By Mallory Schlabach, Editor in Chief
Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson from Grove City College, located in Grove City, Pa., will soon be a familiar face on campus.
Thompson was selected as the new vice president and dean of student life, a position that provides leadership and vision for these areas of student affairs: Student Organizations, Judicial Affairs, Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, Campus Center, Residence Life Education and Housing, Leadership Development, Multicultural Enrichment, Counseling and Medical Services, Police and Public Safety and Spiritual Life. In addition, Thompson will also serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.
Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, announced this decision Thursday to the leaders and administrators of Campus Life after a nationwide search that took several months to complete.
Money said Thompson is well qualified for this position because it is currently the same position he occupies now at Grove City College.
“Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson is an excellent person for this position and has impressive credentials to help him here,” Money said.
Thompson holds a bachelor’s of art degree in organizational communication, a master of science degree in student affairs in higher education and a Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs as well. Money also said he was a deeply spiritual Christian man who has been active in his church wherever he has lived.
Thompson said in an e-mail, he applied for the position because ACU’s philosophy of Christian higher education matches his own.
“I am excited about the fact that ACU embraces a collaborative and integrated student development model that is strongly supported by the academic leadership there as well,” Thompson said. “The opportunities for campus-wide collaboration are endless.”
Friends and family connected to ACU have also praised the university experience, Thompson said – among them, Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of the College of Business, who married Thompson and his wife 16 years ago.
Thompson, his wife Tonya and their four daughters will move to Abilene following the end of his semester at Grove City. He is expected to officially begin working July 1, but will come to Abilene before then to make decisions about pressing matters that cannot wait, Money said.
These matters include the organization of Campus Life and personnel decisions concerning what roles current Campus Life staff will take on.
Thompson said he has the ability to connect the campus community and build a strong Campus Life team.
“The talent and dedication is already there and ready to be tapped,” he said.
For the past 10 years, the dean of Campus Life and all the other facets in Campus Life have been under the direction of the provost’s office. With this change, Campus Life will mainly be under the direction of Thompson, as the vice president.
“I’m doing this this way because of the high importance of students and student life at ACU,” Money said. “It’s important to raise the visibility of the Student Life division because of the affect it has on all our students.”