Professional Competencies are intended to define the broad professional knowledge, skills, and disposition expected of student affairs professionals, regardless of their area of specialization or positional role within the field. The original competencies were established and approved by both Boards in July 2010.

In October 2014, the ACPA Governing Board and the NASPA Board of Directors announced the creation of a joint Professional Competencies Task Force. The charge of this Task Force was to review, update, and revise the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies for Student Affairs Practitioners and to ensure that competencies were up-to-date with current scholarship and practice. Of particular note, the Task Force was charged with reviewing the threads of technology, sustainability, and globalism to determine whether these areas of practice required the creation of additional competency areas or a reframing of existing ones.  In April 2015, NASPA and ACPA provided opportunities for members to provide feedback on the proposed changes.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Tony Doody talks with task force members John Hoffman (representing NASPA) and Patty Perillo (representing ACPA) about process, proposed changes, feedback from members, and implications for the field.

Please contribute to the conversation by emailing questions before the show to or by tweeting live during the show using the #higheredlive hashtag. We’ll do our best to incorporate questions from viewers (with attribution) into the live conversation.


Episode Host

Tony Doody

Tony Doody

Tony Doody has over 24 years of practical experience and oversight in senior leadership positions within the Higher Education industry in the areas of Facilities Management, New Student Orientation, Parent and Family Programs, Leadership and Training, Marketing and Communications, Adult Learning, and Major Events and Programs. He currently serves as the Senior Director of Student Engagement at Rutgers University. Over the last 4 years, Tony has presented at over twenty universities and national conferences on topics of innovation, digital leadership, technology, and unconventional leadership. He is the recent Innovation chair for the ACPA 2014 conference, serves on the ACPA Credentialing team, and is co-chair of the ACPA Presidential Task Force on Technology. In addition, Tony has worked over 20 years as a consultant in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, presentation skills, risk-taking, innovation, social media, conflict resolution, and team cohesiveness. Past clients include J&J, Bristol Myers Squibb, Vistakon, Navigant, Janssen, United Way, Merrill Lynch, Tumi, and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.


Dr. Patricia Perillo

Dr. Patricia A. Perillo is Vice President for Student Affairs and Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Virginia Tech. She provides leadership and oversight for the 24 departments and 3 administrative units in the Division of Student Affairs. She oversees a budget of nearly $150 million, a staff of approximately 3,400 employees, and has responsibility for more than 30 percent of the physical capital on campus.

Prior to her work at Virginia Tech, Patty served as associate dean of students at Davidson College and assistant vice president for student affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Additional professional experience includes work at the University of Maryland, College Park; State University of New York at both the Plattsburgh and Albany campuses; and, the University of Delaware.

As a transformative leader in higher education for the past 25 years, Dr. Perillo has been actively engaged in all aspects of college life and has had the privileged opportunity to lead and serve in every functional area within a division of student affairs. She has also worked in academic affairs, and is a champion of innovative collaborations between academic and student affairs. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware.

As a result of her relational, collaborative, and inclusive leadership, Patty was elected to serve as president for ACPA-College Student Educators International. She has served the profession in other capacities including: 2011 ACPA Convention Chair; ACPA and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Consolidation Steering Committee; ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies Task Force, and, the ACPA Foundation.

She has received many honors and awards including: ACPA’s Esther Lloyd Jones Professional Service Award; ACPA’s Diamond Honoree Award; and, induction into Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa.

In her free time, Dr. Perillo enjoys spending time with her wonderful family and close community of friends, and engaging in the arts, athletic events, outdoor activities, prayer and reflection, music, reading, and entertaining.


Dr. John Hoffman

Dr. John L. Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at California State University, Fullerton where he also serves as the Director of the Doctor of Educational Leadership Program and the Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership.  Before transitioning to faculty, John spent 10 years working in administrative roles in academic and student affairs, seven of which were as a dean of students.  He has experience in the development of theory-informed programs that enhance the success and retention of students of color; early interventions addressing student wellness and achievement; and the assessment of student learning in the cocurriculum.  His research interests focus on assessment and accountability, professional competencies in student affairs and higher educational leadership, and professional development and mentoring.

John has received professional awards from Western Association for College and University Housing Officers (WACUHO) for his diversity and leadership work as a dean of students and from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) for his professional mentoring efforts.  John earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.

John is the husband of Dr. Joy Hoffman, who also works in student affairs, and he does his best to stay active with his local church and community.  He enjoys spending free time with family and friends, listening to music, or working on home improvement projects.