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Our Vision and Mission

Charles Nies talking with Janet Napalitano.


The Division of Student Affairs strives to become a leading model of innovative approaches for student-centered initiatives as we deliberately grow to meet the expanding needs of our richly diverse students, alumni, and the greater community.


Student Affairs recruits and develops dedicated students and staff members who are committed to lifelong learning. In keeping with the university's Principles of Community, we cultivate a campus environment characterized by respect for human dignity and diversity. Toward these aims, Student Affairs promotes an enriched learning environment, often collaborating with faculty members and units campuswide, to provide students with opportunities to realize their intellectual, physical, social and emotional potential.

Strategic Goals with Draft Initiatives

  1. Promote student learning and success through collaborative partnerships on and off campus.
    • Develop and implement peer leadership programs.
    • Develop a comprehensive first-year experience programs.
    • Develop services and support systems to meet the special needs of graduate students.
    • Develop a sophomore success program.
    • Expand learning opportunities in partnership with the schools and faculty members, such as newly themed residence halls, lecture series, arts and musical performances.
  2. Champion the diverse community of the campus and region through innovative outreach, awareness programs and advocacy.
    • Develop a comprehensive Enrollment Management Plan and strategies for the recruitment, yield and retention of students.
    • Create an Intercultural Center.
    • Connect Student Affairs' goals and units more closely with the work of the Center for Educational Partnerships and the Great Valley Center.
    • Expand and coordinate diversity initiatives into a coherent plan and program.
    • Investigate the establishment of an Educational Opportunity Program and other services to support the needs of first-generation students,
  3. Advance technological, physical and human resources to create an optimal living and learning environment that attracts future students, and promotes persistence and engagement of students and faculty and staff members.
    • Build a student union with essential services.
    • Build an information technology infrastructure of staff and resources to support Student Affairs units and student needs.
    • Increase grants, donations and other resources to further Student Affairs initiatives.
    • Create a master plan for Student Affairs space, Housing/Residence Life, Dining and Campus Recreation.
  4. Create an environment that fosters student development theory to practice.
    • Implement a sequential professional development/life skills program for student employees.
    • Establish a co-curricular transcript/portfolio.
    • Review all student policies (e.g. student employment, recreation, housing, conduct and student activities) in light of student development theory.
  5. Support campuswide efforts that sustain an environment characterized by physical and emotional wellness on the part of students, and faculty and staff members.
    • Expand recreation programs, develop athletic programs and expand venues.
    • Develop case management system to monitor and support at-risk students.
    • Develop and expand Wellness programs so that this truly becomes a hallmark of the campus.

View more information about student services at UC Merced.