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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2004 / 09 

University names chief of staff, director of administration and associate vice president

September 2, 2004

Landrum L. Cross, vice president for Student Affairs at Virginia Tech, has announced several changes in administrative positions in the division.

Cynthia P. Bonner, associate vice president for Faculty and Staff Resources for the University of North Carolina (UNC) system and a visiting professor at North Carolina State University (NC State), will become the first chief of staff and director of administration in the division.

Cross also announced the promotion of Edward Spencer, assistant vice president for Student Programs, to associate vice president for Student Affairs.

Of Bonner's appointment, Cross said: "Dr. Bonner will be a real asset to Virginia Tech with her leadership skills and extensive background in university administration. I am pleased that she will be the first person in this new position, which has been created as part of a plan to centralize and streamline our operations."

Bonner will oversee administrative functions in the vice president's office, which include personnel and budgeting, and will negotiate and plan a two-year transition of other organizational functions to centralized management, giving her broad administrative responsibilities across all aspects of student affairs programs and services. She will work closely with Cross and the division's associate and assistant vice presidents and will serve as administrative liaison to executive officers throughout the university.

She joined the UNC Office of the President in 1990 as associate vice president for Student Services and Special Programs, responsible for implementing policies in the 16 University of North Carolina institutions. In this position, she served as the university's affirmative action officer for students and consulted with the UNC campuses on minority student recruitment and retention. Bonner has held her position since 1999. She previously held positions of increasing responsibility in Student Affairs at NC State.

Bonner earned her bachelor's from Carnegie Mellon University, her M.Ed. and Ed. S. degrees in counselor education from the State University of West Georgia, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Florida State University. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Scholastic Honorary Society and received the 1996 Hardee Award from the Southern Association for College Student Affairs.

In Spencer's new position, he will oversee the Cranwell International Center, Student Life and Advocacy, University Unions, and Student Activities for the remainder of the year. He will continue to supervise Housing and Dining Services, Residence Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Judicial Affairs.

A professional in Student Affairs for more than 30 years, Spencer began his career in 1970 at the University of Delaware, where he held three different positions. He came to Virginia Tech in 1983 as director of Housing and Residence Life, became director of Residential and Dining Programs in 1989, and was named assistant vice president for Student Affairs in 1996. While working in Student Affairs at the University of Delaware, he taught several undergraduate courses and now teaches a graduate course at Virginia Tech.

Spencer has received numerous awards and honors. Virginia Tech's annual fraternity adviser of the year award is named the Spencer Award in his honor. He has authored a variety of professional publications and presentations and serves on many local, regional, and national committees and organizations.

Spencer received a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Rochester, a master's in student personnel administration in higher education from Syracuse University, and both a master's and a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Delaware. He also is a graduate of Harvard University's Management Development Program.

Two additional organizational changes will be in effect for the remainder of the year.

Recreational Sports has been added to the purview of Brian E. Warren, assistant vice president for Student Affairs. University Unions will be under the purview of Melinda Vann, director of Administrative and Business Services for University Unions and Student Activities (UUSA). Warren will continue to oversee Career Services, the College Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, Cook Counseling Center, Schiffert Health Center, and Services for Students with Disabilities, and Vann will continue her responsibilities for UUSA administrative and business operations.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.