Vice President of Campus Life Gail Hanson to retire
Hanson to step down in March following 20 years of service
Vice President of Campus Life Gail Hanson will retire on March 31 following 20 years of service at AU, President Neil Kerwin announced in a memo to the campus community on Tuesday.
Hanson, a leading administrator at AU, will retire a few months before Kerwin steps down as the University president in May.
As vice president of campus life, Hanson oversees several departments at AU, including Student Conduct, Housing and Dining Programs and the Academic Support and Access Center. Hanson is also accountable for student health services, programming for new and international student orientations and retention and student community engagement efforts.
Hanson, who will turn 70 this year, cited numerous reasons for the mid-semester retirement, some of which aligned with her completion of her administrative responsibilities as Vice President of Campus Life the position of campus and the new AU presidential transition efforts. By the end of March, Hanson will complete several projects and policies that would be difficult to hand off to an interim, she said.
Hanson serves as a member of the AU Budget Committee and chairs the AU Community Liaison Committee which fosters AU neighborhood relations, both of which will meet in the first half of the spring semester. She also expects to finish the Reinventing the Student Experience project (RiSE), adding additional academic support programming and protocols on counseling related to serious mental health issues, including suicide prevention and response.
She said another consideration for her retirement was the timing and transition of the new AU president, who will start in the beginning of the summer.
“Because I would have left this summer anyway, I didn't want to get into the transition with the new president. I think it makes more sense to go through that transition with someone who will be staying here to provide continuity,” Hanson said. “I would not want to leave right before or right after the new president starts. I think it would be disruptive.”
President Kerwin will decide on an interim vice president to fill Hanson’s role until the end of the semester, Gail Hanson said. The new AU president will either keep on the same interim administrator or conduct a new search to fill the position. Once hired by the president, the AU Board of Trustees will approve of the new vice president of campus life.
“I have really excellent assistant vice presidents,” Hanson said. “Any one of them could step in serve as interim and take the organization through a transition.”