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Strategic Planning and Assessment and Professional Development Committees


Accomplishing the mission and vision, while living out the values of Student Affairs, depends on an engaged and empowered team of professionals. UT invests in staff professional development, and their strategic planning and assessment, in proactive and intentional ways through department-specific initiatives, and division-wide training and development. Student Affairs has commissioned two committees: Strategic Planning and Assessment and Professional Development.

We follow a philosophy known as whole system change. At the core of this approach is a belief that all members of the division have something important and valuable to contribute (Bunker & Alban, 2006). By incorporating the diverse ideas and perspectives that exist across the Student Affairs staff at UT, we create a collaborative environment of shared learning that challenges us to see the whole system at work. The outcome is a stronger understanding of where we are and where we would like to go, which empowers each office within the division to align its goals and initiatives with the Student Affairs mission, vision, values and focus areas.

Both committees plan and implement the Student Affairs annual cycle of learning experiences, including Advances and Exchanges:

  • Biannual Student Affairs Advances:
    • A high-level, half or full-day professional development event that advances the work of the student affairs division. The Advance often features guest speakers or facilitators and is coordinated in conjunction with the Student Affairs leadership team. Advanced content informs department directors and staff about implementing the Advance topic at the department level. Each Advance serves as the kick-off of the fall and spring monthly Exchange Series.
  • Monthly Student Affairs Exchanges:
    • Hour-long, division-wide professional development sessions that allow Student Affairs staff members to consider new ideas and dialogue with one another, typically around strategic focus area topics. These sessions also foster connections between departments and throughout the division.

Bunker, B.B. & Alban, B.T. (2006). Handbook of large group methods: Creating systematic change in organizations and communities. Jossey-Bass.

Committee Composition

Student Affairs committees are comprised of representatives from all offices within Student Affairs, and one ex-officio member representing Academic Affairs. Committee members meet regularly throughout the year. Most committee members serve a two-year term and rotate off on alternate years. Members may reapply to serve a second two-year term.