Vice President of Student Affairs search narrows down to 4 candidates

Corryn Brock, News Editor

Eastern is asking students and staff to participate in the remote open session interviews with vice president of student affairs candidates.

There are four candidates for the position: Anne Flaherty, Jo-Ann Robinson, John Davenport and Sean Blackburn.

Flaherty will be the first candidate with two open sessions scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. for staff and faculty and one at 2 p.m. for student government and the student body. 

An evaluation form will go live at 6 p.m. Thursday for those who attended the meeting.

Flarherty is currently a senior consultant for the Division of Student Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis.

According to her vita, this position entails “(providing) direct support and project management to the vice chancellor for student affairs and associate vice chancellor including the university committee to support under-resourced students and first-gen students, divisional emergency protocols, emergency student funds process.”

Beyond Washington University she has also worked at Butler University, University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, the University of Kansas in Kansas City, the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City and Park University in Parkville, Missouri.

Robinson is currently the Interim Vice President for Community Engagement at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia.

She described her current position responsibilities in her vita as “to facilitate and drive strategic initiatives, lead cross functional engagement with key staff and external organizations to support short–term objectives and long term strategic goals” and to “integrate community engagement into the mission of BSC by identifying, establishing, and maintaining cooperative relationships with various local, regional, state, and national groups and organizations.”

Robinson has also worked at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, North Carolina State University and the University of Texas.

Robinson will be interviewed on April 16.

Davenport will be interviewed April 22.

Davenport is currently the dean of students at Illinois State University.

In this role he “(provides) leadership to a comprehensive Dean of Students office consisting of Student Conduct, Student Access and Accommodation Services, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Student Activities & Involvement, Marketing, University Commencement Services, Parent & Family Services, Diversity Advocacy, Leadership and Community Service programs,” according to his vita.

Davenport earned a Master of Science in Education at Eastern in 1995.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of Illinois and a Ph.D in Education from Illinois State University.

His work has all been at Illinois State University and he has also worked as associate dean of students, Assistant to the Dean of Students and area coordinator.

Blackburn will be the final candidate in the search will be interviewed April 27.

Blackburn is not currently working at any university according to his vita, but he last worked for the University of Wyoming at the vice president of student affairs from May 2017 to September 2019.

The university’s spokesman Chad Baldwin said Blackburn resigned from his position.

In his vita he said in the position he was “responsible for the co-curricular and student life services of the University of Wyoming” and “(collaborted) with faculty, staff, administration, and students to provide a comprehensive and holistic program that promotes student success”

The other universities he has worked for in the past include at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the University of Wisconsin at River Falls and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]