The Office of Student Life has experienced several changes in staffing since the departure of Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson from the university.
Dr. Thompson served as vice president of Student Life and dean of students from June 2007 – March 2013. He left ACU to take a post at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.
Dr. Jan Meyer has been serving as the interim vice president for Student Life since Thompson’s departure.
Dr. Allison Garrett, executive vice president, described Meyer as “an extremely talented and dynamic administrator.” Meyer previously served at the executive director of the Center for Christian Service and Leadership.
“She has a broad student life experience, as well as a deep knowledge of ACU culture and people,” Garrett said.
Meyer began filling the role at the end of February, two weeks before Thompson left.
She said one of the major duties she has undertaken is managing the staffing of Student Life.
“We’ve had a good bit of transition since February,” she said. “That’s normal anytime you have some leadership changes. You’re bound to have some transition in staffing. So I’ve spent a good bit of the time hiring and training some new staff and working through transition as people leave and people come.”
She said the search for new staff members includes the director of the Career Center, director of Residence Life and executive assistant to the vice president of Student Life.
Meyer said one of the primary problems she dealt with in April and May were the positions lost due to budget issues. She said the Student Life directors met regularly over the summer to plan for the fall semester. She deals with strategic issues on a regular basis, including housing for the next two years. She also handles day-to-day issues and communication between Student Life and the university.
Her upcoming duties include planning for the spring semester and co-chairing the Christian Identity sub-committee for ACU’s Strategic Plan.
Garrett said Mark Lewis, assistant dean for Spiritual Life and Chapel Programs, will take on a portion of the responsibilities previously held by Thompson.
“Most students probably know him as the ‘Chapel Guy,’ but he has a background in counseling and ministry and will do a marvelous job working more closely with individual students in this role,” Garrett said.
Meyer said she asked Lewis to serve as the interim associate dean of students.
“He’ll follow up with a number of the judicial affairs issues, he’ll meet with some of the students that I won’t have the opportunity to meet with to discuss either judicial issues or student concerns, so we’ll divide up some of those tasks,” she said.
Meyer said Student Life was sad to see Thompson leave.
“We are honoring our respect for him by coming in and doing a great job,” she said. “I love and respect him as a leader and I miss him, but we’re moving on and it’s all going to be good.”
She said the office is excited and optimistic about the new team members and “unexpected blessings” to come.