GV appoints first VP for Student Affairs


Courtesy / GVNext

Payton Brazzil, Staff Writer

​​Grand Valley State University has appointed its first Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Jennifer Hall-Jones. 

GVSU has recently transitioned the position of Vice Provost for Student Affairs to Vice President for Student Affairs. According to the GVSU webpage, this move will create the Division of Student Affairs which will elevate students’ voices and meet their diverse needs. 

The new position and the updated Student Affairs structure is meant to provide a more high-quality, equitable education that prepares students for a lifetime of learning. 

Acting Vice President for Student Affairs, and Dean of Students, Aaron Haight said the new position will help students by putting them and their voices first. 

“This prioritizes the student experience and student support for the university,” Haight said. “This position brings the student voice to the President’s senior leadership team.”

Hall-Jones was chosen out of the four candidates that came to GVSU to interview for the new position. In a press release, President Philomena V. Mantella said that Hall-Jones’ focus on student-wellbeing and her experience is what distinguished her from the other candidates.

“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.”

Hall-Jones said she discovered her passion of working with students when she became a resident assistant (RA) during her second year at Ohio University. 

Hall-Jones graduated from Ohio University three separate times with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology, a Master of Education degree in College Student Personnel and a Ph. D. in Higher Education.

She has worked for 25 years at Ohio University beginning as a RA, moving through the Dean’s office and eventually becoming the Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students in May of 2012. 

Haight said GVSU is excited to work with Hall-Jones.

“Dr. Hall-Jones brings over 20 years of diverse student affairs as well as in the acting Vice President role experience to GV,” Haight said. “We are excited about her passion for supporting student’s growth and development as well as commitment to the profession of student affairs.”

Both Haight and Mantella said that Hall-Jones is a perfect fit for the position.

“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,” Mantella said.

Mantella said the Student Affairs position will elevate student’s voices to the leadership team in a unique way. She said she believes that during these complex times, a vibrant Student Affairs division is critical.

Hall-Jones is set to start the position of Vice President for Student Affairs in Feb. 2022.