Originally established as Region IV, the region split into east and west in the 1960s to better support members across a large geographical area. Today, Region IV-W strives to continuously develop new professional development opportunities, strengthen the bonds between our institutional members, and use a unique geographical perspective to address local issues. Highlights of Region IV-W include:
In the mid-1960s, NASPA established the regions to provide members an opportunity to connect on a local level. The regions were established in alignment with the six national accreditation regions. Shortly after the six regions were established, Region IV was divided into two regions, IV-West and IV-East, in order to better serve the needs of members given the challenges presented by the geographical expanse of the region. The original Region IV included Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin (now IV-E) and North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming (now IV-W).
Chester "Chet" Peters, Vice President of Student Affairs at Kansas State University, served as the first NASPA Region IV-W Vice President from 1967–1968, and later served as NASPA President (the position now known as Board Chair) from 1971–1972. Chet had a passion for wood carving, and upon his retirement in 1985 he began carving custom gavels for NASPA leaders. The Region IV-W Regional Director continues to use a gavel carved by Chet Peters as the official gavel during their two-year term of office, and Chet is remembered fondly as the "father" of Region IV-W.
The first NASPA IV-W Regional Conference was held in 1970 in Kansas City, Missouri. NASPA IV-W continues to host a regional conference each year in early November. In 2016, for the first time, Regions IV-East and IV-West held a joint conference in St. Louis with great success.
During the November 2013 Region IV-W Advisory Board Meeting, the Advisory Board expressed concern with the NASPA Board of Director’s decision to use the term "Chief" Student Affairs Officer. The Advisory Board felt the use of "Chief" was not respectful of indigenous peoples or NASPA’s diverse members and institutions. The Advisory Board communicated its strong preference for the continued use of the term "Senior" Student Affairs Officer. During its May 2014 Advisory Board Meeting, the IV-W Advisory Board voted not to use the word "Chief" when describing activities, resources, or services in the region regarding the Senior Student Affairs Officer. Based on legislation from Region IV-W, the national Board of Directors adopted the same practice in July 2014.