Lori S. White, PhD, vice president for student affairs at Southern Methodist University (SMU), has been named vice chancellor for students at Washington University in St. Louis. The appointment is effective July 1, according to Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.
White succeeds Sharon Stahl, PhD, who announced last year that she would retire at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.
“We are exceptionally pleased to have attracted a talented student affairs professional like Lori White to Washington University. She brings an abundance of experience and insight to the position and I could not be happier to have her joining our leadership team,” Wrighton said. “We also are very grateful to Sharon Stahl for her many years of service to the university and for laying a strong foundation on which to build this exciting new chapter for our students and community.”
White, who also serves as clinical professor in SMU’s Simmons School of Education, has spent more than 30 years working in higher education. Prior to joining SMU in 2007, she served as associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Southern California, and she also has held positions at Stanford, Georgetown and San Diego State Universities, as well as the University of California, Irvine. Her research and teaching are primarily focused on the student experience in higher education and mentorship of new, mid-level and aspiring senior student affairs professionals.
“As vice chancellor for students, I am excited to continue the Washington University legacy of knowing students by name and story,” White said. “I look forward to getting to know the students, staff, faculty and alumni of Washington University and to learning more about the St. Louis community.”
At SMU, White oversees student life programs including residence halls; women’s, multicultural, volunteer and leadership programs; student activities; student conduct; campus ministries; health and wellness programs; career services; the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. She actively serves in numerous national higher education organizations, including as a member of the board of directors for the Association for Sustainability and for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Foundation, which named her a “Pillar of the Profession” in 2009. She was elected chair of the NASPA board of directors for 2016-17.
“Lori White is the right person at the right time for Washington University,” Provost Holden Thorp, PhD, said. “Not only does she have impressive credentials as an administrator and scholar; she also brings an invaluable perspective to the position. There is absolutely no one better in the country for this critical role.”
White earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and English from the University of California, Berkeley, and her doctorate from Stanford in education administration and policy analysis with emphasis in higher education. The author of numerous articles and book chapters, she participated in Harvard University’s Management and Leadership Program and has presented widely at professional meetings.