Finalists announced for vice chancellor for student affairs

· 6 min read

Finalists announced for vice chancellor for student affairs

SVCA finalists trio
The three finalists for the vice chancellor for student affairs are (from left) Shawnté Elbert, Austin Jamar “JB” Banks and Brian J. Patchcoski. On campus interviews begin May 8.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has announced three finalists for the vice chancellor for student affairs position. Selected through a national search, the candidates will visit campus between May 8-18.

The candidates will participate in multiple-day interviews that include a public presentation, which begins at noon in the Nebraska Union. A virtual option is available.

The finalists, listed by public presentation date, are:

  • May 9 — Shawnté Elbert, associate vice president for health and well-being at Ohio State University | Platte River Room, Zoom link
  • May 16 — Austin Jamar “JB” Banks, interim vice chancellor for student affairs at University of Colorado Boulder | Swanson Auditorium, Zoom link
  • May 18 — Brian J. Patchcoski, assistant vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion in Student Affairs at Pennsylvania State University | Swanson Auditorium, Zoom link

Additional candidate information, including curriculum vitae and candidate evaluation forms, is available on the vice chancellor for student affairs search website.

The vice chancellor reports to the executive vice chancellor and is responsible for a dynamic student affairs operation with a budget of more than $120 million and a staff of 600 FTE managerial, office, and service professionals and 1,700 student employees. The vice chancellor will support an increasingly diverse student body and foster a healthy, inclusive, student-centered campus environment that supports academic excellence.

The vice chancellor will provide leadership and direction to the division including strategic planning, assessment, and staff development. The vice chancellor is a highly engaged and visible advocate for students who will advance Nebraska’s access and affordability mission, as well as embrace the university’s Husker traditions and valued partnerships within the city of Lincoln and the state.

Shawnté Elbert interviews May 8-9.


Elbert is associate vice president for health and well-being at Ohio State University, managing an annual operating budget of $40 million with responsibility for 290 full-time staff and 880 student staff. She supports Student Life’s employee wellness, Counseling and Consultation Service, Department of Recreational Sports, Student Health Services, and the Student Wellness Center. She is an accomplished leader and student affairs administrator, guiding the organization through change management, including reducing staff turn-over, reorganization, departmental procedure development, and onboarding/off-boarding development. She has a depth and breadth of experience in college student health and wellness, including harm reduction, prevention, and risk management.

Elbert has a strong background in policy review and development, health and wellness compliance, and public health theory and practice. She is a skilled course and programmatic developer with significant experience in assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. A strong advocate for historically minoritized students, she has vast expertise in the areas of public health administration, addressing health equity and disparities, peer education, and leadership development. She has successfully led and participated in campus climate surveys, capital projects and renovations, improving student services to meet the changing demographic, and supporting new initiatives through strategic planning.

She has worked with state and local government, board of trustees, cabinet members, alumni, and university committees to advance campus priorities. She is a former member of the board of directors for the American College Health Association, the 2020 recipient of the Evelyn Wiener Mentoring Award, and still serves as an Aspire mentor. Within the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, she was the 2019-2022 co-chair for the Wellness and Health Promotion Knowledge Community and served on the Peer Education Advisory Board and the Fraternity and Sorority Life Health, Safety, and Well-being working groups.

A first-generation college student, Elbert holds a Bachelor of Science in health education and promotion from East Carolina University and a Master of Arts in wellness from Chatham University. She earned her doctorate of education in educational leadership and management from St. Thomas University in Florida.

Austin Jamar “JB” Banks interviews May 15-16.


Banks is the interim vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder, managing an overall budget of approximately $221 million and providing strategic leadership, vision, and oversight for areas that promote student success and co-curricular student learning. Prior to joining Colorado, he served as associate vice chancellor and dean of students for student affairs at Winston-Salem State University where he was a senior leader on issues involving student health, wellness, and safety, and was responsible for the development and maintenance of all threat and crisis management plans for Student Affairs; the enhancement of the residential experiences for undergraduate and graduate students; and policy revision that contributed to a heightened sense of student engagement.

Banks also served in various roles at Appalachian State University and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln that focused on initiatives promoting student belonging, mattering, and retention. At Appalachian State University, he was pivotal in the design and implementation of renovated spaces for club and organizations that lead to a 32% increase in student club offerings. His work at Appalachian State also included teaching leadership education and theory. At UNL, he was involved in creating additional allocated spaces for minority students by way of renovated and expanded building projects. He worked closely with students, faculty, and staff while garnering resources for a multicultural center that led to an increase in retention. He has over 23 years of university experience in the areas of housing and residence life, student involvement and leadership, sorority and fraternity life, career development, health services, crisis management, athletics, and general advising and student conduct. He has completed several certifications including a Title IX qualification and trauma informed training.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communication and criminal justice from the University of Arkansas and a Master of Science degree in educational leadership from UNL. He earned a Certification in Leadership from Harvard University.

Brian J. Patchcoski interviews May 17-18.


Patchcoski is assistant vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion in Student Affairs at Pennsylvania State University, and is responsible for strengthening and furthering a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all students. He provides strategic leadership across the Student Affairs division, including strategic planning, staff professional development, emergency and crisis response, residential life, co-curricular development, and student conduct, sexual misconduct, and discrimination concerns along with oversight for seven Student Affairs units: the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the Gender Equity Center, Adult Learner Programs and Services, the Parent’s Program, and the Center for Social Change and Belonging. He also provides support and structure to colleagues across the 24 Penn State campuses responsible for equity and inclusion-based programming within other campus initiatives.

He has also served as an associate dean of students at Cornell University with a focus on student support, sexual violence, and advocacy while also directing Cornell’s LGBT Resource Center and co-directing the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, which housed a variety of identity-based advocacy and inclusion units along with academic partners. Before joining Cornell, Brian was the founding director of the Office of LGBTQ Services and deputy Title IX officer at Dickinson College.

Patchcoski has served on bias assessment and review teams, within university crisis management, on community support teams, and as a confidential victim advocate related to issues of sexual violence, bias, and harassment. He has participated in several national research projects examining student identity development and campus climate and has been published in areas of gender inclusion in higher education as well as inclusive faith-based practices for LGBTQ individuals.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in counseling and human services from the University of Scranton and Master of Education in college student affairs and higher education from Penn State.

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