University’s first vice provost of access and success appointed

Alonso Montano/Staff Writer

Vice President of Human Resources Jaffus Hardrick was recently appointed the University’s first vice provost for The Office of Student Access and Success—a position with a job responsibility that reads “enhancing access to FIU for students in our community who are not receiving optimal preparation towards a college career.”

This piggybacks on the University’s service to high numbers of Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students.

“This appointment recognizes Dr. Hardrick’s commendable efforts in support of our minority student population,” wrote Provost and Executive Vice President Douglas Wartzok in a memorandum to the University.

The University currently ranks first in the nation in awarding bachelor’s and master’s degrees to Hispanic students.

It also serves a large percentage of economically disadvantaged students. Almost 50 percent of all undergraduate students receive financial aid, and nearly 60 percent of those financial aid recipients come from families with annual household incomes under $30,000.

Hardrick assumes the duties as vice provost for Access and Success in addition to his service as vice president of the Department of Human Resources. He said it came with a slight raise. His previous salary was $193,553, according to

He will now run the Golden Scholars program, a  summer bridge program designed to help students coming out of high school make the transition to college, and is responsible for implementing recommendations of the Task Force on Recruiting and Graduating Students of African Descent.

Recommendations include: (1) creating mentoring programs, (2) encouraging participation in service learning initiatives and (3) creating an intensive advisement strategy that involves mentoring high-risk students.

“I’m excited for this because it gives me an opportunity to do something that I’m passionate about, which is serving our students,” said Hardrick.

The University stated in its 2012 Work Plan that it is committed to increasing the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded to black students while maintaining the percentage of total bachelor’s awarded to this group.

Hardrick said this is part of his ultimate goals: to promote academic success and  help students graduate in a timely manner.

He plans to accomplish these goals with the support of local organizations and community partners.

“We are reaching out and collaborating with the various school districts and local community organizations that really focus on student recruitment and having those entities  partner with us in getting students in school,” Hardrick said. “We’re also working with our community partners to help support a lot of the programs and initiatives that we have related to student access and success.”

This is not only a University mission, but also part of a national agenda by President Barack Obama to increase the number of minority and low-income students enrolled in institutions of higher education.

“We have an epidemic in the country with these particular groups not going to college,” Hardrick said. “A lot of Latino males, black males, low-income students and first-generation college students are, for whatever reason, not enrolling in college or matriculating from college in a timely manner.”

“You may have someone who will get in college but barriers that prevent them from being successful certainly come into play,” Hardrick said.  “We want to be able to help eliminate some of those barriers so students can focus on their academics.”

Hardrick will work with all academic departments and the Student Government Association to alleviate any barriers.

He will also collaborate with the Science Technology Engineering and Math Transformation Institute and the Training and International Research unit in the Division of Research, which includes the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement, Minority Access to Research Careers Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research and Bridge to the doctorate programs.

“It’s a way to help ensure that the university is tapping into underrepresented student groups who need that extra encouragement,” Hardrick said.

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