Restructuring and Rethinking Student Affairs with FLSA (Webcast Recording)



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Learn about how to positively rethink and restructure the work that your student affairs units do in response to new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations that take effect on December 1, 2016. This online training will delve into how your department can structure its operations to provide the best services to students while maintaining a regular work week. You will leave with a better understanding of:

  • What the regulatory changes mean for you and your work
  • Two methods for moving your department forward in a positive way
  • How to apply one or both of the methods to your unique context

While the recent ruling puts a hold on the new rules – for now – higher ed leaders would be wise to understand the rationale for the proposed change and to use the additional time to identify how to proactively address the underlying issues. During the webcast, we will be responsive to the current federal injunction, and our speakers are prepared to talk about that, and what it means for FLSA overtime rule implementation. We will also talk about steps that you and your institution can take in the interim to help prepare you for the changes ahead.

Is FLSA a New Beginning for Student Affairs Professionals?

Much of the programming that is done to train student affairs professionals on FLSA regulations is approached through a lens of negativity and limitation. In this webcast, we will help student affairs professionals, leaders, and graduate preparation faculty learn how this regulatory change can and will be a very positive cultural shift for student affairs to enact changes that we have been talking about for years.

We are purposely hosting this webcast after the regulations have taken effect (December 1st) in order to help student affairs leaders continue broader conversation and action concerning positive changes in student affairs work culture, and how this will shape the future of the field. While we will talk about processes for making those staffing and work hour changes, we will help your team become change leaders for a positive future for student affairs.

Who Should Attend

We recommend leaders responsible for the structure and operations of student affairs departments attend this training. This may include:

  • Vice presidents of student affairs
  • Directors of student affairs units
  • Dean of students
  • HR Staff
  • Graduate faculty in student affairs programs

Learning Outcome

After participating in this online training, you will be able to reimagine and restructure your student affairs operations based on the new FLSA regulations.


  • Quick overview of 12/1/16 regulatory changes
  • Two methods (and current examples) for moving positively into the future
    • Restructuring the work
      • Good work rewarded with more work
      • When do we work?
    • Rethinking the work
      • Necessary work
      • Connecting the dots
      • Types of classifications
      • Culture change
  • Application and Review
    • Where do we go from here?


Dawn Ohanessian, Bridgewater College Director of Residence Life

Dawn Ohanessian is currently the Director of Residence Life at Bridgewater College, a small, private liberal arts college in Bridgewater, Virginia. In July 2016, Bridgewater College live-in professional staff made the switch to non-exempt staff as specified by the FLSA, becoming one of the first colleges in the country to make this change. This experience has led to many learning experiences, professional discussions, and an upcoming presentation on FLSA at the Virginia Student Services Conference (VSSC) in November.

Dawn has previously worked in Residence Life at Seton Hall University, LaSalle University, the University of Georgia, and Elizabethtown College. She served on the Leadership Council of the Mid-Atlantic Association of College and University Housing Officers (MACUHO) from 2010 to 2013, and attended the National Housing Training Institute (NHTI) is 2009. Dawn has presented at state, regional, and national conferences on topics ranging from Student Development Theory to Successfully Working with Parents.

Dr. Brent Paterson, Asst. to the President, Illinois State University

Brent Paterson has served in leadership roles at Illinois State University since 2001, and currently serves as Assistant to the President. His career in higher education spans more than 35 years holding positions in admissions, residence life, student conduct, and student affairs administration at four universities.  Prior to becoming Assistant to the President, Brent served as Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Illinois State University. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and Foundations, teaching courses in the college student personnel administration program. Brent spent 17 years in administrative roles at Texas A&M University, including serving as Dean of Student Life.

Brent has been active in NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the Association for Student Conduct Affairs (ASCA), and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA). In 2015, Brent was named a Pillar of the Profession by NASPA for sustained professional distinction in higher education. He also is a recipient of the D. Parker Young Award from ASCA for outstanding scholarly and research contributions in the area of higher education law.

Brent has published over 30 articles and book chapters, and is co-author of three books on higher education. He also served as editor of the Journal of Student Conduct Administration and associate editor of The College Student Affairs Journal. He is co-author of an article in the Fall 2016 edition of Leadership Exchange, entitled “Managing the FLSA Final Overtime Rule:  Resources for Student Affairs Compliance.”  In April, Brent participated in discussions between higher education leaders and representatives from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Labor regarding the implications for higher education in implementing FLSA Overtime Rule.


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