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Table of Contents

Flying through Clouds:
Navigating Uncertainty and Change in the Student Affairs Profession

by Randy L. Mitchell


Foreword: John N. Gardner “An Invitation for Reflection”

Introduction: Out of the Blue
Learning to use our instruments, instincts, and institutions to navigate changing circumstances in higher education.

Glimpses and Discernment
Practicing and modeling critical thinking to overcome incomplete or inaccurate assessments of
the truth.

The Campus Compass
Becoming a moral conscience of the campus.

How Can I Be Assured?
Responding to parental concerns and perceptions about the college experience.

To What End?
Addressing unforeseen circumstances as opportunities rather than threats or faults.

The Search for Truth 
The role of the student affairs profession in helping students search for meaning and truth.

The Messages We Send
Responding to the realities of racism.

Reunion in the Union 
Using a glimpse of the past to create a vision for the future.

Choices and Consequence
Teaching, modeling, and processing the relationships between choices and consequences.

A House Divided
Re-imaging departments, divisions, and universities as seamless structures with diverse rooms, rather than entities with “sides.”

Meeting Our Needs
Using the 7 S’s of SucceSSful SeminarS to make meetings more meaningful.

Laughing at Uncertainty
The serious business of humor in student affairs. 

Enclosing Land for Cultivation (or, the 3 P's of ImPPProvement)
Capturing place improvement, performance
improvement, and process improvement to reach organizational goals.

Stones for the Fountain
Taking important pieces of our pasts with us throughout our careers.

Bouncing Back
Learning and practicing resilience in the student affairs profession.

The University of Now
Helping our students – and us – to get the most out of the present.

Signs of Spring
Hope, growth, opportunity, and the cyclical nature of student affairs work.

Retention Comprehension
Redefining the role student affairs plays in retention, progression, and graduation.

The Parent Trap
Adjusting to a new relationship with the parents of undergraduate students.

Student Affairs Hospitality
Making people, places, programs, policies, and processes intentionally inviting.

Cutting Our Teeth on Wisdom
Influencing the development of wisdom through reflection, integration, and application.

Getting It
Changing the focus from “just getting through” to “getting the most from” educational and professional experiences.

In the Meantime
Making the mean-time meaning-ful in the student affairs profession.

Pioneers and Pilgrims
Recognizing and emulating the pathfinders and trailblazers of the student affairs profession.

Emanation and Generation
Creating programs and services that are independent from their creators.

Turning the workplace into a community.

A Frantic Desire for Patience
Practicing patience in the profession to endure what is and to get to what could be.

Balancing the servant-leader and supervisor roles by practicing trust.

Rising to the Occasion
Finding inner strength and reserves to respond in times of uncertainty and change.

Trick and Treat: A New Perspective
Overcoming uncertainty and fear by developing new perspectives.

The Uncertainty of Change
Adapting, adjusting, assimilating, and accommodating uncertainty and change in the student affairs profession.

Dear Lindsey
A letter of future hope written to a high school daughter.

Table of Context
Reflection questions, organized by subject.

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