Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

About Student Affairs

Jesse Hall sunset

Leadership

Student Affairs leadership team

Barbara Hammer, M Ed
Director, Disability Center

Tyler Page, PhD
Interim Director, Residential Life

Laura Salerno, MS
Interim Director, MizzouRec

Jeff Zeilenga, EdD
Dean of Students

Open
Executive Director, Student Health & Well-Being

Susan Even, MD
Director, Student Health Center

Lynne Reeder, PhD
Senior Director, Counseling Center

Shared services and support

Angela Dahman
Marketing & Communication Director

Ashli Grabau, M Ed
Senior Strategic Initiatives & Assessment Consultant

Krista Jennings
Senior Human Resources Consultant

Alysha O’Neil, MBA, CPA
Director of Finance & Budget

Amanda Purchase Roberts, M Ed
Student Employment Senior Manager

Transforming the Mizzou Student Experience While Reducing the Cost of Education

Students are the heart of the student affairs profession. Our purpose has always been to make the student experience meaningful, transformative and effective in helping them achieve their dreams.

Eighteen months ago, when Gary Ward was named interim vice chancellor of student affairs, we were at a crossroads.

We faced a challenge and an opportunity: Recognizing that student needs are changing and that many families feel that a college degree is too expensive, we knew we had to reimagine how a modern, student-centric division would operate.

To achieve the objective of better serving today’s student, we focused on improving the relevancy of our programs and services and on making a Mizzou degree more affordable.

We approached our work as stewards, with open minds and willing hands, remaking our organization in ways that promoted excellence, increased accountability and improved affordability.

To start, Ward made a series of bold organizational changes that preserved essential programs and reduced administrative costs. To date, those changes have saved $4.5 million.

How did we save $4.5 million?
Student Affairs has undergone extensive organizational changes in recent months. Facilities management was centralized under the Division of Operations in summer 2017. Previously, departments maintained separate teams serving residence halls, dining facilities, student unions and the recreation complex.

With 165 positions moving to the Division of Operations, the organizational structure and administrative positions in the Division of Student Affairs were re-evaluated. Based on this analysis, the division was restructured to reduce administrative layers. This resulted in a leaner executive team and centralization of dining, finance, HR, marketing and communication staff.

Next, we took a fresh look at our programs and services and reevaluated whether they were effective from both a quality and cost standpoint. We consulted national experts, including Keeling & Associates, and acted on their recommendations. We sought input from students and families, staff, faculty and alumni, as well.

The major outcomes of these efforts are highlighted here. But they represent just a fraction of the changes we have accomplished thanks to innovative ideas and tremendous work by staff, faculty and administrators from across campus.

Outcomes

AFFORDABILITY

Reduced rates in more than a third of residence hall rooms. Eight out of 10 students who live and dine on campus will pay less in fall 2019.
AutoAccess course materials saved Mizzou students $3.3 million. Since January 2017, AutoAccess has saved students across the UM System more than $10 million.
• Stopped accepting student charge for non-academic materials and services, which contributed to student debt.
• Partnered with Enrollment Management to design a Residential Experience Award, which reduced student housing expenses and attracted students to Mizzou.
• Reduced course material costs by 5 percent, and continued progress toward goal of having 50 percent of classroom materials be open educational resources (OER) by 2028.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE

• 94 percent occupancy rate in our residence halls.
• 900 volunteers helped move students into their residence hall rooms.
• All residence halls will remain open during fall, spring and winter breaks (fall 2019).
• Hired Keeling & Associates to assess our programs and services and help us develop strategies to provide a seamless, student-centered experience.
• Created a digital single point of entry for student health and well-being to reduce confusion and improve access to services.
• Introduced a new room assignment process, which significantly reduced frustration and complaints from incoming students and families.
• Hired 120 Welcome Leaders to help new students integrate and participate in more than 200 Welcome Week events.
• Introduced 365 housing, enabling students to live on campus year-round
• Formed a Fraternity & Sorority Advisory Board to recommend strategies to improve the Greek student experience.
• Expanded the number of student businesses accommodated by the Unions Student Entrepreneurial Program in the MU Student Center.

Next Steps

These initiatives we have undertaken are not one-time fixes. The challenges and needs our students face are constantly changing. As a student-centric division, we also must constantly change.

Our core mission, however, will never change. We remain committed to designing exceptional out-of-classroom learning experiences and to improving the quality and cost of our programs — ultimately helping Mizzou students succeed on campus and after graduation.

FY19 Priorities

• Conduct a national search and hire a permanent vice provost for student affairs.
• Continue integration of student health, counseling and wellness.
• Continue to be good stewards of university resources looking for ways to reduce the cost of education for students and families.
• Increase student engagement opportunities and assess residential life programs.
• Implement Fraternity & Sorority Advisory Board recommendations.