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Our Standards


The Division of Student Affairs enjoys a long tradition of exceptional service to students, the University, and the community. Dating back to the visionary leadership of inaugural Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. William Butler, and continuing under the stewardship of nationally recognized Vice President, Dr. Patricia Whitely, the division’s offices, programs, initiatives, and staffing innovations have served as models to countless higher education professionals across the country.

The Student Affairs Standards of Excellence act a resource for current and future staff members, serving as guidance on practices that have proven to cultivate, what we believe, is a model student affairs division. While these Standards do not serve as a comprehensive listing, they provide historical perspective and instill continuity of culture. Through these guiding principles, the Division of Student Affairs remains intentionally mindful of its impact on the University of Miami community.


On-Boarding of New Staff Members

The Division recruits and hires exceptional employees. To help ensure a positive professional experience, great care should be taken to orient newly hired staff members to their Office/Department, the division, and the University. In addition to the Orientation provided by Human Resources, Student Affairs onboarding includes:

  • Clear and consistent messages on employee expectations;
  • An overview of other offices within the division; and,
  • Cross-training when appropriate, to cultivate understanding and appreciation of co-workers’ contributions to the workplace.

Timeliness and Responsiveness

We all make every effort to respond promptly to emails, phone calls, etc. in a timely manner, making every effort to answer questions and resolve issues, or taking the time to connect individuals with the appropriate office or individual. We want to make sure that students are receiving the most timely and accurate information and education as possible.

Overall Quality of Work

Staff members are mindful that their work product reflects not only their office/department or even the division, but also them as professionals. Even under the most impromptu or rushed circumstances, our work should be exemplary.

Collaboration Within and Outside of the Division

Our division has a positive record within the University community. We are considered knowledgeable, dedicated, and valuable leaders and partners. We welcome opportunities to collaborate with offices and departments outside of Student Affairs, always mindful that we represent our division during these interactions. Similarly, when collaborating with offices or departments within our division, we hold ourselves and our respective staffs accountable to our Standards of Excellence.

Sense of Ownership

Student Affairs is our Division. UM is our University. Our interactions, our written work, our presentations, and all else that we do in the workplace should reflect our belief that our collective experience is made better by our personal investment in our division. We take responsibility and keep others accountable.

Willingness to Care for ’Canes

In the spirit of ’Canes Care for ’Canes, Student Affairs staff members should extend courtesy, respect, and care to all whom we encounter. Sometimes our care for each other means that we need to direct students or staff to resources. Support Students in Need by sharing this resource