Student life VP drafts plans

Kimberly Goff-Crews ’83 LAW ’86 serves as secretary and vice president for student life.
Kimberly Goff-Crews ’83 LAW ’86 serves as secretary and vice president for student life. Photo by Yale.

As she settles into her office in Woodbridge Hall, University Secretary and Vice President for Student Life Kimberly Goff-Crews ’83 LAW ’86 is still ironing out her plans for coordinating student affairs across Yale.

The newest addition to Yale’s set of officers, Goff-Crews arrived in August to fill a position created by University President Richard Levin last January — in part to relieve duties from Vice President Linda Lorimer, who previously served as secretary as well. During her first two months in office, Goff-Crews met with student life administrators in Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the 12 professional schools, as well as students from across the University, to identify issues in students’ day-to-day lives. While Goff-Crews says she has not had enough conversations to develop specific goals and detail plans, she hopes to establish a list of student life priorities soon that focus on both graduate and undergraduate life.

“I’m interested in things where solutions in one area impact a number of students across the board,” she said. “A lot of it will be based on what students tell me.”

As Yale’s first University-wide student life administrator, Goff-Crews is expected to understand and present the student point of view to the officers — the University’s highest-ranked administrators ­— and the Yale Corporation. As secretary, Goff-Crews said she considers herself a “steward of tradition” — charged with coordinating annual ceremonial events such as the freshman assembly and Commencement. In keeping with the secretary duties that she inherited from Lorimer, Goff-Crews will also serve as liaison to the Yale Corporation.

Levin said he had his own eventual departure in mind when he appointed Goff-Crews to her new role.

“It is clear that when I appointed her to the secretary’s job, it was understood she would be here during a transition. Although I didn’t know at that point [when it would be], I knew it would be in the next few years,” Levin said. “The secretary’s role with the Corporation will give her special responsibility to make sure any transition works well.”

Rather than focusing her efforts on one specific school, Goff-Crews said she aims to work on issues that affect all students and to make sure undergraduates, graduate students and professional students have opportunities to meet each other. In her previous role as vice president for campus life at the University of Chicago, Goff-Crews overhauled student health services and specifically targeted mental health offerings. She cited health services as one cross-cutting issue she could address at Yale as well.

Within Yale College, Goff-Crews said she will mainly provide advice to Dean Mary Miller and Dean of Student Affairs Marichal Gentry on their request. Though Goff-Crews oversees student affairs administrators across the University, Miller and Gentry do not report directly to her.

Miller said she is currently “working on getting to know” Goff-Crews and developing an agenda of projects on which the two can collaborate.

Goff-Crews said she has been meeting with undergraduate student leaders to identify their concerns. She recently attended a meeting of the Undergraduate Organizations Committee, and plans to meet with the Yale College Council this week. Goff-Crews added that she is excited to work with the many student organizations on campus, which she said have expanded in “depth and breadth” since she graduated from Yale College in 1983.

Yale College Council President John Gonzalez ’14 said he hopes to work with Goff-Crews on a schoolwide voter registration effort this fall in anticipation of the presidential election in November.

Goff-Crews served as assistant dean and director of the Afro-American Cultural Center from 1992-’98.

Comments

  • The Anti-Yale

    “the student point of view to the officers — the University’s highest-ranked administrators ­— and the Yale Corporation.”

    Tell them to read the Yale Daily News’ posting board, not have student “views” filtered through the polite prose of an administrator whose salary is dependent on the “officers” smiles. This dynamic is like the White House Bubble (the “Woodbridge Bubble?) It’s doomed to self-congratulation.

    Paul D. Keane
    M. Div. ’80

    M.A., Middlebury College

    M. Ed. ’72 Kent State University
    (Student Personnel Services and Administration in Higher Education)

    • oogabooga

      I couldn’t agree with your comments more, Paul. More of the same old Yalie bull !
      I mean who better to turn to than the YALE CORPORATION?! Why is this “corporation” in charge of ALL student affairs? Aren’t they the financial gatekeepers who keep wanting moh money moh money and it is never ever enough – not even billions – they’re looking for trillions now while most donors are turning away because they see too much money wasted and God only knows where a lot of it goes.

  • ldffly

    The new President should eliminate this job along with many other administrative positions. No relection on Ms. Goff-Crews.

    • ldffly

      Sorry, I meant no reflection. If she’s an asset to the University, find her another job and eliminate this position.

  • RexMottram08

    Just what campus needs… more planning.

    • oogabooga

      well if you’re a college like Pierson who has a dean who let’s just say… “gets away with a lot more than the usual”, ummm, maybe there IS room for help.

  • JE09

    I’m ashamed how often I have to write this on the YDN message board (so this time I’ll use all caps): ADMINISTRATIVE BLOAT! I’m sure Ms. Goff-Crews is exceptionally bright and talented, but this position really serves no purpose for the students. Yale students are, unsurprisingly, very capable of coordinating their own affairs. It’s funny how education reform in public schools means cutting down on administration (e.g. I worked in a NYC public school with no assistant principals, which functioned quite well) and in higher education means more bureaucracy and higher tuition.

  • basho

    WE WANT MORE VEEPS!!!

  • River_Tam

    Hm, didn’t know she founded the STARS program.

  • ldffly

    Holy cow–the steward [ess?] of tradition? That one is a shocker.

  • attila

    Actually, we really need one more Vice-President: call it “VP of being a university.” They could be in charge of teaching, research, stuff like that. Stuff the current admin has no time for.

  • toomean

    Seriously these administrators are going to spend their days in meetings discussing the hirings of more administrators!