Alex Geli

A nationwide search for the new Vice President of Student Affairs kicked off Monday.
Sheila Murphy, from Witt/Kieffer, a professional search firm contracted to coordinate the search, came to Millersville’s campus to initiate the process of finding the perfect candidate. The goal was to learn as much as possible about the university and whittle down the traits, values and skills that future candidates should possess.
She spent most of the day meeting with administrative and student leaders and faculty. Most notable of whom were Michelle Pérez, interim Vice President of Student Affairs, and President John Anderson.
Witt/Kiefer, the same company who conducted the national search for Anderson in 2012 and 2013, was contacted about the new search “a couple months ago,” according to Murphy. As a former Vice President of Student Affairs, herself, Murphy jumped on the opportunity to lead the search.
Other than the search firm, Millersville has arranged a search committee, with a variety of administrative, faculty and student leaders to represent the campus. Brian Hazlet, Vice President of Enrollment, serves as the chair of the committee. Hazlet is also in charge of communicating with and updating Anderson on the search.
“It’s one of the senior positions of the university,” Hazlet said. “It’s a critical position that’s going to advise the president.”
The Vice President of Student Affairs is responsible for overseeing the police department, counseling center, athletic program, health services, resident life and student programming for the campus, according to Hazlet.
Previously, the position was held by Aminta Breaux, who was named Vice President of Advancement in August. Former Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Michelle Perez filled the interim role since the switch. Now, Perez may just be another ordinary candidate—but the Millersville community will have to wait for the final list.
“We hope to have the candidates selected and in place by July 1st, Hazlet said. “The search [firm] is charged with trying to help identify the three of four candidates to bring to campus.”
To attract candidates, the search firm will commence its nationwide search while Millersville’s search committee will produce advertisements online and in print, as part of developing an overall glance of the campus for candidates.
Possible candidates will either apply, thanks to the advertisements, or be reeled in by Murphy and Witt/Kieffer.
Upon their arrival to campus, the candidates will go through a “comprehensive” interviewing process, including meeting various administration, faculty, staff and students, as well as giving a presentation.
Meanwhile, the search committee will “solicit feedback from the campus” and “present strengths and weaknesses to the president,” said Hazlet. Anderson will make the final decision on who will fill the role.
“The actual timeline isn’t firm yet before we get the input from the search firm,” Hazlet said. “Once we determine that timeline, it’s important that we stay on that timeline and we don’t stray from that.”
According to Hazlet and Murphy, the position would ideally be filled by the time summer rolls around.
Stay tuned to The Snapper’s coverage of the search in the spring.