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Voices of the Global Community

Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, NACADA Executive Director


The new academic year always brings new members to NACADA, and along with those who have settled into the Association, there are many who are ready to increase their level of participation. NACADA leaders become involved for a variety of reasons: to enhance their professional development, to raise the visibility of academic advising on their campus, to contribute to the advancement of the field and profession, to develop leadership skills, to enhance their network of colleagues around the world, and many others. It is my hope that everyone who wishes to be involved can be! We need EVERYONE!

The NACADA governance structure was developed to provide a variety of avenues for involvement. The myriad opportunities can be explored on the NACADA website and include involvement at the State, Region, Commission, Interest Group, Advisory Board, Task Force, Committee, Council and Board levels.

Many states have organizations that are Allied Members of NACADA, while others simply organize NACADA state drive-in meetings. Your Region Chairperson can help you identify a state contact person if you wish to get involved at that level. That same Chairperson is the one to contact if you wish to get involved at the Region level (see Region webpages). Regions have Steering Committees, Regional Conference committees, and other opportunities for volunteers.

There is a Steering Committee for Commissions, and each Commission and Interest Group has subcommittees or subgroups of volunteers to work on various projects throughout the year. The Chairpersons are your contact for these opportunities. (Find CIG Division contacts here).

Typically, members who have demonstrated a genuine interest and ability to contribute to the Association at the Region or Commission level and have gained a bit of knowledge about the organization and its operations express their interest to continue their involvement to a Committee, Task Force, Advisory Board Chair or the President, who appoints members to the respective groups.

Service as a Chairperson qualifies one to be nominated for the Division Representative positions. The six Division Representatives form the NACADA Council and act on issues brought forward from the three Divisions (Region, Commission/Interest Group, and Administrative). Issues of Association policy or funding are forwarded to the Board of Directors (10 members), who are elected (3 each year) from the slate of nominees. These nominees must have served as a Chair within a Division prior to nomination. The Board is charged with guiding the Association by setting the Vision and the strategic plan to work toward that vision while also allocating funds in support of that plan.

As you can see, your Association needs many volunteers to operate and continue to provide the member services desired of its 9000+ members! A thorough inspection of the NACADA website will further demonstrate the variety of services provided and highlight the additional opportunities for involvement - authorship of web articles, Academic Advising Today articles, Journal articles, monographs, and books; Content Review Boards for all publications, videos, webinars, & CDs; special Task Forces to address current issues; and many, many more opportunities for you!

By pondering these possibilities for involvement now, you can be prepared to discuss your interest with the appropriate leaders during the Annual Conference in Indianapolis, October 18-21.

As always, if you are seeking information about academic advising or the association OR if you have ideas/suggestions on additional services we could provide, please let us know. Best wishes for another rewarding year in higher education!!

Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, Executive Director
National Academic Advising Association
(785) 532-5717
[email protected]

Cite this article using APA style as: Flaherty, R. (2006, September). From the executive director: Pathways to leadership in NACADA . Academic Advising Today, 29(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]


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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.