Dr. Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, introduced Dr. Tisa (pronounced TEEsuh) A. Mason as the university's new vice president for student affairs during a news conference today in Sheridan Hall.
"This is one of the top three administrative posts at FHSU, along with the provost and the vice president for administration and finance," President Hammond said, "so we are very pleased to welcome someone of Tisa's experience and abilities."
Mason, who currently serves as dean of student life at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, will start her new job on the FHSU campus before the start of the fall semester. The position opened when Dr. Herb Songer announced in January that he would retire at the end of June after serving as vice president for student affairs at FHSU since 1995.
Hammond said he was confident that Mason would be fully up to speed quickly, given her accomplishments at Wisconsin-Whitewater. "Dr. Mason has extensive student-affairs experience in a variety of capacities, so I know she will make an immediate impact," the president said. "Not only will Tisa provide direction for the many student-oriented services offered through her new office, but she also will be a key member of the leadership team that will finalize and implement Dare to Dream, the nearly completed strategic plan that will move the university toward the year 2020."
"I am excited and eager to serve the students and community at Fort Hays State University," Mason said during the morning news conference. "The reputation of President Hammond as a national leader in higher education, the innovative spirit that resonates throughout the campus, and the strong commitment to student success on behalf of the faculty and staff are among the reasons I decided to join the FHSU team. I am eager to work with the talented and dedicated staff in achieving the many ambitious goals President Hammond has for the university. "
Mason has served as dean of student life at Wisconsin-Whitewater since 2004. In that role, she has been responsible for an annual operating budget in excess of $5.2 million and supervised a staff of 70. She has provided leadership and supervision for the first year experience, leadership development, career services, health and counseling services, sexual assault prevention, alcohol and drug education efforts, disabilities services, judicial affairs, commencement and convocation, and the children's center.
She was an adjunct professor for Indiana University, Indianapolis, from 1997 to 2004 and executive director of Sigma Kappa Sorority and Foundation, Indianapolis, from 1994 to 2004. She also was director of student life and an assistant professor at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va., from 1987 to 1994, assistant dean of students at Hanover College, Hanover, Ind., from 1984 to 1986, and administrative/graduate assistant in the Office of Student Activities at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, from 1983 to 1984.
Mason earned a Doctor of Education Degree in 1992 from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va., and received the Galfo Research Award that is given annually to the graduate student who has demonstrated outstanding promise in educational research and helpfulness to fellow students. She also earned an Educational Specialist Degree from William and Mary in 1991. She received a Master of Science in Education Degree in 1984 from Eastern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1983 from Transylvania University, Lexington, Ky.
The new vice president for student affairs has won numerous awards, including Outstanding Advisor at Wisconsin-Whitewater for the 2006-2007 academic year. Mason has been a frequent speaker at banquets and conferences, and she has presented on higher education topics at many conferences and meetings. She also is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
Mason was selected following a national search that was led by Todd Powell, FHSU's general counsel and executive assistant to the president. Dr. Hammond thanked Powell and the other members of the search committee for their exhaustive efforts in finding a vice president for student affairs who would be an excellent advocate for students while also helping to move the university toward its goals for the year 2020.