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Interim Vice President of Campus Life Fanta Aw speaks at a University town hall on May 2, 2017 about the May 1 hate crime.

Fanta Aw named vice president of campus life

Aw will transition from interim vice president on Sept. 1

Dr. Fanta Aw, the interim vice president of campus life, will step into the role permanently effective Sept. 1, University President Sylvia Burwell announced in a memo Wednesday morning.

Aw has served as the interim vice president of campus life since Dr. Gail Hanson retired in March. Burwell said in her memo that Aw will manage the same responsibilities that she handled as the interim vice president.

“With the range of student issues growing—such as diversity and inclusion, immigration, cost and affordability and the quality of the student experience—no one is more qualified to lead AU in this important role,” Burwell wrote.

As the head of the Office of Campus Life, Aw oversees 15 departments, including Health and Wellness, Residence Life and Housing and Transition and Retention, according to Burwell’s email. Her office also oversees Title IX investigations with the help of Title IX program officers.

Over the course of her tenure as interim vice president, Aw oversaw the University’s response to the May 1 hate crime and was the first to notify the campus community of the incident through a memorandum.

Aw testified at a Senate hearing on campus free speech in June and included examples of controversial speech at AU, referencing campus protests and the May hate crime. Aw said AU administrators must balance their support for freedom of speech with their responsibilities to investigate bias-motivated crimes, which are now specifically covered in the student conduct code.

Aw holds three degrees from AU and has served as an administrator at the University for 25 years, including as the assistant director of campus life for 10 years, before being appointed the interim vice president. Aw also serves on Burwell’s cabinet and is the co-chair for the Reinventing the Student Experience, or RiSE initiative, according to Burwell’s memo.

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