University of Rhode Island names Ellen Reynolds vice president for student affairs

Reynolds, an alumna with two decades of broad leadership experience at URI, was selected following a national search

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 6, 2023 – The University of Rhode Island has named Ellen Reynolds vice president for student affairs following a comprehensive national search. Reynolds, who holds an education leadership doctoral degree, has served in positions of leadership at URI for two decades, including as interim vice president for student affairs for the past year. 

As vice president, Reynolds will work closely with the University’s leadership team while overseeing and providing strategic direction for the multiple departments within student affairs, including the dean of students, counseling center, housing and residential life, dining services, student health services, campus recreation, and Talent Development offices. 

“Ellen has provided an outstanding level of leadership during her time as interim vice president,” said URI President Marc Parlange. “She is deeply committed to URI and to the experience and success of our students. I am confident that she will continue to foster a culture that values and prioritizes student achievement and success by helping students in all aspects of their learning and development, and I look forward to working closely with her in the coming years to advance the goals and priorities of the University and our strategic plan.”

As vice president, Reynolds also will work closely with the Office of Community, Equity and Diversity to develop University-wide strategies and programs that actively support and build an inclusive and equitable community. She will help develop and implement policies and procedures that support the newly announced 10-year strategic plan, Focus URI, and that enrich the student experience.

“I am honored to serve as the next vice president for student affairs at the University of Rhode Island and am eager to work alongside President Parlange, leadership, staff, faculty, students, alumni, and the community at large in moving this outstanding institution forward, with a student-focused division that is committed to student access and student success,” Reynolds said. “As a first-generation alumna of URI, I know firsthand the transformative impact earning a college degree can have on students. I will work to build on the existing institutional momentum and, in alignment with the new strategic plan, further enhance URI’s commitment to an engaged student experience with a focus on wellness, inclusion, and innovation.”

Reynolds joined the University in 2003 as associate director of health services after serving the southern Rhode Island community for nearly a decade as a manager and team leader at South County Hospital. Prior to her tenure as interim vice president at URI, she was assistant vice president for student health and wellness, where she oversaw health services, campus recreation, and the University’s counseling center. She played a critical role in leading the University’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic—assisting students studying abroad in their safe return, providing regular health and wellness updates to the campus community, and working collaboratively with officials at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Reynolds is the past chair of the administration section for the American College Health Association and was inducted as an association fellow in 2017. She currently serves as a board member of the Domestic Violence Resource Center of South County, and she is active on several University committees, including the strategic plan steering committee, mental health steering committee, and campus emergency management advisory committee. She is the recipient of several recognitions and awards for her leadership and service, and she is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Reynolds earned a Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership from Johnson and Wales University, a Master of Science degree in health care administration from Salve Regina University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in human development, counseling, family studies, and early childhood education from the University of Rhode Island.