Interim Vice Presidents for Student Success and Strategic Enrollment
By now you all know that student success and strategic enrollment are two of my absolute highest priorities, which is why they are woven into our six strategic planning themes for the institution, and why I developed Presidential Initiatives for both shortly after arriving here last fall. Each are critical to our future and there is real urgency in moving these initiatives forward.
As an extension of these priorities, I am pleased to announce that I have created two new interim vice presidential positions to drive our efforts in these areas. Effective April 15, Dr. Rhonda M. Gonzales will serve as Interim Vice President for Student Success, and Dr. Lisa G. Blazer as Interim Vice President for Strategic Enrollment.
Rhonda and Lisa are proven leaders doing exceptional work with their respective task forces, and these interim roles are logical extensions of their current responsibilities. I hope you will take a few minutes to read more about their outstanding qualifications.
In these interim positions, Rhonda and Lisa will spend the next year or so aiding me in the design of distinct units devoted to student success and strategic enrollment, standing up these operations, and implementing the most important recommendations from their respective task forces. I have great confidence in both and have high expectations for each of their divisions. At some point during this implementation, we will explore the best path forward which may include national searches for the two positions. The success of these two divisions is paramount and continuity of operations will be an important consideration.
The expansion of UTSA’s Senior Leadership Team to include distinct roles for student success and strategic enrollment aligns with best practices found in cabinet-level structures at many Carnegie R1 institutions, and our task force consultants (EAB and Ruffalo Noel Levitz) have also recommended these changes. Most importantly, our progress in these two areas is vital to UTSA’s future, which is why I believe it is important to have them reporting directly to me as president.
In the days to come, and with Lisa and Rhonda’s input, we will be looking at the makeup of the various units that will report to them. We will have conversations with all those who will be impacted by these changes before they are announced broadly to the UTSA community.
This new structure is just another step along the path to aligning our organization with our six themes, especially the vision for UTSA as multicultural discovery enterprise and urban-serving university. I know that Rhonda and Lisa’s vast expertise—and the good work they are already doing with their task forces—will accelerate our efforts in these areas. As with everything we do at UTSA, the success of our students is at the very core of these changes.
Please join me in congratulating Lisa and Rhonda on their new roles!