UT alumna named new vice president for student affairs

Bobby Blanchard

With the hope to unite the academic and student affairs aspects of campus, Gage Paine will take her position as vice president for student affairs starting August 1.

University President William Powers Jr. said in an email Friday that Paine will replace current Vice President for Student Affairs Juan González, who is returning to teach at the University after seven years in the position. Gonzalez announced his resignation last July and UT administration announced four finalists in March. There were 77 applicants for the position.

In the past seven years as the vice president for student affairs, Gonzalez supervised and led initiatives to build the Student Activities Center and Almetris Duren Residence Hall. Gonzalez recently came under the spotlight in February when he asked former Texas Student Media Director Gary Borders to resign or be terminated because he was unhappy with Borders' performance. Soon after the incident, Kevin Hegarty, UT vice president and chief financial officer, became for the primary contact for TSM issues and questions about Borders resignation.

Paine previously served as vice president for student affairs at UT-San Antonio, which serves approximately 30,000 students. The UT-Austin student affairs position serves about 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and oversees several aspects of campus, including the Division of Housing and Food Service, the Office of the Dean of Students, University Health Services, Student Financial Services and Texas Student Media, among other university entities.

Paine said as the new vice president she is charged to get student and academic affairs to work together to increase efficiency across campus. Paine visited campus in April to attend an open forum with students about her candidacy.

“I think that is a great thing for us to be working on as a University,” Paine said. “One of the things I said in my interview is that if five years from now people are still saying ‘I wish student affairs and academic affairs would work together’ then I wouldn’t have done a very good job.”

Beyond integrating student and academic affairs, Paine said she did not have any other specific goals for UT.

“What I need to do is come in and see what is going on,” Paine said. “Until I get on campus and really sit down and talk to people and listen to what they have to tell me, I really can’t formulate any goals that are specific.”

Paine has worked as the University of Texas at San Antonio’s vice president for student affairs for more than five years. During the fall of 2011, she played a role in establishing UTSA’s first football team.

“We had a huge student affairs, athletics and campus initiative to make sure that when we had our first game it felt like we had been doing it a long time,” Paine said. “It was a campus wide coordinated effort to have a great football event for each football game.”

Paine earned her PhD in educational administration at UT Austin in 1996 and said she was looking forward to being back in Austin.

“UT Austin is a great campus and so I’m really excited about being in a really vibrant interesting place so I think it’s really fun to be back there,” Paine said.