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Grinnell College VP Houston Dougharty Authors Chapter in NASPA Book

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 7:12 pm

Grinnell, Iowa - In January of 2014, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, published its latest book: Executive Transitions in Student Affairs: A Guide to Getting Started as the Vice President. Edited by Ainsley Carry, the book applies best practices from the corporate world to prepare senior administrators for executive transitions in higher education.

Houston Dougharty, vice president of student affairs at Grinnell College, co-authored a chapter in the book titled “Assessing Campus and Divisional Cultures” with JoNes R. VanHecke, vice president at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

The chapter advises incoming vice presidents for student affairs on how to assess campus climate and culture in order to facilitate a successful match and transition to campus. Assessing campus climate and culture should ideally be done through a “rigorous and encompassing examination of the campus experiences of faculty, staff and students as expressed by attitudes, behaviors, traditions, and expectations” state Dougharty and VanHecke in the book. The authors highlight a variety of academic models, distance strategies and personal anecdotes that give readers a holistic method to assessing campus climate and culture.

“It's the first book in our field on this topic, so in the student affairs world it's getting lots of attention,” stated Dougharty in an email. Several of those who authored chapters will be speaking at the NASPA Conference in Baltimore in March, highlighting the research and advice offered in Executive Transitions.

Dougharty, Grinnell’s vice president for student affairs since 2008, is responsible for the staff, programs, budgets and assessment areas that comprise Grinnell’s Division of Student Affairs: Residence Life and New Student Orientation, Academic Advising, International Student Affairs, Campus Safety and Security, Campus Center Operations & Student Activities, and Student Health and Counseling Services. He also teaches in the graduate education program at Drake University. Dougharty is very active regionally and nationally in NASPA and nationally in ACPA. In 2011 he was the director/lead faculty for the NASPA Aspiring Senior Student Affair Office Institute, and last November he was awarded the NASPA Regional Award for Outstanding Senior Student Affairs Officer, one of seven recipients internationally. Dougharty received his B.A. from the University of Puget Sound, earned an M.Ed. from Western Washington University, and received an M.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also did doctoral coursework.

Grinnell College VP Houston Dougharty Is Honored by National Professional Association

Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 9:43 pm

Grinnell, Iowa -- Houston Dougharty, vice president for student affairs at Grinnell College, was honored earlier this month at the regional meeting of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

The organization recognized Dougharty for Outstanding Performance as a Senior Student Affairs Officer, an honor that is presented to an individual who has excelled as a dean in the student affairs profession.

Trustees vote to retain need-blind admission and financial aid policies pending review in 2015

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 3:22 pm

After an 18-month community-wide discussion, the Grinnell College Board of Trustees has voted to retain the college's need-blind admission and financial aid policies—for now.

With the vote, the Board instructed the college to deploy new strategies that will enhance net tuition revenues and also affirm the college's commitment to need-blind admission and meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need.

The vote was announced by Grinnell's Board of Trustees at the conclusion of its regularly scheduled meeting on Saturday.


Grinnell leadership respects the traditions of the past and is responsive to the needs of current and future students.

Our leadership does not work in a vacuum. Grinnell has a well-earned reputation for open, transparent, respectful discussions about campus issues. Town hall meetings bring together students faculty and the administration to discuss campus wide topics of interest, and strategic plans reflect input from the campus and alumni community.