The search for the new V.P. of Student Affairs begins with Grimes

By Matthew Hunt

February 6, 2013

The search for the next Vice President of Student Affairs is underway.

In the next few weeks, Missouri Western will welcome four candidates to share why they are the best person for the job.

The employment contract of Dr. Esther Peralez, vice president for student affairs wasn’t renewed and has remained empty since March 2012. Grimes along with Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president of academic affairs have worked closely since that time to ensure the department continued to function.

Judith Grimes, interim vice president for student affairs is among the candidates for the highest position in Student Affairs. She has spent the last 15 years at Western and made her case on Feb. 1, when she gave her presentation to the committee and guest on what she can bring to the office of V.P. of Student Affairs.

“We understand that the main goal in student affairs is to ensure that students graduate,” Grimes said.

A concern over the relationship between Student Government Association and the office of Student Affairs was one of the top priorities for student leaders. Brian Shewell, student governor said his office works closely with the Vice President of Student Affairs and feels Grimes gave an excellent presentation.

“My job is to voice the concerns to the administration,” Shewell said. “Grimes has been with Missouri Western for years, she knows the student body and gave a great presentation.”

Grimes said the department of Student Affairs is fun and the position of Vice President would be a privilege if given the chance to serve.

“You need energy in a position like this,” Grimes said. “The Vice President deals with pretty energetic students and it becomes more of a mentoring opportunity.”

The top priority of Grime’s presentation to the committee was looking for solutions to ensure that students at Missouri Western decide on a degree and graduate in a timely manner. She said the university needs the right resources to ensure its students involvement in organizations. She believes this office needs a leader who is able to work well with the students.

“We need to make sure that students graduate,” Grimes said. “However, we need to make sure that our students are prepared for the workplace once leaving Western.”

Vartabedian expressed that half of the university’s student body are first-generation students. He said this is often times a new experience to students and they need someone in Student Affairs who understands that.

“I’m a first-generation college student myself,” Vartabedian said. “It’s part of the mix and is important in the decision for the next Vice President.”

Three other candidates still have the chance to present their case on why they will be the best candidate for the Vice President of Student Affairs. Mark Stier, director of residential living and housing is among the candidates and will present on Feb. 4 at 2:00 p.m. in Hearnes Center 102