The recent hiring of two associate vice presidents filled the last leadership roles in the reorganization brought about by the 2010 merger of the Divisions of Student Services and Academic Affairs.
In March, Vicki Golich, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs, hired Maurice Hamington as associate vice president of academic centers and programs to oversee the Applied Learning Center, the Center for Individualized Learning, the Office of International Studies, the Honors Program, the Center for Urban Education and the Center for Innovation.
And last month she hired Randy Hyman, an associate professor of higher education at the University of Minnesota Duluth, to fill the new position of associate vice president for student success.
Hyman’s position and the entities that will report to him perhaps best represent how parts of two divisions were organized in a way that creates a synergy toward a goal, in this case student success and retention.
It is “very intentionally drawn from what were once academic affairs and student services units,” Golich says. For example, before the merger, First Year Student Success and Academic Advising were within Academic Affairs; the Student Academic Success Center and Assessment and Testing were in Student Services along with Career Services and the Access Center.
The last two leadership hires capped more than 18 months of work by Golich to integrate the two divisions, linking academic responsibilities with student support services.
Early on she conferred with the two associate vice presidents of the former Student Services (AVP for Enrollment Services Judi Diaz Bonacquisti and Emilia Paul, AVP for Student Engagement and Wellness, formerly Student Life) on the organization for the new division. She launched a survey on whether to keep the Student Services name or adopt Student Affairs (the overwhelming choice). Golich also held two Academic and Student Affairs assemblies for directors and above “so we really are integrating and using each other’s resources across the table.”
So, how has the merger worked out?
Golich says she and her team have done “a pretty terrific job.” One example: Someone recently remarked that Student Services was losing its identity. “I thought, ‘that’s a good thing because we want to have an integrated identity.’ ”
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