Vice President and Dean, Student Life
September 2011 was the beginning of Char Burgess's 41st year at the University, and her 30th as the chief student affairs officer responsible for running a small town for 18 to 22 year olds.
Burgess earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with minors in English and religion from the University in 1969 and a master of arts degree in counseling and higher education administration in 1970.
She received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 1993, the Frank J. Rice Award for Community Service in 2001, was awarded Outstanding Dean in Western U.S. in 1996 by her professional organization, and has been the recipient of other local community awards including Redlands Woman of the Year in 2003.
Burgess currently sits on the boards and has served as president of the Family Service Association and the YMCA. She is also co-chair of the $14 million YMCA expansion and renovation campaign. Burgess also sits on the boards of the Redlands Community Foundation and the Redlands Street Tree Committee. She was named as a Pillar of her professional organization–NASPA 2011 (National Association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education).
She lives in an 1890 Victorian grove home with husband Larry Burgess, who is the director emeritus of the A.K. Smiley Public Library.
Office of the Dean of Student Life
Reporting to the President, the vice president and dean of student life serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and plays a key role in the development of University policy. As the senior student affairs administrator for the campus, Burgess is responsible for providing leadership and administrative direction in the areas of athletics, academic support services, career services, campus diversity and inclusion, orientation, residence life, community service learning, health services, the counseling center, chaplain’s office, student conduct, student leadership and involvement, and dining services.