About the Division

Welcome to the University of Delaware Division of Student Life!
Led by the Vice President for Student Life, our 11 units and 25 functional areas support all UD students as they develop personally, educationally, and professionally. Students find that the development we facilitate, and the communities we foster, fill the abundant space between the classroom and life to complete their University of Delaware experience.

In partnership with students, parents and families, faculty, staff and alumni, the Division provides thousands of unique opportunities for all UD students to discover their identities and passions; manage their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; and learn to engage with the many diverse communities to which they belong as they prepare for a lifetime of growth and excellence.

2022 Most Promising places to work in student affairs award
2021 Most Promising places to work in student affairs award

Organizational Chart

Division of Student Life

Organizational chart of the Division of Student Life, showing five portfolios and two functional areas.

Click image above to expand.

Mission, Vision and Values


The Division of Student Life advances equity and inclusion, deepens student learning, and drives holistic development through education, experiences, and communities.


Lead a dynamic student experience and vibrant campus culture so all Blue Hens thrive throughout their lives.


As the Division of Student Life pursues excellence, these values guide our interactions, our decision-making, and ultimately the collective culture we build that enables us to achieve our vision and mission:

Amplify Student Voice

Students and their success are central to the University’s mission. We commit to ongoing engagement with students so that we can include and promote their voice in our endeavors.

Pursue Equity

We actively seek to remove barriers to fair participation in Student Life programs and initiatives and commit to influence institutional change toward a more equitable and just student experience.

Transformational Collaboration

Recognizing that we accomplish more by working together, we will deepen partnerships across the Division and throughout campus to elevate our collective work.

Learning and Innovation

We strive to be a learning organization characterized by critical thinking, reflection, curiosity, generating knowledge, and taking risks. We expect our individual and shared learning will fuel change toward innovation.

Integrity and Respect

We demonstrate integrity through our interactions with one another and strive to respect and uplift all colleagues and students. When we fall short of this ideal, we courageously hold one another accountable.

Commitment to Community Engagement

Advancing Civic Leadership and Engaging Communities

Our efforts engage students in all aspects of their lives beyond the classroom. We strive to help students take leadership roles in developing a healthy and thriving campus community. We also provide structures, support, and encouragement for students to develop habits of contributing to the broader society through service.

Student Life encourages community engagement in two distinct areas: engagement in community, and educating students beyond the classroom to support a lifetime of active citizenship. Read our full statement on the Community Engagement Initiative.


Learning Outcomes

Students who engage in opportunities outside of the classroom find that they are better prepared to be Blue Hens forever — thriving individuals who value respect, openness, innovation, engagement and mentorship; who demonstrate daring spirit, passion and dedication; and who proudly embody the legacy of their Blue Hen community.

As a result of participating in Student Life opportunities, students develop in four key areas:

Self-Discovery and Development

– Cultivate curiosity through the exploration of new ideas and experiences
– Develop an awareness of individual interests, strengths and values
– Draw meaningful connections between identity and purpose

Personal Wellness

– Create and sustain relationships that contribute to personal success and satisfaction
– Manage competing priorities including educational, work and personal commitments
– Articulate the effects of choices on the physical and mental health of oneself and others
– Develop strategies to learn from adversity

Social Responsibility

– Recognize shared ethical values and standards within the UD community
– Establish congruence between values and behaviors, understanding how they impact the welfare of others
– Develop an awareness of problems affecting campus, local and global communities
– Enrich one’s life through participation in civic, political or community activities

Inclusivity and Action

– Develop and apply knowledge, attitudes and skills to expand understanding of diverse perspectives, identities and communities
– Develop the ability to work with people different from oneself
– Engage in respectful and productive civil discourse
– Develop the ability to advocate for inclusive, equitable communities

Research and Assessment

We regularly assess our efforts in addition to collaborating on institutional research to determine whether and to what degree students develop the skills and achieve the target outcomes of our programs and services. In addition to ongoing conversations and interviews with students and alumni, we conduct several program-specific assessments that are compiled into the following biannual impact reports:

Staff Assessment and Research Resources

The Student Life Assessment and Research staff site is an internal site with instructional materials, forms and other pertinent resources to guide Student Life staff in their assessment and research activities.

Student Life Leadership

José-Luis Riera, Ph.D.

José-Luis Riera, Ph.D.

Vice President for Student Life

Nathan Elton

Nathan Elton

Executive Director, Postgraduate and Student Success Integration

Adam Cantley

Adam Cantley

Dean of Students & Assistant Vice President, Student Support and Advocacy

Nicole Long, Ph.D.

Nicole Long, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President, Student Experience & Belonging

Heather Kovanic

Heather Kovanic

Senior Advisor & Chief of Staff

Laura Gleason

Laura Gleason

Business Officer

Adam Foley

Adam Foley

Interim Assistant Vice President, Institutional Equity for Student Life

Request Student Life Leadership at your event!

UD Community members can request Vice President José-Luis Riera and/or a member of the Student Life Core Leadership Team to attend or speak at their events by completing the form below.