Carlos García reflects on decades of service

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Carlos García

After many roles in higher education and several years devoted to helping students and his community, Carlos García is ready to enjoy a well-earned retirement.

García first joined the Mountain Lion family as Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance in March 2016, and in December 2017 transitioned to Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success and Auxiliary Services. He then took over as Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs before officially taking on the role in 2020 and has served in it since. Despite being a full-time Vice Chancellor, he also briefly took on additional duties as Acting Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance for four months.

“I feel very fortunate that I was able to have a career where the main focus of my job was to help others succeed,” García said.

And help he has – in his multiple roles, García’s provided executive leadership to an impressive variety of student support services and auxiliary services on campus, including Academic Advising, Student and Family Connections, Career Services, M.O.S.A.I.C., Office of Student Life, Student Leadership Programs, Veterans & Military Student Affairs, Disability Services & Testing Center, Dean of Students Office, International Student Affairs, Intercollegiate Athletics the Bookstore, Copy Center, Vending, the UCCS Farm, Residence Life and Housing, Family Development Center, University Center and Conference Services, Ent Center for the Arts, TheatreWorks, the Galleries of Contemporary Art, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Wellness Promotions Programs, Campus Recreation, Dining and Hospitality Services, Division and Auxiliary Finance and Division Assessment – just to name a few.

With these many partnerships, it’s no surprise that the collaboration opportunities on campus, and his colleagues, are some of García’s favorite things about working at UCCS.

“The ​people ​I ​work ​with ​here​ ​are ​really ​vested ​in ​the ​student population ​and ​want ​what’s ​best ​for ​them,” García said. “It’s ​also easier ​to ​collaborate ​with ​folks ​here ​than ​it ​is ​at ​other universities I’ve worked at, which is something I love about UCCS.”

Along with his executive leadership expertise, García served on the campus emergency operations policy group and COVID Incident Management Team, co-lead the campus response to COVID-19, chaired the Significant Events Team while leading large-scale campus events, acted as liaison for the Air Force ROTC program with CU Boulder’s Detachment 105, implemented mandatory diversity training for all Student Affairs staff and much more.

Though he’s looking forward to retirement and his next chapter, García looks back fondly on his time at UCCS and the people he’s spent many hours working closely with.

“I’ve ​gotten ​to ​know ​my ​team ​and the people I work with on a regular basis really ​well,​​ and ​I’m ​going ​to ​miss ​them,” he said. “​They’re ​great ​people. ​They take their work seriously, ​but have ​a ​good ​time ​doing ​it.”

Before joining the UCCS staff, García was already part of the CU community as Boulder’s Executive Director of the University Memorial Center. Both of García’s children are CU Boulder grads, with their time as students even overlapping with his tenure there.

García also served as Director of Union and Housing at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he earned both his undergraduate degree and his Master of Arts with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. Prior to this, he was Union Operations Manager at the University of North Texas.

García has accumulated many awards and recognitions over the years through both his career and community and volunteer efforts. During his years at CU Boulder, he received the 2016 Boulder Marinus Smith Award and the 2013 Interfraternity Council Special Recognition Award. He also had an student leadership scholarship, named the Carlos García UMC Director’s Scholarship, established in his honor.

From his time as a National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) Board of Directors president, he won the 2023 Silver Torch Award, 2023 West Regional Mentor of the Year and 2020 Robert F. Newton Distinguished Service Award. For his work with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), he earned the 2024 Emeritus Award, Region 13 Pat Moonen Outstanding Service Award in 2011, the 2006 Board of Trustees Appreciation Award and Region 12 Appreciation Award for 1993 – 1996.

On top of his career accolades and efforts in higher education, García has been a devoted community member and volunteer for decades. He has acted as a youth recreation league coach for several sports, served the Boys Scouts of America as a merit badge counselor, Eagle Scout mentor and Assistant Scoutmaster, participated in several other local volunteer initiatives and is a Certified Auxiliary Services Professional (CASP).

Now, García plans to spend as much time as possible with his wife and family and fill his newfound free time with traveling and camping.

“In ​the ​past, ​we had ​to ​wait ​until the ​weekend ​to ​go ​camping,” he laughed. ​”Now ​we ​could ​leave ​on ​a ​Tuesday ​and ​get ​the ​best ​spots. I’m ​looking ​forward to just ​being ​able ​to ​dedicate ​time ​for ​us ​to ​do ​fun ​stuff and travel.”