DSAS appoints Laura Arroyo as the next Associate Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services

On July 1, Laura Arroyo will join the Division of Student Affairs and Success as the next Associate Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services.

The Division of Student Affairs and Success is pleased to announce Laura Arroyo has been named Associate Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services (AVC CHES). Hired following a national search that began in February, Laura will report to the vice chancellor of student affairs and success, serving as a member of the division’s cabinet and leadership teams. As the AVC CHES, she will provide strategic leadership in the design, development, implementation, coordination, assessment, and continuous improvement of residential and dining-related programs and services for students. This key role is charged with creating and maintaining a healthy, inclusive, and responsive campus environment for approximately 9,500 residential students.

“I am thrilled to welcome Laura as our new Associate Vice Chancellor for Colleges, Housing, and Educational Services,” Vice Chancellor Akirah Bradley-Armstrong said. “Laura's unwavering commitment to student success and her proven track record in higher education, along with her active involvement in professional organizations like ACPA, make her an ideal addition to the Division of Student Affairs and Success. Her dedication to equity, innovation, and student-centered practices aligns perfectly with our divisional priorities. Laura is exceptionally well-prepared to lead CHES toward a bright and promising future.”

Laura joins UC Santa Cruz from the University of Colorado Boulder where she has worked for the past seven years, most recently serving as the assistant vice chancellor for transitions and academic partnerships. After working in higher education for more than 20 years at a variety of institutions across the nation, both public and private, she has a wealth of experience centered in residential life, housing, and auxiliary services. Her leadership roles have encompassed childcare services, housing administration, crisis response, academic partnership integration, living-learning community development, and co-curricular learning efforts. 

Laura’s very first job in student affairs was a position in the dining center on a college campus, and it was this experience that sparked her passion for this work. "Community is built in many places on a college campus, but it is often found first for students in housing and dining,” Laura says. “This portfolio can make such a difference for students and I am so blessed to be a part of that."

A first-generation college student, Laura holds an Ed.D. in educational equity with a concentration in urban and diverse communities from the University of Colorado Denver; her dissertation is titled “Let Us Make It Ours: Black Student Mattering in Residential Housing.” She also holds a bachelor of social work (BSW) from Mansfield University and a master of social work (MSW) with a clinical focus from the University of Maine. Her academic and research interests include issues of equity and justice within higher education, co-curricular approaches to student learning, living-learning community development, and third space theory. 

Laura is highly involved in national higher education organization leadership, currently serving as the Vice President for the Foundation Board for ACPA (College Student Educators International). She has also served in numerous roles within ACPA leadership including Governing Board and as national Chair for the Commission for Housing and Residential Life. 

Throughout her career, Laura has been recognized numerous times for her professional accomplishments and service to the field. A few of these accolades include President-Elect Finalist Nominee for ACPA-College Student Educators International (2023); CU Boulder Employee of the Year, Chancellor’s Office (2021); and recipient of the Outstanding Innovation in Housing and Residential Life, ACPA-College Student Educators International (2019).

As a leader, Laura strives to set an equity and data-informed vision that includes buy-in from staff and the community. She understands that good leadership must be grounded in compassion and trust, and her experiences have prepared her to lead through crisis and change with innovation and care.

Laura cares deeply about building leadership pathways for and supporting students within the many transitions they experience throughout their collegiate journey. "Students deserve spaces and places where they belong and matter,” she shared. “I am so excited to join the UC Santa Cruz community to help build this for students."

Laura will begin her tenure as the AVC CHES on July 1. With the start of Laura’s appointment, Dave Keller will continue serving as Executive Director of Housing Services and Facilities. Vice Chancellor Bradley-Armstrong shared her gratitude for Dave’s interim service, “As we announce Laura’s appointment, I would also like to express my deep appreciation to Dave Keller, who served as the interim Associate Vice Chancellor for the past year. Throughout his time as the interim AVC, Dave played a crucial role in advancing several key initiatives and projects. His leadership and stability helped CHES through a period of significant transition, and for that, I am profoundly grateful.”

“I’d also like to extend my appreciation to the search committee for their time and contributions to this recruitment effort,” said Bradley-Armstrong. The committee was comprised of the following individuals across campus:

  • Dani Barker, Special Adviser to the Vice Chancellor (co-chair) 
  • Naomi Chu, CARE Director
  • Angela Cline, Assistant Vice Chancellor (co-chair)
  • Steve Houser, Director
  • Sean Keilen, Chair, Council of Provosts
  • Maddie Lee, Undergraduate Student
  • Jessica Rashid, Associate Dean of Students
  • Traci Takeuchi, Unit Manager Hospitality Services
  • Lexie Tapke, Assistant Director Learning Support Services 
  • Lenora Willis, Executive Director ABC Student Success