Skidmore College in May named Cerri Annette Banks as dean of students and vice president for student affairs.
Currently serving as vice president for student affairs and dean of the college at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., Banks will begin her new position at Skidmore on Aug. 1.
“We are truly thrilled to welcome Cerri Banks, who brings an extraordinary level of experience in the increasingly complex world of student affairs,” said Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach. “She is uniquely qualified to lead a division that oversees every facet of our students’ lives outside of the classroom. Her background and insights will be invaluable in the President’s Cabinet and across our campus.”
Banks will oversee 134 employees and five offices within Student Affairs, including athletics, campus life, career development, student diversity programs, and student academic services.
She replaces Interim Dean and Vice President Gail Cummings-Danson, who held the role for the past academic year after the departure of former Dean Rochelle W. Calhoun for a vice presidency at Princeton University. Cummings-Danson will return to her previous role as Skidmore’s athletics director in the fall.
Banks has held the Mount Holyoke position since July 2011. She oversaw a staff of 70 and a $5.4 million annual budget; in addition, she served on the President’s Cabinet, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, the Academic Priorities Committee and numerous other high-level boards.
Previously, Banks was dean of William Smith College in Geneva, after serving there as interim dean and director of the President’s Commission on Inclusive Excellence.
She received B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from Syracuse University between 1997 and 2006, where her areas of study included cultural foundations of education. A scholar of multiculturalism and diversity in education, she has written two books and produced scores of articles, book chapters, and presentations on culturally relevant teaching and learning and other subjects.
Active in key higher-education organizations over the course of her career, Banks has won a wide array of honors, awards, and scholarships. A graduate of Monroe Community College before transferring to Syracuse, she was inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame.
“I have enjoyed a wonderful five years at Mount Holyoke,” she said, “and the opportunity to lead student affairs at Skidmore brings all of my scholarly work and college experiences to fruition. I am so very excited about joining the leadership team at such an excellent institution, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish.”