32 years ago, UNCP looked nothing like it does today.
The campus extended only to the Dial Humanities building. There was no Health Science Building or Cypress Hall to speak of.
Not even the Chavis University Center stood in the center of campus. Instead, students gathered at what is now the D.F. Lowry Building, complete with its own restaurant, The Wagon Wheel.
The admissions office was housed around the in Hickory Hall, a building around the corner from the chancellor’s residence that now houses offices for the College of Arts and Sciences and the Esther G. Maynor Honors College.
It was in that building that Dr. Lisa Lewis Schaeffer spent the earliest of her 32 years of service at UNCP.
It was a long way from the lot that became Lumbee Hall, where Schaeffer now works as the recently appointed vice chancellor for student affairs.
“It’s been a pleasure to watch [the university] grow, to see the programs, to meet new people who are focused on being the being the best they can be,” Schaeffer said.
In her new role, Schaeffer is at the forefront of schoolwide efforts to continue that development. In addition to overseeing 13 departments, Schaeffer is involved with big projects like the new Student Health Services building, which is set to open later this spring.
The departments Schaeffer is responsible for include Student Involvement and Leadership, Campus Recreation, Student Health Services and Police and Public Safety. She serves as a proponent for student rights, diversity and education, working with all her respective departments to ensure that operations are consistent with UNCP’s mission and administrative initiatives.
One of the biggest changes that Schaeffer looks forward to is the N.C. Promise tuition plan, which takes effect in 2018. With an anticipated jump in enrollment because of the lowered tuition costs, Schaeffer and other administrators at UNCP are thinking about how to prepare for a greater student population.
“We’re going to have to figure out how to best use our services,” Schaeffer said. “Are we going to need more staff? Are we going to have enough staff to take care of what’ll be coming in?”
One of the biggest challenges Schaeffer faces as she works on initiatives within her new position has less to do with student affairs. Multiple departments will be shuffling offices in May after graduation, a change that includes Schaeffer’s office on the third floor of Lumbee Hall.
The Office of Student Affairs will move to the second floor of the University Center Annex. The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, which currently resides in the Annex, will migrate across the way to the University Center. They will be taking over the former location of Counseling and Psychological Services when the new Student Health Services location opens.
It’s a complex series of moves that wouldn’t have been imaginable 32 years ago when Schaeffer began her tenure at a campus that continues to grow beyond her expectations.
Schaeffer was approved by the Board of Trustees on Jan. 6.