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Future of Student Affairs: Our Collective Vision

"The Future of Student Affairs" was a strategic-action process designed to create a roadmap for how we maximize our talents and resources to support, serve and educate students and promote a culture of lifelong learning throughout the division.

The process, which occurred in Academic Year 2016-17, was initiated just as the university's leadership began planning for transitions to a new president and provost. Over the past year two years, our division has experienced significant transitions of its own. In Fall of 2017, Student Affairs welcomed a new leader, Vice Provost Susie Brubaker-Cole. Building on "The Future of Student Affairs" work, we have identified our priorities for the coming years in "Our Most Important Work."


To begin the process of developing a new mission/vision statement, the Future of Student Affairs planning team convened All-Hands meetings with each of the seven units in the division. These gatherings sought to unearth language to update the mission statement and to articulate common themes. What the division learned in the course of these conversations was that there was strong consensus about the mission and enthusiasm for expressing it in a more comprehensive way. The sentences that follow formed the basis of our renewed mission statement. 


  1. We work to create new and flexible services, spaces and systems to improve access and support communities.
  2. We advise and advocate for our constituents so that they are able to strategically reflect and be successful in their work.
  3. We meet our customers' needs with expert knowledge, resulting in measurable goals and accomplishments.
  4. We strive to support Student Affairs and the Stanford community by enabling them to reach their full potential and inspiring innovation for the future of the university.

Experiential Education

  1. We empower stakeholders to build confidence and connections to transform their meaningful experiences.
  2. We empower students to make connections that highlight their options and help them find meaningful work.
  3. We collaborate with others to serve the Stanford community by designing and creating positive lasting change.
  4. We pave roads between, within and for communities to affect change through transformative experiences.
  5. We support the Stanford community so they are engaged, connected and inspired.
  6. Through unwavering support, we serve as champions for our Stanford family to change lives in order to transform communities.
  7. By connecting students and the rest of our stakeholders to the Stanford community and beyond to the global community, we transform their experiences and understanding of career education to ultimately find meaningful work.

Community Engagement and Diversity

  1. We value inclusive conversations where diverse student voices are heard and supported and guided by the sprit of safe, empathic and strategic collaboration that yields substantive results.
  2. We respond to student's expressed (or unexpressed) interests and needs by allowing/creating a space to listen, engage and reflect which will lead to new programming, better preparation and deeper understanding.
  3. We respond to student concerns by collaboration across units, promoting open communication, educating and being educated and triaging crisis.
  4. Our centers reach across campus to do the transformative work of giving students the tools, support, experiences and space they need to thrive, through student development, holding critical space, modeling and being present.
  5. We feel well communicated with when the messaging is consistent and fosteres a sense of mattering, belonging and inclusion, which helps us to better support students and colleagues.
  6. As staff, we feel valued when our work and time in trying to change campus culture is acknowledged, respected and validated.
  7. The ideal staff experience is well functioning teams (that communicate, share values and engage) and facilitate world-changing impact.
  8. The ideal staff experience is to grow personally and professionally by cultivating community among students and colleagues.
  9. When leadership invests time, money and other resources it leverages real culture shift and staff pride.
  10. When everyone works to build, celebrate, support, design, our collective effort results in a sense of belonging and community.
  11. We are at our best when we use our relationships, connections, knowledge and experience to allow our daily work and long-term planning to create the best, most impactful student experience ever.

Dean of Students

  1. We work with a diverse set of stakeholders by modeling and providing servant leadership to create an environment in which the campus community can thrive in a holistic way.
  2. We initiate results through collaboration and support to improve overall well-being and success for the Stanford Community.
  3. We provide holistic, supportive, compassionate responses to life challenges effecting the Stanford community wherever they may be.
  4. We collaborate with the community to create systems and processes that support students and improve their Stanford experience.
  5. Our purpose is to collaborate with students, colleagues and campus partners to support students  in their Stanford experience by providing programs, advocacy and meaningful interpersonal interactions that bolster their success.

Residential Education

  1. We develop people and build relationships through serving, supporting and educating students and colleagues.
  2. We help create student learning and engagement and provide support by using interpersonal skills and designing infrastructure to create the best possible Stanford experience.
  3. We and our initiatives create synergy, evolve strategies and inspire students' connection, validation, healing, expression, permission to talk and think in new ways.
  4. We provide opportunities and training to all of our contacts in order to provide them with life skills.
  5. Professional staff, through forming relationships, encourages students to be their best selves.
  6. We are learners and leaders who purposefully engage our communities in values-centric growth and collaboration.
  7. We strive to create supportive communities (via students, staff and other members) to create opportunities for lifelong learning through programming and capacity building.
  8. We work with students, staff, professionals, RFs and campus partners (on individual and collective scales) by working behind the scenes (i.e. advocacy, research and content development) as well as forward facing (i.e. meeting with people, training, teaching and facilitating) in order to impact individuals by building trust and student capacities and impact systems through community-level and cultural change.
  9. We build inclusive, brave communities and lifelong learners by supporting, building capacities of our students, staff and community members.
  10. Collaboration within and across communities can be accomplished through deep engagement with self and others.

University Registrar and Student and Academic Services

  1. We assist our community by engaging with them or improving our processes to reduce their problems.
  2. We serve students by identifying process improvements for a successful academic career.
  3. We provide an environment where we enhance and transform student, faculty and staff experience.
  4. We enhance the student (and staff to a lesser extent) experience through critical analysis, support, coordinating, advocacy and efficiency.
  5. We take advantage of system collaborations by identifying and removing obstacles in order to reduce stress and streamline efficiency.
  6. We serve the Stanford community by listening and asking questions to ensure innovative solutions and community satisfaction.
  7. We help Stanford students, faculty, staff and families to have opportunities for cultural exchange, continued teaching and learning.
  8. We support and train departments and, when necessary, implement new systems to maintain institutional and governmental compliance and optimize efficiency.
  9. We lead a collaborative culture so that we can advocate and effectively manage challenges, crises and processes that prevent and relieve stress, effect change and maximize use of resources.
  10. We guide and organize students to improve experiences for students, faculty and administrators.
  11. By bringing together students and the Stanford community, we encourage independence, interdependence and maximize potential.
  12. We serve the Stanford community, and our work improves student life.
  13. We communicate with a variety of players/communities by helping and advising over a period of time to positively transform lives at Stanford and beyond.
  14. Through teaching, support and removing barriers, we help our students toward success.
  15. Our stories are focused on ad hoc, flexible responses to specific situations.
  16. We work to provide students with internal and external assistance and guidance to navigate/overcome obstacles they face while at Stanford.

Vaden Health Center

  1. We, at Vaden, serve students, support and educate staff through treatment and coordinated care, for the well-being of the entire Stanford community.
  2. We help others through support and education to promote positive health outcomes.
  3. We care for and connect the Stanford community by developing relationships with students, reducing symptoms, promoting resilience and growth and reducing barriers and stigma to seek medical and mental health services.
  4. Our mission every day is to provide quality, timely service to promote health and wellness for the Stanford community.
  5. We provide quality care and education to patients/students that promotes their health and happiness.
  6. We collaborate through exchange of ideas and teamwork to further an environment that promotes excellence in patient care and health and creates a positive and dynamic work environment for all.
  7. At Vaden, we collaborate to provide health care, support, resources and education so that students can achieve wellness and wholeness.
  8. We collaborate through exchange of ideas and teamwork to foster an environment that promotes excellence in patient care and creates a positive and dynamic work environment for all.
  9. We at Vaden, support health and wellness and professional development services to the Stanford community through compassionate whole-person care.