Annual Reports and Strategic Intent

Annual Reports

2017-18 Annual Report
2016-17 Annual Report
2015-16 Annual Report
2014-2015 Annual Report web site:
2013-14 Annual Report
2012-13 Annual Report


Strategic Intent

Student Affairs is the leader in student development and a primary provider of innovative, transformative, and collaborative initiatives promoting student success.

Beliefs that Guide Our Work

Three basic assumptions guiding our work are:

  1. The individual student is viewed from a holistic perspective.
  2. Each student is treated as a unique individual.
  3. The overall college experience is based on student learning both in and outside the classroom.


Student Affairs has grown from the appointment of LeBaron Russell Briggs in 1870 as the first Dean of Men at Harvard University, to a vibrant profession which encompasses programs, facilities, and services for students. The profession began to codify its beliefs in The Student Personnel Point of View published in 1937.
Student development theories were created to describe the impact of the college experience on the student. These theories included psychosocial and identity development based on the work of Erikson and Chickering; cognitive-structural models such as those by Kohlberg, Gilligan, and Perry and typological models such as Myers-Briggs and Holland’s Theory of Vocational Choice. Subsequent theories focused on race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, social identity, and inclusion of all students.
Additionally, impact models were developed to understand the changes students undergo in college. Astin’s Theory of Involvement and Tinto’s Theory of Student Development fall into this category.
In 1987, Ernest Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, published a ground breaking book College: The Undergraduate Experience in America. His research challenges higher education, especially large research universities to create purposefully educational environments that are open, just, disciplined, caring and celebrative. In 1996, The Student Learning Imperative: Implications for Student Affairs identified the hallmarks of an educated person and called for the integration of knowledge both in and out of the classroom. In 2004, Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus On The Student Experience echoed the SLI calling for the education of the whole student. The document also identified the following learning outcomes as integral to the education of whole student: cognitive complexity; knowledge acquisition, integration, application and practical competence; humanitarianism; civic engagement; inter and intrapersonal competence; practical competence; and persistence and academic achievement.
The Division of Student Affairs is staffed by professionals who are knowledgeable of the various theories, models, and research that support their areas of specialization. While the Division uses all of these as underpinnings to inform our work, the model we subscribe to and utilize in our daily work are Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs (1997):
  1. Engage students in active learning.
  2. Help students develop coherent values and ethical standards.
  3. Set and communicate high expectations for student learning.
  4. Use systematic inquiry to improve student and institutional performance.
  5. Use resources effectively to achieve institutional missions and goals.
  6. Forge educational partnerships to advance student learning.
  7. Build supportive and inclusive communities.

An annotated bibliography of these documents and more is appended to the end of this document.

Context of Our Work

The Division of Student Affairs at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro uses the university’s core values, research and theory of our profession, and the research and experiences with the student population to inform our own strategic planning process and daily work.

The University’s Five Core Values

Inclusiveness, Collaboration, Sustainability, Responsibility, and Transparency. Please note: These are under review as the University’s strategic plan is updated.
In order to implement an effective and attainable strategic plan, areas of challenges and advantages must be examined. The potential list of challenges and advantages could be quite extensive; the most salient and pressing points have been addressed here.

Strategic Advantages/Opportunities

  1. Student Development and Student Success Experts
    1. Student Affairs deliberately and strategically hires a very talented staff; many of them leaders in their respective fields having received national, regional, and state awards as well as serving as elected leaders in national, regional, and state associations.
    2. With the VCSA direct report line to the Provost, increased collaboration between academic units and Student Affairs is resulting in more effective and efficient service and program offerings while positively driving student success and retention. Student Affairs will continue to evolve to support opportunities for innovative changes designed to meet shifting student needs and University strategic priorities.


  2. Retention Specialists
    1. Student Affairs is an integral part of the University’s requirements to meet the UNC General Administration new retention goals by providing programs and services which yield measurable outcomes focused on retention of students.
    2. Student Affairs staff, programs, services, and facilities are integral in planning and implementation of strategic goals focused on success of students, partnership with other university offices.


