James Raper, the current assistant vice president for health and wellbeing at Wake Forest University (N.C.), has been appointed as Emory University’s first associate vice president for health, well-being, access and prevention, according to a March 30 University press release. 

The new Campus Life position was created to “enhance holistic health and well-being programs and services for Emory undergraduate, graduate, and professional students,” according to the press release. Raper will supervise Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Office of Health Promotion, the Office of Respect and Student Health Services once he assumes his role in June. 

Raper has worked in higher education for over 20 years. Prior to being the assistant vice president of health and wellbeing, he served as director of the Wake Forest counseling center between 2014-19. He also acted as the chief mental health officer at Wake Forest, where he counseled Wake Forest administration, faculty and staff on mental health support and strategic planning.

James Raper, the current assistant vice president for health and wellbeing at Wake Forest University (N.C.), has been appointed as Emory University’s first associate vice president for health, well-being, access and prevention. Photo courtesy of Emory University

Raper holds a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Syracuse University (N.Y.), and a portion of his research dissertation focuses on suicide intervention skill, according to the press release. He also holds a master’s in community counseling from Wake Forest and bachelor’s in religion from Colgate University (N.Y.). 

The appointment comes in the wake of students calling on the University to provide more mental health services for students and to better address student deaths. 

“This initiative furthers our strategic priority to enhance integrated health and well-being services for our students,” Enku Gelaye, Emory’s senior vice president and dean of Campus Life, said in the press release. “The new role of associate vice president will enable the four areas primarily responsible for delivering those services to continue strengthening their partnership.”