Reesor joins UW–Madison as vice chancellor for student affairs

July 31, 2018 By Doug Erickson

Lori Reesor, a skilled higher education professional with deep Wisconsin roots and more than 30 years of experience in student affairs, has joined UW–Madison in the newly created role of vice chancellor for student affairs. Her first day was July 1.

Reesor grew up in the Waukesha area, and her parents and many members of her family still reside there. A first-generation college student, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from UW–Whitewater.

Although graduate school and work took her away from Wisconsin, the state always exerted a strong pull, she says.

Photo: Lori Reesor standing in front of Bascom Hall arch

Lori Reesor at Bascom Hall. Reesor is UW–Madison’s new vice chancellor for student affairs. Photo: Bryce Richter

“This feels like coming home,” Reesor says. “I’m excited to return to Wisconsin in a role that combines my professional interests with my desire to give back to the state that means so much to me.”

The vice chancellor role is designed to strengthen the student experience by ensuring that the various units that provide student-related services on campus are strategically aligned and reporting directly to Chancellor Rebecca Blank, through the vice chancellor. Reesor’s office is in Bascom Hall.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Lori to campus,” Blank says. “Under her leadership, we will build on our success with the Wisconsin Experience by supporting students and the campus in new and expanded ways.”

The units reporting to the new Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will be the Wisconsin Union, the Division of Recreational Sports, University Health Services and the Division of Student Life, led this coming fall by interim dean of students Argyle Wade.

“These are units recognized nationally for their innovation and commitment to student success and excellence,” Reesor says. “It’s exciting to think about what we can accomplish as we come together.”

During her presentation to campus as a candidate for the position, Reesor spoke of her strong belief that the goal of student affairs work is to support student success and to enhance students’ experiences both inside and outside the classroom. She also stressed her personal commitment to diversity, equity and social justice.

“We must be intentional and reach out to every student,” she says. “That’s especially important for those students who historically have not felt as supported, as welcomed or as cared for.”

“I’m excited to return to Wisconsin in a role that combines my professional interests with my desire to give back to the state that means so much to me,” says new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor. video: university communications

Reesor holds a master’s degree from Iowa State University and a doctoral degree from the University of Kansas. Most recently, she served as vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at Indiana University Bloomington.

She previously held administrative positions at the University of North Dakota, the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Wichita State University.

Reesor, who tweets at @lorireesor, has begun holding listening sessions with employees of the units that will report to her. Look for additional ways to engage with Reesor this fall.