Skip to main content

Saenz named vice provost of undergraduate education

September 14, 2007

Delia Saenz has been named ASU’s new vice provost for undergraduate education, effective Sept. 17. In her new role, Saenz will spearhead the university’s retention efforts.

Saenz, an associate professor of psychology and director of the Intergroup Relations Center (IRC), brings more than 18 years of experience to the post. Her appointment fills the only open vice provost position in the organizational design of Elizabeth D. Capaldi, ASU’s executive vice president and provost.

“Undergraduate education is our fundamental mission and the provost’s office has been seeking a person to fill the vice provost for undergraduate education position,” Capaldi says. “We are thrilled to have attracted Dr. Saenz. Her experience with diversity and commitment to student success make her a perfect fit for this position.”

The new post is designed to focus on academic success for all students at ASU, covering all arenas of undergraduate education, including collaborations with University Student Initiatives and academic colleges to increase student retention rates.

“I am excited to join a leadership team that places significant value on the success of every student,” Saenz says. “Among the top three challenges for both academic and student affairs is student retention. We must revisit our approaches to recruitment, orientation, advising, tutoring and teaching if we are to achieve the university’s goal of a 90 percent retention rate.”

Saenz says most of ASU’s attrition rate occurs in students’ transition from freshmen to sophomores. Saenz also has made a commitment to improve ASU’s retention rates for minority students.

For Saenz, engaging students and helping them find the right career path is a responsibility that belongs to all members of the ASU community. But she believes faculty members are the most significant contributors to student success.

“In general, we must each take responsibility for promoting student success and work to create a culture that is conducive to attracting, retaining and graduating our students,” Saenz says. “Implementing initiatives that reflect the design aspirations of excellence, access and impact will benefit our students, our institution and our broader community.”

Saenz has an established record of research, teaching and service since she joined the faculty in 1989. Her research on tokenism, intergroup relations, acculturation and pedagogy in higher education has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Mental Health. She is the principal investigator of a grant from the Ford Foundation examining faculty diversity in higher education.

Her service to the university has included leadership roles on the Diversity Policy Council, the Chicano/Latino Faculty Staff Association, the Faculty Women’s Association and the Southwest Borderlands Initiative. Saenz also has served as director of the social psychology program and as interim associate dean of the Graduate College. She earned her doctorate in social psychology from Princeton University.