President Olson

President Gary A. Olson

Dear Ms. Kenyon and Ms. Costelloe:

Thank you for agreeing to co-chair the search committee for a key leadership position at ¬‹ņÚ…Á. I want to thank you and all the search committee members for accepting my charge to identify a list of acceptable finalists to fill the critically important position of Vice President for Student Affairs at ¬‹ņÚ…Á.

The Vice President for Student Affairs is the University’s senior Student Affairs officer and reports directly to the President. The VP of Student Affairs is expected to provide leadership and vision in creating a campus culture that values and actively promotes the academic achievement and personal development of all students; play a lead role in providing a safe, welcoming, and educationally supportive campus environment for all students; and foster collaborative relationships among all campus constituents and the local community. 

The Vice President for Student Affairs shall:

  • Serve as a member of the President's Cabinet¬†
  • Participate actively in the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees¬†
  • Assist the President in decision making and communication of university-wide policies¬†
  • Coordinate the preparation and implementation of budgets within the Student Affairs division to ensure achievement of university-wide priorities and balanced budgets¬†
  • Provide leadership to and evaluation of Student Affairs staff¬†
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, local, and university regulations and policies
  • Provide a vibrant living and learning environment¬†
  • Continue to build and further strengthen relationships with faculty and staff in support of out-of-classroom experiences and learning¬†
  • Develop, implement, and maintain strategies that preserve the quality of a residential student experience; continue to address experiences of quality for commuter student life¬†
  • Develop, refine, maintain, and implement an appropriate level of student support services and activities programs¬†
  • Oversee, in coordination with Physical Plant, Student Affairs facilities, including on-campus residence halls, dining facilities, and the student union building, the Yurtchuk Student Center¬†
  • Continue to build and maintain a student-centered, diverse, and inclusive campus community¬†
  • Take an active role in student retention, along with all members of the campus community¬†
  • Chair the Student Life Committee, and Co-chair (with the VP of Business Affairs) the Campus Safety and Security Committee¬†
  • Maintain and further develop student judicial procedures¬†
  • Coordinate with the VP of Business Affairs about Security staff and security issues¬†
  • Supervise all aspects of the Orientation Program including summer, Welcome Back Weekend, and transfer orientation prior to each semester¬†
  • Oversee the development of internal and external reports, the assessment and evaluation of programs, and initiation of enhancements as appropriate¬†
  • Promote the strategic direction of the University with both internal and external constituents as set forth in the most current strategic plan¬†
  • Continue to further develop and implement the International Recruiting Plan in conjunction with Enrollment Management¬†
  • Represent the University in community activities and organizations at local, state and national levels¬†
  • Act as the President's liaison to national, statewide, and local meetings on student matters¬†

I am confident that your committee will help to identify a short list of outstanding individuals, any one of whom could become our next Vice President for Student Affairs.

To these ends, I would specifically charge you and the committee to:

  1. Conduct a national search for the most highly qualified individual who will best fit both the key requirements set forth in the published job description profile, with special focus on the unique characteristics of ¬‹ņÚ…Á;
  2. Give careful consideration in identifying highly qualified, under-represented minorities and women candidates among those individuals under review for the position;
  3. Give priority consideration to those candidates with recent experience in similar positions at institutions of higher education, with special emphasis on those with experience at private, non-profit colleges or universities;
  4. Where appropriate, encourage the committee to proactively contact highly qualified individuals whom members may know and recommend for the position; and
  5. Develop and maintain a website devoted specifically to the search, with links to important information that will assist in the committee’s recruitment process.

Finally, reflecting the importance of your committee and your roles as co-chairs, I urge the committee to maintain strict confidentiality regarding all proceedings of the search.  Furthermore, as is typical of leadership searches, all communications from the search committee should come from you.

Again, I want to thank you and the other search committee members as you begin the critically important recruitment of the University’s Vice President for Student Affairs.


Gary A. Olson