Improving the recruitment and retention of graduate students and their experience in the College of Liberal Arts will be the primary objective for newly appointed Assistant Dean Dr. Les Riding-In.
Riding-In, who moves over from the Honors College, said he hopes to ease the disconnect graduate students may feel – especially those working professionals who are enrolled in one of COLA’s numerous graduate programs and rarely involved in campus activities.
“We have a number of students but don’t really know who they are,” he said. “The student’s voice is very important … but it needs to be balanced with communication from the dean’s office. I want to reach out to faculty and graduate students, and get all the views included to see what’s happening.”
At the Honors College, Riding-In spent the bulk of his time as a liaison with multiple offices across campus and faculty advisors. His new role with COLA was created to respond to the needs of a growing graduate student body.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Riding-In to our administrative team,” said Dr. Kim van Noort, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts. “He will be instrumental in assisting graduate programs address the needs of their students and in seeking support for the research and creative activity those students are undertaking.”
Since 2005, Riding-In has served as an academic advisor in the College of Business and the Honors College. He received his Ph.D. in higher education from the University of North Texas in 2010. Previously, he worked in Residential Life at the University of Oklahoma.
Riding-In is also active with UT Arlington student groups as well as national organization. A member of the Pawnee and Osage tribes, he was been a co-advisor for the Native American Student Association (NASA) since 2006, and served in various leadership roles for the National Association of Academic Advisors since 2008. In April, NASA received an Outstanding Contribution to the Greater Community Award.
Riding-In’s research interests have included academic advising and the roles of tribal colleges.