Student Affairs

Supervising Former Peers in Student Affairs: Challenges and Opportunities

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Aaron W. Hughey
Price: $98.00

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Effective supervision can sometimes be a challenge for even the most experienced leader. It can become especially tricky for the manager who has been promoted and is now in the position of having to supervise staff members who used to be co-workers and peers. The presenter was faced with this situation a couple of times during his career and speaks from experience regarding the best ways to handle this unique supervisory situation. This webinar will provide participants with the tools needed to successfully negotiate this unique and challenging - but not that uncommon - situation in higher education.

When you are promoted into a position that requires you to supervise staff members who used to be co-workers, you must adopt a new philosophy, a new attitude, and new leadership strategies. You have to recognize that the rules have changed and in order to succeed you must understand what the new rules are and how to employ them effectively. We will be reviewing three actual case studies involving supervisors who were promoted and had to manage their former co-workers. There will also be several discussion questions and a brief questionnaire designed to give participants feedback on their potential to effectively supervise former peers.


  • Characteristics of effective supervision
  • The dynamics of staff member-to-staff member
  • The dynamics of supervisor-to-staff member interaction
  • Considerations unique to supervising former peers
  • Specific strategies for supervising former peers
  • Navigating potential problems with supervising former peers
  • Best practices for supervising formers peers


  • basic supervisory skills
  • basic human relations skills
  • special strategies and skills needed to supervise former peers
  • potential problems that can arise when supervising former peers
  • solutions to potential problems that can arise when supervising former peers
  • specific actions to avoid when supervising former peers
  • best practices in supervising former peers


Anyone in student affairs in any supervisory position in which their job responsibilities require them to manage former peers; i.e., anyone promoted to a supervisory role over those who used to be their peers (professional or paraprofessional).


Dr. Aaron W. Hughey is a professor and program coordinator in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University. He supervises the graduate degree program in student affairs in higher education as well as graduate certificate programs in international student services and career services. He was head of the department for five years before returning to the faculty in 2008. He also served as Interim Director of WKU's Knicely Institute for Economic Development. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he was the Associate Director of University Housing. He has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 50 refereed publications on such subjects as higher education administration, student affairs, counseling and testing, diversity, leadership, teams, and management. He consults extensively with regional companies and schools and provides training sessions and programs on a variety of topics such as total quality, statistical process control, teams, diversity, leadership/supervision, change management and motivation.

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