Darnita Killian, the associate vice president for student affairs at the University of San Francisco, has been named dean of students in Campus Life. Killian, who will assume her duties on July 28, is coming "home" in accepting the job here; she grew up in Atlanta and received her undergraduate and MBA degrees here.
"We were looking for a leader in higher education, someone who's studied and understands the many various subcultures that exist in a campus community and can bring the various constituencies of the University together," said Frances Lucas-Tauchar, vice president and dean for Campus Life. "It was a tough decision, but in a very distinguished pool, President Chace and I believed that Darnita Killian was the one to best serve the students, faculty and staff of Emory."
Said President Bill Chace, "I was struck immediately by Darnita Killian's energy, her enthusiasm for the kind of special work that campus professionals working with students must have, her breadth of experience and her genuine good humor about the world, about education and about young people."
As dean of students, Killian will oversee the departments of Multicultural Programs and Services, Lesbian/ Gay/Bisexual Life, International Student and Scholar Programs, Student Conduct and Student Development. She has been invited by Chace to serve on the University's senior staff, where she will assist as a leader and consultant for all University constituences on building community, a platform outlined in Choices & Responsibility.
Killian graduated from Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University's Graduate School of Business. She held various residential life positions at Spelman after receiving her graduate degree, ultimately becoming dean for residential life there.
In 1989, she received a fellowship to Harvard University's Administrative Fellowship Program, where she served as coordinator of admissions for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. While there, she received a call from a former boss, inviting her to apply to USF. She became assistant vice president for Student Affairs at USF in 1990 and was promoted to associate vice president in 1995.
Killian termed her years at USF extremely productive. "I've gotten my doctorate here and attended a number of professional development programs." Before coming to Emory, Killian is going to Germany for three weeks on a Fulbright scholarship for administrators. She and 24 others will be traveling and visiting colleagues at six German universities, starting in Bonn and ending in Berlin.
Killian has delighted in the "calls, e-mails and letters [from people at Emory] welcoming me into the community," she said. "I'm extremely excited about joining the Emory family. I look forward to working with all my colleagues in student and academic affairs and I especially look forward to working with the students."
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