Positioning the University of Rochester as a destination research university takes innovation and investment. When someone decides to pursue a Rochester degree, they are committing to spending a substantial amount of their time with us—none more so than our residential undergraduate residential students. So, the student experience outside the classroom needs to be as exceptional as the quality of our education.

In March, David Figlio, provost and Gordon Fyfe Professor of Economics and Education, announced the creation of a Student Experience Team. And on January 1, 2024, the team will gain a crucial player in John Blackshear.

Our new VP for student life

Blackshear, the current dean of students, associate vice president for student affairs, and associate vice provost for undergraduate education at Duke University, will be Rochester’s first vice president for student life.

“I am confident that under his leadership—and with the collaboration of our exceptional student life staff—we will achieve our goal of being recognized among the nation’s best for student experiences,” Figlio says.

Check out the official announcement for more on Blackshear’s role and background in higher education.

A student experience with Boundless Possibility

Boundless Possibility, the University’s new strategic plan, aims to ensure that the student experience at Rochester is not only distinct, but also highly attractive and valuable beyond the degrees we confer. Regardless of whether they are residents or commuters, students should have no trouble exploring their intellectual interests or finding opportunities to grow, such as developing new skills or building existing strengths through hands-on learning experiences. And above all else, they should feel that Rochester is a place where they are welcome and belong.

goal addressed

Exceptional undergraduate and graduate education