Senior level community of practice

With the transition from the Commission for Administrative Leadership to the Senior-Level Community of Practice, we have updates to make to our website!! Please come back often as we make changes and add new content.

Thank you for stopping by to learn more about the ACPA Senior-Level Community of Practice (SLCoP). We are thrilled to have your voice and energy in helping us support the mission of ACPA and the SLCoP. Take the time to look through our pages and don’t hesitate to tell us how you want to get involved today.

Please contact us at or connect with the members of our Directorate Body with questions or ideas.

Our Mission

ACPA’s Senior-Level Community of Practice (SLCoP) engages senior-level higher education professionals through purposeful relationship building, identifying and collaborating around emerging issues in higher education, and creating and sharing signature professional development experiences.

our vision

ACPA’s Senior-Level Community of Practice is higher education’s most engaging, supportive, and connected community for senior-level colleagues across the profession.

brief history

1961 // President-elect Melvene D. Hardee creates the ACPA Commission system with Gordon Klopf during the summer of 1961. The Commissions were activated to develop the 1963 Boston, MA convention program. Originally, 12 Commissions were established, with the modern-day Senior-Level Community of Practice created as “Commission I.”

1973 // Commission I known as, “Commission I – Organization, Administration and Development of Student Personnel Services.” The date this additional descriptor was added is not known.

1980 // Commission I shares The Management Primer, a new publication from the commission, with more that 600 graduate student attendees of the national convention in Boston, MA.

1983 // Commission I and Commission III (Wellness) co-sponsor the “Task Force for Handicapped Services,” precursor to Standing Committee for Disability (2000) and the current Coalition for (Dis)Ability (2016). From 1989 until 1996, the Task Force operated as a group within Commission I.

1986 // Under the leadership of President Charles Schroeder, Commission I officially renamed the Commission for Administrative Leadership in November of 1986 during the mid-year Executive Council meetings held in St. Louis, MO.

2011 // CAL celebrates 50 years of service to at the ACPA11 Convention in Baltimore, MD. 

2021 // The ACPA Governing Board approves transitioning the Commission for Administrative Leadership into the new ACPA Senior-Level Community of Practice.

2021 // The Commission for Administrative Leadership / ACPA Senior-Level Community of Practice celebrates 60 years of service to ACPA at the ACPA21 Convention – A Virtual Experience.

how we define Senior-Level Professional

ACPA’s Senior-Level Community of Practice (SLCoP) defines senior-level professionals as those who serve in senior roles by position title. Included are colleagues with titles from ‘Director,’ up to and encompassing top-level titles like, ‘Vice President,’ ‘Vice Chancellor,’ ‘Provost,’ and ‘President or Chancellor.’ Included are all higher education professionals who serve in the Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) role, regardless of institutional title, institutional size, type, or structure. Additionally, SLCoP seeks to serve higher education colleagues who might self-identify as a senior professional based on years of service, regardless of their current position title or responsibilities. Although primarily focused on the needs of the aforementioned professionals, and in line with ACPA’s commitment to continuous professional development and personal growth, SLCoP welcomes all members of ACPA who are interested in our work and who might aspire to a senior-level role in higher education.

Senior-Level Support Network

The ACPA Senior-Level Community of Practice coordinates and hosts the ACPA Senior-Level Support Network. Our monthly conversations exist to discuss concerns and issues facing those in leadership positions across institutional size, type, and location. These low-key conversations are broadly themed with space for additional topics, relationship building, and unique or shared questions. Conversations are scheduled for the 3rd Thursday of each month at 3:00pm ET. Pre-registration required. Register to receive the access link(s) to the monthly conversations taking place.

News & Updates

Cal 2019 Convention

Cal at #ACPA19 – Boston, Massachusetts (USA) Each year, the Commission for Administrative Leadership plays an active role in the ACPA Convention through program sponsorships, directorate meetings, and networking opportunities to support our mission. At the 2019...

read more

upcoming SLCOP events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Meet the Directorate

Troy L. Seppelt, Ed.D.
Troy L. Seppelt, Ed.D.



Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Juliette Duke
Juliette Duke

Co-Lead, Educational Offerings


Senior Director – University Housing, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

Shammah Bermudez, Ed.D.
Shammah Bermudez, Ed.D.

Co-Lead, Educational Offerings


Director of Disability and Student Services, Mitchell Hamline School of Law


Bianca Hicks
Bianca Hicks

Co-Lead, Outreach and Communication


Director of Residence Life, Walsh University

Lindy Stein
Lindy Stein

Co-Lead, Outreach and Communication


Dean of Students, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Matthew Gregory
Matthew Gregory

Lead, Membership


Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Labouré College of Healthcare


Past Leadership

Many amazing colleagues have called Commision I, the Commission for Administrative Leadership, and the Senior-Level Community of Practice their professional home within ACPA. We honor their service and are thankful for all they contributed. Here is the list of colleagues who have served as Chair of Commission I, the Commission for Administrative Leadership, and now the ACPA Senior-Level Community of Practice (SLCoP).

