New assistant vice president named to improve student success, inclusion

January 18, 2017 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

Dr. Michele Soliz has been named assistant vice president for student success and inclusion within the Division of Student Affairs.

In addition to leading the Office of Multicultural Student Success, Soliz will focus on strategic retention initiatives across the division and will have a reporting relationship to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.



“This position will support the University’s goals to enhance student success with a focus on the overall student experience on campus,” said Dr. Kaye M. Patten, senior vice president for student affairs. “Dr. Soliz’s experience as a dean of students and leading academic support services on campus and her passion for student engagement make her the perfect fit to fill this new role.”

Soliz will work to ensure the University is enhancing the student experience both inside and outside the classroom, Patten said.

“I am pleased that Dr. Soliz will have a formal role with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion,” said Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion. “This not only provides a clearer path for our divisions to collaborate on multicultural initiatives, but also enables Dr. Soliz to better utilize her retention expertise. This is an excellent move for the University and, most importantly, our students.”

Soliz, who was named to the new position effective Jan. 10, pending approval by the UT Board of Trustees, most recently served as the executive director for academic support services in the Office of the Provost, where she provided leadership to the Learning Enhancement Center, Writing Center and TRIO Student Support Services. In collaboration with partners across the institution, she has increased the usage and visibility of the services that help retain students and put them on the path to graduation.

Soliz, who previously served as the University’s dean of students, has been a committee member of the Latino Youth Summit and Multicultural Emerging Scholars Program since their inceptions. She is active in the UT Latino Alumni Affiliate, serves as a mentor to African-American female students in the Talented and Aspiring Women Leaders program, and teaches the course Managing Diversity in the Workplace.

“I am excited to engage students and colleagues in inclusion and retention efforts,” Soliz said. “I look forward to collaborating across campus to have a greater impact on the overall student experience.”

She received a bachelor of arts degree in ethnic studies from Bowling Green State University and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from UT in higher education, with a research focus on Latino student baccalaureate completion rates and student engagement.

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