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Division of Student Affairs Reorganization Announced

The past year has been marked by some wonderful achievements for the University of Houston:

  • Recognition from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a nationally-competitive Tier One public research university.
  • Recognition from Princeton Review as one of the 376 “Best Colleges in America.”
  • Recognition from the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For.”

One of the major themes for President Khator and the entire university community, and one approved three years ago by the Board of Regents as a measure of self-assessment and public accountability, is student success. This year:

  • Enrollment reached 39,825, an all-time high!
  • The freshmen average SAT is 1114, an all-time high.
  • 81% of the freshmen returned as sophomores, an all-time high.
  • UH is the second most diverse research university in the nation.

Going forward, President Khator has asked that student success, particularly increasing the graduation rate, continue to be our “no-excuse priority.” In her fall address, President Khator stated, “we must continue to focus on student success inside and outside the classroom and we must do so whole-heartedly.”

As we work together to create a Tier One Division of Student Affairs, it is important the organizational structure of the division be appropriately aligned to provide outstanding programs and services to encourage student engagement and learning in support of student success. As a result, we have made some changes in our divisional leadership structure and realigned units/departments and functional areas of responsibility. These changes are reflected in the attached organizational chart, and will become effective January 1, 2012.

Highlights of the changes are:

  • All Associate and Assistant Vice President positions will be titled Student Affairs. The use of the titles Student Development and Student Services is being eliminated.
  • The creation of the position of Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. This position will supervise University Career Services, Forensics/Debate, student success initiatives (academic partnerships, First Year Experience collaborations, Faculty Senate liaison), strategic planning, assessment, marketing and communications, advancement, student affairs committees, student housing initiatives assistance, and UH system support.
  • The creation of the position of Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Health and Wellness. This position will be responsible for the UH Health Center, Counseling & Psychological Services, Campus Recreation, and UH Wellness.
  • The position held by Dr. William Munson will have the title of Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. This area will assume some additional responsibilities regarding commuter student services, non-traditional student services, and transfer students.
  • The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Student Life, the position held by Keith Kowalka, will report directly to the Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Student Affairs. Previously this position reported to the Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students. Additionally, this position will assume responsibility for student media (Daily Cougar, Coog Radio, and Student Video Network) and the Student Information and Assistance Center.
  • The business service functions of the division will be led by Patricia Sayles as the Executive Director of Business Services. A new organizational structure for the business services area of the division is currently in development.
  • Patricia Magdaleno, who has served as the Interim Executive Administrative Assistant, will return to her position of Executive Secretary. I am currently interviewing finalists for the Executive Administrative Assistant position.
  • The position of Associate Vice President for Student Services has been eliminated. Dr. David Small will assume the position of Executive Director of University Career Services.
  • The part-time position of Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs has been eliminated effective December 31, 2011. Juanita Jackson came out of retirement several years ago to assist the students and the division on a part-time basis. I want to thank Juanita for over 42 years of dedicated service to the University of Houston community.

The search is underway for a new Director of Campus Recreation and we are being assisted in the search process by Spelman and Johnson. We plan to have finalists on campus the week of December 12, 2011.

I appreciate everyone’s support during this time of change and transition.

The Division of Student Affairs – “Supporting Student Success”

Dr. Richard Walker - Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Student Affairs

Organizational Chart (effective 1-1-2012)