Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
As we see tremendous change in higher education – ranging from extreme financial cuts and shifts in institutional mission and scope, to significant changes in funding formulas for public institutions and increasing student enrollments with even more diverse needs than ever before – there has never been a better time to be part of a profession and an organization focused on the success of students’ academic, career, and life goals. It is exciting to see NACADA’s growth globally in numbers but, even more importantly, to see NACADA’s heightened reputation and stature as a major force in higher education. Not only have presidents, chancellors, provosts, and vice presidents begun to recognize the necessity of quality academic advising to student success, but also boards of trustees and regents, statewide coordinating boards, and legislative bodies have begun to turn to the work of our association as they focus on long-term significant changes in student success cultures on campuses around the world.
While we all know that much of the newly found emphasis on the importance of academic advising is due to changes in funding as well as accountability for graduation and job placement of college graduates, I feel strongly that the work of our leaders and members across the globe for the past 35 years has resulted in and will continue to enhance the central theme of academic advising as a key element in student success initiatives at all types and sizes of college institutions. But as with any passion we have, we must continue to nurture this passion and ensure that new professionals, administrators, and students see the value of quality academic advising experiences for all students.
We recently hosted our annual conference in Nashville with just under 3,000 participants from across the world, but the future is now upon us. In 2013, we will host our annual Winter Institutes and Seminar in Savannah, Georgia in February, 10 Regional conferences in a variety of location across North America in the spring, our first fully NACADA-sponsored international conference at Maastricht University in June, two Summer Institutes in June and July, and then our annual conference in Salt Lake City in October. In addition to these “in person” events, NACADA will host a variety of webcasts and other electronic events as well as continue to be the leader in providing the highest quality publications in the field of academic advising and student success in all of higher education.
I am often asked why NACADA continues to grow in numbers and recognition during these difficult financial times and my answer is always the same: “our members.” NACADA has the most diverse membership from across the globe: full-time academic advisors, faculty advisors, academic advising administrators, deans and directors of units such as university colleges or undergraduate studies, vice presidents for academic affairs and student affairs, presidents, chancellors and, of course, our next generation of academic advisors: our graduate student members. But not only are we diverse in our roles and responsibilities, we are diverse in that our members come from every type of post-secondary institution found across the world. Where else but at NACADA does each one of us have the opportunity to meet, network with, learn from, and debate issues with our colleagues from every part of higher education, and through it all each of us is focused on the same issue: student success! I hope we all never take for granted the opportunities NACADA has provided us to grow and learn or the opportunities professional development opportunities NACADA will provide us in the future. But most important, I hope we all never take for granted that the success of our students is at the core of NACADA’s mission and purpose. I look forward to seeing many of you in 2013, and anticipate meeting those of you have not yet met. I continue to be astounded by the breadth and depth of our members’ and our association’s impact on higher education, and on our colleges and universities of the future.
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Cite this article using APA style as:
Nutt, C. (2012, December). From the executive director: Changing the profession and higher education. Academic Advising Today, 35(4). Retrieved from [insert url here]