Student Affairs as Change Agents

Kathleen Allen and Cynthia Cherry

“Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities [in their present form] won’t survive. It’s as large a change as when we first got the printed book” (Peter Drucker, 1997).Drucker is well known for identifying a trend before others see it. If his statement about universities turns out to be true, he foresees many changes ahead for higher education. This is not a surprise to many involved in higher education. However, the question of whether higher education can adapt and who can help facilitate these changes remain unclear. It is the authors’ belief that student affairs professionals have a critical role in helping their institutions to transform themselves in response to outside challenges. This article examines the dynamics of change in today’s world, why traditional rules of change no longer apply, and identifies new realities of change. Finally it will suggest some strategies that student affairs professionals can apply in helping institutions of higher education to change.

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