"Rethinking Student Affairs Practice does for student affairs what The Fifth Discipline and Peter Senge did for the corporate sector and learning organizations. It makes you think, both differently and better.”—Jerrold L. Stein, dean of students, Stony Brook University
"I loved this book and will be using it in the future. It will be particularly valuable for students of higher education and entry-level professionals to read and learn new ways to think and lead our institutions to greater effectiveness."—Frances Lucas, president, Millsaps College
"This is the book all student affairs professionals need to read. It provides the basis for 'visioning the future' of all that we do in student affairs." —Doug Woodard, professor of higher education, University of Arizona
"Are you a duck or a rabbit? This book challenges you to see more and think more about our work and the lost potential when one limits the dimensions of our humanity. A must for every student affairs professional who is asking, what's next and how do I make a difference?”—Gregory Roberts, executive director and senior operating officer, American College Personnel Association
To be effective managers, student affairs professionals must understand the structures and processes that form the organizational context in which they work, and must be able to work within them. These structures are often characterized by a rigid division of labor and an expectation that good managers can predict the outcomes of their efforts and can and should exercise control over the inputs. However, to be effective leaders, they must be able to perceive new possibilities beyond those structures and expectations. How can they do both?
Rethinking Student Affairs Practice offers an answer to that question. Love and Estanek challenge their readers to perceive their responsibilities, institutions, and relationships through multiple lenses. They have developed a model for change based in four concepts that will help their readers do this. The four concepts are valuing dualisms, transcending paradigms, recognizing connectedness, and embracing paradox.
The authors develop these concepts and explain this process of thinking differently in the first chapter of this book. Then they apply their framework to both the processes and resources of current student affairs practice, asking their readers to think of leadership as pervasive. They challenge their readers to become "intrapreneurs" and explain how they can do so. They understand assessment as a mindset and not a set of activities. They expand our understanding of resources and begin to develop a philosophy of technology. Finally, they look beyond the horizon to the emerging competencies of developing a global perspective and futures forecasting.