Associate Provost and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore to Become President of Dean College

From Dr. Jean Morrison, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer

I write to share news that Kenneth Elmore, who has led Boston University’s Dean of Students Office with exceptional energy, grace, and distinction for nearly 20 years, has accepted an offer to become president of Dean College in Franklin, MA, and will be leaving BU on June 30. I know I speak for our entire community in acknowledging the many contributions Kenn has brought to life at BU over the last two decades, the tremendous voice he has been on behalf of students and their interests, and the spirit of fellowship and diplomacy he has embodied in his role.

Since joining the Dean of Students Office in 2003, Kenn has led the University’s efforts to help provide a safe and welcoming environment where students can pursue their learning and find their way within BU’s vibrant academic community. It is inarguably among the most complex jobs we have at Boston University, requiring many hats, from organizational leader to counselor, communicator, community-builder, cheerleader, and, at times, consoler. In each of these areas, Kenn has shone, working – alongside his staff – to help acclimate students to life at BU, set and regulate standards for conduct and collegiality, and ensure the University experience is accessible to those of all backgrounds and abilities. For many students and their families, Kenn has been the first prominent person they’ve seen upon arriving at Boston University, a comforting, approachable presence and among our finest ambassadors in helping them navigate student life as members of our residential learning community. His has also been the reassuring voice equally adept at helping to lift students in celebrating their happiest moments and in weathering some of our toughest days as a nation and campus.

In 2016, Kenn’s role was elevated from dean of students to associate provost and dean of students, a designation that reflected the excellent work he’d done and the growing portfolio of duties and offices he oversaw, including the Community Service Center, Disability & Access Services, the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Judicial Affairs, Orientation, Residence Life, and Student Activities. Over this time, he has been an invaluable strategic partner on a range of University-wide efforts, raising philanthropic support for undergraduate student scholarships, sharing leadership and management of projects associated with student-focused facilities, physical infrastructure, and capital projects (including, notably, the opening of the new Howard Thurman Center in January 2020), and, most recently, helping manage BU’s COVID-19 response and messaging with students. He has likewise been an essential voice in our efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion, the importance of voting, and in the drafting of language and policies around free speech on campus.

A BU graduate (Wheelock ’87), Kenn has more than 25 years of administrative experience in higher education. Prior to his appointment in 2003, he managed orientation programs, campus activities, and residence operations at BU, and additionally practiced law in the Boston area. In March 2019, Kenn was named a National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Pillar of the Profession. The American College Personnel Association named him a Diamond Honoree in 2016, and he has also been recognized with the NASPA Region I Scott Goodnight Award. He has been a featured speaker at many conferences within the higher education, civic engagement, innovation, legal and marketing fields and holds an AB in psychology from Brown University; a Master of Education in policy, planning, and administration from BU; and a JD from New England Law.

As Kenn prepares to take on the presidency at Dean, the BU he leaves is a far stronger, richer, and more inclusive and welcoming community for his efforts. Kenn’s final day at BU will be June 30. We will launch a national search later this summer for a new leader and are grateful to Senior Associate Dean of Students Jason Campbell-Foster for agreeing to step in as interim associate provost and dean of students while we complete this process. In the meantime, please join President Brown and me in thanking our colleague Kenn Elmore for his many important contributions to Boston University over the last two decades and offering our heartfelt congratulations as he moves forward into this exciting new opportunity.

Associate Provost and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore to Become President of Dean College – 6.1.22