First female vice president for student affairs named at MSU

Contact: Harriet Laird

Regina Young Hyatt
Regina Young Hyatt

STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State University has selected Regina Y. Hyatt as its next vice president for student affairs, the first woman to serve in this role at the 137-year-old land grant institution.

Hyatt's appointment, effective July 1, is pending approval by the Board of Trustees, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, and comes after an extensive national search by a diverse committee charged with making the final recommendation on the position to MSU President Mark E. Keenum. Hyatt, who succeeds former Vice President of Student Affairs William "Bill" Kibler, has served for the past four years as dean of students at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

"I am very pleased about having Dr. Hyatt join our MSU leadership team," said Keenum. "She brings impressive credentials and a strong dedication to advancing student-centered programs for our university. We're fortunate to have someone with Regina's skill set joining our university administration at this exciting time in MSU's history."

Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president, echoed Keenum's remarks.

"I look forward to working with Dr. Hyatt as a colleague and am confident she will make an excellent Division of Student Affairs even better," said Gilbert, who also chaired the search committee. "She brings an outstanding set of experiences that will enable her to be a highly effective leader."

As MSU's vice president for student affairs, Hyatt will serve as a member of the President's Cabinet and provide executive-level leadership and vision for the Division of Student Affairs. Strategic planning for programming to support student life and success is also among the responsibilities of the job.

Moreover, Hyatt will help manage issues in student affairs associated with MSU's enrollment growth.

Functional areas that report to this position include the Office of the Dean of Students, health services, assessment and testing services, dining, housing and residence life, recreational sports, bookstore and the Student Honor Code Office.

Hyatt said, "I am so appreciative to President Keenum, Provost Gilbert and the search committee for their support and am delighted to become a part of the vibrant MSU community. In my visits to campus, I have been impressed with the outstanding and dedicated staff in the division. Additionally, every student I have interacted with exemplifies the Mississippi State spirit and is committed to the values and ideals of this great institution."

MSU College of Arts and Sciences Dean Greg Dunaway, a search committee member, said of Hyatt, "She is committed to student success and understands the importance of the integration of campus life activities and academics in order to achieve this goal. She will be a terrific leader for our university."

JoJo Dodd, MSU Student Association president, said, "I've had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Hyatt at great length. Her experience in student affairs, combined with her focus on student success, will make her a great asset to both students and the MSU community as a whole."

In her dean of students role at UA, Huntsville, Hyatt has been responsible for creating and maintaining a healthy, safe and supportive environment for that university's students. She previously was associate dean of students and director of student life at the University of South Florida, where she developed the student life and engagement group, and created a co-curricular transcript program. She also served as associate and assistant director of student activities at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and began her professional career in the Office of Student Activities at Western Illinois University.

A former board chair for the National Association for Campus Activities, she also has held leadership positions with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and Leadershape, Inc.

Having presented at many professional conferences, Hyatt has been published in various professional journals and has been active in Huntsville community service projects.

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