My name is Matt Ducatt. I have been a higher education professional for over 30 years. I have held positions with several different institutions throughout the country. My career path has allowed me to learn by working in a broad array of higher education environments. I have wealth of professional experience in university unions, student activities, registered student organizations, Greek life, residence life, housing operations, career development, new student orientation, student governance, recreation, registration, admissions, judicial affairs and student conduct, mediation, and crisis management. I am proficient in event and conference planning and have overseen construction and renovation projects. Additionally, I have maintained an acute understanding of the issues facing higher education through my formalized education and professional development and continue to seek out learning opportunities to support my growth and education. I obtained my Ph.D. in Higher Education Research from Texas Tech University in 2014. I have been actively involved several higher education associations. I am currently the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Liaison to the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) Board. My wife, who is also a higher education professional, and our three children live in Tallahassee, Florida where I am the Director of the Oglesby Union at Florida State University.
I am passionate about the work we do in college unions in higher education. Students learn from their campus environment through active experiences and social interactions. The development of a community is vital to the success of our students. If a sense of community is not found at the institution, the student will most likely transfer to another institution which meets his or her needs, or worse, a student may leave higher education altogether. The research suggests that a more engaged student is one who is more successful academically and more likely to be retained by the institution. Students should be given the opportunity for a well-rounded curricular and co-curricular experience. This is a critical component to the retention of our students, their persistence to graduation, and subsequently the students’ ability to go out into the world and make a difference as global citizens. My commitment to diversity and inclusion is unwavering. My focus has always been to provide all students with the support, tools, guidance and direction they need to successfully navigate the daily systems of the institution and to be productive members of the university community and the world around them. I believe that higher education can and should be a catalyst for positive change. I have a deep commitment to supporting and actively engaging a diverse and multicultural student body. I have a demonstrated record of leadership in the student affairs arena and a comprehensive knowledge of student development theory in the context of an active learning community.