Reporting to the assistant vice chancellor for Student Retention & Success (SRS), the director of Student Success Programs (SSP) leads a comprehensive portfolio of programs and initiatives to support several distinct populations of students at UC San Diego. Student Success Programs includes: Undocumented Student Services; the Student Veterans Resource Center; Transfer Student Success; the Student Success Coaching Program; and the Triton Firsts program, which engages first-generation faculty, staff, and alumni to support a growing first-generation population at UC San Diego. The director will lead assessment and evaluation, marketing, communication, and strategic planning for the programs and initiatives within their purview in alignment with the division of student affairs and SRS. They play a crucial role in building strategic partnerships across the campus to advance the university goals of student belonging and success. The director must be an equity-minded champion for mission-critical activities, promoting student success and persistence for UC San Diego students.

The director supervises five full-time employees, indirectly manages approximately ten additional staff, and leverages a budget of almost $2 million to promote student success. The director also serves a critical role as a member of the SRS leadership team and ensures SRS services support student needs and expectations, focusing on students from historically excluded populations or with unique needs.

Additional responsibilities for the director:  

  • Establishes and implements short-term program goals and objectives for SSP, and works with unit managers to develop similar strategic plans in alignment with SRS and student affairs goals.
  • Contributes to and develops connections and relationships with the campus as an active Student Retention & Success leadership team member.
  • Establishes the department’s policies and procedures and takes the lead in developing new communications to the university community and public, which reflect the nature of new or evolving programs, policies, and procedures.
  • Responsible for the recruitment, supervision, evaluation, and development of the Student Success Programs staff.
  • Provides direction to professional and support staff, while coordinating their work and activities in a manner that is efficient and maximizes services to students.
  • Coordinates unit assessments of usage, needs, satisfaction, and student achievement based on the learning outcomes for each respective program and service.
  • Evaluates the potential impact and opportunities within campus programs, policies, procedures, and practices for underserved and/or underrepresented student communities at UC San Diego.

The Position


A bachelor’s degree and significant and progressively responsible experience in a related student success area are required. The successful candidate will demonstrate an aptitude for supportive supervision, leadership, and organizational development. They will have experience managing and leading student program development and assessing and evaluating student learning outcomes, and the ability to understand various diversity issues in higher education impacting various student populations. The director must advocate for students in alignment with university goals and have demonstrated success in coalition- and relationship-building with individuals across many levels of an organization. A terminal degree is preferred.

The successful candidate will be an optimistic and equity-minded professional who can advocate for and speak compellingly about the students served by Student Success Programs (SSP). The new director must be a dynamic leader and skilled communicator with comfort forging essential and new relationships across the university and the division of Student Affairs, which aim to meet the needs of students. The director must strategically align SSP’s work to university and divisional goals to promote and improve undergraduate student retention, persistence, and graduation rates, and contribute to a sense of belonging for targeted student populations.

Other desired characteristics, skills, and abilities noted from the stakeholder discussions include:

  • Being a skilled community and team builder, able to move a competent and experienced department forward to meet university and divisional goals.
  • Having the ability to think critically and differently about supporting students through hybrid methods.
  • Possessing a sense of care for a community of students and staff focused on serving populations of students who may not historically have found their place at UC San Diego.
  • Being a student-centered professional eager to work with campus partners to remove barriers to student success for the students.
  • Having familiarity with program assessment and evaluation to drive informed decisions.
  • Having familiarity with using university student information to inform data-driven approaches to increase student success.
  • Possessing the ability to align with the university’s commitment to collective impact and erase equity gaps.
  • Having an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to solving unit, department, and campus problems.
  • Being a politically savvy professional eager to navigate a layered and matrixed university system and have an ability to create buy-in across the campus for student programs and services.
  • Being a confident and dependable colleague, willing to support students, staff, and campus partners.


In 2016, Lindsay Romasanta was hired as the inaugural director of Student Success Programs. Romasanta developed the portfolio until her departure in July 2021 to become the assistant vice president for global diversity and inclusion at Portland State University. The unit has been under capable interim leadership while UC San Diego prepared to launch this critical search.


