Mississippi University for Women has announced Jessica Harpole as vice president for student affairs and dean of students, pending approval by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.
“I am honored to have been selected for this role. It is very special to have the opportunity to carry out my vision for student affairs here. When I became part of The W family as a student, I could not have imagined how important the institution would become to me or how my experiences here would influence my career path. Bringing this full circle to give back to my alma mater in a broader way is very exciting,” said Harpole.
In June of 2020, Harpole began serving as the interim vice president for student affairs and dean of students. Before then, she served as the director of student life for seven years. Harpole also has served as Staff Council president, chair of the Director’s Council and served on several university committees and councils. From 2009-2013, Harpole was the coordinator of leadership and service.
“Jess stepped in as interim vice president for student affairs and dean of students last summer as we were preparing the campus for renewal in a pandemic. She and her team never missed a beat. Jess is committed to our students and their development as leaders. I appreciate her vision and her strong voice for our students — and I wouldn’t want to face a pandemic without her,” President Nora Miller said.
In addition to providing leadership to the Office of Student Life, Harpole will oversee the Office of Housing & Residence Life, the Counseling Center, manage student conduct and advise the Student Government Association.
Harpole said, “Over the past year, I have had the privilege of providing leadership and working alongside the outstanding professionals in student affairs to resolve some of the seemingly impossible challenges presented by the pandemic. As we continue to innovate and refine our services, I am confident that we are laying a foundation for a more vibrant campus community. Students can expect commitment to providing co-curricular experiences that challenge and connect them outside of the classroom to complement the education received through academic coursework.”
Harpole earned her master of science degree in higher education from Florida State University and bachelor of science degree in social science from Mississippi University for Women.