"Vice President for Campus Life" Archive

Faculty/staff forum on Vice President of Campus Life search

The Vice President of Campus Life search committee will host a forum for faculty and staff on Friday, Oct. 15, from from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Auditorium to provide updates on the search and to hear from the campus community.

Due to the nature of the forum, a virtual option cannot be offered.

A separate forum will be scheduled for students at a later date.

The Wake Forest community is encouraged to share their thoughts with the members of the search committee by sending an email to vpclsearch@nullwfu.edu. Additional information about the national search process can be found at search.campuslife.wfu.edu.

Categories: EventsFaculty NewsStaff News

Wake Forest forms search committee for Vice President of Campus Life

Wake Forest University has formed a search committee to seek a successor to Vice President of Campus Life Penny Rue, who announced her plans to retire last month.

The search committee, co-chaired by President Wente and Provost Kersh, kicked off its work this week. “The Vice President of Campus Life is an incredibly important and influential role on a residential and highly relational campus like ours,” said President Wente. “This leadership role transcends organizational boundaries and will only find success by embracing radical collaboration. The search committee is tasked with finding the best leader for Wake Forest at this time by representing the needs and interests of our University constituencies.”

Members of the committee include:

  • Jane Caldwell (MA ’82, P ’14, P ’17), Senior Associate Athletic Director and Assistant to the College Dean
  • Lisa Dragoni (P ’25), Associate Professor of Management, School of Business
  • Steve Giles (P ’23, P ’25), Associate Professor of Communication and Department Chair
  • Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
  • Christopher Leak (’85, P ’11), College Board of Visitors Member
  • Lauren Lowman, Assistant Professor, Engineering
  • Heidi Robinson (MA ’11, P ’18, P ’19, P ’20, P ’21), Assistant Vice President for Career Education & Coaching
  • Malika Roman Isler (’99), Assistant Vice President of Inclusive Practice, Office of Diversity & Inclusion; Professor of Practice, Health and Exercise Science
  • Mike Smith (’89, P ’21), Board of Trustees
  • Leigh Stanfield (’98), Executive Director, Global Engagement & Administration
  • Ally Swartzberg (’22), President, Student Government Association
  • Jacob Thomas (’22), President, Black Students Alliance

Sam Perrotta (’12), chief of staff in the Provost’s Office, will staff the committee. Global executive search firm WittKieffer has been retained as the search consultant.

“Our initial committee conversations stressed the remarkable advances in Campus Life under Dr. Rue’s leadership,” said Provost Kersh. “We will seek to sustain the professional excellence characterizing this division, even as the Campus Life team must continue to navigate the complex waters of changing student demography, cultures, and learning styles.”

Additional information about the national search process and continuous updates can be found at search.campuslife.wfu.edu. Plans for university-wide forums are underway and will be communicated.

Should you wish to share input with the committee directly, please email comments to vpclsearch@nullwfu.edu. Candidate nominations may be sent to wakeforestvpcl@nullwittkieffer.com, ideally after the forums are complete.

As a helpful supplement to the search committee’s work, the Peterson Rudgers Group, which has worked closely with several peer schools undergoing transition in their student life leadership, has been retained by Wake Forest. PRG leaders will work closely with Campus Life and their closest collaborators to help anticipate the future of student engagement on a residential campus.

Response to malicious emails

The following message was emailed to students, faculty and staff on September 19, 2019

Last week, an unknown individual or individuals with malicious intent sought to spread a message of bigotry, division and fear among members of our campus community through emails sent to seven members of our faculty and staff and five offices on campus. Our faculty and staff have worked to protect everyone on our campus while striving to preserve the integrity of the investigation.

We hear the questions posed by some of our students: can you see us, can you hear us, do you understand our lived experiences? Yes, we see you. Yes, we hear you. And, no, we cannot fully understand what some of you are enduring.

The emails, steeped in the vitriol of white supremacy and nationalism, were sent to individual and office inboxes associated with the Department of Sociology, the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the LGBTQ+ Center, and the Intercultural Center. These emails have hurt, scared, threatened, angered, and confused many on our campus in different ways. This cuts at the core of who we are at Wake Forest and impacts us all.

While none of the emails contained actionable threats or detailed a specific attack on our campus, they still managed to elicit the fear the sender intended. Wake Forest consulted with law enforcement and national threat assessment experts — including the FBI’s leading experts on domestic terrorism, white nationalism, and hate crimes — before deciding to continue classes and normal University operations. The increased police presence on campus and enhanced security measures will continue while the investigation proceeds.

Our decision to continue classes does not diminish the real emotions and concern some in our community still feel. We pledge to stand by all our students, staff and faculty when they experience hate and discrimination of any kind. We will revise protocols where necessary and improve on the processes that we know are effective. We must remember who we are as a caring and supportive community and move forward in the spirit of those values.

There are many sources of support for those of you who are affected by these hateful emails. The University Counseling Center (336-758-5273), the Chaplain’s Office (336-758-5210) and the Employee Assistance Program (336-716-5493) are invaluable resources, as are our friendships and circles of personal support. Please continue to look out for each other.

Sincerely,

Nathan Hatch, President
Rogan Kersh, Provost
Jane Aiken, Dean of the School of Law
Michele Gillespie, Dean of the College
Charles Iacovou, Dean of the School of Business
Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life
José Villalba, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Jonathan Walton, Dean of the School of Divinity

Comings and goings for June 2017

See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in June 2017:

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Rue establishes Police Accountability Task Force

To support and advance Wake Forest’s commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment for every member of the campus community, Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue has established the Police Accountability Task Force.

The Task Force, which includes faculty, student and alumni representatives, is charged with overseeing the implementation of recommendations related to University Police made in a report by independent consultants following a review in Spring 2014 of concerns regarding racial bias.

In addition, the Task Force will work to identify other initiatives related to University Police that could contribute to a safe and inclusive environment.

“In our ongoing work to build community, the formation of this group is an important step,” said Rue.

Professor of Law Kami Simmons has been named chair of the Task Force.

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