CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 22, 2017)—Ricardo Hall, who helped create extraordinary student experiences for thousands of University of Miami students during his 11 years as associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, has been named vice provost for student affairs at Lehigh University, a private research university in Pennsylvania.
Hall, who will assume his new duties on June 30, will lead one of Lehigh’s largest divisions, which includes the Dean of Students Office, the Health and Wellness Center, University Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Advancement and Prevention Strategies, the Women’s Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Pride Center, and the ROTC.
Calling Hall’s pending departure “bittersweet,” Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely lauded his leadership, logistical expertise, professional accomplishments, and “calming presence” during student crises. She said her longtime colleague is well suited to take on his new role at Lehigh, which has been counted among the nation’s “Hidden Ivies”—schools that rival the Ivy Leagues.
“Ric is a wonderful role model for our students. He is always willing to have a conversation with a student about any issue or concern and demonstrates the highest level of integrity,” Whitely said. “His leadership has truly impacted UM and we will always be grateful. We wish him well and know the Lehigh community is indeed fortunate.”
A bowtie aficionado known among students for his wise counsel, humor, racquetball challenges, and impressive PEZ collection, Hall said it was his good fortune to “have spent the past 11 years at a top-tier university, working with exceptional students, and alongside skilled and caring colleagues.
“I also don’t take for granted that I’ve served with a vice president for student affairs who is universally regarded as one of the nation’s best,” he said of Whitely. “My time at UM has certainly helped prepare me to embrace this significant leadership opportunity at Lehigh.”
Tapped into the Iron Arrow Honor Society in 2012, Hall joined UM in 2006, after 10 years in student affairs roles at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and Clemson University in South Carolina. In addition to overseeing UM’s Greek life, the chaplain’s office, alcohol and drug education, judicial affairs, veteran student services, and the 24-hour crisis response team, he is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education and Human Development, and a trusted advisor to Student Government and the Committee on Student Organizations.
Under his leadership, Whitely said, the U’s Greek system more than doubled and the Sandler Center for Alcohol and Drug Education received a $1 million endowment for the Posner Substance Abuse Education Fund.
Hall earned both his bachelor’s degree in business management and his master’s in higher education administration from Ohio University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Clemson. A frequently requested speaker, he has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on such subjects as mentoring, student discipline, diversity, leadership skills development, Greek Life, and wellness.
“From his previous role, we know that he can work across divisions and across colleges to continue to develop and sustain a Lehigh student experience that is truly distinctive,” Lehigh Provost Pat Farrell said in announcing Hall’s appointment, which followed a national search.
Added Anne Anderson, an associate professor in the Perella Department of Finance who chaired Lehigh’s search committee, “The fact that he was already known to many in the Student Affairs division was very telling. They knew of his work, his accomplishments, and his reputation, and they were very enthused at the prospect of working with him. He is someone who is interested in the personal development of the students, as well as the professionals working for him.”
UM will now begin its own national search for Hall’s successor.