University of Miami names new Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

University of Miami names new Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

By Mike Piacentino

University of Miami names new Associate Vice President and Dean of Students

By Mike Piacentino
Ryan C. Holmes, assistant vice president for student support at University of Texas El Paso, will join the Division of Student Affairs on July 31 as the associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Ryan C. Holmes, an accomplished educator and leader in identifying and managing the complex trends in student campus life and higher education overall, has been named the new associate vice president and dean of students for the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Miami.

Holmes, who will oversee judicial affairs, Greek affairs, campus chaplains, crisis management and student-community relations, currently serves as assistant vice president for student support at the University of Texas El Paso. At UM, he will also coordinate support and services for veteran students and the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education. He will begin his role at UM on July 31.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Holmes and his family to the University of Miami community,” said Patricia A. Whitely, vice president for student affairs. “He is a nationally recognized leader who will continue to enhance our efforts in student engagement and support. I look forward to having Dr. Holmes as a positive influencer in our efforts to foster a culture of belonging at UM.”

As assistant vice president for student support at the University of Texas El Paso, Holmes held supervisory oversight of various units, including those that provided resources for military students and student conduct as well as services for students with disabilities. Holmes also served as a deputy Title IX coordinator responsible for supervision of investigations regarding student concerns.

Holmes earned his doctorate in educational leadership and administration from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2014. He received a Master of Arts degree in counseling and personnel services from the University of Maryland-College Park in 2004 and a second Master of Arts degree in bilingual/bicultural studies from La Salle University in 2008.

“I am beyond ecstatic to merge my ideas, skills, and talents with those of the students, faculty and staff at the University of Miami,” said Holmes, who is an accomplished singer and songwriter who once sang the National Anthem before a speech by former President Barack Obama. “I look forward to playing an integral role in bringing the Division’s vision to life while serving under the leadership of President Frenk and Dr. Whitely together with the University's exceptional leadership team.”

When Dean Ricardo Hall, UM's current associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, announced his departure from the University in February, a committee of University faculty, staff and students was charged with screening candidates in search of his successor.

Anthony Barthelemy, chair of the screening committee and associate professor of English literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that the committee was looking for a candidate who understood the many components of the position.

“From Greek life to judicial affairs and even University Athletics, this position works with various aspects of University life,” Barthelemy said. “The committee looked for candidates who understood what the job requires and who appreciated the diversity of our students and the communities served by this position.”

With his wide range of experiences in student support, student conduct and judicial affairs, and his leadership roles in various national higher education associations, Holmes emerged as the top candidate.

“Dr. Holmes understood what it is like to work at a university where the urban environment is part of university life,” Barthelemy added. “He was fully engaged in discussing various complex problems facing colleges and universities today. He did his homework about UM and seemed eager and excited to join our campus community.”

Nationally, Holmes has delivered various talks and presentations on topics including social justice, race and gender bias, as well as conflict resolution and entitlement. He has also contributed to a variety of nationally published works including “Reframing Campus Conflict: Student Conduct Practice Through a Social Justice Lens” and “The State of Student Conduct: Current Forces & Future Challenges: Revisited."

Holmes served on the American College Personnel Association’s Ethics Consortium Committee from 2013-2015. He also reviewed student conduct program standards as an expert review panelist for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education in 2014. Holmes also served as president of the Association for Student Conduct Administration from 2012 to 2013.

Holmes, his wife and two children are planning to move to South Florida later this summer.

“The Holmes Family is overjoyed to join the University of Miami family very soon,” Holmes adds. “Until then, my family and I will hold “The U” high from the West Texas desert.”