The University of Iowa announced Thursday that Associate Vice President for External Relations Lauren McLeran, senior adviser to the president, will serve as interim vice president for Student Life, pending state Board of Regents approval.
Following the announcement that Vice President Student Life Melissa Shivers will leave to lead the Division of Student Life at Ohio State University in January 2020, the UI created a search committee to fill the vacant role.
McLeran will assume the interim position Jan. 1, 2020. A permanent vice president for Student Life is expected to be named during the spring 2020 semester.
“I’m looking forward to working with the talented team in the Division of Student Life during the transition period until a permanent leader is named,” she said in an email to The Daily Iowan. “As always, the priority will be helping our students to be successful within and beyond the classroom.”
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According to a statement, the search committee decided to adjust the schedule for campus interviews and open forums due to the end of the semester responsibilities for both committee members and students.
The interviews and open forums will now take place in early February. The expanded timeline created the need for an interim position, according to the UI.
“Vibrancy and strength in our Division of Student Life is critical to the overall success of our students,” UI President Bruce Harreld said in the statement. “We cannot lose the momentum built over the past several years in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, mental health, fraternity and sorority life, and on-campus housing, to name a few.”
In 1987, McLeran began her career at the UI with the Division of Student Life, formerly known as the Division of Student Services, and served in many leadership roles. She began joint assignment between the Office of the President and the Division of Student Life in 2003 before she officially moved to the President’s Office in 2006 as the special assistant to the president.
McLeran was promoted to the director of presidential outreach and events in 2008, assistant vice president in 2013, and then later to her senior adviser position in 2015.
Currently, McLeran serves on the search committee for the vice president for Student Life, General Charter Review Committee, and Path Forward Engagement Work Group. She also served as the UI’s Transparent, Inclusive, Efficiency Review representative to the regents from 2014 to 2018.
“I am enthusiastic about Laura’s appointment to this leadership role,” Harreld said. “Her background in student life makes her uniquely qualified to maintain and build upon the forward momentum within the division until a permanent leader is named.”