A description of the kinds of educated humans to be cultivated at a particular institution can be found in the college or university vision statement. The extent that vision is reflected in the governing models of advising operations, known by personnel, and transformed into day-to-day activities was assessed through a NACADA membership survey. Findings suggest a significant disconnect between the lofty educational aspirations and priorities stated in vision statements and the pragmatics of academic advising operations. The trickle-down effect of institutional vision through advising units is further impeded by a lack of access to and familiarity with vision statements, particularly at large, public institutions. Increased advising-supervisor access to upper administration and more carefully crafted vision statements can make visions actionable.

Relative Emphasis: theory, practice, research

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Author notes

Robert Abelman (r.abelman@csuohio.edu) and David Atkin are professors of communication at Cleveland State University and the University of Connecticut, respectively.

Amy Dalessandro and Sharon Snyder-Suhy are doctoral students at Kent State University and Purdue University, respectively.

Patricie Janstova completed her master's degree at Cleveland State University.

This investigation was funded by a 2005 NACADA Region V Scholarship Grant. We thank Marsha A. Miller, NACADA Assistant Director for Resources and Services, for her valuable expertise in refining and posting the Web-based survey.