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Cross appointed vice president
for Student Affairs

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 31 - May 21, 1998

Landrum L. Cross, who has just completed a three-year appointment as vice president for Student Affairs, has been named to the job, effective immediately. Cross was selected for the position following a national search.
"Lanny enjoys strong support from throughout the university community. We look forward to the leadership he will continue to provide in Student Affairs, especially in several priority areas that he plans to address," said Peggy S. Meszaros, senior vice president and provost, in announcing the appointment.
According to Cross, those priorities include ensuring that students have continued alcohol education throughout their years at Virginia Tech; creating and maintaining a campus environment for students that makes all feel welcome; ensuring a judicial-affairs program that is above reproach; assessing his division's staffing structure, responsibilities, and effectiveness; continuing to hire and retain as diverse a faculty and staff as possible; implementing a budget review; continuing to promote the coordination of academic affairs and student affairs through joint programs, assessments, and linkages; and implementing Project SAFE (Sexual Assault Facts and Education) on a campus-wide basis. The project, which now operates through the Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Office, currently involves workshops directed at intact groups of students.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to continue to lead the division. During my three years as the vice president for student affairs, the good, competent people who work here have been responsive to shifts in direction, and we are comfortable with the notion of additional change and innovation. This is an exciting time to be at the university, and I look forward to the challenges ahead," Cross said.
Of the priorities he plans to address, Cross said that only Project SAFE will be a totally new program for the division, although Student Affairs does have other programs that address awareness issues. "We will begin working on it relatively soon," he noted, adding, "Sexual assault continues to be a concern, and this awareness program needs to be widely available to the student body."
Cross said that he is also looking at plans for additional services through the new health and fitness center that would involve interdisciplinary approaches to students' problems. "We would like to mesh several approaches to problems so they work in a seamless structure," he said.
Cross comes to the position with over 20 years of administrative experience in higher education. In addition to serving three years as vice president for Student Affairs, he was associate vice president of the division for six years and assistant vice president for six years. For a year during that time, he also served as interim vice president. Since coming to Tech in 1983, he has also been the interim director for both Student Health Services and the Cooperative Education Program. In an earlier stint at the university, he was the coordinator for residence management and counselor for student services. Other jobs he has held include associate director and director of residence life at North Carolina State University, dean of students at Belmont Abbey College, and assistant dean of students/head resident at Guilford College.
He holds a doctorate in education from Virginia Tech, a master's in education from N.C. State, and undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Mars Hill College.
In his current position, six units report to him: Counseling and Health Services; Dean of Students; Military Affairs; Career Services; University Unions, Student Activities, and Recreational Sports; and Residential And Dining Programs. Approximately 300 full-time staff members work for the division.