Student Success, Retention and Equity (SSRE) Task Force


The Student Success, Retention and Equity (SSRE) Task Force members will work together to foster conversation and co-design of a university-wide action plan for student success, retention and equity. During this commitment, the task force will assist the co-chairs with the following tasks: 

  1. Using an equity lens, develop a comprehensive, collaborative, holistic and data-informed approach to student retention, academic success and postgraduate placement, including enrollment strategies, academic initiatives, advising and co-curricular programming that enhance belonging and wellness.
  2. Identify data-informed improvements that can be implemented in the short term to make improvements in student support, information sharing, and policies and procedures. 
  3. Partner with deans and school/college faculty leaders to set retention goals for majors and at the school/college level, and identify action plans to attain them.
  4. Identify, recommend and implement an integrated strategy to return FTFY retention to 83% by fall 2024, increase retention to 85% by fall 2026 and 87% by fall 2027, with a stretch goal of 90% by fall 2027.
  5. Identify, recommend and implement an integrated strategy to increase four-year graduation to .78 in 2027. Identify realistic and stretch goals for 4 year graduation and develop strategies to achieve them.
  6. Explore strategies to continue to manage Leave of Absences (LOA) and ensure that students have the support they need to graduate, including possible scholarships for students who want to return, scholarships to complete summer courses to keep from falling behind, and competence-based credit for returning students.
  7. Identify student populations that would most benefit from coordinated pro-active, evidence-based academic and co-curricular programs, building on current success based initiatives.
  8. Develop ways to leverage current surveys, early alert systems, and recommend new digital initiatives to enhance persistence and academic success of  students.
  9. Enhance collaboration, information sharing and joint planning between Student Life and Academic Affairs with regard to student academic success.

Throughout this process, the task force should collaborate with the college / schools retention committees / initiatives, the student pathways committee, the strategic planning committee and other parallel efforts at the university.



  • Tracy Benning, Associate Professor, Environmental Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • April Crabtree, Vice Provost, Strategic Enrollment Management
  • Lester Deanes, Assistant Vice President, Student Engagement
  • Kiara Dorion, Institutional Data Analyst, Office of Institutional Research and Analytics
  • Simon Flores, Associate Dean, Retention and Persistence, CASA, Student Life
  • Michael Jonas, Associate Professor, Economics, College of Arts & Sciences
  • David Kirmse, Associate Vice President / Director of Ed Technology Services
  • Stacey Kohut, Department Supervisor - Pre Licensure, School of Nursing & Health Professions
  • Sabrina Kwist, Associate Vice Provost for Antiracism, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Shirley McGuire, Senior Vice Provost for Curricular Innovation and Inclusive Excellence (Co-Chair)
  • Shona Milazo, Associate Vice President and Dean, Student Academic Services (Co-Chair)
  • Michelle Millar, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs, School of Management
  • Julie Orio, Vice President of Student Life
  • Stephanie Sears, Associate Professor, Sociology, College of Arts & Sciences

To contact the task force, please email