UHCL appoints interim associate vice president of new student-success division

November 5, 2018 | Jim Townsend

University of Houston-Clear Lake has named Timothy Richardson interim associate vice president of Student Success and Initiatives, a new position for a new division that pulls student advising and student advocacy departments under one umbrella. Previously, he was executive director of Academic Support Services and Student Success Center.

Richardson’s division is comprised of the university’s Student Assistance Center, Math Center, Writing Center, Disability Services, University Academic Advising Center, distance education, testing and transfer advising. He also works with the academic colleges’ advising centers. Additionally, he serves as the campus lead of Houston Guided Pathways to Success, a consortium of nine Texas Gulf Coast institutions that strives to increase college completion and improve students’ transition from community college to university.

RichardsonRichardson’s division was created to reframe the collaboration between departments that now report to him, as well as working with faculty and other departments involved in fostering student success. “The SSI is part of a larger group of faculty and staff committed to ensuring student success, which is central to our mission of a student-centered learning environment,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Steven J. Berberich in announcing the promotion and new division.

“Because it’s brand new, we have a great opportunity to bring the conversation of student success to a larger, wider audience,” Richardson said. “This initiative has the potential to really build a campus-wide community of success, involving not just the departments in this new division, but faculty, staff, students, everyone. Student success is the cornerstone of why we are here."

The key to successful collaboration, Richardson says, is a strong communication network. With that in mind, Richardson has already established work groups to review student assessment, policies and procedures and professional development.

“Students, advisers, the faculty, the departments each have a unique perspective about what’s important for student success. There's a potential here to bring those perspectives together which may result in a more well-rounded picture of our students and their needs,” Richardson said. “We want our students to walk out the door with their degree in their hands and saying, ‘You know what? UHCL made a difference in my life.’”

With more than 17 years experience in student success, Richardson is active in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He currently serves on inaugural advocacy group for NASPA’s Center for First Generation Student Success. 

Before joining UHCL, Richardson worked as an assistant director for Student Services and Intercollegiate Athletics at Georgia Tech. He was also an academic counselor for Learning Resources for Student Athletes at Boston College, and for Academic Counseling and Student Services at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He received his bachelor’s in history from California’s University of Redlands, a master’s in history from Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University, and a doctorate in organizational leadership, policy and development from University of Minnesota.