BVU Names New VP for Student Success

Buena Vista University has named Dr. Lucy Shaffer Croft as the new vice president for student success.

Croft, who currently serves as the associate vice president for student affairs at the University of North Florida (UNF) in Jacksonville, Florida, will assume her new role at BVU on April 15, 2019.

Croft is an accomplished student life professional with nearly 30 years of experience working in higher education settings. At UNF, Croft primarily provided strategic direction for the integration of the admissions, orientation, week of welcome, and first experience programs in partnership with several other University departments to ensure a robust student retention program. Prior to joining UNF, Croft spent 13 years at the University of Cincinnati where she worked as the director of student activities and leadership development. She also served as the director of student activities at Virginia Intermont College and the assistant director of student activities and orientation at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

In addition to her professional staff roles, Croft has worked as an adjunct professor and has published several articles in areas of student life and university leadership. She was named an Outstanding Adjunct Teaching Award finalist at UNF in 2018. Croft has been a member of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) since 1986, of which she currently serves on the Board of Directors and was Chair of the Board of Directors 2017-2018. She has also presented on student affairs, volunteerism, and professional development and received grants for her research on student leadership.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to serve Buena Vista University, and I look forward to joining the BVU team this spring,” says Croft. “I wholeheartedly believe in the University’s vision to inspire students through Education for Service, and I am committed to working with the entire campus community-faculty, administration, and particularly, students-to advance this vision. Likewise, I’m excited to help create an environment where all students can find the support, resources, and opportunities they need to be successful, whatever their pursuits.”

As BVU’s vice president for student success, Croft will provide vision, strategic direction, and executive management of student life, student services, and student development. As the University’s strategic and policy leader on matters related to student success and persistence, Croft will play a central role in implementing BVU’s strategic plan. Croft is also is primarily responsible for campus wide initiatives in student retention, student engagement, and programmatic efforts that foster an inclusive and collaborative environment.

“It has been a pleasure getting to know Lucy and witnessing her great accomplishments at UNF,” says BVU President Joshua D. Merchant. “I could not be more excited to welcome her to campus this spring when she will bring her many years of experience to our students.”

Croft earned a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction, as well as a Master of Arts in community counseling from the University of Cincinnati. Her bachelor’s degree is in communication and elementary education from Hanover College in Hanover, Indiana.

Outside of work, Croft enjoys volunteering, running, and training for triathlons. She continues to pursue her goal of running a marathon on every continent with Tokyo scheduled for this March. She will soon have one continent left: Australia. She and her husband Daniel, along with their newest addition Linus, a 12-week old golden retriever, are overjoyed about their new adventure. “We’re really looking forward to joining the BVU family and getting immersed into the Storm Lake community.”