Search for new Student Affairs associate VP begins

Eastern Michigan University has geared up to hire on a new associate vice president of Student Affairs for the institution.
Three candidates, Calvin Phillips, John Berry and Timothy Wise, have been given the opportunity to present their plans, objectives and goals for EMU if they are elected to the campus community.

Phillips offered his presentation on Friday at the Student Center.

Phillips, who is the current VP for Student Affairs at Northern State University in South Dakota, gave the audience a brief history of himself and some highlights about what he would want to accomplish if hired at EMU.

As VP for Student Affairs, Phillips oversees all areas connected with students’ enrollment, transition and engagement at the college.

Phillips was also associate VP of Student Affairs/Dean of Students at the University of Texas-Pan American, where his job details were similar to those at NSU.

Some of the platform initiatives that Phillips discussed involved enhancing and engaging contexts for learning.

“Students will grow and enhance, but also expand on what students are doing,” he said about becoming more involved with the student body and other needs the students seek.

Phillips introduced a few frameworks of his plans if elected Vice President of Student Affairs at EMU, which included innovation, integrity, collaboration, inclusion and systematic inquiry.

“These are important to strengthen student learning,” he said.

The inclusion and collaboration partnership also focuses on the ongoing communication with the student body and working with student activities, events, workshops and internships.

Phillips also said that these initiatives would be implemented to help students think more about their learning experiences and community involvement.

Integrity involves the policy, procedure and practice, while innovation includes professional development, knowledge and skills.

“We encourage and foster a good environment for the students,” he said.

Engaging with the students also helps with knowing what the student needs might be.

“We need to know who our students are,” Phillips said. “And how we can better serve them.”

The systematic inquiry provides research and assessment planning which will provide manageable, meaningful and measureable procedures, he added.

“We must work together to put a plan in place to provide good services to students,” Phillips said.

Phillips also said that he found EMU appealing because of the stability of the institution and location, including how the job he is inquiring for fits with his experience.

“I would feel comfortable coming in,” he said. “You can’t know everything, but you can learn. I’m going where I want to go, and that’s here.”

Nursing major and EMU student, Maraya Mullen, said that she would like someone perceptive to take on the VP of Student Affairs position.

“Someone who has an understanding of different types of people and what they need to function with those different backgrounds,” Mullen said. “And also more faculty and student interaction.”

Math major and EMU student, Mark Amobi, also said that the needs of students are important.

“Someone with experience,” Amobi said about who he would like to see take on the role. “You know students have needs, you should know those important needs and reach out to students.”

The last two candidates will give their presentations on the following dates:

Presentation/Open Forum for Faculty and Staff:

• John Berry: Monday, April 7, 11 a.m. to noon, in room 300, in the Student Center
• Timothy Wise: Thursday, April 10, 11 a.m. to noon, in room 320, in the Student Center

Q/A Session with Students:

• John Berry: Monday, April 7, 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m., in room 300, in the Student Center
• Timothy Wise: Thursday, April 10, 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m., in room 320, in the Student Center

For more information, contact Lisa Copeland at 734-487-4999 or email at

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