Stacey Harris Named as Dean of Students

At William & Mary, Harris developed programs supporting student wellbeing and success

Stacey Harris has two decades of experience in student affairs. She comes from William & Mary.

She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Suffolk University Law School and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and communications from Curry College.

At William & Mary, Harris has been a collaborative problem-solver and student advocate, consistently engaging with stakeholders and cultivating innovative partnerships across the campus. Colleagues said she recognizes the significance of fulfilling various roles as a manager, cheerleader, attentive listener and mentor to students and staff alike.

“Dean Stacey Harris has been one of my most valued collaborators at William & Mary,” said Suzanne Raitt, dean of the faculty of arts & sciences and chancellor of English at William & Mary.

“Her tireless dedication to the wellbeing of our students, her commitment to their success in every area, and her uncanny gift for building close and trusting relationships, will be deeply missed. Dean Harris’s fostering of every student’s independence while still making them feel safe and supported has helped countless undergraduates feel at home at William & Mary. I wish Dean Harris every success in her new position and feel lucky to have worked alongside her during her time here.”

“Dean Harris’s fostering of every student’s independence while still making them feel safe and supported has helped countless undergraduates feel at home.”

Suzanne Raitt, Dean of faculty of arts & sciences, William & Mary College

Harris is admired, respected, and well-liked by many other peers and students.  Atticus Gore, a public policy & hispanic studies student at William & Mary, echoed his appreciation for Harris’ support, mentorship, relationship building and decision-making.

“Dean Harris is a role model for students, staff, families, and community members. She exemplifies empathy, drives meaningful change, and ensures every voice is heard,” Gore said. “I have had the pleasure of working with Dean Harris on her Dean's Council, where she consistently supports students and implements transformational changes to enhance the student experience, always considering diverse perspectives in her decision-making.

“Her most profound impact, however, lies in her ability to genuinely connect with students… Duke students, you will not regret building a relationship with your new Associate Vice President and Dean of Students. She sees you, she hears you, and she is your ally!”

McMahon said Harris will be responsible for providing overall vision, planning, strategic direction and management for areas related to students’ holistic wellbeing and engagement. Overseeing key units, she will implement proactive strategies to support student mental health and wellbeing, utilizing innovative, data-driven approaches at all levels. Additionally, she will shape programs that enrich student growth and engagement, connecting academic and co-curricular pursuits to residential and leadership experiences through QuadEx, Duke’s living and learning experience.

“I am looking forward to engaging Stacey as a strategic partner and collaborator alongside other members of the Student Affairs leadership team,” McMahon said.

The search committee, co-chaired by Chris Simmons, vice president for government relations, and Shruti Desai, associate vice president of student affairs for campus life, engaged in a thorough process to identify finalists for the role and collaborated with an array of student leaders, additional faculty, and campus partners, who also served on this committee.

Search committee member and professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Scott Huettel said, “Stacey is an experienced leader who exudes empathy, thinks deeply about challenges in higher education, and lives our institutional values. She’ll be a highly visible presence on campus as she supports our students throughout their time at Duke.”

Reflecting on Stacey's standout qualities during the process, Ph.D. candidate Arinze Okafor said, “I am excited about having Stacey Harris at Duke as the new Dean of Students! Stacey comes with a wealth of experience with students and a unique combination of visionary leadership and relationship-building skills, which are both important to take the student experience at Duke to the next level! I am confident that the entire Dean of Students team, affiliated staff, Duke Faculty, and students will be delighted to welcome and work with Stacey.” We are truly appreciative of the committee’s hard work to find the right person for this role.

Stacey and her wife Jessie have two children: Zion, a professional ballet dancer with Ballet Pensacola, and Torin, who will be a senior at Boston University.