Commissions/Interest Group Chair Handbook


NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising was created by its members to serve as an association to support student success by advancing the field of academic advising. The association operates with a grassroots focus where its members, through its elected leaders, have input into the direction of the association. To facilitate member involvement, the Council was developed to include three divisions representing our members. The Administrative Division, the Commission and Interest Group Division and the Regional Division make up the membership of the Council. The NACADA websites describes the Commission and Interest Group Division as the division that “represents members with special advising areas of interest, and is comprised of all current commissions and interest groups that are represented on the NACADA Council by two division representatives.”
As key leaders in the NACADA association, commission and interest group chairs work with the two CIGD representatives and the CIGD liaison in the Executive Office. Specifically, commission and interest group chairs, working with their steering committees, lead the functions of the commissions and interest groups. Commissions are charged with advancing NACADA’s strategic goals, proposing and facilitating activities, and providing resources to advance the professional development of members while focusing on the specific area of the commission. Interest groups are established when there is a need to focus a particular interest of NACADA members that is not served by an existing commission or interest group. Interest groups operate without formal governance or activities and are an informal way of communicating similar interests in advising issues.
Commission chairs are elected by popular vote by NACADA members from the commission to be represented. Interest group chairs are appointed by the interest group members.
Commission chairs serve two year terms and report to the CIGD representatives. Interest group chairs have no set term. Official duties begin with the October CIGD division meeting held in conjunction with the annual conference. The term officially begins at the end of the conference.


NACADA Vision, Mission, and Strategic Goals

NACADA Vision:

Recognizing that effective academic advising is at the core of student success, NACADA aspires to be the premier global association for the development and dissemination of innovative theory, research and practice of academic advising in higher education.

NACADA Mission

NACADA promotes student success by advancing the field of academic advising globally. We provide opportunities for professional development, networking and leadership for our diverse membership.

NACADA Strategic Goals:

● Expand and communicate the scholarship of academic advising
● Provide professional development opportunities that are responsive to the needs of advisors and advising administrators
● Promote the role of effective academic advising in student success to college and university decision makers
● Create an inclusive environment within the Association that promotes diversity
● Develop and sustain effective Association leadership
● Engage in ongoing assessment of all facets of the Association
● Pursue innovative technology tools and resources to support the Association


NACADA values diversity within our leadership in regard to institutional type, size and employment positions as well as to diversity in regard to ethnicity, gender identity, cultural and sexual orientation.


 Governing Structure

NACADA Bylaws and Policies:

NACADA bylaws and policies are posted on the NACADA website. Leaders should review these yearly.

Commission and Interest Group Division:

The Commission and Interest Group Division represents members with special advising areas of interest. These groups provide a professional identity with others experiencing similar issues and situations.
● Commissions are charged with advancing NACADA’s strategic goals, proposing and facilitating activities, and providing resources to advance the professional development of members while focusing on the specific area of the commission.
● Interest groups are established when there is a need to focus a particular interest of NACADA members that is not served by an existing commission or interest group. Interest groups operate without formal governance or activities and are an informal way of communicating similar interests in advising issues.
● The CIGD representatives: 
   ○ provide leadership for the division
   ○ convene meetings ○ advise chairs on activities
   ○ present division items to the Council
   ○ oversee the financial affairs of the division by preparing division Budget Request, including recommendations on chairs’ request
   ○ appoint and orient chairs of new subunits
   ○ provide continuity of support as elected representatives transition and handle subunit organization and recognition processes
   ○ gather post-conference and annual reports from subunits and distribute those reports to the Executive Office
   ○ prepare written division reports to the Council and Board of Directors
   ○ review and update the division handbook, policies and procedures

CIGD Steering Committee:

The Commission and Interest Group Division steering committee consists of two division representatives (one appointed, one elected); the Executive Office liaison to the CIGD; and one member per cluster (selected by the division representatives to serve two-year, staggered terms). All members of the steering committee must have completed at least one full term as a commission or interest group chair, and the committee will have representation from both commissions and interest groups.
Steering committee member responsibilities are listed below, in the “Steering Committee Responsibilities” section.


Chair Respinsibility Checklist

Communication and Membership Recruitment: 

To understand and communicate the value of NACADA membership and involvement in the Commission and Interest Group Division (CIGD) to advising colleagues. To maintain communication with CIG membership through a multitude of venues. To work with the CIGD steering committee to plan strategies for increased NACADA participation within the CIGD. To serve as liaison between commission and interest group members and NACADA.
As is true with all divisions, communication and membership recruitment is a key part of the CIGD chair responsibilities.

The chair should:

1) Be actively engaged with its members throughout the year.

