Provost Craig White appointed Laura Valdez director of University Advisement following a national search. Valdez is currently the director of the University College Advising Center at UNM. Her appointment begins Aug. 1.
“I look forward to working on university-wide advisement efforts,” Valdez said. “Advising positively impacts student lives, affecting persistence, retention, and graduation. I plan to lead UNM to the next level of excellence in advising.”
Valdez has more than 25 years experience in higher education, including several positions at the University of New Mexico. She has worked in Student Affairs, including for more than 10 years as director of New Student Orientation. While working with NSO, Valdez made a number of contributions. She created the Family Connection Program, made orientation mandatory for all undergraduates, moved NSO to an online registration system, and created online orientation programs to accommodate transfer and returning students.
She has been with University College since 2010, and has been a part-time instructor since 2007. In her position as director of the University College Advising Center, she worked to decrease student wait time, while also improving advising quality.
“I’m happy to have someone with Laura’s capabilities and leadership step into the advising director position,” White said. “During her career at UNM, her ability and desire to understand students has helped her create advising and student support programs that center on the students and find the best ways to help them succeed. After a very competitive search, I am confident that campus advising will continue to improve.”
Valdez has also been active in professional associations, committees, and other campus efforts. She co-founded the NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community, and chaired both the Program and Assessment Committees for the NODA Association for Orientation Transition Retention in Higher Education national conference. She has also been active in campus-wide student success initiatives and accreditation efforts.
Valdez has earned two degrees from UNM, including a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Journalism, with a concentration on intercultural communication and rhetoric, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication.