Rachelle Hernandez joined the Johns Hopkins community as vice provost for student affairs in spring 2022, bringing more than 25 years of experience working in higher education. In her role as vice provost, Ms. Hernandez oversees a broad university portfolio including student life and leadership development, the Center for Social Concern, the Center for Student Success, housing and community living, dining, athletics and recreation, and student conduct, among others. Collectively, the portfolio is focused on fostering and supporting an engaged student educational experience and cultivating student connection and belonging in co-curricular and academic spaces. Through partnership and collaboration with faculty and staff across the university community, Student Affairs helps students take full advantage of all that JHU has to offer, and, importantly, supports student education, retention, and graduation outcomes.
Ms. Hernandez is recognized as a national higher education leader, with a strong commitment to student access and success and student belonging. She frequently serves as a speaker at national conferences, conducting workshops in the areas of strategic enrollment management, student success, and the effective use of data to support the achievement of both institutional and student outcomes. She has served as faculty in residence for the Harvard Admissions Summer Institute, as a college board trustee, a member of the Access and Diversity Collaborative National Advisory Committee, and as a member of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO) Ascend Leaders in Enrollment Advising Diversity (LEAD) Leadership Development Program and Curriculum Committee. She currently serves as an instructor and coach for the AACRAO ASCEND program and as the co-director of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Chief Enrollment Officers’ Forum.
Previously, Ms. Hernandez served as the inaugural senior vice provost for enrollment management and student success at the University of Texas at Austin. In that role, she worked to create a more responsive and student-centered experience and enhance university student services. Ms. Hernandez also established several programs at UT Austin to increase affordability, bolster student success, increase access to jobs and internships, and improve alumni support and engagement—including the development of Texas One Stop, the Texas Career Engagement, and Texas Advising Excellence. Ms. Hernandez also led the university’s efforts to increase enrollment of traditionally underrepresented student populations, achieve the university’s highest overall and traditionally underrepresented retention and graduation rates, and develop new financial aid programs that resulted in decreased undergraduate student loan debt. In addition, Ms. Hernandez oversaw a number of efforts focused on increasing student belonging and community, including the university’s recognition as a First-Gen Forward institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, receipt of Excelencia in Education’s Seal of Excelencia, and the development of a university-wide Hispanic Serving Institution transition plan.
Prior to joining UT Austin, Ms. Hernandez served in student-centered roles at the University of Minnesota, beginning her professional career as an admissions counselor and advancing to become associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of admissions, where she oversaw the university’s enrollment management and student success efforts. In her time at UMN, Ms. Hernandez led efforts to grow the university’s first-year and transfer enrollment, as well as campus efforts resulting in significant increases in the university’s enrollment of students of color and the university’s highest overall student—and highest student of color—retention and graduation rates. Ms. Hernandez received her bachelor’s degree in political science and her MEd in human resource development from the University of Minnesota, where she is a PhD candidate in organizational leadership, policy, and development.