The Four C’s section of the newsletter features useful information that keeps us thinking as a Division about excellence - with the focus alternating between practical and theoretical perspectives. This submission is a quick review of "Collaboration".
Professor Muneera Spence has written about collaboration in the context of graphic design work. She is referenced in the Wikipedia listing for "collaborative method", and her first rule of collaboration is "look for common ground”. In Four C’s training, we asked people to think about how we fit - how our work is grounded in the mission, vision and values of the division - so that our collaboration could begin on common ground with respect to our foundational points of reference.
At the 30,000 foot level (the big picture), common ground in Student Affairs is our commitment to “Excellence in Service and Programming”. In more immediate terms, it could be the desire to welcome and assist new TRIO students this upcoming fall semester. It could also be a shared commitment to hosting a seamless vendor fair, planning a terrific tailgate party or even working from a True Colors© perspective. The right answer to finding a connection depends on you and your potential collaborators.
We care-take a treasure trove of possibility and must recognize our role as stewards of opportunity. That means accepting responsibility to make good use of our collective potential for creativity and positive impact. Keeping that awareness in mind, communicating and finding connections in Student Affairs and beyond is the essence of common ground on which fruitful collaboration is built.
We know we’re doing great things in Student Affairs at UTSA, and it is affirming to see our clear alignment with guiding principles of the profession. Take, for example, this excerpt from Learning Reconsidered 2: “...In every case, initiation of collaborative efforts must be preceded by professional development activities designed to develop a common language and common goals among the people who are working together in a campus wide educational process.” Sounds very familiar, right? We are on a journey, always striving for excellence - striving to communicate, to connect, to collaborate and create.
Assistant Director, Campus Recreation
Keeling, R. (Ed.). (2006). Learning Reconsidered 2: A practical guide to implementing a
campus-wide focus on the student experience. Washington, D.C.: American College
Personnel Association and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Wikipedia. (2013). Collaborative method. Retrieved April 8, 2013 from