Thursday, March 12, 2020

Sarah Hansen, manager of strategic programs in the University of Iowa Office of the Provost, has been named vice president for student life. She will begin on April 1.

Sarah Hansen
Sarah Hansen

Hansen succeeds Laura McLeran, who has served as interim vice president for student life since Jan. 1. McLeran was named to the interim role after Melissa Shivers left the UI in December 2019 to become vice president for student life at The Ohio State University.

Hansen has served as manager of strategic programs in the Office of the Provost 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, Hansen 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 served as senior advisor 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,” says UI President Bruce Harreld. “With her connections across the university, I am certain that the integration of student life across our campus will broaden and deepen.”

Hansen was one of four internal candidates who participated in interviews for the role in February. The search committee was chaired by Steve Goddard, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Hansen holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a Master of Arts in Education, both from the University of Iowa. She has served campus in numerous leadership roles and on numerous committees, including as project manager for the American Talent Initiative (2018–2019), co-chair of the 2016–2021 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 2009–2019.

Throughout her career, Hansen has actively worked to enact change around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Besides co-chairing the Division of Student Life’s DEI Action Plan, Hansen has 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.  

“I am thrilled and honored to serve as the vice president for student life at the institution I love. 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,” says Hansen.

Hansen will receive an annual salary of $290,000. Her appointment must be approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.