Candidate Jason Pina presented at an open forum Wednesday morning in the Living Learning Center on South Green.

Jason Pina is hoping be Ohio University's next vice president for Student Affairs, but this isn't the first time he wanted to work in Athens.

The last time Ohio University had an opening for the position of vice president for Student Affairs, Pina applied for the job.

“I wanted to move here four years ago,” Pina said. “(Former Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi) beat me to the job.”

Jason Pina, now a candidate for OU's vice president for Student Affairs, presented at an open forum Wednesday morning in the Living Learning Center on South Green to about 80 people. He talked about how Student Affairs contributes to creating a "transformational learning community" at OU.  

Pina is the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. He earned his bachelor's degree of economics from Occidental College, his master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Colorado and doctorate of education in higher education leadership from Johnson and Wales University.

“(Athens) was a place that I felt like could be home for us for a longer period of time,” Pina said, noting how he and his wife enjoy being entwined with the campus and attending university events.

Ricardo Hall, who presented at OU on Feb. 24, is the other finalist for the vice president for Student Affairs. On March 3, another candidate, David Parrot, withdrew from the search, according to a previous Post report.

Pina kicked off the forum with a quote from Benjamin Mays, a minister, educator, scholar and activist who was a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. The quote includes the message that "the tragedy of life lies in having no goal to reach."

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“I think (Mays) is a great example of the work we do in the line of student affairs,” Pina said.

Pina also talked about how people many have pushed him in his life.

“I own success,” Pina said. “I own none of the success I just told you about.”

Assistant Dean of Students Jamie Patton said he appreciated the part of Pina’s presentation about collaboration.

“It’s really truly not about the work that he does, but it’s the work that we do together in the best interests of students,” Patton said.

Those at Wednesday’s event were given a form to fill out to evaluate the candidate by marking if Pina is acceptable or unacceptable, in addition to writing his strengths and weaknesses or concerns he or she may have.

Caitlyn Tetterton, a senior studying outdoor recreation and education, said students aren’t always involved in those kind of events.

“It was an opportunity to help impact the university,” Tetterton said, who works at Outdoor Pursuits, which is in the division of Student Affairs.

Former Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi accepted the job as vice president for Student and Campus Life at Cornell University before leaving OU on July 3. After Lombardi’s announcement, Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones was named interim vice president for Student Affairs, and July 1 was her first day in that position.

The search firm Brill-Neumann and Associated has been working with a search committee chaired by Executive President and Provost Pam Benoit that included faculty, staff and students. OU is paying the search firm $70,000 plus expenses, according to a previous Post report.

The selected candidate will be announced before the end of Spring Semester, according to previous Post reports. 


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