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John Eckman Named Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life

John Eckman

Following a national search, Purdue University has named John Eckman assistant vice provost for student life, effective July 29. 

Eckman most recently served as associate vice chancellor for campus services at Appalachian State University where he oversaw a broad spectrum of services, including dining, parking, the campus store, conference services and more. At Purdue, Eckman will be responsible for leading University Residences and Dining & Culinary. Purdue houses more than 16,000 Boilermakers in university housing at the lowest room and board rates in the Big 10. University Residences and Dining & Culinary employ more than 1,500 students and offer numerous clubs, programs, organizations and cocurricular educational opportunities for on-campus residents.  

“I am pleased to welcome John Eckman to Purdue and the Student Life family,” said Beth McCuskey, vice provost for student life. “John brings a wealth of experience with residential services and student activities from a wide range of institutions. Demand for on-campus housing at Purdue has never been higher and we look forward to the positive impact he will have on this community of students.”  

Eckman’s tenure at Appalachian State included achievements such as revitalized dining facilities, and  the launch of innovative meal plans and major infrastructure projects. Prior to that role, he served as director of residential services at the University of Pennsylvania. His previous experience in housing and activities also includes stints at Portland State University, Southern Oregon University, New York University and the University of Connecticut. Eckman holds a Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in Planning, Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon.    

“I am excited to join the dynamic Student Life team at Purdue,” Eckman said. “Purdue already boasts a strong portfolio of staff and programs. I look forward to continuing the already outstanding work taking place here with an eye on new ways we can innovate to meet the changing needs of today’s students.”  

Eckman succeeds Barb Frazee, who will retire August 31 after 43 years of service to the university. Frazee rose through the ranks of housing and food services before being named executive director of University Residences in 2006. She led change and implemented impactful programs such as Men’s and Women’s Leadership Series, UR Global and the unique Executive in Residence program. She has served as assistant vice provost since 2019.  

“We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Barb for her dedication to the university,” said McCuskey. “Barb represents everything that is great about the Boilermaker spirit. Her work has impacted generations of students and staff.”  


About Student Life 

Student Life brings together the pieces of Purdue – housing, activities, arts, people, programs and more – that help students find their footing on campus. Student Life fosters student success through learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom, with a focus on cocurricular education and leadership development as integral parts of the Purdue experience. In collaboration with colleagues across campus, Student Life challenges students, faculty and staff to explore the value of working together as leaders on campus, in workplaces and in communities.    

About University Residences 

University Residences is the official Purdue University department that is responsible for assigning and managing all University-owned housing facilities, including traditional residence halls, apartments and master-leased properties. More than just a place to sleep, University Residences offers numerous employment opportunities, clubs, programs, learning communities, cocurricular educational opportunities and retreats that serve as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. University Residences programming provides opportunities for students to build treasured relationships as well as leadership and professional skills that will last a lifetime.   

About Dining & Culinary 

Purdue Dining & Culinary is fueling the future and building a community where everyone has a seat at the table. By crafting a residential dining experience and fostering community building, Dining & Culinary provides an essential support system for the well-being of students, with compassion that goes beyond the meal. As champions of each step Boilermakers take on their academic journeys and the student experience, Dining & Culinary offers student employment and cocurricular learning opportunities for students to practice communication, leadership, decision making, problem-solving and teamwork while preparing for successful careers.