President Levin announces leadership changes

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Kimberly Goff-Crews

President Richard C. Levin has announced that beginning this summer at a date yet to be determined, Kimberly M. Goff-Crews, vice president for campus and student life at the University of Chicago, will become secretary of the University and assume the new role of vice president for student life. This appointment, he said in a letter to the Yale community, “will free Linda Lorimer, who has been secretary par excellence for the last 18 years, to give greater attention to her university-wide responsibilities for communications, alumni affairs, and international programs, and to her role as my senior counselor.”

Goff-Crews is a 1983 graduate of Yale College and a 1986 graduate of Yale Law School. After several years in private law practice, she returned to Yale as assistant dean in Yale College and director of the Afro-American Cultural Center from 1992 to 1998.  During that time, she also served as a resident fellow of Berkeley College, and she designed and implemented a wide range of programs to support student development, including improvements to freshmen orientation, tutoring programs, and the Yale Summer School.  She focused in particular on enhancing the African-American student experience at Yale and improving retention rates for women and students of color in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields through the creation of the Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) program.

From Yale she moved to Lesley University in Boston in 1998, where she served as associate dean in the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences and then as chief of staff to the president and director of planning.  From 2003 to 2007, she served as dean of students at Wellesley College, “where she worked very effectively to revise student disciplinary processes and upgrade student services,” Levin said in his announcement.

At the University of Chicago, Goff-Crews is responsible for the oversight and strategic direction of student services and student life across the University. Among her many achievements, she has worked to develop an integrated student housing plan, and to improve access to health and wellness programs. “She has represented student interests with numerous university offices and has worked very successfully to enhance graduate student life as well as to enhance the campus environment for faculty, students, and staff,” Levin said.

“This past summer, Goff-Crews served as one of the four members on our Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, where her wisdom, devotion to Yale, and commitment to student well-being impressed fellow officers and me in the course of the committee’s valuable service,” he added.

Goff-Crews will assume the traditional duties of the Secretary, which include supporting the Yale Corporation and the University Council as well as coordinating the University’s major ceremonial events, including Commencement.  

“At this moment in our history, it seems useful to ask an officer to take leadership of efforts to support our students,” Levin said in his letter. “The provost has responsibility for the advancement of the faculty and the vice president for human resources and administration supports our staff, but no one in the officer group represents the students. There are numerous administrative offices — ranging from housing to transportation to health services — that have expanded their services for students, but no single person is charged with assessing our success in meeting — or anticipating — student needs.  Kim has been a ‘hands on’ leader in working to do just that for student life at Chicago. Here at Yale, she will work closely with the deans in all of the schools to help them support student life, and she will convene a new council of the chief student affairs officers in each of the schools, as well as Yale College. “

After Goff-Crews’ arrival, Lorimer will continue her work as vice president of the University. Assisted by Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith, Lorimer will oversee the Office of Public Affairs and Communications, the Association of Yale Alumni, the Offices of International Affairs and International Students and Scholars, as well as the Yale Press, Digital Dissemination, University Licensing, the University Printer, and the Office of Sustainability.  She and Highsmith will continue to be responsible for emergency management and crisis intervention and response, “where we hope they will have fewer occasions for their heroic efforts than we have had these past few years,” Levin said.

“I know that you will be delighted, as I am, to welcome Kim back to Yale,” Levin said in his letter to the community. “She will be on campus full-time starting this summer, but she will visit several times next semester.  I know you will enjoy working with her.”

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