Westminster Appoints New Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students


Apr 23, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College announces Karnell McConnell-Black as the new vice president of student affairs and dean of students. The position is effective July 1, 2019.

“Karnell has served as the interim senior student affairs officer twice during his tenure at Westminster College, and has clearly demonstrated his value to our campus in that role,” said Westminster President Beth Dobkin. “I am exceedingly thankful to have him as a continuing member of our cabinet.”

McConnell-Black came to Westminster in 2011 as the assistant director of student involvement and orientation. Since that time, he has taken on increasing administrative responsibilities and had a substantial, positive impact on the campus, playing key leadership roles in the development of Griffin GearUp, the Bias Education Response Team, integration of student health and wellness across campus, re-establishing the Westminster College Staff Council, fostering student advocacy and promoting student success. Prior to his work at Westminster, McConnell-Black spent seven years in student and academic affairs at Loyola University Chicago.

Additionally, McConnell-Black will be responsible for the planning, supervision, evaluation and financial management of the division of student affairs, ensuring that the necessary services and programs are provided to students and the work and actions of the division meet and support the college’s mission and strategic priorities. His practice is informed by the synergies required to navigate external demands on the educational enterprise while framing the student experience as the formative foundation of institutional success.

McConnell-Black has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and a Master of Education in higher education administration from Loyola University Chicago. He is currently pursuing a doctorate of education in higher education administration from the University of Utah. Outside of his campus experiences, McConnell-Black has served on the national board of directors for the Association of Orientation, Transition, and Retention and co-authored the core competencies for OTR professionals in the field. He currently serves on the Utah Pride Center Board of Directors and Utah Human Rights Campaign Steering Committee.


Media Contacts

Arikka Vonavon@westminstercollege.edu801.832.2682

About Westminster

Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.

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