Richard Walker, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, University of Houston
November 22, 2017
The fall 2017 semester has been a whirlwind of experiences and challenges. The Student Affairs and Enrollment Services team at the University of Houston have faced and accomplished the unexpected. They have done so with resiliency and dedication. They have done so with the success of the University and our students at the forefront.
To paint a brief picture of the past three months:
I’ll stop there.
As the leader of a large division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services entrusted with the safety and well-being of students, enhancing the overall student experience, and ensuring student success, I am tremendously grateful that I am surrounded by a team of dedicated professionals who are resilient and who jump into action without hesitation. The importance of having a team who is committed to serving the best interest of students with an ethic of care so that they can be successful in pursing and achieving their educational dreams is the hallmark of a strong division.
In 2015, I was provided the wonderful opportunity to serve NASPA as the Annual Conference Chair in New Orleans. The theme for the conference was Navigating with Courage. Over the course of this semester I have reflected many times on this theme as we have been faced with one challenge after another. Navigating with courage does require resiliency. The role of Student Affairs professionals is not getting any easier, it is more complex than ever before and becoming more challenging each and every day.
As a Student Affairs professional, you will continuously be faced with challenges. How you choose to navigate through these challenges is critical to your success and the success of your students and institution. I suggest that you navigate with courage and not avoid the challenges. Our students need us. Their success depends on us being there for them and helping them traverse the higher education terrain of today. At the same time, provide support and encouragement to the team of professionals committed and dedicated to serving students. Their strength and resiliency cannot go unrecognized.
Photo credit: Andrew Kusnerik | Water overcame the banks of Brays Bayou and flooded the first floor of Bayou Oaks residence hall.
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