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National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education

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Meet the 2024-2025 NAPAHE Board Chair: Michael Sass

Michael Sass headshot

Meet Your New 2024-2025 NAPAHE Board Chair

Michael A. Sass, Chief of Staff at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis (MO)

“Be good and do good.”

These 5 words are something I say to each of my children before we all leave the house for work and school each weekday. No matter whether you ascribe these words to holy scripture, to John or Abigail Adams, or to some other source, the recitation of this sentence has become a habit that has positively impacted our daily lives. It has also become a quiet mantra for me.

As I humbly accepted the gavel during my transition to the role of NAPAHE Board Chair from Michael Johnson (University of Houston, TX), at the recent Annual Business Meeting in Washington D.C., these words were a flowing symphony in my mind. During his tenure, Mike Johnson expertly guided our organization through an allegro first movement which included our search for a new executive director. I thank him for his leadership as it allows me to assume the care of our amazing organization entering what I hope is a slower and more lyrical second movement.

During my nearly 15 years as a member of NAPAHE, I have witnessed first-hand the unparalleled resources that our association provides to professionals who support leaders in higher education. Whether through building a network of those who “get what you do” or through growing each day because of professional development opportunities, we can “be good” at whatever is asked of us. These tools, along with our hearts for service, propel us to ensure that we also “do good” for our leaders, our campuses, and our communities.

As I think about our work together this year, we want to continue to support you in your growth and be champions for your success. This begins with being sure that our organization and our leaders appropriately represent the growing diversity of our members. Additionally, taking a more deliberate and intentional approach to succession planning will be key to ensuring NAPAHE’s long-term vitality. Accomplishing these two things will not only strengthen the already outstanding value we offer through our membership but will ensure that we have the best of our community leading us well into the future.

Through it all, I know that our greatness is because of you, our members. To continue to elevate our profession and strengthen our future, we need you and your ideas. Whether your career symphony is in its first movement or in its fourth, I invite you to send me your thoughts on ways we can continue to add value to your membership. I also know that our excellent executive director, Stuart Schmidt, would welcome the opportunity to receive your suggestions. Please also consider participating in our committees, volunteering for projects, enrolling in our Peer Connections program, or just helping share with those you know across higher education the great benefits that NAPAHE provides you.

I am truly honored and feel very privileged to have been elected to serve as NAPAHE's Board Chair for this year. I thank you for the trust you have placed in me to do so. I look forward to the year ahead and I promise that I will continue to be guided by the mantra to “be good and do good.”

Chair, NAPAHE Board of Directors

Chief of Staff
University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis (MO)