Mary Baldwin University announced today that Dr. Ernest E. Jeffries will become the Vice President of Student Engagement effective August 29, 2018.
“Dr. Jeffries is an experienced transformational leader, an accomplished student affairs practitioner, and a highly respected collaborative partner,” said MBU President Pamela R. Fox. “He is also truly passionate about empowering students and helping them pursue academic, professional, and personal success.”
Jeffries started his career at the University of Tennessee as Residence Hall Director and then served as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Development and Director of Minority Affairs at Western Carolina University.
In 1996 he accepted a position at Davidson College, leading to a highly successful 20-year tenure, during which he held various roles and titles including Assistant/Associate Dean of Student Life; Chief Judicial Officer where he served in the Title IX process; and he created the framework for a multicultural affairs office and then served as Director of Multicultural Affairs from 1996 to 2011. Most recently in his role as Associate Dean, Jeffries was responsible for the administration of judicial affairs, multicultural affairs, academic access and disability resources, academic support, student retention programs, and technology resources.
“In addition to his proven expertise in all areas of student life, Dr. Jeffries is an exceptionally good fit for Mary Baldwin in our current moment,” said Fox. “He thrives upon bringing individuals with many different, dynamic perspectives together to catalyze the creation of ideas and initiatives that will best benefit our students.”
At Davidson he leveraged partnerships with faculty to develop and sustain innovative programs including STRIDE (Students Together Reaching for Individual Development) and the Ethnic Studies concentration, for which he was co-director. In collaboration with Davidson’s Development Office, he worked to secure significant outside funding for student programs. Jeffries also facilitated new approaches to orientation, advising, key college policies (including the code of responsibility), multicultural programming, and Greek organizations.
A visible and approachable advisor, mentor, and teacher, he has consistently and creatively made a positive, holistic difference in the lives of his students.
Jeffries holds a doctor of ministry from United Theological Seminary in Ohio, with a concentration in leadership development; a master of divinity from Hood Theological Seminary in North Carolina; and a master of education and bachelor of music from the University of South Carolina. His professional affiliations include the Southern Association of College Student Affairs, the Association on Higher Education and Disability, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Student Conduct Administrators, and the Phi Mu Alpha and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities. A respected civic leader, Jeffries serves as Police Chaplain in Davidson, North Carolina, and has also served on boards for the local YMCA, Parks and Recreation, and the Cornelius Child Development Center, among many others.
This year, in recognition of his innovative leadership, Jeffries received one of only 10 Outstanding First-Year Advocate awards from the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience for exceptional work in the areas of student learning, development, and success.
On his new role as Vice President of Student Engagement at MBU, Jeffries said: “I am very excited about becoming a member of the Mary Baldwin University family and serving in this very important inaugural role. I am eager to begin engaging the students, faculty, staff, and community to learn more of and understand the core values and ideals that make Mary Baldwin such a special place.”