Eight Women Who Have Been Appointed to New University Administrative Roles

Karen Ferguson Fuson was appointed vice president for communications and marketing at Indiana University. Ferguson Fuson has served as associate vice president for marketing and digital strategy and as the university’s chief marketing officer since 2018. Previously, she had a 25-year career as a journalist including serving as the president and publisher of The Indianapolis Star and senior vice president at the Arizona Republic.

Ferguson Fuson is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she majored in journalism.

Merlene Aitken-Smith was named senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator at Grambling State University in Louisiana. She had served seven years as the senior associate athletic director for compliance, student services/senior woman administrator, and Title IX investigator at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia.

A native of Yonkers, New York, Aitken-Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She holds a juris doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Law.

Leslie Edgar is the new associate dean and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station Administration in New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Earlier, she was assistant dean of student programs in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas and was head of the agricultural leadership, education, and communication department at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Edgar holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture from Utah State University and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University.

Whitney Meyer was promoted to vice president and chief diversity officer at the University of North Florida. Meyer previously worked at the university in various departments including the Military and Veterans Resource Center, Student Union Administration, Alumni Affairs, and Public Relations.

Meyer holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and international relations and a master’s degree in management from the University of North Florida.

Keri Disch has been named university registrar at Washington University in St. Louis. She was the associate university registrar at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Earlier, she was the director of student services at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.

Disch earned a bachelor’s degree in history, Spanish and political science at Marquette University in Milwaukee. She earned a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Ohio State University.

Joanna Dickert was appointed assistant dean for educational experience assessment at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Dickert’s previous work experience at the university has included program development and student engagement related to undergraduate research, national fellowship advising, academic integrity, student conduct, and women’s leadership.

Dickert holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature and a master’s degree in educational studies from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. She is a Ph.D. student in the department of evaluation and measurement at Kent State University in Ohio.

Nadine Petty was named chief diversity officer and associate vice president for community, equity and diversity at the University of New Hampshire. She has been serving as the executive director of the Center for Diversity and Enrichment at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Petty earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in teaching from the University of Rochester in New York. She holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership and organizational development from the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Alice Cary is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s next executive director of public safety and chief of police. A 34-year veteran in law enforcement, Cary currently is the chief of police at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She will begin her new job on July 20.

Cary earned a master’s degree in criminal justice management from Colorado Technical University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Filed Under: Appointments


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