Introducing New VPSA William Fox

Vice President for Student Affairs William (Bill) Fox, Ed.D, took a seat in his new office for the first time in January ready to advance Otterbein’s mission by focusing on student well-being and equity. He will oversee student health and wellness, residence life, student engagement, athletics, and student conduct programs — but that’s nothing new for this seasoned professional. Fox has worked in higher education for over 20 years, including a decade as dean of students at Denison University in Granville, OH. He most recently led the student affairs division at Antioch College* in Yellow Springs, OH.

We talked to Bill as he begins his new role:

We talked to Bill as he begins his new role:

What interested you in this role?

Otterbein is a special place. I have lived and worked in central Ohio for most of my career and have always been fond of the sense of community that Otterbein fosters. I am now fortunate to be able to enjoy that feeling of belonging and pride. I have big shoes to fill and cannot wait to continue a legacy of success in building strong relationships, role modeling a strong ethic of care for students, and designing innovative programs to help students have a superb experience that prepares them for life after Otterbein.

What are some of the biggest opportunities you see at Otterbein?

I am inspired by the energy and ideas coming from the students. Part of being a student-centered educator means spending time listening to how students describe their experience here and what they want to see continue, change, or stop. Then it’s important that we work alongside and empower students to be responsible and accountable for co-creating that next step. I am paying attention to spaces students enjoy as they live and learn on our campus and ways to further enhance those over time. I am looking forward to leading and further developing our student affairs team — we have great people who are driven to do good work on behalf of students.

Your research focuses on student wellness. How will you apply that research at Otterbein?

I bring a focus on how mission, well-being, and equity are connected, and I wake up every day thinking about the role of student affairs in advancing our mission through advancing a strategic focus on well-being and equity in our work. This is shared work and I look forward to identifying ways that the Division of Student Affairs can work across the various areas of the University community to create the conditions upon which we can more fully live out our commitments to well-being and equity.

What is your approach for connecting with students?

Over the past 20 years, my approach has evolved with practice and student preferences. I hope our students will come to find that I am visible and accessible; genuinely curious about their experience; honest; direct when we agree/disagree; open in terms of letting them know when I don’t know and asking for help and student input; supportive of their expressions about change that is needed; and that I am in their corner and hoping for the best possible outcome for their experience here and lives after Otterbein.

*Antioch College is not affiliated with Antioch University. Otterbein is currently partnering with Antioch University to create a new system of mission-driven, not-for-profit independent institutions of higher education.

William Fox, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

New Vice President for Student Affairs William (Bill) Fox, Ed.D., says he is “inspired by the energy and ideas” coming from Otterbein students.

Student Well-Being and Equity are top of mind for new Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Fox.

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