Professionals can use the core competencies to better understand the foundation of knowledge and expertise required in the unions and activities field.

Specifically, consider the core competencies:

  • When developing training programs for graduate students and staff
  • For self-reflection regarding skills and opportunities for growth
  • During career planning exercises, understanding that senior leaders must have expertise in all competency areas
  • As part of job descriptions, to craft consistent roles and responsibilities across the profession
  • When determining assessment criteria or conducting evaluation projects 

A booklet of the complete core competencies is available in the ACUI Bookstore.

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Core Competencies


The ability to successfully exchange information through verbal and nonverbal symbols and behaviors. 

  • Oral Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
Facilities Management

The ability to successfully maintain attractive, safe, fully operable built environments.

  • General Administration and Management
  • Daily Facilities Management and Assessment
  • Environmental and Energy/Utilities Management
  • Building Design and Construction
Fiscal Management

The ability to develop and manage financial systems through responsible stewardship of fiscal resources.

  • Basic Accounting
  • Technology Related to Financial Management
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Budget Development and Management
  • Contracting and Contract Negotiation
  • Fundraising
Human Resource Development

The ability to interact with staff members and to manage staff resources in a consistent and equitable manner.

  • Organizational Development
  • Human Resources Laws and Institutional Practices
  • Hiring and Promotion
  • Training Skills
  • Supervision
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Volunteer Management
  • Healthy Lifestyles
Intercultural Proficiency

The ability to successfully communicate, understand, and interact among persons with differing assumptions that exist because of ethnic and cultural orientations.

  • Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity
  • Communication among Cultures
  • Cultural Symbols and Artifacts
  • Global Knowledge

The ability to develop and communicate a vision so that others commit to fulfilling the mission and goals of the organization.

  • Self-Knowledge
  • Role Modeling
  • Integrity
  • Political Adeptness
  • Decision Making and Conflict Resolution
  • Group Facilitation
  • Motivation
  • Empowerment
  • Problem Solving
  • Change
  • Vision and Planning
  • Collaboration and Partnerships

The ability to coordinate, oversee, administer, and evaluate the daily operations of our facilities, programs, services, and activities.

  • Customer Service
  • Administrative Savvy
  • Knowledge of Relevant Laws/Legal Requirements
  • Assessment
  • Policy Development and Implementation
  • Contracting
  • Project Management

The ability to identify primary markets and to develop and use effective promotions, communications, and informational pieces in a variety of media and formats.

  • Principles of Marketing
  • Principles of Advertising
  • Principles of Public Relations
  • Principles of Communication

The ability to identify organizational needs and to initiate strategies aligned with the institutional mission, strategic direction, and values.

  • Establishing Priorities
  • Assessment
  • Goal Setting
  • Strategic Planning
  • Preparing for the Unexpected
  • Real Estate Development
Student Learning

The ability to create educational environments and experiences that intentionally provide students with opportunities for developing intellectual and interpersonal skills, beyond the traditional time and place boundaries.

  • Student Development Theory
  • Instruction and Training
  • Identifying Desired Outcomes
  • Assessing Outcomes
  • Advising

The ability to understand the overall intent of and to choose from appropriate tools, equipment, and procedures for service delivery and problem solving.

  • Technology Resources
  • Technology Application and Administration