Karen Warren Coleman appointed Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services

University Communications

Karen Warren Coleman, a senior leader in campus and student life at the University of Chicago, has been appointed Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services after a national search. Her appointment is effective July 1.

In this role, Warren Coleman will lead and provide strategic direction to the Office of Campus and Student Life in its vital efforts to support and enrich the lives of students, faculty and staff at the University and provide an extraordinary campus and community experience. She will manage multiple campus departments that serve the entire campus community, oversee 340 staff members and serve as an Officer of the University.

“The quality of student life, and of the campus experience more broadly, is critical to the University’s mission,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “Karen is actively engaged as a leader in fostering a campus community that supports students, staff and faculty in doing their best work. She will bring invaluable experience and insight into her new role.”

The University of Chicago’s distinctive education is enhanced by a rich set of experiences for students that extends learning beyond the classroom. The Office of Campus and Student Life has a broad set of responsibilities for supporting programs, services and facilities that enrich the community and support the work of the University’s 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students. 

“This is an exceptional opportunity at an exciting time in the University’s history,” Warren Coleman said. “I am eager to continue to build on the achievements in Campus and Student Life in a way that has a lasting impact on the student and campus community experience. I also look forward to ensuring that the student and community experience embodies the values of the University of Chicago.”

Warren Coleman will succeed Kimberly Goff-Crews, who announced in December 2011 her departure from UChicago to become Vice President for Student Life and University Secretary at Yale University, her alma mater.

Since joining the University of Chicago in 2009, Warren Coleman has brought a strategic and thoughtful approach to forging partnerships across the University. Warren Coleman has overseen division-wide strategic initiatives, including a plan to expand undergraduate student housing and the global dining initiative. She has also supervised the student housing and dining system, the largest operational unit within the division. This includes creating the new UChicago Dining department and facilitating the completion and start-up of the New South Campus Residence Hall and Commons.

“Karen has served with great distinction as Associate Vice President for Campus Life, a position in which she has been a strong and articulate advocate for the welfare and well-being of our students,” Dean of the College John Boyer said. “Karen has been a terrific supporter of our efforts to strengthen residential life communities and student life resources in the College. Her promotion to Vice President is wonderful and well deserved, and I look forward to a close and salutary partnership with her in the years to come.”

Under Warren Coleman’s leadership, the Office of Campus and Student Life will continue to oversee a wide range of departments crucial to students, including the Office of the Bursar; the University Community Service Center; Student Disability Services; Emergency and Crisis Resources; the Office of Event Services; the Office of Undergraduate Student Housing; UChicago Dining; the Office of International Affairs; International House; the Office of LGBTQ Student Life; the Office of Multicultural Affairs; the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities; Physical Education and Athletics; the Office of the Registrar; Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention; Rockefeller Memorial Chapel; the Spiritual Life Office; and Student Health and Counseling Services.

Warren Coleman came to Chicago from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served in several roles. In addition to supervising five departments within the Office of the Dean of Students, her key responsibilities included representing and advising senior administrators on matters related to student affairs and student services; developing university policies and protocols to address student conduct, discipline and grievances; and partnering with other units on campus to address a wide range of student needs. 

Prior to her work at Berkeley, Warren Coleman held student affairs positions at the George Washington University, the University of Vermont, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Warren Coleman also holds leadership roles in national student affairs professional organizations, including the American College Personnel Association and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Warren Coleman earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her master’s degree in education, higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont.