Final VP of Student Affairs candidate addresses SDSU

by Luke Henning

Last Monday, the third and final candidate for vice president for Student Affairs, Frank Lamas, met with faculty and students to discuss his plans for San Diego State’s future if he is chosen to lead the Division of Student Affairs.

Like the other candidates for the position, Lamas has more than two decades of experience in education. He has worked at The University of Texas at Arlington as vice president for student affairs and dean of students since 2005.

Lamas is currently a board member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators—a large international organization of student affairs professionals. As a board member of this roughly 13,000-member organization, Lamas personally helps develop the group’s standards for student affairs.

Lamas also works with the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. One of his main goals when starting at a new university is to educate his staff about the various standards of the organizations he works with and then implement those standards.

Lamas said his approach to student affairs is one of cooperation. For example, instead of taking on a large-scale fundraising campaign to launch a new alcohol education program at UT Arlington, Lamas said he contacted the campus police department.

“Working with other organizations on campus with a common goal saves time, money and headaches,” Lamas said.

The police department agreed to split the cost of the program with Student Affairs saving both groups’ resources, Lamas said.

At SDSU Lamas plans to focus on expanding existing programs. He said he was particularly interested in improving work study programs on campus. At UT Arlington he found that students who worked on campus had an 88 percent retention rate.

“Not only did the students stick with us but some of my best staff came from student work programs,” Lamas said.

During the open forum one faculty member asked Lamas about how visible he was on campus at UT Arlington Student Affairs. Lamas said he was surprised by the amount of students who recognized him on campus.

“I somewhat accidentally became the face of student affairs on campus,” Lamas said.

During his time on campus in Arlington, Lamas fronted several of his division’s campaigns, and in doing so became well-known among the student body.

“It’s gotten to the point where alumni and students come up to me on the street,” Lamas said. “I was in an Ace Hardware recently and one of the staff greeted me with a ‘How’s it going Dr. Lamas?’”

Read about the other candidates.