NIRSA Strategic Plan

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Our Value Proposition

NIRSA provides the best professional development offerings, the best networking opportunities, and the best resources so that campus recreation and wellbeing professionals can inspire healthy people and healthy communities worldwide.

NIRSA Strategic Values

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Global Perspective

Health & Wellbeing



Sustainable Communities

Ongoing Strategic Priority Work

NIRSA will continue to be a driving force in an integrated approach to health and wellbeing.

NIRSA is actively advocating for Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education: A Commitment to Student Success and championing the adoption of the Inter-association Wellbeing Definition.

Additionally, the Association has debuted the first in its series of Promising Practices for Integrated Wellbeing on Campus. Explore the Oakland University suite of resources.

NIRSA will strive for inclusive excellence through an anti-racist and equity lens.

NIRSA has retained diversity strategists 122 Consulting Group to conduct a climate study that assesses NIRSA’s culture, climate, and structures and to determine areas in which the association supports inclusion and areas where there are barriers preventing equity for all.

In the fall of 2021, NIRSA members were extended two avenues for participation: individuals were invited to share their perspectives through a climate survey and through smaller focus group meetings. The climate study report is anticipated to be delivered to the NIRSA EDI Climate Study Steering Committee by early 2022.

NIRSA will reimagine learning, education, and networking.

With the debut of NIRSA’s Promising Practices, the Association introduced a new Learning Management System. Members can access a wealth of timely, competency-based educational content.

Ideas in Motion Roundtables, Caucus Conversations, Virtual Career Weeks, and regular #RecChat discussions are all accessible opportunities for members to connect with professional peers without incurring travel expenses.

A combined All Regions Virtual Conference will be offered this fall, while travel barriers still exist for many members.

NIRSA will strive for inclusive excellence through an anti-racist and equity lens.

NIRSA has retained diversity strategists 122 Consulting Group to conduct a climate study that assesses NIRSA’s culture, climate, and structures and to determine areas in which the association supports inclusion and areas where there are barriers preventing equity for all.
There are currently two avenues for participation: individuals can share by completing the climate survey and by volunteering to share more context through focus group meetings; sign-up early to participate in focus groups. The survey closes September 28, 2021.

2021 NIRSA Annual Meeting of Members

The 2021 NIRSA Annual Meeting of Members, recorded on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, provides insights about the Strategic Plan. NIRSA Members can click the link below to view the recording on NIRSA Connect.

NIRSA Members: Watch the Recording

Previous Strategic Plans

2013-2018 Strategic Plan

A key impetus for the shared 2013-2018 Strategic Plan was to better integrate all the entities of NIRSA into one aligned direction.

Through a multi-year, inclusive process, the NIRSA Board of Directors led the Association through a re-visioning process with the primary goal of poising NIRSA to better leverage the competencies and leadership which have been built over the previous 60 years.

2018-2021 Strategic Plan

NIRSA’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan (narrative / visual) was iterative, building on the strong foundation of the previous plan. The Association’s mission and vision, strategic values, and core goals did not change. Rather, the plan used that springboard to take the Association further as leaders in both higher education and health and wellbeing.

See related: “NIRSA’s Strategic Plan: Where we’re at and what’s left to do


NIRSA intentionally sought to make this planning process as inclusive as possible; the varied scope of individual lenses and experiences put forth allowed for identification of the priorities most needed by the membership.

To do this, the Task Force directly engaged with over 100 NIRSA members during the environmental scanning and feedback stages of the planning process. Those stakeholders have been categorized into two groups with overlapping and distinct responsibilities: Strategic Partners and Accountability Partners.

  • David Davenport, NIRSA Board of Directors President
  • Cara Lucia, NIRSA Board of Directors Presdient Designee
  • Mila Padgett, NIRSA Board of Directors President Elect
  • Jocelyn Hill, NIRSA Board of Directors At-Large Member
  • Derek Hottell, NIRSA Board of Directors At-Large Member
  • Nigel Harris, NIRSA Board of Directors At-Large Member
  • Andrea Snead, NIRSA Board of Directors Annual Director
  • Brian Smith, NIRSA Board of Directors Annual Director
  • Craig Decker, Member Network Chair
  • Jennifer Speer, NSC Board of Directors President
  • Brent Harrison, Foundation Board of Directors President

Strategic Partner Groups

The Strategic Partner groups represented a specific segment of the NIRSA membership and provided on-going, focused feedback.

  • Assembly
  • Faculty
  • Small Programs
  • Championship Series
  • Black Community Caucus
  • LGBTQ Caucus
  • Asian Caucus
  • Latinx Caucus
  • New Professionals
  • Mid-level Professionals
  • Executive-level Professionals
  • Students

Accountability Partner Groups

The Accountability Partner groups provided on-going feedback through the lenses of achievability and fiscal responsibility and also have the responsibility of owning and executing the plan.

