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Student Life in Catholic Higher Education: Advancing Good Practice

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Senior Student Affairs Officers

Student affairs professionals provide opportunities for personal growth and help students make healthy decisions within a framework of Catholic values. Given their pivotal role on a Catholic campus, ACCU offers these resources to assist them professionally and personally:

  • Student Life in Catholic Higher Education: Advancing Good Practice contains the collected wisdom of both current and former student affairs leaders, this book offers a blend of practical advice and personal reflection on leading student life at a Catholic institution.
  • Reprinted in 2017, Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs in Catholic Higher Education has long been the standard for understanding and assessing a vision of student affairs at Catholic colleges and universities.
  • Strengthening Catholic Identity – Student Affairs: This installment of a 12-part brochure series provides an overview of how student affairs seeks to develop students spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically in the context of Catholic values and Christian community.
  • In 2017, ACCU launched a conference specially designed for senior officers in student affairs. Bringing together expert speakers and representatives from Catholic colleges and universities across the country and beyond, this annual session equips senior leaders in student affairs with new skills and new ideas for working through the evolving challenges of their profession. See below for information on the current conference.


2019 Senior Student Affairs Officers Conference

"Inclusive Excellence and Self-expression on Catholic Campuses"

Available presentations are linked below.

Selected presentations are also available from the 2019 ACCU Annual Meeting.


Saturday, February 2, 2019  
 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast and informal meet and greet
 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Prayer 

Lisa Kirkpatrick, Vice President for Student Affairs, St. Edward's University, and conference chair

ACCU Welcome
Michael Galligan-Stierle, President, ACCU

ASACCU Welcome
Kathy Byrnes, Association Vice President for Student Affairs, Villanova University, and ASACCU chair

Conference Overview
Lisa Kirkpatrick, Vice President for Student Affairs, St. Edward's University, and conference chair

 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.

The Coming Disruption in Higher Education

Extensive Gallup studies over the past couple of years have measured things that have never been measured before in education, including the largest representative study of college graduates and their long-term career and life outcomes. Surprising findings from Gallup’s other research — including the public’s perception of higher education, results from a survey of college presidents, and a nationally representative study on perceptions of free speech on campus — will reshape our thinking about what elements of the higher education experience and curriculum are most important for the long-term success of graduates. 

Stephanie S. Marken, Executive Director of Education Research, Gallup, Inc.

 10:00 – 10:15 a.m. Coffee Break  
 10:15 – 11:30 a.m.

The Common Good and the Quest for Truth: Dialogue at the Heart of Catholic Higher Ed

Drawing from the deep theological connection between love and truth, the speaker will offer a conceptual framework to see that difference and disagreement can be important opportunities both in the quest for truth and in the journey to develop our campus communities into the flourishing, welcoming places they are called to be as Catholic colleges and universities.

Dana Dillon, Associate Professor, Departments of Theology and Public and Community Service Studies, Providence College

 11:30 a.m. – Noon Table Talk  
 Noon – 1:00 p.m. Lunch   
 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Freedom or Entitlement: Generation Z and Their Impact on Higher Education

It is not unusual for colleges and universities to respond to the shifts in student culture once those changes begin to manifest on campus. Oftentimes we do not recognize a culture shift until we are responding to it. In recent years, shifts in self-censorship, freedom of speech and expression, harassment, and student expectations have accompanied the newest generation of students on our campuses: Generation Z.  Born between 1994 and 2014, this unique generation requires university leadership to be prepared to respond to student concerns in innovative ways, ways that consider and set legal precedent. Using the lenses of diversity and pluralism, this session will include a discussion about the general legal framework for speech rights at private institutions, unpack the influence of Generation Z on our campuses, and interrogate whether this generation is motivated by freedom or entitlement.

Daria Graham, Associate Dean and Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs, University of Dayton

Stephen Vaughan, Principal, Gray Plant Mooty

 2:30 – 2:50 p.m. Table Talk and Strategies  
 2:50 – 3:00 p.m.

Wrap Up: Synthesize Key Take-aways

Lisa Kirkpatrick, Vice President for Student Affairs, St. Edward's University and conference chair

 3:00 p.m

Charting Your Course:  LCHE Overview

Lorraine Sloma-Williams, Director of Executive Educational Programs, ACCU

Kyle Ryan, Media Specialist, ACCU

 3:30 p.m. Closing Prayer  
 5:00 p.m.          Opening Liturgy of the 2019 ACCU Annual Meeting  



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