Division of Student Affairs Unveils Transformative Strategic Plan for 2023-2027 - University of Houston
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DSA News
December 22, 2023

The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) at the University of Houston (UH) is poised to embark on an exciting journey with its new Strategic Plan for 2023-2027. Led by Dr. Scott Radimer, a steering committee composed of members from the Division's Executive Leadership Team, in collaboration with input from the Senior Leadership Team, has crafted a roadmap that aligns seamlessly with the university's overarching goals to become a Top 50 institution.


“The Division of Student Affairs is a large and comprehensive organization that provides direct support to students along with innovative programs, services, and events which contribute to a positive Cougar Experience. As UH moves towards a Top 50 institution, the division’s new strategic plan provides an opportunity to track how we contribute to meeting the critical metrics to achieve this goal,” stated Dr. Daniel Maxwell, interim vice president for student affairs.

Mission, Vision, and Values Reimagined

At the heart of this strategic plan lies a redefined Mission, Vision, and set of Values, reflecting a commitment to cultivating a vibrant and inclusive student experience. The new Mission emphasizes the Division's dedication to fostering belonging, well-being, and student success through engagement, discovery, and learning.

The Vision sets an ambitious goal for the DSA, aspiring to build a transformative Cougar Experience reflective of a Top 50 Public University. Embedded within this vision are the core Values of Care, Empowerment, Collaboration, Integrity, Innovation, and Community, each accompanied by a detailed definition to guide the Division's actions and decisions.

Strategic Goals Aligned with University Aspirations

The Strategic Plan's foundation is aligned with the university's aspirations to achieve Top 50 status. The plan outlines three primary purposes to drive the division's efforts:

1. Achieving Top 50 Status

The DSA aims to elevate UH to Top 50 status by improving key indicators such as student retention, graduation rates, social mobility, and alumni support. This involves strategic initiatives like increasing retention rates for First Time in College (FTIC) students and enhancing engagement with Pell-eligible FTIC students.

2. Enhancing UH's Strategic Priorities

To contribute to UH's strategic priorities, the DSA will focus on enhancing student career preparation, community engagement, and securing competitive funding. The plan includes initiatives to increase student career-related experiences, community volunteering, faculty/staff involvement in DSA programs, and funding from grants and donations.

3. Fostering Student Engagement

The DSA places a strong emphasis on fostering student engagement by creating a sense of belonging, enhancing academic success, and increasing overall student involvement. Initiatives include lowering costs for economically disadvantaged students, increasing engagement at UH Sugar Land and UH Katy campuses, and promoting interaction with the Third Ward community.

Comprehensive Measurement Metrics

A critical aspect of the plan is the establishment of comprehensive metrics to measure success in achieving the outlined goals. The DSA will evaluate progress toward Top 50 status through indicators such as FTIC retention rates, FTIC Pell-eligible retention rates, alumni donations, and the value of services provided to financially needy students.

Enhancing UH's strategic priorities will be measured through metrics like career-related experiences, community volunteering, faculty/staff service hours, student-athlete engagement, and funds raised from grants and donations.

Fostering student engagement will be assessed through student feedback on a sense of belonging, the number of students served, the percentage of the addressable population engaged, external ratings of student employees' competencies, and academic performance metrics.

Looking Ahead

The unveiling of the Division of Student Affairs' new Strategic Plan marks a significant milestone in the university's journey toward excellence. With a clear roadmap and measurable objectives, the Division is poised to make substantial contributions to UH's broader goals while ensuring an enriching and transformative experience for every student. Dr. Monica D. Thompson, interim associate vice president, stated, “With a dynamic and talented DSA staff already contributing to our students' success, the new DSA strategic plan is poised to propel us forward as one of the fastest-moving institutions with the second most diverse student population. This strategic blueprint is not merely a roadmap; it's a commitment to enhancing our students' sense of belonging, fostering social mobility, refining career preparation, and perpetually refining the student experience; all while ensuring unwavering support for students to succeed. Over the past year, we've diligently crafted a plan designed to meticulously track student progress, providing invaluable data that will catapult us to a coveted top 50 university status while ensuring the sustainability of our progressive reputation for years to come.”

As the plan unfolds over the next four years, the university community eagerly anticipates the positive impact it will have on the Cougar experience and the realization of UH's vision to be a Top 50 Public University.

Written by: Germaine Washington, Director of Marketing and Communications – Division of Student Affairs