In the 1985 ACPA membership vote for president-elect, Charles C. Schroeder won. He was the 31st man among the first 47 presidents to serve in the association's highest office and 39 years old when elected.
Appointed Vice President for Student Development at St. Louis University in 1981, Schroeder was responsible for creating and implementing programs of service designed to complement, supplement, and diversify educative and developmental experiences for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
Born in Grenada, Mississippi, Charles Schroeder grew up in Dallas, Texas. His B.A. degree (Psychology/History, 1967) and M.A. in Education degree (Student Personnel/Counseling Psychology, 1968) were from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. At Austin College, he accepted an appointment as Counselor, Counseling Center, for the next two years, coordinated the "Achievement Motivation Systems Project" (freshman orientation grant), served as a faculty adviser to students, and taught two psychology courses. Austin College honored him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988. In 1970, he moved to Corvallis, Oregon, where he entered a doctoral program at Oregon State University and was granted his Ed.D. (College Student Personnel Administration/Psychology) in 1972. The title of his dissertation was "An Analysis of the Impact of Residential Setting on the Development of Selected Dimensions of Self-Actualization." At Harvard University during the summer of 1983, he completed post-doctoral studies at the Institute for Educational Management.
With his doctorate, Schroeder went cross country to Western New England College (Springfield, Massachusetts) to become Director of Counseling Services for a year (1972-73). He supervised professional staff in the creation and delivery of student counseling services, developed a research and evaluation unit for student life, and provided consulting services to students, faculty, and staff. He was honored with the college's "Outstanding Faculty Award" in 1973.
At Auburn University from 1973-78, he was Assistant to the Dean of Student Life, Director of Men's Housing, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Counselor Education. At Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, during the next three years, 1978-81, he was Dean of Students and Assistant Professor of Psychology.
Charles Schroeder joined ACPA In 1968, when he was 22 years old. He attended every ACPA annual convention from 1968 to the present, with only one exception, the spring of 1989. During an 11 year period from 1975 through 1985, he was a participant, most often a presenter, in 27 ACPA national convention programs on a variety of topics.
At the request of the incoming president-elect in 1973 (Harold Grant), Schroeder chaired the Convention and Program Committees for the national ACPA convention in Atlanta (1975), which celebrated completion of the association's first half century. The next year (1975-76), he was a member of the APGA/ACPA Chicago Convention Committee and a member of the ACPA Task Force on Conventions during 1977-78.
A member of the Directorate Body of Commission III, Student Residence Programs, during 1976-81, Schroeder served as Vice-Chairperson of that commission's Task Forces for two years (1976-78), and then chaired the commission during 1978-80. Present at the mid-year Executive Council meeting in Erlanger, Kentucky, in November 1979 as chairperson of Commission III, he was asked to serve on a screening committee to search for an ACPA Media Board chairperson. He was also a candidate for ACPA Treasurer-Elect, a position he won.
At the national ACPA convention in Detroit (1978), he was the recipient of Commission III's Burns Crookston Research Award. In 1980 at the national convention in Boston, he was honored for Outstanding Service to Commission III. During his presidency in 1986, he was recipient of the Missouri CPA "Professional Service Award."
During 1980-81, while serving as treasurer-elect, he was a member of the Media Task Force and served on the Fiscal Accountability Committee through 1983. At Erlanger, Kentucky, during the late October 1981 mid-year meeting of the Executive Council, Treasurer Schroeder reported ACPA assets of $185,846.39, equivalent of one year's operating income in reserve. A member of the Budget Committee during 1982-83, he was appointed Chairperson of the ACPA Ad Hoc Committee on Investments at the mid-year Executive Council meeting early in November 1983 and has retained that position to the present.
At the University of Missouri-St. Louis in January 1983, seven members of ACPA and NASPA, including Schroeder, met and developed a proposal for a Student Affairs Management Information (SAMI) Project. He served with SAMI for three years (1983-86).
During his term as president-elect (1985-86), Schroeder chaired the Bylaws Committee and was a member of the Executive, External Relations, Fiscal Management, and Nominations and Elections Committees. As president, he chaired the Executive Committee and was a member of the Fiscal Management and Government Relations Committees.
At the ACPA Luncheon held in the Inter-Continental Hotel in New Orleans during 1986, Charles Schroeder was installed as the 1986-87 president, and then he delivered his presidential address. In his address and subsequently in his "Presidential Communiqué" columns published in four issues of the newsletter, President Schroeder asked what student affairs in general and ACPA in particular, could offer that would be unique and distinctive for ensuring the vitality of higher education.
He asked the ACPA Senior Scholars and higher education consultants to review the higher education reports and identify new and meaningful ways the profession could effectively address major challenges facing higher education during 1986-87 and the future. He asked the Senior Scholars what roles and perspectives were needed for student affairs professionals to enhance the vitality of their institutions and improve the quality of the academic experience, particularly at the undergraduate level. A second major task for the group was to consider issues of mission, structure, and function of the association. The group met for four days at OmniView Lodge in Estes Park, Colorado. The symposium occurred early in November 1986, after which a report was drafted. Participants at the 1987 national convention received a copy of a "white paper" report in their registration packets. An invited program at the convention, "Critical Issues in Higher Education: Shaping a Response for the Profession," was presented by Senior Scholars at the Hyatt Regency on Monday afternoon, March 16. A prime time two-hour session, featuring a group of Senior Scholars, also reported results of the symposium during the 1987 AACD national convention in New Orleans. The ACPA Executive Committee met in June 1987 to develop a strategic plan for the association and consider nine recommendations submitted by the Senior Scholars.
