2.15 (one way). SmarTrip Metro funds are required.
  • Estimated taxi fare: Approximately $19 (one way)


  • On-site parking fee: $29 daily for attendees

The average temperatures in Alexandria, VA in October are around 68 degrees F during the day and 49 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. 


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 October 1, 2021.

Early Registration

Through 8/30/2021

Regular Registration

8/31/2021 through 9/20/2021

Late Registration

9/21/2021 through 10/1/2021

NASPA Member
$895 $1045 $1145
$1095 $1245 $1325
Pre-Institute Session for New VPSAs Who Are Relatively New to Student Affairs
NASPA Member
 $75 $75  $75
$125 $125 $125



Registration Policies

Refunds will be given for cancellations, received in writing by August 30, 2021, less a $50.00 processing fee. In addition, a processing fee of $50.00 per registration will be charged for credit cards declined.

For a comprehensive listing of NASPA registration policies, please visit this page.


If you have registration-related questions or concerns, please contact NASPA's event registration support team:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (202) 265-7500

For all other questions or concerns:

James Stascavage, Senior Director of Leadership and Senior Student Affairs Officers Initiatives

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (202) 719-1172


Past Participant Testimonials

See what past participants had to say about their experiences at the Insititute for New Vice Presidents for Student Affairs:



If you would like to sponsor the 2021 NASPA Institute for New Vice Presidents for Students Affairs, please contact Fred Comparato at 614-204-5994 or at [email protected]

Thank you to our institute sponsors