Student Activities Center

Selecting a Replacement Adviser or Co-Adviser

Some organizations have a staff member who serves as their adviser as part of their official university responsibilities; whereas, other organizations will specifically need to identify and select a replacement or co-adviser. Advisers shall be faculty members whenever possible in order to promote student-faculty interaction outside of the classroom. Professional and Scientific (P&S) or Merit staff members with advising experience and/or relevant expertise may also serve as university advisers. Primary Advisers must be employed at Iowa State University on at least a halftime permanent basis. Graduate assistants may serve as an additional adviser in conjunction with advisers who meet the requirements stated above; however, they will not have signing authority (financial transactions, vouchers, intramurals, contracts, event authorization forms, facility contracts, etc.).

It is helpful when selecting an adviser if organizations determine the role they wish the adviser to assume in the organization. Organizations should identify expectations of the replacement or co-adviser and share them with the person being considered. Additionally, the organization should allow the candidate time to present his or her own expectations. Questions to consider may include:

  • How much involvement is expected or needed?

  • How often does the group meet? Is the adviser expected to attend organization meetings?

  • How many, and what types of activities does the group plan?

  • How experienced are the student leaders?

  • What kind of skills would the adviser bring the group? How do these skills match the needs of the organization?

  • What are some of the problem areas that your organization especially needs or expects to need advisory assistance in dealing with?

  • What are some of the ways you think the adviser could be helpful to you, both as a group and as individuals?

  • Do you want the adviser to be a silent observer or an active participant at meetings, or somewhere in between?

  • Do you want the adviser to interrupt if she/he thinks the group is getting off the track? When? How?

  • If things get unruly, do you want the adviser to interrupt or remain silent?

  • Would you be interested in having the adviser present feedback reports to the group?

  • Are there areas of your organization where the adviser might be less involved?

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