In June 1986, a group of ACPA leaders met in St. Louis to address issues associated with the recruitment and retention of members. As of October 1, a new membership plan took effect. Members could join ACPA for a year without joining AACD. An estimated pool of 36,550 recruits was available, extending the membership base. ACPA membership at the close of 1986 was 7,547.
President Charles Schroeder presided at the Executive Council meeting in New Orleans on April 12, 1986 for new and continuing members. ACPA leaders convened in St. Louis for the mid-year Executive Council meetings during November 7-9 with State Division/Commission meetings a day earlier. Schroeder reported that a major focus of the meetings was discussion of such issues as: (1) creating new ways to effectively respond to member needs and preferences; (2) improving the management of the association's fiscal and human resources; (3) broadening the association's sphere of influence within higher education; (4) creating professional development activities that address critical issues in the profession and higher education; and (5) furthering the development of the profession. Among official actions taken during those mid-year meetings, Commission I was officially changed to "Administrative Leadership."
The Joint ACPA/NASPA national convention in Chicago was held March 15-18, 1987, celebrating the golden anniversary of the 1937 Student Personnel Point of View. The joint venture fully integrated themes, programs, and operations. The convention theme was "Make No Little Plans Celebrate Our Past, Design Our Future." With permission granted by the American Council on Education, the original landmark statement was reprinted in the convention program booklet, an exceptional creation.
The joint convention endeavor provided 725 programs and 40 exhibitors. Over 5,400 people registered there in Chicago. Among those attending were 2,703 from ACPA. Sixteen pre-convention workshops were featured. Schroeder described Past President Melvene D. Hardee's opening general session keynote address on Sunday evening as moving, compelling, and perhaps the most effective ever given at a national student affairs convention.
President Schroeder presided at Executive Council meetings on Saturday and Sunday, March 14-15 in the Hyatt Regency Hotel's Skyway suite 264 and the Business meeting on Tuesday followed by the Luncheon in the Marriott Hotel's Grand Ballroom I and II.
At the Business meeting, 10 resolutions recognizing people were approved, including Carl R. Rogers, who died in February, the death of Charlotte Lewis (wife of Charles Lewis), and Phyllis Mable, who co-chaired the joint convention. The name change for the Journal ("Personnel" became "Development") was approved, effective January 1988. At least one issue of the Journal each year was to contain a record of the association's business transactions. The Generativity Project was deleted as a special committee and created a Generativity Committee within the structure of the Media Board. Schroeder presented awards to the retiring members of the Executive Council.
At the AACD national convention in New Orleans during April 21-25, ACPA sponsored a luncheon, two social hours, 20 content, and 4 poster sessions.
ACPA's net income for 1986-87 was $73,000, resulting primarily from a $100,000 windfall produced by the Chicago joint convention. At the Business meeting during the 1988 national convention in Miami, he announced that ACPA had $382,082 in reserves.
Reflecting on his presidency, Schroeder noted that the association's membership base had been significantly increased, the purposes of the association clarified, the focus sharpened, management practices improved, financial resources strengthened, and a variety of challenges and opportunities facing higher education responded to.
From 1987 until his second ACPA presidency in 1993, he continued to active professionally by offering keynote, featured and other presentations at ACPA, NASPA, ACUHO-I, AAHE and other higher education associations. In addition he provided consultations to 30 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and organized a variety of regional professional development workshops. In 1992 he left Saint Louis University to become Vice President for Student Services at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta Georgia where he was instrumental in dramatically expanding on-campus housing as part of the Olympic Village. In 1988 he was recognized by his Alma Mater, Austin College, as a Distinguished Alumni. He was also appointed a Fellow in the Society of Values in Higher Education at that time as well.
During the late 80`s and early 90`s, Schroeder became very concerned about the current professional orientations and long term viability of the role of student affairs in American Higher Education, particularly when it came to strengthening undergraduate education. Hence, he begin to devote considerable time and energy to arguing that student affairs professionals must shift their focus to enhancing student learning by directly supporting the academic missions of their institutions. He emphasized the critical role of assessment, collaboration and organizational learning and change as new “core competencies” for professional practice and encouraged much greater coordination between student affairs preparation programs and the needs of practitioners in the field. His focus on collaboration extended beyond campuses to include more cooperative ventures with professional associations. This led him to work with colleagues in the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) to secure office space for ACPA at One DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C. Finally, he encouraged student affairs professionals to become experts on students, their characteristics and the learning process and at the invitation of Russ Edgerton, President of AAHE he wrote a seminal essay, “New-Students: New Learning Styles”, that was published in a special edition of Change in 1993
Charles Schroeder has published 25 articles and a monograph on a variety of professional issues including changing student characteristics, environmental management, residence education, and organizational development. In addition, he has contributed chapters to 10 books. He has participated on two teleconferences. Schroeder has presented on at least 76 state, regional, and national professional association meetings. He has also organized a wide range of professional development workshops, no less than 16. His professional seminars and consultations number at approximately 100.
Charles L. Schroeder is married to Barbara Lynn Barrett Schroeder. They have two children, Jay and Jill.