Dr. William (Bill) Schafer began his role as the Interim Vice President for Student Affairs at Ohio University on July 20, 2022. He provides leadership for more than 150 professional staff, 2000 student employees, and 40 graduate assistants who work every day to help students succeed. Dr. Schafer is a nationally known and respected senior-level student affairs administrator with over 40 years of experience in higher education. Dr. Schafer has a passion for student success, improving the student experience, and creating multicultural campus environments that embrace and celebrate diversity.
For 11 years, Schafer served as Vice President for Student Affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), one of the top public research universities in the nation. GT graduates more African American and female engineers than any other university in the nation. Prior to GT, Schafer was Associate Vice President & Dean of Students at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). UTEP ranks first nationally in the number of Hispanic graduates in Mathematics and Statistics, Engineering, and Education, and third among all U.S. colleges and universities in the total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics in all academic disciplines. Schafer also served West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.V. as Vice President for Student Life. During his time at WVU, he brought vision and direction through restructuring the Division to align it with university strategic initiatives, as well as nationally recruited talent to fill key leadership positions. Most recently, Dr. Schafer served as Interim Vice President and Dean of Students at the University of Pittsburgh Bradford and prior to that, as Interim Dean of Student Success (Chief Student Affairs Officer) at Central Washington University.
As Vice President, Dr. Schafer has led two divisions of Student Affairs through strategic planning processes to align them with the university strategic plan; initiated new programs in fundraising, parent and family programs, multicultural competency, health & wellness, communication and marketing, and professional development; successfully administered over 30 different Student Affairs departments; renovated/built new student housing, recreation centers, and student centers; implemented new student affairs programs in assessment and has been a contributing author to a publication on assessment in student affairs; implemented living-learning communities in residence halls in collaboration with academic affairs; designed and implemented a student leadership program, including a minor in leadership studies with global leadership dimensions; and presented both nationally and internationally on topics of key importance to the future of higher education.
National leadership roles have included Co-Chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)’s Chief Student Affairs Council for the 200 represented institutions. Dr. Schafer was appointed a National Association of Student Personnel Association (NASPA) Senior Fellow by the President of NASPA in February 2017 where he has conducted research on key student affairs initiatives on behalf of NASPA.
Dr. Schafer received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering, M.A. in Guidance and Counseling, and Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Colorado Boulder. The focus of his dissertation was an enrollment management study on how financial aid awards affect the enrollment of underrepresented minority students. Dr. Schafer also attended the Management Development Program at Harvard University. Dr. Schafer was recently appointed to a 3-year term on the Advisory Board for the University of Colorado Boulder Alumni Association.
Dr. Schafer is married and has two adult daughters. One is a college graduate and teaches special needs students and the other is currently pursuing her college degree. Bill is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys running, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and golf.
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