  • NSC Board
  • Foundation Board
  • Member Network
  • Kevin Marbury (Task Force Liaison), University of Oregon
  • Stacey Hall (Co-leader), University of New Hampshire
  • Kathy Bayless, Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Mick Deluca, UCLA
  • Vicki Highstreet, University of Nebraska
  • Jean McClellan-Holt, Old Dominion University
  • Mary Ellen Milam, Texas Christian University
  • Tim Moore, Boston University
  • Stan Shingles, Central Michigan University
  • Mirum Washington-White, University of Houston
  • Chavonne Shorter (Task Force Liaison), Spelman College
  • Zac Brost, University of Nebraska
  • Linda Clauss, California State University – East Bay
  • Jen Gudaz, Cornell University
  • Perry Karnofsky, McGill University
  • April (Moore) Lovett, Florida State University
  • Nicole Olmeda, University of Texas at Austin
  • Mike Widen, University of Michigan
  • Jordin Williams, Delaware State University
  • Earl Cabellon (Task Force Liaison), University of Maryland-College Park
  • Erica (Estes) Foltz, James Madison University
  • Heather Foster
  • Jorge Herrera, Florida State University
  • Whitney Hinshaw, Montana State University
  • Sadat Khan, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Meredith Merchant, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Max Miller, Swarthmore College
  • Chelsea Phipps, University of Akron
  • Megan Slifka, University of Alberta
  • Laura Thomas, Texas Tech University
  • Victoria Lopez-Herrera (Task Force Liaison),University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Michael Adeyemo, Sam Houston State University
  • Adreanna Brussard, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Nick Donahue, Emporia State University
  • Richelle Harvey, Western Washington University
  • Julie Johnson, University of Maryland-College Park
  • Demitri Lahanas, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Travis Rawe, Wake Forest University
  • Brittany Rosenthal, University of Oregon
  • Veronica Singson Tantoco, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
  • Will Trent, University of North Carolina
  • Cara McFadden (Task Force Liaison), Elon University
  • Jill Beville, University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Sarah Hardin, DePaul University
  • John Jackson, University of Alabama
  • Barry Miller, Radford University
  • Erin Patchett, Colorado State University
  • Warren Simpson, Angelo State University
  • Jill Sturts, Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Jacob Tingle, Trinity University
  • Julie Wallace Carr, James Madison University
  • Pam Su (Task Force Liaison), San Francisco State University
  • Alex Accetta, Portland State University
  • George Brown, University of Minnesota
  • Chris Dawe
  • Janice DeMonsi, Santa Clara University
  • Jacque Hamilton
  • Moe McGonagle, DePaul University
  • Wendy Motch-Ellis
  • Marcus Jackson, University of Illinois
  • Andrea Snead, University of Central Florida
  • Pam Watts (Task Force Liaison), NIRSA HQ
  • Kristy Caldwell (Convener), Texas State University
  • Mick Deluca (Past Presidents’ Representative), UCLA
  • Wes Bonadio, Ohio University
  • Marc Falkenstein, University of the Pacific
  • Derek Hottell, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Marc Iturriaga, Mount Royal University
  • Karina Knutson, University of North Dakota
  • Lynn Nester, California State University – San Bernardino
  • Parker Anderson, San Diego State University
  • Allie Bogard, Southern Oregon University
  • Lauren Brown, University of Colorado Denver
  • Jennifer Pecoraro, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Matt Holmquist, Texas A&M University
  • Chance Ryon, Belmont University
  • Laura Whiteley, Oakland University
  • Jodi Galucci, Cornell University
  • Christian Garcia, Texas A&M International University
  • Scott Holmes, Ohio State University
  • Tiffany Lomax, Delaware State University
  • Rob Patchett, Colorado State University
  • Ross Rodriguez, University of Texas at Austin
  • Stephanie (Kloos) Smith, MIT
  • Lani Beavers, NIRSA HQ

A focus group was convened at Athletic Business with several associate members, including company CEOs, to ensure Associate Member ideas, perspectives, and insights were captured in the planning process. This session included:

