Eric Sexton named vice president of Student Affairs

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Eric Sexton, director of Athletics, was given a new title Tuesday morning: vice president of Student Affairs.

Sexton will enter a transition period with outgoing Vice President Wade Robinson, who has been with the university since 2009. Robinson’s contract with the university was not renewed, meaning he will go on paid administrative leave July 1. He will be on leave until June 30, 2016.

Robinson said Tuesday he is exploring opportunities, but is not worried about the future.

“I’m not in a hurry,” Robinson said. “I’ve been in higher education, and I like it. If that opportunity presents itself, I’m good with that … It’s all just wide open right now … life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

Sexton said he is prepared to take on his new role.

“It’s exciting to get this opportunity to get this additional responsibility, to continue to find opportunities to give back to the university that’s given so much to me and my family,” Sexton said.

Sexton graduated from Wichita State with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1987, and received his master’s in public administration from WSU in 1992. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Kansas, graduating there in 2002.

He joined WSU in 1990 as assistant to former president Warren Armstrong, where he handled government relations. In 1997, he was named executive director of government relations and board of trustees. He was named athletic director in 2008.

In addition to being named vice president of Student Affairs, Sexton was named executive director of Athletics, while Darron Boatright, senior associate director for external operations, was named deputy athletic director and chief operating officer.

“It’s your goal when you get into this to elevate through the profession as much as you can when you’re prepared,” Boatright said. “I hope that the time I’ve spent preparing for this day is going to be well served for the Athletic Department and all of our sports programs.”

The announcement

The initial announcement of Sexton and Boatright’s promotions happened at 10 a.m. Tuesday in a last-minute meeting of the staff of Student Affairs, said Richard Armstrong, associate professor of communication, who is a part of the staff.

Armstrong said an email went out to the staff around 9:15 a.m. announcing the meeting in the Rhatigan Student Center.

At 10 a.m., senior vice president and provost Tony Vizzini made the official announcement.

Shortly after, a news release was sent out.

Armstrong said a start date for the promotions was ambiguous to the staff. Vizzini said a transition period will start for Sexton and Boatright to adjust to their new positions.

“I don’t think we have a hard deadline of when it’s happening at this moment,” Vizzini said.

Promotions

While Sexton has been promoted, he said he will continue to be involved with Athletics. He called himself the CEO of Athletics, while Boatright will serve as chief information officer.

He said Boatright will be responsible the day-to-day activities of Athletics.

“Shocker Athletics is on a very positive trajectory,” Sexton said. “And we want to do everything to support maintaining and enhancing the current trajectory by maintaining the leadership we have in place.”

Vizzini said Sexton is a good choice for his new position because of the way student athletes conduct themselves as citizens.

“They represent us as truly individuals who do the right things,” he said, “who are upstanding, who are mindful of others. I love for all of our students to have that experience and leave us as Shockers in that tone.”

For Sexton, the promotion is exciting.

“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to take on this new responsibility,” Sexton said, “to help craft, serve and work with our great student body to provide a great first-class student athlete experience and extend that to providing a great student experience as students go through Wichita State and then become great community leaders, citizens and part of our great community and state.”