Student Affairs realigns resources to maximize student centeredness

January 29, 2013 | UToday
By Tobin J. Klinger

As the Division of Student Affairs embraces new synergies created by joining the Division of Academic Affairs, Dr. Kaye Patten Wallace, senior vice president for the student experience, is using the opportunity to re-engineer and better serve students.

In a memorandum to personnel in the division, Patten Wallace outlined realignments while reaffirming the institution’s emphasis on creating a student-centered environment.

“As you know, student-centeredness is at the heart of Dr. [Scott] Scarborough’s strategic plan, ‘Imagine 2017,’” Patten Wallace wrote. “In keeping with this vision, we are launching a strategic change by re-engineering our resources within the UT Division of Student Affairs. This is a carefully considered step in which a dual focus on heightened student-centeredness and experiential learning is fundamental.”

Patten Wallace’s plan capitalizes on the “expertise of our senior leadership,” which she hopes will result in “a more focused approach to student centeredness that will ultimately reach, engage and serve more students.”

While many of the operations within Student Affairs will remain unchanged, the memorandum outlines the following realignments:

• Academic Support, under the leadership of Angela Paprocki, will include the Office of Academic Access, all tutoring services, and First-Year Experience and Advising;

• Dr. Michele Martinez, will work more closely on the academic side of the enterprise, with responsibilities related to First-Year Experience and Advising;

• The Office of Excellence and Multicultural Student Success, previously separate entities, will be combined under the expanded leadership of David Young, director of the Office of Excellence;

• Student Engagement and Involvement will be under the leadership of Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for the Center for International Studies and Programs. This area, which includes campus programming and key student events/organizations, will fold international students into the overall student life at the University;

• Experiential Learning, also Spann’s responsibility, includes internships/externships, community service learning opportunities, study abroad, the National Student Exchange and Camp Adventure; he will report directly to the provost;

• Counseling, Education and Outreach is under the leadership of Dr. Stanley Edwards, director of the Counseling Center. This is an expansion of the Counseling Center to include educational outreach services: alcohol, tobacco and drug education, and sexual assault awareness and prevention;

• The New Student Orientation Program will be moved from the division and relocated under Enrollment Management. Within the division, the Office of Student Conduct will be moved to the Office of Residence Life to allow for a more holistic oversight of the student judicial system;

• Tamika Dobbins will assume a new role as interim dean of the student experience, an expansion of her previous role of senior service excellence specialist. In her new position, she will fulfill administrative functions for the Office of the Dean of Students; and

• Tony Urbina will provide the leadership for the Office for the Student Experience and the UT Student Experience Steering Committee.

“This strategic restructuring will allow more ideas to be regularly brought to the table and should facilitate more effective administration of our important programs,” Patten Wallace wrote. “By combining previously separate areas — such as merging the student experience of international students with that of the entire student body — leadership will have a basis from which to think, plan and act from a wider, more holistic perspective.”

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