Grand Valley names new dean of students

Eileen G. Sullivan
Eileen G. Sullivan

Grand Valley State University Provost Gayle R. Davis has announced the appointment of Eileen G. Sullivan as vice provost for Student Affairs and dean of students. She replaces Bart Merkle who served as dean of students for 32 years and will join the Grand Valley College of Education faculty.

Sullivan is currently dean of students at Elmhurst College in Illinois, a position she has held since 2007. She received her doctorate of philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Bowling Green State University in 1998. She also holds a master's degree in education and a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Eastern Illinois University. 

“I am delighted to bring Dr. Sullivan to Grand Valley where her wide and deep experience in student affairs and her creative approach to the work will serve us exceptionally well," said Davis. "She is a collaborative leader with a strong record of advocacy for all students."

Sullivan said she was drawn to Grand Valley's ability to provide students large university opportunities in a small college atmosphere. 

"I am overjoyed to be joining a team of talented student affairs professionals and accomplished senior leaders who have created opportunities for learning that have allowed students to thrive both personally and academically," Sullivan said. "I have dedicated much of my career to partnering student affairs with academic affairs toward the goal of greater outcomes for students and I hope to continue that work at Grand Valley." 

Sullivan will begin her duties July 1. She will serve as the senior student affairs officer and provide leadership for the Division of Student Services, which includes 10 campus units.