A Response to “Dear #sachat”

Tim St. John had an interesting post this morning. The part that’s getting a lot of shares on Twitter is:

“Our students and our academic colleagues do not care about your favorite icebreaker. They don’t care about what you think “professionalism” means. They care that you show up to work, do your job, and do your damn best for your students and your campus community.”

That is a great comment. But it then goes on to say

“When articles comment on the inflation of administration – they are talking about us! Yet, we are too busy talking about other things to notice. “

Um… actually I do. See here. or Here. Or honestly any article I post.  I rarely talk solely about student affairs, because student affairs doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

We are all here to educate students. The faculty, the student affairs staff, the admissions assistants, even the maintenance staff are there to ensure students get educated. All of us are important.

So yes, I’m already on your side about this Tim.

And I’m going to give some suggestions.

Listening:

I know that a lot of us love to listen to podcasts. And there are a lot of great podcasts about student affairs (student affairs spectacular is a great one). But I’m going to suggest that Student Affairs professionals are doing themselves a disservice if they don’t listen to more general education podcasts. So I’m going to recommend Radio Higher Ed. It’s a podcast about higher education issues and policies and is a great way of keeping up with what’s happening at the governmental and policy maker level as well as major issues in university governance and leadership.

Why do Student Affairs practitioners need to know that? Because anything that is discussed at the governance or policy level will eventually impact our work directly.

Twitter:

Ok, this one is very Canadian specific but @AlexUsherHESA gives a very unique take on higher education policy. Even when I don’t agree with him he’s made me think about higher ed issues in the news in a new way. If that doesn’t work for you find someone who talks about higher education issues in a way that you don’t. Remember twitter won’t present you with differing views unless you seek them out. Don’t let your twitter feed become an echo chamber.

Reading:

I’m sure that most SA pros are already reading this but on Inside Higher Ed make sure you read outside your area. What are the new thoughts on MOOCs, or adjuncts, or debates on where funding needs to go at a university?

Hopefully those three thoughts will help you see yourself not as just a Student Affairs Professional but as an Educator working in collaboration with other Educators.

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