The end of the academic year on many campuses marks the end of a “performance evaluation period” for college and university staff members. On many campuses, supervisors across divisions of student affairs are meeting with their direct reports, reviewing self-evaluations, conducting 360 degree evaluations, and generally assessing performance. How and why we conduct this annual process is an indicator of our effectiveness as professionals and our care for our staff’s development. Yet, performance management can often turn into “mismanagement”. This episode aims to discuss the strategies that supervisors (and their supervisees) can implement to improve practice.

On this episode of Student Affairs live, co-host Heather Shea Gasser discusses supervision strategies in student affairs with three experts on the topic, Tony Doody, Gretchen Metzelaars, and Joan Hirt. Join us live and contribute to the conversation via the backchannel using the #HigherEdLive hashtag or send questions in advance to


Episode Host

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser’s career in student affairs spans 16+ years and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she is a true Student Affairs Generalist. Heather is currently serving as the assistant director of RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment), a living-learning community at Michigan State University while also a full-time doctoral student in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University in 2000. She currently serves as the Director of Membership Development for ACPA-College Student Educators International and blogs for Feminists in Student Affairs. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heathergasser


Tony Doody

Tony Doody has over 20 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 a Director of Student Life on the five New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses of 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 and serves as co-chair of the ACPA Presidential Task Force on Technology.


Joan Hirt

Joan B. Hirt is Professor of Higher Education Administration in the Department Leadership, Counseling and Research at Virginia Tech. She has also served as the Interim Director of the School of Education and Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at the University.

Dr. Hirt earned a B.A. in Russian Studies from Bucknell University (1972), a M.A.Ed. in College Student Personnel Services from the University of Maryland, College Park (1979), and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration from the University of Arizona (1992). She served in a series of administrative leadership positions at universities in California and Arizona before joining the faculty ranks at Virginia Tech in 1994.

Dr. Hirt’s research examines administrative life at different types of colleges and universities. She has conducted studies on leaders at research universities, liberal arts colleges, community and technical colleges, Hispanic serving institutions, and historically Black Colleges and universities, to name a few. In particular, she is interested in the specialization and professionalization of administration in the academy. She has published four books and more than 50 articles, book chapters, and other publications. Dr. Hirt has presented over 100 papers and workshops at regional, national and international conferences. She has directed 60 student theses and dissertations.

Her work has been recognized through awards from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the University of Maryland, ACPA-International, the American College and University Housing Officers-International, and the Association of Fraternity Advisors, among others.


Gretchen Metzelaars

Gretchen Metzelaars is the Senior Associate Vice President of Student Life at the Ohio State University. Her focus and areas of expertise include student engagement, staff development, and auxiliary services. She joined the Student Life staff in June 2010, after serving since 2004 as director of the student union at the University of Maryland, where she was also an affiliate assistant professor. Previously, she had held a number of positions in higher education, including serving as director of administration at Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts from 1997-2004. She holds a B.S. in forestry and outdoor education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. in recreation and college student personnel from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in recreation and college student personnel from the University of Maryland. Connect with her on Twitter at @GMetzelaars