With the spring semester in full swing, I wanted to take a moment to recognize you for your service. With such an amazing, talented team shaping the student experience at our university, I feel confident knowing that we will remain at the forefront of modeling a holistic approach to student development, support, and service.
But while students will always remain at the heart of all that we do, I want to also emphasize the importance of maintaining a culture of care and compassion within the division. Our efforts to enrich the quality of student life can only be successful if we as an organization create an environment where all staff are welcomed and embraced.
I believe that cultivating that culture of care begins with leadership. To that end, I’ve enjoyed getting to better know you through our departmental visits and have appreciated the opportunity to connect one-on-one with those visiting during my extended office hours. With your feedback, my office has also looked to revamp our internal communications and have encouraged the increased presence of executive leadership at departmental and divisional events to convey our support.
We often tend to focus on the task at hand while keeping an eye to the future, but I also think that it’s important to reflect on our accomplishments. I urge you to take a few minutes to read through our Year in Review. Illustrating what we can accomplish when we come together, it also reminds us of the important things that make serving our students meaningful and underscores the importance of sharing our stories of success.
With a busy last couple of months fast approaching, I know many of you will be working around the clock to ensure that we finish the semester strong. I’ve been inspired by staff members who have come together to invest in each other’s health and wellness, but also recognize the responsibility we each have to invest in our own care. This level of investment in our collective success is one of the reasons why our division was named one of Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs for the third time in four years.
I wish you the best going forward and pass along my heartfelt appreciation for your efforts. We all have a role to play in creating a culture of care and compassion within the division and I encourage you to continue to collaborate and look out for one another as we collectively work toward realizing our greatest potential.
Salvador B. Mena, PhD
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Rutgers University-New Brunswick