Doug Garrard’s Retirement

October 2, 2023

Dear Student Affairs Team,

I write today with the bittersweet announcement that Associate Vice President of Student Life and Deputy Dean of Students Doug Garrard will retire at the end of November. Doug has worked 34 years on our campus, including 20 years in University Housing and Dining and 14 years in the Office of the Dean of Students. During his more than three decades at UT Austin, he has become a go-to resource to the campus at large on countless student life matters including the more challenging crisis management and emergency response. Doug is a transformational leader who supports and addresses student activism on campus, advises student organizations and partners with students to create model programs. He oversees outstanding support services and identifies new resources for our dynamic student body.

In 1989, Doug began his career on the Forty Acres as a coordinator in Jester Center. He rose up the ranks in residence life then joined the Dean of Students team in 2009 as senior associate dean of students, working closely with me in my role as senior associate vice president and dean of students. I am grateful for Doug’s student-centered service and commitment to collaborating with students, staff and faculty. His dedication to the Division of Student Affairs and Dean of Students team is relentless as he has led the creation of many learning opportunities for our students.

His accomplishments are many, and they always focus on supporting ways students experience the University. Most recent and notable, his roles in launching the Successful Student Organization Program, expanding resources for leadership development and refining the governing documents for the Student Governance Organizations. Other accomplishments include co-chairing the Behavioral Response Team; leading the Division of Student Affairs response to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Five-Year Accreditation review; serving as a faculty fellow for the Multicultural Engagement Center; and on the University of Texas System Hazing and Alcohol Task Force to name a few. In recent years, Doug’s personal impact has been commended by resolution in both Student Government and the Senate of College Councils, as well as by Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, who named him university partner of the year (2018). Overall, Doug has developed a culture of readiness that allows the Office of the Dean of Students to support student success through caring staff, strategic partnerships and many learning opportunities. He’s also impacted countless students in the classroom as a College of Education faculty member.

The impact that Doug has had as a leader in the Division and campus wide cannot be overstated. I will be working with the Dean of Students team over the coming weeks on a transition plan that builds on his incredible legacy.

Please join me in thanking Doug for his many contributions to our University, tirelessly influencing the lives of those he worked with. We wish him and his wife Lara all the best in retirement.

I will be hosting a retirement celebration for Doug before he leaves and hope you will join us to honor him. Look for an invitation soon.


Soncia Reagins-Lilly
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students