Role: Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Retention
Kimberley Williams has three decades of experience in higher education and currently serves as the Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Retention at the George Washington University (GW). In addition, Kimberley is the assistant director of AACRAO’s SEM Endorsement Program (EP).
Dr. Williams has a proven track record of consistent enrollment success and is widely viewed as one of the top enrollment professionals in the country. Kimberley's background includes extensive background in building targeted student outreach, readiness, and support programs that have assisted her in enhancing student diversity, community engagement, and retention rates at several institutions. In addition, Kimberley has led efforts in developing CRM systems, pre-college, and summer bridge programs, and early alert networks strongly aligns with GW's student success goals and aspirations.
Prior to joining GW, for nearly a decade, Kimberley served as the Vice President for Enrollment Management (VPEM) at two public, regional universities. She has also held leadership roles in student enrollment and support at Northern Illinois University, the University of Michigan-Flint, and Old Dominion University.
While at Northeastern Illinois University, as VPEM Ms. Williams oversaw the matriculation of the inaugural Hope Chicago first-year class and implemented a case management approach to advising the new scholar-cohort program. In addition, the student engagement model featured the development of individualized student success plans and an automated student referral system to align student needs with the appropriate campus support units.
During Kimberley's tenure at the University of Mary Washington, as VPEM she helped establish new partnerships with several community-based organizations, including the Latino Student Fund (MD), Access College Foundation (VA), and the Partnership for the Future (VA). She also implemented a set of campus-wide committees, and student engagement plans to improve diversity and student persistence levels. These efforts resulted in the percentage of students of color at UMW rising from 23 percent in 2014 to 30 percent in 2021, and the overall first-to-second-year student retention rate increasing by 4.8 percent. Under her leadership, the percentage of students of color at Mary Washington grew from 23 percent in 2014 to 30 percent in 2021. In addition, UMW enrolled its largest first-year class in history, and saw a significant increase in its incoming first-year academic profile.
In addition to the aforementioned strategic enrollment management successes, Kimberley led enrollment efforts at the University of Michigan- Flint. Under Kimberley’s leadership, UM- Flint realized a 29 percent increase in new first-year enrollment (2005-2011), and a 200 percent increase in international student enrollment as noted in a 2010 MLive article titled “UM-Flint keeps rank as state's fastest growing university.”
Kimberley is the author of the 2021 book "History of American Higher Education A to Z: A Primer for Enrollment Managers." She also has several recent articles and publications focusing on student success and enrollment management. Recent presentations include "Closing Equity Gaps in Enrollment – A Four-Pronged Approach" (2021), "SEM and Retention; The Perfect Pair" (2018), and "We Check More Than One Racial Category... Are You Ready for Us?" (2016).
In 2023, Kimberley completed her Ed.D. from Regent University (VA). Her dissertation research examined employment engagement and succession planning in the context of retaining enrollment middle managers in the American "Big Quit," "Great Reshuffle, and/or "Great Resignation" era. In addition, Kimberley holds an Ed.S. degree in Higher Education Administration, a master's degree in Education Administration, and a bachelor's degree in English, all from Old Dominion University. She also holds a postmaster's certificate in leadership from the University of Michigan's Center for the Education of Women.
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