James E. Scott Academy

VP for Student Affairs

The James E. Scott Academy is led by a board comprised of 20 accomplished vice presidents for student affairs (or the equivalent) who lead divisions at a wide variety of institutional types throughout NASPAs seven regions. The primary role of the Board is to provide advice and thought leadership on critical issues in student affairs and higher education and to advise the NASPA president and staff regarding these issues.  Additionally, the Board plays a key role in identifying principles of effective student affairs practice for recognizing and responding to the trends and challenges present in the field and in higher education more broadly.  Lastly, the Academy sponsors programs that provide opportunities for VPSAs to dialogue and learn with other vice presidents.

Message from the Academy Board Chair

These are unprecedented times in higher education. Demographic shifts are challenging long-held enrollment models. Distance learning is forcing us to reevaluate the educational experience we offer. And the isolation of a global pandemic threatens the mental health of our students, on our campuses and off. As we face these challenges, vice presidents of student affairs need new ideas and supportive partnerships to help us lead our communities and keep our universities strong. The James E. Scott Academy board supports NASPA by providing advice and guidance to serve student affairs professionals, higher education administrators and most important, our students, and help them to address the critical issues in higher education. These are challenging times, but we in Student Affairs have never shied away from the difficult work. That work has never been more important than it is today.
– J. Andrew Shepardson, Chair, James E. Scott Academy Board


The Academy was established in response to NASPA's initiative to provide continued professional education and development to meet the needs of vice presidents for student affairs, offering skill development in the areas of leadership and executive effectiveness.

In 1994, NASPA President James E. Scott appointed the Committee on Future Skills and Knowledge for Student Affairs Leaders, charging the committee with examining how VPSAs develop and refine professional skills throughout their careers and making recommendations on a deliberate process for continual professional development. The committee, consisting of VPSAs conducted a review of relevant theoretical constructs and applications affecting the future work of VPSAs and assessed pressing leadership effectiveness needs through extensive research and dialogue with VPSAs across the country.

By the end of 1997, the NASPA Board transformed the Committee on Future Skills and Knowledge into the National Academy for Leadership and Executive Effectiveness. On January 9, 1999, the Academy launched its first national Institute. In March 2003, the Academy was renamed in honor of past president James E. Scott.


One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.


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Board Membership

The James E. Scott Academy Board is comprised of accomplished chief student affairs officers from throughout  all of NASPA's seven regions.  Board members serve at institutions that reflect a diversity of institutional types including public and private, two-year and four-year, and large and small colleges and universities.

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