CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Daniel Shipp’s dislikes about his position as vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. He actually said “too many formal meetings” are his least favorite thing about his job. We apologize for the error.
When choosing the University of Nebraska at Omaha to complete his master’s degree in education, Daniel Shipp said he considered his college decision to be a casual one.
Shipp said after leaving for the University of the Pacific to get a doctoral degree in education he remained attached to Omaha and to UNO.
Now, after being vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at UNO for nearly four years, Shipp said he has found his way to the professional career he loves.
“When you’re responsible for providing successful pathways for students to get to campus, then actually helping students be successful when they’re here and graduating, that’s really the full life cycle for students on campus,” Shipp said. “You’re really a steward of the student voice.”
Overall, Shipp said his job is to help students connect learning in the classroom to their out-of-class experience, which helps them in later life. Shipp said words to describe himself are “learner,” “mindful” and “focused.” He said he has experienced success when applying his listening and mindfulness skills to his work.
After becoming a vice chancellor, Shipp said he first decided to meet with students and faculty to find out where UNO could excel. Then he realigned the structure of the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and created subdivisions to focus on priorities. These subdivisions include focus on involvement with student programs, achievements of students through career advising and development, wellness through health services and recreation, and greater inclusion of student diversity.
Shipp’s coworkers help him run these focus subdivisions. James Freeman, senior director of inclusion, said Shipp has a strong work ethic, “Maverick creativity,” and an infectious passion for student success.
“In the three years that Dr. Shipp has been with the university he has led the Division of Student Affairs through a transformation that has allowed the university to serve its diverse student body better than ever before,” Freeman said.
Kristina Cammarano is senior director of Student Success at UNO. She also works with Shipp, saying he is a great mentor and friend, and genuinely cares about students.
“He believes in creating a great student experience that educates the whole person,” Cammarano said about Shipp. “As a vice chancellor, he is concerned with helping students not just be career ready but also community ready to affect change in the places they call home.”
By sharing resources throughout campus, Shipp said, the full-time staff at UNO has thrived as well. Shipp said this focus on faculty and students has helped student retention and graduation rates, and it’s a point of pride for him that UNO is growing and enrollment is increasing.
Hank Robinson of the UNO Office of Institutional Effectiveness works with Shipp on enrollment and retention goals. Robinson said Shipp is receptive with a high emotional IQ, and Shipp’s decisions to focus campus resources on students can greatly increase students’ completion rates at UNO if sustained over time.
“His knack for radical candor makes it much easier to tackle difficult issues requiring clarity of purpose and thought,” Robinson said.
When asked what he likes and dislikes about his job, Shipp said he loves that his job allows his success to help students to succeed as well through learning inside and outside of the classroom. He added that there are too many formal meetings which is probably his least favorite thing about his job because he thinks he can achieve more by meeting and talking informally with people across campus.
Freeman said he views Shipp as a leader and a friend.
“I have never seen Dan refuse to help somebody – student, colleague or a complete stranger. He is a deeply sensitive human being who thrives on empowering others to succeed,” Freeman said.
When he eventually leaves UNO, Shipp said he wants all students to have the same chance of success, no matter their backgrounds. Shipp said he has a commitment to inclusion and wants students to be proud of their Maverick experience.
“We’re the growth stock in the Maverick portfolio,” Shipp said. “The Maverick blood runs through my veins.”