Dr. Michael Hostetler, a candidate for vice provost of student affairs, will visit Portland State Thursday and Friday to meet students, tour the campus and give a presentation about his history working in student affairs.
The vice provost position, the key representative of students to the PSU administration, has been held by Interim Vice Provost Dan Fortmiller for a little over a year. Hostetler will be in Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 226, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, and students will have an opportunity to meet Hostetler and offer feedback about life on campus.
A second forum will be held in the Cascade Room, room 236 of Smith, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 17, with a brief presentation of Hostetler’s key focuses and history with student affairs, followed by a question and answer session.
During the past six years, Hostetler, who is currently the associate vice president of student services and dean of students at California State University, Long Beach, has directly overseen many of the student organizations and administrations, including orientation, student life and the multicultural center. Previously, Hostetler was the vice president of student affairs at Lewis and Clark State College in Idaho, where he was elected chairman of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) region five board of directors.
”The vice provost holds a lot of responsibility and Hostetler has an impressive resume for this position,” said Ryan Klute, Universities Studies graduate mentor and member of the search committee for the vice provost position. “He has a lot of experience with student affairs and I look forward to meeting him.”
The committee did not set out with a goal of finding one specific candidate, though Hostetler was among the most impressive individuals who submitted an application, Klute said.
The search committee has been active since June, and Marvin Kaiser, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, became the committee chairman in mid-August.
”I’m certainly excited about having a candidate of Hostetler’s caliber,” Kaiser said. “I hope that many students will come to the open meetings with Hostetler. I also want to encourage faculty and staff to attend either or both sessions.”
”There was actually some contention within the committee about the singularity of having one major candidate,” Klute said. “It has turned out pretty well, however, given how qualified Hostetler is.”
Hostetler’s candidacy culminates with his forthcoming visit, which will include meetings with President Daniel Bernstine and Provost Roy Koch, among others, followed by an exit interview with the search committee.
”We will make our recommendation to the provost based on student response and our perceptions, though ultimately, Koch makes the decision of whether or not to hire Hostetler,” Klute said. “We will make our recommendation after we have a meeting, currently scheduled for the week following Thanksgiving, and if he’s hired, we’re done. If not, the search committee will restart the search and keep seeking a vice provost.”
”I can’t say if Koch will make the decision on whether or not to hire Hostetler [the Monday after Thanksgiving],” Kaiser said, “but most likely there will be an answer soon thereafter.”
The vice provost is considered a senior student affairs officer of the university and enrollment management is at the top of the provost’s duty list. Student affairs oversees nearly all of the committees, programs and functions on campus.
”He has a lot of experience in academic affairs,” Kaiser said. “It’s a very important position that Hostetler is being considered for, and his background will lend to success as a provost, with both enrollment management and student services.”
”Students may not always recognize the magnitude that student government carries for their collegiate experience,” Klute said, “but we’re hoping that students will come to the forum and see how much influence the administrations at PSU have. I know that, regardless of my opinion, my duty is to represent the majority opinion on campus and the whole committee is intent on making decisions by speaking for the students at large, not on our personal values.”
”One of the bigger issues that Hostetler will address is enrollment management,” said Dan Fortmiller, the interim vice provost. “This is something that students are certainly affected by and it would be great to see a strong turnout among our students. I haven’t met Hostetler, but he has a great history in student affairs and I will be meeting with him Thursday and then attending the forum the next day.”
Fortmiller will return to his previous job – director of Information and Academic Support, now called the Undergraduate Advising and Support Center (UASC) – when a replacement has been chosen.
”The experience of being vice provost has been a very interesting experience,” Fortmiller said. “It’s enabled me to see my old division in a much different light, and if Hostetler comes on board, then I’ll just move offices back to my old life at the UASC. It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as vice provost, and I look forward to the coming events.”