Laurie Bellows has officially been selected to serve as vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Bellows has led the Office of Student Affairs in an interim status since July 1, 2017. Before serving in this position, she spent 15 years in the Office of Graduate Studies as acting dean, associate dean and assistant dean where she provided administrative oversight of the office, including graduate recruitment, admissions and retention, and provided leadership for graduate policies and initiatives. She also served eight years as a faculty instructional consultant for the university’s Teaching and Learning Center and was interim director of international affairs for two years. She has been the director of the McNair Scholars Program since 2005.
The appointment, announced by Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Spiller, began August 1, and is pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
“Laurie has done an outstanding job over the last three years in this position. She has thoughtfully and carefully led Student Affairs through a restructuring that has reaffirmed and reenergized our Student Affairs teams. She has also brought a depth of experience and leadership to the many challenges that our students have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Spiller. “Her longstanding commitment to this university, to her staff, and to our students is admirable and has been evident in each of her roles on the campus.”
Since 2017, Bellows has restructured Student Affairs from a flat organization to one with meaningful and effective units and has provided a clear vision that has energized the office. She led the creation of the Big Red Resilience and Well-being Program and has supported the expansion of Counseling and Psychological Services for students. Over the past months, her leadership has been critical to the university’s successful pandemic response as Student Affairs helped more than 5,000 students return home in March, supported all of those who continued to live on campus through spring and summer, and prepared for the return of students in the fall.
“Laurie has earned the trust and respect of students, faculty, staff and administrators during her tenure at Nebraska. The past three years, she has formed a strong, highly collaborative team and initiated key strategic initiatives essential to the health and well-being of our students,” said Chancellor Ronnie Green. “I am grateful for her continued leadership on campus.”
Bellows is a professor of practice in educational psychology and a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology. She will continue as the university’s Higher Learning Commission accreditation liaison, having led the university’s 2016 successful re-accreditation process. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in human development, and a doctoral degree in psychological and cultural studies.
“It is a privilege to serve the university and work with the incredibly talented Student Affairs staff. I am grateful to have this opportunity, and I am humbled daily by their service to our students,” Bellows said. “As full partners with the academic community, we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive campus that cultivates student success through engagement, well-being and a commitment to diversity.”
The vice chancellor for student affairs reports to the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and is responsible for a budget of more than $100 million, a staff of 800 managerial, office and service professionals, and 1,700 student employees. Serving as a member of the chancellor’s executive leadership team and cabinet, the vice chancellor for student affairs supports an increasingly diverse student body as part of Nebraska’s access and affordability mission and embraces the university’s Husker traditions and valued partnerships across the state.