President's Council

2023-2024 President’s Council

Academic Affairs


Ed Aboufadel

Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Annie Belanger

Dean, University Libraries

Cathy Buyarski

Vice Provost for Advising and Student Success

Jennifer Drake

Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Diana Lawson

Dean, Seidman College of Business

Fatma Mili

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Paul Plotkowski

Dean, Padnos College of Engineering and Computing

Christine Rener

Vice Provost for Instructional Development and Innovation

Mark Schaub

Dean, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies

Robert Smart

Vice Provost for Research Administration

Sherril Soman

Dean, College of Education and Community Innovation

Tricia Thomas

Dean, Kirkhof College of Nursing

Kara Van Dam

Vice Provost for Graduate and Lifetime Learning

Jackie Zhang

Dean, College of Health Professions

Central Administration and Cross Divisional


Merritt Delano Taylor

Professor of Biomedical Sciences & Presidential Fellow

Elizabeth Doyle

Executive Associate for Presidential Initiatives

Troy Farley

Director, Career Center

Anne Jbara

 Associate General Counsel

Cori Kahler

Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees & Project Specialist for Presidential Initiatives

Robert Kimball

Associate Vice President & Executive Associate to the President

Philomena V. Mantella*


Kristin Meyer

Co-Chair, Reach Higher 2025 Strategy Enablement Team

Karyn Rabourn

Associate Professor of Higher Education & Presidential Fellow

Pat Smith*

General Counsel

Enrollment Development & Educational Outreach  


Nykia Gaines

Assistant Vice President for Federal TRIO Programs

Michelle Rhodes

Associate Vice President for Financial Aid

B. Donta Truss*

Vice President for Enrollment Development & Educational Outreach

Danny Velez

Associate Vice President for Admissions & Recruitment

Finance & Administration


Keri Becker

Athletic Director

Mychal Coleman

Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Karen Ingle

Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning

Greg Sanial*

Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer, Board of Trustees

Craig Wieschhorster

Associate Vice President for Business and Finance

Inclusion & Equity


Jesse M. Bernal*

Chief of Staff to the President & Vice President for Inclusion and Equity

Latoya Booker

Director, Inclusion and Equity Institute

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Associate Vice President & Deputy Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer

Kathleen VanderVeen

Associate Vice President & Deputy Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer

Information Technology


Emil Delgado

Associate Vice President for Information Technology

Luke DeMott

Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer

Ben Rapin

Associate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Milos Topic*

Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Digital Officer

Student Affairs


Alisha Davis

Assistant Vice President for the Social Justice Centers

Aaron Haight

Associate Vice President for Student Engagement and Dean of Students

Jenny Hall-Jones*

Vice President for Student Affairs

University Development


Laura Aikens*

Vice President for University Development

Dan Hurwitz

Associate Vice President for University Development

Shannon Specter

Assistant Vice President, Philanthropy

University Relations


Jennifer Allard

Associate Vice President for University Marketing

Stacie R. Behler*

Vice President and Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer and Secretary, Board of Trustees

Bill Cuppy

Assistant Vice President for University Communications

Josh Issak

Associate Vice President for University Marketing

Chris Knape

Assistant Vice President for University Communications

Academic Senate  


Courtney Karasinski

Associate Professor & Vice Chair, University Academic Senate

Felix Ngassa

Professor & Chair, University Academic Senate

AP Committee


Jason Cronkrite

AP Committee Vice Chair

Daniel Vainner

AP Committee Chair

Student Senate



President, Student Senate


Executive Vice President, Student Senate

* indicates Executive Officer of the university.

About the President's Council

The President's Council serves as a collaborative body dedicated to information sharing, enhancing internal communication, and fostering greater collaboration across Grand Valley State University. Through our council network, we will advance GVSU’s strategic direction and commitments identified in Reach Higher 2025, ensuring the university's continued evolution and success in serving our students, faculty, staff, and community.

President’s Council is charged with the following responsibilities:

  1. Facilitate the exchange of essential information, updates, and reports among council members, ensuring that relevant information is disseminated in a timely and comprehensive manner.
  2. Collaborate with key stakeholders to create a unified voice that effectively communicates the university’s strategic initiatives, goals, and achievements to internal and external audiences.
  3. Build enabling strategies for progress toward the goals set forth in Reach Higher 2025.
  4. Identify and respond to other matters impacting the university community.
  5. Continue building our agility and growth mindset.
  6. Continue ongoing leadership education and development related to university priorities, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion.


The council will convene quarterly for informational updates on pertinent issues and to identify opportunities for collaboration on advancing the university's strategic direction. Additional ad-hoc meetings may be scheduled to address time-sensitive matters or emerging opportunities.


  • President Mantella and the Senior Leadership Team
  • Identified Associate Vice Presidents, other chief divisional officers to Vice Presidents, and Vice Provosts 
  • Academic Deans
  • University Academic Senate Chair and Vice Chair
  • Student Senate Executive Committee
  • AP Committee leadership 
  • Presidential Faculty Fellows
  • Other faculty and staff who hold a role that advances a current university priority

Page last modified August 18, 2023