By UBNOW STAFF
Published July 14, 2023
Tomás A. Aguirre, former vice president for student life and chief diversity officer at SUNY Delhi, has been appointed dean of students at UB, effective July 31.
At Delhi, Aguirre managed the day-to-day operations of student life, supporting areas including Housing, Residential Life, Student Rights and Responsibilities, Custodial Services, Transportation, Equal Opportunity Programs, Student Health Center, Student Counseling, Athletics, University Police, Student Leadership and Engagement, Student Government, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Clubs and Activities, Dining Services, Mail Room and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
He established the first multicultural center (MOSAIC) at Delhi, providing a safe space for underrepresented students and a central programming department for the greater campus community.
Aguirre has spent most of his professional career supporting students at public institutions because of their mission to boost economic and social mobility, especially for first-generation students and students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, notes Brian F. Hamluk, vice president for student life.
“I am thrilled that Tomás will be joining the University at Buffalo family. He is a talented, student-focused administrator who has a track record of success at several institutions. He is keenly aware of student support needs, and our UB students will benefit tremendously from his significant student affairs background and dedication to improving the student experience,” Hamluk says.
Hamluk also noted that Aguirre, as a first-generation student and person of color, is a diversity-driven administrator with a specialty in supporting students, staff and faculty with diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, sexual orientation, abilities, international and ethnic backgrounds. “He has a track record of developing high-impact programs and services in the critical areas of student achievement and success, diversity and inclusion, leadership and engagement, and more,” added Hamluk.
Aguirre comes to UB having served in numerous senior student affairs positions throughout his career, including as dean of students at the University of New Mexico and as associate vice president and dean of students at Texas A&M – Commerce.
He joined Delhi as vice president for student affairs in 2017 and assumed the role of chief diversity officer in 2018.
“The University at Buffalo is a special and unique place that rises above the rest, and I am excited that my professional and personal philosophy and values align so closely with the university's mission and vision,” Aguirre said.
“UB advances the public good in so many ways from supporting inclusive excellence for all members of the UB community, to providing a transformational experience for students, to carrying out innovative and lifesaving research that improves the quality of all our lives, to being an economic driver for Western New York. I was also attracted to the experience, professionalism, dedication and talent of the UB community and am both excited and humbled to join the True Blue team.”
He earned a BA in political science and international studies from the University of Texas at Austin; an MS in educational psychology from the University of Southern California (USC); an MBA from SUNY Oswego; and a doctorate in educational leadership and higher education administration from USC.
Aguirre succeeds Barbara Ricotta, who retired last summer after 38 years at UB, the last 25 as dean of students. Elizabeth Lidano, director of student conduct, has served as interim dean.
“I want to thank and recognize Elizabeth Lidano for her outstanding and dedicated service to Student Life and UB during the interim period,” Hamluk said.