Many times chairs meet and socialize with members at annual, but communication should continue beyond the annual conference. The Executive Office has a number of tools which can aid chairs in offering different ways to communicate with their members, from Zoom to Facebook pages to listservs. It should be noted that per NACADA policy, a member of the EO should be an admin on all social media accounts and the NACADA logo (requested from the EO) must be present.


● The NACADA Executive Office has set up an electronic mail distribution list that can be used to communicate with commission members. Chairs are encouraged to use these lists for discussion and to ask informal questions. Chairs can view listserv FAQ’s on the NACADA website.
● Chairs should be familiar with NACADA’s listserv etiquette guidelines.

C/IG direct member emails

● A small percentage of a commission and interest group members are subscribed to its listserv. Therefore, to be sure that all commission members are reached, bulk e-mails should be sent out by the Executive Office; used solely for announcements rather than the interactive commission listserv.

2) Think outside the box when it comes to communicating and recruiting new members.

In addition to using email, chairs should be open to utilizing digital meetings/documents (e.g., Zoom, Google Drive), phone calls, social media, and “snail mail”.

3) Maintain up to date and accurate C/IG information on NACADA website.

Chairs should maintain accurate and up to date information on designated web pages related to their particular commission or interest group. Updates to CIG web pages should be sent to the Executive Office liaison.

4) Actively look for future commission or interest group members and leaders.

When a commission chair steps down from their 2-year elected position, a new chair is elected. When an interest group chair would like to step down from their appointed position, a new chair will need to be selected from the current IG membership. All current chairs should be thinking of next great future leaders from within their CIG. Additionally, all chairs should be using their resources to recruit new members not only to their group but also to NACADA involvement in all forms.

5) Find ways to involve their members in programs and publications within the association.

Chairs should always be looking for ways to collaborate and communicate towards NACADA’s mission. An example of such a collaboration is a webinar led by both the Advising Students with DIsabilities Commission and the Advising Veterans, Military Students and Family Members IG on working with this particular population. Experts were used from both groups to host the webinar.

6) Create and utilize a steering committee to carry out specific activities towards the group’s goals.

Steering committees should aim to be diverse in multiple ways, such as institution type, region and individual characteristics. Steering committees are required for commissions and encouraged for interest groups.

7) Thank all volunteers for their work with the group.

For example: Dear [Volunteer’s Name],

I would like to thank you for your volunteer work with the [C/IG name here]. We know that our members have other commitments and busy schedules at home, so we truly appreciate the work you have done to make the CIGD even more successful. Thank you for your time, your work, and your dedication to NACADA and the CIGD. Our association is great because of volunteers like you. Sincerely, Name of Rep/Chair/etc.

CIG Division Steering Committee Responsibilities:

The Commission and Interest Group Division appoints previous CIGD chairs to the CIGD steering committee. The CIGD steering committee responsibilities include:

● Serving as a single point of contact for an assigned ration of commissions and interest groups
● Working with chairs of assigned groups on all criteria expected from group (may differ between commissions and interest groups)
● Meet with assigned chairs at annual conference, as available
● Contact chairs after assumption of chair duties to review progress, offer assistance, remind of deadlines, events, etc.
● Work with chairs to identify potential group leaders, plan for elections, and transition to new leadership after elections
● Discuss issues/trends with other CIGD steering committee members via listserv, e-meetings, and annual conference meetings
● Review CIGD reports for assigned groups
● Refer to experts inside/outside of steering committee as appropriate
● Filter issues of concern/consideration to division representatives

Each committee member is overseen by one of the division representatives:

● Elected representative oversees: ​Administration of Advising, Advising Specific Populations I, Advising Specific Populations III, Theory, Practice, and Delivery of Advising I, and Theory, Practice, and Delivery of Advising II
● Appointed representative oversees:​Advising in Academic Programs I, Advising in Academic Programs II, Advising Specific Populations II, and Institutional Type

Annual Conference Responsibilities:

Annual Conference Proposals

Commission chairs are responsible for reviewing annual conference proposals and selecting three (3) commission-related sessions. This task could be shared among members of the commission's steering committee, with the group deciding the conference sessions that will be designated as 'commission-sponsored'. Reviews typically take place during a two-week period in mid-February. Start early to find individuals willing to read and to give the readers time to review proposals and submit their evaluations by the established deadline so the chair can then submit summaries of the evaluations to the annual conference committee.

Annual Commission and Interest Group Division Meeting

Commission chairs are expected to attend the annual CIGD meeting held the afternoon prior to the beginning of the NACADA annual conference. If a chair is unable to attend, they should contact the Executive Office liaison and the CIGD representatives as soon as possible. The commission chair can and is encouraged to select a replacement to attend in their place. Interest group chairs are encouraged to attend this meeting, but are not required.

