AUSTIN, TexasTeresa Graham Brett, associate dean of students at the University of Michigan since 1998, has been appointed associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students at The University of Texas at Austin.
|Photo courtesy of University of Michigan|
Teresa Graham Brett
Vice President for Student Affairs James Vick said the appointment resulted from a nationwide search by a 13-member committee composed of members of the university’s faculty, staff and student body. The position has been vacant since Dean of Students Sharon Justice retired on Aug. 1. Tom Dison, associate vice president and director of recreational sports at The University of Texas at Austin, has been serving as the interim dean of students during the search process.
“Teresa Graham Brett is a talented, experienced leader with a clear vision of the major issues we face in serving students,” Vick said. “Her strengths in bringing together diverse groups of students, bridging the boundary between student affairs and academic affairs, and resolving conflict will be valuable to the Dean of Students Office and the university.”
As the associate dean of students at the University of Michigan, Brett has been responsible for areas including Student Activities and Leadership, the Program on Intergroup Relations, Conflict and Community, the International Center, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Affairs. She serves as student advocate on various campus issues and works closely with individual student leaders and organizations as a mentor and adviser.
As a co-director since 1996 on the Program on Intergroup Relations, Conflict and Community, Brett has been responsible for development, implementation and management of innovative curricular and co-curricular programs for undergraduate students. These programs focus on issues of social justice, intergroup relations, intergroup conflict and community building.
Brett began work at Michigan in 1996 as an associate director in the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. She worked at the University of Arizona from 1993 to 1995 as associate director of minority student services in the University Learning Center. From 1989-93 she worked in the university’s Office of Minority Affairs, initially as a summer programs coordinator and later as assistant director for retention.
She received her juris doctor degree from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1989 and was recipient of the Joseph Livermore Award for Outstanding Service to the College of Law. In 1986, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and Japanese from the University of Arizona, where she was graduated with distinction.
“My leadership and administration philosophy is a direct result of both the successes and challenges in my career,” Brett said in her letter to the search committee. “I believe in and foster a collaborative team environment while understanding the need to be decisive and provide clear direction. My career has been committed to bridging boundaries between student affairs and academic affairs, social identity groups (based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability, etc.), staff and administrators, and students and administrators, to create more inclusive environments.”
Vick said he made the final decision on filling the position after the search committee evaluated applications and presented him with a list of six finalists. The committee was chaired by Lynne Milburn, associate director of counseling, learning and career services, and coordinator of the Career Exploration Center. The committee, composed of seven staff members, two faculty members and four students, developed a diverse pool of candidates. Milburn said a search firm was retained to help the committee obtain a greater field of candidates. The position was advertised in a substantial number of minority publications, colleges and universities.