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Dr. Brian O. Hemphill joined West Virginia State University in July 2012 as the University’s 10th president. His emphasis since arriving on campus is threefold: to establish a commitment to excellence, to create a culture of accountability and to be student-centered in every process at State. With the support of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University, he is already bringing to life his powerful vision that West Virginia State University will become the most student-centered, research and teaching, land-grant university in the state of West Virginia, and beyond.
In October 2012, President Hemphill announced the launch of the University’s new strategic plan, Vision 2020: State’s Roadmap to the Future, which will provide the charter for his vision. More than 100 University and community stakeholders will be directly involved in a transparent process of identifying and developing the goals for Vision 2020—goals that will be measurable and for which each member of the University community will be accountable. Progress toward these goals will be evaluated and posted online annually.
President Hemphill believes providing students with a holistic learning experience and offering a broad range of services, staff and systems ensures a quality experience from recruitment to graduation—two areas of special emphasis at State. From the first days of his presidency, Dr. Hemphill has promoted the development of initiatives to expand recruitment and retention programs and has established a framework to increase academic and social support outside of the classroom. He has kicked off a robust marketing and branding campaign and has appointed a Degree Completion Taskforce. He has challenged the University community to grow its research infrastructure and to expand its academic programs, based on the economic development needs of West Virginia. He is an active force in reengaging State’s alumni and leads the charge that is increasing philanthropic giving to the University. Through a financial restructuring, as well as state and competitive-grant funding, the President is working with the University community to fortify the campus physical and technological infrastructures. For more on the President’s nine University initiatives, click here.
President Hemphill has a strong background in student advocacy, advancing diversity and equity and establishing a solid commitment to shared governance on campus. He has contributed to numerous journal articles and professional presentations in the areas of leadership, crisis management, ethics, and diversity. Most recently, Dr. Hemphill was the editor of the monograph, Enough is Enough: A Student Affairs Perspective on Preparedness and Response to a Campus Shooting. He has fulfilled various leadership roles within the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), which named him a Pillar of the Profession in 2009.
President Hemphill came to WVSU following an eight-year tenure as Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management and Associate Professor, at Northern Illinois University.
Prior to joining NIU, he served as an associate vice chancellor and dean of students at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, associate dean of students at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, assistant dean of students at Cornell College, and coordinator of minority recruitment and retention at Iowa State University.
Dr. Hemphill served as a member of the Board of Trustees for St. Augustine’s College in North Carolina. He currently serves on the Charleston Area Alliance Board of Directors, the Thomas Health System Board of Trustees, and the West Virginia Roundtable Board of Directors. 
President Hemphill earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa, a Master of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communication from St. Augustine’s College.

President Hemphill is married to Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill and has four children: Jada, 17, Jordan, 14, and twins Cruz and Catalina born in October 2012.
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