2020- Troy L. Seppelt

2018-2020 – Gwen Schimek-Tischler

2016-2018 – Tricia Schwery Smith

2014-2016 – Francy Magee

2012-2014 – Melinda S. Farmer

2010-2012 – Timothy W. Gordon

2008-2010 – Kent Sampson

2006-2008 – Laura Bayless

2004-2006 – Steven C. Sutton

2002-2004 – William Wilson

2000-2002 – Timothy J. Pierson

1998-2000 – Carla E. Jones

1996-1998 – Tom Jackson, Jr

1994-1996 – Deborrah Hebert

1992-1994 – Sue Saunders


1990-1992 – Jean Paratore

1988-1990 – Sally Watson

1986-1988 – D. David Ostroth

1984-1986 – Arthur Shriberg

1982-1984 – Frederick R. Brodzinski

1980-1982 – Thomas J. Grites

1978-1980 – Jay R. Stormer

1976-1978 – David T. Borland

1974-1976 – William A. Bryan

1974 – Jack L. Churchill

1972-1974 – Robert Lawrence

1969-1972 – Robert Matron

1967-1969 – John J. Wittich

1966-1967 – Burns Crookston


1961 – Commission I Created

Get Involved in slcop

The Senior-Level Community of Practice (SLCoP) is always looking for interested colleagues or nominees for it’s next class of Directorate Body leaders. If you are interested in becoming more involved with SLCoP, and would like to help shape the direction in which we will move in the future, apply to become a member of the directorate today. Directorate Body members serve a three-year term.

For any questions, please contact Matthew Gregory, Lead for Membership for the Senior-Level Community of Practice, at

Ready to join?

Joining an Entity through the ACPA Member Portal automatically identifies you as a member of that Entity! You will begin to receive Entity communications through their respective email listserv and have access to any resources they share!

  1. Login to your ACPA Member Account
  2. Click on Community Groups (Chatter)
  3. Click Groups
  4. Click Active Groups
  5. Find the entity you want to join and within that group, click +Join

Contact APAN via email at to learn more about ACPA’s Senior-Level Community of Practice.

Any ACPA member can become involved and there are varying levels of involvement:

  • Become a Regional Ambassador
  • Attend our open business meeting at the annual ACPA convention
  • Review program proposals for the Convention
  • Submit a sponsored program proposal for Convention
  • Host a webinar

Additional involvement opportunities

slcop Awards

The depth and quality of work by student affairs educators, higher education scholars, and faculty colleagues too often goes unrecognized. Get Involved with SLCoP by recognizing and nominating a colleague, supervisor or supervisee, mentor, or other leader for a SLCoP Award.

Start gathering information today and get ready to recognize colleague!

Senior Level Professional Award

Awarded to colleagues with a minimum of 10 years in the profession with progressively more responsible leadership roles who have demonstrated expertise in creating a campus environment that promotes student learning. Nominees demonstrate outstanding individual contributions to innovation and responsive services and/or programs that address varied and emerging needs of students, as well as provided significant leadership in addressing issues for their respective institution.

Mid-Level Professional Award

Awarded to colleagues with a minimum of 5 years in the profession. In addition to outstanding individual contributions to their current institution, nominees clearly demonstrate potential for ongoing and senior-level success. Nominees demonstrate high levels of success in carrying out current responsibilities and sustained commitment to personal and professional growth. Nominations should speak to the individual’s potential and their development.

Innovative Practice: Application of the ACPA Strategic Imperative for Racial Justicve and Decolonization

Awarded to an individual or group actualizing and implementing the framework of the SIRJD through programmatic efforts, individual or collective practice, policy analysis and change, or scholarship. Nominations should clearly describe the actions taken, connect the work to the SIRJD guiding principles, and speak to how the individual or collective efforts support the articulated possible and desired outcomes of the SIRJD: Critical Consciousness, Radical Democracy, Humanization.

Award for Excellence in Institutional Change

Awarded to a group or division having collectively tackled a substantial institutional change project through the development of some new effort shown to produce exemplary results. Both the challenge being addressed and the results being produced are informed by assessment data at the appropriate level within the institution. Efforts recognized are those that can be illustrated as having embedded themselves within institutional culture so as to sustain the change and the results that have been produced. Nominations must include multiple individuals from within the same institution of higher education, at least one of whom must be a current ACPA member.

“Commission I” Outstanding Contribution Award

Honoring the more than 60 years since the creation of the modern day SLCoP as “Commission I” in 1961, this award recognizes a member of ACPA for contributions that support the mission and vision of the ACPA Senior-Level Community of Practice. Nominations must include examples of contributions that support our mission/vision on an individual campus, to higher education broadly, or within ACPA specifically. Open to any member of ACPA. Awardees are selected by the current Chair of SLCoP.

Distinguished Service to the Senior-Level Community of Practice

Awarded to a member of ACPA who has served on the SLCoP Directorate Body for a minimum of three years and has managed a variety of leadership responsibilities. Nominees must be a current member of ACPA and the Senior-Level Community of Practice.