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Approximately six years ago Brenda Smith-Allen, Executive Assistant to the Provost of Clemson University had an opportunity to attend a national organization for Presidential Assistants in higher education (NAPAHE). The NAPAHE meeting was outstanding and it demonstrated the advantages of networking with persons who share similar duties and responsibilities.

With the encouragement of Clemson’s Provost and the support of Clemson University as the fiduciary agent why not increase the interactions and enhance the conversations among provost assistants and senior academic affairs executive team support personnel at a national meeting, providing a forum specifically to discuss matters important to themselves and their institutions?

Thus, emerged a new organization specifically for Provost Assistants and senior academic affairs executive team support personnel from public, private, 4- and 2-year institutions; from not-for-profit, for-profit, research, liberal arts, and technical colleges; from urban and suburban, large and small, specialized and comprehensive, US-based and international universities, colleges, community colleges, and universities to promote conversations important for all types of institutions of post-secondary education. The new organization would focus on issues shared throughout academic affairs in higher education, regardless of particular institutional mission.

This idea was then shared with a small group of provost assistants across this great nation who were in agreement about the need for a venue in which they could share concerns and best practices, provide mentoring for one another and more junior colleagues, and learn about academic leadership issues across institutional sectors.

Henceforth, the inaugural meeting of what has become Provost Assistants in Higher Education National Association (PAHENA) Meeting took place in Indiana Indianapolis November 2015.

While PAHENA continues to evolve we are planning for a formal meeting to take place in March of 2017. Please join us in Washington DC March 12 through March 14, and become a part of history in the making as we roadmap the future of this important national association.