The director of the Undergraduate Student Retention Office will become the director of the center created by the merging of his office, the Help/Success Center and the Center for Life Sciences on Aug. 1.
The announcement of the merger in early April began a search process that ended Wednesday with the announcement of Paul Thayer as the new director.
“We’re delighted he accepted the offer and think he will be a first-rate director,” said Peter Nicholls, provost and academic vice president. “He has shown he is a person who knows how to make a difference in the lives of students.”
Thayer has been at CSU for 24 years and has a long history of working closely with faculty and student affairs professionals throughout CSU, Nicholls said. Before Thayer was director of the Undergraduate Student Retention Office, he served as director of the Center for Educational Access and Outreach providing leadership for six retention and pre-college programs.
The new center is set to open Aug. 1 and will be located in Aylesworth Hall.
“We are planning to anoint the new organization Aug. 1, but it will be evolving over time,” Thayer said. “I’m quite excited (for the new position).”
The new center faces a smaller budget and the task of doing the work of three organizations. This will require “new ways of doing things,” Thayer said. “We’ll have to be creative. The center should be first about student success.”
Thayer sees secondary goals for the center as creating an atmosphere for effective learning and a community for students.
“(Thayer) is a man who has a great deal of vision for the future of advising and graduate retention,” Nicholls said.
The other two candidates were Paul Shang, director of the Help/Success Center and Tom Gorell, director of the Center for Life Sciences.
Amy Robertson, administrative assistant of the Undergraduate Student Retention Office, greeted the news with “mixed feelings.”
“We have two really great directors that will be here all summer, that have to continue even though they have lost their jobs,” she said.
Despite the mixed feelings, Robertson said everyone is excited for Thayer. “There are still so many opportunities,” she said.