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Message Regarding Vice President for Student Affairs

William Banis to step down by end of next academic year

April 26, 2010

To members of the University community:

After 16 years of meritorious service to Northwestern University, including ten as the University's senior student affairs officer, William J. Banis has informed me that he plans to retire as Vice President for Student Affairs no later than August 31, 2011.  A search committee comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, deans, and administrators will be formed shortly.

During his tenure at Northwestern, Bill has led initiatives that have significantly improved student life on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses in numerous areas, including new programs, enhanced services, campus safety, facilities, and campus inclusion.

He oversaw the creation of Orientation and Parent Programs, Judicial Affairs, Fraternity and Sorority Life, the LGBT Resource Center, Multicultural Student Affairs, Asian/Asian American Student Affairs, Hispanic/Latino Student Affairs, the Life Skills Center as part of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and an information technology unit.  He expanded capacity in Services for Students with Disabilities, CAPS, health services, career services, the University Chaplain's office, residential life, and assessment.

Enhancements have been made in pre-orientation programs, Wildcat Welcome, community service, multicultural education, health education, student group advising, food services and staff development.  Student advisory boards now provide feedback and guidance for each Student Affairs office and are an integral part of division governance.  Refinements have been made in the code of student conduct, fraternity and sorority leases, risk management and the student health insurance plan to name a few.  Significant advances also have been made in the adoption and use of information technology across the Division of Student Affairs, including a new electronic portfolio for students.  

Student facilities built or upgraded during Bill's tenure include the construction of Slivka Hall, the addition to and renovation of the Searle Health Service Building, University Career Services, five of the six dining halls, the creation of coffee shops and convenience stores across campus, including Lisa's Cafe, Starbucks at the Norris Center, Crowe Hall Café, The Great Room, Einstein's Bagels, Plaza Café, and the renovation of the first floor of the Norris Student Center.  In addition approximately $60 million in upgrades, renovations and sustainability improvements were made in both undergraduate and graduate student residence halls, most recently at the former Seabury facility.

His focus on campus safety is evidenced by the significant expansion of the University's SafeRide program, enhanced lighting on campus, and the addition of Community Service Officers in the major residence halls on the Evanston campus.  All residence halls, fraternities and sororities are now equipped with fire safety sprinkler systems, improved door security, and closed circuit television systems.  Full-time area coordinators now live on campus and a Threat Assessment Team monitors potential problem situations.   

The University soon will begin a national search for Bill's successor. As part of this process, we will ask members of the community for their counsel on the desired attributes of our next leader of our student affairs area.
Northwestern University is deeply grateful to Bill Banis for his outstanding leadership.  He has served Northwestern extremely well since 1994, and I hope you will join me in the coming months in thanking Bill for his leadership and service to Northwestern.


Daniel Linzer

Topics: University News