After an extensive nationwide search, Lamar University has announced the appointment of Vicki McNeil to the LU staff as vice president for the division of student engagement.  McNeil began her tenure with Lamar June 16 after serving as associate vice chancellor for student affairs for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Her impressive resume` includes strategic planning, assessment, crisis response and budget management of more than $40 million.

Prior to her stint in North Carolina, she served as vice president for student affairs at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., and also served for 18 years as associate vice president for student affairs at Loyola University in New Orleans.  Her background and experience includes directing the evacuation of Loyola students to Baton Rouge prior to Hurricane Katrina making landfall in 2005.

“Loyola had never evacuated in the face of a hurricane and we had made the decision to stay put during Hurricane Katrina,” McNeil said.  “We expected a Category two-three hurricane, but when Katrina spun up to a Category five storm we quickly made the decision to go.  We spent two nights at a Baptist church in Baton Rouge with more than 200 students: quite an experience.”

A prolific author, McNeil has published several student-directed articles and papers such as “Parents as Partners: Transitioning with Your Students”, “A Different Approach to Promoting Leadership on Campus”, and “What Qualifies a Leadership Program as a Success”.  Throughout her career, she has been awarded grant funding in excess of $1.6 million for Hispanic and Latino recruitment and retention, violence against women and substance abuse programs.

McNeil is originally a native of Pawnee, Ok., and attended Oklahoma State University. She acquired the bachelor of music education degree in voice and piano in 1977 and is an accomplished pianist.  She earned the Master of Science degree in curriculum and instruction in education, with an emphasis in music, in 1978, and the doctorate degree in student personnel administration, with an emphasis in leadership, career counseling and development, in 1981 from Oklahoma State University as well.

“I’m so excited to be here in Beaumont and at Lamar,” she said. “Lamar has changed so much in such a short time and I believe the experience I bring to student engagement will fit in well with where Lamar is heading as a university.  We’re excited to become a part of the Lamar family.”

She is married to Wayne McNeil an attorney in private practice who also earned the doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University.