Dixie State University names new vice president of student affairs
June 22, 2016ST. GEORGE, Utah — After conducting a nationwide search, Dixie State University has selected Dr. Peter Gitau as the institution’s new vice president of student affairs. Gitau will begin his tenure with the university on Aug. 1. “All of us at Dixie State University are thrilled to welcome Dr. Gitau to campus,” President Dr. Richard B. Williams said. “Dr. Gitau has an impressive track record of mentoring, educating and advocating for students and is a champion for global engagement, diversity and inclusiveness. He will be a great addition to the Dixie family.” The national search, which garnered more than 70 applications, began after Dixie State administration split the vice president of student affairs and government relations position into two executive posts, responding to the growing needs of the university. Frank Lojko, who has been in the position since 2007, will remain on staff as the vice president of government relations. As the university’s chief student-personnel officer, Gitau will work with administration to guide enrollment management and promote student life and support services as ways to enhance and improve the recruitment, retention and graduation rates of DSU students. Additionally, he will provide for the academic welfare of students by ensuring that university policies and procedures are enforced. “Dixie State University provides a unique opportunity to build and enhance a world-class Student Affairs program that is decisively and intentionally student centered,” Gitau said. “The university's mission of access and opportunity, combined with a very inspiring strategic plan, resonates with my own personal journey and passions in life. This is a very dynamic, fast-moving institution, making this a great time to become a Trailblazer. Of course, I can't wait to get rid of my winter coat.” A self-proclaimed out-of-the-box thinker, Gitau prides himself in being a strong advocate for students and models an intentional partnership between academics and student affairs. He is committed to a converging in-class and out-of-class programs and activities to create holistic learning, growth and development. With more than 15 years of experience in executive higher education management, Gitau has served as the vice president for student affairs at Northern Kentucky University and associate vice chancellor and dean of students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has supervised comprehensive student affairs departments, overseen complex capital projects and developed cross-divisional student success initiatives. Born and brought up in a rural village in Kenya, Dr. Gitau received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. After coming to the United States as an international student, he earned a master’s degree in educational administration from Eastern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.