Dr. Edward F. D. Spencer retired as Vice President for Student Affairs at Virginia Tech on June 30, 2012, after a 42-year career as a Student Affairs professional, and was awarded the title of Vice President Emeritus for Student Affairs by the Board of Visitors. As Vice President, he provided leadership and oversight for the 15 departments in the Division of Student Affairs: Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center, Career Services, Cook Counseling Center, Corps of Cadets, Cranwell International Center, Dean of Students Office, Dining Services, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Housing and Residence Life, Multicultural Programs and Services, Recreational Sports, Schiffert Health Center, Services for Students with Disabilities, Student Centers and Activities, and Student Conduct. As such, he oversaw a budget of over $100 million and a staff of 2,600 full- and part-time employees.
He received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in student personnel administration in higher education from Syracuse University, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Delaware. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Management Development Program.
Dr. Spencer began his professional career in Student Affairs at the University of Delaware in 1970 where he held three different positions. He came to Virginia Tech in 1983 as Director of Housing and Residence Life, became Director of Residential and Dining Programs in 1989, was named Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs in 1996, and, subsequently, Associate Vice President in 2004 and Vice President in 2008. While working in Student Affairs at the University of Delaware and Virginia Tech, he taught several undergraduate courses including the graduate course “The American College Student and the College Environment.”
Some of Dr. Spencer’s awards include: the Melvene D. Hardee Dissertation of the Year Award and the Pillar of the Profession Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; the first Zenobia Lawrence Hikes Leadership Award and the Don Williams Service Award from the Virginia Tech Student Government Association; Most Outstanding Faculty Advisor, Most Outstanding Chapter Advisor, the Order of Constantine, and Significant Sig from the Sigma Chi International Fraternity; Executive of the Year from the New River Valley Chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals, and honorary membership in Virginia Tech’s G.E.R.M.A.N . Club. Additionally, Virginia Tech’s annual Fraternity Advisor of the Year Award is named the Spencer Award in his honor. Dr. Spencer is known for a variety of professional publications and presentations and has served on many local, regional, and national committees and organizations. In recent years he has concentrated his presentations and consultations on the nature of today’s college students, organizational models, and tragedy and recovery at Virginia Tech.