Georgia Southern has hired an experienced professional with very personal ties to Eagle Nation as its next vice president for student affairs.
Shay Little, Ph.D., comes to Georgia Southern from Kent State University in Ohio where she has served since 2012, most recently as special assistant to the president and vice president of student affairs. Before that, she spent 15 years at the University of Georgia and three years at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
“My daughter went to school here and graduated from Georgia Southern University while I worked in Georgia,” Little said. “I have firsthand knowledge about the experience Georgia Southern provides to its students, and I was very excited when I learned about this opportunity. I am thrilled to be joining the team at Georgia Southern.”
Reporting directly to the president, Little will start June 1 as Georgia Southern’s senior student affairs officer and primary advocate for approximately 26,000 students on three unique campuses. She will lead a talented team that oversees a wide range of departments focused on student support and development including Campus Recreation and Intramurals, Counseling Center, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Health Services, Leadership and Community Engagement, Multicultural Affairs, Student Conduct, Student Accessibility Resource Center, Student Government Association, Student Media, and University Housing.
“Dr. Little has direct experience with many of these areas that play such a key role in helping our students excel,” said Georgia Southern President Kyle Marrero. “Dr. Little’s outstanding track record of progressive leadership experience and commitment to student success will make her the ideal leader for us at this critical time in our history.”
Marrero also thanked the search committee that conducted a nationwide search for the position, led a transparent and engaged search process, and helped cull through an “exceedingly strong” candidate pool.
Scot Lingrell, vice president for enrollment management, and Takeshia Brown, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, co-chaired a diverse search committee that included students, representatives from across campus and leaders within the student affairs division.
Little stood out to the committee for her experience with strategic planning and leadership, her commitment to inclusive excellence and her ability to connect with students, Lingrell said.
The vice president position is critical, Marrero said, as the University plans for a fall semester in the wake of a global pandemic while also being ever-mindful of the increasing responsibility university officials have to meeting the needs of a diverse student body.
Little has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Baylor University, a Master of Science in counseling and student personnel services from Oklahoma State University, and a doctorate in counseling and student personnel services from the University of Georgia. She attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, has taught a myriad of counseling and higher education classes, and has more than 20 publications or professional presentations to her credit.