The search for VP continues with Mark Stier

By Albert Shelby

February 13, 2013

The search for a new VP of student affairs is underway and like any candidate running for a position, the applicants are not shy about sharing why they may qualify for the job. Mark Stier filled out an application for the position, while already holding the title of residential of student life director. Stier has 25 years of experience with higher education and he feels that he is ready to go further with his experiences by applying for VP of student affairs. “Right now, my responsibilities are residential life, judicial affairs, and I help out with career services,” Stier said. “In this profession, when you reach a certain level and you're ready for that next step, like I am now, you seek out that next level. And here at Missouri Western, I’m ready for that next step.” Stier received his undergraduate degree from New York State University. He received his master’s degree from Western Illinois University, and he will also be receiving his PhD from the University of South Florida. As the director of residential life, Stier stays on campus and he is aware of the issues that take place on campus. Stier feels that staying on campus can definitely has its because he is able to establish relationships with students and staff. “I think I have been here long enough to understand the students' needs,” Stier said. “I have a great relationship with the administration and I think that I would be a great bridge between the student body, SGA, Athletics, academics and the administration.” Stier feels that being on campus does make his candidacy for VP rather unique. It’s not common to see the VP of student affairs on campus but Stier credits staying on campus as the main reason his relationship with students has grown. “One of the strongest things that I bring to the position is that I really have a strong relationship with the students,” Stier said. “I am accessible almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I think as an administrator, it’s a unique position to be in. A  lot of people in student affairs sometimes forget what it is like to live on campus and be a part of a vibrant community.” While kids on campus are important, Stier also wants to focus on students that commute to campus each day to receive their education. Stier noted that his concern would be for all students of Western. including nontraditional students. “I think some of the things the president is looking for is a stronger way to help students across campus,” Stier said. “Help the admissions and academic side of the house with retention. I think one of the key things the President is looking for is a leader who can take what’s happened with student affairs in the past, and really step forward to make the next leap to a strong program.” Student governor Brian Shewell was not surprised that Stier put his name in the race for VP. Shewell said that Stier has taken command in residential life and feels that he can do the same in student affairs. “Just like everyone else, he is a qualified candidate,” Shewell said. “I think it is good because he has proven himself in residential life so I think that making the next step is a good choice for him.” Although Shewell thinks that Stier will not be able to hold both positions if elected VP, he feels that Stier would be capable of achieving both. Shewell feels that one of Stier’s strong points is that he is willing to listen to others. “Mark has always believed in an open door policy,” Shewell said. “That is a key quality, to be able to listen while being able to lead. He is not stuck in his office all of the time. He is able to take charge.” Stier noted that he was thrilled about the opportunity, while also complimenting the other candidates he may be running against. “I am very excited,” Stier said. “I know that there is a lot of good quality candidates. I know Dr. Grimes, who is the current interim VP, has also applied and I think she is a wonderful leader. I think she can bring a lot to the position.”