Search for new vice president for student affairs continues

Grace Turner

A search for the new vice president for student affairs is under way at OU. So far, applications have come in from all over the country, and a search committee of 16 OU students and faculty will ultimately decide the best person for the job.

“We have been very pleased and fortunate to have so much national interest in this very important position,” said Dr. George Hynd, president.

Graeme Harper, dean of the Honors College, is chair of the search committee. He said the VP is directly connected with students and must be passionate about all things student.

“The title says it all,” Harper said. “This is all about the student experience.”

Annie Meinberg, president of Student Congress and a member of the committee said that Hynd has nine vice presidents including this one. The VP of student affairs manages a $40 million budget to oversee  student activities, the tutoring center, the health center, the counseling center, career services and housing.

“Campus life has been expanding with more student organizations, more housing and more activities in general, so this position is going to be essential in adding to our vibrant community,” Hynd said.

If students have a problem, it’s up to the VP for student affairs to make sure that the problem comes to Hynd’s attention, Meinberg said.

OU hired the Spelman & Johnson Group, a search firm, to help find candidates. It takes applications and creates a list of those who best fit the job description.

“This firm was selected because of their extensive experience and expertise in successfully recruiting and identifying senior level administrators in higher education,” Hynd said in an email to the campus community.

The search committee will review the candidates the firm has chosen and look at resumes and experience. It will then hold interviews and select the best person for the job.

“It’s a people-person position,” Harper said. “It’s a position that touches everybody.”

The search firm is still doing its part. Harper said his committee will have a more active role starting March 9.

He also said the committee will keep the OU community informed.