Her last day on the Hill will be May 17, and she is scheduled to start her new job July 6.
LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander praised Buchanan’s work at the college.
“Dr. Buchanan has been a transforming leader for LaGrange College,” he said. “She is beloved by the whole college community and by many in the city of LaGrange. We will all miss her very much, but we congratulate her and wish her all the best as she pursues this new professional opportunity.”
Buchanan said she will always treasure her time at LaGrange College.
“It was great to be part of a remarkable team that worked so hard to help grow and develop this college, and take it to another level,” she said. “I had the opportunity to build a staff in student life and athletics of which I am very proud. But most of all, I am proud of the LaGrange College students who became strong, caring leaders during their time here.
“It has been my honor and privilege to work with such a gifted faculty and staff. And I love this community. I will miss serving it.”
McAlexander said David Garrison, vice president for academic affairs, will assume the title of provost and chief academic officer, with both academic affairs and student affairs reporting to him. The “living and learning experience” will be coordinated at the level of the academic council and dean of student affairs under Garrison’s leadership, McAlexander said.
As dean of student affairs, Jack Slay will take over all areas of student life, except for athletics. Slay will report to Garrison, while athletics will report to the president.
“As both a former faculty member and a student affairs professional, Dr. Slay brings exceptional skills and experience to this expanded role,” McAlexander said. “He has provided outstanding leadership for six years as dean of students, and we are excited to have him assume full responsibility for the office of student affairs.”
Buchanan’s move will reunite her with Jay Simmons, president of Iowa Wesleyan. Simmons served LaGrange College as vice president of academic affairs from 1997 until his appointment in 2008 to head the liberal arts college in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
“I am deeply grateful to Dean Buchanan for her willingness to lead Iowa Wesleyan College’s student life programs,” Simmons said. “Having worked with her for 11 years at LaGrange College, I know that Iowa Wesleyan’s capacity to serve our students is about to increase exponentially.”
Buchanan came to LaGrange in 1997 from Midway College in Kentucky. At Midway, she served as dean of student affairs, as well as enrollment management coordinator, director of athletics, a faculty member and admissions counselor.
She holds a bachelor of science degree from George Williams College in Illinois, a master of science degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a doctoral degree in higher education from Georgia State University. While at Georgia State, she received the Stansbury Dissertation Award. Buchanan recently retired after 24 years in the U.S. Navy, the last 17 years in Naval Intelligence.
Buchanan writes a regular column on the opinion page of LaGrange Daily News as part of the LaGrange Writers Group.