UMass Amherst Names Brandi Hephner LaBanc as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life

Brandi Hephner LaBanc
Brandi Hephner LaBanc

AMHERST, Mass. – Brandi Hephner LaBanc has been named the vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The announcement was made by UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy. She will begin her new duties in January 2020.

Hephner LaBanc, who has more than two decades of experience in higher education, has served as vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Mississippi since 2012. She was the first woman to hold that position in the university’s history. She has also been a professor of higher education since July 2019 and was associate professor of higher education from 2012-19. She has been active in her academic department through teaching, advising and publications.  

Subbaswamy said, “Brandi Hephner LaBanc has vast experience in public higher education and has distinguished herself as a leader in her field. Her demonstrated commitment to deep collaboration between student affairs and academic affairs, an essential aspect to student success at UMass Amherst, make her an excellent choice for our campus. We welcome her to our community with great enthusiasm.”

Hephner LaBanc said, “The opportunity to serve students and contribute to the shared vision at the Commonwealth’s flagship campus is an honor. After meeting with students, staff, administrators and faculty, I was drawn to the opportunity to contribute to UMass Amherst’s leadership in academic and student success.
I look forward to meeting members of the campus community, and collaborating alongside impressive student affairs and campus life colleagues to enhance the student experience.” 

Prior to coming to the University of Mississippi, Hephner LaBanc was the associate vice president in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management as well as the assistant vice president for planning and operations at Northern Illinois University from 2009-12. She has served students in multiple administrative roles at Arizona State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Baldwin-Wallace College and University of Akron.

Hephner LaBanc earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Akron in 1994, her master’s degree in higher education administration and student personnel at Kent State University in 1997, and her doctoral degree at Northern Illinois University in adult and higher education in 2010.

Among her honors and special recognitions, Hephner LaBanc was inducted into the 2013 Hall of Fame by the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State University and has been recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as a Pillar of the Profession for 2020. At Ole Miss, she was particularly honored when she received the Lift Every Voice award, a highly regarded diversity and inclusion honor bestowed by colleague and student nominations.