POWELL, Wyo. - Montana native Sean Fox will move from the West Indies to become the vice president for student affairs at Northwest College.
Fox was selected through a nation-wide search that yielded 57 applicants for the position previously held by Dana Young. He begins the job April 18 at an annual salary of $100,000.
For nearly three decades Fox has worked in a variety of positions in student affairs, progressing from resident hall director in 1982 to his current job as dean of student life at Ross University's School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, West Indies.
“Sean brings a set of experiences that couldn’t be more tailor-made for Northwest,” NWC President Paul Prestwich said. “On the one hand, he was born and raised in Great Falls and earned two of his college degrees in Montana, so he understands the culture and expectations of the West. But he can also draw on international experiences that dovetail perfectly into NWC’s focus on diversity and internationalism.”
While at Seminole State College in Oklahoma, Fox was instrumental in setting up an international educational exchange program with Hebei Province in China. He is a longtime proponent of diversity in education and has supervised programs to increase service to minority students. On top of that, he’s lived outside the country for the past seven years.
“I can’t wait to get to Northwest,” Fox said via telephone from St. Kitts. “NWC’s biggest attraction for me is the residence halls. I’ve seen the impact a strong residential program has on a campus. It’s exciting to be a part of that.”
That excitement began for Fox when he was a resident assistant as an undergraduate student at Montana State University. When a resident director position opened unexpectedly, not allowing time for a full-scale search, MSU asked Fox to step into the full-time employee position while he was still a student.
His experience as a hall director motivated Fox to change his major of study and his career path. Since then, he’s overseen the building and operation of residence halls at nearly every college where he’s worked.
In his current position at Ross University, Fox oversees many of the same areas he will supervise at Northwest, including housing, registrar, counseling and nursing services, financial aid, student orientation and the student union.
Ross is a professional veterinary school with approximately 850 students who hold bachelor’s degrees prior to admission.
Fox’s administrative experience that is closest to what he’ll encounter at Northwest came when he was vice president for student affairs from 1997-2004 at Seminole State College. SSC is a two-year state-funded comprehensive community college with approximately 2,500 students, compared to Northwest’s 2,200 students.
While at SSC, Fox created an enrollment management division that resulted in a 40 percent enrollment growth in four years.
He also spent five years at Buena Vista University in Iowa, first as dean for residence life and later as dean of students.
Fox holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s in guidance and counseling from Montana State University. He earned a doctorate in college student personnel administration in 1992 from the University of Northern Colorado.
In addition to administrative duties, Fox has also taught part-time at Ross, Buena Vista, University of Northern Colorado and Emporia State University.
He and his wife, Ann, have been active in the communities where they’ve lived and are planning to continue that tradition in Powell. In addition to serving on several boards, Fox was also a member of the chambers of commerce in St. Kitts and Seminole.
The Foxes will live in Powell with their two children, Joe, age 11, and Julia, 10.