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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.

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If you take good care of your mind and body, your mind and body will take great care of you!  This does not have to involve a lot of time or energy on your part.  Taking good care of yourself really just means identifying the personal balance you need among work, sleep, play, physical activity, social time, and quiet time – and making it a priority to maintain that balance.

It can be easy at Grinnell to live in an unbalanced way.  However, there are all sorts of practices you can add to your day which will help you feel and function well.  Some basics include:


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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.

About Houston Dougharty

Houston Dougharty has been vice president of student affairs at Grinnell since spring 2008. Over the past 29 years—at Grinnell and in student affairs positions at other colleges and universities—he has led and served in most areas of college student affairs, including counseling and health services, substance abuse prevention, suicide and self-harming behaviors prevention, admissions, multicultural affairs and service learning.

Dougharty is active regionally and nationally in a number of professional organizations, and is frequently invited to speak at professional conferences. Currently an adjunct faculty member at Drake University in Des Moines, he previously taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Before coming to Grinnell, Dougharty held leadership positions in student affairs at Lewis & Clark College, the University of Puget Sound, Iowa State, Western Washington University, UCSB, and the University of Hartford. He is a native of Santa Fe, N.M.


NASPA is a leading association for student affairs professionals. The organization provides professional development, advocacy, and research for 13,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries and 8 U.S. territories.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.

DSA Annual Reports

At the end of each academic year, all areas within the College complete an annual report. The Division of Student Affairs routinely engages in reflection, goal-setting, and evaluation of its programs, services, and staff. The results of these reflexive practices are incorporated into the DSA reports.

This page serves as a central clearinghouse for all DSA annual reports to the College President and Board of Trustees.