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University of Iowa names new vice president for student life

Melissa Shivers to begin in June

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The University of Iowa has named Melissa Shivers the next vice president for student life.

Shivers has 20 years of experience serving students and is currently associate vice chancellor for student life and dean of students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a role she has held since June 2014. She previously served as the assistant vice chancellor for student life at the University of Tennessee, where she helped coordinate the university’s ambitious initiative to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, and has also held positions at the University of Georgia, Clemson University, and Georgia Southern University.

Shivers will succeed Tom Rocklin, who has served as vice president for student life since 2010 and will retire in July after serving the UI in various capacities for more than 30 years.

“Dr. Shivers has a long history making sure everything she and her team does is focused on having a positive impact on students and their success,” says UI President Bruce Harreld, who selected Shivers after reviewing the search committee’s recommendation. “She will be an immediate and tremendous asset for the university.”

Shivers’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in communication arts with an emphasis in broadcast journalism from Georgia Southern University, a master’s degree in education from Clemson University, and a PhD in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.

“I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the University of Iowa in this collaborative role to support student success and be part of the Hawkeye family,” says Shivers. “I look forward to immersing myself in the culture and understanding the unique values and ideals that make the UI a special place for all students to learn and grow. I am eager to begin listening and connecting with students, staff, and faculty.”

Laura McLeran, senior adviser to the president and associate vice president for external relations, and Ken Brown, professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs at the Tippie College of Business, co-chaired the search committee.

“We are especially proud of the large role played by students on the search committee,” says Brown. “Five of the committee’s 20 members were UI students who made invaluable contributions to the committee’s final recommendation.”

Shivers will start at the UI on June 30, 2017, with a salary of $280,000. Her appointment must be approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The board is expected to review the appointment in its June meeting.