Office of the VP for Student Life


In Student Life, we know the value of collaboration – that’s why we have committees, task forces and teams. By bringing together talents and strengths from across our many units, we build our success together.

Assessment  Committee

In 2009, a small group of Student Life staff members began meeting with the goal of advancing assessment in meaningful ways at a departmental level. As an outgrowth of this work, the Student Life Assessment Committee was officially commissioned this past spring, with involvement from all Student Life units and key University partners.

The committee’s mission is to advance knowledge and application of assessment and data-driven decisions by supporting the integration of assessment among departments within Student Life. The committee will advance departmental and division-wide assessment by:

  • Developing best practices, standards, guidelines and tools
  • Sharing ideas, providing support, developing expertise
  • Training and educating members of the committee and beyond
  • Providing valuable data and information to decision-makers at the departmental level
  • Helping infuse a culture of evidence-based decision-making throughout the division.

The committee will also contribute to divisional needs by supporting assessment efforts for the Vice President for Student Life, as well as our student services partners, such as Undergraduate Academic Affairs and the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity.

Deborah Costar, Chair (Housing & Food Services)

Student Well-being Collaborative

Provides a forum for faculty, staff, and students working towards student well-being to come together, collaborate, and share ideas to support comprehensive health & wellness support for all University of Washington students.

Ellen Taylor, Co-Chair; Mark Jenkins, Co-Chair

Task Force on Student Employment 

The Task Force works to improve the experience for student employees and the staff who manage them by providing resources and tools that support all aspects of the student employment experience.  Ranging from tips on hiring processes, to suggested learning outcomes, to performance evaluations and reflection tools, managers can find support in the online Canvas Resource for Managers.   Student employees who want to make meaning of their experience may find the Husky Experience Toolkit helpful.

Sean Ferris, Chair (Office of the VP)

Staff Development Committee

The Staff Development Committee serves employees of the division and seeks to elevate knowledge and capacity in student affairs through community development initiatives, including divisional programming and networking events. Notably, the committee sponsors four annual events:

  • Student Life Kickoff – hosted at the start of the fall quarter, an opportunity for employees to reconnect and energize for the upcoming academic term
  • Winter celebration – hosted at the end of the fall quarter, a time to celebrate successes
  • Student Life conference – scheduled at the end of the winter term, this half-day event is centered on a theme and features a keynote speaker, as well as opportunities for colleagues to share ideas and programs through breakout sessions
  • Student Life Awards – presented at the Student Life conference. Awards include: Outstanding Employee (Classified), Best New Initiative, and New to the UW.
  • New Hire Cohorts – this pilot program is an effort to build cohesion in the Division by onboarding new staff to the Division of Student Life and building relationships across the organization.

Lincoln Johnson, Chair (Associate Vice President, Student Life)

Marketing & Communications Committee

The Marketing & Communications Committee convenes storytellers from across the Division of Student Life to explore avenues for interdepartmental collaboration and new ways to engage and support our student, staff and community audiences.

In addition to capitalizing on the expertise of the membership and developing appropriate courses of action, the committee will focus on the following initiatives:

  • Examination of the current state of marketing and communications efforts across the Division of Student Life, in order to make recommendations on how departments can improve communications with students
  • Review of the use of traditional and experimental channels at other institutions to develop a set of best practices for the Division of Student Life
  • Exploring ways to share resources between units
  • Determination of best use of resources to meet our present and future needs, including potential adoption of new tools

The committee will report its findings and recommendations directly to the Vice President for Student Life.

Nicole Browning, Chair (Student Life Advancement, Office of the Vice President for Student Life)