Lori S. White, vice chancellor for student affairs and professor of practice in education at Washington University in St. Louis, has been appointed president of DePauw University, effective July 1. She will leave her current position on May 31 to assume her new role, according to Chancellor Andrew D. Martin.
“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have Lori White as our vice chancellor for student affairs for five years. In her time here, she has brought incredible leadership, passion and intelligence to everything she’s done, and Washington University is a much better place for having had her here,” Martin said.
“We’re so grateful for Lori’s many contributions and we’ll miss her greatly. At the same time, we’re also extremely proud to see the tremendous opportunity that is before her now,” Martin said. “I have no doubt she’ll be an outstanding university president and I wish her all the success in the world at DePauw.”
A highly regarded administrator and scholar with a career in higher education spanning more than three decades, White came to Washington University in 2015 from Southern Methodist University, where she had served as vice president for student affairs and clinical professor of education since 2007. She also has held positions at the University of Southern California, Stanford, Georgetown and San Diego State universities, and the University of California, Irvine.
At Washington University, White has overseen the work of the Division of Student Affairs, which is responsible for a wide range of student life programs, including residence halls, student activities, student leadership programs, student conduct, health and wellness programs, career services, international students and scholars, and athletics and recreational programs, among many others.
Under her leadership, the university has made significant advances in the ways it supports students from underrepresented minority groups and lower-income backgrounds; promotes and facilitates free speech on campus; and takes a holistic approach to student health and wellness. She also, in collaboration with the dean of the Graduate School and faculty of the Department of Education in Arts & Sciences, launched a graduate certificate program in higher education.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the students of Washington University over these five years,” White said. “When I first came here, I was eager to continue the university’s legacy of getting to know students by name and story. With every student I’ve met since then, I’ve been constantly reminded that they are the very fabric of what makes this place so special. They’re not only incredibly smart and driven, they’re engaged, compassionate and determined to make the world a better and more just place. I know they’ll continue to do this, class after class, and I’ll be cheering them along every step of the way. Although I’ll no longer be here in person, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the red and green of WashU.”
Originally from San Francisco, 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 an 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. She has served in leadership roles for numerous professional organizations, including as board chair of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 2016.
A national search will be conducted for White’s successor. Rob Wild, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and dean of students, will serve as interim vice chancellor for student affairs during the transition.