UI Press Release-The University of Iowa has named Sarah Hansen, manager of strategic programs in the UI Office of the Provost, as vice president for student life, effective April 1.
Pending Board of Regents approval, Ms. Hansen will succeed Laura McLeran, who has served as interim vice president since Jan. 1 following the departure of Melissa Shivers in December 2019. Ms. Shivers is now vice president for student life at Ohio State University.
Ms. Hansen has held her current role since October 2019, providing direction, consultation, and project management for institutional strategic planning and implementation of the campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan. From August 2016 to October 2019, she served as associate vice president in the Office of the Vice President for Student Life, where she supervised five units (Student Health, Student Wellness, Recreational Services, the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, and University Counseling Service) and was a senior adviser to the vice president.
“Sarah is a true university citizen who has shown time and time again an ability to bring together teams to support the success of our students,” said UI President Bruce Harreld in a release. “With her connections across the university, I am certain that the integration of student life across our campus will broaden and deepen.”
Ms. Hansen, who will receive an annual salary of $290,000, was one of four internal candidates who participated in interviews for the role in February.
“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the vice president for student life at the institution I love,” she said. “The Division of Student Life plays a significant role in supporting student success by providing meaningful experiences outside the classroom and services that enable students to be included, safe, and healthy. I’m excited to collaborate with DSL staff members to create even more focused partnerships with the Office of the Provost, colleges, and academic success units in support of the UI’s mission.”
Ms. Hansen holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a Master of Arts in Education, both from the University of Iowa. She has served the campus in numerous leadership roles and on numerous committees, including as project manager for the American Talent Initiative, 2018-19, co-chair of the 2016-21 UI Strategic Plan Committee, co-creator of the On Iowa! program, co-chair of the Path Forward Student Success Work Group, and author of the UI Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan, 2009-19.
She also has actively worked to enact change around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Besides co-chairing the Division of Student Life’s DEI Action Plan, she co-led the creation of the Campus Inclusion Team, served on the Provost’s Graduation Task Force, and advanced the redesign of gateway courses to promote equity in the academic experience. GG