Embracing the Future at the 2024 UHS Leadership Conference - University of Houston
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DSA News
June 11, 2024

The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs recently hosted the 8th annual University of Houston System (UHS) Leadership Conference for the student affairs and enrollment services staff from across the UH System. This year’s theme was "4Casting the Future: Strategies for Success." Hosted at the University of Houston’s Student Center, the conference was a key event addressing the challenges of higher education and celebrating innovative solutions.

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Photograph Courtesy of the Dean of Students.

Under the theme "4Casting the Future: Strategies for Success," the conference focused on matters facing higher education today. The conference planning team emphasized formulating forward-looking strategies that benefit the respective institutions, the students and the broader communities they serve. The conference reaffirmed an unwavering dedication to professional advancement, collaboration, and developing connections among the University of Houston System's four institutions.

The event was planned by a committee comprised of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services staff from the University of Houston (UH), University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), and University of Houston-Victoria (UHV), and it was spearheaded by Tri-Chairs Dr. Daniel Maxwell, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, Dr. Monica Thompson, executive director for university career services at UH and Dr. Patrick Lukingbeal, executive director of integrated enrollment services at UH. The collective leadership of the planning committee and their foresight were pivotal in achieving a successful event.

The event started with the President of Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Tomikia P. LeGrande, President of Prairie View A&M University, delivering the keynote address along with an engaging panel discussion moderated by Dr. Maxwell. Dr. LeGrande's distinguished career and visionary leadership in higher education energized and motivated attendees, setting a dynamic tone for the conference. Dr. Paul Kittle, Vice President of Student Affairs, addressed the conference, stating, “The landscape of higher education is ever-changing. To ensure student success, we must be forward-thinking, creative, and open to new tools. The presenters and participants at the UHS Leadership Conference demonstrate our commitment to student success and professional advancement.”

A standout feature of the conference was its 40 workshops, each focusing on one of four session themes. Best Practices, Collaboration & Building Bridges, New Horizons, and Professional Development. These sessions, enriched by the expertise of numerous presenters from across the UH System, played a crucial role in advancing the conference's objectives. The conference set a new registration record with over 300 participants, showcasing a strong commitment to learning and innovation.

The Best Practices sessions offered insights into successful programs, services, and policies on UH campuses. Collaboration & Building Bridges focused on initiatives that create partnerships between departments to support student success. New Horizons explored new trends and innovations, encouraging strategic thinking among administrators. Professional Development emphasized emphasizes the importance of lifelong learning for administrators, providing resources, expertise, and best practices to create change in our everyday professional lives.

The final event of the conference, UHS Talks, featured a "Student Voices" panel where student leaders Sarah Khan (UH), Vilma Cerda (UHCL), Jacquelyn Velazquez (UHV), and Ravinder Nagi (UHD) shared their perspectives about life, education, and what it takes to achieve success as a university student. Facilitator Antrechelle Nova, Digital and Social Media Manager (UHD), ensured the discussions were engaging and impactful. Their contributions highlighted the importance of including student voices in shaping the future of higher education and demonstrated the direct impact of leadership strategies on student lives.

As the UHS Leadership Conference ended, participants departed with many exchanged ideas, innovative strategies, and collaborative endeavors aimed at navigating the future of higher education. This conference epitomized a commitment to confronting present challenges and forging a trajectory of success and advancement for institutions, students, and communities alike.

Written by Jose Esquivel, Marketing and Communications Intern (Student Worker)