At this meeting, the business of the Commission and Interest Group Division is conducted. Communication from the Executive Office and NACADA leadership and updated information on resources, policies, and procedures are shared and discussed. The meeting also includes an orientation for newly elected commission chairs, discussion of effective use of NACADA resources, and voting on issues that affect the division. CIGD representatives submit a summary of this meeting to NACADA and raise issues discussed at this meeting with the NACADA Council, Board of Directors, and Executive Office.

During the summer, chairs will be sent details about this important meeting. Chairs are encouraged to submit agenda items, as appropriate.

Annual Commission/Interest Group Business Meeting

Each commission and interest group is provided a meeting time during the NACADA annual conference. Times, days, and meeting rooms are included in the conference program and details are sent to chairs during the summer. Chairs are encouraged to communicate information about these annual meetings with members before the conference and solicit agenda items for discussion. The Executive Office can forward messages to all unit members for the chairs.

Chairs are responsible for setting the agenda for and conducting these hour-long meetings.

Chairs are encouraged to conduct business items for their CIG via e-mail beforehand, so this hour-long annual meeting can be used for discussion of items of interest or concern to the group. Effective strategies for conducting these meetings are shared at the CIGD annual conference meeting.

Commission and Interest Group Fair

During the NACADA annual conference, commissions and interest groups host the Commission and Interest Group Fair. Each chair staffs a table to share information about their CIG and to talk with NACADA members who may have an interest in the CIG. Display boards are available, and each chair has a budget of $50 to cover expenses for the fair.

Chairs are expected to participate in this fair, which highlights their unit’s activities. Chairs may delegate this responsibility to another CIG member. In such cases, chairs should 12 communicate this information to the Executive Office liaison since all commissions and interest groups are to be represented at the fair.

Award Nominations-Process and Procedures:

CIGD chairs should support NACADA’s Awards Program through the nomination of Commission and Interest Group Division Service Awards. Criteria for this award can be found on the NACADA website at

Both members and chairs are permitted to submit nominations. It is critical for chairs to communicate with members the importance of the awards program.

The process for this award is simple. The below materials must all be submitted by April 1st each year.
1. Completed nomination form
2. A supporting letting from the nominator
3. Additional letters of support from colleagues within the commission, interest group or cluster

Chairs should encourage members to submit award nomination packets, stressing the importance of praising those doing great things for their commission, interest group, or division. Nomination packets are submitted electronically.

Contributions to NACADA:

Commissions are charged with advancing NACADA’s strategic goals, proposing and facilitating activities, and providing resources to advance the professional development of members while focusing on the specific area of the commission.

Interest groups are established when there is a need to focus a particular interest of NACADA members that is not served by an existing commission or interest group. Interest groups operate without formal governance or activities and are an informal way of communicating similar interests in advising issues.


Timeline of Activities

Terms for incoming chairs begin at close of the annual conference. However, participation in CIGD web-based meetings held in the spring and summer following the election is encouraged, including meeting with the CIGD steering committee and division representatives.

Work with your steering committee to develop Goals/Outcomes/Assessment Plans for the November 15 post conference report.

1st: Post conference reports are due to CIGD representatives and Executive Office liaison. Required for commissions; highly recommended for interest groups.
15th: Article submission for the March issue of AAT are due.

Proposal reader names due at the end of the month; the Executive Office will be in contact with each chair.

Proposals and Hot Topics for annual conference are due mid-month through the online proposal system.
15th: Contact your CIGD steering committee representative to discuss progress on goals outlined on the post conference report (optional for interest group chairs).
15th: Send announcement to all members of C/IG that nominations are being accepted for the CIGD Service Award. Include link to criteria for award, nomination procedure, etc.

15th: Article submission for the June issue of AAT are due.

1st: CIGD Service Award nominations are due.

1st: Start drafting the annual report NOW -- can be submitted in advance.
1st: Send congratulatory email to any award winners in your C/IG
15th: Article submission for the September issue of AAT due.

Work with C/IG steering committee to draft updates to your annual report.
15th: Information about social events during annual conference due to Executive Office liaison.

Start preparing for the CIGD Fair for annual conference: Who will staff the booth? What will be the theme? What supplies are needed? Save receipts.
Begin preparing for your C/IG business meeting at annual conference.
15th: Annual Report due to CIGD representatives and Executive Office liaison. Required for commission chairs; highly recommended for interest group chairs.
15th: Confirm with Executive Office liaison that you will attend the CIGD meeting at annual conference. If this is not possible for you to attend, report who will facilitate the meeting and staff the table at the CIGD Fair in your absence.

1st: Article submissions for the March issue of AAT are due.


