News 2022: Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Kimberly Scott aims to build strong relationships with students as an advocate and partner
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Kimberly Scott aims to build strong relationships with students as an advocate and partner

Wants to open students’ eyes, hearts, minds, and spirits to campus life as they “find their voice, passion, and calling”

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Kimberly Scott aims to synthesize students' academic and curricular experiences. She plans to hold listening sessions and drop-in conversations with students that will help to develop long-term goals for their success and opportunities to enhance their UMassD experience.

Dr. Kimberly Scott, vice chancellor for student affairs and a higher education administrator for nearly 30 years, understands that students spend almost 60% of their lives outside the classroom. In her new role at UMass Dartmouth, one of her main goals is to synthesize students’ academic and curricular experiences.

“The overall mission of Student Affairs is to help students find meaning in their academic coursework as they engage as leaders in what is known as the co-curricular laboratory,” she said. “We want them to take what they have learned in class and apply it to real live work and civic engagement experiences, research opportunities, and campus activities and events. We hope to open the eyes, hearts, minds, and spirits of all students to campus life where they will find their voice, passion, and calling as they engage on campus and beyond the UMass Dartmouth community.”

Depth of experience in leading teams and building partnerships

In an announcement to the campus community, Chancellor Mark A. Fuller said he “was deeply impressed by Dr. Scott’s depth of experience in leading student affairs teams as well as the strong partnerships she has built with faculty and academic affairs to promote student success. Throughout her career, Dr. Scott has demonstrated a student-centered, collaborative, and data-driven approach to enhancing the student experience, always cultivating strong relationships with the student body and creating a supportive and energizing team environment for her staff.” 

Scott has experienced firsthand the life-changing opportunities available to students as they pursue their education. She holds a BA from Ashland College, where she majored in philosophy and sociology, an MA in educational administration from the University of Akron, and a PhD in higher education from Ohio University.

“I, too, entered the academy as a first-generation, lower-income student, earned a college degree, and achieved an even greater understanding of myself, my life’s passion, and my commitment to ensuring others have the same life-changing opportunities I had during my educational journey,” Scott said. “We’re at a pivotal time in the history of UMass Dartmouth as Chancellor Fuller is working to better position our institutional resources to continue the public education mission to transform the lives of our students and the UMass Dartmouth community,” she said.

Scott began her new position last month and arrives at UMass Dartmouth from the renowned Tuskegee University in Alabama, a private, historically Black, and culturally inclusive university, where she served as vice president for student affairs. In her new role, where she will oversee 13 departments, including the Career Center, the Counseling Center, Dining Services, and Housing and Residential Education, and more than 170 student organizations, Scott is charged with enlivening the student experience, responding better to the needs of today’s students, and fostering a campus climate where all students can live, learn, and thrive.

Plans are in place for drop-in sessions, new initiatives, and long-term goals

To begin, Student Affairs will hold a series of listening sessions on campus and in the residence halls and Scott will be available on Friday afternoons for drop-in conversations with students to hear their feedback, ideas, and concerns. From those conversation, she plans to develop long-term goals for student success and opportunities to enhance the student experience while working collaboratively with campus and community partners.

For now, she is rebooting the @umasssdstudents Instagram; creating a new parent and family Facebook group; establishing new living and learning communities in the residence halls, including Women in STEM and Project Impact; developing new civic and career opportunities for students with alumni; expanding Chance for Change mentoring with the Student Government Association; creating a Quad Squad to expand outdoor activities on the green; and enhancing programs and services for commuter students.

“Student Affairs is critical to the mission of the university as we partner across the community to provide an integrated approach to the undergraduate, graduate, and law school student experience that begins upon entry to UMass Dartmouth and continues with carefully and well thought-out opportunities to engage students as scholars and leaders. I want every UMass Dartmouth student to have a stronger sense of community; greater connections with their peers, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni; and an infectious pride in the UMass Dartmouth experience.”

According to Scott, the initial priorities of the Division of Student Affairs are to:

  • Recruit and retain a diverse student body
  • Promote a healthy, safe, and welcoming campus community
  • Increase opportunities for career development, leadership, learning, and civic engagement
  • Advance social justice, diversity, and inclusion and teach advocacy and change leadership
  • Advocate for an infrastructure that better supports campus engagement

Scott is enjoying the diversity and collegial spirit of UMass Dartmouth

While Scott spent the majority of her career in the Midwest and a decade in the Southeast, she is excited to join the UMass Dartmouth community in the heart of New England. “I look forward to the beauty of all the seasons that come with being in Dartmouth, MA,” she said. “I have enjoyed the first few weeks of meeting students, faculty, and staff across the university as it’s given me great insight into the UMass Dartmouth experience. The diversity and collegial spirit of our community has been wonderful. I am fascinated by the number of students, faculty, and staff who are first-generation—first in their family to attend and/or graduate from college.”

At Tuskegee, Dr. Scott led the development of the Division of Student Affairs strategic plan with an emphasis on shaping departments to enhance customer service, promote students’ well-being, and increase leadership and service learning programs and opportunities. She also expanded diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, including the establishment of a DEI Committee and a peer leaders program, and developed initiatives for parents, families, and guardians. Dr. Scott collaborated extensively with Tuskegee’s provost and academic deans to ensure alignment between the curriculum, orientation programs, and co-curricular and career pathway initiatives.

Prior to her tenure at Tuskegee, Dr. Scott served as the vice chancellor for enrollment management & student affairs at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, LA; as the vice president and dean of Students at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA; and as the dean of students at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.

Upcoming campus conversations with Dr. Kimberly Scott will be held on:

  • Tuesday, April 5 at 6:00 pm @ The Grove

In addition, students may drop in to her office at the MacLean Campus Center for a conversation every Friday from 3-5 pm.