  3. Assessment and Planning Functions
    1. The division is supported by a comprehensive model of assessment that connects the mission of the university and the division to the goals of individual departments with an emphasis on the co-curricular impact on student learning.
    2. Opportunities for collaboration and increased effectiveness in creating and implementing an intentional planning process can be capitalized on for optimal divisional efficiency.


  4. Growth of Residential Campus Life
    1. New residence halls (additional beds and refurbished halls) and recreation/wellness space will allow Student Affairs to deliver state of the art services and programs to students.
    2. All departments within Student Affairs are assessing the impact that the growth of residential students has on services, programs, facilities, staffing and consequentially, budgets.


  5. Comprehensive student success system and collaborative efforts
    1. Student Affairs has solid leadership, expert in creating exemplary co-curricular opportunities for students, fully integrating them into the campus experience, with measurable student learning outcomes and retention implications.
    2. Student Employment provides students with practical experience in preparation for chosen career path, a strengthened relationship with UNCG, as well as means to afford college expenses and persist at UNCG.
    3. Leadership opportunities allow students to practice real-life scenarios with the guidance of professionals before implementing skills in first full-time job, as well as having positive impact on the campus experience for all students.
    4. Civic and community engagement promotes life-long active citizenship.
    5. The co-curricular transcript provides evidence-based foundations for students to integrate the classroom learning and the out-of-class education, in ways which are supportive of full-time employment and transition to graduate / professional education.
    6. Intercultural and cultural appreciation and community-building activities support a culture of care and enrich the overall college experience.


  6. Renewed efforts and commitment of resources to revitalize employment data collection.
    1. New staffing and software will provide needed support to realize improved data collection.
    2. Partnerships with the Schools and Colleges will more effectively communicate student successes.


Strategic Challenges

  1. Economic Issues and Resource Allocation
    1. The need for additional fiscal, human, and other resources impacts our ability to enhance our impact on student success and retention.
    2. Lack of significant budget increases eliminates divisional ability to make significant step improvements in programs, facilities, and services.
    3. Rising tuition costs, decreased aid, changing family income, and scarcer employment opportunities for students can cause difficulties for students and families.
    4. Changes in demographics, student populations, external factors, aging facilities, and university governance are not met by appropriate increases in human capital or financial resources.


  2. Demographic Changes in the Student Population
    1. Specialized learners (online, Beyond Academics, secondary/post-secondary, students with disabilities, etc.) present unique challenges to Student Affairs related to service delivery and program support.
    2. Displaced workers/re-entry students need specialized support, particularly in the areas of career services and counseling, to find best practices in preparing these students for a second career.
    3. Veterans are returning to campuses in large numbers and their specific needs and challenges must be addressed through appropriate resources, programs, and services.
    4. Students in distress are a growing population and many times present alarming issues, which can inhibit their ability to succeed and graduate.
    5. The numbers of Hispanic students reported in K-12 is increasing and the particular needs they and their families will have related to language barriers and cultural priorities must be considered.


  3. External Factors
    1. Nationally, students are coming to college less prepared, impacting their retention and graduation rates. Student Affairs will need to be creative in ways to support the academic mission of the University and the co-curricular experiences for those who are at-risk.
    2. A struggling economy, political instability, and other national factors are a significant concern in the stagnant retention and graduation rates as students leave.
    3. Meeting unfunded or partially funded legislative mandates and planning imperatives relative to retention and graduation rates require reallocation of scarce resources.
    4. Continued reduction in community mental health services and funding will have a significant impact on how counseling services are managed and delivered to students who require long-term care beyond what the Counseling Center offers.


  4. Facilities and Space Management
    1. Limited facility space for students impacts the ability of Student Affairs to implement best practices and to develop exemplary programs.
    2. Informal gathering space and dining room options/seating will continue to be an issue for a growing University.
    3. Aging facilities require continuing financial investments.
    4. The Elliott University Center is inadequately sized to meet the needs of a large campus.