Gannon Names Vice President for Student Development and Engagement

Nichols, BrianPosted: July 24, 2012

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., has named R. Brian Nichols as Gannon’s vice president for student development and engagement.

Nichols will start in the newly established position the week of Aug. 13. The creation of the vice president for student development and engagement position at Gannon is part of a comprehensive effort to continually strengthen the campus environment and engage students in deeply connecting their learning and lives.

At Gannon, Nichols will provide leadership for a number of areas and departments, including Campus Ministry, Center for Social Concerns, Student Development, Resident and Commuter Life, International Student Office, Student Health Center and Counseling Services, Waldron Campus Center and the University’s 18 NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs.

“This new position will be crucial for growing our Mission-driven programs and activities in a student-centered, inclusive and innovative environment,” Taylor said. “Brian will help Gannon continue to evolve as a dynamic and engaged living and learning environment that supports the holistic development of each and every student. We have a great new vice president to serve our students and to support Gannon University’s commitment to educating socially responsible global citizens.”

“I am excited to join Gannon’s outstanding leadership team under the direction of Dr. Keith Taylor,” said Nichols. “I’m looking forward to working with the staff to implement programs that will enhance student experiences and the excellence that is Gannon University.”

Nichols most recently served as dean of campus life and student development at Texas A&M University-Commerce. In that position, which he held since 2008, Nichols had responsibility for a number of departments, including Residential Living and Learning, Diversity and Cultural Affairs, Leadership Engagement and Development and Campus Recreation. As dean of campus life and student development, Nichols enabled the creation of a Center for Applied Leadership, served on the University Executive Council and facilitated the expansion of the services offered by the school’s Health Center.

Prior to that, Nichols served as interim dean of students at Texas A&M University-Commerce and provided leadership for Residence Life, Diversity and Cultural Affairs, Campus Activities and Greek Life, International Student Services and Career Services.

At Texas A&M University-Commerce, Nichols also served as assistant dean of students (2003-08) and as director of the Memorial Student Center and Campus Activities (2000-03).

He also has held high-level administrative positions at Wittenberg University (Ohio), South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Eckerd College (Florida) and Vanderbilt University.

Nichols has two bachelor’s degrees, in biology and in psychology, from the University of Cincinnati, and a master of education degree in higher education administration from the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Gannon University is a Catholic, Diocesan university offering nearly 100 academic programs, including doctoral programs in physical therapy and organizational learning and leadership. Gannon enrolls more than 4,000 academically talented and diverse students. Learn more at

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