UT Tyler Student Success

Leadership Team

 Ona Tolliver picture

Ona Tolliver
Vice President for Student Success

Ona Tolliver serves The University of Texas at Tyler as the Vice President for Student success. She joined UT Tyler in 2008 as the Director for Student Life and Leadership and in 2010 she progressed to the role of Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs. Having worked in Higher Education, specifically in the field of Student Affairs, for more than twenty five years she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work with students in the areas of student engagement, civic responsibility, retention, support and leadership. Ona’s experience in Higher Education includes working specifically with student development, policy and student transition.

During her time at UT Tyler, Ona has been integral to the creation of a number of new offices, programs and services dedicated to improving student success, retention and the operation of the university.  These programs include the Military and Veterans Success Center, the Students in Recovery program, university-wide Scheduling & Conference Services office, Title IX Office, Patriot Pantry and the Center for Student Financial Wellness. Ona has worked to improve student persistence and retention through Behavioral Intervention team and serving as both the Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Foster Care Alumni liaison with the State of Texas.

Ona has worked with various community organizations including the local food bank, and agencies supporting the education and prevention of violence against women.  She is an alumni of Leadership Tyler having participated in Class 30 and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Smith County Habitat for Humanity.

Prior to joining UT Tyler, Ona served as the Associate Dean of Students at the University of North Texas. In her role at UNT, Ona provided oversight for student activities, Greek life, volunteer programs, student organization risk management, crises intervention and retention programs and was a facilitator for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), an international program designed to address racism and oppression.

Ona received her Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Counseling and Student Affairs from the University of North Texas.


 Andy Pettee

Andrew Pettee

Assistant Vice President & Dean of Students

Andrew Pettee assumed the role of Assistant Vice President of Student Success and Dean of Students in November of 2019. He is currently responsible for Student Conduct and Intervention, Center for Student Financial Wellness, Student Wellness, Students in Recovery, Residence Life, the University Center, Scheduling and Conference Services, the Military and Veteran Success Center and the University CARE Team.

He has over a decade of experience in higher education and most recently served in leadership positions within the Purdue University System. Andrew has a demonstrated expertise in student behavior management and Intervention, threat assessment, retention, compliance specifically with Title IX, Clery Act, and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Strategic Planning, Strategic Resource Allocation, Bystander Intervention, and facilities management.

Andrew holds a Level Three certification from the Association of Title IX Administrators, is a Certified Green Dot Implementation Instructor, and is actively involved in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Student Conduct Administrators, and the National Behavior Intervention Team Association.

He holds a Master of Arts degree in Student Affairs and Higher Education with an emphasis in Leadership, from Eastern Michigan University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, also from Eastern Michigan University.

Andrew is married to Linda Atkinson-Pettee who is also a higher education administrator, and they have two children, O'Neil and Raegan, and a coonhound named Bean.


Kim Harvey Livingston 

Kim Harvey-Livingston

Associate Dean of Students

Kim Harvey-Livingston has served as the Associate Dean of Students, supervising Student Wellness (Counseling, Recovery, Wellness Programming), the Center for Student Financial Wellness, Student Conduct and Intervention, and campus Resiliency Programs for the past 4 years.   During her career, Kim has provided support services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, conducted assessments and consultations in private practice, and has served UT Tyler for the past 21 years in the roles of Counselor, Director of Student Services, Associate Dean of Students and Interim Dean of Students, which has also included supervision of Military and Veterans Success, Student Accessibility, Testing, and Bystander Intervention. 

As a native Texan, Kim earned both her BA in psychology and MS in Clinical Psychology from UT Tyler and is licensed in the State of Texas as an LPC-Supervisor. She has held leadership roles in several professional organizations such as Texas University Counseling Center Directors Association (TUCCDA) and Piney Woods Counseling Association, and currently serves as a board member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Tyler and as advisor for the NAMI on campus student organization.  Kim and her late husband, Ron, have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren.


 Dr. Jenny Waters

Dr. Jennifer Waters

Associate Dean of Students

Dr. Waters joined The University of Texas at Tyler in 2015 and in 2019 was named Associate Dean of Student Success, providing oversight for the University Center, Residence Life and Scheduling and Conference Services.   Dr. Waters has had more than 25 years’ experience working in higher education beginning by working in residence life while an undergraduate student as a Resident Assistant. She worked in Residence Life departments across the country as a Hall Director, Assistant Director of Residence Life and Director of Residence Life.

Dr. Jenny Waters graduated from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Hearing and Speech Science; Marshall University in Huntington, WV with a Master of Arts in Counseling; and West Virginia University with a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership/Higher Education Administration. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of successful first-generation college students at select community colleges.


Josh Neaves 

Joshua Neaves

Director, Student Engagement

Joshua has been the Director of Student Engagement at UT Tyler since September 2018.  Previously he served as the Assistant Director of Student Life & Leadership at UT Tyler for several years before assuming his new role and as Assistant Director of Residence Life & Housing at William Peace University in Raleigh, NC.  He is originally from Stephenville, TX and earned his Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies (Social Studies 8-12) from McMurry University and a Master of Science in Higher Education Student Affairs from the University of North Texas. He is an active member of NASPA, NODA, TACUSPA, and AFA.  During his free time, his wife and kid loves watching marvel & Star Wars movies! 


 Dr. Oni Lara

Dr. Otoniel Lara

Director, Patriot Bands 

Dr. Lara joined the music faculty at The University of Texas at Tyler in 2019 as Director of Patriot Bands where he directs the Patriot Drumline and pep band, in addition to teaching jazz improvisation and a jazz combo.  Originally from Edinburg, TX, he completed both the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Percussion Performance at the University of Texas at Austin and received a Bachelors in Music Education from Texas State University.  Dr. Lara was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Texas at Austin during his doctoral studies.  There, he was the director of the Longhorn Band Drumline and the Longhorn Chamber Percussion Ensemble.  Dr. Lara is a member of Epoch Percussion Quartet, and has been a featured quartet soloist with the The University of Texas Wind Ensemble, the World Youth Symphony, and the Dallas Winds, performing Dinuk Wijeratne’s Invisible Cities - Concerto for Percussion Quartet & Wind Orchestra as well as Viet Cuong’s Re(new)al: Concerto for Percussion Quartet.  


Blake Bumbard 

Blake Bumbard

Title IX Coordinator

Blake Bumbard joined The University of Texas at Tyler as the Title IX Coordinator in 2015.  He has thirteen years’ experience in higher education, and at previous institutions served in the areas of campus law enforcement, public safety, and emergency management.  He is a native of East Texas and graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and English.  He is married with three children and resides in Brownsboro, TX.



Director, Student Equity Services


 Katy Cline

Katy Cline
Administrative Services Officer

Katy Cline has served as the Student Success division ASO since 2011. She joined the UT Tyler staff in 2006 as an Administrative Assistant in Student Development and served as USAC chair in 2010-2011. Originally from Denver, Katy attended both UT Austin and UT Tyler. She is an active member of the Texas Women in Higher Education Association, a graduate of Leadership Tyler Class 27 and she currently serves on the board of directors for the League of Women Voters-Tyler/Smith County, the KERA Community Advisory Board and the Leadership Tyler board of directors.  She is married and has one son who cannot wait to be a part of the UT Tyler Class of 2031!