Roles and Responsibilities

In fall 2010, we asked organizational leaders what they needed from their advisors and how they utilized their advisor. From the responses, we have compiled the list of responsibilities from the student perspective, as well as provided insights on the expectations the University has for advisors.

Responsibilities to the Organization (Student Perspective)

  • Be familiar with the organization’s goals, constitution and any other relevant paperwork
  • Attend organizational events and meetings, as needed or as requested
  • Stay up to date on organizational happenings
  • Advise the group in relation to University policies and procedures
  • Provide advice and input
  • Encourage participation from the entire organization.
  • Challenge organizational standards and encourage growth
  • Help students reflect upon their experiences and how to successfully market transferrable skills
  • Mediate internal conflicts (if necessary)
  • Help build overall team morale
  • Provide assistance during transition times
  • Be available to help
  • Provide insight on the past (i.e. past projects, initiatives, conflicts/troubles, successes, etc.)
  • Sign necessary paperwork

Responsibilities to the Organization (University Perspective)

  • Serve as an advocate and guide to the organization
  • Help the organization be successful
  • Mitigate risky behavior, events and/or programs the organization tries to pursue.
  • Help students reflect upon their experiences and how to successfully market transferrable skills
  • Stay up to date on what the organization is doing
  • Consider yourself the person that helps with the students, not the one that controls the organization
  • Help the organization understand and abided by University Policies and Procedures
  • Help the organization stay up to date with Union & Involvement Services
  • Consult with Union & Involvement Services staff as needed

Roles of the Advisor 

Mechanic – Knows how to fix and fine tune

Psychic –  Can read people’s minds

Gambler – Willing to take risks

Musician – Keeps things in harmony

Analyst – Figures out all the angles

Diplomat – Knows what to say when

Disciplinarian – Confronts the people

Caretaker – Always aware of feelings

Mediator– Has to sit in the middle

Actor/Actress – Plays all the parts well

Counselor – Has a listening ear

Architect – Makes the plans and foundation

Soldier – Knows what battles to fight

Administrator – Takes care of the paperwork

Gopher – When no one else will do it

Quality Control – Makes sure performance is up to par

Friend – There for support

Devil’s Advocate – Looks at all sides

Teacher – Leads by example

Author – Who else write all those memos?!

Juggler – Handles more than one thing at a time

Motivator – Gotta keep them going

Navigator – Can get people from one point to another

Gardener – Helps others grow

Lawyers – Knows the liabilities

Auditor – Knows financial status

From Schreiber, V. and Pfleghaar, E. “Supervising vs. Advising”

UMR -ACUHO – 1999