Two finalists have recently been announced for the position of vice president for Student Services.
The finalists are Kathryn Gage, executive director for Student Affairs at Oklahoma State University, and Keegan Nichols, associate vice president for Student Affairs at Fort Hays State University.
Campus visits are in the process of being organized for the two finalists.
Steve Mullins, athletic director and co-chair of the vice president search committee, said the campus visits are expected to include open forums where faculty and students can ask questions of the finalists.
As Executive Director for Student Affairs at Oklahoma State University, Gage reports directly to the Vice President for Student Affairs, according to an organizational chart from the university. Student Affairs at OSU includes many of the same functions and departments that would be included under the responsibilities of the new vice president for student services at Tech.
Gage has a doctorate in college student counseling and personnel services and has worked in various administrative roles at universities in Oklahoma since 1989, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before her current position, Gage was vice president for Student Affairs at University of Central Oklahoma for over 15 years.
OSU has about 24,000 students currently enrolled, whereas Arkansas Tech University has approximately 12,000 students enrolled across the Russellville and Ozark campuses.
Keegan Nichols is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator at Fort Hays State University, which is located in Fort Hays, Kansas.
The departments that Nichols supervises at Fort Hays State University are similar in function to the ones that the new vice president for Student Services will supervise once hired.
Nichols’ past roles include: serving as vice president of Student Affairs at Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas, assistant to assistant vice president of Student Affairs at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and associate dean of students at Rockford College in Rockford, Illinois, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Fort Hays is similar in size to Tech, having a total enrollment around 13,500 students. However, a significant amount of those students do not attend classes at the Fort Hays campus. Approximately 5,000 of those students are enrolled in online programs, with an additional 3,000 students enrolled through international partnerships in China and Europe, according to the university’s website.
The last vice president in charge of student services, Susie Nicholson, was reassigned to the position of NCAA compliance officer and assistant affirmative action officer in August.
Amy Pennington has served as the interim vice president for student services since Nicholson’s reassignment while also maintaining her previous title of dean of students.