The director of Student Success Programs (SSP) is a highly regarded position on the campus and is a key leader in advancing the principles of community, which promote a sense of belonging for students on the UC San Diego campus. The new director must promote equity-minded values and seek to support and encourage a dynamic and capable SSP team. The new director should be skilled in organizational development and seek opportunities for staff cohesion, coaching, and professional development. A new director is poised to leave a positive and lasting impact on SSP by building caring and inclusive communities.

The University of California, San Diego, is eager to welcome a new team member to the division of Student Affairs and Student Retention & Success (SRS) to lead Student Success Programs. The new director will encounter a supportive peer leadership team and supervisor committed to the success of the new director and whose experiences on the campus and in SRS will be a helpful guide.

The following were identified as opportunities, priorities, and challenges facing the new director of Student Success Programs at the University of California, San Diego:

  • The new director of Student Success Programs must quickly rise to meet the personnel needs of the unit while also learning the culture of the institution and the division. Therefore, a new director should prioritize learning from peers and staff about collaborative opportunities within the division of student affairs and the colleges.
  • The new director will be expected to think strategically about the growing numbers of students served by SSP and the increasing complexities associated with the growth. A leader must think innovatively about how to “scale up” and plan for thoughtful growth.
  • The new director must familiarize themselves with the current strategic goals of the division of student affairs and student success and retention, and strategically align SSP’s short-term and long-term goals accordingly.
  • The director will need to familiarize themselves with each unit’s work in their purview and begin to understand the interconnectedness of the work to the overall goals of SSP and UC San Diego. To this end, a leader should be willing to mentor, champion, and guide members of the SSP team to view their work in alignment with significant university priorities.
  • A new director will need excellent communications skills to widely share SSP’s vision, mission, and goals with campus partners and stakeholders.
  • SRS has implemented a hybrid work schedule, in which employees work three days on campus and two days remotely. The nature of the hybrid workplace will require a director to think differently and find ways to connect organically with team members. Similarly, they will need to intentionally build networks and coalitions throughout the department and campus.
  • The university has many robust systems from which to gain access to student data. As a result, a new director must learn to use the university technology programs to standardize assessment and data reporting within SRS. It will be essential to become familiar with the technological ecosystem of the university.


After an appropriate timeframe as a contributing member of UC San Diego, the following points will initially define success for the director of Student Success Programs:

  • The director has built strong relationships with the SRS leadership team and has found their voice to advance the mission of SRS. Similarly, the director has become a visible colleague on the campus with a good sense of the partnerships, collaborations, and coalitions necessary to advance the mission of SSP.
  • The SSP department has a deeper sense of team, direction, and support based on direct efforts by the director to build community and establish a clear vision.
  • The director has become familiar with the new strategic plan and has joined the conversation to the point of goal implementation by SSP.
  • The director has made steps for sharing the successes of SSP widely across the campus and is doing so confidently by sharing interpreted assessment and evaluation data.
  • The director has tied all quantitative and qualitative assessments to SRS strategic goals, which are linked to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affair’s strategic goals. This assessment work shows the impact of the programs on retention and student success.
  • The director has developed an environment where there is a sense of joy in the workplace, and staff finds opportunities to celebrate the impactful work in each unit.


Institution & Location


The office of Student Success Programs (SSP) is administratively housed with a group of departments led by the assistant vice chancellor of Student Retention & Success. The SRS team within the Student Affairs division plays a leadership role in creating, coordinating, and delivering programs and services that foster student success and persistence. By developing the personal, academic, and professional skills needed for a successful transition into diverse and global communities, the SRS team fosters the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of UC San Diego students. SRS promotes campus-wide collaboration to encourage student success and develops strategic interventions that improve student retention and graduation rates, with particular attention to distinctive student groups that may have unique needs and/or come from disadvantaged educational backgrounds. The Student Retention & Success team has evolved into a cohesive, trans-disciplinary source of services to support student success and retention in response to the chancellor’s strategic plan to improve retention and graduation rates. The SRS team includes the Undergraduate Research Hub; the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services (OASIS); the Chancellor’s Associate Scholars Program (CASP); Online Student Experience (OSE); and Student Success Programs (SSP), which is comprised of the Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC), Undocumented Student Services (USS), the Student Success Coaching Program, and Transfer Student Success programs. There are approximately 57 FTE and 350+ student staff within the SRS unit, supported by approximately $10.0M in funding.

