Ricardo Hall named Denison’s new vice president for Student Life

Student Life
May 29, 2024

Following an extensive national search, Denison welcomes Ricardo (Ric) Hall as the new vice president for Student Life, effective July 1, 2024. Hall, an accomplished higher education leader, educator, and advocate with more than 25 years of experience, joins Denison from Lehigh University, where he has served as vice president for Student Affairs since 2019 and was vice provost for Student Affairs from 2017-2019.

Among his many accomplishments at Lehigh, Hall initiated a campuswide effort to enhance wellness and well-being resources, led a strategic planning process for Student Affairs, and helped to reimagine current and planned space to support student success. He provided strong leadership in response to Covid, partnered with university and local leadership to improve off-campus and town-gown relationships, and developed a plan for excellence in Greek life that incorporated new initiatives in housing and advising while bolstering campus traditions.

“We are so excited and grateful that Ric is joining us on The Hill. He brings deep experience, thoughtful leadership, and strategic thinking that will shape the next chapter of Student Life at Denison,” President Adam Weinberg said. “Our students will reap the benefits of his extensive experience in student development, and they will appreciate his warmth and approachability. Ric is a community-minded collaborator committed to building strong partnerships with faculty and staff colleagues to provide a life-shaping education to students. We look forward to welcoming him to Denison.”

At Denison, Hall will oversee all aspects of Student Life on Denison’s fully residential campus, including campus life, residence housing and communities, orientation and first-year experience, campus safety, inclusion and belonging, community values and conduct, fraternity and sorority life, spiritual life, community service, and health and wellness services. He will lead a staff of more than 70 professionals whose work includes fostering students’ sense of belonging and inclusion, illuminating pathways for students to navigate college life, and empowering students to develop the habits and skills to manage their well-being.

“Denison has a proven record of positive faculty collaboration, support from a knowledgeable and engaged Board of Trustees, and strong leadership from a highly respected and student-centered president in Dr. Weinberg,” Hall said. “I very much look forward to becoming a member of the Denison community and, with my Student Life colleagues, partnering with the talented students on The Hill as we support them in the inevitable challenges and ultimately celebrate the successes that are sure to come.”

Hall’s wealth of experience in higher education administration includes more than 20 years in various leadership roles and institutions. He served as associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students at the University of Miami (Florida) from 2006-2017, as associate dean of students at Wake Forest University from 2000-2006, and as associate director of judicial services at Clemson University from 1997-2000. In addition, he is currently a peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

“Our national search identified many talented and qualified candidates, and Ric emerged as the front-runner in all of our conversations,” said Raj Bellani, vice president and chief of staff, who chaired the search committee. “He demonstrated an understanding and alignment with our collaborative campus culture and showed that he can work effectively across the campus community to deliver a first-class student experience.”

Hall has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on subjects including mentoring, student discipline, diversity, leadership skills development, Greek life, and wellness. He also has provided independent consulting services on leadership, diversity, and other higher education issues.

“Ric is a thoughtful campus leader and eager to build an experience for students that reflects what our college cares about,” said Sam Cowling, chair of the faculty, department chair and associate professor of philosophy. “I’m excited about the chance to work with him. Ric is a lifelong comics aficionado, so I’m especially pleased about the chance to talk art, comics, and culture with him.”

Hall earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and master’s in higher education administration from Ohio University and his doctorate in educational leadership from Clemson University. He enjoys racquetball and team sports, and his hobbies include collecting PEZ dispensers and comic books. Hall and his wife, Andrea, have two adult daughters, a third daughter who will begin college in the fall, and a son who will move with them to Granville this summer.

Hall will succeed Alex Miller, who is joining Washington and Lee University as their next vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students.

Search Committee Members

  • James L. Anderson ’85, trustee
  • Nicole Ausmer, senior associate VP of Student Life
  • Brandon Bianco, head soccer coach, assistant professor
  • Holly Breymaier, executive assistant, Student Life
  • Sam Cowling, chair of the faculty, chair, and associate professor of philosophy
  • Jeryl Hayes ’04, trustee
  • Jay Jackson ’25, student
  • Dilnoza Khuseynova ’25, student
  • Thomas E. Szykowny ’79, trustee
  • Jeff Thompson, dean of the faculty, professor of biology
  • Micaela Vivero, chair and professor of studio art
  • Janine Watkins, vice president for talent and culture and CHRO
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