Jo Anne Huber, NACADA President
It is such an honor to follow Eric White in assuming the presidency of NACADA.
I am so proud to be the first president of NACADA from Texas! Without family support and the support of my colleagues as well as the backing of the Academic Counselor’s Association at The University of Texas at Austin, a NACADA allied member, none of this would be possible, so I am very grateful to all. Years ago, when I was coerced into running for Regional Representative from Region VII, I never dreamed it would lead to this day. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and look forward to working and learning from my distinguished predecessors.
I would like to recognize Jane Jacobson as incoming VP who will lead the Council this next year. I appreciate her insights and direction as we proceed and plan for the coming year. Both of us will rely greatly on Bobbie Flaherty, Charlie Nutt and the Executive Office for guidance and support as we tread these new waters. Our focus for 2006 will be to continue NACADA’s quest for diversity at all levels of membership and participation. Specifically, our theme will be Building the Next Generation of Academic Advisors. Clearly, the future of NACADA lies with the new professionals in higher education who are charged with the advising experiences for our students. New professionals might be professional advisors, faculty advisors, peer advisors and/or administrators. Those of us who have been in this profession and active members of NACADA for a long time know well how important networking can be, not to mention the friendships and support we have received from each other and the Association. Not only does this aid us in our growth as professionals, but it is essential to our work with students. Opportunities that were available to me and many of my colleagues need to be made readily available to our new professionals, but on a grander, more deliberate and organized scale than ever before. We strongly believe it is the responsibility of the Association to work diligently to provide these opportunities.
Additionally, our hope is that our graduate students will increase in membership and add valuable research for publications, vital to any professional organization. The NACADA Journal is our lifeline, as these tend to be for associations like NACADA. Pertinent data and research compiled and disseminated aids in our second focus, which deals with visibility. This visibility spans from our advising communities to our top administrators, i.e., provosts, presidents or chancellors. I have appointed a work group, chaired by the Vice President, to continue the sound work begun by a Task Force this past year. Hopefully, we will continue to explore ways and means to maintain and “kick up a notch” the visibility of our profession. Certainly, one way to accomplish this is by organizing campus-wide academic associations when appropriate to showcase advising leadership at our institutions. Over the years, this has been instrumental in providing opportunities for academic advisors on my campus, The University of Texas at Austin. I encourage those of you who might be interested in forming such a group to read the article by Debbie Barber from KASADA in the September edition of Academic Advising Today.
On Friday morning at our National Conference in Las Vegas, a breakfast was held for New Advisors who were identified by their registrations via email. The goal of this breakfast was to provide a mechanism for these new professionals to meet not only each other, but also leaders in NACADA to build networks and “cement” their bond to the Association. The First-Time Attendance Orientations were tailored to address this population. This restructure will be adapted at the Regional Conferences in the spring as well. Jane and I will be present at as many spring Regional Conferences as possible to promote our initiative. I am also pleased to announce a newly formed Interest Group for New Advisors, chaired by Ben Chamberlain from Iowa State University and Nathan Vickers from The University of Texas at Austin. Jane and I, as well as the Executive Office, appreciate their initiative to springboard this growing population and challenge all new advisors to “make them work!”
In addition, with the strong support of the Executive Office, Jane and I contacted the leadership of the three divisions (administrative, regional and commissions) prior to their fall meetings to encourage their units to explore strategies specifically focusing on these new members in our Association. Not only do we want to recruit their active participation, but we also want to retain them by offering the types of professional opportunities we all have come to expect from NACADA. It is vital to encourage this group as well as other members to become involved and volunteer for leadership opportunities in our units, such as committees or commissions. We all should enthusiastically support presenting at state, regional or national conferences as well as campus activities. Consider writing for Academic Advising Today, the NACADA Journal (our most prestigious professional publication), as well as submitting to the Clearinghouse. There are also financial means to help members move up the ladder by applying for scholarships and research grants.
And always, recognize exemplary work by nominating deserving employees for awards at your campuses, state, region or national levels. This is not only good for the person, but raises the level of expectation for all advisors and promotes academic advising on all of our campuses. Imagine what a positive effect on the profession of advising and NACADA we will make if we all pull together and spend the next year truly “building the next generation of academic advisors!”
Again, it is my honor to work with all of you to promote academic advising and promise to continue to raise the bar as all of my distinguished predecessors have done for all of us. I hope to meet as many of you as possible in the year ahead!
Jo Anne Huber, President
National Academic Advising Association
Cite this article using APA style as: Huber, J. (2005, December). Building the next generation of academic advisors. Academic Advising Today, 28(4). Retrieved from [insert url here]