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Contested Issues in Student Affairs
Diverse Perspectives and Respectful Dialogue
Peter M. Magolda
Marcia B. Baxter Magolda
Paper: 978 1 57922 584 1 / $35.95
Published: August 2011
Cloth: 978 1 57922 583 4 / $95.00
Published: August 2011
Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 585 8 / $95.00
About Library E-Book
Published: February 2013
E-Book: 978 1 57922 586 5 / $28.99
Published: February 2013
6" x 9"
What is your level of understanding of the many moral, ideological, and political issues that student affairs educators regularly encounter? What is your personal responsibility to addressing these issues? What are the rationales behind your decisions? What are the theoretical perspectives you might choose and why? How do your responses compare with those of colleagues?
Contested Issues in Student Affairs
augments traditional introductory handbooks that focus on functional areas (e.g., residence life, career services) and organizational issues. It fills a void by addressing the social, educational and moral concepts and concerns of student affairs work that transcend content areas and administrative units, such as the tensions between theory and practice, academic affairs and student affairs, risk taking and failure; and such as issues of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and spirituality. It places learning and social justice at the epicenter of student affairs practice.
The book addresses these issues by asking 24 critical and contentious questions that go to the heart of contemporary educational practice. Intended equally for future student affairs educators in graduate preparation programs, and as reading for professional development workshops, it is designed to stimulate reflection and prompt readers to clarify their own thinking and practice as they confront the complexities of higher education.
Student affairs faculty, administrators, and graduate students here situate these 24 questions historically in the professional literature, present background information and context, define key terms, summarize the diverse ideological and theoretical responses to the questions, make explicit their own perspectives and responses, discuss their political implications, and set them in the context of the changing nature of student affairs work.
Each chapter is followed by a response that offers additional perspectives and complications, reminding readers of the ambiguity and complexity of many situations.
Each chapter concludes with a brief annotated bibliography of seminal works that offer additional information on the topic, as well as with a URL to a moderated blog site that encourages further conversation on each topic and allows readers to teach and learn from each other, and interact with colleagues beyond their immediate campus. The website invites readers to post blogs, respond to each other, and upload relevant resources. The book aims to serve as a conversation starter to engage professionals in on-going dialogue about these complex and enduring challenges.
The 24 questions are organized into four units.
I. The Philosophical Foundations of Student Affairs in Higher Education explores the implications and complications of student affair educators placing learning at the epicenter of their professional work.
II. The Challenges of Promoting Learning and Development explores the challenges associated with learning-centered practice.
III. Achieving Inclusive and Equitable Learning Environments addresses crafting learning environments that include students whose needs are often labeled “special,” or students and/or student subcultures that are often marginalized and encouraged to adapt to normalizing expectations.
IV. Organizing Student Affairs Practice for Learning and Social Justice addresses the organizational and professional implications of placing learning and social justice at the epicenter of student affairs practice.
Table of Contents:
PREFACE: Peter Magolda and Marcia Baxter Magolda, Miami University
1) WHAT COUNTS AS “ESSENTIAL” KNOWLEDGE FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS?
Intellectual Curiosity and Lifelong Learning—Marcia Baxter Magolda & Peter Magolda, Miami University
Response—Jill Carnaghi, Washington University in St. Louis & Victor Boschini, Texas Christian University
2) HOW DOES THE PERCEPTION THAT LEARNING TAKES PLACE EXCLUSIVELY IN CLASSROOMS PERSIST?
Expanding the Learning Environment—Mimi Benjamin, Cornell University & Florence Hamrick, Rutgers University
Response—Laura Blake Jones, University of Michigan
3) HOW ARE DICHOTOMIES SUCH AS SCHOLAR-PRACTITIONER AND THEORY-PRACTICE HELPFUL AND HARMFUL TO THE PROFESSION?
Developing Professional Judgment—Gregory Blimling, Rutgers University
Response—Ellen Broido, Bowling Green State University
4) IF STUDENT AFFAIRS-ACADEMIC AFFAIRS COLLABORATION IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA, WHY ARE THERE SO FEW EXAMPLES OF THESE PARTNERSHIPS IN AMERICAN HIGHER EDUCATION?
Transforming Our Approach to Education: Cultivating Partnerships and Dialogue—Victor Arcelus, Gettysburg College
Response—Jamie Lester, George Mason University
PART TWO: CHALLENGES OF PROMOTING LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
5) IN THIS AGE OF CONSUMERISM, WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF “GIVING STUDENTS WHAT THEY WANT?”
Have it Your Way U—Tracy Davis, Western Illinois University
Response—Lisa Boes, Harvard University
6) WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH ALLOWING STUDENTS TO FAIL IF LEARNING RESULTS?
Creative Learning for Challenging Times: The Promise and Peril of Risk—Michele Welkener, University of Dayton
Response—Kelsey Ebben Gross, Central New Mexico Community College
7) DOES SOCIAL NETWORKING ENHANCE OR IMPEDE STUDENT LEARNING?
Social Networking and Student Learning: Friends without Benefits—Mark R. Connolly, University of Wisconsin—Madison
Response—Ana Martinez Aleman, Boston College
8) WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHANGING UNIVERSITY POLICY AND
CHANGING STUDENT NORMS?
Where Policy Meets Student Behavior—Jonathan Poullard, University of California, Berkley
Response—J. Michael Denton, Miami University.
9) IF CURBING ALCOHOL ABUSE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES IS AN “IMPOSSIBLE DREAM,” WHY BOTHER WITH INTERVENTIONS AIMED AT CURBING ABUSE?
Navigating the Drinking Culture to Become Productive Citizens—James P. Barber, College of William and Mary
Response—Heidi Levine, Cornell College
10) WHAT SHOULD UNIVERSITIES DO ABOUT OVERLY INVOLVED PARENTS?
