GVSU names inaugural vice president for Student Affairs

President Philomena V. Mantella announced the university has appointed Jennifer Hall-Jones as Grand Valley’s first vice president for Student Affairs. Hall-Jones is currently the interim vice president for Student Affairs at Ohio University.

Hall-Jones was chosen from a national pool of candidates and was one of the four candidates who visited campus for public interviews in November. Mantella said Hall-Jones rose to the top because of her deep experience in student affairs and her proven focus on students’ well-being.

“Jenny has extensive experience working at all levels of student affairs,” Mantella said. “She has risen through the ranks at her current university, which gives her incredible depth. She is committed to inclusion and is an advocate for students, in keeping with our mission. Jenny is the ideal person to position our Student Affairs division to handle the challenges and complexities of campus life today and into the future."

Jennifer Hall-Jones, vice president of Student Affairs
President Philomena V. Mantella announced on December 14 the selection of Jennifer Hall-Jones as the university's first vice president of Student Affairs.
Image Credit: Courtesy Photo

Hall-Jones has spent her academic and professional career at Ohio University in Athens. She earned her Ph.D. in higher education administration, a master’s degree in education and a bachelor of arts degree in sociology/criminology. She has spent 25 years working in higher education beginning in residence life, moving through the dean’s office, eventually becoming senior associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. She has been interim vice president for Student Affairs since last year.

Hall-Jones said she felt at home when on the GVSU campus and meeting with community members.

“My visit to campus showed me that Grand Valley has an incredible dedication to students and to colleagues,” Hall-Jones said. “I was impressed by the questions asked of me at the community interview. They were around strategy and student well-being. Everyone asked about how we are going to support students. That told me a great deal about what motivates the people at GVSU. I saw great camaraderie with the team here. I see tremendous opportunity to both be mentored and to use my skill-set to help students and the division of Student Affairs to thrive.”

Mantella said the Student Affairs vice presidency will elevate student voices to the senior leadership team in a unique way. She believes a vibrant Student Affairs division is critical, given the breadth and student-centered ethos of GVSU in these complex times.

Hall-Jones will begin her position at GVSU in February.