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A-State Student Affairs Among Nation’s Most Promising Places to Work


JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State University’s Division of Student Affairs is one of the most promising places to work in higher education, according to a new national study by “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” magazine and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

“The Division of Student Affairs at A-State has been intentional over the last few years in placing a great emphasis on creating a diverse working environment. We place particular interest in leading by example, supporting diverse employment practices, acceptance of new ideas, and an appreciation for enriching the lives of our students,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Rick Stripling.

“We are extremely proud of this impressive recognition from such an esteemed publication. The student affairs objective at Arkansas State is simple—provide students the best possible campus environment for living and learning, and provide opportunities for them to grow academically, intellectually, socially and professionally. This is the essence of college life.”

The Center for Inclusion, Diversity and Academic Success (IDEAS) at The Ohio State University conducted the study. Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, associate professor and director of IDEAS, led the study. Strayhorn also served as the director of Research and Scholarship at ACPA from 2009-12.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Lonnie Williams added, “Through a commitment to diversity and inclusion and creating a work environment that enhances colleagues’ abilities to excel, we have taken steps through education, recruitment, morale and surveys to be difference makers for our students and members of the Division of Student Affairs.”

With a focus on workplace diversity, staffing practices and work environment, a five-member advisory board and IDEAS research team used a web-based survey method to examine categories such as family friendliness, salary/benefits and professional development opportunities, to name a few.

“Our student leadership staff develops innovative programming to involve students in numerous and diverse campus organizations and activities,” continued Stripling. “Participation in these programs enables students to hone their interpersonal, social and leadership skills, and prepares them for more advanced leadership positions after they graduate from Arkansas State. We recommend that all students get involved, meet other students, make lasting friendships and experience ‘once in a lifetime’ moments while achieving and maintaining academic success.”

“We’ve been looking at diversity recruitment efforts for years and we know who has been doing a great job at promoting diversity,” said Ralph Newell, vice president of business development and technology at Diverse. “This takes the next step so we can see who is doing the best job once diverse talent gets on campus in the student affairs segment. Diverse has plans to do additional studies in other higher education sectors in the coming months.”

Among the 31 colleges and universities cited by Diverse were William & Mary, Cal Poly-Pomona Lehigh, Rutgers, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Vermont.

Rick Stripling
Dr. Rick Stripling
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Lonnie Williams
Dr. Lonnie Williams
Associate Vice Chancellor
for Student Affairs