Candidates will visit campus, interview for VP for Student Affairs this week

Four candidates for the position of vice president for Student Affairs will visit campus this week for public interviews.

Candidates, with a portion of their resumes, are listed below in order of their interview schedule. 

Students, faculty and staff members are invited to participate in these open sessions, which will be in the Kirkhof Center, room 2204, and also available via Zoom. This same Zoom link will be used for all meetings.

Monday, November 29, 1-2 p.m., Reneé T. Watson

headshot Renee Watson
Image Credit: courtesy photo

ReneéWatson is the associate vice president for student life at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Watson earned a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Northern Kentucky University.

Under her leadership at UNLV, Watson has fostered a culture of philanthropy and development that has established grants and in-kind services for child care, unaccompanied homeless youth and an emergency fund for students experiencing a crisis. She led a unit-wide restructure designed to reduce department silos and strengthen the purpose and identity for Student Life. 

Recently, Watson founded the Minority Serving-Institution Student Council, which is responsible for identifying and creating student-facing programs, service models and policies that have implications for equity.

Tuesday, November 30, 1-2 p.m., Jennifer Hall-Jones

headshot Jennfer Hall-Jones
Image Credit: courtesy photo

Jennifer Hall-Jones serves as interim vice president for student affairs at Ohio University. Hall-Jones earned a doctoral degree in higher education from the same institution.

Prior to her current role, Hall-Jones served as senior associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. Active in the community, she has served on the board for the Central Ohio Red Cross and Athens Ohio Community Relations Commission, and in leadership roles for the Ohio College Student Personnel Association.

At Ohio University, Hall-Jones provides leadership for more than 2,000 student employees, 260 professional staff members and 50 graduate assistants, and oversees a budget of more than $100 million.

Wednesday, December 1, 1-2 p.m., Tierney J. Bates

headshot Tierney Bates
Image Credit: courtesy photo

Tierney Bates is assistant vice chancellor for special projects and executive director for university career services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bates earned a doctoral degree from Spalding University.

Prior to working at UNC, Bates held leadership roles at Virginia Union University, North Carolina Central University, University of Louisville, University of Tennessee and Bowling Green State University. 

Throughout his career in higher education, Bates has provided leadership and vision for strategic initiatives, planning, and continuous improvement solutions in student affairs, diversity and inclusion, career services/workforce development, recruitment and fundraising.

Friday, December 3, 1-2 p.m., Justin T. Lawhead

headshot Justin Lawhead
Image Credit: courtesy photo

Justin Lawhead serves as chief health and safety and dean of students at the University of Memphis. Lawhead earned a doctoral degree in higher education administration from that institution. 

In addition to implementing COVID-19 health and safety protocols on campus, Lawhead has established essential student basic needs support, partnered with Career Services to enact a task force to expand career development opportunities, and co-chaired an improvement team to address on-campus employment and hiring processes.

He has served as board chair for the National Association for Campus Activities and Tennessee state director for the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, Region Three.

More information about these candidates is available online at