‘Inside UVA’: New Chief Student Affairs Officer Talks Service and Safety in President’s Podcast

September 15, 2021 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

Audio: Inside UVA Episode 2: Robyn Hadley(17:33)


Robyn Hadley, the new vice president and chief student affairs officer at the University of Virginia, was the first person in her family to go to college. She comes from a tiny town in North Carolina called Graham and moved to nearby Chapel Hill when she attended the University of North Carolina on a full scholarship. From there, she journeyed to the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

In the second episode of “Inside UVA,” a new podcast hosted by UVA President Jim Ryan, Hadley described the “magical” and sometimes terrifying experience of going to college and her abiding passion for “helping young people.”

She told Ryan that that her love of service was born through her own experience. “I always had an interest in working with young people and just helping them get where they wanted to go because I had so many folks in my life help me with that,” she said.

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With just over three months under her belt at UVA, Hadley is the newest member of Ryan’s leadership team and the president said he is “absolutely thrilled” that she agreed to come to the University.

Robyn Hadley headshot

Robyn Hadley is UVA’s new vice president and chief student affairs officer. (Contributed photo)

In introducing Hadley and the podcast, Ryan said it was his hope that the new, weekly series would help listeners learn how UVA works. “Inside UVA” is available on most podcast apps, including Apple PodcastsSpotify and Google Podcasts.

“This podcast is a chance for me to speak with some of the amazing people at the University and to learn more about what they do and who they are,” he said. “And my hope is that listeners will ultimately have a better understanding of how UVA works and a deeper appreciation of the remarkably talented and dedicated people who make UVA the institution it is.”

Ryan steered the conversation from Hadley’s education and early professional career, which included volunteering with young people at her beloved Graham High School and her work as associate vice chancellor and dean for scholar programs at Washington University in St. Louis, to what she is doing today at UVA.

“So, there may be people wondering, ‘Exactly what does a chief student affairs officer do?’” he said. “Three-plus months into the job, how would you answer that question?”

Her reply was straightforward: She does lots of listening and talks with lots of people, from staff to students.

“Clearly, we’ve been focused on safety, and that’s public health from COVID to just making sure that our students are physically safe in and around Grounds,” she said.

Tune in to the second episode of Inside UVA to get an insider view into the life of UVA’s new vice president and chief student affairs officer and listen to last week’s episode to learn more about UVA’s head football coach, Bronco Mendenhall.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications