The University of Akron requires that each registered student organization have a faculty adviser. It is the philosophy of this University that, by sharing knowledge and experiences, the adviser can impact the quality of the student organization.
Co-curricular opportunities positively complement classroom learning and enhance a student's University experience.
Obviously the relationship between an adviser and an organization will vary, not only with each organization, but from time to time within an organization. Nevertheless, the general concerns of the adviser remain constant. Student Development has outlined the expectations of a faculty adviser in order to give both the adviser and the organization a base from which to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. We suggest the following:
The adviser recognizes and supports participation in student organizations for its contribution to the educational and personal development of students.
Advisers should work with student organizations but should not direct or dictate the organization's programs or activities. Advisers should be frank however, in offering ideas, considerations, or ideas for the group's discussion.
The adviser should stay well informed about the plans and activities of the group. It is expected that advisers will attend as many meetings and activities of the group as possible and will consult frequently with the student officers.
The adviser must be aware of the goals and directions of their organization and help the group evaluate its progress toward reaching those goals.
The adviser can provide continuity within the group from year to year. He or she should be familiar with the constitution and bylaws of the organization and be prepared to assist with the interpretation of such.
Advisers ensure the group's compliance with University policies and procedures.
Advisers should provide financial supervision to the organization. Advisers should also be aware of the general financial condition of the organization and make sure the group is keeping accurate and accessible financial records.
The adviser should assist in orienting new officers and assist in developing the leadership skills of members.
The adviser should be prepared to deal with major problems or emergencies within the organization.
Advisers monitor group functioning and encourage members to fully participate, assume appropriate responsibility for group activities, and maintain a balance between academic activities and extra commitments.
The adviser must be a link to the University administration and serve the group as a resource person.
The voluntary association between an adviser and an organization should continue as long as both parties believe the relationship is productive and mutually satisfying.
For the adviser/organization relationship to be successful, the student leaders must also be aware of their responsibilities to their adviser. "These may include meeting regularly with advisers and informing them well in advance of all organization meetings and activities, allowing advisers an opportunity to express opinions on issues which affect the welfare of the organization and the University, and letting the advisers know that their efforts and support are appreciated." (Reinhardy, 1981)
Student Development strongly suggests open discussion between organization members and advisers to define the adviser's role and set reasonable expectations which are agreed upon by all parties. If support and guidance to this process is needed, the Coordinator of Student Activities is a ready resource for both faculty and students.