The disconnect between the divisions of student affairs and academic affairs remains present in our higher education institutions. I had just been told by a colleague that they were approached by a faculty member who expressed frustration at why there are part time faculty and full time student affairs professional while sharing that he feels it should be switched. Saying this to a full time student affairs professional it may be intimidating because after all, this is your livelihood, your passion, and your drive. Just as the article “Campus Chasm” by Gwen Dungy (2011) stated:
…it’s time to stop saying our programs complement the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom when too many campuses student affairs has no relationship with the faculty and no idea about the student’s experience in the classroom.
We remain in our bubble and remain segregated because it feels familiar and without challenging ourselves to think critically it makes perfect sense to stay there however if we stay we are refusing progress in our field. The university experience is all encompassing but the students are ultimately here for a reason, to get a degree. It is our responsibility to work together and make sure we, as student affairs professionals, learn about academic affairs and embrace the experience student’s are getting inside the classroom. We need to make an effort to sit on committees where faculty members are present, partner with faculty members within our residence halls, share our programmatic efforts with faculty in hopes to connect with one of their passion areas, and so on. We say we are passionate about education, let’s prove it.
Dungy, G. (2011). Campus Chasm. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/12/23/essay-lack-understanding-between-academic-and-student-affairs