2020 Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs

Now in its 7th year, Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs (MPPWSA) is a national recognition that celebrates student affairs workplaces that are vibrant, diverse, supportive and commited to staff work-life balance, professional development and inclusive excellence. MPPWSA offers intitutional leaders information that can be used to improve practices across their student affairs community, while also serving as a useful tool for employers, career services staff and job-seekers across the country.

Other Years

2022 2021 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 
Promising Places to work logos
InstitutionSenior Student Affairs OfficerLocationLevelControl
Davidson CollegeDr. Byron P. McCraeDavidson, NC4-yearprivate
University of California-Santa BarbaraJill HurdSanta Barbara, CA4-yearpublic
University of West GeorgiaDr. Xavier WhitakerCarrollton, GA4-yearpublic
Rochester Institute of TechnologyDr. Sandra JohnsonRochester, NY4-yearprivate
Samuel Merritt UniversityDr. Terry NordstromOakland, CA4-yearprivate
Indiana State UniversityDr. Andy MorganTerre Haute, IN4-yearpublic
University of FloridaDr. Winfred PhillipsGainesville, FL4-yearpublic
University of North Carolina-WilmingtonPatricia LeonardWilmington, NC4-yearpublic
Miami University-OxfordDr. Jayne BrownellOxford, OH4-yearpublic
Bowling Green State UniversityDr. Thomas GibsonBowling Green, OH4-yearpublic
Pennsylvania College of TechnologyDr. Elliot StricklandWilliamsport, PA4-yearpublic
University of VermontDr. Annie StevensBurlington, VT4-yearpublic
Ohio University AthensDr. Jason PinaAthens, OH4-yearpublic
The State U. of New York-College at GeneseoDr. David G. BravermanGeneseo, NY4-yearpublic
Rutgers University-New BrunswickDr. Salvador MenaNew Brunswick, NJ4-yearpublic
College of William & MaryDr. Virginia AmblerWilliamsburg, VA4-yearpublic
Sonoma State UniversityDr. Wm. Gregory SawyerRohnert Park, CA4-yearpublic
California State University-Channel IslandsDr. Richard YaoCamarillo, CA4-yearpublic
Saint Louis UniversityDr. Kent PorterfieldSt. Louis, MO4-yearprivate
Lehigh UniversityDr. Ricardo HallBethlehem, PA4-yearprivate
California Polytechnic State U.-San Luis ObispoDr. Keith HumphreySan Luis Obispo, CA4-yearpublic
Case Western Reserve UniversityLouis W. StarkCleveland, OH4-yearprivate
Texas A&M University-San AntonioDr. Melissa MahanSan Antonio, TX4-yearpublic
The Ohio State University-ColumbusDr. Melissa ShiversColumbus, OH4-yearpublic
University of Maryland-BaltimoreDr. Patty AlvarezBaltimore, MD4-yearpublic
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaDr. Zebulun DavenportWest Chester, PA4-yearpublic
Virgina TechDr. Frank ShushokBlacksburg, VA4-yearpublic

ABOUT THE STUDY

This study was first proposed by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education as a possible partnership with the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) in 2011. The ACPA Governing Board motioned for the then-Director of Research and Scholarship, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, to explore the merit and extent of this project. With input from a volunteer advisory board, the project was recommended to the Governing Board and approved.

Dr. Strayhorn was commissioned by ACPA and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education to serve as the project’s principal investigator. In this role, Strayhorn developed the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs (MPPWSA) Survey in consultation with experts on the project’s advisory board. The original survey was pilot-tested with a small sample of non-ACPA member institutions; feedback from the pilottest helped to clarify survey items, correct logic sequencing and determine the utility of our scoring algorithm.

The purpose of this commissioned study, was to examine the extent to which diversity and inclusion permeate aspects of various divisions of student affairs (or equivalent) at participating ACPA-member institutions across the globe including administrative structures, commitments, work environments and staffing practices.


ABOUT THE SURVEY

The MPPWSA survey consists of approximately 60 items, organized into 10 major sections. For example, one section elicits contact information for the survey respondent and identifying information about their respective institution (e.g., control, minority-serving institution [MSI] status). Another section includes several items to assess the structural diversity of the institution and student aff airs department in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation and disability status. There are several sections that measure the availability and extent of support services provided to student aff airs staff on campus, such as professional development.

The survey was authored by Terrell Strayhorn, with input from experts on the project advisory board, and is not available in the public domain. Now part of the larger project, Most Promising Places to Work, the survey has been administered by Strayhorn and his teams at various centers, Do Good Work Educational Consulting LLC, and in 2019 by a paid external consultant hired by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. All survey rights belong to the author. All analyses presented in this edition were conducted by Terrell Strayhorn and Royel Johnson.


