Dr. Kent Porterfield, President of ACPA - College Student Educators International 2014-15, begins his term of office at the ACPA 2014 Indianapolis Convention. Hear his vision for ACPA and get a glimpse of the depth and breadth of the reinvented gathering for ACPA members and friends. Brené Brown and others made a space for us that was like a room without a roof!  No boundaries, total passion and enthusiasm for our collective work in the student affairs movement.


Part of being an optimist is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun and one’s feet moving forward. This is an exciting and challenging time for all of higher education and ACPA has something very important to offer. We are an association with the right values, with talented people, with healthy resilience, and a progressive vision.

I feel a certain amount of responsibility to try to do something significant for our field and for the association. I don’t want to obviously disappoint folks by not providing the leadership that they have a right to expect. 

Through it all, Kent has served as a peacemaker and collaborator. Time and again he brought the community together to really focus on the institution’s mission, which is so incredibly clear, and doing what is best for students.

So, being back engaged in this way I think has kind of…sort of returned me to my roots a little bit in terms of really thinking about the scholarship of the field and its application to practice. Getting connected to young professionals again and really thinking about student affairs practice across this entire spectrum of faculty - practitioner, young professional to senior professional. I guess I wouldn’t have run if I didn’t think that I had a contribution to make.

But we now live in the information age and advancements in web and wireless technologies have created many new opportunities and challenges for higher education. We need to increase our understanding of the impact of rapidly expanding digital technology on higher education and our students. So, during my term as the organization’s president I am going to be asking the governing board to consider strategies that advance digital technology applications in the field of student affairs.

We need a bold vision. But bold vision doesn’t mean we take on everything that we can possibly take on in higher education. It means that we need to be really focused about the things that we really care about, where we can really make a contribution. I’m feeling good about that. I think we are coming out of this convention with some really good energy and I think that we have some common agreement about focus and about prioritization but without letting go of our important values and that is what will continue to allow us to be ACPA.

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