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Cedric Howard, new vice president of student affairs

UNC Selects New Vice President for Student Affairs

University of Northern Colorado (UNC) has chosen Cedric Howard, Ed.D., as the university's new vice president for Student Affairs. Howard, who was selected through a national search the university launched last May, will start his position on Dec. 6, 2021.

University of Northern Colorado (UNC) has chosen Cedric Howard, Ed.D., as the university's new vice president for Student Affairs. Howard, who was selected through a national search the university launched last May, will start his position on Dec. 6, 2021.  

“I am very excited that Dr. Cedric Howard will join UNC to be our next vice president for Student Affairs,” said UNC President Andy Feinstein. “This position is an important part of my leadership team and works across the university to ensure that students have a holistic educational experience best prepared to contribute to their growth and development no matter where they are in their academic journey. In Dr. Howard, UNC gains a proven, student-centered leader and another advocate for our students in the management of Student Affairs operations, decision making, and long-term planning. He truly embodies our common commitments to being a Students First institution and I hope everyone will join me in welcoming him into our community of UNC Bears.”  

Howard brings more than 25 years of higher education experience to UNC, much of that in senior-level administrative positions, including vice president and vice chancellor of Enrollment and Student Services and dean of Student Affairs, where he has helped deliver measurable results while prioritizing student achievement. 

As the vice president of Student Affairs (2016-17) and vice president of Enrollment and Student Services (2017-present) at State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia, Howard led a redesign of the university’s admission process that increased overall campus enrollment for the first time in over a decade. Those efforts produced a 45% increase in first-year student enrollment in 2017 and the largest and most diverse class in school history in 2018. His accomplishments also included increasing student housing occupancy, completing upgrades to several student services facilities and developing a restorative justice sanctioning process for student conduct.  

During his time at the University of Washington (UW) Tacoma, where his most recent position was the vice chancellor of Student and Enrollment Services, the institution increased freshman enrollments by 79%, earning recognition by the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Campuses in the U.S. in 2014 and 2016, and Top 50 Most Diverse Campuses in the U.S. by Best College Reviews in 2015. Under his leadership, six-year graduation rates increased by 25% and the university’s 25-year campus life facilities master plan was completed in six academic years.  

Howard has also had great success at his previous institutions in helping to increase donor engagement, securing more than $40 million through external and community fundraising efforts for student scholarships and student-related programs. A seasoned administrator with experience in program development, strategic planning, accreditation and teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, Howard brings a breadth of experience in higher education and a collaborative leadership style focused on bringing long-term success to UNC.  

“I am honored and humbled to join the dynamic leadership team at the University of Northern Colorado,” Howard said. “I want to thank President Feinstein for granting me an opportunity to serve as the next vice president of Student Affairs, and Dan Maxey, the president’s chief of staff, for his guidance throughout the search process. UNC is a student-centered university with a genuine commitment to student success, social justice and academic excellence.  All three attributes aligned with my personal and professional values. Go Bears!” 

Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgia College and State University, his master’s in education in Educational Administration from the University of Tennessee and his doctorate in education in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University.  

In addition to his leadership roles at SUNY Fredonia and the UW Tacoma, he has also held positions at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Weber State University, LeMoyne-Owen College and University of South Florida St. Petersburg. His professional honors and awards include the National Association of Student Personnel Administration (NASPA) Pillar of the Profession Award (2019), the national NASPA Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Dean/VP (2018) and the regional NASPA Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Dean/VP Region V (2014).   

As indicated in President Feinstein’s announcement last May, Tobias Guzmán, Ed.D., who has been serving as interim vice president for Student Affairs and chief diversity officer, will begin his new role as vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion when Howard arrives. 

— Written by Deanna Herbert
Updated 10/8/21

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