Aiming to Redefine, not Restrict, Parental Involvement: How to Foster Developmentally Effective Parent-Student Partnerships—Kari Taylor, Miami University
Response—John Lowery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
11) IN THIS AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY, WHAT COUNTS AS GOOD; AND HOW DO WE KNOW IF STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS “REALLY” MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF STUDENTS?
Student affairs in the Age of Accountability and Assessment—Jillian Kinzie, Indiana University, Bloomington
Response—Andrew Wall, University of Rochester
12: WHY IS IT SO CHALLENGING FOR COLLEGIANS AND STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS
TO TALK ABOUT RACE?
The Elephant in the Room—Race—Julie J. Park, Miami University
Response—Christopher Mundell, Columbus College of Art and Design
13) DO IDENTITY CENTERS (E.G., WOMEN’S CENTERS, ETHNIC CENTERS, LGBT CENTERS) DIVIDE RATHER THAN UNITE HIGHER EDUCATION FACULTY, STUDENTS, AND ADMINISTRATORS? IF SO, WHY ARE THEY SO PREVALENT ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES?
Identity Centers: An Idea Whose Time Has Come...and Gone?—Kristen A. Renn, Michigan State University
Response—Lori Patton Davis, University of Denver
14) WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “ACT AFFIRMATIVELY” IN HIRING PROCESSES?
Diversity as a Strategic Imperative in Higher Education—Karen E. Miller and J. Douglas Toma, Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia
Response—Patricia King, University of Michigan
15) GIRL OR WOMAN?…DORM OR RESIDENCE HALL? …WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT LANGUAGE?
The Power of Language—Stephen John Quaye, University of Maryland
Response—Ebelia Hernandez, Rutgers University
16) WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF PROVIDING “SPECIAL” CONSIDERATIONS TO PARTICULAR STUDENTS?
" Special” Considerations for a Universal Problem: Campus Accommodations—Deborah McCarthy, University of South Florida
Response—Peter Haverkos, Miami University—Hamilton
17) WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIMITS OF STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS’ ROLE IN ADDRESSING BURGEONING STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES?
Supporting Collegians’ Mental Health: Collaboration and Role Differentiation—David B. Spano, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Response—Paul Oliaro, California State University at Fresno & Lori Varlotta, California State University at Sacramento
18) WHAT ROLES SHOULD STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS PLAY IN ATTENDING TO STUDENTS’ RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL NEEDS?
Creating Space for Spirituality and Religion in Student Affairs Practice – Alyssa N. Bryant, North Carolina State University
Response – Michele Murray, Seattle University & Robert Nash, University of Vermon
19) HOW DO STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS PROTECT FREEDOM OF SPEECH WHILE ENSURING CIVIL DISCOURSE?
Putting the Hammer Down – Tobias W. Uecker, Kenyon College
Response – Katie Sardelli, Winthrop University
IV. Organizing Student Affairs Practice for Learning and Social Justice
20) WHY IS THE GAP SO WIDE BETWEEN ESPOUSING A SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA TO PROMOTE LEARNING AND ENACTING IT? WHAT COULD STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS DO TO GENUINELY ENACT A SOCIAL JUSTICE IDEOLOGY?
Moving Beyond Good Intentions – Joel D. Zylstra, Center for Transforming Mission Education
Response – Nana Osei-Kofi, Iowa State University
21) WHAT WOULD STUDENT AFFAIRS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES LOOK LIKE IF THEY SUPPORTED INCLUSIVE, LEARNING-CENTERED PRACTICES?
Advancing Inclusive and Learning-centered Practice: Redesigning Student Affairs Work – John P. Dugan, Loyola University
Response – Tatiana Suspitsyna, The Ohio State University
22) WHAT FORMS WOULD SUPERVISION TAKE TO MODEL INCLUSIVE, LEARNING-ORIENTED PRACTICE?
The Case for Developmental Supervision – Michael G. Ignelzi, Slippery Rock University
Response – Patty Perillo, Davidson College
23) WHY DO STUDENT AFFAIRS EDUCATORS STRUGGLE TO SET PROFESSIONAL BOUNDARIES?
Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Professional and Personal Boundaries –
Kathleen (Kate) R. Linder, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Response – Kristina Mickel Clement, Georgia State University
24) HOW DO PROFESSIONALS NAVIGATE SITUATIONS WHEN THEIR PROFESSIONAL BELIEFS CLASH WITH THEIR SUPERVISORS’ OR ORGANIZATIONS’ BELIEFS?
Engaging in Dialogues about Difference in the Workplace – Peter Magolda & Marcia Baxter Magolda, Miami University
Response – Rozana Carducci, University of Missouri—Columbia
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Reviews & Endorsements:
"I read about the book when I realized that this book needed to be required reading for my graduate student affairs students. I also think it is an important stimulant for reflection for student affairs educators across the higher education organizational hierarchy. What is particularly poignant is how the second essayists expand on and even disagree with notions explored by the first essayists...This way of navigating a contested issue communicates that there is not just one right answer, but rather that through respectful dialogue others can add onto ideas in ways that synergistically futher understanding. It is not often that we witness our profession challenging, broadening, and clarifying questions in such an honest fashion...Regardless of its almost 500-page length, the smooth flow of the writing and format, the variety of perspectives presented, and the currency of the contested issues all offer a very thought-provoking and subsequently worthwhile read for graduate students in their preparation. This book will offer a sense of realities of student affairs practice. For that reason, professionals will also find this book useful as excellent fodder for professional development dialogue and reflection."
- Journal of College Student Development
"Offers essays and follow-up dialogue on 24 issues, including the student as consumer, whether social networking enhances or impedes student learning, student mental health, and what institutions should do about overly involved parents."
- The Chronicle of Higher Education
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