July 31, 2023
Dear Student Affairs Staff,
I am excited to announce a new vision and collaborative organization within Student Affairs, Health and Wellbeing.
This effort combines University Health Services (UHS) and Recreational Sports (Rec Sports) into an intentionally aligned unit. As the name suggests, what makes this organization unique is that it’s based on integrating medical, recreation, and wellbeing services — providing a full continuum of comprehensive wellness and wellbeing services and resources.
The vision for this model follows a number of conversations with colleagues across the spectrum of higher education about novel ways to deliver health, recreation, wellness, and wellbeing services to our campuses. The pandemic made the need to focus on health and wellbeing for all in our community even more salient and urgent. To achieve this goal, we will bring together the two entities in Student Affairs that focus on health and wellbeing, and find a champion (a “chief wellness officer”) to lead this new unit.
This change builds off of the great work UHS and Rec Sports have already achieved together. As stated previously, I have much gratitude for the organizations that Guy and Brigitte have built. For example, UHS and Rec Sports, as well as the School of Public Health and the Physical Education Program, have earned gold-level recognition for their Exercise as Medicine program for three consecutive years. Rec Sports has pioneered the Inclusive Recreation program, making sure everyone feels empowered to enjoy the benefits of wellbeing. UHS has also championed the university’s participation in the Okanagan Charter, an international commitment supported by the World Health Organization to embed health and wellbeing into all aspects of a campus culture; Rec Sports involvement in this will be important.
I have begun the search for a new Associate Vice Chancellor (AVC) of Health and Wellbeing. This position replaces the former Associate Vice Chancellor of University Health Services position. I will schedule the search for the permanent Executive Director of Rec Sports so the new Associate Vice Chancellor can have some input in the decision. In the meantime, both UHS and Rec Sports will retain their current reporting lines. Once the new AVC of Health and Wellbeing is hired, Rec Sports will transition to its reporting line. Interim Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Rec Sports Stephen Furman will continue to lead the department and report to Alfred Day, Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Engagement and Support in the Dean of Students Office. Acting interim Associate Vice Chancellor for University Health Services Craig Mielcarski will continue to lead UHS during this period. I thank them for their leadership.
Our goal is to leverage the subject expertise and unique skills sets of these two units. To achieve this, I intend to keep current staff in their existing positions. I imagine there are many questions and reactions. I want to be thoughtful about the transition and impact to the teams. Over the next several months, I will continue to work with both teams and others in the Division to answer questions and to support the implementation to minimize the impact to staff and services.
I am pleased with this innovative way to support Berkeley’s commitment to wellbeing, and I am excited to see where this direction leads for the future of our campus community.
Stephen C. Sutton, Ed.D. (he/him/his)
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
This message was sent to all Student Affairs staff.
If you are a manager who supervises UC Berkeley employees without email access, please circulate this information to all.