Bridging the Chasm – Connecting Academic and Student Affairs

In a recent reading assignment, my classmates and myself were introduced to the concept that a “chasm” exists on university and college campuses everywhere. That chasm is the distinctly different areas of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. While I have heard horror stories about such a chasm, I personally have never experienced it within my own professional or student experience but I do believe that it exists in some fashion because that is just the nature of both fields. Like Bolman and Deal describe the four frames of looking at an organization, Academic and Student Affairs view the educational journey from two different assumptions and biases. This makes it critical for us, regardless of which frame we natural are drawn, to take a set back and consider new and alternative possibilities, take risks, and most importantly assess and improve. This idea of course will not take off and be 100% the first time and in fact it may take millions of tries to get it right, but bridging this chasm will ensure that the institution is producing students that have a greater understanding of both their subject matter of choice and transferable skills and knowledge for producing a better future.

“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day”

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