NASPA Vice President for Student Affairs Census


This website presents findings from a quantitative survey research study that was conducted through The NASPA Research and Policy Institute (RPI). The study’s purpose was to gather information on and about vice presidents for student affairs (VPSAs) at U.S. colleges and universities.

To achieve this objective, the RPI collected Web-based survey responses from VPSAs representing institutions from all sectors of higher education. The survey questionnaire was developed by RPI staff, in collaboration with selected members of the NASPA Board of Directors, the NASPA executive team, and several campus-level senior administrators.

The survey was designed and administered using the Qualtrics software package. RPI staff distributed an initial e-mail invitation for participation to individuals identified by the most current edition of the Higher Education Directory (HED) as holding a VPSA position. One targeted e-mail reminder and one general final reminder were sent to nonrespondents. Institutions are represented only once in the data and the distribution of participating institutions by sector is shown in Table 1.

Sample sizes may fluctuate by item and are indicated in presentation of data, where appropriate. Data is available by demographic characteristics and institutional characteristics, where possible and informative. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) institutional characteristics were matched to individuals and their responses using IPEDS IDs included in the HED data. Race and ethnicity categories follow those used by the Department of Education and the U.S. Census Bureau. In some cases, due to rounding, the reported figures may not add up to 100%.

Functional Area Profile Methodology

In the VPSA Census, respondents indicated from a pre-defined list the functional areas that are located at their institution and subsequently indicated which of those areas are housed in their student affairs division. For each functional area housed in their student affairs division, respondents specified the title of the individual in charge of day-to-day operations and selected from a pre-defined list the supervisor of the specified individual. The RPI coded the responses and calculated the percentages and frequencies found in the Functional Area Profiles.

Table 1 | Total Participation by Sector (N = 868)

Sector Percentage of Participants
Public, 4-year 28%
Private not-for-profit, 4-year 43%
Private for-profit, 4-year 2%
Public, 2-year 27%
Private not-for-profit, 2-year <.5%