Olson-Loy has played a leadership role in Morris’s nationally recognized sustainability initiatives from planning the Green Prairie Community (a LEED gold-designed, sustainability-focused residence hall that opened in fall 2013) to the creation of the Morris Healthy Eating and Pride of the Prairie local foods initiatives. She and colleagues secured US Department of Education grants ($3.1M) to strengthen American Indian student success and establish a Trio Student Support Services project in 2015. Her “Student Localism" chapter in Leading America’s Branch Campuses (S. Schuman, Ed. American Council on Education, 2009) highlights the role of civic engagement and place-based learning in connecting a college and its community to deepen student learning. Sandra Olson-Loy is vice chancellor for student affairs. Senior student affairs officer since 1999, she is responsible for a comprehensive program that develops student potential; fosters student learning, persistence and success; and extends the Morris liberal arts mission beyond the classroom. Olson-Loy has worked to build a highly effective, student-centered student life program rooted in Morris’s mission as a selective, rural, residential public liberal arts college serving one of Minnesota’s most diverse, talented and engaged student bodies. She is the third vice chancellor for student affairs at Morris and had the pleasure of working closely with her predecessors while she led Student Activities on campus from 1985 to 1999.
Olson-Loy has been involved in NASPA, the leading student affairs professional association, for more than 15 years, serving as Small College Division Chair on the Board of Directors and co-chairing the Small College and University Institute for Senior Student Affairs Officers. She recently completed service as a Minnesota Supreme Court appointee to the Minnesota Judicial Selection Commission. Olson-Loy earned her bachelor’s degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead and her MA in public policy and administration at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.