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Outgoing VP with Student Affairs directors: (l-r) Ebony Ramsey, Michelle Fisher, Pam Adams, Provost Alton Thompson, Stacy Downing, outgoing Student Affair VP Kemal Atkins and his wife Julia, Jeff DeMoss, Lisa Hinton, Jordin Williams, Phillip Holmes, Matt Fortune and Paula Duffy.

  Outgoing Student Affairs VP Kemal Atkins Honored at Reception


DSU honored Kemal Atkins, vice president of Student Affairs, during a June 26 farewell reception in recognition of his four-year leadership tenure at the institution.

Stacy Downing, associate VP of Student Affairs (at mic), presents Kemal Atkins (center) with a gift signed by all the directors of the SA division.

Mr. Atkins is leaving DSU to become the vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment at Keene State College in Keene, N.H. He will assume his new post there on June 30.

During his four-year tenure as vice president, Mr. Atkins’ accomplishments included:

  • Established the DSU’s Title IX Office and led its compliance coordination.
  • Established a leadership/officer training program for the Student Government Association.
  • Created the Office of Spiritual Life and the University chaplain position.
  • Created the Student Employment Office, which improved  the student hiring process and provided professional development to student employees.
  • Redesigned and expanded freshmen Living and Learning Communities.
  • Expanded Student Leadership Development programs, which resulted in a 20% increase in student candidates for student organization leadership positions
  • Established the Student Affairs Professional Development Program.
  • Created the Student Affairs Assessment Committee to focus on student learning outcomes.

Mr. Atkins was also instrumental in the work of a number of DSU committees including: the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, Campus Master Plan Steering Committee, Retention Committee, Enrollment Management Council, Institutional Effectiveness Committee, President’s Blue Ribbon Commission, President’s Senior Leadership Team and others.

At the time of the reception, DSU President Harry L. Williams was in China on University business. However, before his departure, Dr. Williams noted that Mr. Atkins organized Student Affairs with focus and with strategic vision during his tenure.

“Under his leadership, the many units that provide a true holistic experience for students thrived. He also played an important role in our enrollment and retention successes, as well as created the very necessary student employment office,” said Dr. Williams. “We appreciate his strong commitment and guidance as a vice president and senior officer in my management team. We wish him only the best as he takes on a greater challenge in his career path.”

Prior to his arrival to DSU, Mr. Atkins served in 2008 and 2009 as the vice provost for Student Affairs at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. He also led college access, as well as academic and student affairs initiatives at the University of North Carolina General Administration from 2001 to 2008.

Mr. Atkins has a BA and MA in English Literature from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and expects to complete an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from DSU within the next few months.