Linhart to retire after 20 years

Cambrea Schrank

chall2@uccs.edu 

Steve Linhart, assistant vice chancellor of student affairs and dean of students will retire in February. His long history at UCCS began when he graduated from the university with a Master of Public Administration degree in 1992. 

     Linhart came back to UCCS in 2000, working as a police officer in public safety, and was promoted to deputy chief four years later. In 2007, he left public safety to become the executive director of judicial affairs and student services. He also served as the emergency manager in 2010 and served in this role for two years, eventually becoming the dean of students in 2012, according to Linhart.  

     “Our office deals with student conduct, students in crisis, students who don’t know where to turn, so the majority of my time is honestly spent in direct conversations with students or acting on behalf of issues with students. It seems like the majority is on an individual basis,” Linhart said.  

     Linhart’s job serves the entire campus, from facilities to academics and housing. “I don’t think there’s anything I do that doesn’t involve another area on campus,” he said. 

     “[What I enjoy most] is when I’m able to help students. Sometimes it’s under very, very difficult circumstances, but knowing that I’ve been able to help them make a difference, that has been the most rewarding,” Linhart said.  

     Linhart’s co-workers have nothing but good things to say about their colleague and friend. 

     Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX Coordinator Amanda Allee said via email, “Steve has had such a positive impact on me as a professional and as a person, I don’t know if I could put it all into words. He has been an excellent mentor. He role-modeled deep and personal caring about our students and their success.” 

     “He coached me on being a relational leader, taught me how to build authentic and caring professional relationships with colleagues across campus so that we can work together to better support students,” Allee said. “Personally, he was my boss during some very challenging personal times, during the deaths of multiple loved ones, and he was a very compassionate and empathetic boss.” 

     For her fondest memory of Linhart, Allee shared, “So much of the work we did with students was hard and emotionally draining. There isn’t a specific instance, but often Steve and I would just chat for 15 minutes or so at the end of the day or while we were walking to our cars after work — about not work things, such as family, past jobs, school. It was just a chance to decompress. It took your mind off the hard stuff for a few minutes.” 

     Allee shared that a fun memory was when a group dressed up like Steve Linhart for Halloween; he was completely surprised. 

     “He is certainly known for his support of students, anyone can attest to how he helps students out in tough times. He will go see them in the hospital; he has personally proctored their tests; he taught a GPA class for just 3 students because they were impacted by a class being canceled. He will bend over backwards to help our students,” she said. “Basically, anything that was ever brought to him that would improve the student experience — he said yes to.” 

     Allee explained that he has also been crucial in mentoring staff. “He has a way of spotting potential and investing in an individual’s professional growth. The campus is full of staff that have their job, at least in part, because Linhart saw something special in them and helped them grow into the professionals they are now.”  

     David Weiss, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, knew Linhart when he was a police officer at UCCS.  

     “I’ve worked with him a number of times, one-on-one with students. He’s even been responsive on Sunday nights when we had concern about student welfare, and responded quickly, taking immediate action for us. He’s a good listener, can think logically, is empathetic, and someone who really everyone likes and appreciates,” Weiss said via email.  

     As for a fond memory, Weiss said, “I had a meeting with Steve and a student, in my office, a few years ago. In my view, the student was having serious mental health issues. We both tried to describe the situation the student was in, and what his best course of action was. Steve was thoughtful, as always, friendly, and truly helpful to both this student and myself. He’s awesome!” 

     According to Weiss, Linhart’s biggest contribution to campus was demonstrating that the Dean of Students office was a place where faculty and students could turn for help in difficult situations. “He is one of those people who made a direct impact in a positive way on students’ lives, and someone who the faculty felt confident in working with. I always knew that if I was turning to him, whatever he did would be in the best interest of the student.” 

     Linhart’s last day at UCCS is Feb. 12. After retirement, Linhart plans to do some volunteer work relating to the environment or children.  

     “I’m going to treat my last day here just like any other day. I’m just as committed. I’ll be working up until that last day, and hopefully, I’m still making a difference,” Linhart said.  

     “I’ve been so fortunate to work with so many incredible people. I’m also reminded that at UCCS, it’s not the buildings, it’s not the view, it’s ultimately the faculty, the staff, and most importantly, the students, that make this experience,” he said. “I’m going to miss what’s happening right now — these meaningful interactions that revolve around a common purpose of growth and success.” 

     Thank you, Steve Linhart, and good luck with your future endeavors.  

Steve Linhart.
Photo courtesy of the UCCS website.