The many offices, departments, and programs of UMass Student Affairs and Campus Life together support student retention to graduation and careers beyond; connection to campus and positive campus climate; immersive living-learning environments; inclusion, diversity, civic engagement, and co-curricular learning; wellbeing, health, and safety; and create a network of resources to provide listening, care, and focused support for students.
As the needs of our students change we continue to adapt our organizational structure to ensure that we remain prepared to meet those needs by:
- Facilitating individual and collective learning so that our collective best practices and knowledge can be refined and shared
- Supporting staff to collaborate in doing innovative work to support our students
- Ensuring that our processes and systems are humanized and responsive to the needs of staff and students
- Aligning our work with our campus strategic goals.
A Brief Organizational History
In 2013 we began a process of realigning Student Affairs and Campus Life. As a first step, Dr. Linda Kuk visited campus to meet with our internal and external stakeholders. Through analyzing these data, Dr. Kuk provided us with recommendations for moving to an organizational structure aligned by function with a goal to better serve our students. In 2014, we created the Advocacy, Inclusion, and Support Programs (AIS); Student Engagement and Leadership (SEL); Campus Life; and Wellness clusters. In 2015, the SACL Matrix Working Group completed a report and recommendations for adopting a more centralized, matrixed approach to our administrative infrastructure, particularly with the functions of Human Resources and Finance. In 2016, we identified our eight key SACL functions to support retention to graduation: transitioning and connecting students to campus; fostering positive campus climate; cultivating inclusion and diversity; developing opportunities for civic engagement and co-curricular learning; creating immersive living-learning environments; providing listening, care, and focused support for students in crisis; supporting wellbeing, health, and safety; and preparing students for a successful post-UMass future. To ensure a cross-collaborative, coordinated approach to student success from matriculation through graduation, we established the Student Success cluster with a dual reporting line to Student Life and the Dean of Undergraduate Education. In 2017, we focused on capital planning from the recommendations of the Student Experience Master Plan to pave the way for upgrades to our facilities and the renovation of the Student Union. In 2018, we refreshed the UMass Strategic Plan and began formalizing the SACL Human Resources Matrix. In 2019, we established a Shared Services structure that includes human resources, staff training and development, assessment, technology, and communications.