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Updated 10:00 AM February 9, 2009

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Campus visits scheduled for AVP, dean finalists

Vice President E. Royster Harper has announced that the search for an associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students has resulted in the selection of three finalists.

The candidates will visit campus the week of February 16, interview with key staff in the Division of Student Affairs and a number of campus partners, meet with students, and make a public presentation to the campus community.

The finalists are Karen Boyd (Feb. 17), former senior associate dean for student life at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech; Laura Blake Jones (Feb. 18), interim dean of students and director of the office of student life at the University of Oregon; and Richard Walker (Feb. 19), assistant vice president for student affairs at the University of Miami.

"It is extremely important to engage campus, especially our students, in the selection of the next Dean of Students," Harper says. "The candidates are looking forward to experiencing the uniqueness of the U-M community and to engaging in conversation with our students."

Students are invited to meet each of the candidates during an informal lunch followed by a forum where they can ask and answer questions. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 17-19 in the MSA Chambers, 3909 Michigan Union. Students also are asked to complete an online evaluation form to offer their comments and feedback to the search advisory committee.

Donica Thomas Varner, assistant general counsel and chair of the 12-member search committee has been working with the search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates to recruit candidates for this leadership position.

"The candidates are excited about visiting campus and meeting members of the U-M community. The search advisory committee encourages faculty and staff to participate in the evaluation and recruitment process," Varner says.

Each candidate is scheduled to make a public presentation and speak about how they have handled difficult situations and competing interests that are intrinsic to student affairs work.

A public presentation by one of the candidates will take place at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 17-19 in the Michigan Union Pendleton Room. The campus community is invited to attend and submit an online evaluation to the committee.

The complete calendar of events, links to the evaluation forms, biographies for each of the candidates and other information on how to RSVP for a lunch session is on the Student Matters Web site,

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