Wise Words from the VP, October 2018

Oct. 2, 2018

UT Austin Student Affairs Team,

We are setting the stage for students to make their mark at The University of Texas at Austin. Our team of nearly 3,500 student and full-time staff works tirelessly to add value to each student’s personal and academic success. We want students to develop in significant ways in order to contribute as a student, an Austin citizen and well beyond graduation — that’s the Longhorn life.

At our Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs Kickoff, the Division’s four Strategic Directions for 2018-2021 were unveiled. Kudos to Jenn Speer, Recreational Sports, and Marla Craig, Counseling and Mental Health Center, and their committee participants. The four Strategic Directions below offer broad themes of on our collective efforts to build and sustain a healthy learning and educational environment.

  • Learning
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Health, Safety and Well-being
  • Technology, Innovation and Resource Management

These Strategic Directions guide our work, offering students skill building and discovery through creativity, collaboration, engagement and learning by doing. Our direction is consistent with UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves’ guiding principles for advancing the university and fulfilling its public responsibility as a university of the first class.

Through our work we challenge students to live the Longhorn life by:

  • Realizing there is more than ONE way to be a Longhorn.
  • Working in a team of people who are similar to and different from you.
  • Becoming a global citizen through interdisciplinary worldwide learning.
  • Being career ready, strategic thinkers and life-long learners.
  • Having the ability to build, sustain and expand a network of people.

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, these actions are consistent with the main skills that top employers want from college graduates. Our work prepares students for their lives now and into the future.

I look forward to seeing your work with students, faculty and staff to the next level as we embark on this collaborative journey to student success. I am confident the result will be a community of Longhorns that will change the world because of the care we provide and the courage we instill in our students as they live the Longhorn life™.


Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Your Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students