Vice Provost for Student Affairs Appointment

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I am pleased to announce Dr. Danita Brown as our new Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, effective July 31, 2013, pending approval by the Board of Regents in June. I am delighted that Danita has accepted my invitation to lead the Office for Student Affairs, and I look forward to working with her to maintain and enhance the excellence of student affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Danita's professional career in higher education includes a wide variety of experiences and progressive responsibility in student affairs, ranging from leadership and policy development, student advocacy, crisis management, counseling, mediation, and teaching, to strategic planning, advising, fiscal management, and public speaking. She is a service-oriented administrator and ambassador for students, with a documented commitment to teamwork that recognizes and embraces the strengths of all constituencies. She works to achieve a shared vision, and she has a record of success in meeting shared goals.

Danita comes to us from Purdue University, where she has served as dean of students since March 2011. She began her tenure at Purdue in August 2008, as the associate dean of students, and she has served on many institutional and community committees in West Lafayette. Prior to her service at Purdue, Danita was the interim dean of students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, associate director of campus life at Ohio University, and program coordinator of student activities and leadership at Loyola University Chicago. She is a native of Kent, Ohio, and received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology and sociology from Kent State University and master of arts degree in community counseling from Loyola University of Chicago. Danita earned a Ph.D. in higher education from Ohio University and is a licensed professional counselor. She is also active and involved with many organizations associated with higher education, such as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Co-ed Fraternity; Mortar Board National Honor Society; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and its Center for Women board; and American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

As the chief student affairs officer on the Twin Cities campus, Danita will be responsible for providing visionary leadership and administrative oversight of and accountability for the student services and programs in the Office for Student Affairs. Her role as vice provost and dean will be to work with and represent the interests of a diverse student body to ensure a mutually reinforcing relationship between the academic and non-academic life of students in order to achieve student development and learning outcomes and to support overall student growth and success. She will also work to promote the intellectual, cultural, personal, educational, and social development of students. I am confident in Danita's leadership qualifications and experience to successfully lead the Office for Student Affairs and serve as a key member of my senior leadership group. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Danita Brown as Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

I want to again thank Jerry Rinehart for his truly outstanding service to the University, and for building an exceptionally strong and talented team in the Office for Student Affairs. Jerry has, as always, been generous with his time and energy in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I wish him the very best in his upcoming retirement and future endeavors.

Finally, thanks to the members of the search committee for their hard work and dedication, particularly chair Dean Al Levine for his leadership.


Karen Hanson signature.

Karen Hanson,
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

email sent May 13, 2013 to all Twin Cities faculty, staff, and students.