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Clark Appoints Associate Provost and Dean of Students

To the Clark Community,

Our students are at the center of all we do as a university. Our mission is to inspire and empower them to be imaginative and contributing citizens of the world and to advance the frontiers of knowledge and understanding through rigorous scholarship and creative effort. In part, that involves providing a robust, community-engaged student experience at Clark. Our Associate Provost and Dean of Students is a key leader in carrying out that responsibility and, today, I am thrilled to share with you that Kamala C. Kiem has been appointed to this critical role, effective January 3, 2022.

Kamala comes to Clark with a portfolio of more than 20-years of accomplishments in student affairs. She is a collaborative and innovative leader who has an inspiring vision for campus life at both the undergraduate and graduate level and who is a proven advocate for social justice in higher education.

As our next Associate Provost and Dean of Students, Kamala will oversee efforts to build and maintain a vibrant, rich, engaging campus environment for our students. She will be responsible for all aspects of the student experience at Clark, including residential life and housing, new-student orientation, health services, student activities, personal counseling, wellness, identity-based supports, and student conduct. She also will work closely with the Director of Athletics and Recreation to ensure that aspect of student life is fulfilling. In addition to being a visible and active liaison between students, staff, administration and faculty, Kamala will be instrumental in establishing key principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of student affairs at Clark and strengthening our community, culture, and climate through antiracist practices. As a member of the Provost’s Management Group and the University’s Leadership Team, Kamala will be actively engaged in effectively connecting the curricular and co-curricular elements of the Clark student experience, ensuring support and connections for students in all aspects of their lives on campus, both in and out of the classroom. Coordination and collaboration with student leaders will be essential as Kamala works with the Student Affairs team to continue to enhance social offerings and robust programming, including through our 130 student clubs and organizations.

With a thorough understanding of best practices in student affairs, the enthusiasm to shape new strategies, and the creativity to move our university forward, Kamala will make an outstanding Associate Provost and Dean of Students. Since 2008, she has held several leadership positions within student affairs at Fairfield University, serving as Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Engagement for the past six years. Early in her career at Fairfield and previously at Smith College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kamala directed residence life activities.

Kamala’s achievements are many and varied. At Fairfield, she has created holistic experiences for students to discover themselves and their calling. She has established tighter synergy between student development areas including student activities, leadership development, international student life, and graduate student life — and improved engagement with and support for the entire student body. She has innovated a robust onboarding, orientation, and transition process for first-year students; co-created new and enhanced living and learning communities; strengthened training and development of student leaders to create an influential peer leadership culture; and created social justice mediation and dialogue programs. Importantly, Kamala served as Co-Chair of the President’s Institutional Diversity Council and the Co-Lead of the Diversity Leadership Team — both instrumental in driving diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. In those capacities, Kamala led the development of a roadmap for addressing campus climate, including core recommendations for a university-wide diversity strategic plan.

Kamala earned her bachelor’s degree at Florida International University; master’s in student affairs administration at Michigan State University; and master’s in social justice education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is pursuing her doctorate in higher education (expected in December 2022) at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

We are extremely fortunate to welcome Kamala, her wife, Marian, and their triplet children — Anika, Sophia, and Ruby — to the Clark community.

I want to thank the search committee for their extraordinary work in conducting a national search to identify the strongest possible candidate: Cherilyn Bonin, Laura Burgess, David Chearo, Hayley Haywood, Juveriah Hussain, Megan Kersting, John LaBrie, Drew Melendez, Ha Nguyen, Ora Szekely, Meredith Twombly, and Michael Vidal. A special thanks to Associate Provost and Dean of the College Betsy Huang for serving as chair. I also want to recognize Donna Curry who took on the monumental task of serving as our interim Associate Provost and Dean of Students since April. Donna has done an outstanding job and we all are so grateful for her grace, leadership, patience, and unwavering commitment to our students which has ensured a seamless transition.

After the New Year, we will have an opportunity to formally introduce Kamala to you all. In the meantime, I know you join me in congratulating her on her appointment.

Sincerely,

Sebastián Royo
Provost