Eastern Kentucky University has named Dr. Lara Vance its dean of students. Vance has led the EKU Student Success Center for the last six years.
“Dr. Vance has built relationships with faculty, staff, and students that will carry over and expand as she takes on the expanded responsibilities of the dean of students. Her collaborative and caring nature will lead to stronger connections across the University and increase the visibility and utility of the dean of students office at all levels,” said Dr. Tanlee Wasson, senior vice president for student success, engagement and opportunity.
The dean of students plays a crucial role in the success and progression of all students at Eastern Kentucky University. Advocacy, collaboration, service, and partnership are foundational to the dean of students position. Vance has demonstrated all of those characteristics in her role as director of the Student Success Center.
“I’m honored to expand my duties in student success as the new dean of students. It is an incredible opportunity to give our students the tools they need to succeed and make a difference in the world using their EKU degree,” Vance said.
As dean of students, Vance will lead Student Conduct, the Student Assistance & Intervention Team (SAIT), and the Student Success Center. The search for a new director for the Student Success Center is ongoing.
She has actively collaborated with many academic departments, including the Occupational Therapy program to develop mentor training, and recently, with the Social Work program, leading practicum students in developing initiatives to support students on the Foster/Adopted Tuition Waiver. Additionally, she has been a member of a number of groups at EKU including the QEP Implementation Team, Staff Council, Bookstore Advisory committee, Dining Advisory committee, and the Freshman Academy Advisory Team. Vance also serves as an adjunct instructor for first-year courses and a Green Dot instructor.
Vance began transitioning to the dean of students role in May and is already making essential connections to academic and student support areas that will improve our processes and expand outreach and support for students. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Vance as the dean of students and look forward to seeing increased service and support for faculty, staff, and students under her leadership,” Wasson said.
Vance earned a bachelor's in Language Arts and Social Studies Education, a master's in Secondary Education with a concentration in English from Marshall University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from EKU. She has served in K-20 education for more than 25 years. In 2012 Vance was hired at EKU as the assistant director for academic readiness and testing and ran the Bridge program. In 2015, she was selected to develop the Student Success Center, now a College Reading and Learning Association certified center.