Final VP candidate hits campus: only prospect to hail from a fellow SEC school



By Taylor Moak

The final candidate for UK’s vice president of student affairs comes from a fellow Southeastern Conference school and might need to change the color of his wardrobe.

Robert Mock, Jr., the associate vice provost of student affairs at University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, will be on campus Thursday as part of UK’s search for the next vice president of student affairs position.

Daniel Pugh, the vice provost and dean of students at Arkansas, has worked with Mock for more than two years. Pugh promoted Mock in July 2009 from his former position as assistant chancellor of student affairs.

Pugh said he promoted Mock so he could “serve a higher purpose” in the division of student affairs.

In his position as vice provost of student affairs, Mock is the “chief steward for finances” as he manages, directs, and advises all financial matters within the division of student affairs, Pugh said.

Marilyn Smith, assistant to the dean at Arkansas, said Mock oversees several areas including housing, facilities and budget. She said Mock is definitely an administrator who is student friendly.

“(Mock) always remembers ‘We’re here for the students’,” Smith said.

Mattie Bookhout, Arkansas student government president, said Mock has been an instrumental figure on Arkansas’ campus.

Mock is not a direct adviser to the student government, but he is still accessible to students, Bookhout said.

Bookhout said Mock’s position may not be seen as being connected to the students, but Mock knows more students on campus than most administrators.

Mock knows “the customer of the institution is students,” Bookhout said.

Before coming to Arkansas in 2007, Mock worked at University of Arkansas at Little Rock as a faculty instructor in the department of speech communication, associate dean for the College of Professional Studies, and student services division chief and director of recruitment and retention, according to his resume.

Mock also worked as a continuing education programmer at University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Little Rock campuses and Arkansas State University. Mock has worked in the military as medical service corps hospital administrative officer with the Arkansas Army National Guard, according to his resume.

Pugh said Mock has a wide breadth of experience and is great at what he does.

“My benefit is that he would be a colleague (in the Southeastern Conference),” Pugh said. “(It’s) a win-win for me in that framework.”