Goals, Outcomes, and Reports

Post Conference Report:

By November 15 each year, each commission chair submits a post-conference report. Chairs will be notified whether this report is to be submitted online or via Word document. Links to the past post-conference reports are posted on the website. This post-conference report is intended to share CIG information and goals with members and with NACADA. The report includes:
● Goals and objectives for the upcoming year, focusing on how these implement the NACADA strategic plan. It is not expected that each CIG will implement every part of this strategic plan. Rather, CIGs are encouraged to focus on implementing a few specific items each year and reconsidering each year ways to expand their goals by focusing on parts of the strategic plan not implemented earlier. Strategies for connecting goals and activities with the NACADA strategic plan will be shared at the Fall Leadership Meeting.
● The status of any action items or items from the strategic plan assigned to the CIG

Sample Post Conference Reports

Interest Group chairs are required to submit a post-conference update report. This brief form is to inform the CIGD of the current current activities/discussions of the interest group by the same deadline.

Annual Report:

By August 15, each commission chair submits an annual report to the division representatives and the Executive Office. Chairs will be notified whether this report is to be submitted online or via Word document. Links to past annual reports are posted on the division website. This report focuses on the status of the goals and objectives set in the post-conference report. Because these reports are used to help set the agenda for the fall meeting, reimbursement of expenses for this meeting will not be made until the annual report is received.

Sample Annual Reports

Interest group chairs are required to complete and submit an annual update report by the same deadline.


CIGD Budget & Chair Reimbursement 

CIGD Budget Guidelines


The NACADA Commission & Interest Group Division (CIGD) has created a 'central fund' for the division. Each commission may submit budget requests to this central fund. Division-wide projects will also be funded through this central fund.

1. By June 1 of each year, division leadership will request that the NACADA Finance Committee allocate 50 cents per NACADA member as the division central fund.
2. As part of the annual post-conference report, each commission may submit a budget request. Requests should support projects set at commission meetings and further the NACADA strategic plan.
3. The CIGD leadership will allocate funds to commissions based on requests in their post-conference reports. Funds will also be designated for any division-wide projects.
4. Interest groups are not eligible for budget funds, except for the CIGD fair at the NACADA annual conference.
5. Supplemental budget requests can be made throughout the year should such a request be needed and warranted.

1. CIGD budget requests should focus on activities and projects that support the NACADA strategic plan.
2. The appointed division representative will have primary responsibility for monitoring the division budget. The NACADA Executive Office liaison will also be involved in processing budget expenditures.
3. All expenditures must have prior approval from the CIGD representatives before funds will be allocated and/or reimbursed to commission chairs.
4. Reimbursements requests may only be made by commission chairs for previously approved budget items. All reimbursements will be made by the Executive Office in strict accordance with established NACADA policies and procedures (e.g. limits, receipts, etc.).

The CIGD representatives and Executive Office liaison will provide a division budget report at each annual meeting. The projected budget figures for the next fiscal year will be provided in this budget report (based on projected NACADA membership).

Budget items may include, but are not limited to:
● Expenses related to new member recruitment
● Printed or photocopied materials for commission meetings
● Commission projects supporting the NACADA strategic plan
● Activities to support commission awareness at national and regional conferences

Budget requests that will not be considered include:
● Gifts for commission members
● Reimbursements of food/beverage expenses
● Expenses related to NACADA membership, travel, or conference attendance
● Additional funds for CIGD Fair beyond the $50 already allocated per Commission or Interest Group

Standing items to be funded through the CIGD budget are:
● $50 per commission and interest group for NACADA annual conference CIGD Fair. Chairs may submit receipts to the NACADA Executive Office within one month of the national conference for reimbursements on fair booth decorations and expenditures.
● Plaques for Commission and Interest Group Division Service Awards presented at the NACADA annual conference. The NACADA Executive Office will prepare and order all plaques for commissions who participate in the formal process to select an award recipient. Intentions of selecting a Service to Commission Award recipient must be included each year by respective commission chairs in their post-conference reports so sufficient funds can be allocated accordingly.

Budget Requests from Commission Chairs:

Commission and interest group chairs may submit budget requests within Section 2 of the online leadership report when submitting their post-conference reports in November. Such requests must be associated with an identified activity submitted under one of the mission strategies in Section 2 of the online report system. Supplemental budget requests may be submitted to request funds needed for a special project unknown at the time of the original budget process/request period in the fall each year.

Annual Conference Reimbursement:

Commission chairs are reimbursed for partial expenses incurred from attending the CIG Division Meeting and participating in the CIG Fair. A reimbursement form will be distributed at the division meeting. For more information, review the reimbursement procedures found on the NACADA website. NOTE: Reimbursement will not be made until the required annual report is received (due August 15 ).

Interest group chairs are eligible for reimbursement for CIG Fair participation and may apply for a CIG Division Meeting Scholarship to offset some expenses of attendance.