  • Leah Hall Dorothy (Task Force Liaison, Facilitator), Oregon State University
  • Pam Watts (Task Force Liaison, Facilitator), NIRSA Headquarters
  • Marc Loomer, Matrix
  • Doug Marquette, Matrix
  • John Brey, Core Health & Fitness
  • Terry Woods, Core Health & Fitness
  • Dave Elton, Precor
  • Colleen McKenna, Cannon Design
  • Brad Lukanic, Cannon Design
  • Jennifer Stephens, Perkins + Will (a.k.a. Sink Combs)
  • Chris Castelic, Perkins + Will (a.k.a. Sink Combs)
  • Shawna Healy, Plae
  • Pam Hightower, Innosoft/Fusion
  • Glenn Hoy, Mondo
  • Jim Stalford, Mondo
  • Pam Watts (Task Force Liaison), Executive Director
  • Erin O’Sullivan (Task Force Liaison), Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships
  • Keli Kuykendall, Senior Director of Operations
  • Mary Callender, Senior Director of Professional Development
  • Joe Williams, Senior Director of Finance
  • Cory Granholm, Creative Director
  • Heidi Cleary, Director of Sales and Corporate Relations
  • Christine Haluzak, Director of Membership
  • Valerie McCutchan, Director of National Sport Programs
  • Sierra Smith, Director of Meetings & Events
  • Kristen Gleason, Director of Professional Development
  • Kim Holmes, Director of Philanthropy
  • Simon Bravo, Director of Communications
  • Adam C. Pruett, Director of Campus Activations & Cricket
  • Karin Birkland, Director of Human Resources
  • Brittany Rejda, Assistant Director for Professional Development
  • Emily Hughes, Assistant Director of Membership
  • Ryan Rejda, Technologies & Network Services Manager
  • Lani Beavers, Leadership Programs Coordinator
  • Kevin Bellis, Accountant
  • Beau Bogart, Creative Services Coordinator
  • Dan Cleary, Accounting Coordinator
  • Haleigh Gallegos, Receptionist
  • Megan Granholm, Membership Services Coordinator
  • Ruben Guzman, Research Coordinator
  • Rachel Hart, Billing Coordinator
  • Emerson Helbling, Campus Activities Coordinator
  • Kelley Hungerford, Foundation Coordinator
  • Nazifa Islam, Communications Coordinator
  • Nicole Jackson, National Sport Programs Coordinator
  • Michael Kelly, Digital Services Coordinator
  • John Raskauskas, Professional Development Coordinator
  • Rebecca Reeves, Assistant to the Executive Director
  • Nick Zumbrun, Professional Development Coordinator
  • Leah Hall Dorothy (Task Force Liaison, President Elect), Oregon State University,
  • Bill Crockett (President), University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • Ken Morton (President Designee), Stephen F. Austin University
  • Kristy Caldwell (At-Large Director), Texas State University
  • David Davenport(At-Large Director), Austin Peay State University
  • Bill Healey(At-Large Director), University of West Florida
  • Jocelyn Hill(Annual Director), American University
  • Pam Watts (Secretary), NIRSA Headquarters
  • Pam Watts (Task Force Liaison), NIRSA Headquarters
  • Erin O’Sullivan (Task Force Liaison), NIRSA Headquarters
  • David Bowles (President), University of Florida
  • Stuart Halsall (Vice President), University of Denver
  • Eric Hawkes, North Carolina State University
  • Stephanie McAlpine, The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Jennifer Speer, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Mark Williams, University of Notre Dame
  • Tim Mertz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Pam Watts (Task Force Liaison), NIRSA Headquarters
  • Eric Stein (President), Stanford University
  • Tom Kirch (Past President), Oregon State University, retired
  • Deb Johnson (President-Elect), UC Davis
  • Suzette Smith, UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
  • Chris Muller, The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Lexi Chaput, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • Mick McComber, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Greg Jordan, Oakland University
  • Caroline Dotts, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Janice Demonsi, Santa Clara University
  • Pam Watts (Task Force Liaison), NIRSA Headquarters
  • Ken Morton (Chair), Stephen F. Austin University
  • Kristy Caldwell, Texas State University
  • Mike Waldron, Texas A&M University – College Station
  • Darcy Bingham, University of California, San Diego
  • Chris Muller, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Stefani Plummer, California Baptist University
  • Joe Williams, NIRSA Headquarters
  • Earl Cabellon (Task Force Liaison), University of Maryland-College Park
  • Jessica Gentry (Member Network Chair), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Corbin Ross (NIRSA Student Leader), University of Nebraska
  • Jessica Ward (Region I Representative), Princeton University
  • Gina Palermo (Region I Student Leader), West Chester University of Pennsylvania
  • David Parker (Region II Representative), UNC Wilmington
  • Katelyn Voorhees (Region II Student Leader), Clemson University
  • Scott Vandermoon (Region III Representative), DePaul University
  • Kenton Elworth (Region III Student Leader), Central Michigan University
  • Andy Lemons (Region IV Representative), St. Edward’s University
  • Abby Blumberg (Region IV Student Leader), University of Arkansas
  • Chris Denison (Region V Representative), University of Northern Iowa
  • Taylor Sidore (Region V Student Leader), University of Nebraska
  • Brian Smith (Region VI Representative), UCLA
  • Deja’Nay Gilliam (Region VI Student Leader), Washington State University
  • Peter Mumford (Canadian Region Representative (1-year), York University
  • Grachella Garcia (Canadian Region Representative (2-year), University of Alberta
  • Spencer Cavan (Canadian Student Leader), University of Guelph
  • Mike Waldron (Past Presidents’ Representative), Texas A & M University – College Station

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