Tucker named MC’s VP and dean of students

Tucker named MC’s VP and dean of students

Feb. 6, 2017

Dr. Melanie V. Tucker has been named vice president and dean of students at Maryville College.

Tucker, who is currently serving as vice president of student affairs and enrollment management at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, N.D., will begin her tenure at the liberal arts college on March 20.

As VP and dean of students, she will be a member of the College’s senior leadership team and provide leadership for the Student Development division, which includes athletics, residence life, campus security, multicultural affairs, student activities, student health and wellness, volunteer services, judicial affairs and campus ministry. She also will serve as chief diversity officer.

In a memo distributed to the campus community on Monday, Maryville College President Tom Bogart said he was pleased to welcome Tucker to the campus.

“She has been a successful leader in student development positions at her previous institutions and also has experience leading academic and disability support services, admissions, financial aid and academic advising,” he wrote. “Post-visit evaluations from campus community members revealed that people were impressed by her in-depth knowledge of the full range of student development work and her big-picture understanding of higher education.

“She was characterized as a precise and professional communicator who is also warm and approachable,” he continued. “Her candid and thoughtful responses to questions were appreciated.”

Tucker, a native of Washington state, earned an Ed.D. in adult and higher education from Northern Illinois University in 2015. She also holds an Ed.S. in counseling education from Southeast Missouri State University, an M.Ed. in counselor education from the University of New Orleans and a B.A. in applied psychology from Eastern Washington University.

Prior to joining the administration of Dickinson State University, she served as assistant vice president of student affairs at Northern Illinois University. She also directed the university’s Disability Resource Center, continuing work she began as director of learning assistance programs and disability support services at Southeast Missouri State University.

Bogart said Tucker’s “broad set of experiences” helped set her apart from other finalists who made visits to the campus last month.

“She is committed to advancing Maryville College’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion,” he said. “During her campus visit, she spoke about diversity as being composed not only of visible differences but also those that are not visible. Using the example that all of us are likely to be disabled in some way during our lifetime, she emphasized that an inclusive environment mattered even for those who at first glance would not need it.”

In the memo, Bogart praised the work of the search committee charged with recruiting qualified candidates and selecting finalists for campus visits. The committee was chaired by Dr. Drew Crain, professor of biology, and included two other faculty members, six staff members and three students.

“I very much appreciate the time that committee members dedicated to this search and am also grateful to those of you who attended meetings and forums and submitted evaluations,” he wrote in the memo. “The role of VP and dean of students is a vitally important one, and the high level of participation in the process by the campus community was crucial in identifying and recruiting an outstanding person.”

Tucker moves into a position previously held by Vandy Kemp, who announced her retirement from the College in August and served until Jan. 2.

By Karen B. Eldridge, Executive Director for Marketing & Communications

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester is 1,181.