The search is on for new Vice President for Student Affairs
Posted: 12/09/2010
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Headed by a search committee comprised of faculty, staff and a University student, the process to select the best candidates to serve as the new vice president for Student Affairs at The University of Texas-Pan American is underway.

The position - formerly titled vice president for Enrollment and Student Services - has been held by Dr. John Edwards since 2000. Edwards, who announced his retirement this summer, is set to retire on Dec. 31, 2010.

A Search Committee for the Vice President of Student Affairs, headed by co-chairs Janice Odom, vice president for University Advancement, and Alejandro "Alex" Rodriguez, student and president of the UTPA Student Government Association, was appointed by President Robert S. Nelsen, and is being assisted by Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm that specializes in higher education, health care and not-for-profit organizations. The deadline for applications was Dec. 6.

"The Search Committee for the Vice President of Student Affairs is working diligently to review and rank the qualified applicants, and we are still hopeful that we can have someone named by early to mid spring," Nelsen said.

After reviewing the applications, the search committee, which meets next on Dec. 13, will recommend four to eight candidates to be interviewed by them Dec. 14-17 via phone, Skype, or videoconference. The top three candidates selected by the committee will be referred to Witt/Kieffer, which will also interview those candidates during December 2010 and January 2011 and provide an evaluation report on each to Nelsen. Campus visits by the top three candidates will be scheduled by the committee for Jan. 31-Feb. 4. At that time information on the candidates and their respective visits to campus will be available via a link on the UTPA website.

Nelsen has appointed Dennis McMillan, associate vice president for Enrollment and Student Services, to serve during the search process as the interim vice president for Student Affairs effective Jan. 1, 2011. McMillan has served in his current position since 2002. A Texas native, McMillan came to UTPA from Amarillo College, where he was registrar and director of admissions. Prior to that he served as assistant registrar at Texas Tech University, where he earned his master's in higher education administration.

"I know Dennis will do an excellent job in leading the division through the transition," Nelsen said.

UTPA's vice president for Student Affairs serves as the primary advocate and spokesperson for students and provides leadership and direction in the areas of student outreach, access and success. As head of the division, the vice president oversees the following offices: Dean of Students, Admissions and New Student Services, Athletics, Career Services, Child Development Center, College Access and Support Programs, GEAR UP, Office of the Registrar, Residence Life, Student Financial Services and Scholarships, Student Health Services, Student Support Services, High School to University Programs and Testing Services, and Wellness and Recreational Sports. The division has 314 staff members and an overall budget of approximately $118.6 million.

Inquiries about the search should be directed to Janette Garcia, recruitment and staffing manager, Office of Human Resources, at or (956) 665-2991.