PROMISING PRACTICES

Building on the success of previous years, we are excited to include a set of “promising practices” in this year’s report for Most Promising Places to Work in Student Aff airs 2020. As the MPPWSA project matures each year, we learn more and more about what’s going on at various institutions to increase staff diversity, to foster a sense of belonging and to equip college student educators for their work with students. In previous editions of Diverse, we shared practices that hold promise for achieving the outcomes we desire with student aff airs staff; this year, we present the growing list of promising practices.


STAFF PROFILE


Institution# Full Time Staff# Part Time Staff50% Female30% Ethnic Minority5% LGBT Staff5% Staff with DisabilitiesAverage Salary SeniorAverage Salary Mid-LevelAverage Salary Entry-Level
Davidson College7025YESNOYESNO$93,000$70,000$50,000
University of California-Santa Barbara630NOYESYESYES$150,000$95,000$63,000
University of West Georgia191767YESYESYESNO$120,000$58,000$38,000
Rochester Institute of Technology257150YESNON/RN/R$140,000$95,000$54,000
Samuel Merritt University472NONOYESNO$120,000$90,000$60,000
Indiana State University150400YESYESYESNO$60,000$50,000$40,000
University of Florida6751709YESYESN/RN/RN/RN/RN/R
University of North Carolina-Wilmington16911YESNONONO$100,000$80,000$50,000
Miami University-Oxford10220N/RN/RN/RN/R$92,000$60,000$42,000
Bowling Green State University905N/RN/RN/RN/R$109,000$55,000$42,000
Pennsylvania College of Technology124279YESNONOYES$89,000$63,000$52,000
University of Vermont2306YESNOYESYES$100,000$75,000$40,000
Ohio University Athens36012N/RN/RN/RN/R$107,000$73,000$46,000
The State U. of New York-College at Geneseo1255YESYESYESYES$75,000$55,000$45,000
Rutgers University-New Brunswick120080YESYESYESYES$130,000$85,000$60,000
College of William & Mary11931YESNONON/R$121,000$64,000$44,000
Sonoma State University13581YESYESYESN/R$118,000$86,000$62,000
California State University-Channel Islands932YESN/RN/RN/R$106,000$71,000$60,000
Saint Louis University15230YESNON/RYES$140,000$70,000$40,000
Lehigh University741YESNON/RN/R$111,000$79,000$49,000
California Polytechnic State U.-San Luis Obispo46089YESN/RN/RN/R$178,000$77,000$55,000
Case Western Reserve University1604N/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/RN/R
Texas A&M University-San Antonio483YESYESYESN/R$75,000$51,000$42,000
The Ohio State University-Columbus11355254NOYESN/RN/R$13,000$73,000$48,000
University of Maryland-Baltimore54173YESYESYESNO$92,000$71,000$57,000
West Chester University of Pennsylvania14928YESNONONO$106,000$69,000$47,000
Virgina Tech8312983YESNON/RNO$136,000$58,000$45,000

DIVERSITY BENEFITS


InstitutionCargiving Leave For AllChildcare ServicesContinuing EdEd LeaveElder Care ServicesFlexible Work ScheduleMentoringStress Reduction Program
Davidson CollegeYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
University of California-Santa BarbaraYESYESNONOYESYESNOYES
University of West GeorgiaYESNOYESYESNOYESYESYES
Rochester Institute of TechnologyYESYESYESNONOYESNOYES
Samuel Merritt UniversityYESNOYESYESNOYESNOYES
Indiana State UniversityYESNOYESYESNOYESNOYES
University of FloridaYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
University of North Carolina-WilmingtonYESNOYESYESNOYESYESYES
Miami University-OxfordYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
Bowling Green State UniversityYESNOYESNONOYESNOYES
Pennsylvania College of TechnologyYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
University of VermontYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
Ohio University AthensYESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES
The State U. of New York-College at GeneseoYESNOYESYESNOYESYESYES
Rutgers University-New BrunswickYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
College of William & MaryYESNOYESYESNOYESYESYES
Sonoma State UniversityYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
California State University-Channel IslandsYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
Saint Louis UniversityYESYESYESNOYESYESYESYES
Lehigh UniversityYESYESYESYESNOYESNOYES
California Polytechnic State U.-San Luis ObispoYESYESYESYESNOYESNOYES
Case Western Reserve UniversityYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
Texas A&M University-San AntonioYESYESYESNOYESYESNONO
The Ohio State University-ColumbusYESYESNOYESYESYESNOYES
University of Maryland-BaltimoreYESYESYESNOYESYESYESYES
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaNOYESYESYESYESYESNOYES
Virgina TechYESYESYESYESYESYESNOYES