Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Terry Piper, takes indefinite leave

Roxanne Estrada

Terry Piper
Courtsey of CSUN

Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Terry Piper, who was diagnosed with melanoma, a malignant type of skin cancer, will be taking an indefinite amount of time off from his duties to focus his attention on his health.

Dr. William Watkins, who has served as Dean of Students, will be taking over Piper’s duties as he recovers.

“My goal is to continue to provide the level of service that supports the student body and that reflects the values and the vision of Dr. Piper,” Watkins said. “ We expect him to return and our goal when he returns is to uphold every bit the division he has built and left. It is the greatest way to respect and honor his time away.”

As stated on the Division of Student Affairs Web site, they are responsible for addressing all issues concerning student life on campus. The office collaborates with faculty and students to ensure support for records administration, student conduct and disciplinary procedures, student use of campus facilities, academic grievance and grade appeals.
Watkins said that with Piper’s “unflagging commitment to student success,” the division would continue to advance student learning.

“We will continue to have good quality programming as our objective while serving students and we’ll be collaborating with campus partners and students in which we deliver programs and services,” he said. “We focus all of our programs on students to learn and grow.  Those values are the core of work that we do.”

Watkins said further information regarding Piper’s condition and treatment will be confidential in order to protect the privacy of him and his family.

Through e-mail correspondence, CSUN President Jolene Koester expressed concern for Piper’s health.

“The news about Dr. Piper’s health has been a source of great concern and distress to me personally, and to everyone who knows him at the university,” Koester said. “He is a tireless advocate for students and their interests on campus, and he is a good friend and highly respected colleague. I remain in touch with him and his family, and he knows that the full support and good wishes of the campus community are behind him.”

As vice president of Student Affairs, Piper oversaw the administrative success of departments such as: Associated Students, Inc., Career Center, Financial Aid & Scholarships, National Center of Deafness, Residential Life, Student Development & International Programs, Student Health Center, Student with Disabilities Resources, Student Outreach and Recruitment Center, Testing Center, University Counseling Services and the University Student Union.

Conor Lansdale, vice president of Associated Students, has worked closely with Piper to ensure CSUN students receive the full college experience.

“He’s a great asset to CSUN and I wish him a speedy recovery,” he said. “We’ll all miss him in the office because he’s a great advocate for students and really tries to put his effort forth for us all to graduate and enjoy this campus.”

According to Piper’s biography on the CSUN Web site, besides holding the position of vice president of Student Affairs, Piper also has a faculty appointment in the department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, serves on the ACPA Educational Leadership Foundation, and has been awarded the Excellence in Practice Award as a Diamond Honoree by the American College Personnel Association for his efforts here at CSUN.

Piper’s colleague, Dr. Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs has worked closely with Piper and the office of Student Affairs.

“It’s a terrible blow,” Hellenbrand said. “He and I have had a strong partnership for the past six years. We miss him a great deal.  We wish for his full recovery as quick as possible.”