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Julie Payne-Kirchmeier named vice president for Student Affairs

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier has been appointed vice president for Student Affairs, President Morton Schapiro announced today following a nationwide search.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
Julie Payne-Kirchmeier

Payne-Kirchmeier had served as interim vice president for Student Affairs since June 1, 2019, after longtime Vice President Patricia Telles-Irvin took a medical leave of absence. Telles-Irvin passed away shortly after. Payne-Kirchmeier, a national leader in student affairs administration, has been at Northwestern since 2012.

“Our search committee, chaired by Associate Provost Miriam Sherin, identified a number of very exciting, highly capable candidates,” Schapiro said of the national search. “It became clear that Julie stood out due to her knowledge of the field, her knowledge of Northwestern and her character.

“Julie has done a spectacular job over the last nine months as interim vice president,” Schapiro said. “Her wise counsel, unflappability and effective advocacy for all of our students have been especially evident in the past few weeks, as she has managed the unprecedented disruptions caused by the coronavirus.”

Sherin called Payne-Kirchmeier “an outstanding Student Affairs leader who emerged from a national pool of many talented candidates.”

“The search committee did an excellent job of representing the community throughout the process, and we are grateful for their commitment to identifying the next leader of Student Affairs at Northwestern,” Sherin added.

Payne-Kirchmeier said she is both honored and humbled to serve Northwestern in the role.

“We have one of the most talented and dedicated Student Affairs divisions in the nation, and I am excited to work with our team to provide every opportunity for our students to learn, grow and thrive at this wonderful university,” Payne-Kirchmeier said.

Payne-Kirchmeier joined Northwestern’s Division of Student Affairs in 2012 and was named associate vice president and chief of staff in 2016. She recently was elected a future board chair (beginning in 2021) of NASPA, the international association for student affairs professionals.

Before coming to Northwestern, she worked in student-facing roles at Southern Illinois University and the University of Southern Indiana. 

From 2017-2019, Payne-Kirchmeier served as the NASPA Region IV-W director and on the NASPA Board of Directors.

Payne-Kirchmeier received a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a master’s degree in student affairs administration from Texas A&M University. She later earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and administration from Indiana State University.

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