Steven Hood named vice president for student life

Rachel Seale, Contributing Writer

Editor’s Note: This article was edited to include a quote from Matthew Kerch, the executive director of housing and residential communities.

Steven Hood has been named vice president for student life at The University of Alabama, pending approval by the UA System board of trustees. 

Hood has served as interim vice president since February 2022, when the former vice president, Myron Pope, resigned.

I’ve been fortunate to have excellent professional opportunities throughout my career, including nearly 12 years at UA, and all of these have prepared me well for the vice president position,” Hood said in an email statement. “In my time at UA, I’ve enjoyed directly and indirectly overseeing each of the 20+ departments in Student Life while building strong working relationships with many campus partners across the institution.”

He said the UA System board of trustees will meet later this summer to approve his position. The next scheduled board meeting is Aug. 31-Sept.1, though it is unclear if this is when the board will decide whether to approve his position.

“The transition is quite smooth with continuing the good work of the nearly 300 full and part-time employees and nearly 1,000 student employees of Student Life who help UA’s outstanding students achieve their academic, personal and professional goals,” Hood said.

Hood is no stranger to student affairs as he has served students at the University since 2011.

Before he was chosen to be the interim vice president for student life, Hood was the executive director of Housing and Residential Communities

Matthew Kerch, the current executive director of housing and residential communities, said in an email statement that Hood is a strong advocate for all UA students, including the on-campus population, and his department looks forward to what the future holds. 

“He has been instrumental in supporting our mission and has been actively involved in opening over 3,500 new beds on campus during his time at UA,” Kerch said. “We look forward to what the future holds for both our department and division under Dr. Hood’s leadership.” 

He has also worked as the interim vice president for student affairs and the associate vice president for student life.

University of Alabama President Stuart Bell said Hood’s dedication in these previous roles has been reflected in his success at the Capstone.

“He cares deeply for all students and has proven to work tirelessly to support them and their success,” Bell said. 

Hood said he is proud of the work he has accomplished during his roles in the Division of Student Life, including various projects such as the new Julia Tutwiler Hall.

“We’re also looking forward to opening Greek Assembly Hall soon, which will primarily serve the National Pan-Hellenic Council and United Greek Council communities while also providing a storm shelter during severe weather,” Hood said. “Additionally, I’m pleased with our progress in rolling out the REAL Tide engagement record, which is a tool that helps students showcase their out-of-classroom experiences in a co-curricular record that will complement their academic transcript.”  

According to Hood, the division will focus on continuing to enhance student life, especially when it comes to overall safety and well-being.

“Students can expect to see this in the upcoming year through expanded mental health and wellness services along with a greater emphasis on leadership development for rising second-year students,” Hood said.

The newly appointed vice president said he enjoys getting to work with students at the University.

“In addition to getting to know them on a personal level, I really appreciate the opportunity to work with students from a wide range of backgrounds and interests,” Hood said. “Each day brings new opportunities to think creatively and find ways to better serve and support students to success on their own unique paths.”

As Hood awaits approval from the board, he said he’s excited about the future of the Division of Student Life.