Dr. Robert Goltra, III

Photograph of Robert Goltra

Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students, Missouri Western State University

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Dr. Robert Goltra, III has a well-rounded, 20-plus-year background in education that includes experience as a K-20 instructor and administrator and specialized training in the areas of student retention, student services, and student success. Robert’s experiences in managing student service projects range from designing and implementing student enrollment and retention plans to developing and leading million-dollar student services grants. His leadership of those projects and many more have prepared him to lead the teams needed to ensure the successful completion and implementation of critical student initiatives. Leading department personnel in highly accountable higher education environments (e.g., admissions, DEI leadership, student conduct, Title IX and student advocacy, counseling centers, student health services, Greek life, veteran services, advising, campus police, career services, financial aid, housing and residence life, SGA, student activities, co-curricular assessment, tutoring services, testing centers, and TRiO grant programs) has primed him to work with and lead essential higher education personnel to engage in the best practices that undergraduate and graduate students rely on to meet their needs in today’s educational milieu. He calls on his first-hand K-20 student development experiences to best serve as an AACRAO Consultant.

As an Institute for Educational Leadership Education Policy Fellowship Program completer, he deepened his knowledge and application of policy and data governance decision-making. Assisting higher education colleagues in strategically eliminating systemic barriers was key to his desire to join the AACRAO consulting team of dedicated professionals making a positive impact in higher education. His doctoral dissertation studied college student retention characteristics, models, and programming that best engage and propel underserved and underrepresented students to successful personal and academic outcomes.

While studying to become an educator, he was also a successful student-athlete. He was named an Academic and Associated Press All-American, served as Team Captain of a top-five college football program, and played for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. These experiences, coupled with being raised in a single-parent low socioeconomic household, allow him to identify with students navigating the enrollment funnel through graduation carrying at-risk characteristics that require just-in-time wrap-around services.