Susan M. Davis has been named Northwestern University’s vice president for Student Affairs, President Michael Schill announced today. Davis will join Northwestern on April 1.
Davis, the senior associate vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Virginia (UVA), has 23 years of experience in law and higher education. She oversees student health and wellness, student safety and support, judicial affairs and research on the student experience.
“I am thrilled to welcome Susan as our next vice president for Student Affairs, a role that is vital to our University community,” Schill said. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and is a compassionate leader who has demonstrated the ability to elevate the student experience.”
Davis emerged from a national search of candidates conducted by a committee representing Northwestern students, faculty and staff. The committee was chaired by Miriam Gamoran Sherin, associate provost for undergraduate education, and Kelly Mayo, dean of The Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education.
“I am delighted to welcome Susan to Northwestern,” said Sherin, who is the associate provost for undergraduate education and the Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor of Learning Sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy. “She will advance key priorities in Student Affairs, and I look forward to partnering with her to enhance the entire undergraduate experience for our students.”
Mayo said he is excited to welcome Davis to Northwestern and is looking forward to her leadership of Student Affairs.
“Susan brings a vast set of experiences that will support and enhance our community of students, including a substantial and successful background working with graduate as well as undergraduate students,” said Mayo, who is dean of The Graduate School, associate provost for graduate education and the Walter and Jennie Bayne Professor of Molecular Biosciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
Davis will succeed Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, who departed last summer to become vice president for student success for the Indiana University system. Patricia Lampkin, who has led Student Affairs on an interim basis since Aug. 1, 2022, will continue in the role through March.
“I have long admired Northwestern for its commitment to interdisciplinary study, ground-breaking research and strong sense of community,” Davis said. “I see in Northwestern a place where the leadership team is committed to important values in student affairs that deeply resonate with me: diversity, equity and inclusion, student engagement and belonging, health and wellness, and team development.”