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UVa dean of students leaves after 2 years at school

The University of Virginia’s vice president of student affairs and dean of students will be stepping down from her position after two years at the school, UVa announced Friday in an email.

Robyn Hadley will leave her post effective Aug. 1, the school said.

Christopher Holstege, who serves as executive director of student health and wellness, will step in as vice president of student affairs. Cedric Rucker, the school’s senior associate dean in the Office of African-American Affairs, will serve as interim dean of students.

It is unclear why Hadley is leaving the university, where she began working as vice president of student affairs and chief student affairs officer in June 2021. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Progress.

Hadley was named dean of students last year.

There was also no reason for her departure identified in the university email sent out Friday morning.

In that email, the school’s President Jim Ryan praised Hadley for her contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the November shooting that took the lives of three student-athletes.

“Robyn has led Student Affairs with grace and determination, even in the face of enormous challenges," Ryan said.

The email also references Hadley’s work advancing initiatives such as Hoos First, aimed at supporting first-generation and low-income students as well as enhancing mental health care resources for the student community.

"Through it all, she has demonstrated the professionalism, wisdom, and deep care for our students for which she will be remembered here at UVA," Ryan said. "We are grateful to Robyn and her team for all they have achieved these past few years."

The University of Virginia has experienced notable turnover in senior leadership since the pandemic. And at the same time, the university has received criticism for saying it would conduct nationwide searches to fill positions in the past and then settling on promoting existing staff.

Hadley herself was named dean of students to replace an interim dean, Julie Caruccio. Caruccio took over for Allen Groves, who left the school in July 2021 after 14 years. The university leadership had said that a full search would likely commence to find a replacement for Groves, but ultimately Hadley stepped in to fill the seat.

At an Aug. 23, 2022, Board of Visitors meeting, Chief Operating Officer J.J. Davis said the school faces a “war on talent" that has made it difficult to hire and retain employees.


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