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Danita Brown named Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

May 17, 2013

A service-oriented leader and ambassador for students, Danita Brown has been named as the University of Minnesota’s new vice provost for student affairs and dean of students, effective July 31, 2013, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

"I am delighted that Danita has accepted my invitation to lead the Office for Student Affairs," said U of M Provost Karen Hanson. "I look forward to working with her to maintain and enhance the excellence of Student Affairs at the U."

Brown’s professional career in higher education includes a wide variety of experiences and progressive responsibility in student affairs, ranging from crisis management, mediation, counseling and advising, student advocacy, teaching, fiscal management, and public speaking, to strategic planning, leadership and policy development. She has a documented commitment to teamwork that recognizes and embraces the strengths of all constituencies. She works to achieve a shared vision, and she has a record of success at meeting shared goals.

Brown comes to Minnesota from Purdue University, where she has served as dean of students since March 2011. She began her tenure at Purdue in August 2008, as the associate dean of students for counseling, and she has served on many institutional and community committees in West Lafayette. Prior to her service at Purdue, Brown was the interim dean of students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg; associate director of campus life at Ohio University; and program coordinator of student activities and leadership at Loyola University Chicago.

She is a native of Kent, Ohio, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from Kent State University and Master of Arts degree in community counseling from Loyola University Chicago. Brown earned a Ph.D. in higher education from Ohio University and is a licensed professional counselor. She is also active and involved with many organizations associated with higher education, such as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Co-ed Fraternity; Mortar Board National Honor Society; and the Kent State University Alumni Association.

As the chief student affairs officer on the Twin Cities campus, Brown will be responsible for providing visionary leadership and administrative oversight of and accountability for the student services and programs in the Office for Student Affairs. The vice provost and dean works with and represents the interests of a diverse student body to ensure a mutually reinforcing relationship between the academic and non academic life of students. She will also work to promote the intellectual, cultural, personal, educational, and social development of students. Brown will lead the Office for Student Affairs and serve as a key member of the Provost’s senior leadership group.

Brown replaces Jerry Rinehart, who is retiring after more than 35 years at the U of M.

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