Frances Keene, assistant vice president and chief of staff for Student Affairs, will serve as interim vice president for Student Affairs at Virginia Tech, effective July 5. Keene will replace Frank Shushok, who is leaving the university to become president of Roanoke College.

Keene will assume leadership of Student Affairs and its more than 3,000 faculty, staff, and student employees as well as its 20-plus departments and various student life programs, including dining, residential well-being, student organizations, counseling, health and well-being, international student services, student conduct, and living-learning programs.

Student Affairs works to promote student learning, life skills, and personal growth of Virginia Tech students through a strong focus on holistic development and collaborative partnerships that deliver superior service to, and care for, students in the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

“I am honored to serve Virginia Tech as interim vice president for Student Affairs,” said Keene. “My colleagues in Student Affairs and I are guided by our Aspirations for Student Learning, and we will continue to strive collectively to do whatever it takes to support the individual success of every student.”

As assistant vice president and chief of staff, Keene has utilized her considerable background in student affairs to navigate the day-to-day activities and functions of the role. She deeply values her work with students and educators who prioritize student learning and development in a residential context. As a 2016 recipient of the Aspire! Award recognizing her commitment to embracing Ut Prosim as a way of life, Keene was recognized for her exemplary work in the community and her spirit of service.

“Frances has developed an in-depth knowledge of Student Affairs in her current position of assistant vice president and chief of staff,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke. “Her experience and dedication to the growth and welfare of our students makes her the ideal choice to lead the division during this important transition period. I am confident that her commitment to service and her thoughtful and steady leadership will ensure that Virginia Tech students continue to enjoy meaningful campus life programs, experiences and learning opportunities.”

Keene began her career at Virginia Tech as a victim services adjudication coordinator in the Office of Judicial Affairs, now called Student Conduct. She went on to become assistant director in 2003, and was named interim director in 2004, prior to taking on the role of director. Keene held a part-time position in the university’s Long Range Planning Office as assistant director of long-range planning, which concluded in May 2012.

“It has been an honor to have Frances Keene as my colleague these past 13 years,” said Shushok. “She is a person of tremendous intellect, impeccable character, and a tireless advocate for the student experience. Our momentum and trajectory will not skip a beat with Frances leading Student Affairs.”

Keene earned a Ph.D. in higher education from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in counselor education from the University of Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of William and Mary.

Virginia Tech will conduct a national search for a permanent vice president for Student Affairs. Details of the search including the search committee members, position description, application/nomination process, and search updates will be posted on the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost website.

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