On Your Mark, Get Set...

January 11, 2022

Welcome Back, Student Affairs Team!

I hope that the winter break found you making some time for reflection and rejuvenation. You deserved to relax, given how hard you worked, especially this last semester. Our Division faced a thousand (and one) challenges in 2021, but you met each one of them with grace, humility and a deep affection for our shared mission. Thank you again for that.

As we return to campus, we are faced once more with pivoting at the beginning of this semester due to the COVID-19 omicron variant as explained in President Hartzell’s recent message. Higher education is a partnership, and our work in the Division of Student Affairs is core to the university’s teaching and research mission. Students are better prepared and able to learn because of all that we do. I am grateful to those of you who are physically coming to campus to support our students, and for those of you who continue to work remotely. For our campus to remain open, it’s critical that we manage density and help reduce additional virus transmission during the next few weeks. Please continue to care for each other, build community and be flexible with one another as we function during this global pandemic.

Whether I see you in person or virtually, I’m thrilled to be kicking off a new year with you. I’ve never been more confident in what lies ahead. The successes we’re poised to achieve — for ourselves, each other, and of course, our Longhorn students — are limitless.

We’re starting 2022 in one of my favorite ways — on January 26, we’ll join together for our Division-wide meeting.

Due to the university's modified semester start, we will be meeting virtually (more details to come). Please attend, because this meeting is when we reveal the winners of the annual Texas Parents Staff Merit Awards. For 24 years, Longhorn parents and families have supported this award to honor outstanding Division staff members who work tirelessly to support students. Their contributions to Texas Parents make this award possible.

Very few events in the year are more exciting for me, because this is our chance to draw attention to the exceptional accomplishments of some of our colleagues — while simultaneously celebrating the greatness of our entire team. After all, does anything set a better course for the upcoming year than taking a moment to pause, look to our peers and coworkers, and acknowledge their hard work and tireless dedication to our mission?

Yes, to say that I am eager to jump into the work of 2022 would be an understatement. I’m glad you’re going to join us on the journey as we continue to Protect Texas Together. I encourage you to truly appreciate the beginning of this semester and embrace figuring out the challenges. I bet that when you reach the end of this semester, you’ll look back and realize how important the beginning truly is.


Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students