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Office of the VP for Student Life


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


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)

Health Consortium

In the spring of 2014, the Student Life Health Consortium was established as a forum for Student Life and other campus organizations serving student physical, mental and sexual health needs, to exchange ideas and coordinate established and new services.  Topics of discussion to date have included coordination and expansion of services for students who have Attention Deficit Disorder, mental health screening, and creation of a health web portal for students.

Beginning in winter 2015, the Consortium will begin planning for collecting data about UW student health using the survey of the American College Health Association/National College Health Association.

Bill Neighbor, Chair (Hall Health Clinic)

Social Media Strategy

The mission of the Social Media Strategy Committee is to explore ways to enhance collaboration around departmental and division-wide social media presence and to address our student engagement efforts through the various channels we’re utilizing.

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 and use of social media in the Division of Student Life, in order to make recommendations on how departments can improve communications with students
  • Review of the use of social media at other universities 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.

Vacant, Chair (Student Life Advancement/Office of the VP)

Student Employee Experience

The goal of the Student Employee Experience Committee is to improve the developmental and educational experience for students employed throughout the Division of Student Life. In its first year, this group will work to bolster current efforts and expand capacity in four specific areas:

  • Orient students to the mission, philosophy and organization of Student Life, and onboard them into their specific roles
  • Strengthen employee training and provide resources and materials for mangers in this area
  • Expand methods by which managers can help students identify transferable knowledge and skills, connecting the dots between their employment and academic and career goals
  • Support efforts in student retention and persistence to graduation

Sean Ferris, Chair (Office of the VP)

Staff Development

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 three 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
  • Mini-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

Sue Ann Huang, Chair (Housing and Food Services, Resident Life)