View the Leadership of Student Retention & Success

Student Retention & Success Organization Chart


 Student Affairs oversees many student-centered departments and units and works collaboratively with campus partners to ensure student well-being and success.

Student Affairs organizational chart

Mission statement and organizational goals


Alysson Satterlund – Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

Dr. Alysson Satterlund serves as the vice chancellor for Student Affairs at UC San Diego, where she oversees a wide range of student services and programs, including student retention and success, student life, recreation, global initiatives, student conduct, case management services, student affairs assessment and evaluation, and organizational development.

Dr. Satterlund has served in student affairs leadership roles in both public and private universities for the past 26 years. A first-generation college graduate, Dr. Satterlund is deeply committed to initiatives related to diversity, inclusion, and retention and is inspired each day to pay forward the transformational opportunities that educational access has had on her life.

Dr. Satterlund earned a PhD in interpersonal and organizational communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees at California State University, Chico.



The University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) is a highly selective, comprehensive public university with more than 42,000 students; seven undergraduate colleges; and 12 academic, graduate, and professional schools. Founded in 1960, UC San Diego is a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, one of 61 universities recognized for their exceptional research and academic programs. UC San Diego is renowned for its collaborative, diverse, and cross-disciplinary ethos that transcends traditional boundaries in science, arts, and the humanities. With faculty, researchers, and staff attracting more than $1.64 billion in sponsored research in fiscal year 2022, UC San Diego is an academic and research powerhouse. UC San Diego is recognized as one of the top 15 research universities in the world and is the largest civilian employer based in San Diego County. Driven by a focus on equity, inclusion, and belonging, student affairs at UC San Diego advances student impact and success.

Mission and vision

Organization Charts (


Total Enrollment: 42,875

Undergraduate: 31,842

Graduate: 9,532

Faculty: 3,085


UC San Diego has a strong interest in ensuring that all candidates hired for faculty appointments share our commitment to educational access, excellence, and Principles of Community.


Pradeep K. Khosla – Chancellor

Pradeep K. Khosla became UC San Diego’s eighth chancellor on August 1, 2012. As UC San Diego’s chief executive officer, he leads a campus with more than 42,000 students; seven undergraduate colleges; and 12 academic, graduate, and professional schools. UC San Diego is also home to the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego Health System. With annual revenues of $6.9 billion in fiscal year 2022, UC San Diego is an academic and research powerhouse, with faculty, researchers and staff attracting more than $1.64 billion in sponsored research in fiscal year 2022. UC San Diego is recognized as one of the top 15 research universities in the world and is the largest civilian employer based in San Diego County.

Khosla initiated and led UC San Diego’s first-ever Strategic Plan and the ambitious 10-year, $2 billion Campaign for UC San Diego. The Campaign raised $3.05 billion, exceeding its original goal by more than $1 billion, and making UC San Diego the youngest institution ever to complete a multi-billion-dollar fundraising campaign. The Strategic Plan and Campaign for UC San Diego have worked in concert to transform the university physically, culturally, and intellectually. With these efforts, Khosla has significantly expanded college access and affordability for underserved populations, initiated interdisciplinary research initiatives to foster collaboration and solve societal challenges, and strengthened university and community relationships and partnerships. The campus is currently in the midst of a $6 billion construction plan aimed at expanding classroom and research space, doubling the number of on-campus housing units, and redeveloping the Hillcrest Medical Campus.


Benefits Overview

For a look at the full benefits offered at the University of California, San Diego, see here.

Application & Nomination


 Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Julie A. Leos at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The salary range for this position is $110-120,000.

 Visit the University of California, San Diego website at

 The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see:   

 University of California, San Diego’s Commitment to Anti-Racism 


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