Student Housing & Residential Life Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Don Yackley has been awarded the Bob Cooke Distinguished Service Award by the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers (SWACUHO). The award, given to five individuals each year, recognizes service, dedication, and significant contributions to student housing.
Nominees must demonstrate loyalty and dedication to the residence halls or residence life and have served a minimum of four years at the nominating college or university.
Yackley has been with the University of Houston for nine years, serving first as the Executive Director of Residence Life and Housing and now as the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs - Student Housing & Residential Life since September of 2019. Don has many accomplishments, including developing a housing master plan, constructing three new residence halls, increasing the Faculty in Residence program, and launching the Cougar Experience learning community that provides a housing scholarship and support to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. During his time at UH, he has helped increase the number of students living on campus from 6,075 in 2012 to 8,339 as of August 2020. Under his leadership, the department has achieved a first-time in college retention rate of 86% for the past four years. Don has also worked to improve the residential grade point average of all students from 2.76 in 2001 to 3.02 in 2018. He has cultivated a residential living experience that has created a positive impact on student success.
Don’s involvement with SWACUO and the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) include serving as Faculty for the ACUHO-I Stars College (2018-present) and National Housing Training Institute (2017, and as Chair of the SWACHO Professional Development Committee (2018-present) and ACUHO-I Housing Internship Committee (2015-17).
“Don is a trusted and valued member of the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services. He is an asset to his department, the division, and the University of Houston. As I read the description of the Bob Cooke Distinguished Service Award, I immediately think of Don. Don is dedicated to the housing profession and models exemplary competence across our division as a thoughtful, creative, and extremely talented leader,” said Dr. Daniel M. Maxwell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.